Brunei Shell's Egret Field on Schedule

The production fabrication phase for Brunei Shell's Egret project was completed on schedule last month. The end result of the recently completed fabrication stage of the project is the jacket structure or the 'legs' of the Egret offshore installation together with its topside comprising two decks with gas production equipment installed. All major components have been floated out to sea for final installation and assembly which is now nearing completion.

The major activity in the project was focused at the Marine Construction Yard where the Egret jacket and topside were fabricated. The fabrication activities were subcontracted to a local contractor, Adinin Works Engineering Sdn Bhd. The construction began in May 2002 and was completed in March 2003 according to schedule.

The jacket, weighing 730 tons, was installed at a water depth of 62 meters. Initially, two jacket leg panels were fabricated. Upon completion, the two panels were rolled up vertically using five 150-ton crawler cranes. This operation was completed in one day. Horizontal and diagonal bracings were then installed joining each panel to form the final structure of the jacket. The final construction of the jacket involves the installation of a mud mat timber to ensure that the jacket will settle securely on the seabed after installation. The topside on the other hand consists of two parts, main deck and cellar deck. Both decks were fabricated separately before they were joined with the main deck positioned on top of the cellar deck. The cellar deck contains a majority of the equipment installed such as the gas export system, local control room, utilities system, power distribution system, vent and drain system while the main deck contains the pipeline maintenance tool launching facilities, crane, vent boom, helideck and all the chemical tanks required to operate Egret. With all this installed plus their own weights, the topsides weigh almost 770 tons.

On March 24, and April 6, important milestones in the project were achieved when the jacket and topside were safely loaded out onto cargo barges, six weeks ahead of schedule.

The project had been confronted with several challenges during the load out. Uneven terrain and very tight tide schedules made the task very challenging because the barge had to be anchored on the same level as the quayside.

The topsides faced a long 100-meter skidding, a process of slowly edging the heavy construction to the quayside prior to loading out onto the barge executed with the help of powerful hydraulics and thick cables.

On May 6, 2003, another milestone was achieved when the jacket was floated out to sea. Working together, the BSP Marine, SMR, and (offshore) Campaign Operations, SCO, departments towed the jacket to its offshore location to hand over work to Horizon Offshore, to carryout the installation of the jacket.

Earlier, the gas pipelines that would carry the produced gas were installed from Ampa 6 to the Egret location and on May 8, the jacket was lifted from the cargo barge by a 1,300-ton capacity crane and installed into position with the pipelines ready to be connected.

Fabrication and Project Management package was awarded to the Kuala Lumpur-based Technip Far East Sdn Bhd company on October 2001. The detailed design was completed end of May 2002 in just seven months.