EPCM assistance to Equatorial Guinea Development

The Alba Field is one of the largest producers in the Gulf of Guinea. As engineering consultant, Ramboll paid a significant contribution to the development of the oil and gas field from 1997-2003.

Marathon Oil Corporation is a Houston based energy company with international activities in North America, Europe and Africa. The West African nation of Equatorial Guinea holds key Marathon Oil base assets; the Alba Field and the Alba liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plant. Excel Engineering (now Ramboll) delivered a long list of services to the Alba field development project over the course of two phases.

Phase 1 – designing offshore platforms and onshore facilities

The Ramboll scope of work for the 1997 project comprised a wellhead platform in 245 ft. of water and a drilling/production platform in 251 ft. of water. Ramboll handled:

  • All engineering, design and drafting
  • Procurement, hook-up and commissioning assistance
  • Preparation of a turnkey bid package for the structure and topside facilities

Expanding onshore facilities

The field development project also called for the expansion of existing onshore oil and gas facilities. The scope comprised major modifications to slug catcher and piping systems, including:

  • Added pig receiver for instrumented pigs
  • Added inlet separator and heat exchanger
  • Added (2) 300,000 bbl condensate tanks
  • Detailed design and engineering
  • Coordination of fabrication and construction
  • On-site, start-up assistance and preparation of start-up, commissioning and vendor data manuals

10 MW power generation plant

A power generation plant was established in connection with the field development project. The plant included generators driven by gas turbines, gas compressors, fuel conditioning system, MCC, control room, switchgear, PLC control, transformers and utility systems.  Ramboll provided complete engineering services, as well as procurement services and start-up and commissioning assistance.

Phase 2 – Processing and wellhead platforms

In 2002 Ramboll was contracted to provide engineering assistance for two platform projects: A wellhead platform in 251 ft. of water and a production processing platform in 251 ft. (76m) of water. The scope comprised:

  • Detailed design and 3-D modelling
  • Procurement, expediting, document control
  • Construction support in fabricator’s yard
  • Hook-up commissioning support during offshore installation

Design challenges

The production processing  platform, which was designed for production rates of 900 MMSCFD gas, 72,000 BPD condensate, 6,000 BPD water, and 825 MMSCFD emergency flare rate, posed a number of challenges which Ramboll had to address in the design:

  • Corrosive, hot well fluids with up to 8% CO2
  • Large production rates and flare rates
  • Large diameter Duplex stainless steel pipe and valves
  • Weight control to enable offshore lifts utilising available vessels

Ramboll completed work on the Equatorial Guinea Development in 2003.


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