Robust KM simulations ensures success for Vår Energi

In 2020, the leading Norwegian independent oil and gas  company Vår Energi, approached Kongsberg Maritime to provide simulation data for a feasibility and operability study for their Balder Floating Production Unit (FPU) life extension project.

Fast forward to today, thanks to tens of thousands of simulations provided by Kongsberg Maritime’s Advisory Services, in collaboration with Dynamic Positioning (DP) Application and Hydrodynamic departments, Vår Energi can celebrate achieving a “first” for the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

“The idea was to connect an accommodation vessel to the turret-moored Balder FPU with a gangway – a first for Vår Energi and to their knowledge something that has never been done on the NCS,” says Ole Martin Bere, Project Manager – Global Customer Support, Advisory Services at Kongsberg Maritime.

“In order to achieve that, Vår Energi needed simulated DP data that only our KM team could provide.”

K-Pos DP system + Digital Vessel Twins

KM’s Global Customer Support Advisory Services department used advanced numerical simulators integrated with the company’s K-Pos DP system and paired it with high fidelity hydrodynamical models (Digital Vessel Twins) to simulate the real-life operations.

“We have years of experience doing these kinds of simulations, but it’s only during the last couple of years that we’ve managed to offer this as a commercial service to our customers through our Advisory Services department – and it’s been a huge success,” Bere says.

Close collaboration within KM and with the customer

Much of the expertise needed to prepare the simulation was spread throughout KM’s different divisions and departments, however the Advisory Services department successfully established robust communication lines with these resources ensuring efficient collaboration.

  • KM’s DP Application department in Kongsberg made the interface between our numerical simulator and the actual DP systems installed onboard Balder FPU and Floatel Superior.
  • KM’s Hydrodynamics department in Ulsteinvik produced accurate hydrodynamical models of the vessels (Digital Vessel Twins) and did analysis on the interaction between the two vessels.
  • Vår Energi provided KM with 63 years of meteorological data for the operational area, the data was systemized and used in the simulations.
  • Floatel International provided operational parameters and incorporated them into the simulation setup.

Let the simulations begin

After the input parameters were established, KM simulated the two vessels, Balder FPU in DP Heading control and Floatel Superior in DP Follow target mode, with different environmental directions and relative positions.

Finally, after running tens of thousands of simulations, KM was able to give Vår Energi both the optimum positioning of Floatel Superior and the ideal heading relative to the environmental forces in relation to the maximum operability of the gangway operation.

Ulf Klevstad, Safety & Sustainability Manager in Vår Energi, is happy in describing this life extension project a resounding success and is impressed with the professionality and service-mindedness of his KM counterparts.

“The work that KM provided was essential to the realization and execution of our operation,” he says.

Key takeaways

By having Digital Vessel Twin models of vessels that we deliver systems to, KM can offer a wider range of services to its customers which in turn will contribute to optimizing use and confidence in KM’s product range. KM GCS Advisory Services aims to establish Digital Vessel Twin models of every vessel operating with KM equipment equating to over 40.000 models.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Senior Engineer Michael Chrolenko at KM GCS/Advisory Services, Senior Engineer Ole Christian Eriksen at KM Integrated Solutions/DP Application, and Senior Hydrodynamicist Daniel Andre Jøsok at KM Propulsion & Engines/Ocean Hydrodynamics,” Bere says.

“Additional thanks go to contributors at GCS System Support DP, GCS Training and our Customer Support team at Global Sales and Marketing - Sensors and Robotics.”