The semi-submersible platform by Aker Solutions for the Gjøa oil and gas field offshore Norway, started on its journey from the yard at Stord to the North Sea, where installation will take place. Production start-up is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Gjøa features innovative solutions by Aker Solutions, based on the company’s experience from more than 50 semi-submersibles. It will be Statoil’s first floating platform supplied with power from shore. This is expected to reduce carbon emissions by approx 250,000 tones per year.

Gjøa is one of the largest ongoing field development projects in the North Sea. Aker Solutions has designed, engineered and assembled the platform, which will connect to five subsea templates. With a topside weight of 22.000 tones and hull dry weight of 15.000 tones, the new platform is ready to create value for its operators and Norwegian society in decades to come.

"We are proud to deliver the Gjøa platform to Statoil ready for operation in the northern part of the North Sea. Gjøa is a strategically important project for Aker Solutions, underpinning our position as a leading supplier of floating platforms for oil and gas production. Today’s sail away confirms our competence and track record within this area," says Jarle Tautra, executive vice president in Aker Solutions.

The Gjøa deck measures 110 meters long and 85 meters wide, an area larger than a football (soccer) field. The platform’s highest point is the flare tower at 143 meters, several floors higher than Norway’s tallest building, Oslo Plaza, at 117 meters. In total, more than 500 Aker Solutions engineers have been mobilised to design the platform, from Oslo, Norway, and Mumbai, India. During the final assembly at Stord, peak manning reached 3000 skilled operators. Key deliveries have also been made by other Aker Solutions locations in Norway, including Egersund, Verdal, Moss and Pusnes.

Installation of the mooring system, transportation and installation of the Gjøa platform is carried out by Aker Solutions’ subsidiary Aker Marine Contractors.

"The delivery of Gjøa continues our good working relationship with Statoil from the similar, but slightly smaller Kristin platform which we completed a few years ago. We are proud to be their partner in further developing oil and gas resources in the North Sea and beyond. We thank them for their confidence. I would also personally like to congratulate the thousands of employees and subcontractors involved in this project, on a job well done!" says Tautra.

Licencees to the Gjøa field are Statoil, development operator (20%), GDF SUEZ E&P Norge AS, production operator (30%), Petoro (30%), Shell (12%) and RWE Dea (8%). Estimated recoverable reserves amount to 82 million barrels of oil and condensate, and 40 billion cubic metres of gas. In addition, the Vega satellite field has estimated reserves of 26 million barrels of condensate and 18 billion cubic metres of gas. The gas will be sent through the Flags pipeline to Scotland while the oil will be piped to Statoil’s refinery at Mongstad.