Brage – The most advanced lifting operation in Axess’ history

The lifting operation at Brage has put great demands on internal interactions of services and has been a great success, largely because of the continuity and totality of solutions Axess can offer the customer. Four Axess employees have been with the project for one year, from planning with the customer to the installation phase offshore.

The project was to install a 35 meter caisson (for produced water) at the then Statoil owned Brage platform.  All lifting operation was underneath Brage’s main support frame which made it challenging finding capacity in the structure and getting access to the work site. Th ere were four major lifting operations; The Hang-Off, one top side support clamp and one subsea support clamp, and the caisson.

All four were very complex lifting operations.  Especially complex was the lifting of the subsea support clamp and the caisson as they were lifted through the splash zone and had to be guided into its designated place. This involved precise interaction between the use of cranes, temporary lifting equipment and the use of ROV (remotely operated vehicle), says project manager, Trond Stokke.

Savings and better solutions

Axess was integrated in this project as a partner to the MMO company, from the detailed engineering phase. A large part of the FEED for the operation, that was already made, had to be changed and finally rejected after an evaluation by Axess.

Four Axess employees were working with the project for one year, from detailed engineering to installation offshore. One of the success factors of this project is that the same people, who helped in the engineering stage, also did the actual installation. However, the potential for better solutions and cost savings is greater if we are involved already in the feasibility study and the FEED phase.

We found that the existing FEED would make the operation impossible. Therefore we had to start over again to find the best solution to achieve a safe and efficient lifting operation. Customers will save money and get better solutions if they involve our expertise already in the feasibility study and FEED phase. We know that this adds value to our customers, says Stokke.

One skilled partner – the key to success

The scope of the work has been to install a new caisson for processed water at the Brage installation. Axess has contributed from the early phase of this project, interpreting regulations related to Norsok R-002 and R-003, optimising lifting equipment and designing lifting devices.

During this project, Axess developed detailed 3D animations illustrating the lifting process, which was a helpful tool when installing the caisson and for giving the customer insight to the operation.  Other deliverables were production of lifting devices, certification of lifting devices and hydrodynamic analysis connected to lifting and guiding in the splash zone. Axess also delivered temporary assembled lifting equipment and was responsible for the actual lifting operation offshore.

Careful planning of every detail and expertise at all levels of this project was important to achieve a safe and efficient operation. By involving multiple parties in projects like this, it can easily lead to loss of information and lack of oversight. I think we have proven ourselves to be a highly competent partner in complex projects like this. However, the client would have saved time and money and got an even better solution by involving us already in the feasibility study and FEED phase. We have much to contribute with in these stages, says.

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