Installation: Only Part of the Picture

Until relatively recently (say the last 5 years) the transport and installation aspects of a SURF contract represented the majority of the scope of work. This gave rise to contractors (Subsea 7, Technip, Saipem, Allseas, EMAS, Ocean Installer etc) being known as “Installation Contractors”.

Oil and Gas operators, and particularly  Statoil in Norway have moved towards the EPCI contracting model, thus placing the responsibility on offshore contractors to deliver a complete service including: engineering, project management, supply chain management, contract management and financial control.   This has required a fundamental shift in the way offshore contractors are organised and how they handle project risk.  The term “Installation Contractor” is therefore becoming out-dated and inaccurate in describing the top-tier offshore contractors that are embracing this change.

A Typical EPCI Scope of Work

The engineering scope of work for EPCI projects includes elements of both design and construction engineering as well as the installation engineering required to enable installation from pipelay and subsea construction vessels.

A typical scope of work can be described as follows:

ScopePackageTasks
EngineeringSystem design EngineeringOptimisation of global system performance (routing, flow assurance, seabed intervention)
Detailed design EngineeringDetailed design of system components (pipelines, structures and components)
Interface EngineeringEngineering of components that interface with other contractors equipment
TransportationReceipt and transportation of Company Provided Items (CPI)Long lead-time items and items procured from other service companies
ProcurementLine-pipe and factory coatingMetal plate fabricated into pipe joints coated and prepared for pipeline fabrication
Pipeline fabrication including field-joint coatingWelding of line-pipe into a contiguous pipeline for installation from a pipe-lay vessel
Structure fabricationFabrication of structures and components to be installed as part of the production system
OperationsMarine OperationsInstallation of flexible risers and tie-in of pipelines to subsea infrastructure or host platforms
Pipeline InstallationLaying of pipeline along a pre-engineered and prepared route
Pre-commissioningTesting and preparing the completed production system for operation

Communication and Co-ordination

It should be apparent from the previous table that Installation is the final step in a lengthy process.  Effective execution with acceptable control of safety, quality and cost is dependent on communication and therefore an integrated organisation.  Engineering underpins the procurement process and defines the optimal solution.  Rigorous supply chain management is required to ensure items are delivered on time, to the right quality standards for efficient installation.