Back in 2019, Carigali Hess needed to perform a major overhaul of the flare system at the Central Processing Platform at Cakerawala field in Malaysia.
Such projects require impeccable levels of safety and efficiency, as production must be shut down for the flare system to be renovated – in this case, for just ten days.
Carigali Hess’ operator started by evaluating two main methods for this major overhaul. The first option was to replace the components using a large crane vessel, which would be stationed alongside the platform.
The alternative - which was engineered by Conbit’s experts - was to use temporary lifting equipment installed at the top of the platform. After careful evaluation of these two methods, the operator selected Conbit’s method because it was safer and more effective.
Preparation for this type of project will typically take several months to one year, due to the level of technical complexity involved. Long engineering hours, site visits and numerous meetings are needed to guarantee safety in the method chosen – and this project was no exception.
Conbit’s scope of work included the replacement of a complete flare tip access platform, a permeate flare tip, two HP flare tips, two headers of the HP flare tips, and a manifold. The team’s close consultation with the operator of the platform and round-the-clock support efforts helped to overcome the technical complexity of the project within a short period of time.
The solution developed by Conbit’s team involved a unique base frame, connected to the side of the flare tower. The lift gantry would rest on the flare tower structure itself, allowing all components to be lifted between its legs.
This lifting system would be operated by winches at deck level, reducing work performed at height. Items that were replaced could then be lifted directly to and from a waiting supply vessel, providing a controlled lift procedure.
Once the preparation phase was over, it was finally time to travel to site. An offshore crew of 20-30 colleagues, each with different skillsets, installed the lifting system.
This system had already been load tested before leaving Conbit’s headquarters but was tested once again before it was used in a live situation. The safe working load of the system was an impressive 10t – well in excess of the heaviest planned item.
The old flare tips, header, and rigging lines were lifted from the top of the flare tower directly to a supply vessel. The largest of these was the flare tip access platform itself, which weighed more than 7t. Following the installation of a new manifold, header, and flare tips, the project concluded successfully.
In all, Conbit’s team replaced components with a total weight exceeding 20t, before demobilising from the platform. The full scope was completed successfully within a ten-day shutdown period, ensuring no unplanned interruption to production.
Working in offshore environments requires a specialised set of skills and detailed preparation to ensure both smooth and effective operations. Conbit is one of the few companies to have a perfect track record for offshore projects such as these.
The tight deadlines for this project, in combination with its technical complexity made it a one-of-a-kind operation. With a tailor-made solution provided to Carigali Hess by Conbit, the project was delivered successfully in a safer and more effective way than was originally planned – showcasing the use of temporary lifting systems as an effective and safe alternative to large crane vessels.
The Cakerawala Gas Field is located offshore in the lower region of the Gulf of Thailand, approximately 150km northeast of Kota Bharu, Malaysia and 260km east of Songkhla, Thailand. It provides both countries with access to an independent energy source and provides a cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels.-- TradeArabia News Service