Lille-Frigg discoveredProject team

Flotel for the construction phase

person by Harald Tønnesen, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
During platform installation on the field, the need arose to accommodate the workforce during this hectic construction period. The quarters platform would not be ready for occupation before 1977, which meant that a temporary solution had to be found.
— The "West Venture" drilling platform connected to TP1. Photo: Elf Aquitaine Norway A/S/Norwegian Petroleum Museum
© Norsk Oljemuseum

Personnel on the field peaked in the spring of 1977, with 1 300 people at work on the platforms and 1 850 in all when vessel crews are taken into account. The accommodation rigs also provided storage for such items as the pipes used in drilling.

West Venture, a semi-submersible drilling rig, functioned as a “flotel” (floating hotel) on Frigg from the summer of 1976 to 1979. It was converted to this purpose in the spring of 1976, and chartered by Elf from Smedvig Drilling. Temporary accommodation for 200 people was installed, while the rig’s permanent quarters were expanded to provide 116 berths.

After this unit arrived on Frigg, it served as the centre for all helicopter traffic to and from the field and between the various installations. One job for the Smedvig personnel on West Venture was to check-in all passengers and collect boarding passes from those who were taking a flight. The flotel’s location on the UK-Norwegian boundary presented special challenges with regards to insurance and possible occupational injuries. It was ultimately decided that Norwegian regulations would apply.

Several other flotels were deployed on Frigg as and when required, including Sedeco 135 C from time to time and Treasure Hunter (October 1976-September 1977). These units offered 150 and 250 berths respectively. Treasure Finder was on the field from September 1977 to 6 March 1978, Chris Chenery with 350 berths from 6 March-8 October 1978 and Treasure Supporter from the summer of 1980 to February 1981.

Lille-Frigg discoveredProject team
Published April 3, 2018   •   Updated June 17, 2020
© Norsk Oljemuseum
close Close

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *