Egina: Delivering beyond the pipe in Nigeria
Egina is an ultra deep offshore project operated by Total, 130 km off the coast of Nigeria, at a depth of 1750 m. The development of this oil field is a new milestone of Total’s extensive deep offshore experience in the Gulf of Guinea. The field infrastructure consists of a subsea production system tied in to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel with a processing capacity of 200,000 barrels a day and a storage capacity of 2.3 million barrels. The field is currently under development and first oil is scheduled for late 2017.
Vallourec has been one of Total’s partners in Egina since the early design, in 2012, and will be delivering pipes and service throughout the project. Vallourec is supplying a total of 24,000 tons of pipe, including 16,000 tons of flowline used for production, water injection and gas export lines, delivered to Total Upstream Nigeria through Bell Oil and Gas, and a further 8,000 tons of seamless and welded line pipe for a riser pipe-in-pipe construction, delivered to the main contractor, Saipem. Beyond the technical offer, Vallourec is providing advanced project management as well as extensive local content in Nigeria, including service and support, partnerships, expertise, and team training.
Building an offer with powerful local content
Karsten Walz, area sales manager in Vallourec Offshore Linepipe explains: “Egina was one of the most challenging tenders for our division, both from a technical and a contractual point of view. The customer requirements were high for the flowlines and the risers, and depended on our ability to deliver premium quality while securing a great amount of local content… The tender-phase took nearly 3 years! Karsten Walz recalls: “My first task in Nigeria was to find the best local partner allowing me to stay as close as possible to the Nigerian local content legislation. As the contract had to be routed in case of order via a Nigerian entity, we visited and assessed numerous local companies and players in oil and gas. We were fortunate when we found Bell Oil and Gas, which proved a very serious and dedicated partner in what has become a substantial achievement. Together, we have successfully delivered the flowline package and are now in the riser phase of the project.”
Superior technical solutions
Egina is most demanding technically as the applications are designed for extreme environments in ultra deep waters. All the offshore line pipe solutions have to respond to the highest technical requirements to ensure maximum application integrity, and Vallourec teams are working close to all the local partners throughout execution. The flowlines have to follow both standards, i.e. DNV-OS-F101 2008 and API5L 43rd ed. as well as Total’s linepipe specifications GS EP PLR 201 and 211. The riser pipe-in-pipe-construction is one of the heaviest in the subsea-world, it encompasses an outer pipe of 18”x 31,8mm and an inner pipe 14”x 27mm. For the laying Saipem will fabricate quadjoints fabricated in Nigeria. The superior weldability of Vallourec steel is clearly an advantage, and Saipem required the same heat and the same chemical analysis as other successful past projects like Block 17, in Angola, and P55 in Brazil.Total also required a quite intensive testing program including AUT, EMI, pipe-end- measurement, MPI on pipe-ends, etc.
Mitigating risks and creating value
Execution is key for the customer as any delay translates into higher laying costs. An experienced Vallourec project manager, Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) for the client, is fully dedicated to Egina. He coordinates and monitors all processes in real time. In addition, an internal steering committee was constituted with Dominique Richardot, the mill managers, sales managers and the project manager. The committee gathers once a month or as often as necessary. The role of the committee is to monitor the project safety, schedule, production flow, delivery, quality control, and risk management. It can, for instance, decide to run specific tests or change a process at the mill to mitigate a risk. It’s actions limit risks considerably and decisive actions can be triggered instantly for optimal workflow. In Egina, the value of Vallourec extends to its risk mitigation to meet delivery dates, and to support to local partners, to meet customer specifications and demands.
Innovating with advanced training for local partners
Stéphane Chrobot, Director of project management for Vallourec Pipe Projects, explains: “One of the most original aspects of our partnership is certainly our training program for 20 young Nigerian engineers.” It was designed together with the Nigerian Human Capacity Development program and the support of Bell Oil & Gas, who selected the best candidates for training.
Vallourec’s program took place in Europe, mostly at the mills in Germany that were manufacturing the actual pipes for Egina. The training began with a very intensive program on safety dispensed by the German HSE team. The technical program was quite comprehensive and covered real-life manufacturing, from the raw steel to the finished seamless steel pipes. The substantial engineering program encompassed testing protocols, yield strength calculation, steel mechanical properties, with specific emphasis on the grades used for Egina. The program also included a visit to several R&D facilities in Europe, a visit to coating suppliers, to the harbor of Antwerpen, to see how Vallourec manages and organizes transport to Nigeria, and a visit to Serimax, with demonstrations to understand how the pipes are welded and what technologies are used for subsea double jointing.
One of the challenges in such a complex program is to evaluate the achievements and newly acquired competencies of the trainees. Stéphane Chrobot recalls: “The training teams did a terrific job, finishing every course with tests and assessments. The program also included regular trainee interviews. At the end, every participant wrote a report and had to make a presentation. I was there for the final presentations, and the students shared what they had appreciated, including good and bad points… I must say I was impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of all the participants. It was an extremely positive and innovative experience.”
Vallourec: a partner for worldwide projects
Egina is still ongoing, with the delivery of the riser package throughout 2015 and 2016. Vallourec is honored to bring its very best to the project, helping to mitigate risks and improve execution. Our global solutions create more value for the customer every day, delivering the highest product and service standards in the industry, with improved project management and key execution support. We are especially proud to deliver beyond the pipe and are dedicated to supporting local content for the development of our customers and partners, worldwide.