Vallourec 2014 Sales Award for innovative
global solutions to Tullow TEN project
The Pipe Project Division of Vallourec was awarded the Tullow
TEN contract, a major ultra-deepwater project, by Subsea 7, in November 2013, thanks to an ambitious global solutions offer
that includes a high level of execution and project management.
Vallourec will be delivering seamless offshore line-pipe and fully integrated services for a total of 15,000 tons pipes dedicated to the subsea infrastructure of production flowlines and gas export lines.
Stéphane Chrobot, project manager for Vallourec’s pipe and SURF activities, explains: “We are supplying a complete package, a ready to install solution for the client. This is a fully integrated project for ultra-deep. To put it simply, we’ll be delivering a final 24-meter long product that includes pipe-in-pipe (PiP), coating, sleeves and double-jointing. We are coordinating every stage of the project internally, with all the project players. From a logistics and organizational point of view, this is a new milestone in subsea for Vallourec and a very effective solution for the client.”
Co-designing the TEN offer with product, services and project execution
Discussions with Vallourec began as far back as 2010-2011. The lead process was long and complex: Tullow TEN had specific technical constraints and Subsea 7 expected a high level of flow assurance. Subsea 7 wanted to keep the system as light as possible with a non-standard pipe-in-pipe, outside API dimensions. Technically, Vallourec offered a specifically designed pipe-in-pipe that performs outstanding tolerances for both the diameters of the outer pipe and inner pipe, with coating, dedicated sleeves and a unique welding solution. Indeed, Serimax is welding both the double-joints on land and the pipes on the vessel, during the laying campaign. This ultimately provides greater integrity for the flowlines and export lines as well as a very high level of flow-assurance.
Furthermore, Tullow TEN raises the threshold of subsea offers for Vallourec as it contains not only technical and industrial value, but also a considerable amount of project management, coordination and logistics. Dominique Richardot adds: “Stéphane Chrobot was appointed project manager, he is our point of contact with Subsea 7 and he can be reached at any time, for any question, by any one of the partners in the project. This position helps keep a full vision and grasp on the project, every day.”
In TEN, Vallourec is hands-on, piloting all the key stages from the mill to the 24 meter ready to lay pipe. Project management is clearly where we add innovative value for the customer. Mastering the whole process means more flexibility in production and more reliability. Documentation, for instance, is often a headache, with hundreds and hundreds of pages being handed over with the product, from one supplier to the next, with heavy and repeated checking and validating. In Tullow TEN, our documentation is integrated once for all to the whole process, handled at project level, going through production and handed over to the customer with the finalized product in minimal time. A fantastic time-saver and a flawless procedure for the client!
A powerful European cluster
Integration reaches a new level with the European cluster the Pipe Project Division created for Tullow TEN. By choosing its best partners in Germany, the Netherlands and France, Vallourec maximized proximity and enhanced the workflow of every stage of production, making logistics easier to handle and follow.
Dominique Richardot develops: “We sought the most reliable and reputable partners in the industry for every crucial stage like coating, welding and PIP. All the partners are very close to one another, within the same northern European area, with optimal synergies and monitoring. The carbon steel seamless pipes are produced in Vallourec’s German mills of Rath and Mulheim; the anti-corrosion coating is executed by Conline in Rotterdam (3LPP anti-corrosion coating on outer pipes); the sleeves are cut by Vallourec Fittings, in Maubeuge, France; the welding pre-qualifications achieved by Serimax in Mitry, France; the double-jointing and pipe-in-pipe are executed in Caen, France, in a continuous process line, respectively by Serimax for the welding and by ITP (InTerPipe), for the PiP; the final 24 meter long products are stocked in a dedicated port yard in Ranville, near Caen, and fed to the project according to Subsea 7’s schedule and needs. Additionally, the headquarters of Subsea 7 are in London, just hours away from our own headquarters in Paris, which makes it very easy to meet and follow through the project together.”
Integrated planning: the backbone of project execution
At the heart of Tullow TEN, the real-life challenge is to coordinate and synchronize the various phases as smoothly as possible as well as optimize production and workflow. Coordination is guaranteed by weekly meetings for action logs between the mills, Serimax, the coating and pipe-in-pipe partners. A monthly steering committee is held, attended by Dominique Richardot, the plant managers, managers of Serimax and our customer, Subsea 7. This “under the same roof” approach is efficient and time-saving: every player has the whole picture, every issue is solved quickly, and any variation in the project schedule can be immediately translated into actions on all sites.
Stéphane Chrobot describes: “Integrated planning, where you can monitor the whole execution, has a great advantage: at any given moment, you can trigger corrective actions and adapt the workflow of all partners consequently. We learned to become more adaptable, predict bottlenecks or foresee risks at a very early stage. Operating from a higher level, seeing the whole picture, we can better anticipate actions than at business unit level, as well as adapt to client modifications or needs. This is the ultimate time-saver. For instance, early in the project, the client decided to increase the length of the sleeves. In theory, it was simple, but longer sleeves meant an order modification, more pipe than initially planned, more material, longer production time. In a non-integrated planning organization, we would not have been able to modify all the slots on such short notice (mills, cutting, coating, pipe-in-pipe and double-joint). Thanks to our integrated planning, we were able to instantaneously fine-tune the production slots with the mills, alter the planning for Vallourec Maubeuge for the new sleeves, and cascade the workflow so everything fitted right into the schedule. Today, our integrated planning is fully operational, easy flowing, adaptable and reliable. It’s not just good for the client; it’s great for all the partners! There is no time wasted and we can focus on quality and delivering.”
Just in time workflow and logistics
Stéphane Chrobot continues: “The tricky part is our last stage, in Caen, where we finalize the 24meter long sections with the pipe-in-pipe and welding. We optimized the delivery of the pipes so there wouldn’t be too many pipes at the same time, so we, or the client wouldn’t have to manage a huge yard (remember the whole order is 15,000 tons, hundreds of kilometers!). We set up an intermediary platform so the products would arrive regularly, smoothly, according to production and to the project’s real-time schedule. This definitely represents value for the customer, as he has neither bottlenecks in terms of storage nor organization to manage. For us, it’s time saving and easier to coordinate the products and documentation. Just in time is what you want to aim for.”
Tullow TEN is a milestone in Vallourec Global Solutions, a breakthrough in bringing value through the execution and project management. We created value where it counts, with local content, schedule risk mitigation and exe-cution risk mitigation. Our global solutions render faster and better execution, enhanced reliability while assuring the highest level of product design and quality. Vallourec is passionate to deliver cost-effective global solutions!