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“The Sverdrup project stands as a key stepping stone for us, I can say that. Corny as it may sound, it’s true that we’re in the major league now. When you’re saying that you’re building something of this complexity in Thailand, you’re met with raised eyebrows since people didn’t think it’s possible that this size of platform can be built here and so this project puts not only Aibel Thailand but the Thai workforce on the map,” Mr Routledge says. For developing the workforce for future projects, Mr Routledge would like to promote further training on the construction and engineering side; including taking engineers to Aibel’s facilities Norway, which in turn will help bring further projects to Thailand. He’s also quick to point out that the scale of the Thai facilities will play an increasingly important role in the company’s overall strategy because of the unfavourable weather conditions in Norway, restricting work to indoors. In terms of diversification and risk mitigation for growth, he says that Aibel is venturing beyond the oil & gas sector, and that they’re already bidding on various renewables projects in offshore wind in the Far East. “The cultures of Norway and Thailand are very different from each other, but there seems to be a good alignment between the two and despite the differences, it’s easy to find synergies. The Norwegian approach can be a bit black and white, straightforward and sometimes confrontational, whereas the Thai culture is anything but. It’s important to manage the mix of the two and in doing so, you can put a very strong team together where they understand their respective cultures and draw out the best from each other. It will help us move forward together, and I think that’s what we’ve achieved here in Aibel Thailand,” Mr Routledge says.


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Johan Sverdrup Main Support Frame Dimensions: 19m high, 100m long and 68m wide, the size of a football pitch Weight: 10124 Tones 250.000 Meters of cable Over 7 million man-hours to complete Fully Thai workforce of which more than one third female Largest object transported in Thailand Johan Sverdrup development is one of the biggest oil discoveries ever on the Norwegian Continental Shelf Peak production will be equivalent to one quarter of all Norwegian petroleum production. The MSF is the largest of three modules being constructed for the Johan Sverdrup Drilling Platform.

ISSUE 3 2017


Nearly 90% complete, work on assembling the Johan Sverdrup drilling platform in Klosterfjorden, near Stord in Norway was almost completed early September this year.

Impressed by Aibel’s Competence he Johan Sverdrup project is currently ahead of plan and T below budget. Contrary to several articles in Norwegian newspapers about cost issues related to offshore platforms HENRI VIIRALT

built in Asia, this project with its strong focus on schedule and quality has proven that there is merit in building such modules in Thailand. The drilling platform is one of four platforms which makes up the planned field centre for Johan Sverdrup, with Aibel responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the drilling platform. Following the assembly operation, the drilling platform has been transported to Haugesund where work on hook-up of the modules and commissioning will continue until installation scheduled for the middle of next year. Production from the field is to start at the end of 2019. Expected field life is 50 years and the ambition is a world class recovery rate of 70%. Recoverable resources are estimated to be between 2 and 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent. “We tendered the drilling platform in a global market and Aibel won because they had the best commercial and technical proposal,” says Lars Håvardsholm, Project Director for the Johan Sverdrup Drilling Platform at Statoil. “We had previously commissioned two projects from Aibel Thailand, so the mutual trust had already been established.” Mr Håvardsholm says that

the cooperation between Aibel and Statoil on Johan Sverdrup has been very good. “We started out with discussing and agreeing on the main goals we wanted to achieve together. This created a platform for an open dialogue to constructively work together and solve the various challenges that always come up in projects with this level of complexity.” He also says that Aibel is currently in dialogue with Statoil on many future Statoil projects, and although nothing is finalised, some of the projects could potentially be done both in Norway and in Thailand. “What we at Statoil really like about Aibel is their flexibility in having capacity in both Thailand and Norway. For the Johan Sverdrup project, we have been impressed by Aibel’s competence and capability in delivering according to a tight schedule. I was particularly impressed by the quality of the work performed in Thailand, and think it will be a benefit for both Aibel and the kingdom of Thailand in securing future projects of increasing complexity.”


Norway-Asia Business Review 2017-03  
Norway-Asia Business Review 2017-03