The world economy runs on oil. It fuels the growth of both the world’s economy and its population. Experts such as the International Energy Association predict that crude oil will still be meeting two thirds of our energy demand in 2040. This is why investments are always being made in both new and existing infrastructure.
The current low oil price is merely a temporary slow-down for the development of new fields in deeper water. The Middle Eastern region therefore remains one of the world’s major exporters of oil.
Oil pipeline from desert to sea
One such a country is the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Its Habshan–Fujairah oil pipeline, also known as Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (ADCOP), starts at the Habshan onshore field in Abu Dhabi and runs to Fujairah on the Gulf of Oman.The pipeline was ordered by the International Petroleum Investment Company in order to increase the security of supply and reduce oil transportation through the Strait of Hormuz. The design of the pipeline was completed in 2006. China National Petroleum Corporation was awarded the EPC contract for the project. The construction of the pipeline started in 2008 and was completed in 2011. ADCOP became operational in 2012.
There are eight storage tanks, each with an operating capacity of one million barrels and twelve ship-loading pumps. Each loading pump has a capacity of 27,000 barrels per hour to supply the 3 Single Point Mooring (SPM) systems. This allows larger tankers to load offshore and thus reduces transport time and costs to, for example, Europe and the US. Each SPM has a capacity of 80,000 barrels per hour. Van Oord was there to install these SPMs.
‘The project was carried out in an efficient and highly safety conscious manner and completed within the terms agreed upon. Special attention was given to prevention of environmental impact with control systems established.’ Stuart Halliwell Offshore Project Manager Chinese Petroleum Engineering & Construction Company
The Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline, or ADCOP caught on film
Interface challenged ingenuity
Project Manager at Van Oord, Hans Koppelaar takes us back to the execution of the project: ‘The EPC contract involved the installation of three pipelines with a combined total length of 13 kilometres, and the installation and connection of those pipelines to three single point mooring systems. I personally experienced the onshore and offshore interface as the main challenges of this project. The pipelines were assembled onshore; 12-metre-long pipeline sections were joined to form 300-metre-long string yards before being pulled into the sea.
Once the pipelines and Pipeline End Manifolds (PLEMs) were in position, a diving team connected the hoses between the PLEMs and the SPMs. Due to accurate soil surveys of the project site, we were well aware of the soil conditions there. We developed a special device to excavate hard soils along the pipeline route. To create a stable and even seabed for the PLEMs, 70,000 tonnes of rock were installed. ADCOP was a great showcase of our contribution to the oil industry and the world’s economy.’
Source: Van Oord