Halliburton and BP Norway recently completed what is claimed to be the first remote offshore cementing job. Operations were controlled from BP’s operations center in Stavanger, 340 km from the Valhall field in the Norwegian North Sea.
Onboard equipment and software for remotely-controlled cementing operations was installed on the field late last year. The operator’s workstation uses BP’s DrillView software and a twin screen display allowing for controls of cement mixing and pumping. Data and video from offshore cameras are fed over a twin optical fiber link to the shore.
Audun Bjordal, Halliburton Fluids Division country manager in Scandinavia said, ‘We now able to control and monitor many operations and processes from the beach.’ Prior cement jobs were trialed from a control room located on the platform, one deck above the cement equipment.
Paradoxically, moving operations from the harsh offshore environment is not always appreciated by the personnel involved. In the past, generous pay and conditions meant that offshore workers could spend their leave in Spain, or remote rural locations in Norway. Technology is turning their jobs into Stavanger-based, 9-5 routines.
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