The Floating Production Offloading and Storage (FPSO) vessel, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, which is set to produce first oil this month, will not face some of the technical challenges that the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah is encountering.
The vessel arrived with improved anchoring and rotation enabling system, called the turret mooring system, flow metre as well as a compressor system. These systems are some of the challenges that have plagued the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah till date.
One of the vital components of the FPSO Prof. Mills is the flow meter, which is as critical as the production process. It ensures that the right volumes of oil are exported and revenue inflows could be accurately determined.
Due to the rush to produce first oil in 2010 from the Jubilee Field, the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah started production for some months with a defective flow metre. This meant that it was unable to ascertain production output accurately.
The fear was that the country risked losing millions of dollars in oil revenue because the country and the jubilee partners were exporting oil without a flow meter, but rather improvised with a dip stick.
Flow-metre on FPSO Prof. Mill
To avoid similar challengs, the multi-purpose FPSO Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills, comes with a huge ultrasound flow metre positioned in its main entrance, which is before the water treatment facility.
During a tour of the new FPSO by the Graphic Business, engineers aboard the production vessel spent a substantial amount of time to explain the functions.
The FPSO Prof. John Evans Atta Mills came with the length of 350 meters, width of 56meters and an accommodation for 120 people workers at a time, oil production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day with storage capacity 1.7 million barrels.
The flow metre on Prof Mills had gone through all the tests and calibrations. Most of its components could also be replaced without difficulty, in case of any defect.
Compressor station & turret system
On the upper deck of the FPSO, in between the gas refrigeration laydown area, are two compressor stations with the perfect plan to ensure replacement in case it has a problem.
The failure of the gas compressor on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah in the past had resulted in challenges in exporting gas onshore to Atuabo Gas Processing Plant for onward transmission for power generation.
Also, there is a riser station where all other associated gas could be hooped for export to onshore.
The engineer explained that on the FPSO Mills, replacement of the compressor when faulty was simple.
Asked why the manufacturers of the system still used the external turret system, instead of the internal or the spread mooring systems for FPSO Mills, the operators insisted, it was the right choice and that the internal turret, could only be factored into the operations if it was a new FPSO constructed from the scratch.