My Kvaerner years 1988 - 2000.

This story is not intended to be a professional CV, but to tell friends and others what I have been dealing with in my job. I am not going to bore you with many details on electrical and control systems, so most of the pictures are of a more general nature.

I have been working with Kvaerner since I left university until the day this story was written (25. March 2000). Pictures are from the practical part of my job (pictures from offices would not be particularly interesting :-)

My two first projects were DRAUGEN and BRAGE, and this was before the time of small, handy inexpensive digital cameras, and I have no photographs. BRAGE was the first project where I had the chance to go offshore, but only a few short trips.

After this came NORNE, an oil production vessel where I had the chance to participate throughout the project from conceptual engineering to detail engineering, contract and supplier evaluations, construction, testing and start-up. I worked on Norne for 4 years, including 1 1/2 year at the yard and the last 6 months with testing and startup offshore. When finished with NORNE, I went on to SIRI where I did not participate in engineering, but was put in charge of commissioning of all electrical systems. Yard period was about a year, offshore period was 7 months. I am now (march 2000) working with GRANE, but at the present GRANE is only text and figures on paper and lots of information entered in computers.

This shows NORNE at the yard while the biggest crane in the world lifts the 5000 ton (10.000.000 pounds) turret that will be used when mooring the ship offshore. An easy match for the crane - it can lift 14.000 tons - the same as 35 fully loaded 747 jets.

A nice sunset at the yard with NORNE in front.

This is a view of Norne in the very nice weather we had that first summer. Our regular supplyboat is here to provide supplies. A drilling rig preparing more oil wells can be seen in the background. The NORNE hull was built at a yard in Singapore, but all the modules on deck was built in Norway and installed on the ship at Aker Stord yard on the west coast of Norway.

The only practical way to get there is by helicopter. 1 hour + flying time.

Norne is a ship, and the controlroom where all processes are monitored and controlled is located where the bridge of the ship normally is. NORNE probably has one of the nicest controlrooms in the North Sea, because of the natural light and view. Controlrooms are normally located low on platforms with few or no windows. The controlroom is the only place on board where people are required to be present at all times.

This is part of my job. The picture shows the back side of the main electrical distribution. It is a Siemens switchboard with gas insulated bus-bars and vacuum breakers where the total generating capacity of approx. 50 MW power is distributed to large consumers (the biggest electrical motor is 4,9 MW - 6500 hp), and to transformers for low voltage consumers.

Here are some of the motors on board. This is part of a hydraulic power pack powered by 6 motors 600 kW (800 hp) each, and 2 motors 300 kW (400 hp) each. The main consumers of this hydraulic power are ballast and oil export pumps.

For marine operations - keeping the vessel in position - two of these essential generators ( 4 MW each) powered by Wartsila diesels was installed. The vessel is kept in position by thrusters electric driven propellers that can be turned in any direction. NORNE has five of those, 2,8 MW (3750 hp) each. Bigger generators are also available on board for operation of oil processing and utilities, and can also provide power for the thrusters.

This special switchboard is for emergency use, and is designed to be safely operated even if the room is filled with explosive gases. It provides power for emergency lighting and other emergency systems.

For the person who don't know, an oil installation is a mess of pipes and valves. These vessels are scrubbers for large gas compressors. They are high pressure vessels, as you can see on the sizing of flanges and bolts. This is also an example of succesful lighting, the Chalmit wellglass type (in top of picture) light fitting is very suitable for this application, as long at it can be installed well above the deck. It is designed not to ignite the explosive gas, in case leakage in one of the scrubbers should occur.

This unit is for measuring the quantities of oil and gas produced. NORNE can produce more than 200.000 barrels of oil per day.

Norne is always pointing it's bow against the wind, and swivel around a turret in the central part of the ship. The turret is moored to the seabed. This is a view down inside the turret into the sea. Heavy seas cause water to run in and out.

NORNE also has a very nice dining area, with large windows facing forwards. This is actually the nicest dining area I ever saw on an oil installation offshore.

The entire electrical power system can be controlled from this computer. Two computers like this is installed, one in the control room, and one in an electrical equipment room. This image shows main generators and switchboards. Many details about each electrical motor and it's operation (or faults) can be analyzed here. This is a standard PC with Windows is only used for monitoring and user interface, as the actual control of the power system is done by industrial type PLCs. The electrical power system works fine even if the PC crashes (which Windows sometimes do). Manual control in the switchboard rooms (the old fashioned way) is always possible.

To date, SIRI is the latest project where I followed the installation till after oil production had started. SIRI is a jack-up platform standing on top of an oil tank on the seabed. Depth approx 60 metres ( 180 ft). Production capacity is about 50.000 barrels of oil per day. SIRI is now located on the Danish continental shelf. SIRI is a breakthrough in new, low cost designs for the north sea.

One of the legs being installed on SIRI at the Kvaerner yard in Stavanger. We always thought SIRI had tiny legs, but being made of solid steel, they where strong enough.

SIRI on it's way out the fjord from the yard in Stavanger, where it was built. I am on board one of the tugs, ready to board SIRI when in position to start generators and electrical systems. This power is needed for jacking the platform, and for general lighting and other uses.

Weather turned bad, and we had to tow her back to a safe and quiet Norwegian fjord. The legs are pointing into the sky, and during installation, the entire platform will climb up on these.

On the third attempt, weather was cooperating, and SIRI is jacked up next to the drilling rig preparing the wells. The wellheads with x-mas trees are on SIRI, and the drilling rig skids the derrick above SIRI to work down in the wells. An X-mas tree is a unit with several valves and instruments sitting on top of each well. Here you can open valves to let oil up, measure conditions in the well, and put different tools into the well.

Bad luck. We got a supply of diesel of poor quality and had no diesel processing equipment on board. A bacterium that eats diesel was allowed to grow, and clogged fuel filters like this. Not a pleasant job to get rid of. Diesel is used to run generators when the platform gas production is not running. The main gas turbine generator can run on both natural gas and diesel.

The two pictures above is from a test of one of the lifeboats, that is of a type that is released, slides off and dives into the sea. In this way, it can get away from the platform very quickly, and does not rely on any devices or systems on the platform to get away. Inside, you are thoroughly buckled up, and your stomach makes a turn when it goes. The impact is not as hard as you might think.

A man overboard boat can also be launched, in case there is an emergency on the surface of the sea.

Well, that's all about my work with Kvaerner. I also have a formal CV on my site. Note that this page is the only page that contains several pictures taken by others using a digital camera.



(c) Thomas Høven 2000