Successful first hook up for the ’Esvagt Aurora’ in the Goliat field

Press Release   •   May 17, 2016 13:10 BST

Everything went according to plan when the ’Esvagt Aurora’ performed its first hook up of the FPSO Goliat to a tanker vessel for ENI Norway.

The ’Esvagt Aurora’ assisted in the transfer of the first oil produced in the Barents Sea.

“We were optimally prepared for the task we were charged with: We trained thoroughly, both in simulators and in the field,” says Steffen Rudbech Nielsen, Head of Ship Management, Operations.

ENI Norway began producing oil from the Goliat field in March this year and the ’Esvagt Aurora’ has, among other duties, been tasked with connecting hoses from the FPSO to the tanker vessels. The FPSO has a storage capacity of almost one million barrels of oil, but with a daily production level of up to 100,000 barrels of oil, it needs frequent hook ups.

The Goliat field lies 85 kilometres north west of Hammerfest and is both the world’s most northerly offshore producing location and the first in the Barents Sea. The field combines a range of factors that make production especially challenging. Apart from the effects snow, cold and lack of daylight have on working in the area, the Barents Sea is known for its rich – and vulnerable – wildlife.

Built for the task

To accommodate the challenging conditions, ENI has developed the world’s largest and most advanced FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading, ed.), and production is carried out using a ground breaking new technique. The ’Esvagt Aurora’ was created in the same pioneering spirit.

“The vessel is specially designed; both in relation to the tasks it needs to perform, and in relation to performing these tasks in the Goliat Field, with the very special challenges this brings,” says Steffen Rudbech Nielsen.

The weather in the Barents Sea changes constantly. To accomodate this, the ’Esvagt Aurora’ has been extensively equipped and prepared for winter.

“Very special local weather conditions, for example the arctic low pressure systems, are practically impossible to predict and bring particularly fierce weather,” says Steffen Rudbech Nielsen.

In addition to the extensive winter preparations, there are also substantial environmental contingency plans:

“We are tasked as first line of action should there be an oil spill and the ’Esvagt Aurora’ is therefore equipped with a large oil spill collection storage capacity – larger than any other ESVAGT vessel,” says Steffen Rudbech Nielsen.

The ’Esvagt Aurora’ has been chartered until 2023 with an option of a further five years.


The ’Esvagt Aurora’ is 87 metres long, making it the longest vessel in the ESVAGT fleet.

The vessel is an Ulstein SX123 Design and was built in 2012 at the Zamakona Shipyard in Bilbao.

The Goliat Field has predicted reserves of 180 million barrels equivalent of oil. 

ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea, founded on an experienced and well-trained offshore crew and unmatched rescue capabilities.

We support the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialized services: Standby, Emergency Response and Resque Vessels (ERRV), Oil spill response, Firefighting, Tanker assists, Rig moves, Supply services and Interfield transfer of cargo and personnel.

In 2010, ESVAGT brought the dedicated offshore wind Service Operation Vessels (SOV) to the market. The SOVs provide accommodation for up to 40 technicians, storage for small turbine parts and a workshop, plus personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats.

ESVAGT was founded in 1981 and has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and more than 900 employees on- and offshore.