Norwegian Oil History is 40 years old


Glad your father enjoyed that short post about the Drillship/J.W.Bates.
I was never on board the J.W.Bates but saw her while she was laid up in Bombay, before being towed to Thailand for scrapping in 1985 or 86.

I was on the R&B rig W.T.Adams for a tow from Bombay to Jebel Ali, UAE, if I remember right. (It could have been for the offloading of the R&B rig J.W.McClain, or for a rig move in the Bombay High)

I met many who had been working on the J.W.Bates on other R&B rigs in the 1970-90’s and heard many stories, but I cannot recall any names off the cuff. (Maybe your Father was one of them)


Pioneering Spirit is enroute to Norway to commence her next job:

At the same time Saipem’s Castorone is laying the pipeline that will bring the oil ashore in Norway:

Yes that is right, Norway doesn’t have the capability to handle everything with own equipment.
Luckily there is a worldwide market to draw on when needed.


Another major operation is on progress in Norway. Pioneering Spirit is lifting the 22000 m.t. John Sverdrup topsides off a barge for transport to the field, where it will be placed on the jacket already in place:

PS> This just the first of three topsides that will be transported and installed by P.S. The heaviest being 26K m.t.


They don’t piss around on this project.
The Johan Sverdrup Drilling Module has arrived in the field and been placed on the jacket in one easy motion:


Nice video of the Johan Sverdrup operation in this article:


The Johan Castberg development in the Barents Sea has finally been approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy:


the opposite would have been quite surprising :wink:


Another approval has been granted.
This time for the life extension of the oldest field in Norway; Ekofisk:

God only know how much Phillips(later ConocoPhillips) and partners have earned in the nearly 60 years since this field was first found (1969)

PS> Or how much have gone into the Norwegian Government coffers in that period.


The oil rig strike in Norway is over for this time:


I have mentioned the shift of development of new technology for the offshore oil and gas industry from USA to Europe, especially Norway and the Netherlands in the last 3-4 decades.

Today a Dutch HLV loaded with drilling modules built in Grimstad and assembled from drilling equipment produced by Cameron in Kristiansand left Norway:

She is headed to Texas, where the modules will be incorporated into a bigger unit, before being transported to Brazil for installation in a field operated by Equinor.

That is a typical example of how modern projects are developed; by multi-national co-operation, not by national protectionism.


Other technology is also soon showing up in a gulf near you soon.
This one doesn’t require HLVs to be carried across the Atlantic though:


The case is not entirety closed yet, apparently:


Another new technology that may spread to the world soon:


NDP is sending the Seabed Worker to map resources in the Norwegian Sea near Jan Mayen:


The first search have been completed, here is the report:


There are still a lot of interest in exploring on the Norwegian shelf. Here is a list of the companies that have signed up for permit to explore:

One noticeable different from years past; only ONE American oil major on the list. (ConocoPhillips)
40 years ago they were in majority, as was American drilling contractors and rigs in operation in Norwegian waters. Even American flag boats were operating here with at least some American mariners on board.

There are still a number of American owned boats and rigs in operation in the North Sea, (incl. Norway) but not many American to be seen, on board or in the shore based management.


The living quarters module for the Johan Sverdrup Field has been completed and awaiting installation by Pioneer Spirit in the spring:

This article is written in Nynorsk so it does not translate well with Google translate, but the 19 pictures from the interior should be descriptive.


A historic even was the construction, towage and installation of the heaviest man-made object ever moved, the Gullfaks C Condeep Platform.

I was part of the MWS team at the early stages, but only involved in preparing the mooring arrangement in Vats and out of dock move of the bottom part from the building dock in Hinnavaagen, Stavanger.

Here is a video presenting the entire operation from concept to completion in 18 min.:


A nice little anecdote from the float out:
When the skirt was pressurised to lift the structure off the blocks everybody in the management and MWS team was in a darkened control room at the yard watching instruments to tell us when and how it would float, with the normal joke about; “Do you think it’ll float” and “Everybody know that concrete don’t float” was bandied about.
As the sensors confirmed that it was afloat and accurate draft readings in mm. came in the Construction Engineer, who were probably the only one that really understood the entire process, made his calculations and announced the actual weight. I can’t remember the exact number, but is was something around 220,000 m.t., which was abt. 1200 m.t. below the anticipated weight, based on records kept during construction.
The immediate question was; what happened to all that steel and concrete that was missing?"
One suggestion was that there were probably a lot of new garages built around Stavanger.:sunglasses:

The first oil field remotely controlled from acontrol room ashore has been in operation for one year:

Island Offshore has sold out controlling interest in Island Offshore Subsea, (a subsidiary) to Technip FMC, who now run the operation of the well intervention vessels.
They want to change the conditions for the employees from that of offshore drilling to industrial workers.
The 42 people affected are prepared to loos their jobs rather than accepting lesser conditions.
To go from 2 weeks on/4 weeks off to even time is the main but not only dispute:

More Update:
AUV perform pipeline inspection in autonomous mode and with supervision/control from shore:


Outlook for 2019 is for more spending in the Norwegian oil & gas industry:

Not only does 2019 look to be an active year in the Norwegian oil patch, but 2023 is predicted to be the new “peak oil” year: