14 October 2021

Trident Energy completes gas lift system milestone in its offshore campaign in Equatorial Guinea

Following the completion of our innovative hot-tapping operation in our CEIBA field earlier this year, we are proud to report that the next stage of our offshore campaign in Equatorial Guinea has been completed with the installation of a new gas lift distribution unit (GLDU).

Back in 2017, when we acquired our assets in Equatorial Guinea, we identified a serious integrity issue with gas leaks at the GLDU on the seabed (800m water depth), so we developed a project to replace the gas lift distribution system to stop gas from leaking into the sea.

This new milestone is the latest in our campaign to optimise production in the CEIBA field and marks our third big success in this area, as it follows on from the installation of a hot-tapping saddle to create new gas injection points on subsea production jumpers, as well as completing the replacement of a G-19 flowline riser.

As with all systems, age can affect the productivity of a gas lift system, and the previous iteration in the CEIBA field was beginning to suffer due to a build-up of hydrates. With 60-80% of the field production completely dependent on the system, installation of a new unit was a key priority to ensure the health and productivity of the field over the next decades.

The work on upgrading the gas lift network faced numerous challenges, not least the difficulties in working at depths between 655m and 802m, as well as adapting processes to suit mature brownfield operations. To add to the complexity the work had to be carried out during COVID-19’s everchanging restrictions.

Working with a small team and in collaboration with the Deep Ocean’s vessel Edda Freya, we first stopped the gas network and tested the system in each cluster, before using a vertical lay system to place over 15km of new flexible deep-sea pipes ranging from 2.5 to 5 inches in diameter. From there, we were able to install the new network architecture and replace topside piping to link to the new gas injection point.

Thanks to the teamwork, invaluable knowledge of the assets, and efficiency of the Trident team and partners, this latest milestone in our campaign was completed in a shorter time than predicted, and without production shutdowns.

With the unit installed and the lines laid, we leak tested the system with an external pre-commissioning spread, preserved the lines individually by flushing them through with chemicals, and restarted gas injection to methodically recover production to initial levels within only 3-4 weeks of completion.

Safety is always a paramount consideration at Trident, and the entire project was completed without a single lost time injury across our entire team.

Every offshore project takes a village and Trident Energy’s project and production teams and the contractors they worked with were instrumental in making this one a success. 

The completion of this campaign marks a leap forward for our plans in the CEIBA field, which is now secured with a subsea network that will provide increased reliability for years to come.