1. How Hammerfest LNG saved 120,000 tonnes of CO2 in one summer
Last summer’s maintenance work on the Hammerfest LNG plant reduced our annual CO2 emissions by 120,000 tonnes and cut costs by NOK 55 million.
In the summer of 2017, the LNG plant at Melkøya outside of Hammerfest in Northern Norway was scheduled to close for planned maintenance—a so-called turnaround. Well before this closure, we had started the hunt for good ideas that could reduce energy consumption at the plant.
The employees went through the plant piece-by-piece to identify any areas where energy was being wasted. A specially-developed energy dashboard that shows the energy consumption of every component in the process was particularly helpful in this process.
Redesigned a valve
Energy Coordinator Roger Stenvoll was responsible for collecting all the ideas that involved process adjustments and technical modifications. Geir Hansen in the process department came up with the idea of adjusting the design of a valve.
“When we need to shut down the plant for safety reasons, we have to flare (burn off) some of the gas," says Stenvoll.
One of the suggestions was to modify the main valve that regulates the gas flow into the plant. The modification allowed the valve to close faster, and the CO2 emissions associated with this operation are reduced by 1,000 tonnes of CO2 every time we shut down the plant,” he says.
REDUCED TURBINE USE
Furthermore, one of the five gas turbines could be shut down in periods when additional power could be obtained from the grid, in cooperation with Statnett.
An LNG-plant is a power-intensive operation, but during the turnaround last summer, power consumption was reduced by approximately 20 MW, giving a significant reduction in emissions from power generation and having a positive impact on our overall carbon accounting.
2. Kristin wants to put a stop to hearing impairment in Norway’s oil industry—with QuietPro earphones
Did you know that a lot of people actually don’t know the correct way to insert earphones into their ears? Our QuietPro earphones are an important step towards avoiding hearing impairments.
Picture that you’re working on a helideck, or in a process area in a plant or on an oil platform. Inevitably it’s noisy—and in some cases, even with the best protection, it’s hard to eliminate noise altogether.
Hearing impairment—a challenge for the industry
Hearing impairment has been a significant challenge in the oil industry, and it’s something that Acoustician Kristin Brørs and Project Manager Aleksander Bruvik Myrlid have worked with a lot in recent years. QuietPro started out as a research project with SINTEF, the largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia, and continued in Equinor. Familiar noise cancelling technology was augmented with more and more functions, so that the final package is significantly more advanced.
Noise cancellation and radio communication
“They have a microphone near the eardrum that monitors the noise level you are exposed to and alerts you when necessary; they also measure noise on the outside of the earphone, they have counter-sound technology, they monitor if they are properly fitted, they have an integrated hearing test (not implemented in Equinor yet); and they have radio communication and good sound reduction,” says Kristin Brørs, listing the properties of QuietPro hearing protection.
3. Interdisciplinary collaboration for safer injection wells
Underground fractures represent a significant risk to drilling and injection offshore. Frode Uriansrud gathered experts from various disciplines to help improve safety and environmental performance.
It might look like an intricate Norwegian rose painting pattern, but it’s actually an image of the pipelines and subsea installations of the Tordis field. At the far right, a crater has formed due to leakages on the seabed. Experience from this incident is being used to prevent such occurrences from happening again.
When you drill for oil and gas underground, large quantities of rock pieces, so-called cuttings, are produced. Instead of transporting large volumes of stone to shore, which would be costly, one solution is to pump it down again for storage underground.
Problems can occur
For many years, and in most cases, such injection wells worked well, and the waste is stored near the source. However, sometimes cracks occur underground, and cuttings can rise to the surface. This happened at the Tordis field in 2008 and at Veslefrikk in 2009. This was something that project manager Frode Uriansrud was determined to avoid in the future.
Cross-disciplinary expert group
He gathered a group of experts from various specialist disciplines in Equinor to form the Advisory Group Injection (AGI), which gathered data, analysed errors and filled new models with data from actual incidents.
There was a lot to do, but gradually they began to see that the new models and new calculations could provide information that could be of great importance to safety and the environment.
“It's very rewarding to see the results,” says Uriansrud.
He can talk about drilling and injection wells for many hours, and he is eager to show that they have brought out the best from all the disciplines involved when drilling injection wells.
“It’s thanks to interdisciplinary collaboration that we have achieved it,” he adds.
The idea was straightforward and effective: to establish a cross-disciplinary group to ensure that all experience and learning from past events was taken into account when planning new wells.
4. Gina Krog: 15 million working hours without serious injury
It took 15 million working hours to build the Gina Krog platform, many of them at the shipyard in South Korea and in challenging conditions offshore. We achieved it without a single serious injury.
Workplace safety regulations can be comprehensive, and particularly so at shipyards and on oil platforms. Getting people to follow the rules can be a challenge, though—and especially when the goal is to get an entire workforce to adopt a safety culture.
So how did we get the workers on a project like Gina Krog with many millions of working hours to work as one team?
The answer was the safety programme Safety Ambassadors.
A common understanding
“You can have lots of rules and regulations, but in the end, it’s all about a common understanding and the will to deliver. We emphasised the idea of being one team, and worked to ensure that we had committed and dedicated managers present at all times. This was a new approach for the Korean shipyard workers,” says Frode Haldorsen.
“The key point was to make sure that everyone shared a common safety mind-set, and that it wasn’t just the responsibility of the HSE manager. Everyone was made responsible as a safety ambassador, and every single person is essential to safety.”
Safety culture was the backbone of Gina Krog
When a modern oil platform is built, it is often designed in one location, the substructure is built in another, and everything is assembled in a third. And that’s even before you hook up everything offshore.
“We wanted to make people feel that they were all building a cathedral together, not individual chapels,” says Jess Milter, who was platform manager during the start-up.
15 million working hours
Jess Milter and Frode Haldorsen are eager to explain how this project differed from others. And it’s more than just a gut feeling that the project was a success—the numbers back it up too. The entire project with its 15 million working hours was carried out without any serious injuries.
Challenges with the working culture
The topsides for Gina Krog were built in South Korea, at a giant shipyard where tens of thousands of workers are simultaneously building multiple ships and platforms. They are proud of their jobs, but they are used to a strictly hierarchical and management-driven work culture, so the non-hierarchical Norwegian approach can be a challenge for them.
“It was a question of preparing thoroughly and talking with others who have carried out projects in Korea to find out what does and doesn’t work in Korea,” says Haldorsen.
And they quickly realized that personal one-to-one meetings were important. Because it was easier to talk when there were two people present, and with an understanding that if there was something that did not work, they could share this with the Norwegian clients—an approach which was new to them.
For those working on the project, this could be something as simple as being more attentive to missing items, or discovering a misplaced ladder on their way to another task. And then reporting it.
5. Replacement of a nozzle on Gullfaks B saved millions and reduced the use of chemicals
Halving the use of a chemical not only means lower expenses, it also means less risk of exposure. On Gullfaks B, they reduced the need, increased production and saved both money and the environment.
When exploring for and producing oil and gas from underground deposits, inevitably things are produced that you do not need or want. Quite commonly this can be water, or chemical compounds such as hydrogen sulphide, or H2S. This common, odorous gas is created by rotting organic materials and is common when operating underground, in manure cellars, sewage systems or in brackish water.
To reduce concentrations of hydrogen sulphide in natural gas, a chemical H2S scavenger is used to break down the chemical compound. The challenge then is to use as little of these chemicals as possible.
However, over the years, the amount of H2S in the gas has increased, while oil production has declined, making the H2S remover less effective. The solution was to rethink how the chemical scavenger was used.
NEEDED TO THINK AFRESH
“You could say that we injected the chemical with a garden hose in the past, but now we use a fine shower head that crushes the drops and they therefore mix much better into the gas. We therefore use much less of the H2S scavenger chemical now, says Leif Inge Sandven, production manager on Gullfaks B.
This means that Gullfaks B has halved the use of the chemical, and therefore the cost as well. At the same time, those working on exposure to chemicals. In addition, they have been able to reduce the environmental impact of the platform and increase oil production.