BJ Services Company recently completed a major subsea pipeline precommissioning operation for Saipem S.A. in Nigeria on the Akpo development, one of the largest deepwater developments ever undertaken. The Akpo field lies in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 Block approximately 124 miles (200 km) south of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with water depths of 3,936 ft to 4,593 ft (1200 m to 1400 m.)
Remote Flooding Module Delivers Benefits
Initially, Saipem awarded BJ Services a contract in autumn 2007 to provide subsea flooding services on the flowlines after lay. The aim of this process is to displace the raw seawater in the flowlines with filtered, treated seawater. BJ achieved this during the initial phase by running cleaning and gauging pig trains in the production and gas injection loops. Working from the Bourbon Trieste vessel, BJ used its RFM™ remote flooding module, which offers a number of benefits. For example, lines can be flooded without connection to a vessel, reducing vessel time and related costs, and seawater from the seabed is used, allowing for immediate hydrotesting of the lines, if required. Finally, safety is enhanced because the process is carried out without a downline and diesel-pumping spread, and impact on the environment is reduced because no byproduct from the diesel engines is released into the atmosphere.
"We have forged an enduring and mutually beneficial working relationship with Saipem in Nigeria, and are extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work on the Akpo Development," said Lindsay Link, general manager, BJ Services, Process and Pipeline Services.
"The operation was especially challenging, given the complexity of the subsea pipeline network and the deepwater environment. As the direct result of the Akpo team's commitment and experience, and the specialist technologies used, I am pleased to report that it was carried out safely and efficiently," he added.
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