Opus has completed a £300,000 separation and produced water upgrade project for floating production contractor Bluewater Energy Services.

The project involved Opus investigating and recommending effective upgrade solutions to enhance the performance of the first-stage production separator and test separator onboard Bluewater’s Haewene Brim floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Following the study phase of the project, supply of the upgraded separator internals was fast-tracked, to ensure installation during the strict shutdown period, in late September.

The study saw the company utilise its motion test rig at the Opus test facilities on Flotta, Orkney, to simulate the effects that a range of sea states have on the fluids behaviour and thus efficiency of oil / water separation.

Through conducting visual dynamic modelling (VDM) of the separator design, using its motion test rig, Opus was able to locate the primary causes of any performance issues and identify suitable modifications to the internals to improve the separation of the fluids and achieve more reliable operation over wider sea states.

Bluewater awarded the work to Opus as the company wanted to gain a greater understanding of the conditions inside the separators during operation with motion and identify ways to optimise their efficiency and the FPSO’s overall environmental performance.

Glen McLellan, Opus’ engineering manager, commented: “Our clients seek to maximise their production efficiency and excel beyond statutory regulations for environmental protection.

“Bluewater was keen to identify methods and modifications which could optimise the Haewene Brim FPSO’s separation efficiency and as a result of a specialised study by our talented personnel and specialist test facilities we were able to provide detailed findings and recommendations, which will play significant roles in the enhancement of the FPSO’s production throughput and performance following upgrade for the future.”

Bluewater’s operations manager, Jeroen Hardebol, added: “Bluewater is very pleased with the fast track approach from Opus and the timely delivery of the internals, safeguarding our continued high uptimes and vessel performance.”