DAMMAM: SIRAJ WAHAB
Published — Monday 14 January 2013
Last update 14 January 2013 2:26 pm
The world’s largest offshore oil field has a new landmark.
Safaniya Tie-In Platform No. 20, better known as Safaniya TP-20, has been installed using an uncommon installation technique called "float-over installation."
The platform, the largest in Saudi Aramco’s offshore fields, weighs 6,000 metric tons (compared with 2,000 tons for normal platforms) and will be the main crude oil gathering and power supply hub for North Safaniya offshore field. The oil field is located about 265 km north of Dhahran. Measuring 50 by 15 km, producing more than 1.2 million barrels per day.
According to a Saudi Aramco engineers, the installation of Safaniya TP-20 is part of the first phase of a long-term plan to upgrade the Safaniya offshore field, called the Safaniya Master Plan. Since the early days of 2009, during the project’s planning phase, the team realized the magnitude of the platform due to the piping and electrical power requirements associated with it.
Careful measures and plans were developed to ensure successful construction and installation of the platform. Several construction workshops, design analyses and model reviews were conducted to review all aspects of the design and to ensure its safe installation.
One factor planners took into particular consideration was weather conditions under which the float installation would take place. The team conducted 10-year, three-year and one-year analyses of the historical weather conditions to select the optimal installation timeframe. Several supports and structures also were installed to ensure no damage occurred during the critical installation.
The platform fabrication took 20 months (between February 2011 and October 2012) at the fabrication yard at Jebel Ali. To supply the required electrical power to the North Safaniya offshore field, the platform will receive a 47 km, 3-core 230 kV composite submarine cable (power and fiber) that will be the longest of its kind in the world. The cable manufacturing is currently in its final stages and is scheduled to be installed in February 2013.