Benefits of Using a Jack-up MODU to Install a Minimum Facilities Platform

When planning an offshore development, the availability and mobilisation costs of the required construction vessels can prove to be prohibitive, particularly if there aren’t any stationed in the region, which is often the case with marginal fields. This has led both operators and EPCI contractors to adopt novel methods of installation to eliminate the need for multiple or heavy lift vessels.

23 Oct 2019

Anthony Falsetta

Senior Engineer, Woking

The intelligent design of a minimum facilities platform (MFP) for shallow water developments can allow the use of a MODU for full platform installation, offering a single vessel with a hook load capacity and cantilever envelope suitable for installing lightweight structures, batch drilling the wells, and providing a base for hook-up and commissioning activities. Use of a single vessel offers operators significant benefits from cost reductions to reduced project risk.

Minimum facilities platform installed by a MODU

Utilising contracted resources reduces costs

The single vessel approach to platform installation can reduce overall project costs as a MODU will be mobilised to drill the wells regardless. Using it to install the platform structures as well eliminates the mobilisation costs associated with additional construction vessels and personnel.

Platform construction activities can also take advantage of existing MODU resources, such as supply boats to transport the platform structures to the field outside of drilling operations.

Once the platform structures are installed and well conductors are in place, hook up and commissioning activities can continue simultaneously to the drilling program with the MODU serving as the support unit for these operations. This allows the operator to take advantage of the accommodation and support vessels already under contract.

Minimal design and simplified installation enable schedule flexibility

The platform structures are designed to be rig installed, so their size and weight are less than that of a traditional jacket, meaning fabrication can be completed quickly after project award. A fully integrated topside, on the other hand, can take up to 9 months.

Additionally, the use of a MODU means that drilling and completion activities can commence before or after the topsides are installed giving flexibility in the schedule to account for equipment with long lead times or fabrication delays. This is a huge advantage over a traditional platform installation where the substructures and topsides are fabricated and installed before the MODU arrives, and multiple vessel contracts and schedules need to be managed.

MFP modu installation

MODU provides stability and reduces risk

Installing an MFP with a MODU is less risky than installation with a derrick or lift barge as it provides a stable fixed platform from which piles can be driven, wells drilled, and structures accurately installed in a controlled manner. The stability of a MODU also means that they do not have the same weather restrictions as a lift barge which reduces the risk of downtime or demobilisation, particularly in areas prone to tropical storms. Once the main platform has been lifted and installed, MODU operations can continue seamlessly with reduced sensitivity to weather conditions.

Conductor-supported platform installed in 7 months offshore Malaysia

2H Offshore recently completed a MODU installation of a lightweight conductor-supported platform offshore Malaysia. This was the first platform of its kind to be installed using a MODU for PETRONAS. The installation method and a partnership with a local fabrication yard meant that the platform could be designed, fabricated and installed within seven months of project award. The innovative design had a lightweight substructure supported by the conductors and a topside that was installed after drilling and completion.

To learn more about the benefits of MODU-installable minimum facility platforms for shallow water, watch our webinar: Why Minimum Facility Platforms are the Fastest Route to First Oil for Shallow Water Developments

Anthony Falsetta

Senior Engineer, Woking