Sperre AS helped Statoil and FMC to solve a 365m deep problem in the North Sea. Statoil and FMC lacked only three small plugs to be able to start gas production as planned from the new Vega oil-gas wells in the northern part of the North Sea.
The multi-billion kroner production system is completely dependent on these plugs to function correctly, and for their part, Statoil and FMC were just as dependent on help from Sperre AS to get the plugs installed.
A mini-ROV from Tor Olav Sperre's company was sent into the depths, and with the aid of a remote-controlled wrench the ROV soon had the three essential plugs in place. As far as FMC and Statoil were concerned, this was far cheaper than other potential installation methods. Each of the three modules sitting on the seabed weighs 160 tonnes, and the alternative to the "Sperre method" would have been to raise them and screw the plugs in on board a specialist vessel, a much more expensive solution than using Sperre's mini-ROV.
Helge Hagen, Statoil's Vega project manager, is impressed by what Sperre AS is capable of doing with its efficient and quite unique technology. "I don't think such small ROVs have ever been used at such great depths before. Sperre AS has really advanced technology in this area," says Hagen, who himself is from Notodden, to local newspaper 'Telen'. "The entire offshore sector has a great deal of respect for the expertise that has been built up by this little Notodden company, which after all is based quite a long way from the North Sea."