Saibos Successfully Completes Girassol Flowline Installation

Saibos Construcoes Maritimas, Lda, an equally-owned subsidiary of Bouygues Offshore and Saipem SpA, has successfully installed two rigid export flowlines as part of the contract the AMG joint venture (Bouygues Offshore/Stolt Offshore) and TotalFinaElf signed in 1998 for the Girassol risers project.

The two flowlines, each of which measures 16 inches in diameter and 2,500 meters long, connect the Girassol FPSO, the world's largest floating production, storage and offloading unit, to the unloading buoy. They are suspended at water depths of 550 to 45 m with centrally-positioned buoys in a W-shaped configuration.

The rigid flowlines were fabricated directly on the Saibos FDS(R), a multipurpose field development ship owned by Saibos Construcoes Maritimas, Lda. This technology represents a world first for this kind of deep offshore project and enables the use of rigid flowlines instead of more expensive flexible flowlines.

With the successful completion of this challenging high-tech project, and the successful installation of the umbilicals and flexible flowlines on the Girassol field at a depth of 1,350 m, Saibos Construcoes Maritimas, Lda has clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the Saibos FDS(R). In addition, it has established a leading position in the deepwater field development industry.

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%).

The Saibos FDS(R) will follow up this initial success with installation of pipelines at depths ranging from 100 to 2,200 m for the Canyon Express project in the Gulf of Mexico.