Remote Automation Control in the North Sea Reduces Costs and Improves Safety

A new project for Norwegian energy company Statoil combines a suite of Honeywell technologies to enable remote onshore operation for an unmanned offshore platform in the North Sea.

The Valemon platform is located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, about 100 miles from where control operations will be located, in the city of Bergen. When the platform’s drilling operations are completed, it will have 10 production wells that will produce an estimated 192 million barrels of oil equivalent from natural gas and condensate.

According to a 2013 study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of offshore worker fatalities is seven times higher than fatalities from any other type of work. Enabling offshore control of the Valemon platform will help Statoil reduce overall production costs and improve safety by moving personnel off the remote facility and centralizing its controls in one location. However, the platform will still be periodically manned for maintenance, upgrades and inspections.

“This project is a great example of how Honeywell is able to use its technology and experience to help Statoil remotely control operations at an important gas production facility,” said Pieter Krynauw, vice president and general manager of the Projects and Automation Solutions business within Honeywell Process Solutions. “As companies move oil platforms farther offshore and into other remote, challenging locations to find oil and gas, managing those operations efficiently while reducing risk to workers will become increasingly important.”

Honeywell will provide a range of control and safety technologies for the project, including integrated protective solutions, Critical Alarm Panel with Safety Manager, closed circuit TV software, and critical alarm panels at the onshore Bergen operations center that will communicate with the systems on Valemon. The combination of technologies reduces the complexity of remote operations and reduces overall operating costs compared with standard solutions.