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    Construction and marine manning and logistics services – saipem ichthys gep

    Client: Saipem Portugal Comercio Maritimo Sociedade Unipessoal (SPCM)


    Project/Location: Blaydin Point, Darwin, Northern Territory to the Ichthys gas field located in Western Australia some 440 km north of Broome and 800km southwest of Darwin in permit area WA-285-P


    Facility Name: Semac 1, Castorone and Field Development Ship


    Time Frame:


    Phase 1: The shallow water phase completed by the Semac 1, of the offshore installation campaign. This was mobilised 13 June 2014 and was completed 17 November 2014 (~158 days).

    Phase 2: The deep water phase completed by the Castorone, of the offshore installation campaign. This was mobilised 29 January 2015 with the final lay down of the pipe at the Ichthys field on 4th November 2015 (~280 days).


    Project Description


    SPCM’s scope of work included the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the gas export pipeline (GEP) for the INPEX operated Ichthys Project; an 889 kilometre 42-inch-diameter subsea pipeline, connecting the offshore central processing facility (CPF) to the onshore processing facility on Blaydin Point, Darwin (the longest subsea pipeline in Australia).


    SPCM’s scope was carried out by the derrick lay barge Semac 1 and pipe-lay vessel Castorone, together with other support vessels.


    SPCM contracted SKILLED Offshore Pty Ltd, since re-branded Programmed Marine (PM) to provide appropriately qualified personnel to perform the laying of the subsea pipeline and associated works on the project.


    Our scope of work covered all of the managerial, administrative and logistical support necessary to achieve efficient and productive performance by PM direct labour, in accordance with the contract between SPCM and PM. PM were engaged to supply approximately 440 construction personnel to the Semac 1 for the shallow water phase and approximately 700 marine and construction personnel to the Castorone for the deep water phase.


    We were later awarded a supplementary scope of work to provide manning services for the SPCM Field Development Ship (FDS) for the installation of auxiliary equipment within the Ichthys gas field. Programmed was required to provide 46 marine and construction personnel for this three week campaign.


    Project Solution


    The Project in its entirety required the engagement of a PM Project Team of +/- 15 dedicated persons for over two years, plus additional support services, to work together with SPCM in a collaborative ‘one team’ approach. The specially selected project team had expertise in recruitment; Human Resources (HR); Industrial Relations (IR); travel, logistics, rostering and training coordination; payroll and invoicing; quality and document control; health, safety and injury management; 24 hour offshore administrative functionality; office establishment and 24 hour logistics support in Darwin; and contract management.


    The project team was formed in October 2013 to commence preliminary works including the establishment of all project processes and procedures, communication protocols, project templates, personnel recruitment and engagement, preparation of logistics arrangements, etc.


    The project was not without its challenges. There were expired enterprise agreements for both the marine and construction personnel, as well as numerous logistical hurdles. Crew changes occurred every 7 days , and in the latter part of the project, via Truscott Airbase in remote North-West Australia. The sheer volume of recruiting, engaging, rostering, mobilising / demobilising was staggering too, with HR and IR management in excess of 1,000 personnel across 3 vessels over a 2 year period. Despite these difficulties, the project was nevertheless a resounding success.


    Project Outcome


    The commitment and dedication of the team was second to none. Both onshore and offshore teams involved in this milestone project delivered what was set out to be achieved; demonstrating our capability in the construction manning market.


    A few of the project milestones achieved by PM crew and staff, in alliance with SPCM crew and staff, is provided below:


    • Over 1.5 million man-hours, 201 days free of lost time injury.
    • 486 pipe support vessels unloaded 57,270 single joints of 42” concrete weight coated pipe onto the Castorone (this equates to approximately 1,150,000 tonnes of pipe), without major incident.
    • 76,360 total welds completed, consisting of 57,270 single and double joint welds and 19,090 triple joint welds.
    • 13,416 domestic airline tickets (at a cost of ~ $6.5 million) and 465 international airline tickets (at a cost of ~$235,000) booked, i.e. an average of 30 flights were booked per day, every day of the project, 7 days per week.
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