A massive project, with huge challenges
The CNOOC Deep Sea No 1 project in China is a project that we were particularly proud of, due to the sheer size of the project as well as the challenges that we managed to overcome.
The CNOOC Deep Sea No 1 prides itself as the world’s first 10,000 ton semi-submersible oil storage platform. This massive energy station will be used to develop the gas field that was newly discovered in August 2014 in the Lingshui area just southeast of South China’s Hainan Island, with a maximum depth up to 1500 meters. This is a significant find, with it being the first major oil and gas discovery made from China’s self-operated deep-water exploration. The gas field that Deep Sea No 1 services is so large that it can provide 3 billion cubic meters of gas, which meets ¼ of gas demand in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, by delivering clean energy from the deep sea through the underwater pipeline around Hainan Island. This whole project truly is a symbol of how China has stepped onto a new stage for deep-water oil and gas field development ability.
Unique technology and features
The construction of CNOOC deep sea No 1 took place in the Shandong province and boasts many unique technology and features. The Deep Sea No 1 is massive, with its 33,000-ton body being 91.5m long, 91.5 m wide, and 59m high – as high as a 40-story building, with its deck spanning the area of 2 football fields. Compared with traditional type semi-submersible platform modules, the truss structure has outstanding advantages such as light weight and less steel consumption, but it has difficulties such as complex force calculations, high fatigue performance requirements, weight control and precision control challenges, etc. With a bottom buoyancy tank and four pillars, the maximum displacement of the main body is 110,000 tons, making it capable of resisting extremely bad offshore weather.
Deep Sea No 1 exploration is scheduled to start to start this year in 2021, which coincides with the 100-year anniversary of China’s communist party. Hence, we are honoured to be given the opportunity to have our fire protection jackets be part of this historic event.
Overcoming the disruption of Covid
This project did not come without its difficulties. When we received the order for this project, it was when Covid had just become a full-blown pandemic on a global scale. With this, air travel both in and out of the country was banned. Typically for such projects, we would send a team of engineers on site with the purpose of gathering data of the item that needed to be protected. This data includes the dimensions of the item, as well as any potential obstructions that need to be accounted for. Without this data, the fire protection jackets designed may not fit properly onto the item, causing inadequate protection.
Hence with these difficult times, we turned to technology to get the data that we needed to get physically. We invested in 2 new softwares to get accurate dimensions and to get a rough sense of the site situation, without physically being on site. The first software converts pdf files into actual 3D models, which will hence allow us to get the exact dimensions of whichever part needs fire jacket protection. With the accurate dimensions drawn out, we can accurately fabricate fitting fire jackets tailored to each unique item design. With the second software, we can see the piping layout across the whole deck, which will give us clues as to whether there are any obstructions coming from any other installations on the site itself. This will allow us to modify our jackets so that they can easily be installed, even with some obstructions encountered. With this information provided, we were able to quickly and accurately craft out over 50 well-fitting jackets to meet our clients’ protection needs.