Statoil Opens Norway’s First Remotely-Operated Offshore Platform

valemon control room
The land-based Valemon control room in Bergen, Norway. In this photo, Control room operator Joakim Tesdal speaking with Norwegian minister of petroleum and energy, Terje Søviknes. Photo: Statoil

Norway’s first offshore oil platform to be remotely operated from land has now come online with the opening of the land-based control room in Bergen, Norway.

Statoil announced Thursday the opening of the Valemon control room, from where the Valemon platform will be remotely-controlled.

“This is a vital milestone for Statoil. We have had land-based surveillance and control of offshore operations for a long time, however, the remote control of Valemon marks one important step forward on our digitalisation journey,” says Gunnar Nakken, head of the operations west cluster in Statoil.

Valemon has been designed and constructed specifically for remote-controlled operations and is the first of its kind for both Statoil and the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The Valemon field is one of Statoil’s stand-alone development projects on the NCS, located in the North Sea about 160 kilometers west of Bergen. The field is estimated to contain about 192 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Statoil says the project will serve as the basis for possibly more remotely operated platforms in the future, particularly small and medium-sized platforms.

“Most of our production will still be carried out on large, manned platforms, such as Aasta Hansteen and the Johan Sverdrup platform, but for somewhat smaller platforms and fields it will absolutely be considered. First, we must gain experience from Valemon,” says Nakken.

“Thanks to new technology and knowledge we can utilise the advantages of our smaller, standardised building blocks that are combined differently from field to field for optimal resource exploitation. We want to combine the best technology, below and above water, to find optimal solutions for every project, thereby ensuring safer operation,” Nakken added.

The Valemon platform will be remote-controlled by a combined 14 operators who, divided on seven shifts, will man Valemon’s onshore control room.