Hook-up and commissioningFinal clarification for Statfjord B

Crane barge gets lifting

person By Trude Meland, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
Statfjord A was placed firmly on the field in the summer of 1977, when 31 large modules had to be lifted onto the topside before the autumn storms started. For that job, a crane ship was needed.
— Sea Troll lifting at Statfjord A. Photo: Odd Noreger/Norwegian Petroleum Museum
© Norsk Oljemuseum

Brown & Root, which was responsible for offshore outfitting and hook-up, hired its own Atlas vessel to do the job.

When the lifting programme began in June, however, it turned out that this crane barge was not suitable for North Sea conditions. It came from the Gulf of Mexico, and could only operate in calmer waters than the North Sea offered. Even at midsummer, when conditions were at their best, not a single module was lifted.[REMOVE]Fotnote: Lavik, Håkon. Statfjord. Nordsjøens største oljefelt . Stavanger 1997, p 30.

Statoil, as the biggest Statfjord licensee, began to become impatient, and pressed Brown & Root to improve progress by hiring Sea Troll. This newly built Norwegian crane ship had a much better hull design for coping with North Sea weather.

But Brown & Root was not keen to be forced to take on a new crane vessel, and made minimal use of Sea Troll at first. By the end of August, several key modules – including the flare boom and drilling rig – had still not been lifted aboard, and work had to be postponed until the following spring.

In addition to lifting, Atlas was supposed to accommodate 200 workers. But its lack of seaworthiness also created problems for helicopter transfer of these people to and from the platform. The crane barge left the North Sea for good in September 1977.[REMOVE]Fotnote: Godø, Helge. Plattformbygging til havs. Stavanger 1980, p 63.

To learn more, see: Hook-up and commissioning of Statfjord A.

Hook-up and commissioningFinal clarification for Statfjord B
Published November 22, 2019   •   Updated December 11, 2019
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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