The Brage Field is an example of how reorganising and removing work can reduce costs and thus extend the life-time of an installation. Originally the Brage installation, which is entering its tail-end production, should have closed down production in 2005. According to the forecast, it was expected that costs would exceed revenues at that time. As a result of the cost-reducing efforts, the operator, Norsk Hydro ASA, now expects to extend the life-time by at least two years. Since the activities were implemented in 2003, Norsk Hydro ASA expects that it will have enough time to mature and decide other projects that will extend the life-time of the installation even beyond 2005. If these projects are carried out, the life-time will be extended until 2009, and the use of additional oil-findings could extend the life-time beyond 2010.
The cost-reducing activities include moving of work from offshore to onshore, establishing more rational work-processes, removing unnecessary work, eliminating bureaucracy, establishing short command-lines and clarifying each employee's tasks. These efforts also include a more flexible utilisation of each employee. Previously each installation used to have its own dedicated maintenance crew. Norsk Hydro ASA now has transferred these tasks to a crew that covers several installations. This is often referred to as campaign-based maintenance, as opposed to day-to-day maintenance.
Norsk Hydro ASA has carried out the changes in close co-operation with the employees and the unions. The number 1 priority has been to sustain the safety level both during and after the change project."