ABB to Help Develop First Unmanned Oil Platform

The Swiss technology company supports Equinor on its roadmap.

By Joel Davies -

ABB is to apply its Adaptive Execution™ methodology to help optimize the first unmanned processing platform for the Krafla field in the North Sea with Equinor. Adaptive Execution™ integrates expert teams, new technologies, agile processes, shared learnings, and proven methodologies into a more evolved end-to-end solution, tied together with the digital ABB Ability™ platform.

Equinor has employed ABB also to deliver automation solutions for the Krafla oil and gas field development, which is part of the coordinated development of the licenses Krafla, Fulla, and North of Alvheim (NOA). The Unmanned Processing Platform (UPP) at Krafla will be wholly remote-controlled from an onshore control centre, leveraging the market-leading distributed control system ABB Ability™ System 800xA equipped with Select I/O.

In addition to the UPP, the ABB system will monitor and control multiple units including two unmanned wellhead platforms, and a subsea production system. ABB will create a digital twin to simulate, test, and verify the advanced functions needed for unmanned operations on the control system, before being installed at the site.

Brandon Spencer, President of ABB Energy Industries commented: “The platform has been designed with the intention of having no people on board, with no helipad, and the only possible access via ship. Instead, a new generation of remotely based operators will sit onshore”.

Applying its Adaptive Execution™ methodology, ABB will streamline the entire project execution experience, combining efficient modular design, with standardized, repeatable processes.

Johan de Villiers, Oil and Gas lead for ABB Energy Industries said: “Adaptive Execution™ enables greater visibility across all layers of a project. With digitalization and virtualization at its core, we can unlock significant project value for Equinor in this project, not least by designing and testing everything in a virtual environment, eliminating design failures early on.  As a result, we can reduce delivery schedules by up to 30 per cent, minimize the number of engineering hours spent on project testing, installation, and commissioning by 85 per cent, and lower automation-related setup costs lowered by up to 40 per cent”.

With no localized power source on-site, the new platform also offers environmental benefits. Drawing power from the power grid onshore, which is primarily hydroelectric, will help to reduce local emissions.

ABB is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation, and motion portfolio, ABB says it pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

You can find more information about ABB on its website.

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