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Cygnus Installation Campaign 1
What life is like on board an offshore oil platform
17 Jul 2019

From a penguin riding a penny farthing, to a stroll down Diagon Alley, Google Street View has captured a huge variety of bizarre, funny and brilliant sights and incredible locations since its launch in 2007. But never an offshore oil platform.

Well, until last year that is, when we launched the world’s first-ever virtual tour of one, giving people the opportunity to explore what life is like for those working on board the Cygnus Alpha installation in the UK North Sea.

Cygnus Alpha is part of what is currently the UK’s largest single producing gas field. After coming on stream in December 2016, it now produces enough gas to heat the equivalent of 1.5 million UK homes every year, contributing around 6% of the country’s total gas production.

The Alpha installation has three platforms: one for extracting gas; one for processing and exporting it; and one for accommodation and support services. Its hotel-style facilities include en-suite bedrooms, a restaurant, a gym and a cinema.

Walkway At Cygnus Alpha Photo By Mennomulder LR (1)
Walkway at Cygnus Alpha

Photo by Menno Mudler

An important part of Spirit Energy’s non-operated portfolio, Cygnus delivers significant value in the form of 20% of our annual production. And as with any non-operated asset, ensuring its performance and risk profile is as good as our operated assets is critical.

With less focus on day-to-day operations, we have an opportunity to bring a different perspective to the table and suggest ways of working that our operating partners may not have considered. For example, Cygnus has a number of comparisons with our Morecambe Hub - such as a lot of inert gases like high CO2 - so we can call on our experience there. We can also bring the lessons we have learned from operating a large hub with specific late-life management requirements, allowing us to make informed decisions on how to get the most out of Cygnus throughout the entire life of field.

Want to learn more about the platform and the workers who call it home? Take the tour here.