Bouygues Offshore Completes Bundles Fabrication For Girassol

Petromar, a Bouygues Offshore and Sonangol subsidiary, have successfully completed phase-I of the fabrication of the bundles for the Girassol Umbilicals and Flowlines project, a contract awarded to the Alto Mar Girassol (AMG) joint venture (Bouygues Offshore/Stolt Offshore) by TotalFinaElf in 1998.

The phase-I of this contract between AMG and Petromar covers the fabrication and launching into the sea of 8 bundles. Then these bundles will link the subsea wells to the riser towers, the first two of which have been successfully installed by AMG.

The bundles consist of a 30-inch-diameter outer steel tube containing two 8-inch-diameter production lines enclosed in syntactic foam. The foam was specially developed for the project to insulate the flowlines from the high seabed pressure (130 bar at a water depth of 1,300 meters) and very low temperatures (3(degree)C). These bundles are each between 1,100 to 2,900 meters long.

The 8 bundles were fabricated in record time by Petromar at its Soyo base in Angola, where a bundle fabrication yard was installed. To date, 7 bundles have been towed over a distance of 220 kilometers on the seabed - depths ranging from 0 to 1,300 meters. The 8th bundle will be installed once the last riser tower is in place.

The 5-kilometer Petromar bundle fabrication yard in Soyo is the only yard of its type in Africa and one of the few in the world. Dedicated to the deep offshore, it holds promising prospects for Bouygues Offshore for projects in West Africa.

AMG was set up for the Girassol Umbilicals and Flowlines project and has awarded two fixed-price contracts: - One with Petromar, at its Soyo yard, to fabricate and launch the bundles. - One with SONAMET, at its Lobito yard, to fabricate the riser towers. The Girassol field is located in Block 17, offshore Angola. Sonangol holds the concession for the field, which is operated by TotalFinaElf (40%). The other partners are ExxonMobil (20%), BP (16.67%), Statoil (13.33%) and Norsk Hydro (10%).