ABB to deliver fast upstream start-up for Aasta Hansteen’s first gas production

August 27, 2018, Oslo, Norway – Ability™ technology estimated to save 40 days in commissioning phase by reducing manual interventions by 98 percent

ABB is set to deliver what it believes to be the world’s fastest start-up when Equinor’s Aasta Hansteen gas field begins operating and produces its first gas later this year.

ABB is in the final phase of providing a suite of innovative ABB Ability™ digital technologies for Aasta Hansteen, which is located in 1300 meters of water in the Vøring area of the Norwegian Sea, 300 kilometers from land.
Part of the challenge for ABB was to make the first gas start-up process as quick and efficient as possible. For this, ABB needed to reduce a sequence of over 1000 manual interventions to as few as possible. The outcome is a series of buttons that are as simple as starting a car.

“Our teams went through the start-up steps, identified and defined obstacles that needed to be improved, then used our ABB Ability™ System 800xA simulator to do a virtual start-up of the plant,” said Per Erik Holsten, managing director for ABB Oil, Gas and Chemicals. “At this stage we made a lot of improvements for starting up and operating the plant. Through automating much of the process we managed to reduce a complex set of manual interventions to just 20, which means we are all set to deliver what we believe to be the world’s fastest start-up at first gas.”

The company recorded 57 specific improvements that were verified and implemented which it estimates saved about 40 days in the commissioning phase of the project. This also had a corresponding reduction in trouble shooting and corrections of circa 2,700 man-hours by using the ABB AbilityTM System 800xA simulator.

The ABB Ability™ System 800xA simulator is a solution that minimizes risk and reduces the occurrence of unplanned shutdowns, while improving safety, productivity and energy savings. It has a control system that is disconnected from the physical process and is instead simulated by a dynamic process model. By seamlessly extending the Distributed Control System (DCS), the ABB Ability™ System 800xA provides the same look and feel as the core functional areas. It is a scalable solution in system size, functionality and control system connectivity and is available in three editions: Basic, Premium and Professional.



Aasta Hansteen tow from Stord to the field, photo: Woldcam/Equinor

The ABB AbilityTM System 800xA solution is part of a much bigger suite of digital technologies being implemented by ABB at Aasta Hansteen. These include a condition monitoring system to monitor more than 100,000 maintenance conditions from more than 4,000 pieces of equipment, tools for alarm management and alarm rationalization, delivery of several safety critical applications, data storage solution to store all alarms and events easily, and third-party system integration of essential data traffic.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com >

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    • Sarah Andrews
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