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The Reliance KG D6 Deepwater Gas Field Development Project involved the installation of 125,000metric tons of sub-sea equipment,deployment of’ over 80 offshore vessels, 20,000people at the peak of the project, more than 200 consultants and service providers, and over 50 million person hours
Project management helps Reliance Industries complete a mega deepwater gas development project in record time
The targets were stiff; the scope of the project highly ambitious. It was the first project of its kind in India and among the largest in the world. But the deepwater gas exploration project of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) river basin in the south-east coast of India smoothly achieved all that it had set out to do, thanks to the effective use of the principles of project management. Secondly, it was completed in record time: the project, called KG D6, was commissioned in April 2009, within a span of six and a half years against a global average of eight to ten years for completion.
The Reliance KG D6 Deepwater Gas Field Development Project won the Best Project of the Year Award at the PMI India Project Management Conference 2009 in Hyderabad. The award recognized the successful implementation of high technology, which is at par with the best performance benchmarks in the world.
Making the dream project a success called for ‘extreme engineering’ skills. RIL used project management to give direction to the engineering and management capabilities of its teams. Consider some of these statistics: about 125,000 metric tons of sub-sea equipment installed, an unprecedented fleet of offshore vessels mobilized, with over 80 vessels at the peak of the project, over 200 consultants and service providers engaged in over 20 locations worldwide, as many as 20,000 people deployed at the peak of the project, and over 50 million person hours clocked in. The integrated project team had around 30 key people, including program managers, project managers and work pack managers across the project lifecycle.
Project planning took two years (October 2002 to October 2004), Front End Engineering Design (FEED) took another two years (2003 to 2004), construction (development & implementation) progressively four years (2005 to 2008), and testing and commissioning over three months (January – March 2009).
Planning, designing and construction of the underwater project meant installation of 500 km of pipelines and umbilicals, over 200 sub-sea connections, more than 80 installations of vessels and barges, usage of underwater robotic technology, and installation of a complex reservoir monitoring system. The execution of the project involved global teams working round the clock. The soil at the onshore terminal site was extremely soft and thus unsuitable for setting up any facility. RIL had to raise the site to +4.2 meter above mean sea level by hydraulic filling. The team used more than 22,000 concrete piles to achieve this.
“We were clear about our guiding principles at the time of conceptualizing the project. For instance, safety in operations was the key concern in the design and selection of equipment and facilities. Besides, we wanted to use proven technology as far as possible, use standard equipment and products, ensure simplicity in our design and operations, and flexibility to help scale up and integrate other known and future discoveries. All these efforts were targeted to ensure maximum reliability and availability, and ease of construction and installation,” says Mr.Naresh Narang, Project Manager, Offshore.
The project involved a huge number of feasibility studies and surveys carried out by different third-party vendors. Conceptual engineering and FEED work went through several rounds of reviews, verifications and validations. There was also a three-year-long extensive survey of the river section for assessment of scour and stability of pipelines to be installed in the shallow water sections. Then, there was a storm/surge analysis, safe grade elevation and drainage system of the onshore terminal. Besides, RIL conducted geo-technical investigations for all sub-sea-structure locations, and a geo-hazards study and a geo-mechanics study and validation. To test the workability of the various elements, there was an integrated Reliability, Availability & Maintainability (RAM) analysis. These extensive surveys and engineering studies helped RIL mitigate project risks upfront.
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