Only the best is good enough for Kristin

Kristin is named after one of the protagonists in the trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter, published in 1920–22 by the Norwegian Nobel laureate Sigrid Undset.

Several nearby fields are named after other characters in the book, including Lavrans (father), Ragnfrid (mother) and Erlend (husband). Morvin takes its name from the horse Kristin rode on her first visit to Oslo.

The Kristin gas and condensate field is located in the south-western part of the Haltenbanken in the Norwegian Sea, about 240 kilometres from land. It is being developed with a subsea production system tied back to a semi-submersible platform. Kristin enjoys pride of place as the world's first subsea solution for such extreme conditions with a view to reservoir pressure and temperature (910 bars and about 170 degrees Celsius, respectively). This is higher than on any other field developed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf thus far. The Kristin reservoir is located almost 5 000 metres below the sea floor, and will be produced through 12 subsea wells.

Development solution

The approach adopted for Kristin is intended to ensure the highest possible value added, and involves coordination with Statoil's nearby Åsgard field for condensate storage and gas export. Kristin gas will flow through the Åsgard Transport System to the Kårstø plant north of Stavanger for processing, and then be carried through the pipeline network to continental Europe. The Kristin field will be run from Stjørdal north of Trondheim. The platform is due to have a basic crew of 29, meaning roughly 90 jobs under today's offshore shift arrangements.

The development of the Kristin field represents a significant step forward in terms of technology. A number of new technical solutions and devices had to be developed to tolerate the extreme pressure and temperature conditions. At peak production, the Kristin platform produces enough energy to cover Norway's daily electricity consumption.

Constructive cooperation

"Statoil's technology strategy is crystal clear. Technology is to increase the value of existing business, pave the way for operations in new environments and help develop platforms for future business opportunities", explains Bård Heimset, vice president projects . "In the case of Kristin, we have made breakthroughs for the high pressure and high temperature issues in close cooperation with our partners. Kristin represents the most demanding conditions ever faced in connection with development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The know-how will be re-used and be very valuable for us in future projects", states Heimset.

"Can you describe the primary success factors in the project?"

"First and foremost, I must emphasise the constructive cooperation we have had. The team is bursting with confidence! We have had an active dialogue, and that is essential. Everyone has been aware of the importance of good cooperation. We are proud of each other and have helped each other become even better! The team's motto has always been: "Tell me your problems. I will not use them against you, and we will find solutions together."

"Everyone who has worked on interdisciplinary projects knows that they entail a formidable challenge. How did you choose your partners, and what approach did you take to accomplish this?

"We always choose the best suppliers. About 80 per cent of the people on this project were Norwegian. They were not selected because they were Norwegian, but because they were best. We were very clear about our targets, took the time to get acquainted with each other and brought our most important partners into the process early", relates Heimset.

"We set up integrated teams to bring out the best in all of us." Heimset pauses. "Openness about each others' challenges breaks down barriers and makes discussions constructive. Understanding and respect for each others' roles has paved the way for tough discussions without creating hostility, so it has really pushed us forward!"

Kongsberg technology

"Statoil, Aker Kværner and Kongsberg have worked in integrated teams on developing the technology as well as on project implementation. Through Aker Kværner, Kongsberg has supplied the safety and automation systems (SAS), the process and marine control systems, and the ASSETT dynamic process simulator to Kristin. Traditionally, there has been a separate system between the SAS and the electrical starters and breakers. On Kristin, this system has been eliminated and integrated into the SAS for the first time, and it has not made any noise or caused delays with a view to commissioning. We thought there would be problems around the development of an entirely new system, but they failed to appear! I would point out that the active and early use of the simulator during the engineering phase and during FATs reduced the number of problems during completion to far below the usual level. The commissioning progress made by the heavy rotating equipment confirms this. The team delivered on the technical, economic and personal level, setting a standard for future projects", comments Heimset.

Integrated operation on Kristin

What is an integrated operation?

The oil companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf consider integrated operations to be a high-priority strategic tool for ensuring sustainable development.

White Paper No. 38 defines integrated operations as "The use of information technology to modify work processes to improve decisions, remotely operate equipment and processes, and to move functions and personnel onshore".

Many companies use other, closely related concepts to describe the same type of operations, e.g. Smart Operations (Petoro), eOperations (Hydro), Smart Field (Shell), Field of the future (BP), Real Time Operations (Halliburton), Smart Wells (Schlumberger), Digital oil field of the future, or DOFF (CERA).

The new aspect of integrated operations is that IT is used as a strategic tool to improve efficiency and decision-making processes across the board in the oil and gas industry.

Integrated operations entail total integration of the organisations that work offshore and onshore, through a radical digitisation of all activities. The process actually represents a confluence of onshore- and offshore-based work. Oil and gas fields can be governed and controlled from onshore, and integrated operations facilitate cooperation within oil companies and between suppliers and oil companies. The concept will have far-reaching consequences on how the oil and gas fields of tomorrow are operated.

Integrated operations are intended to enhance recovery, accelerate and boost production, cut operating costs, extend field life and improve safety.

What is Kongsberg delivering to the Kristin platform?

The central nervous system of integrated operations on Kristin is the Information Management System (IMS).

It collects data from the process computers as well as from different 'smart' field instruments and sensors. These data are stored, processed and structured in a way that reduces operations and gives consistent information to technical staff. The Information Management System is also linked to Statoil's onshore organisation through a fibre optic network. Thus the same data is made available to different specialist groups that can use the information. For example, data is transferred to Statoil's SAP for use in maintenance planning. Once the data is onshore, the road to Kongsberg Maritime's experts in Kongsberg is short.

This delivery to Kristin consists of a powerful server linked to the process computer network featuring 8 to 10 different IMS applications as well as the transfer of data from 'smart' instruments to IMS.

What has KONGSBERG done for Kristin?

Process Control

  • Monitors, controls and coordinates all operations on Kristin
  • Subsea wells
  • Separation of oil and gas
  • Gas treatment
  • Export of oil and gas
  • Utility systems, e.g. power production and distribution

Safety Management

Ensures the safety of equipment, personnel and the environment on Kristin

  • Fire and gas detection
  • Process shutdown (PSD) in accordance with pre-defined criteria
  • Emergency shutdown (ESD) in accordance with pre-defined criteria
  • Alarms and information, as well as automatic start of e.g. fire extinguisher pumps

Subsea Control

Ensure continuous monitoring and control of the production wells on the seabed

  • Power distribution
  • Well control
  • Subsea status monitoring

Power Management

Distribute power among the various power users on Kristin

  • Control of gas turbines for power production and gas export
  • Control of the diesel generator
  • Control of the emergency generator
  • Control and monitoring of power distribution

Marine Control

Ensure Kristin is stable by regulating ballast

  • Control and monitoring of ballast water in the hull
  • Monitor and calculate stability
  • Monitor position and overall anchor handling

Information Management System (IMS)

To collect and store the platform's technical data, and to make the data accessible to a variety of users.

  • Central storage of historical data from the process and safety systems
  • Provide information to users on the platform and onshore
  • Central information carrier for integrated operations /ERP system (e.g. maintenance)
  • Portal for exchanging information with systems other than process and safety

ASSETT – dynamic process simulation

Advanced Simulations, Studies, Engineering & Training Tool

  • State of the art computer tool for building dynamic simulators of processing facilities. It is attached to the facility itself and mirrors the entire process in real time – all the time

The Central Control Room (CCR)

The platform centre for monitoring, controlling and managing platform functions

  • Operator stations with all information available
  • Big screens for selected systems, e.g. fire and gas detection
  • Internal TV surveillance
  • Staffed continuously, and designed accordingly
  • Central in connection with remote monitoring/control and integrated operation