Deepwater Production Control Systems

Production system success requires a high integrity control system, one which provides high availability through intelligent use of modularity, standardisation of component and sub systems, expandability and designed-in simplicity with the appropriate redundancy factors Schedule compression for fast-track developments provides an opportunity for systems with the above features

Ceiba Development

The Ceiba developments were challenging in that the reservoirs are located in deepwater offshore Equatorial Guinea with no real existing infrastructure. With Ceiba the customer had to consider the interfaces, economics and regulations inherent to every project. Because of the fast-track strategy every consideration was accelerated resulting in increased risk. Safety remained paramount throughout project execution. The project required dedicated resources from all participant companies, and the selected contractors followed the the client's strict ?code of cooperation? Each contractor understood the project goals aid was motivated to meet these fast-track goals, the approach required that all involved proceeded with the project even though final design criteria was in development and the overall work scope was not defined. Both the operator and all contractors proved up to the task

Some companies want the latest technology, some seek project implementation expertise and some expect the lowest Capex possible. On Ceiba EPS project implementation (i e schedule) was the main driver. As long as the technology was reliable and qualified for the 20-year field life, then use of pre-designed equipment was acceptable The preferred solutions were off-the-shelf technology that required only slight modification where necessary This approach meant technical risks was decreased, which lead to increased availability for the deepwater development

By implementing strategy of running parallel operations, requiring approval of subsequent project phases while earlier phases and operations were not yet concluded both first oil and future phase operations could be accomplished in much faster time frame than similar scope projects. Contracts were only signed with suppliers able to dedicate the correct and necessary resources to bung the project in on time, and without undue cost By issuing functional equipment specification and maintaining a simple and focused invitation to tender (ITT) process, contractor proposals were reviewed and initial awards made within weeks of releasing specifications. Contracts were initially agreed and then further negotiated during early project execution.

The selected primary contractors (i e, Cooper Cameron, Bergesen Offshore, ABB Offshore Services, Oceaneering Multiflex, NKT Flexibles and Stolt Offshore) together with the client and its working interest partner Energy Africa enabled project success. The client understood that ‘Companies bringing the right fit of skills and experience to a partnership are the right ones for the job’ Contractors provided standard component systems that included flexibility for operations and expansion Equipment costs for the standard systems were reduced by approximately 20 % compared to a purpose-designed system

The shortened review and award period enabled system start-up and first oil in less than fourteen months after discovery.

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