Keppel FELS/Technip Completes Hardest Part of P-52 FPU Construction

The consortium of Keppel FELS and Technip has completed the offshore mating of the 25,000-tonne topside and the 4,500-tonne spider deck with hull structure, weighing 17,500 tonnes, for one of the world’s largest floating production platforms, the P-52, in Brazil.

Considered the most challenging phases in the construction of the P-52 platform, this deck mating operation is highly complex and sensitive, and as such rarely carried out anywhere in the world.

This mega-operation comprises two major phases. The first phase, which was concluded successfully in 24 hours on June 9-10, 2006, involved placing the topsides deckbox, with all process modules already pre-installed, onto the lower hull structure.

The second phase involved the risky hoisting of the three major sections of the spider deck to join with the underside of the deckbox.

The successful completion of the operation took place at Jacuecanga Channel near Keppel FELS Brasil’s BrasFELS Yard in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The first-phase operation was carried out after detailed planning and an extensive and careful safety assessment process. The P-52's hull was anchored and submerged to a predetermined depth of 40 meters, using a ballasting procedure, at the precise location and under suitable weather and tide conditions. BrasFELS’s FS1 barge, on which the topside deckbox was built, was then positioned between the hull columns with the assistance of a winch system. During the operation, the distance between the barge and the hull columns were just 1.5 meters apart. With gradual deballasting, the hull emerged, lifting the topside off the barge and gradually taking the full load of the topsides through the four columns.

After this sensitive operation, the second-phase mating began.

It began with towing the barge BS-3, on which the central part of the spider deck was built, to between the columns of the lower hull. Once it was in the intended location, the lower hull was ballasted down so that the hoist wires from the spider deck could be connected to the deckbox. After this operation, the hull was again deballasted to a pre-determined depth so that another barge, BS-5, on which the port and starboard sides of the spider deck sections were built, could be towed laterally between the columns. Once again, when the spider deck sections were in the right location, the lower hull was ballasted so that the hoist wires could be connected between the spider deck sections and deckbox.

With these naval operations concluded, the P-52 floating production platform, in its final configuration, was towed back to Keppel FELS Brasil’s BrasFELS shipyard, where a 600-tonne flare boom will be installed. The final hook-up of all systems is currently ongoing and the final testing and commissioning stage will commence soon.

The P-52 is an 81,000-tonne (displacement) semisubmersible oil-processing platform. Its primary components include the hull (which remains partially submerged when it is operating in the oilfield), the deck box, the processing modules, modules for energy generation, gas compression, accommodation and utilities, and the helideck and recreational facilities.

The construction agreement between the Keppel FELS/Technip consortium and Petrobras was signed in December 2003 in the presence of the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Module construction was distributed among several sites in Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi. The accommodation module, the structure of which is made out of aluminum, and the deck box, which houses all of the modules, were built at Keppel FELS Brasil’s BrasFELS shipyard, in Angra dos Reis.

The hull was built by Keppel FELS in Singapore and arrived in Brazil late last March. With the entire topside being built in Brazil, the national content is already at 71%, above the contractual level, which is 60%.

Production is expected to begin in early 2007. When fully operational, the P-52 semisubmersible platform will be able to process 180,000 barrels of oil a day, compress 9.3 million cubic meters of gas a day and inject approximately 300,000 barrels of water into the reservoir.

To be deployed in the Roncador Field development program, in the Campos Basin, the unit will be anchored at a depth of 1,800 meters and be interconnected to the subsea systems comprising 68 risers (20 production risers, seven gas Lifts, 13 water injection, one oil export, provision for one future oil export, one gas export, 23 utilities umbilicals, and two service risers).

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