For the TOTAL E&P Angola (TEPA) PAZFLOR field development, the decision was taken at the tender stage to propose an innovative diverless Bend Stiffener Fixation system (BSF) to connect the flexible risers to the FPSO. Avoiding diving intervention was driven primarily in order to minimize weather downtime during this critical offshore installation phase.

Technip decided to develop its own system to retain full control of the design process and ensure it fulfilled all the installation constraint requirements. The patented system consists of a 3 part clamp activated by a hydraulic motor controlled from topside. An innovative disconnection device is used to release the riser pulling head once the bend stiffener is clamped to the I-tube. The development of the BSF was handled by an integrated team as a “project within the project”. From the start a robust design gate review process was applied to rapidly freeze the design of the system main components and enable the initial order placement of the long lead items. This was critical to ensure on time delivery to the FPSO Contractor. Extensive full scale testing was performed to ensure good reliability of all the system components. This testing enabled further optimization of parts of the system, particularly the items mounted on the risers to provide the maximum operability. Finally the involvement of the installation team from the onset ensured that robust installation procedures and operations were developed. The hook-up operations for the 21 risers was conducted safely with no weather downtime and with a riser connection cycle faster than planned.

This proves that implementation of innovative design solutions can be successfully managed from initial concept to final installation within a project environment, ultimately enabling faster hand over for first oil.

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