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Van Oord's involvement in the strategic West Nile Delta development

  • 5 to 700 metres waterdepth
  • Installation 350,000 tonnes of rock
  • 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day
  • Implementation of the innovative Deep Excavation System

Egypt has an advanced energy industry. The country benefits from a large volume of both onshore and offshore oil and gas fields. Fossil fuels are available in abundance, but the extractive industry is still under development. The West Nile Delta project is set to change that and will help the country to meet the rising demand for energy. The peak production of this project, when completed has been estimated at 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day, which represents 30 percent of Egypt’s current gas production.

Van Oord takes pride in its involvement in the West Nile Delta development where we were contracted for subsea rock installation, deep dredging and landfall activities. The combination of these projects is an excellent reflection of our capabilities in the offshore industry.

Pipeline protection

The West Nile Delta development involves the expansion of gas and condensate fields located approximately 65 to 85 kilometres off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. The fields are being developed in different phases. The first phase involves the expansion of five major fields namely Taurus, Libra, Giza, Fayoum and Raven. Gas production for the first fields was delivered ahead of schedule in March 2017.

Since the early stages of the advancement of this gas discovery, Van Oord was contracted to create a stable foundation for the hundreds of kilometres of offshore infrastructure. Our first project, in 2016, included the execution of the pre- and post-lay subsea rock installation for the Taurus and Libra fields which was carried out by flexible fallpipe vessels Stornes and Nordnes. Subsea rock installation is a seabed intervention technique that enhances the stability of underwater pipelines.

This was followed by the development of the Giza, Fayoum and Raven fields. For this subsequent phase Van Oord performed the shallow water subsea rock installation scope on the pipelines. Side stone dumping vessel HAM 602 was deployed for the rock installation in the shallow parts, working in water depths varying from 5 to 15 metres. Flexible fallpipe vessel Nordnes was deployed in both 2017 and 2018 to execute deepwater rock installation up to 650 metres.

In total, Van Oord was involved in four contracts for the West Nile Delta development. Our innovative approach and the contribution of local contractors resulted in an effective collaboration with all parties involved. We always wish to offer our clients the smartest techniques and the most cost-effective solutions. And that means we never stop coming up with new ideas.

Koos van Oord, Manager Subsea Rock Installation
Koos van Oord, Manager Subsea Rock Installation

Gas onshore

Also in 2017, Van Oord constructed the landfall that connect the pipelines of the Giza, Fayoum and Raven fields to the shore. At the project location near the Idku terminal the offshore pipelines were connected to the onshore parts. Our scope of work consisted of dredging an offshore trench, the construction of a cofferdam and pulling the three pipelines to the shore with a 600 tonnes linear winch. 

Deep water dredging solution

This channel, which is located in the Raven field, is over 80 kilometres long and 700 metres deep and interrupts the route of the offshore pipeline. The Deep Excavation System (DES) involves a large underwater grab being operated from the fallpipe vessel. DES allows Van Oord to execute deepwater dredging activities. As a result, the pipeline will be able to follow the sea-bed profile more easily and large free spans can be avoided. 

Local content

The Van Oord Offshore organisation has a strong focus on cooperating to achieve the best results. Before and during the project, a great deal of attention was devoted to cooperating with local subcontractors. One of the major challenges of the projects in Egypt was the production and transportation of the rock. The rock was produced at a quarry in Suez and transported to the loading port of Damietta, a distance of more than 300 kilometres. As the risk of incidents is much higher when road transport is used, trains of the Egyptian National Railway Company were used to transport the rock. 

Additional information
  • Start date
    November 2016
  • End date
    May 2018
  • Location
    Egypt
  • Business Unit
    Offshore
  • Client
    Main contractor Subsea 7, ultimate client BP