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Practical Experience in Rig Move and Workover Operations in an Amphibious Terrain: A Case Study of Escravos Beach Rig Move and Workover Operations

Abstract

The exploration and production of oil and gas mostly occurs in remote locations, so as to minimize human exposure and Health Security Safety and Environment (HSSE) risks. Shell Companies in Nigeria is not any different having operated for over 50 years in Nigeria with the largest footprint of all the international oil and gas companies operating in the country spanning over land, swamp, shallow waters and offshore terrains. Shell Petroleum Development Company, the operator of a joint venture (the SPDC JV) between the government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – NNPC (55% share), Shell (30%), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10%) and the ENI subsidiary Agip Oil Company Limited (5%) focuses mostly on onshore and shallow water oil and gas production in the Niger Delta with about 60+ producing oil and gas fields and a network of approximately 5,000 kilometers of oil and gas pipelines and flow lines spread across the Niger Delta. Escravos Beach is over 60km from the closest major city, Warri, a major oil and gas zone in the Niger Delta. It is bounded by the Escravos River to the East, Chevron canal to the North and the Atlantic Ocean to the South and is covered with predominantly mangrove forest especially along the creeks and consists of a number of natural and man-made waterways (rivers, creeks and canals). Unlike most other onshore operations, this location can only be accessed via the waterways; thus requiring the rig equipment and every other equipment to be channeled via the waterways and subsequently on land to arrive at the site. The amphibious nature of this operation requires a combination of onshore and swamp requirements with increased HSSE exposure, logistics requirement and cost. This paper aims to highlight the practical experience garnered in the rig move and workover operations of Rig XYZ which operated in the Escravos Beach region.