Over a decade ago, Amarinth supplied ten super-duplex API 610 VS4 pumps with atmospheric pressure single lip seals to ADNOC for closed drains systems. Recently, ADNOC was upgrading its giant Bab onshore field, located 160 km southwest of Abu Dhabi city and one of its largest onshore producing assets, and was investigating whether it could redeploy the original API 610 VS4 pumps. However, it found there was higher concentrations of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in the oil at the new location than when the original pumps were ordered.
Plan 71 seals required
Archirodon, the EPC awarded to build the facilities and infrastructure required to sustain the long-term crude oil
production capacity of the field at 485,000 bpd, therefore approached Amarinth to assess whether new pumps would be required or the existing pumps could be updated and integrated into the oil train.
To contain dangerous H2S gas requires a different seal support arrangement than the pumps had been supplied with. Amarinth reviewed the original design and proposed that the seal support systems be changed to Plan 71 nitrogen seals, which would be suitable for the higher concentrations of H2S, and that the pumps be fully refurbished and certified for use in the upgraded facility.
It was agreed that the upgrade and refurbishment would be completed in 27 weeks from purchase order to commissioning as a longer shutdown would mean ADNOC losing £1M per day in new production capacity. It also had to be completed during the global Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
A three-way cooperation was formed between Amarinth, Archirodon and ADNOC to tackle this fast-track
logistical challenge, overseen by Amarinth’s Head of Technical Engineering.
Amarinth first organised with Archirodon and ADNOC for the pumps to be collected from around the large Bab site and then crated and transported to its local engineering and service centre in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Once the pumps were at its service centre, Amarinth undertook a strip and report for each of the ten pumps
detailing what could be reconditioned (such as motors and shafts) and what needed replacing.
The company then organised the acquisition and shipping from the United Kingdom of all necessary components, including the new Plan 71 seal support systems, couplings, pipework, and instrumentation panels, for the refurbishment and update of the pumps to be completed in Abu Dhabi.
The upgraded pumps were then fully tested and their performance revalidated along with updated documentation for the new as-built status.
Finally, full witness testing of the upgraded pumps was carried out at the Abu Dhabi facility before the pumps were returned to site with a new 18-month warranty.
Amarinth engineers accompanied the pumps to the Bab facility and worked alongside Archirodon to oversee the installation, commissioning, and factory acceptance tests of the upgraded pumps into the new oil train.
Meeting the deadline
Despite the engineering and logistical challenges, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, Amarinth was able to have the upgraded pumps commissioned within the deadline enabling Archirodon and ADNOC to keep the Bab upgrade project on-track.
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