Over recent years, the EPCs and equipment manufacturers willing to maintain their leading position in the complex Oil & Gas market have had to shift their focus on the market’s most challenging projects such as the ones related to the offshore and upstream segments.
The Abu Dhabi offshore platform, Umm Lulu.
This new focus has turned flexibility and innovation into key factors for the success of such players in developing solutions responding to the ever-increasingly demanding clients’ requests.
The recent series of orders awarded to Termomeccanica Pompe, involving a total of 73 pumps for various offshore installations in the U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates), exemplifies particularly well how an equipment manufacturer offering customised engineered solutions, who counts adaptability and R&D amongst its core values, can succeed in re-gaining a leading position in the Oil & Gas market.
The orders in question, related to the exploitation of the Abu Dhabi offshore fields of Umm Lulu, Umm Shaif and Satah Al Razboot, cover most of the range of applications of Termomeccanica pumps in the oil & gas market: water injection, sea water lift as well as the typical OH2 and VS4 process pumps solutions for hydrocarbons processing installations.
The Umm Shaif site off of Abu Dhabi.
Water Injection Pumps
The first order concerns the supply of four water injection pumps to be installed in the Umm Lulu phase II super-complex. Such facility, to be commissioned in 2018, has been designed to optimise the exploitation of the field.
The EPC contractor, NTC, a joint venture between Technip Abu Dhabi and NPCC, awarded the order to TMP.
The pumps are API 610 BB5 multistage pumps made of super duplex A890 gr.5A. Each pump will be equipped with a double seal, an 11/62 plan system and an API 614 lubrication system and will be driven by a 3050 kW motor. An API 671 coupling will be fitted onto the skid, which will be installed on a 3-point base plate with gimbal-type ball joints. An API 661 air-oil heat exchanger will also be installed outside the skid.
One of the main features of these pumps, however, is the back-to-back impellers solution. This configuration combines the advantage of the balanced hydraulic thrusts derived from the back-to-back impellers with the positively reduced thicknesses of the castings of the BB5 barrel solution in comparison to the “split case” solution. The aspect related to the reduced thicknesses of the castings was particularly critical given that the type of pumped water and its pressure required the use of super duplex stainless steel for the pressure components.
In fact, Termomeccanica had to reconcile the mechanical features of the pressure components, that pushed towards increasing thicknesses, with the metallurgic difficulties of super duplex production that grow in parallel to the increase of the material thicknesses.
In this context, TMP carried out relevant teamwork involving not only the foundry and the pattern maker but also Technip’s material engineering experts in order to optimise the design of the barrel and its melting process and reduce material thickness to the minimum.
As it is usual for such complex projects, the supply includes a complete string test for each pump, test to be performed at the supplier’s facilities, i.e. in Termomeccanica Pompe’s case, at its La Spezia headquarters test centre. The delivery of the four pumps is planned for July 2015.
Seawater lift pumps
The second order is for the supply of four API 610 VS1-type vertical sea water lift pumps for the Umm Shaif super-complex (figure 2). This order is actually part of the AGFA project (Additional Gas Supply & Flexibility Assurance) wanted by the Abu Dhabi Government to meet Adnoc’s (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) gas need seasonal peaks, optimising the production of the Umm Shaif complex. In this case too, the order was awarded to TMP by NTC.
The supply consists of two vertical pumps, with 3250 m3/h flow rate, 94 m head and 1160 kW and two pumps with 1320 m3/h flow rate, 68 m head and 350 kW.
The material used for the 4 pumps is super duplex A890 gr.5A and all pumps shall be fitted with mechanical seals with API 682 13/62 system plan and API 671 flexible coupling.
The main feature of these pumps is their size: 2 pumps will be over 28 m long, motor included, while the other 2 will be 24 m long. The pumps will weigh 36,000 and19,000 kg respectively.
The development of the project has been characterised by the unusual length of the pumps, which has required a specific involvement of TMP’s R&D team in the design the pump. In fact, particular attention has been given to the accuracy of the modal analysis (so as to guarantee the absence of any vibration) and, consequently, to the modelling of both the pump and the interface between the pumps and the installation deck.
After a first complete assembly, the pumps will be tested in TMP’s La Spezia test centre at reduced length; they will then be completely re-assembled to finish the various final adjustments before being dismantled and divided into vertical modules for shipment.
Assembly on the platform will take place by inserting the various modules between the decks and by lowering them one at a time into the caisson.
The delivery of the four pumps is planned for June 2015.
The pumps will be installed as part of a series of systems built on two artificial islands.
A third order concerns forty-eight vertical pumps for the development program of the Satah Al Razboot site. The order was awarded to TMP by Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HDEC) who won the tender for the EPC activities for package 4 of the Satah Al Razboot Full Field development.
The pumps shall be installed as part of a series of systems built on 2 artificial islands (Sarb-North and Sarb-South) created specifically for the development of this field, as well as on Zirku Island that has been housing for years the treatment of the hydrocarbons from other fields. The islands lie at about 120 km from the Abu Dhabi coast.
TMP’s supply consists of forty-eight VS4-type vertical pumps designed in compliance with the API610 standards. In spite of the type of pump, usually marked by high standardisation, this project has been characterised by the high design specificity of the individual pumps. Indeed, the end user’s request to reduce as much as possible the depth of the tanks led to potentially critical use conditions because of the proximity between NPSH A (Net Positive Suction Head) and NPSH R. The development of the pumps had therefore to take into careful consideration these conditions of use to prevent cavitation and guarantee the necessary machine reliability.
The delivery of the forty-eight pumps is planned to be completed by mid-2015.
Over the latest years, the leading players of the oil & gas market have been driven by the search for projects characterised by higher value-added, i.e. by higher complexity such as offshore and upstream projects in general. Termomeccanica Pompe has followed this market trend, implementing a specific investment program (involving engineering, R&D, manufacturing and testing facilities) geared towards serving the high value added oil & gas market segment. Such strategy has borne fruit and allowed the company to confirm its prominent role in this demanding market.