27 March 2008

Nigeria: Willbros Completes 421-Mile Gas Pipeline System

Willbros West Africa Inc, an Ascot offshore services company, has completed a 421-mile offshore pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana.

The pipeline, which stretches from the Lagos Beach Compressor Station (LBCS) near Badagry, Lagos, to Takoradi in Ghana, was handled by BJ Process and Pipeline Services (BJ PPS) on behalf of Willbros West Africa.

BJ PPS's announcement of its completion of the pipeline pre-commissioning services for the final segments of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) system means that one of the largest pipeline networks in the region has been realised.

The WAGP system, which measures 678 kilometres (about 421 miles) in length, is expected to gather natural gas from fields in the Escravos region of the Niger Delta, for delivery to customers in three West African countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin.

The pipeline system, which also measures 20 inches in diameter, extending some 568 kilometres through water depths to 71 metres, comprises the existing Escravos-Lagos pipeline, a new onshore pipeline in Nigeria, and a new offshore pipeline together with a recently built compressor station.

BJ PPS was selected to prepare the new pipelines for commissioning and start-up, with BJ coordinating the delivery of all primary equipment to commence operations in just two weeks, based on the project's narrow time-frame.

The group undertook a wide range of preparatory and pre-commissioning work, displacing more than 100,000 tonnes of seawater and other services, including pipeline flooding, hydrostatic pressure testing and filling with nitrogen to make inert.

The scope of the WAGP system required BJ PPS to plan and manage several different phases, including operating the air equipment spread continuously for several weeks.

General manager of BJ PPS, Lindsay Link, explained, "In addition to operations and management personnel, BJ PPS maintenance personnel were always on site to ensure that the operation progressed smoothly.

"The overall success can be attributed to the combined expertise and commitment of everyone involved. We are extremely pleased with the results, and look forward to working for Willbros West Africa in the future."

WAPCo, the owner and operator of the pipeline transmission system, is a consortium consisting of partners Chevron, Shell, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ghana's Volta River Authority (VRA). Societe Beninoise de Gaz (SoBeGaz), and Societe Togolaise de Gaz (SoToGaz).

BJ PPS managed the WAGP operation from its operations base in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with support from its base in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The project commenced in September, and was completed in December 2007.

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