How do we make the most of our engineering expertise?
It has arguably been highly beneficial to clients, and society as a whole, establishing Scandinavian rooted engineering consultancies in Denmark and Norway. So far this has in many ways been the key for successfully unlocking the potential of our natural resources. But it doesn’t have to stop here. Next step is of course making the most of this delicate expertise in more than one market.
What about the correlation between engineering solutions applied in Denmark and in Norway? Offhand, many would suggest that these two sectors are representing two rather different markets. But are we missing out on opportunities for further development of the Scandinavian oil and gas industry? Ramboll engineers have at least one solution in mind which appears highly interesting for the Norwegian sector, too.
Unmanned platforms in Norwegian waters
To meet the intense challenges of the North Sea, Ramboll Oil & Gas has, in collaboration with a major operator, developed a unique, cost-effective mono-column platform designed specifically for marginal fields with relatively small and complicated oil and gas reservoirs like the Danish part of the North Sea.
Since 1989 more than 15 of Ramboll’s mono-column platforms have been installed in the North Sea and other locations. What has made Ramboll’s mono-column platform a winner is its singular design: the wellheads are arranged relatively close in an ingenious circle configuration within the column, minimising wave load on the conductors and allowing for easy operation of the valves. Another key design feature of the mono-column is the scaled down topsides; all process facilities not strictly required for the transfer of fluids to the pipeline have been eliminated. The result is a robust, cost-effective, low-weight, and easy-to-produce structure.
The mono-column is able to operate at water depths of 20 to 110m and it may be used as a stand-alone or as a satellite platform. In several cases it has proven to be ideally suited for the development of existing fields. Like pearls on a string, an unlimited number of mono-columns can be tied back to an already existing field, extending its operation and increasing its output. Ramboll has, for example, extended the Dong-operated Siri field in the North Sea with two satellite platforms with a 40,000 bpd capacity.
Oil companies operating in the North Sea obviously drives the demand for engineering solutions, but the consulting engineers also play a role in making sure collective expertise is transferred and applied into new markets. In this way, Scandinavian fostered human expertise will surely remain the single most impressive industry accomplishment for decades to come.