Pioneering Technology Wins PSL Energy Deepwater Angola Contract

New technology pioneered by PSL Energy Services Ltd has led to the award of a major subsea contract in deepwater offshore Angola worth up to an estimated £3 million. The Aberdeen-based oil services company will carry out topside, subsea and umbilical operations for Technip (France) in the Greater Dalia field which is located 230km offshore in water depths of up to 1,500m. PSL won the contract as a result of the successful completion of a similar workscope on the Baobab field in the Ivory Coast for CNR International.

On the Baobab project PSL pioneered a new Combined Subsea Pigging Unit (SPU) and Subsea Hydrotest Unit (SHU) in what is believed to be a world-first use of this type of subsea technology. The SPU/SHU utilises a combined unit which facilitates the flooding, pigging and pressure testing of subsea pipelines. PSL developed and has successfully utilised the patented SPU to pig and flood pipelines on a number of deep-water projects but hydro-testing was traditionally performed independently of flooding and pigging operations, using hoses and pumps operated from a surface vessel which had considerable cost implications for clients.

The new technology means significant savings can be made because smaller crew sizes and less equipment are needed for SPU/SHU work. The reliance on a dedicated Multi Service Vessel (MSV) being on location during the operations is also greatly reduced. The PSL workscope on the Dalia development is a 'first' as it combines MSV based, flowline pre tie-in pigging and hydrotesting utilising the SPU/SHU unit and FPSO based conventional post tie-in pigging and hydrotesting. It also includes pre and post tie-in testing of subsea, electrical and hydraulic control umbilicals and fly leads within the one contract.

PSL's Managing Director, Doug Duguid, said the Technip contract was won against strong UK and US competition. "We are delighted that Technip have shown their confidence in our engineering skills and technology by awarding us what is a technically challenging workscope on Dalia. This success is in part due to our pioneering work on Baobab where we were able to combine hydrotesting with our already proven subsea pigging unit, offering significant benefits to the client. We believe the combined SPU/SHU unit, as used in Baobab, was a world first and we intend to roll this out as an innovative cost-reducing solution for deep-water projects across the world. This latest project means we are now working with Technip in Europe, West Africa, Australia and Baku and we look forward to extending this relationship further in other regions."