BY Lars kverneland
Oil & Gas Manager, Norway
Oil & Gas has been through an extremely tough period since the oil price dropped dramatically back in 2014. But since 2017, oil prices have been in recovery, and industry players are starting to feel more optimistic. Investments have been increasing, even if clients continue to expect a strong focus on cost-efficient solutions. These include standardization, automation, digitalization and other innovative means that allow our customers to meet their business targets and to increase their competitiveness.
Bureau Veritas’ 2020 strategy demonstrates our serious commitment do what is necessary to grow our business with both established and new Oil & Gas majors. ONS is one of the most important global energy meeting places, connecting international suppliers, operating companies and decision makers. Discover how Bureau Veritas can support you to meet your business goals.
Visit us at ONS*, 27-30 August 2018.
Transporters use arctic shipping routes to reduce distance between ports, but they must take special steps to combat frigid temperatures. “Whether carrying goods to the northern reaches of Norway or over to Alaska, shippers need to protect their vessels against icing,” explains Atle Gundersen, Sales and Marketing Director for Roxel Products. “We help make sure they don’t freeze up, even under extreme conditions.”
Roxel Products is a subsidiary of Roxel Group, a diversified Norwegian company that supplies drilling and well products, systems and solutions around the world. It specializes in rig integration, control & automation systems, rig solution turnkey projects, and project management. Its headquarters is in Stavanger, in southwestern Norway.
“We really try to work closely with our customers to come up with intelligent and innovative solutions,” says Atle, who joined the company in 2011. Roxel works with Bureau Veritas as part of this innovation process: “We use them as sparring partners for new projects: they have very competent engineers who help us ensure we get it right first time.”
One example of this work is Roxel’s winterization facility in Stavanger that tests equipment and procedures that help safeguard rigs and supply vessels against the harsh northern temperatures.
It has partnered with American company Advanced Mat Systems (AMS) to test newly developed de-icing mats called The Arctic Pad, with a heat trace conduit that de-ices escape routes and deck landings on vessels. “We can test everything,” Atle says. “We can simulate snow, sleet and wind. Imagine a rubber mat with a heat trace cable in it. Instead of walking on the deck, you put the mats out, and they’ll never have any ice on it.”
AMS’ heavy-duty heated rubber mat system is certified, but Roxel needed to get certified test procedures, for equipment used in the Arctic to be aligned with the updated International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (known colloquially as the Polar Code). “We contacted Bureau Veritas to ensure our solution met the Polar Code’s new set of guidelines and regulations,” Atle says. “Bureau Veritas helped us devise the testing procedure, which we can then perform for the client. Beyond just consulting on the testing procedure, Bureau Veritas can class and certify the system for us, as well.”
Bureau Veritas also worked with Roxel on another project, certifying that Managed Pressurized Drilling equipment was NORSOK-compliant and offering Independent Review Certification. “Often we have short timelines to work within, and we know Bureau Veritas will be there for us,” Atle says. “When we call, they answer the phone! Their rates are competitive, and with a very large professional network, they have everything under control. There are never any issues.”
Rentel offshore substation helps new standards development
Electrical offshore substations comprise a vital and complex installation that links an offshore wind farm’s turbine and ensures that energy is transmitted to the electrical grid. As substations grow in size, so do challenges. Improvements must be based on development of efficient concepts and advanced functional platform design, while maintaining harmonized requirements.
Courtesy Chantiers de l’Atlantique
At Bureau Veritas, we have gained valuable offshore wind experience working on European Offshore projects, and in substation certification in particular. Following on our work on Rentel in the North Sea, we are developing a new Guidance Note (NI651) that covers the design of Offshore Substations. Incorporating experience-based feedback and industry input, the Guidance Note responds to industry demands and addresses a clear and comprehensive overview of principles and technical requirements specific to the issues of offshore substations. In particular, our work includes guidance in geotechnical design and structural design for the jacket and topsides, with independent analysis. We are conducting other studies as well, including a review of corrosion protection.
FULL SET OF RULES FOR FSRUs
Last November, Bureau Veritas published NR645, the first rules document fully dedicated to Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU). Now, two new documents will soon see print.
NI655 deals with the conversion of existing liquid natural gas (LNG) carriers to FSRUs or FSUs. Particular focus will be on the scope of survey during conversions, reassessment of hull structure and cargo containment, modification needs of cargo handling systems, and in-service inspection programs.
Meanwhile, NR656 covers units equipped with power generation systems that serve as a power resource connected to the electricity grid. To cover such usage, which is increasingly seen as a relevant added service for FSRUs, a new class notation POWERGEN has been introduced and developed based on our experience on real projects.
With this new set of documents, we aim to help designers and operators by ensuring safe and reliable units that leverage our experience in the LNG field.
DEEPENING DECOMMISSIONING UNDERSTANDING
Earlier this summer, Bureau Veritas was delighted to launch its latest decommissioning guide at Decom Offshore 2018.
‘Decommissioning on the UK Continental Shelf – an overview of regulations’ provides up-to-date, easy to understand, guidance of the regulations that apply to decommissioning work, from operators and stakeholders to the supply chain.
In recent years, the decommissioning industry has grown as an increasing number of assets come to the end of their lives; with approximately $102 billion of decommissioning-related expenditure forecast to 2040 in Western Europe. This represents a significant opportunity for a supply chain that has proven itself willing to adapt to the increasingly challenging physical and commercial environment in the mature North Sea basin.
Decommissioning presents its own unique set of challenges, with extensive legal obligations placed on operators, engineers and project managers. The detailed guide, compiled by Bureau Veritas, describes the necessary procedures for operators and duty holders to plan, execute and follow-up decommissioning work and help them comply with the relevant legislation.
Bureau Veritas’ experienced decommissioning engineers and inspectors have worked closely with dedicated partners in HSE services and plugging and abandoning assurance. The Guide is built on the wealth of knowledge accumulated on projects in the North Sea and around the world. While the Guide is focused on North Sea regulations, it is also designed to support operators in other oil and gas regions that will face the decommissioning challenge in the near future and will require this kind of thorough documentation to guide them through the process.
Link to the downloadable guide