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Better collaboration between offshore and land

October 16, 2003, 10:00 CEST

Hydro is making a proactive effort to extend the lifetime of several oil fields with falling production. On 13. October, Oseberg East opened operation rooms on land and on the platform to make operations more efficient. New communications solutions will facilitate closer collaboration between employees offshore and on land.

Hydro has implemented several measures to extend the lifetime of oil fields with falling production. Better distribution of tasks between employees on land and offshore, lower costs and adjustments to the offshore organization are important measures on Brage, Njord, Oseberg C and Oseberg East. The aim is to reduce the annual operational costs for these fields by 20 percent. Lower costs provide the basis for a longer lifetime and increased value creation. Hydro wishes to increase the recoverable reserves from these four fields by 100 million barrels.

Oseberg Øst is now taking a step further. Using operation rooms on land and the platform, it aims to employ new technology to create more rational work forms with more tasks carried out on land. Land personnel will thus help with production planning, while personnel on the platform can concentrate on operations and safety.

Communication flow

The operations room on land has a central situation in Oseberg East’s offices in Sandsli, outside Bergen, and communicates with an equivalent operations room on the platform via high quality video images, exchange of real time data and an interactive “smartboard”.

Both discipline managers and planners will be part of the operations group on land. “This set-up is a forerunner to the collaboration planned for the new building currently under construction at Sandsli, and will influence the standard for future work processes based on modern communications technology,” says offshore installation manager Geir Slora.

Better planning

“We will have to change our work routines. The people who work offshore will have to trust us on land, and we have to earn that trust through the quality of our planning work and proper distribution of tasks. It’s also important that technology is not the main focus,” says Slora.

Slora is very pleased that Oseberg East is the first platform to adopt these new forms of operation. “It’s good to be at the front line. Oseberg Øst is a small platform with a clear overview and a positive crew, so we have a good chance of success.”

He expects others to follow suit. “These principles can be applied elsewhere. If this works for us, others will want to try it too.”