The BP Valhall oilfield in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea consists of five separate bridge-connected steel platforms and is projected to be an important oil production and processing installation until around 2050.
A significant new addition to the Valhall installation is a Production and Hotel (PH) facility which is now approaching start-up. The topsides weigh 16000 tonnes and the steel jacket 7500 tonnes. The hotel has accommodation for 150 people.
Score A/S, based near Stavanger, have been contracted by BP to carry out the valve work on the Valhall installation since 1997. They were also the main supplier of valves (approx. 8500 in total) for the new PH platform and, recently, Score A/S have undertaken the challenging work of re-certifying and testing every pressure safety valve (PSV) on the platform. This is an essential part of making certain that all systems are protected before start-up when hydrocarbons are introduced through the pipe work. In recent months an increased Score A/S team have been working steadily towards ensuring an incident-free and safe start-up. The rate of progress has accelerated even further as targets are reached and start-up approaches, much to the satisfaction of BP. Safety, as always, is of paramount importance in our work, and it is pleasing to report that there have been no ‘lost time’ incidents, a significant factor in such an important project.
The scale of Score A/S involvement is only appreciated when it is realised that every single PSV re-certification involves the generation of a complete portfolio of documentation for permissions, including work permit, isolation certificate, pipe and instrument diagram, HSE data sheet, safety critical work procedure and safety job analysis. At all stages Score A/S activities must be co-ordinated with other departments including instrument electricians, scaffolders, crane and deck crew, process operators, and insulation and lagging technicians.
Only after these procedures are completed can the valve be taken out of line and into the workshop for pre-testing, overhaul, calibration and final pressure tests. Once the valve has passed all tests and documentation is completed, it can then be fitted back in line. Further necessary work involves replacement of all flanges, applying of correct torque values to flange bolting and then pressure testing of flange joints. Only then is the pipe work ready for the introduction of hydrocarbon.
PSV re-certification and testing on the PH platform at BP Valhall has been a major assignment for the dedicated team of specialist valve technicians with Score A/S in Norway. Together with similar work on the BP Skarv FPSO at Sandnessjoen, the Valhall contract is seen as the second major BP start-up in which Score A/S is playing a leading role.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the successful work on these vital and demanding projects which are making an important contribution to oil production, processing and safety in the North Sea.