Halliburton and BP Norway recently programmed and completed the first offshore cementing job using only remote control technology in an onshore operations center 211 miles (340 km) away from the project. The three-person Halliburton team accomplished the task from BP’s Onshore Operations Center in Stavanger, Norway, for BP Norge AS which operates the water injection platform in the Valhall field in the southern part of the Norwegian North Sea.
“This is really breaking a new barrier for us in terms of taking remote control of offshore operations to a new dimension,” explained John Gibson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton’s Energy Services Group.
“We now are moving quickly toward our vision of being able to control and monitor most operations and processes from the beach,” added Audun Bjordal, Halliburton’s Fluids Division country manager in Scandinavia.
Halliburton delivered and placed into operation in late 2003 the onboard equipment and software to enable full remote control of the cement equipment. The equipment, in combination with the Cementing Control System from BP’s DrillView software, enabled the cementing unit to be fully controlled from any location.
“We are very proud to have been part of breaking this barrier,” added Pal Tybero, BP drilling superintendent at the Valhall Field. “We wanted to do this in connection with the Valhall development and it proved to work flawlessly.”
Prior to this first onshore-controlled cement operation, cement jobs have been performed from a control room located on the platform, but one deck above the cement equipment. In these cases, the offshore operator remotely controls the cement mixing and pumping via a screen in the control room. In order to enable communications with operators now working onshore, the platform’s equipment is connected to the onshore operations center through a double fiber optic cable which eliminates time delays for remote control over long distances.
In the onshore operations center, the operator has a workstation with two DrillView screens in addition to the center’s live video screens which display live video feeds from cameras located in and around the offshore equipment. There is telephone as well as UHF radio communications between the operator and the platform.
Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries. The company serves its customers with a broad range of products and services through it Energy Services and Engineering and Construction Groups. The company’s World Wide Web site can be accessed at www.halliburton.com.