With lower oil prices and smaller margins, good project management is more important than ever, yet operators are often challenged when moving from field development projects into the operational phase. DNV GL has therefore developed a framework and roadmap for planning operations. This will support smaller operators in the transition from exploration to production to ensure a safe and cost-efficient operation.
The roadmap identifies a set of common activities to be carried out in the planning for operations. This ensures that all statutory and regulatory requirements are met throughout all phases.
“Smaller operators do not always have the resources and experience to make a smooth transition from field development into the operational phase. The roadmap includes numerous elements that need to be considered within different disciplines. The collaboration between projects and operations are embedded into the framework,” says Kjell Eriksson, Regional Manager DNV GL Oil & Gas Norway.
DNV GL supported Lundin Norway in the Ready for Operations (RFO) planning of the Brynhild field offshore Norway. This was the company’s first field development as an operator having evolved from purely exploration to production. A key challenge for the company was to manage numerous stakeholders across the Norwegian and UK sectors.
“We are a relatively small company and we want to build the competences of our own team while also using external providers to do non-core business tasks. This avoids us having to build huge support functions internally,” said Erik Sverre Jenssen, chief operating officer at Lundin Norway.
The development of a Brynhild RFO manual was done jointly to ensure that Lundin’s business objectives and key priorities were met. It was based on reference documentation from Lundin, regulatory requirements and DNV GL’s experience and knowledge of operational best practice in both Norway and the UK.
“When DNV GL created the detailed plan for RFO, our operations team consisted of only three people, so DNV GL’s involvement was fundamental,” added Kari Nielsen, head of field operations at Lundin Norway.
“The process of starting up a new operation or organisation was more complex than expected. We needed DNV GL’s experience in that phase. The commissioning phase had also not been clearly defined, so the plan helped with that.”
The framework ensures a holistic approach covering e.g. HSEQ, technical disciplines, planning and cost within a transparent and predictable process.
The Brynhild field, located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, is a subsea tie-back to the Pierce field in the UK sector. First oil was achieved in December 2014.