PhPC – WHX Project

Pharonic Petroleum Company (PhPC) is a joint venture company established in Egypt between EGPC, BP and IEOC.  PhPC currently operates three natural gas production fields located offshore the Egyptian sector of the Mediterranean Sea.   The fields were coined as the Ha’py, Akhen and Taurt fields.

Production generated from the Ha’py and Taurt fields are exported separately to the onshore PhPC West Harbor Plant. Production generated from the Akhen field is exported to El Gamil Plant, which is operated by the joint venture company PETROBEL.
Ha’py started production in 2000 and has since produced up to 420 mmscf/d. Current production has declined to 290 mmscf/d. Taurt Field started production in 2008 and has since produced up to 270 mmscf/d. 

Natural gas produced from the Ha’py and Taurt fields arrive onshore, with associated condensate and free water, via 30” and 20“ pipeline and, after processing, the gas is directed to the national gas grid.

Declining reservoir pressure necessitated the reduction of the arrival pressure onshore in order to maintain target volumes. The current compression strategy predicts that a new HP compression stage will be required by 2013. Consequently, the West Harbor Expansion Project will deliver the necessary facilities to allow implementation of the HP compression system for both the Ha’py and Taurt fields.

WHX Objectives & Development Plan:
The WHX Project seeks to improve the reliability, availability and safety of WHX plants by updating existing facilities and systems in an effort to improve functionality, safety and efficiency.  We strive to meet these goals while maintaining high quality processing and rates of production.

The primary objective of the West Harbour Expansion Project (WHX Project) is to develop the existing facilities to meet and exceed domestic demand via the following objectives:
HSE: No accidents – No harm to people – No damage to the Environment

Gas Delivery: Ensure that West Harbour Facilities can process, maintain and deliver the target production rates from the Ha’py and Taurt Fields at 585 MMSCFD.
CAPEX: Complete the project for capital investment not to exceed the Master Control Estimate approved by the REB partnership. Identify opportunities and make every effort to reduce the capital expenditure. 

People: Develop skills and training amongst Egyptian staff and increase industry specific knowledge within the local sector.
Relationships: Develop and maintain mutually advantageous relations with BP and EGAS.
Project Scope: The scope of the WHX Project comprises a variety of upgrades to the existing plant in an effort to ensure that the West Harbour Facilities can process, maintain and deliver target production rates from the Ha’py and Taurt fields at a maximum of 585 MMSCFD and 728 MMSCFD respectively.  This can be achieved by applying the following upgrades:

  • The improvement of existing plant infrastructure, outdated pipe work and safety systems, which include fire and gas detection and protection.
  • Installation of one additional HP compression unit, as well as associated facilities, utility upgrades and support systems.
  • Implementation of new flaring system with increased height.
  • Upgrade current electrical and control systems.
  • Installation of new state-of-the-art fire prevention and detection.
  • New and sophisticated waste water treatment policies and procedures.
  • Update open and closed drain systems
  • Additional Fuel Gas Start-up Facilities
  • Additional Local Equipment Room and Emergency Diesel Generator
  • Addition of new PWT/WWT Unit

Pharaonic Project Management System (PPMS)
Pharaonic Project Management System (PPMS) is utilized for the WHX Project as well as other initiatives and projects managed by the PhPC Projects & Engineering department. PPMS has been designed to support PhPC policies and HSE Management systems. These guidelines and procedures are made readily available to the project team for implementation.  Additionally, the system has been designed to ensure:

  • Sound management methods are in place reflecting best practices.
  • Design and construction of facilities in accordance with relevant legislation.
  • Specifications and requirements in accordance with applicable regulations.
  • Sophisticated quality control and inspection systems.
  • Operational and technical integrity confirmed to highest industry standard.
  • Projects designed and implemented to increase value to the PhPC business.

WHX Standardization Strategy
Standardization will be achieved through continued relations with vendors who have previously supplied utility equipment to the West Harbour facility and who have continually demonstrated high levels of reliability and integrity.  This includes companies such as DCS and Switchgear.  Continuation of current vendor relations ensures not only standardisation, but also reliability, operability and scheduling.

Contracting Strategy
As a result of the criticality of the WHX project and in consideration of the good reputation of national contractors, PhPC stakeholders agreed that the preferred model for the WH contracts is to award ENPPI as an EPC contractor with experience in Egypt. Contracting will be undertaken in accordance with the PhPC PSCM policies and procedures. To minimize the level of administrative involvement and potential for cost growth, the contract will be negotiated directly with ENPPI / PhPC management in the form of a lump sum.

 Project Challenges:

  • Execute more than 420 mechanical tie-in’s
  • Manage total plant shut down procedures
  • Integrate existing DCS system with new system
  • Working in a live plant
  • Execute and test new complete U/G drain (close and open) system while plant is live.

By Eng. Tharwat Abou Shady – PhPC’s Operations General Manager


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