Shell BC10 Conductor Pre Installation

Major installation works carried out from an anchor handler save operator valuable rig time.

Approximately one month of deepwater drilling rig time was saved by Shell Brazil E&P during early development work in Block BC10, in the Campos Basin (Parque das Conchas development). This was the result of an innovative template and conductor installation exercise, which involved a number of industry firsts, performed by Acteon company InterMoor. Working in up to 1950 m of water from the back deck of a class DP2 anchor-handling vessel (AHV) with an attendant cargo barge, InterMoor successfully installed;

  • two artificial lift module (ALM) templates, one four-slot weighing 55 tonnes and a second two-slot weighing 35 tonnes
  • 6 foundation conductors for the two templates – each 48” diameter and 60 m long
  • 11 further individual well conductors, each 36 diameter and 50 m long.

The templates were lowered to the seabed using InterMoor’s compensated anchor-handler installation method (CASIM). All the conductors were driven to the required penetration and within the predetermined tolerances using a MENCK MHU 270-T underwater hammer with its own girdle-type electrohydraulic powerpack. One of the key challenges was driving the ALM conductors to a defined stick-up height above the template in order to provide the required support for the subsequently installed 200-tonne gas lift manifold. This was achieved with no difficulty. All the work was completed in one trip to the field with no LTI or harm to any of the personnel involved.

The industry firsts were;

  • transportation of the templates in the vertical, followed by insertion in the vertical then horizontal lowering from an AHV
  • deepwater hammer and spread deployed from an AHV
  • use of an underwater hammer at a depth in excess of 1900 m – an industry record.

Work of this nature in the past would undoubtedly have required a mobile drilling rig or construction vessel. However, even using either of these, it is not obvious how the 48” conductors, especially, would have been installed as accurately as was the case here. The conductor installation was taken off the project critical path and about a month of drilling rig time saved: 1—2 days per well conductor and 2—3 days per ALM conductor. Further, by pre-installing the templates and conductors, Shell knew the exact location of the wells before the rig arrived so that detailed rigid jumper and flowline work could also be performed in advance.

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