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VIDEO: Equinor’s Johan Castberg FPSO sets sail for Norway

© Supplied by Sembcorp MarineJohan Castberg FPSO gearing up for sailaway. Sinagpore. Date; 16/02/2022
Johan Castberg FPSO gearing up for sailaway. Sinagpore. Date; 16/02/2022

Following a string of delays, Sembcorp Marine has completed construction of the hull and living quarters for the Johan Castberg unit, which has now begun dry transport from Singapore to Norway.

Sembcorp said the floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel had been delivered to operator Equinor and is now bound for Norway.

The 313m long vessel left dry dock in early January, and has since been undergoing final preparation for its journey at Sembcorp’s Tuas Boulevard Yard.

Upon final completion in Norway, the FPSO is scheduled for deployment at the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea, about 150 miles from Hammerfest.

Resources at the field are spread across three oil discoveries – Skrugard, Havis and Drivis – in licence PL 532, and are estimated at between 450-650 million barrels. The project is expected to come on stream in 2024 and will produce for 30 years.

Johan Castberg was originally approved in 2018 with a first oil date of 2022, however COVID-related delays and issues concerning welding on the ship’s hull have pushed back its timeline.

© Supplied by Sembcorp Marine
Johan Castberg FPSO Departs Tuas Boulevard Yard.

Last year the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said it had identified “serious breaches” of regulations in hull construction, and that Equinor’s pursuit of a lean project management structure had led to insufficient oversight of the project.

The FPSO hull has been built for uninterrupted, harsh-environment operation in the Barents, with living quarters accommodating up to 140 personnel onboard.

Despite issues over welding however, Sembcorp said the project attained notable safety achievements, recording 38 million man-hours without serious incidents, and a total recordable incident rate (TRIR) of 0.16, reportedly one of the lowest ever for a newbuild project.

Sembcorp Marine head of operations, Wang Zijian, said: “We would like to thank Equinor for entrusting the Johan Castberg project to Sembcorp Marine. In the last two years, both team Equinor and team Sembmarine worked under extreme challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet both teams remained determined to keep the project going.”

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