By Jean-Pierre Dordan, published on September 11th, 2018, modified on October 3rd, 2018
Smaller in size than the neighboring Girassol and Délia, Rosa is nevertheless one of Block 17’s major fields, and its economic development was a real challenge for Total E&P Angola. The chosen solution – subsea development of Rosa’s reserves connected to FPSO Girassol, where production capacity was boosted for the arrival of the new field – enabled the company to optimize existing investments in Block 17, bringing production costs down.
In spite of the success of previous deepwater subsea projects, this type of development was far from routine, and Rosa’s project team was faced with two unprecedented challenges. The first was the distance between the field and FPSO Girassol, which required the development of innovative new technologies, for thermal insulation in particular. Then it was a matter of fitting and connecting almost 6000 tons of modules, facilities, structures, and pipes on the FPSO.
If we take into account the need to maintain production at Girassol at 250,000 barrels per day, and retain its ability to store two million barrels, then we begin to understand just how much technical and organizational expertise was required to meet the desired objectives. For two years, 400 people spent almost 2.7 million hours working on the project: lifting and handling equipment, reinforcing structures, connecting cables, welding, and running tests on FPSO Girassol, all while the production teams continued with production as normal. I think that one of the keys to our success was how well our teams were integrated and their commitment to the objectives we set, especially the safety and environmental objectives set against a difficult context of simultaneous construction and production. For all those involved in design and construction of Rosa, it remains an extraordinary experience. I am still proud to have had the honor of leading the teams that successfully completed this Herculean task, and of the quality of their work.