Kauther depletion compression project
In July 2009, Petrofac was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Kauther gas field depletion compression (KDC) project in north Oman. The contract was awarded on behalf of the Government of Oman by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) which has been developing the Sultanate’s gas fields on behalf of the Government since 1978. This project followed the successful commissioning and initial operations of the first Kauther gas plant in 2007, which we built on an EPC basis on behalf of PDO.
The original Kauther gas plant was designed to process 20 million standard cubic metres per day of gas (c. 706 million standard cubic feet per day). Comprising a single gas conditioning and dehydration train, the plant exports gas into the Government gas grid and the unstabilised condensate and water are exported as a mixed stream to a slugcatcher and degassing vessels within the existing Saih Rawl facility.
As the Kauther field depletes, the depletion compression facilities will ensure longer term sustainability of the field. These new facilities comprise; two depletion compression trains, an inlet separation system, a condensate handling system, new control system, upgraded utilities and a complete electrical infrastructure to handle the compressors’ variable frequency drives, with the requisite filters to address the generated harmonics.
The scope also involved a combination of greenfield and brownfield activities encompassing significant tie-ins and modification alongside the existing facilities.
The first Kauther gas plant project provided a unique opportunity for Petrofac to harness expertise from its operations and maintenance and training teams as part of the integrated execution approach and transition this knowledge into the second depletion compression project. We were also able to bring together many of the engineering resources that had worked on either the initial gas plant project or the depletion compression FEED. The retained knowledge was beneficial to our overall technical delivery as well as strengthening our relationship with PDO.
Although the project may not be classed as a mega project in terms of plant capacity and the specifics of the process, the project had some of the largest and most complex equipment and material supplied by Petrofac. The depletion compressors had 18MW variable speed drives. The substation building is almost the size of a football pitch and the piping systems are significant in large bore alloys (up to 48") and high wall thickness (up to 40 mm).
Health, Safety, Security and Environmental (HSSE)
Being a remote location, it was even more critical that good HSSE practices were embedded in the mindset of all the teams involved. As with all Petrofac’s projects, the teams were fully empowered from a HSSE perspective which fostered a climate of responsible and accountable behaviour through regular review, appraisal, assessment and competency training. The latter element was particularly relevant when applying our standards and expectations to the many third parties who worked alongside us at Kauther.
Additionally, given the remoteness of the site and proximity to a local village, specific programmes were also undertaken relating to driver and passenger safety.
Whilst we are an international business with global operations, our focus consistently remains on local delivery and throughout both Kauther projects we focused on maximising the use of local resources at all stages of procurement and construction. Furthermore we were also able to provide many local employment opportunities to the immediate and surrounding villages.
Our time on the Kauther projects in Oman has been a truly enriching experience for our teams who have come to value and embrace the Omani culture. As we work to conclude our commissioning activities and presence at Kauther, it is our hope that we continue to have a strong presence in this market for the long term.
Elie Lahoud, Project Director