Fast-track response keeps client plans on course.
Short-lead-time projects are not unusual in subsea services, but, when products or services are delivered under time pressure, it is crucial to follow an effective quality system and to maintain good working relationships with key suppliers. The team at Subsea Riser Products (SRP) is accustomed to meeting tough deadlines and recently applied its expertise in quality and collaboration to a fasttrack riser project.
Claxton Engineering came to SRP when one of its clients needed to source a 6250-psi, 16-in. riser for a North Sea well abandonment project (see related Claxton article page 10). The request was for SRP to supply flanged riser joints to a tight timetable, as Johnny Shield, managing director, SRP, explains. “For Claxton to meet its construction and delivery deadline, we had to deliver our components in October. We received the go-ahead in April, so the total production time was about six months. For a project of this sort, we normally look to deliver in 12 to 18 months.”
SRP and Claxton have a strong track record of collaborating, which was advantageous in working towards the project deadline. The urgent need for the joints was prompted by Claxton’s client being unable to find a suitable riser available to rent; the only available system used connectors with rubber seals that were not considered to offer sufficient integrity. The technical solution SRP proposed used an industrystandard NORSOK compact flange enhanced to enable rapid deployment of the joints into a riser string and with design verification of its pressure and bending capacity for the dynamic environment.
To deliver the joints to the required standard in the available time, SRP worked closely with its suppliers. Shield says, “As a world leader in riser flange design and supply, SRP has close and well-established business relationships with several leading forges dating back to 2005. This is important to customers, because it means we have access to proven manufacturing routes and international forge masters, mills and machinists in addition to our extensive in-house experience and rigorous quality processes. This helps to ensure that our hardware always meets clients’ quality requirements and enables them to deliver their project scope. Given the time constraints on this particular project, such arrangements are absolutely vital.”
How did these arrangements help on this project? Shield explains, “Working with several forges enables us to respond quickly to large, fast-track orders by sharing the workload among suppliers. We can do this safe in the knowledge that each forge will deliver to the specifications and quality that the job requires. We were also able to convey this confidence to the client. By working with Claxton, we could cover all the technical and schedule queries relating to the manufacturing process as they arose.”
Building on the success of its work for Claxton, SRP has won a $15.9-million contract for the delivery of 18¾-in. drilling riser joints for the Total Moho Nord drilling riser project. This project, about 75 km off the coast of Pointe Noire in the Republic of the Congo in water depths ranging between 650 and 1100 m, is the first deepwater offshore project for the country. The contract is for the delivery of approximately 40 joints over two years to 2015.
The task is similar in scope to the work SRP conducted for Claxton, although the riser system is for a deepwater tension leg platform. Shields says, “The Moho Nord project will be SRP’s first major foray into deepwater engineering and one that I believe will helps us to access new and larger markets.”