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Nigeria records engineering feat at Nigerdock

By Hector IGBIKIOWUBO
AN engineering and fabrication feat hitherto the exclusive preserve of Europe, America and Asia have been recorded in Nigeria with the work on the topsides for the Usan floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel at Nigerdock.

Ongoing fabrication at Niger Dock
Ongoing fabrication at Niger Dock

At the weekend, the 2nd of a five stages load-out sequence involving the shipment of a total 7500 tons of fabricated steel was recorded.
At the weekend, while explaining the scope of work to those present at the load-out Mr. Manssour Jarmakani, executive director, Nigerdock Plc disclosed that the first load-out was recorded in April and that it involved the shipment of 981 tons of fabricated steel for the topside integration at the Ulsan yard, operated by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Korea.

The 1st load-out of fabricated steel was for the ‘riser support  type 1 & 4 and this was achieved in record time.
The 2nd load-out which commenced at the weekend involves the shipment of 1524 tons of fabricated steel for the ‘crew boat landing stair’, ’10 number P1 and S1 lay down module’ and the ‘secondary riser support’.

It is expected that the third load-out of the water casing, crane pedestal and collation platform will take place in October, 2009, while the 4th load-out involving shipment of the heli-deck support is expected to take place in January, 2010.

The 5th and final load-out involving shipment of the mooring protection structure as well as all other topsides items is expected to take place in June, 2010.

The executive director disclosed that the contract was proceeding according to schedule considering that the 2nd load out was initially scheduled for October 2009 before it was brought forward by Total to ensure that the FPSO is ready before the end of 2011.

“Nigerdock has achieved over 12,000 Kilometres (km) of welding on this job between January and August 2009 to fast-track the fabrication contract at 0.23 repair rate for defect  which is the best quality welding record globally. We have also recorded about 450,000 man-hours,” he said.

Jamakani said Nigerdock was prepared to undertake full integration of an FPSO, noting that the company requires more jobs to stay in business.

“If Nigeria decides that 100 per cent of FPSO would be constructed in-country, we will be the first company to go out and invest in the acquisition of the equipment and facilities to make sure it a success. One thing we can never do is fail, because if Nigeria fails, everything else collapses, we will start exporting work outside and our children and our work-force will have no jobs.

“We did topsides of Agbami FPSO and other projects we have executed include manifold, scaffold, subsea structures, steel risers and buoys. There is nothing we cannot construct in our yard. We need more jobs to keep technicians trained in various stages of fabrication. Each project that comes up, we want to get more and more involved and we will continue to invest in those works,” he said.

Jamakani disclosed that the staff strength of the Nigerians working in the company has declined from 2,000 to 750 due to low patronage of the yard by oil firms. He gave the assurance that 4,000 Nigerians would be gainfully employed if the company is given the opportunity to execute 100 per cent of FPSO at the yard in-country.

The contract for engineering and fabrication of the Usan FPSO topsides was signed in July, 2008  and awarded by Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (EPNL), a subsidiary of Total Upstream, the operator of the Usan deepwater field located in oil mining lease (OML) 138.

On completion, it is expected that the Usan FPSO will have an installed storage capacity of two million barrels of oil and it will be anchored in 750 metres of water in Usan field, 100 km southeast of Bonny Island offshore Rivers State.

The dimensions of the Usan FPSO is said to be 320 m long and 61 m wide, with a depth of 32 m and will weigh 114,000 tons. It will have a production capacity of 160, 000 barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil and 5 million cubic metres per day of natural gas Proved and probable reserves of the Usan field are anticipated in excess of 500 million barrels of oil. The field development plan comprises 23 producer wells and 19 water and gas injector wells tied back to a FPSO.

Co-venturers in the Usan development include Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited with 20 percent equity and operatorship, Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd (CNL) with 30 percent non operating interest, ExxonMobil’s Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (EEPNL) (Offshore East) Limited with 30 percent, and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Limited 20 percent.


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