Tecnomare Achieves Higher Quality of Detailed Design with SmartMarine® 3D

Tecnomare, a company offering a full range of design and engineering services for projects in the oil and natural gas sector, used SmartMarine® 3D for better integration and communication between the structural and outfitting parts of the design.

Tecnomare's activities cover every phase of the life cycle of upstream plants, from feasibility studies to construction and from start-up to decommissioning.

The Challenge

Tecnomare, a company offering a full range of design and engineering services for projects in the oil and natural gas sector, was to design a gas and oil extraction platform for Eni, a major exploration, refining, and oil production company. Eni Exploration & Production (E&P) wanted to design a small oil & gas extraction platform in the Litchendjili field offshore Congo, where the Italian operator has increasing investments.

Estimates of the Congo’s natural gas reserves range from 3.2 to 4.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and comprise the third largest gas resource in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the gas is associated, but the country does have some non-associated fields, namely the Banga Marine and Litchendjili Marine fields.

Tecnomare had a limited time to develop the front-end engineering and design (FEED) and chose Intergraph® SmartMarine® 3D (now a part of Intergraph Smart™ 3D) for its detailed design, data-centric, rule-driven capabilities, which would allow the EPC to better manage the project and eventually deliver a more complete handover of the engineering work.

The project was to be a good test for the new SmartMarine features (better concurrent engineering, 3D validation, cable auto-routing), which performed accurately and smoothly and needed only few major adjustments. The main challenges came from the short time to start the project design phase and preparation of the reference data and piping specifications.

The size of the project allowed for fine-tuning the design processes, enabling better integration and communication between the structural and the outfitting parts of the design. The first level of integration was provided by the single 3D environment for all structural and outfitting disciplines. This exceeded the traditional integration and had an impact in the design process, particularly in the way the different disciplines work together.

There was an initial plan to integrate the 3D design with other SmartPlant® Enterprise solutions (SmartPlant P&ID, SmartPlant Instrumentation, and SmartPlant Electrical), and some elements were introduced, but the need to involve a number of departments advised to postpone further integration to the following projects.

Automation was also provided in the 3D environment, which enabled the team to easily and rapidly add secondary design elements, such as piping supports and transition structures. Customization was required, because the platform functional units, structural, and outfitting specs needed to be according to Eni standards and have been implemented following the project specifications.

The Solution

SmartMarine 3D enables Tecnomare to achieve better integration among engineering disciplines. Interfaces were developed between SmartMarine 3D and other SmartPlant Enterprise solutions and third-party applications, allowing the development of predefined content and a catalog for Eni standards.

The tool also prompted better and faster communication between departments, allowing users to access the engineering details, make changes, and upload contributions, all in a single source. Changes in the design were immediately visible to other disciplines, allowing faster reaction for adjustments. The revision, control, and validation was also performed faster, providing substantial time-savings in the project schedule.

SmartMarine 3D enabled engineers to provide more design variation in a given time frame and to add more details in early phases of FEED, which will be very beneficial for production.

The review of the design phase and the handover to the owner was performed via SmartPlant Foundation, although it was not initially planned that way. Eni wanted to establish a more effective way to hand over deliverables from contractors, so the opportunity arose to introduce SmartPlant Foundation, Intergraph’s engineering information management solution. Both the O/O and the EPC were pleased with the accurate information and smooth hand over process.