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Breathing new life into brownfield projects, Part 2

Published by
Oilfield Technology,

Richard Wylie, Technip, sheds light on one of the North Sea’s most important brownfield redevelopment projects and outlines Technip’s contribution to the project.

Unique timescale

Another differentiating aspect of the project is the time scale. Usually, the company in the UK works on shorter projects. For example a typical North Atlantic tieback usually lasts for about 12 - 18 months.

The vast scope of the Quad 204 project, as well as the many companies involved, means that the total operation is expected to take a few years from the initial contract award in 2012, with the operator aiming to have the field on stream by 2016.

On the face of it this may sound like a relatively long time period. However, during the winter season the weather and sea state can combine to considerably reduce the workable weather windows. This gives a small insight into the logistical challenges faced by the project team off the West of Shetland.  Indeed even with the window that is available, hitting each stage of the project timeline will be crucial to overall success.

Technology and logistics

The components being used are based on established technology. The challenge will be one of logistics. Ensuring the timely fabrication, disconnection and installation of the equipment will be one of the most demanding aspects of the project.

This timescale and the number of personnel involved means that the Quad 204 brownfield project is a significant focus for Technip. It will utilise a significant proportion of the company's resources over that period including the Lerwick base, which was set-up to support Technip in the UK’s work off the coast of Shetland.

The first vessel mobilised in April 2013 and each year will see three to five major construction spreads working in the field. The vessels will work over a six to eight month period, working into October/November each year. For a brownfield project, where they may have been significant historical operations, it is crucial that the project team ensures that all existing infrastructure is removed correctly and that we have the best possible foundation from which to enter the next stage of the project in 2014.

In addition, 2013 has seen the design and the start of fabrication of 21 bespoke risers that will ultimately connect the newly redeveloped subsea centres to the FPSO. The rigid pipelines that are designed using a CRA (corrosive resistant alloy) lining, have been coated and will be fabricated into 1 km stalks at a spoolbase in Evanton, Scotland. 

A significant number of the company's vessels will be involved in the project in various forms at some stage, including the newest addition to the fleet, the Deep Energy, one of the largest pipe–lay vessels to be built. It is this stage of the project that  will see the installation of the field’s subsea structures and the installation of the first of the newly fabricated jumpers and risers.

The installation of these components will involve the use of D-MaC, a proprietary set of subsea tie-in tools used by BP across all its Shetland operations. Two new sets of D-MaC tooling have been procured for the Quad project and have been successfully integrated with the ROVs on-board the Olympic Challenger vessel for use throughout the project

The culmination of the company’s involvement in Quad 204 will see the new FPSO towed to the site before being connected to the redeveloped subsea infrastructure.

Figure 1. Technip's new vessel: Deep Energy.

Breathing new life

Quad 204 represents a significant milestone for Technip in the UK as an organisation. This will be the first time that the company will have integrated and carried out a brownfield project of this size, which will utilise the majority of the subsea services that it provides.

Regionally the project is highly significant especially when it is considered that most believed that the best of the North Sea had already been seen. The investment made by BP and its partners in this project highlights the renewed confidence the industry has in the UKCS as a producing region.

Part 1 of this article can be reached here.

Edited from various sources by David Bizley

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