Application of Land Reclamation and Artificial Island Technology in the Arabian Gulf Petroleum Industry
- Sherif El-gharbawy (ADMA-OPCO Abu Dhabi NOC) | Sameh Seddik (Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co.) | Mootaz Khaled (Abu Dhabi NOC) | Hazem Sarhan (Sogreah Gulf)
- Document ID
- Offshore Technology Conference
- Offshore Technology Conference, 2-5 May, Houston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2011. Offshore Technology Conference
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.9 Heavy Oil Upgrading, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 2.1.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 6.5.6 Remediation and Land Reclamation, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.6.10 Coring, Fishing
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The UAE has made significant strides in the field of artificial island construction in mega projects for a wide range of applications including real estate, tourism, airport runways and other transportation causeways. Now, artificial island technology is being extended into the oil and gas industry. Space limitation on natural islands and the urgency to develop strategic offshore oil fields within Abu Dhabi's Exclusive Economic Zone, and to upgrade or expand storage and offloading facilities spell the need to rapidly adopt and adapt the technology. With favorable water depths and environmental conditions, artificial islands at times prove to be more economical than traditional fixed steel jacket platforms. In addition to reducing both CAPEX and OPEX, greater well capacity may be made available earlier when the artificial island option is selected. Certain environmental advantages can also materialize with respect to the artificial island option in the Arabian Gulf. Most recently, ADMA-OPCO has been engaged in applying the technology to projects such as the Das Island Permanent Accommodation (DIPA) project as well as the Satah Al-Raaz Boot (SARB) field development. ZADCO has made significant progress in expanding drilling and production from the Upper Zakum field using artificial islands (UZAI). On Das Island, a major land reclamation undertaking is ear-marked for the construction of a new, state-of the art village for oil and gas industry personnel operating on the island, in compliance with the UAE 2014 Camp Regulations. The island expansion will create sufficient space for ADMA-OPCO and ADGAS to expand their industrial facilities in the center of the island; while creating a safety Buffer Zone between industrial and accommodation designated areas. Significant cost and schedule optimization will be realized with the selection of the artificial island option for the SARB and Zakum fields. The new islands will last the entire life of the developments, in contrast with the possibility of having to replace discrete well-head towers before field depletion. Additionally, the increased spread of the artificial islands and the possibility of utilizing more conventional onshore technologies will translate into ease of access and maintenance around the facilities and enhanced safety on the islands relative to those on equivalent jacket supported platforms.
The practice of constructing artificial islands is relatively common, especially in the UAE. They are built for a wide range of uses, including real estate, tourism development, airport construction, and transportation links, as well as oil and gas production.
The most important consideration for island design is the definition of the project operational requirements. To meet those requirements, factors to consider in design include target commissioning dates and site inputs such as bathymetry, seismic activity, metocean and geotechnical conditions.
In this paper, three projects are highlighted where land reclamation and artificial island technology is utilized to meet the project requirements in the most feasible manner. These projects are yet in their early stages and follow up will be made in future publications.
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