Emerson completes commissioning of oil vessel project for BP Angola

Aug. 10, 2007
PlantWeb digital architecture helps BP Angola speed startup and minimize production cost.

Austin, Texas -- Emerson Process Management has completed the commissioning phase of a project with BP Angola for the automation of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO). The vessel, which will develop the Greater Plutonio deep water offshore oil fields off Angola, left the Hyundai shipyard in Ulsan, Korea, in November 2006, at the start of its 10,700 nautical mile journey.

Emerson was awarded the initial order for this project in 2003, and work started immediately on the long-lead activities, including front-end engineering design. This work scope included interface management planning, general project execution planning and definition of engineering standards to be adopted, including Foundation fieldbus standards.

In April 2004, there followed a further order for the integrated control and safety system (ICSS) work scope for the FPSO topsides. Emerson provided project management and engineering services to design, implement, test and deliver the ICSS. The order also made provision for commissioning support on the vessel in Korea for the duration of 2006, commissioning and start-up support on the vessel in Angola, and long-term support services of the ICSS through to the year 2016.

In May 2004, Emerson was awarded a contract by Hyundai for the provision of a MACS (marine automation control system) system for the hull, with a similar work scope to the topsides.

Further orders have followed, and the additional systems supplied by Emerson include PIMS (process information management system) functionality and an operator training system (OTS) based on DeltaV Simulate, which provides full simulation of the ICSS.

Emerson products used in the project include Rosemount pressure and flow transmitters, Fisher valves with FIELDVUE Digital Valve Controllers (DVC), and a DeltaV digital automation system. The DeltaV system supplied was required to be marine-certified to meet Bureau Veritas requirements. This was the first time that the DeltaV system had been certified to BV standards for such an application.

Emerson believes that this installation is the first major offshore project to be based on the Foundation fieldbus communications protocol. Emerson is a leading company in the development of this technology, which provides many benefits including reduced installation costs and faster configuration. By using FOUNDATION fieldbus and Emerson's PlantWeb® digital architecture, operational costs are also minimized, providing BP Angola with a commercial advantage by using the best available technology to bring oil out at the lowest cost.

A key service provided by Emerson was the synchronization and management of the consistency between the topsides and hull systems. In the early stages of the topsides commissioning, the topsides and hull systems were merged into a single integrated control and safety system for the entire vessel.

During commissioning, Emerson provided the expertise necessary to troubleshoot the hardware and software supplied and, as most of the topsides process equipment and control systems were built in modules, there were several months when these modules were located on the quay side waiting to be lifted and installed on the deck of the FPSO. BP identified that significant testing could be completed on the quay prior to full integration, and Emerson provided temporary workstation hardware and software licences to enable parts of the system to be separately energized. This approach saved several months additional commissioning time.

The current contract makes provision for Emerson to provide long-term support for the Block 18 FPSO through to 2016. This includes the provision of hardware and services, spares services and engineering support in order to maintain a high level of performance. BP is currently looking at remote access options, and it is likely they will employ the DeltaV Remote Client product to allow operations staff based in the U.K.to monitor the Block 18 asset.

Kellogg Brown & Root, based in Leatherhead, U.K., was responsible for the engineering and procurement for the contract, and in a recent review meeting between BP, Emerson and KBR, it was recorded that, "Overall, the project was considered to be a great success with very good working practices being quickly established. As a team, we were able to manage a number of changes while maintaining all on-site delivery dates."