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Eftech International provides purging and leak testing for INPEX shutdown

Eftech International recently supported oil and gas company INPEX with nitrogen purging and leak testing during its recent shutdown.

The shutdown took place between May and June 2021 across all three INPEX assets – the Central Processing Facility (CPF), the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Facility (FPSO), and the onshore processing facility in Darwin (ILNG).

Eftech commenced planning and engineering in November 2020. The Company has been supporting INPEX since 2019, however the recent campaign was the first major shutdown since the production commenced in July 2018.

Eftech Senior Project Engineer Craig Convoy said the company provided nitrogen purging during the run-in phase of the shutdown, using conventional and hot nitrogen methods depending on system requirements.

The shutdown was also the first time Eftech had used a new 360,000 standard cubic feet per hour pump nitrogen pump, which was designed in the United Kingdom and launched in Darwin earlier this year. The pump is believed to be the largest offshore pump of its kind, providing more than double the flow output of standard offshore nitrogen units.

“Nitrogen purging is a critical shutdown activity, ensuring systems are hydrocarbon free and safe for maintenance in a timely manner,” Mr Convoy explained.

Hot nitrogen has proven to be extremely effective in accelerating purging times. On completion of maintenance, nitrogen/helium leak testing was then performed to confirm the integrity of the systems prior to reintroduction of hydrocarbon. Nitrogen/helium leak detection is a sensitive test method that ensures leaks can be easily detected, and quantified.

Nitrogen is an essential product on turnarounds, ensuring facilities can be shut down and then started up in a timely and safe manner. Nitrogen is transported to the facilities in bulk cryogenic liquid form – reducing the volume needed. When it is on site it can be converted to a gas under the control of the nitrogen pump.

Mr Convoy said Eftech’s scope was a success, allowing them to build on their growing working relationship with INPEX and achieve many key milestones.

“Most importantly there were no health, safety or environmental incidents. We also delivered our scope within the allocated schedule and quality objectives were met.”

Operations Director Mark Duncan said Eftech provided a team of 26 discipline experts to deliver the scope of work across all three assets, as well as onshore for technical and operational support.

The Eftech team included project engineers, supervisors and nitrogen technicians who operated 24/7 to ensure the nitrogen service was always available.

“A team of support staff also assisted the project from Jandakot, ensuring equipment was where it needed to be and measurables were delivered. They were also able to react quickly to any change of scopes as well as manage the logistics with INPEX,” he said.

Global services contractor Eftech used a variety of innovative nitrogen equipment during the INPEX shutdown to displace large volumes of hydrocarbon liquids and gases, providing access to higher capacity flowrates for nitrogen purging and leak testing activities and meeting specific client requirements. The range of equipment helps the client to reduce downtime to perform these critical path activities during turnarounds.

Mr Convoy added that collection of equipment and personnel at Eftech’s disposal provided the company with the capacity to cater for the country’s increasing number of oil and gas shutdowns and maintenance projects, caused by COVID-19 delays.

Eftech is a leading provider of process and industrial services to the domestic and international oil and gas industry.

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