The project will be led by Technip in a Consortium with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
The Aasta Hansteen platform will be the world's largest Spar platform and the first of its kind on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Total recoverable reserves for Aasta Hansteen, previously called Luva, are preliminarily estimated at about 47 billion standard cubic metres (scm) of gas and 0.8 million scm of condensate.
"The hull contract is an important first construction step for the Aasta Hansteen field development," says Ivar Aasheim, Statoil's senior vice president for field development on the NCS.
Ivar Aasheim, Statoil's senior vice president for field development on the NCS
"Aasta Hansteen is the start of deepwater development in the Norwegian Sea and the development could also open up for tie-backs to other discoveries in the same area."
The platform will be the first Spar with storage capacity and will be able to store about 25,000 scm of condensate, and export gas via the Norwegian Sea Gas Infrastructure (NSGI).
It will be built in South Korea and transported on the world's largest heavy-lift carrier. Technip will design, procure and deliver the Spar platform hull readied for mating with the platform topsides in Norway. The supplier will also design and prepare specifications for steel rigid risers and a complete mooring system.
The estimated contract value for this assignment is just over NOK 4 billion.
"We've had several early-phase and concept studies for the entire Aasta Hansteen project, with Technip, Aker, Samsung, FMC, Saipem and IKM, among others, involved in developing the concept," says Anders Opedal, senior vice president for projects in Statoil.
"The hull is the first execution contract to be set and we are satisfied that Technip has the necessary capacity to take on this assignment following strong competition with other players."
In May, Statoil arranged a supplier seminar in Bodø in cooperation with the PetroArctic supplier network. More than 100 people from 60 small and medium-sized local companies were given information there about the Aasta Hansteen project.
This included facts about the different phases, how to become bidders in the project and how to build a competitive environment for future assignments by creating alliances. All potential principal bidders for the topsides, hull, subsea facility and marine operations were also present.
Statoil has ambitions to create big spin-offs and is charting opportunities for competitive deliveries from the north-Norwegian community and other bidders in the supplies industry at the earliest possible stage of the project.
An important driver is that potential principal suppliers receive an overview and assessment of the companies which can contribute to the development of Aasta Hansteen. The largest and most long-term spin-offs from Aasta Hansteen will occur in the production phase.
Anders Opedal, senior vice president for projects in Statoil
"We see that competitive communities of suppliers are emerging in the north and we know that the Aasta Hansteen project, along with Dagny and Mariner which are also at the development stage, is of great interest to the supplies industry," says Opedal.
"In the course of this autumn and next spring we're going to award contracts for topsides, subsea facilities, pipelines, marine operations and drilling. There'll be opportunities for qualified sub-contractors and our ambition is that the Aasta Hansteen field will make a contribution to industrial development in northern Norway."
Part of the work will begin in the middle of August, with completion of deliveries set for the middle of December 2015. This letter of intent will contribute to securing the overall progress plan for Aasta Hansteen.
The investment decision is expected in late 2012/early 2013, with production start-up at the end of 2016. The Aasta Hansteen field will be run from Harstad, Statoil's new operational asset in the north. Establishing this new asset entails an increase in the number of employees at the Harstad office. When a decision to develop Aasta Hansteen is taken more employees will be needed in the new operational asset. The overall increase will be in the order of 30-50 people. The production horizon extends towards 2040.