Norwegian oil and gas company Aker BP and offshore services provider Aibel have started construction on the Munin, an unmanned process platform (UPP) for the Yggdrasil development project in the Norwegian North Sea.

The two companies held the first steel-cutting ceremony for the Munin platform in Thailand.

Munin is a remotely operated, unmanned gas production platform that will be installed in the north of the Yggdrasil area and will be the first UPP on the Norwegian shelf.

The concept for the Munin platform, developed by Equinor and Aibel, will deliver engineering, procurement, construction, assembly and commissioning.

Aker BP is the operator for the construction and operation of the platform.

Aker BP Munin project manager Håkon Helgå said: “The company is a new strategic partner for us when it comes to field development. We’ve had an efficient start-up for the execution phase of the project.

“As we move forward, the most important thing will be to deliver quality in every part of the project to ensure that we stay on schedule and deliver a safe project.

“Today we are celebrating what we have accomplished together so far, and I want to extend my sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone who has contributed.”

Aibel’s subcontractor Deeline has cut the first steel at its fabrication shop, which will deliver the steel structures to be put together into larger sections at Aibel Thailand in Laem Chabang.

The Munin topsides measure 62m long, 42m wide, and 35m in height, and weigh more than 8,000 tonnes.

The utility module, stair tower, flare boom and deck sections for the processing module will be supplied from the yard in Thailand, with assembly and outfitting conducted in Haugesund.

Aibel’s contract, worth NOK7bn ($632m), will provide employment for nearly 2,000 workers distributed between Asker, Haugesund and Thailand.

Aibel project manager Erling Landsværk said: “Munin is being built without a helicopter deck, living quarters and lifeboats. Access and visits will be accomplished through support vessels.

“Our priorities have been safety incorporated in the design, minimal maintenance requirements and streamlining of platform systems and functions to avoid manual operations.

“Starting construction on a new project is always exciting. Now we’ll get to see the physical result of several years of work.”

Yggdrasil is a major offshore oil development project located in the North Sea, between Alvheim and Oseberg in the North Sea and includes the Hugin, Fulla and Munin licence groups.

Its development will see 55 wells, with advanced features, including remote-controlled operations, unmanned platforms, new technology, and data-driven decisions.

Yggdrasil area will be developed with three platforms, power from shore and a subsea development with nine subsea templates, pipelines, and umbilicals, said Aker BP.

Aker BP fixed facilities project director Peter Kupka said: “It was a great experience to take part in the celebration today, which also marks that construction activity is underway on all platform deliveries in Yggdrasil. This is important for the overall progress in the development.”

“Yggdrasil will bring enormous ripple effects and value creation. The Norwegian share of deliveries is high, and we’re talking about tens of thousands of full-time equivalents in Norway in the years to come.

“The project will also help secure jobs and develop companies in the shipyard and supplier sectors across the world. Today’s ceremony is a very good example of the huge international scope of Yggdrasil.”