Floating production vessel will process 100000 barrels per day

Paul Boughton

The 18-module, 11000-ton SeaRose topsides will process all produced fluids
and produce crude oil for cargo and natural gas for onboard fuel and
reinjection back into the reservoir.

Engineering, constructing and commissioning a 100000 barrel-per-day oil-and-gas production unit is a daunting enough project in itself. The added challenge of designing the facility as a ship to weather the harsh North Atlantic and the risk of a fixed cost and schedule contract for the topsides – makes Husky Energy’s SeaRose all the more remarkable.

The SeaRose, a 187000-plus ton floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, is the key to economically producing the White Rose oilfield, 350kilometres (218miles) offshore Newfoundland, Canada.

Husky Energy, operator of the CDN$2.35billion (US$1.9billion) White Rose offshore project, contracted Aker Maritime Kiewit Contractors (AMKC) to engineer, construct and commission the SeaRose topsides facilities. AMKC is a joint venture of Aker Kvaerner (49 per cent) and Peter Kiewit Sons Co (51percent) specifically incorporated to execute projects in Eastern Canada. Kiewit and Aker Kvaerner have both earned a formidable reputation in Canada’s offshore business due to their successes in engineering and constructing the immense gravity base structure for the Hibernia platform in the

“Unlike offshore fixed platform topsides, an FPSO topside must be designed for significant wave-induced motions and forces,” says Bob Moffat, AMKC’s engineering manager. Tony Mercer, AMKC's Structural Lead, explains: “This is particularly true for the SeaRose due to the severe environment in it is required to operate in. The cold North Atlantic presents the hazards of sea ice and icebergs. Add some bad storms and you have an extreme environment.”

Because of the technical and business challenges of the SeaRose project, AMKC is using Intergraph’s plant design, instrumentation and cable management software to complete the topsides. The 18-module, 11000-ton SeaRose topsides will process all produced fluids from the White Rose reservoirs and produce crude oil for cargo and natural gas for onboard fuel and reinjection back into the reservoir. The modules weigh from 100 to 1300tons each. The topsides mainly consist of oil separation equipment, water and gas injection pumps, a flare tower and three 28-megawatt generators. “The topsides are capable of generating enough electricity to power a city of about 110000 people,” says Moffat.

Topsides fabrication is essentially complete, and the modules were installed on the SeaRose by the end of July 2004. The modules were first weighed so that the towering Lampson 2600 trans-lift crane could hoist each one into place with a high degree of precision. The six-week task finished safely on schedule with the lift of the last modules for the pipe racks. According to Ocean Resources Online, the heavy lift campaign “was executed with precision in a flawless and timely manner.”

According to Mercer, PDS (Intergraph’s plant design software) was picked as the modelling tool for the project because Aker Kvaerner had a long history of using PDS successfully on other offshore projects, and because there were greater numbers of experienced PDS users available in Eastern Canada than for other 3D products.
Mercer says that SmartPlant Instrumentation (Intergraph’s plant instrumentation software) has a strong reputation and has been used successfully on other offshore projects, so it was chosen to manage the tagged equipment and CABSYS (cable management software) is crucial for managing the many miles of instrument and electrical cabling. (Intergraph acquired CABSYS from ABB in 2004).

The SeaRose project peaked at approximately 1300 personnel, including 350 engineers and designers.

Most of the detail design work, which began in 2002, was performed in AMKC’s St John’s, Newfoundland, office with follow-on and as-built engineering done on site in Cow Head, Newfoundland. Significant technical resources in process, piping, mechanical, materials, safety, structural, electrical and instrumentation engineering are required to design these systems. The Intergraph software supported these activities. Aker Kvaerner, as a leading designer of offshore facilities, provided the technical guidance for the engineering of the topsides, while Kiewit provided a wealth of experience in heavy offshore and industrial construction.

“Construction of each module starts with structural steel fabrication,” explains Mercer. “Then major equipment is installed, followed by piping, electrical, instruments and controls, and finally insulation and other details which, in turn, are handed over to commissioning.”

3D PDS models were developed to route and allocate space for the many structural, mechanical, piping and related components that make up the topsides. PDS clash checks helped identify and solve problems before construction began, saving costly fabrication rework. For deliverables, the PDS model allowed efficient 2D drawing production.

The instrumentation software manages all of the tagged instrumentation and control items on the topsides. It creates a uniform set of all instrument datasheets and facilitates production of hazardous area equipment registers. The commissioning group is also using the software to identify all tagged items for use in the mechanical completion/punch list system, according to AMKC.

The cable management system allows economical electrical and instrumentation cable routing and utilisation, inventory control and cable reel management. “Efficient management of the many miles of cable required on a project of this size is not possible without a tool like CABSYS,” says Moffat.

“The PDS model’s ability to identify and resolve clashes provided significant time- and cost-savings on a fast-track, lump-sum contract such as the SeaRose topsides project. This saved not only drafting and engineering hours but also construction hours and physical rework costs in the field. In addition, updates of the 2D drawings from the PDS model reduced drafting hours and helped expedite construction changes to the field,” Mercer states.

CABSYS reduced the time required to route cables, allowed for efficient use of cable and helped to manage cable procurement and avoid waste.

Looking ahead

AMKC is completing the management, engineering, procurement, construction, integration, hook-up and commissioning of the 18 topsides modules at the Cow Head facilities. When operating on station in late 2005 or early 2006, the 267-metre (876-foot) long SeaRose will produce oil and gas from subsea wellheads in 125metres (410feet) of water. Husky currently plans up to 21 wells to recover 200 to 250million barrels of oil over a 10- to 15-year period.

What’s next for the AMKC partners? Mercer says: “Aker Kvaerner and Kiewit are currently involved in many projects worldwide and are participating in the operations of existing Eastern Canadian offshore projects. Aker Kvaerner and Kiewit are both looking forward to the Hebron project, anticipated to be the next big offshore project in Eastern Canada.”

According to Moffat, Aker Kvaerner believes its leading offshore technical experience, including its efficient systems with experienced use of Intergraph technical tools, will help to secure this and other projects in the future.

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