When, in 2011, the partners (SapuraKencana & Petrofac Energy) of the Berantai project in Block PM309, in the Malaysian South China Sea, selected a medium sized, spread moored vessel for their FPSO facility, the project seemed to be a very straight forward exercise.
The vessel would be installed with a 16” floating hose-string running from an export balcony on the stern to tandem moored export tankers.
Only when the mooring system and more importantly the met-ocean data were studied in more detail, it was identified that for part of the year the water current and wind prevailed in one direction, but for the remainder of the year they turned 180 degrees. Issues with the floating export hose-string was quickly identified under such a change of conditions.
The answer was to install a second export balcony at the bow of the FPSO so as to enable the hose to be installed in either direction avoiding it fouling the vessel as the conditions changed. As this recognised as not a particularly easy operation to perform, MIB was employed to provide Quick Connect/Disconnect Couplers (complete with dual isolation valves) at each hose export manifold interface.
QCDCs of this type were not new to FPSO/FSO installations as numerous systems, from 6” to 24” diameter, had been supplied previously to act primarily as ‘emergency disconnect’ devices in case of unforeseen situations involving the tandem moored export vessels or the FPSO or FSO themselves.
But for Berantai the need for QCDCs was twofold – in addition to the ‘emergency’ scenario, they offered the crew a very simple, quick and safe way to relocate the hose-strings on a regular basis from stern to bow and vice-versa.
Under such circumstances the complete string would be isolated and lowered into the sea. It would then be towed to the opposite end of the FPSO, lifting and coupled up to the balcony outlet piping.
Close up view of the fore offloading export balcony.