Engineering consultancy Optimus has saved Scottish oil & gas independent Melrose Resources more than $20million in Bulgaria, thanks to innovative engineering that it believes could be applied in the North Sea.
The firm undertook the conceptual engineering and project management responsibilities for the two subsea tie-backs to the Galata gas production, located in the Bulgarian sector of the Black Sea.
Galata is of immense importance to Edinburgh-headquartered Melrose and, according to Optimus, is currently producing some 45million cu ft of gas per day.
The engineering consultancy was responsible for project managing development of the Kavarna and Kaliakra satellites, and was able to do this without the need for an expensive subsea system umbilical, immediately slicing $20million off project costs.
Optimus director Ian Bell said this was the firm’s first subsea job, and added his team’s decision not to accept conventional wisdom and to work the costs challenge had really came to the fore.
Partner company Optimus Engineering, in Varna, Bulgaria, built and installed the platform modifications necessary to accommodate these tie-ins, giving Melrose well control from the platform or from its onshore processing plant near Varna.
Bell said of the success: “Production was brought on-stream on-schedule and within budget. Melrose has full well control and the capital expenditure was kept reasonable by avoiding a costly umbilical. This umbilical saving could easily be transferred to developments in the North Sea – particularly the southern and central sectors, or elsewhere where the step-out is less than 12km.”
Optimus provides process engineering, facility engineering, safety and project management services, and has recently launched a range of initiatives to help operators cut their costs and raise efficiency levels.
It launched Aberdeen-based Optimus Projects in March 2010, to undertake small-to-medium-sized projects, worth £50,000 to £1million, claiming lower overheads than those currently applied by major contractors.
The firm’s stated objective is to save operators up to 15% on overall project costs, by bringing engineering costs in at 10% of the total project, compared with an average of 25% in the North Sea.