BP moves Northstar toward fourth quarter 2001 startup
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Ice road work, drilling, to begin in December; some final island work scheduled for March
PNA News Editor
Production will begin next November from BP's offshore Northstar island in the Beaufort Sea. Engineering is complete, BP's Northstar manager Peter Flones told the Alaska Support Industry Alliance Nov. 3, and the first module and pipe racks were sea lifted to the island this summer.
The module which was installed this year includes living quarters and utilities for the living quarters.
A Nabors rig was modified to work on the island: it will move along the well row to drill 22 wells on 10-foot centers.
Flones said that there is still a lot of work to do. There are more than 1 million man hours of construction left to go, he said. More than 2 million man hours have been done already, he said, about 85 percent of those man hours with Alaskans.
Three big modules are being built at Northstar Terminal near the Port of Anchorage. And those models, he said, are the main part of the process: oil and gas separation, gas compression. “It's really the heart of the production system that we're doing now,” Flones said.
This winter another ice road will be built to support drilling and get people back and forth. That ice road will be started in December. Drilling is planned to start Dec. 1. There will be a little work done in March on the island on the pipe racks.
Flones said there were extensive spill tests this summer and the results are still being reviewed. There may possibly be some revisions in plans to accommodate the lessons learned this summer, he said.
The final modules will be barged up next August. Start-up will be Nov. 1, Flones said. Both Endicott and GHX2 (the second gas handling expansion) were started up 60 days after the barges arrived. “Our schedule is based on that kind of performance,” he said.
After drilling is completed, Flones said, the thick ice road won't be needed, and they'll be able to let nature do more of the work.
“We won't have to have the ice road built so thick so early, so what we'll do is we'll let nature do its thing and thicken up the ice and then we won't have to be moving large vehicles on the ice, so we won't need the big, thick ice roads.”
Camp capacity on the island is 100, he said, and during drilling it will be close to capacity. When drilling is complete there will be 25 to 30 people there on a continuous basis.