ONGC, Swiber execute India's first floatover oil and gas platform

State-run explorer ONGC Wednesday said it has achieved India's first floatover installation for offshore oil and gas field development, saving millions of dollars.

The operation for developing ONGC's B-193 field in the Mumbai offshore involved the floatover installation of a 13,000 tonne process platform and an 8,000 tonne living quarters platform on the sea.

With topside weights in exploration equipment exceeding floating crane lifting capacities, floatover installation has emerged as a reliable and cost-effective alternative.

The operation marks a breakthrough for both ONGC and Swiber, a Singapore-based engineering and logistics firm, for the offshore oil and gas industry that executed the B-193 field project."This is a noteworthy milestone for offshore exploration and development, as it is the first time that floatover installation methods have been used in India," ONGC chairman Sudhir Vasudeva said here.

"Swiber not only offered a solid value proposition, with savings of millions of dollars using the innovative float over method, it also delivered complex engineering solutions here," he said.Outlining the breakthrough implications of the project, Vasudeva said: "This experience that brought in cost and time saving for ONGC and hence the nation prompts me to consider revisiting technology standards for the industry. It's time the upstream sector gets together to fix new technology norms that benefit the nation."

Executed at a cost of Rs.80 billion, the floatover operation is estimated to provide a potential saving of between Rs.75-100 million over the conventional technology.

The ONGC-Swiber achievement comes within days after India's biggest oil producer set a world record for the deepest well drilled by an offshore rig.

ONGC has contracted engineering major Larsen Toubro to build and install three unmanned wellhead platforms for the Heera and South Heera fields off western India. 

They will be connected to the Heera processing complex by subsea cables for remote operation. Work is due to be completed by April 2014.

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