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OTC 19919

Agbami Field DevelopmentSubsea Equipment Systems, Trees,

Manifolds and Controls
Thomas P. Kelly, SPE, FMC Technologies Inc., and Richard H. Strauss, Chevron
Copyright 2009, Offshore Technology Conference

This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2009 Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 47May2009.

This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of OTC copyright.


This paper describes the subsea facilities designed and built for the AGBAMI field development as defined by the Subsea
Equipment Vendor (SEV) contract issued to FMC Technologies by Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited an affiliate of the
Chevron Corporation in partnership with Texaco Nigeria Outer Shelf Inc, Petroleo Brasileiro Nigeria Limited, Statoil Nigeria
Limited, Famfa Oil Limited and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. The history of the design, manufacturing, testing and
project logistics are described along with useful lessons learned.

The Agbami field is located offshore from the central Niger Delta in water depths ranging from 4,200 to 5,400 feet of
water, graphically illustrated in Figures 1 & 2. The physical size of the field can be visualized as fitting tightly within
interstate (Loop) 610 which girdles the city of Houston as illustrated in figure 3. The field is being developed using 100%
subsea completions tied-back to an FPSO and tanker mooring system. The subsea completion system includes 16 production
trees, 6 Gas Injection Trees, 10 Water Injection Trees which will be tied back to 6 production manifolds, 2 gas injection
manifolds and 4 water injection manifolds. The SEV contract covers this equipment as well as all flowline and jumper
connector kits, electrical flying leads (EFLs) and Hydraulic (Steel) Flying Leads (SFLs), topsides Multiplex (MUX)
controls system and installation tooling. The remainder of the subsea kit was supplied by the Subsea Installation Contractor,
Technip, including the umbilicals, flexible flowlines, risers, flexible jumpers and subsea umbilical terminations.

Project success was dependent upon more than simple hardware delivery and installation. Included with the contract
hardware deliverables were extensive requirements for documentation management, interface management, Nigerian
manufacturing and engineering content, technology transfer for sustainable long term development in Nigeria and facilities
logistics as well as field and technical personnel support in a location which has limited support facilities for offshore field
developments and well as security challenges which had to be managed successfully.


The field architecture was originally developed as base case scenario in the FEED design concept using a drill-center focused
development approach shown in figure 4. The approach established a concept basis with options to allow for specific field
needs while driving a standardized approach to the design of individual assemblies such as the manifolds and the trees. The
vision of the FEED design concept was to repeat the base case system in designing the field development architecture.
Adjustments to the base case system would be limited to the predetermined optional features designed into the base case
system. Examples of options that can be included in the base case concept are to incorporate gas injection capacity within the
drill center or to piggy back an outlying production drill center into the production system of the base concept. These
features can be optionally included or left out without impacting the major systems level assemblies. The base case system is
designed around a single umbilical which controls the drill center (and the optional piggy-backed drill center). The base case
consists of a production manifold and an optional gas injection manifold. Both manifolds include dual headers with flowlines
back to the FPSO to allow for round-trip pigging. The production manifolds include a retrievable pigging loop which can be
removed and replaced with infield flowlines allowing for the addition of a piggybacked production manifold to an adjacent
drill center without modifying the existing drill center production equipment or controls. The adjacent drill center would also
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be controlled from the base system umbilical by piggy-backing an infield umbilical between the existing and the piggy-back
drill center. All manifolds are designed to accommodate up to 4 well tie-ins.

The water injection wells typically do not lend themselves to being located within single drill center since they are usually
located on the periphery of the reservoir. The water injection wells are typically spread apart such that the well jumpers
between the trees and the manifold are actually long infield flowlines. The water injection system utilizes infield umbilical
extensions from the base case system main umbilical termination (MUTA) which would support up to 4 water injection
wells. The entire water injection system would be located outside of the base case drill center but would be supported by the
drill center umbilical and control system.

Field Architecture

The AGBAMI field development utilized 4 of the base case drill center systems with 2 additional piggy-back production
drill centers shown in figure 5 and figure 6. One of the base case systems, located in drill center A, was modified to
accommodate one production well which could not be located within the drill center. The alternative would have required
the addition of an additional piggy-back production manifold which would have remained largely under-utilized with only
one planned well. This remote production tree and manifold were modified to permit dual flowline hook-up to the single off
drill center well. This was required to address flow assurance issues since the single well was too distant from the manifold
to utilize methanol flooding of the flowline for hydrate remediation in a shut down scenario.

Control of the subsea system is provided by a multiplex electrohydraulic control system utilizing comms-on-power
technology. The SEV contract included the hydraulic power unit (HPU), the subsea master control station (SMCS),
Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS), 4 Topside Umbilical Termination Assemblies (TUTAs), 2 rig based ESD systems and
associated electrical test units and tooling.

Challenges & Solutions

Project challenges can be conveniently categorized as technical, logistical and procedural all of which are greatly affected by
interface issues between multiple equipment suppliers. One of the greatest underlying challenges was the achievement of the
local content objectives of the contract. This was a new endeavor for Star and FMC that carried some risks. The
establishment and development of the relationship with Grinaker for the fabrication of the manifolds and piles worked very
well to everyones benefit. Of course, few challenges consist exclusively of only one of these characteristics. The challenges
faced by the AGBAMI project team can generally be characterized as falling into one of these three categories.

Technical Challenges

The principal interest in this paper is the technical challenges that were faced with the project. Much effort was spent
establishing standard, field proven techniques and selecting field proven equipment to minimize the number of technical
challenges that were encountered. Inevitably, there are always going to be some areas where the technologies are pushed and
new concepts are tried. This will inevitably introduce some risk to the project which needs to be recognized and managed.
Our purpose is to recognize these challenges. As importantly, it is the authors intention to recognize the team members in
their efforts to manage and mitigate these risks.

New Connector Designs

An initial technical challenge faced by the project team was to design a new high bending capacity wellhead connector
compatible with the DrilQuip DS-15 wellhead system which was used throughout the Agbami field. The connector design
required a bending capacity of 4 million foot pounds with 15,000 psi internal pressure or 7 million foot-pounds with no
internal pressure. An additional challenge included the ability to convert the connector to fit an H-4 profile with minimal tree
disassembly. The connector was designed, manufactured and tested in time for incorporation in the first tree. Figure 7 shows
the FMC Titus V connector undergoing qualification load tests.

The Star project team also defined a need for future potential gas lift capacity at the production wells and at the
production manifolds. The SEV contract included a feature to inject lift gas to the trees and manifolds at some future date
if needed as a secondary recovery means. This necessitated development of a new metal sealing connector kit for a gas lift
flying lead/jumper to the production tree or the production manifold. Figure 8 shows a photograph of the connector
undergoing interface and misalignment testing. The project team again designed and developed a small connector kit to
enable the connection of a 2 bore - 10,000 psi flexible pipe jumper to the production trees and manifolds in the event that
gas lift features are to be added to the production system.

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Incorporating major First Article designs such as the new tree connector or the gas lift connector generally involve
some project schedule risk. The product engineers and testing technicians involved in this development are to be
commended for their attention to detail and their ability to adhere to the project schedule by delivering a qualified product to
the project team on time and in budget.

Lesson Learned There will be instances in most projects where new products must be designed, tested and qualified
which, by definition are high risk endeavors. By definition, first article designs will have unknowns and uncertainties.
When new designs are unavoidable, clear definition of the processes to develop, manufacture, and qualify test these products
must be established and understood. Contingent plans must be developed ahead of time to avoid last minute surprises.
Experienced personnel and close attention to detail throughout the development process are vital to mitigate the inherent risk.

Flowmeters on Gas & Water I njection Trees

Tree mounted flow meters were specified for installation on the gas and water injection trees. FMC had no previous
experience with the specific flow meters selected by Star for inclusion in the trees however; we did not anticipate any
difficulties with the integration since the flow meters had a field proven history. Indeed, the flowmeters themselves were
straight-forward and presented no challenges incorporating the design into the tree system. The retrievable instrument
package was, however, designed around an ROV tooling system which was robust, complex and different from any other
ROV interface in the Agbami system. The instrument pack was designed specifically for this particular proprietary ROV tool
system which in turn required its purchase. This tool would only be used to replace the flow meter instrument pack when and
if it is ever needed. The opportunity for improvement would have been to develop an ROV interface for the flow meter
instrument pack which allowed for a more generic ROV tooling. This would have saved the cost of some very expensive
ROV tools which will have to be maintained for the life of the field and will only be used in the event that a flow meter
instrument pack has to be replaced.

Late changes to flowline handling requirements necessitating changes to design and adding need for flowline swivel.

The SEV contract included the flowline and jumper connector kits which would be made up to the flowline and jumper
flexible pipe which was manufactured and installed by the installation contractor, Technip. The details of the jumper and
flowline installation methods were not detailed in the SEV contract as they were included in the responsibilities of the subsea
installation contractor (SIC) scope of work. The detail engineering by the subsea installation contractor dictated the need for
special lifting points (Pad eye elbows) on the second end flowline connections and the need for swivels in all second end
jumper and flowline connections. The pad eye elbows were especially challenging because the design mandated that the pad
eye elbows be fabricated from one block of material. Curved bore machining and weld cladding techniques were utilized to
produce the elbow flow bore thus eliminating the need to dramatically modify the elbow geometry. It also eliminated the
introduction of a highly stressed structural weld between the pad eye and the elbow which would have been a significant
stress riser. These modifications and additional items were placed on order well after the order placement of the connector
kits due to the timing of the installation engineering information. The pad eye elbows and the flowline/jumper swivels
quickly became the schedule critical path for the connector kits once the need was identified and the items placed on order.
The expedited manufacture and project management of these items impacted the project cost and forced a rearrangement of
the SIT plan and schedule as a result.

Lesson Learned There are many interfaces that require close communication between contractors to indentify and
mitigate interface clashes. The delay in awarding the SIC contract relative to the SEV contract kept these particular interface
issues from being identified early and addressed. This in turn increased the schedule risk and project cost to overcome the
shortcoming. Again, as a tribute to the personnel on all sides of the equation, the issues were managed and successfully

Dual sensor output failure of Choke Position indicator.

Dual sensor outputs were required of all pressure, temperature and position indicator sensors on the trees and manifolds.
One problem was encountered on the first tree system when the choke position indictor was powered up through the dual
electrical harnesses to the Subsea Control Module base plate. Unlike the pressure and temperature sensors, the choke
position indicator was not compatible with the concurrently grounded outputs. This issue was resolved by incorporating an
isolation circuit to allow one of the output lines to float (remain ungrounded). The solution was simple but the lateness of
the discovery caused some excitement that could have impacted delivery. The isolation circuit packaging and new electrical
harness design had to be quickly fabricated to incorporate the changes into the tree design. Lesson learned New equipment
interfaces (such as redundant sensor outputs, in this case) as well as new equipment inherently introduce cost and schedule
risks to the project. New equipment interfaces should be highlighted for testing and qualification prior to production
equipment unitization to mitigate these risks.
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Cobrahead HFL interface to MUTA structure interference at SI T.

Interference between the MUTA and the HFL was discovered during SIT in Europe when the two components were first
brought together. Much was learned about the interactions between the flowline and jumper connectors when tied to the
flexible flowlines and jumpers as well as gaining a comprehensive understanding of the ROV accessibilities to various points
on the subsea equipment. It can be rightly argued that the SIT served its purpose by discovering this interference prior to
installation. It would, however, be preferable to avoid such clashes altogether. Lesson Learned Efforts to streamline
communications between interfacing contractors should be encouraged. Restricting communications to formal documented
protocols can result in interface miss-matches such as this one.

Calcareous deposits on MQC Couplers with Protection caps

Calcareous deposits were noticed on some of the hydraulic couplers in the flying lead interface connections (MQC plates)
on one of the trees prior to make up with the flying lead. The tree had been installed a few months prior to the flying lead
installation which included non-metallic protection caps on the couplers. We discovered that the protection cap did not
reliably exclude sea water from the coupler which allowed the calcareous deposits to occur during the intervening time
period. It should be noted that calcareous deposits will develop on exposed metallic surfaces in any cathodically protected
subsea system. This is not uncommon considering that stainless and CRA components may not be coated since they will not
corrode over time as long as the cathodic system is active. Tooling was designed to clean the couplers which successfully
resolved the issue. Lesson learned Uncoated metal surfaces of hydraulic, electrical and process fluid connection points on
subsea equipment are susceptible to calcareous deposits if left exposed over time. Protection caps should be utilized which
have been designed to prevent calcareous deposits and should be tested and qualified for this service.

Miss-adjustments on Flowline connector hump-pressure settings.

The flowline and jumper connectors are designed to connect to their mating hubs with a flat-to-flat locking mechanism.
This design eliminates the concern about unlocking problems occasionally encountered on tapered locking mechanisms.
The flat-to flat design does inherently require an adjustment mechanism to pre-set the connector to lock with the correct
preload. There were a couple of instances that occurred in the shipment of the flowline connectors where the adjustment
mechanism was inadvertently moved. The mal-adjustment was not noticed by the installation personnel, which resulted in
higher than normal locking pressures being required to lock the connectors at installation. Fortunately, careful analysis
showed that the resultant stresses in the lock mechanisms did not exceed design allowables and none of the connectors had to
be recovered for readjustment due to Too Low lock-down pre-load. None-the-less, this issue cost some time and energy to
resolve. Lessons Learned 1) Pre-installation check list should include verification of proper adjustment mechanisms
settings. 2) Adjustment mechanisms should incorporate more robust features to prevent miss-adjustment that can occur
during shipment and handling.

Flow Assurance and I nsulation

The 10 hour thermal cool-down targets for the subsea equipment were very aggressive. FMCs experience and practice in
the subsea tree thermal analysis has allowed the use of residual (constant) well fluid heat from the well bore, which extended
the residual heat available for thermal preservation. This approach allowed FMC to meet the 10 hour cool-down time
however the approach was not initially noted or accepted by the client. The same analysis without considering the residual
wellbore heat (as would be the case for a gas well) limited achievable cool down time to 7 hours at the worst point in the
tree after additional insulation was added. The addition of more insulation had reached a practical limit of diminishing
returns so 7 hours was the best achievable result based on the analysis. Lesson Learned The analytical methods and
assumptions to be used in thermal analysis to meet thermal cool down performances must be clearly communicated and
understood prior to contract agreement to avoid cost and performance risks.

Cathodic Protection

The amount of cathodic protection required for the subsea equipment is determined by a number of parameters spelled out
in the DNV design code which is commonly used by the industry. Additionally, the cathodic protection will protect
adjacent equipment in electrical contact with the protected item. Typically the contract should define the amount of
protection that the cathodic protection system should provide by either stipulating the amount of adjacent equipment that will
be protected or by specifying the current draw that the adjacent equipment will draw away from the base equipment assembly
that is being protected. The initial cathodic protection calculations had failed to account for current draw which will occur
from the subsea well which is typically not cathodically protected. This oversight allowed the tree design to be completed
with too few embedded anodes. The issue was discovered in routine double checking of the design documentation after the
tree fabrications were well under way. Additional anodes were added to the trees but at a costly and very inopportune time
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for the trees which had been fully assembled and delivered to Nigeria. Lessons Learned Obviously, analytical mistakes are
to be avoided by ensuring adequate communications between the analysts, the designers and the clients as well as utilizing
standard analytical processes and experienced personnel. Additionally, the review process which is designed to catch
inaccuracies and mistakes needs to be timelier to avoid the increased costs of late discoveries. As in the case of the thermal
insulation analysis, the analytical methods and assumptions to be used in Cathodic protection analysis to the expected
performance requirements should be clearly communicated and understood prior to contract agreement to avoid cost and
performance risks.

Tree Weight

The weights of the AGBAMI trees are approximately 10% higher than that of equivalent trees due to the incorporation of
the high bending capacity wellhead connector developed for this project. The heaviest tree tipped the scales at 127,250 lbs.
Although these trees were among the heaviest manufactured by FMC, the total weight was optimized by the compact
arrangement and efficient placement of tree components minimizing the total amount of balancing weights required to keep
the trees vertically balanced. The tree weights played into the decisions that led to the final tree installation methods
described below.

Tree I nstallation

The development of the tree installation process had an interesting evolution during the project. The initial concept was
to deploy the trees from an A-Frame lowering system from the edge of the drilling rig with the intent of not using the rig
draw works for the installation. This would keep the installation off-line but it required modifications to the rig and the
ability of the A-Frame system to recover a tree remained problematic. Handling and managing the tree on the rig deck is
generally tight and not a risk free venture. Offloading heavy trees from a work boat and landing them on the deck of the rig
has always been a risky endeavor. It can be argued that running subsea trees from a drilling rig is not the best utilization of
an expensive resource if safe, less expensive alternative methods can be employed. The final solution was to install the trees
from a surface support vessel on cable. All wells were pre-drilled from the rig allowing the surface support vessel to batch set
the trees for later completion operations by the rig. Lesson Learned - This worked very well and successfully reduced the
handling risk of the trees offshore. This greatly reduced the installation time and cost to STAR. Figure 9 shows a typical tree
being installed with the wire deployment method.

Pressure Blowdown Restrictions on jumper testing

Pressure testing and commissioning the subsea equipment generally introduces a few challenges to the commissioning
team personnel. A major challenge was identified when the installation team discovered there was no simple way to control
the test pressure blow down rate following jumper pressure tests. This was raised as an issue when the installation team was
informed that the flexible pipe jumper required a maximum de-pressurization rate of 50 psi per minute. Complicating this
issue was the fact the test pressure supply which came through the tree could not be used for depressurization since the
supply came through check valves for safety purposes. An alternate method for control depressurization had to be devised.
In conjunction with Oceaneering, FMC and Star, we developed an ROV deployed depressurization panel which would be
landed on the tree and connected to the test circuit ROV hot stab. The depressurization panel directed the exhaust pressure
from the test line through a calibrated small orifice which effectively restricted the depressurization rate to an amount that
could be tolerated by the flexible jumpers. Lesson Learned This is another example of a communications failure between
the subcontractors and the purchaser. The depressurization rate limit was unknown and not considered in any of the
equipment design reviews conducted by FMC. This should be considered to be an interface communications opportunity for
future projects.

High Methanol injection capacity

The initial methanol injection rates at the various injections points were not clear. It was understood that 40 GPM were
required to the production drill center but it was misunderstood that the 40 GPM also applied to each production tree.
Achieving the appropriate supply to the manifold was not an issue however; the tree system and associated hydraulic flying
lead had to be redesigned to accommodate the full injection rate. This issue was caught at an early stage of the project so no
schedule risk was introduced. There was additional cost incurred to increase the flow capacity of the hydraulic flying leads
and the subsea production trees. Lesson Learned A careful understanding of the flow rates, injection philosophies and
remediation methods should be clearly defined and understood at project contract award to avoid confusion and

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Logistical Challenges

There were 7 areas of concern which all affected the project logistics. Obviously, personnel safety was a top priority to all
members of the project which, in turn, had an impact on Logistics. Each logistic issue had the ability to seriously affect
project schedule. These areas of concern were: Security Restrictions, Personnel Housing, Personnel and Materials Transport,
Manufacturing & Staging in Nigeria, In-Country Support, Customs and Importation and multiple SIT locations.

Security Restriction

Security precautions and measures were taken very seriously by both FMC and Star for personnel and materials. All
movements were carefully controlled and MOPOLS (Mobile Police) were utilized for personnel transfers in Port Harcourt
and Onne. FMC and Star security representatives worked closely together and shared intelligence information on a regular
basis. During the course of the project, as a result of increasing violence and kidnappings in the Port Harcourt area, security
had to be increased. On several occasions, personnel were instructed to shelter-in-place and not venture outside of their hotel
or outside of the fabrication yard selected by FMC for final fabrication and SIT of the twelve (12) subsea manifolds and
suction piles. Overall, very few fabrication work days were lost due to civil unrest which escalated during the presidential
election. This is a positive observation attributable to the preparations and situational awareness of Star, FMC and Grinaker

Personnel Housing

When work began on the fabrication of the subsea manifolds at GLTA, in Port Harcourt, housing accommodations were
limited. This required that the Star and FMC personnel, working at GLTA, had to stay in local hotels and commute twice a
day. Not only did this limit their time at the fabrication yard, but it also put them at risk due to the need to travel on local
roads. Also, rain could render some of the roads hazardous and even impassable.

To address the safety and productivity concerns, GLTA added additional secure housing on their facility. This not only
greatly reduced the stress on the personnel who were commuting, but also allowed for increased social interaction after work
hours. The working relationship between GLTA, FMC and Chevron site representatives improved measurably.

Personnel and Materials Transport

Whether transporting materials, equipment or personnel, armed escorts were always utilized. This provided a visible
deterrent to anyone contemplating either seizing a materials shipment, or causing harm to the escorted personnel.
Consequently, there were no incidents during the course of the project.

Manufacturing & Staging in Nigeria

FMCs major challenge in delivering the Agbami project was to establish a partner in Nigeria for the manufacturing and
fabrication of the manifolds and the suction piles as well as establishing the organizational service facilities to support the
long term Life-of-Field objectives. The fabricator selected to produce the manifolds and the Suction Piles was Grinaker LTD
located in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Grinakers track-record through the fabrication process was outstanding. The welding
records (and minimal rejection rates) were substantially better than we had initially planned. Additionally, their safety
records in performing these tasks were world-class. Grinakers central involvement in the manifold and pile fabrication
allowed FMC to exceed the Nigerian content requirements of the contract. FMC, Star, project partners and government
stakeholders were very pleased with this aspect of the project. Approximately one million man-hours were expended in
Nigeria without a Lost-time accident (LTA). The manifold and suction pile fabrication included highly complex CRA piping
welding as well as the usual structural steel welding. Thermal insulation was installed onsite using FMCs Novalastic HT
material. The CRA welding, insulation application and systems integration tests provided sustainable development and
technology transfer to Nigeria.

One objective that we were unable to fully comply with was a requirement to gas test manifolds as part of the factory
acceptance tests. The trees were all gas tested in Houston in a submerged test pit which is one of the only ways to safely
perform this test in a manufacturing facility. Star had requested that the manifolds also be gas tested however, this proved
problematic. There were no gas test pit facilities that could be used in Nigeria big enough to submerge the manifolds.
FMCs newly constructed full service Subsea Aftermarket facility in Onne has a test pit which can be used for gas testing
trees but the manifolds were beyond this capacity. The compromise solution was to accept the gas test results that each valve
had passed before leaving the Houston manufacturing facility. This was followed by the more traditional hydrostatic test on
the completed manifolds in the Grinaker fabrication yard. Lesson Learned Be more cognizant of gas test requirements on
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large equipment assemblies. Trees are routinely gas tested, however, it is unusual to gas test manifolds and it can be argued
that this requirement does not reduce project safety and risk proportionate to the cost and handling risk that it introduces.

FMC also required a long term base to store trees and support equipment through the life of field. The Onne Base facility
has been developed to assemble, repair and test complete subsea tree assemblies with test pit and high bay capacities. Figure
10 shows the Manifolds being loaded out of the Onne Base Facility in route to LADOL base for transport to the field
location. Figure 11 shows a production manifold being lowered into the water at installation. Additionally FMC was asked
to secure an additional staging area in Lagos for the installation contractor. Having experienced logistics and management
personnel in-country greatly aided in the set-up and management of these facilities.

I n-Country Support

One of the key aspects to the success of the project was achieving the necessary in-country support for manufacturing,
transport and equipment pre-installation preparation. Fabrication of the manifolds required the installation of thermal
insulation on all the header and branch piping in the manifold. The thermal insulation process was identified as a potentially
risky endeavor due to the nature of the cast-in-place technique and the labor intensity. Setting up the insulation contractor at
the early stages of the work at GLTA was viewed as a success. In addition, the small-bore tubing installation on the
manifolds was a first. Fully welded piping was utilized in accordance with international standards and specifications. The
fabrication team was able to achieve these objectives with no delays and very little difficulty.

The Onne base facility was also very successful at ramping up to accept the subsea trees and perform the site receivable
tests (SRT) once the trees began arriving in Nigeria including the ability to perform submerged gas tests in the facilities new
test pit. Third party support of the shore base activities as well as the offshore support required for installation were very
successful specifically noting the support received from Oceaneering on the Installation / Workover Controls System
(IWOCS) and the ROV tooling in general as well as the support received from D.G Obrien on the electrical connection
systems used for the electric feed-through connection on the tubing hangers and the trees.

Customs and Importation

FMC was responsible for the importation of their equipment and materials into Nigeria. Finished equipment, including
subsea trees, manifold valves, flowline and jumper connectors, and subsea controls were typically shipped from Houston.
Some items went by sea and others were shipped by air in order to meet the critical installation schedule. Local knowledge
of the Nigerian Customs requirements was vital to the success of the SEV importation program. FMC had a very
experienced logistics person resident in Port Harcourt, who kept the materials moving. This was a very difficult and
important job that demanded experience, flexibility and full compliance with laws and regulations. Requirements also
changed several times during the course of the project. Planning for the resulting impacts was a significant challenge. A key
lesson is to plan for the Customs clearance process to take longer than expected. The shortest duration (from the time an item
left Houston, until arrival at GLTA) was three weeks. The longest durations occurred with ocean shipments and could easily
take several months. Air freight shipments always cleared Customs faster than sea freight but with significant shipping cost

SI T multiple locations

Ideally, it is advisable to bring all systems together for on-land tests to prove out the entire system prior to installation.
This is the objective of the systems integration test (SIT). Certainly the savings of finding miss-matched interfaces or other
systemic problems in a land based simulation will greatly reduce the risk of finding these issues at or after offshore
installation. Multiple SIT sites and activities were required on the project due to the logistics of having multiple
manufacturing facilities and manufacturers around the world. The tree and control systems were made in Houston while the
manifolds and suction piles were made in Nigeria. The FPSO was fabricated in Korea while the umbilical terminations
(MUTA) and umbilicals were manufactured in Europe by the installation contractor. There were 4 separate SITs planned for
the Agbami equipment which occurred in different parts of the world and included enough overlap to ensure all interfaces
were adequately tested prior to subsea installation. SIT-1 occurred in Houston with the tree systems, the connector systems
and the Installation / Workover Control System (IWOCS). SIT-2 occurred in Nigeria with the manifolds and the suction
piles. SIT-3 occurred in Newcastle England where the umbilicals, flying leads and various ROV tools and interfaces were
tested. Finally, SIT-4 occurred in Korea where the Topsides controls systems were integrated and tested into the FPSO
controls architecture.

Computer based ROV interface simulations were conducted by Oceaneering using their MIMIC simulation system to
verify the static 3D layout analysis checking for ROV tool fit-up and access. The placement of the hydraulic flying lead
connections and the electrical flying lead connections around the manifolds were of particular concern. Due to the size
8 OTC 19919
restrictions on the manifolds, ROV access to all of these interfaces was tight. We were able to confirm adequate access to
appropriate interface points on the manifolds with live simulations using ROV operators to fly the recommended missions.
The mission reports resulted in recommendations to install the flowline and jumper connectors within very specific angular
tolerance ranges to minimize ROV access issues. It was particularly interesting to note that access to the connector tool
gasket change-out windows were achievable but would require a relatively high level of expertise by the ROV operator to be
successful. The reports from the field have all been positive with regard to ROV accessibility and we consider the
simulations to be a success since we havent uncovered any unknown areas of difficulty.

Another key area of learning occurred during SIT-1 in Houston in the process of handling the flexible pipe flowline and
jumpers at the SIT site. We learned that the flexible pipe jumpers required very precise adjustment of the pipe catenary
angles to successfully make up and disengage from the mating hubs on the trees and the manifolds. Two handling points are
required to safely manage the jumper connection at each end. One lifting point would control the actual jumper connector
and the connector tool while the other handling point would be attached some distance down the jumper pipe to force a
camel-back hump in the pipe. The camel-back would be used to control the vertical approach angle of the connector to the
mating hub and required independent control of the camel back lift line. This was the first exposure to large diameter flexible
pipe installation management to many of the field service engineers. The experience gained from the handling exercises at
SIT was very valuable to the project at offshore installation.

Procedural Challenges

The SEV contract included Operations Assurance deliverables including a comprehensive Asset Register data base, an
Intelligent P&ID drawing suite and a unique location-specific tagging logic. FMC was initially unfamiliar with the
extensiveness of these requirements. This caused a bit of re-thinking to accomplish the contract objectives. They were able to
meet these objectives with a lot of hard work by the project team and a lot of cooperation with Star operations assurance team
to redefine the target objectives to a more manageable and ultimately useable form. It is the authors opinion that these types
of requirements will become more commonplace on future projects of this complexity and the suppliers are well advised to
recognize and assign resources to address these issues early and effectively in the project. The operations assurance details
are much easier to achieve during the early phases of the engineering work scope than after the project equipment
deliverables are complete.

The same can be stated about the ROV tooling requirements on the project. FMC is very familiar with the specific tools
used for installing the equipment but this expertise does not extend to the ROV support tooling which is historically managed
directly by the ROV operator. The remoteness of this project dictated that the support tooling also be managed by the SEV
contractor. This included tools such as ROV mounted remote control units and computer controls as well as the ROV torque
tools usually included with the suite of tools included with the ROV operator. With Oceaneerings support we were able to
overcome the difficulties we had with managing and operating the ROV tools that were supplied as part of the SEV contract.
Another challenge was the addition of installation vessels that needed ROV tooling support. This was not reflected in the
initial ROV tool scope of supply resulting in some last minute scrambling to keep all operations going. The lesson learned
in this area is to establish early, comprehensive and adequate support from the ROV tool manufacturer to avoid problem
areas and interface conflicts that are typically out of the area of expertise of the subsea equipment supplier.

Observations & Results

The decision making ability of the project team in the field was excellent. The caliber and the experience of the personnel in
the field was excellent and a tribute to both FMC and Star. Any project of this size with a similar duration will experience
personnel changes through the project. Although we recognize this will happen, every effort should be made to maintain
consistency in the key project personnel and when changes are made, allow for plenty of overlap to cross-train and prepare
the new team members for a seamless transition. Adequate staffing is vital to prevent burn-out of team members.
Recognizing the resource intensive tasks early in the project and applying the necessary resources to meet the objectives is
essential to succeeding in the area. Interface management is also recognized as an area that is vital to project success.
Interface management can occasionally be treated as a silo unto itself. Recognizing this tendency and rapidly addressing it
will pay benefits to the overall project success. On a final note, we recognize that full testing and simulations are vital to
identify interface issues and qualify the overall system viability. Projects of this size will inevitably involve multiple
contractors in many diverse locations. It will not be possible to fully integrate all subsystems together at one location under
one SIT. Designing multiple SITs at different sites requires close attention to interfaces to ensure adequate overlap between
tests to uncover any unforeseen problems.

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There were many lessons learned on the project which will benefit FMC and Star on future projects. The key to future
success is to implement the lessons learned as we move to new projects. It is common that the personnel who learned the
lessons the first time will have moved on before the next project faces the same issues. We will always have new personnel
to train and learn from the lessons of the past. The key to success is to establish and use a robust lessons-learned library and
recording process to train the next generation of technicians and engineers. We are inevitably forced to re-learn these lessons
if we do not manage in this fashion. It is imperative to place great importance on the lessons we learn from past experiences.
The goal to maintaining a robust lessons-learned process will ultimately impact project success both financially and in the
areas of safety. I am proud to see that both FMC and Star take the lessons learned process very seriously.

10 OTC 19919

Figure 1 AGBAMI Field Location Offshore Nigeria

Figure 2 AGBAMI FPSO Overlay to Houston


259 ft.
1050 ft.
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Figure 3 AGBAMI Field Location Overlay to Loop 610

So u t h L o o p Fw y
No r t h L o o p Fw y
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Figure 4 Base-Case System

Figure 5 Field Layout (Process Flow)
RED - Production
GREEN - Gas Injection
BLUE - Water Injection

Water Injection


Gas Injection



Flying Leads

Brown: Controls System
Red: Production Hardware
Green: Gas Injection Hardware
Blue: Water Injection Hardware
'M': Manifold
'T': Tree
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Figure 6 Field Layout (Controls Arrangement)

Figure 7 FMC Titus Connector during qualification load tests
MUTA: Main Umbilical Termination Assy
IUTA Infield Umbilical Termination Assy
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Figure 8 FMC 2 Gas Lift Connector during interface & misalignment tests

Figure 9 Tree Installation

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Figure 10 Manifolds Loading out from Grinaker

Figure 11 Production Manifold Installation