Where it all began ? On leaving school in 1977, I worked in an oil rig construction yard in NW Scotland, as welders mate on the Ninian Central platform construction. This gave me an interest and desire to pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering and also in the Oil Industry. Perhaps more importantly, I saved enough money to pay for my degree course. The rest, as they say, is history !
On graduating from college I went to work in the North Sea, both offshore and onshore, with frequent trips to the Middle East, Europe and West Africa throughout the 1980's. Working mainly with ROV systems on pipeline construction and inspection, cable and umbilical installations, drill rig support and diver support operations.
This included many return visits to the mighty Ninian Central.
In the early 90’s I moved on from the ROV industry to spend several years working on topside platform machinery installation, commissioning and maintenance. This included vibration monitoring and trouble shooting on gas turbine engines, gas compressors, export pumps, water injection systems and a variety of other rotating equipment.
In the late 90’s I was able to combine my knowledge of subsea and topsides in the role of subsea operations engineer on a new generation of platform and subsea field design.
The Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP) consisted of a main reservoir (Machar), where the production platform was located, with 8 subsea fields tied-back to the main platform.
The ETAP development was also the proving ground for several new technologies, including the first subsea HPHT tieback, subsea sampling, subsea pig launcher, subsea in-line turbine booster pump, subsea chemical injection distribution panels and subsea flow meters.
The Tahiti field was the first of the big deepwater HP/HT development in the GoM to go completely with subsea wells. Due to the topography of the seabed the Tahiti Spar was located away from the two main drill centers which were then completed as subsea tie-backs through a network of flowlines and umbilicals. The Tahiti Phase 2 project added additional production wells and water injection facilities to maintain production capacity. Spectra are now working for Chevron on the Tahiti Phase 3 project.
Other Projects :
Chevron Malange - subsea systems FEED and execution of multi-well subsea tieback to TL platform in Angola.
Superior Energy Services - design and construction of subsea oil containment and recovery equipment for Arctic deployment.
Chevron Blind Faith - conceptual design and FEED study for a subsea gas lift injection system.
BP Macondo - installation of seabed equipment and flexible jumpers for oil containment and well kill operations.
BP Galapagos - installation of umbilicals for a subsea tie back to the NaKika platform, including two Noble Energy fields.
Marathon Ozona - coordinating topside tie-ins for the Ozona single well tie-back to the Shell Auger platform.
Walter O&G MC161 - co-ordinating topside tie-ins for a single well tie-back to the BP Pompano platform.
Shell - Garn West and Rogn South failure investigations and remedial work quality surveillance.
Woodside - Mutineer / Exeter subsea booster pumping design verification.
BP GoM - Developing technology qualification procedures for extreme deepwater / HPHT equipment.
Various - Presenting Subsea Production Awareness training courses for operators project personnel.
Chevron - Writing a global procedure for “Subsea Production Systems Integration Testing”.
Statoil - Testing and selection of SSSV’s for use on Ormen Lange.
Kizomba A and Xikomba were the first of the big West Africa deepwater field developments. They combined dry tree production from a semi-submersible with subsea wet tree production and water injection based on the adjacent FPSO. The projects could also be considered as the first of the big onshore SIT tests, where the whole drill centre was built up onshore in order to prove constructability and installation procedures prior to the offshore campaign.
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