VetcoGray's Upgrade to Boost Lobito Tomboco Oil Field by 7,000-10,000 B/D

A subsea equipment upgrade by VetcoGray, a GE Oil & Gas business, is expected to increase production in the Lobito Tomboco oil field off the coast of Angola by 7,000-10,000 barrels per day.

VetcoGray has signed a $27 million contract with Cabinda Gulf Oil Co. of Angola, a subsidiary of U.S. oil company Chevron, to retrofit the existing subsea trees in the field, which has been in production since June of 2006. The increase in production is expected to occur shortly after the retrofit project is completed in 2009.

“VetcoGray has developed a retrofit package that allows customers to deal with unexpected circumstances after the initial equipment installation. Examples could include increased scale deposition, larger than expected chemical injection requirements, flow improvements and instrumentation upgrades,” said David Tucker, chief operating officer of VetcoGray and Hydril. “The Cabinda project illustrates our commitment to be a reliable partner from project inception through field maintenance and equipment modifications and upgrades.”

In addition to increased production, another key benefit of the retrofit project will be the capability to use smaller work vessels instead of drilling platforms to perform scale-squeeze operations. Once the equipment upgrade is completed, the operator will be able to conduct scale-squeeze operations that will inhibit scale formation on the initial equipment and piping systems. A key to this operation is the application of large volumes of chemical in a short period of time, which cannot be achieved through a typical chemical dosing line.

Under the contract with Cabinda, VetcoGray has responsibility for the total subsea system. New equipment to be supplied for the retrofit will include scale-squeeze inserts for short- and long-term operations, a fluid cap, a choke insert with full functionality with an additional port for chemical injection and a chemical line with landing skid. The use of the VetcoGray choke interface, a port in the subsea tree, allows choke inserts (the pressure/flow controlling element) to be removed and replaced as required during the life of the field.

VetcoGray’s service team in Angola will support the retrofit operations. “The infrastructure we have built up in Angola is a key to the successful execution of the equipment installation and ongoing operation over the life of the field,” said Tucker.