Oil & Gas

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For 40 years we've been delivering industry defining innovation throughout the lifecycle of onshore and offshore assets, optimising safety, spend and production.

FEATURES

our innovations

Projects

Our team of engineers created the Paired-Column Semisubmersible to make it safer and more financially viable to develop fields in harsh deepwater environments, such as offshore Western Australia and the Gulf of Mexico. By adding one additional column per corner to the traditional semisubmersible, platform motions can be significantly reduced. The Paired-Column Semisubmersible is the previously missing piece from a complete portfolio of deepwater platform concepts – a dry tree semi that can support drilling. This new technology brings many advantages to deepwater developments: Support of either wet and/or dry trees Reduced vertical motions that allow conventional off-the-shelf riser tensioning equipment due to low riser stroke Full quayside integration Conventional structural components Efficient deck structure and hull deck interface De-coupling of wide column spacing (stability) vs. narrow column spacing (deck support) SCR friendly due to low surge motions and hang-off nearer to the platform centre Damage tolerance Thoroughly engineered, model tested, qualified and approved in principle by DNV for the Gulf of Mexico’s most severe metocean environment – Central Region. Read more about the background, design and characteristics of the PC Semi in Offshore magazine.

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Part of the Tubular Bells development in the Gulf of Mexico, our Houston team delivered the hull and mooring engineering for the Gulfstar One Spar, as well as fabrication and installation engineering support. The hull was built in one piece, strakes included, in a graving dock, completely in the US, which has never been done before for a Spar. The unit has the capacity to hold almost 10,000 barrels of dead oil, and has 20 stainless steel tanks for storing flow assurance chemicals and the associated transfer systems. The Gulfstar floating production system (FPS) is owned by Williams, and operated by Hess.

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Appointed by INPEX in April 2011, we're providing flow assurance engineering as well as ad hoc process engineering services for the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase of the Ichthys field. The Ichthys field expects to deliver 8.4 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per annum, as well as 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak. The scale of the project has seen Atkins deal with a wide range of issues including hydraulic analysis, thermal analysis and hydrate management. Detailed analysis has also been completed on the complex task of well clean-up, initial well start-up, pipeline blow-down, initial onshore LNG plant start-up and on-going pigging for flowlines and pipeline systems.
Atkins’ oil and gas team was the engineering contractor providing technical support for the Solan subsea oil storage tank project. Beginning in 2008, the highly skilled group of engineers were involved in each step of the Solan project from concept development work, through to Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) and then detailed design work in 2012-2013. Work was completed for client Premier Oil in 2014, after more than five years. The Solan subsea oil storage tank sits in around 135m of water and can store 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent; it is 25m high, has a foot print of 45m x 45m and is constructed from 10,000 tonnes of steel.

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Our oil and gas team in Perth successfully completed the FEED work for Apache Energy for a large gas compression facility in the north-west of Australia.A multidisciplinary team worked closely with Apache to develop the chosen concept and optimise the layout, based on a modular construction philosophy. This was a key driver for Apache; a design which would maximise off-site fabrication and construction, and minimise the amount of on-site installation work in order to reduce the overall project risk. A 3D model using PDMS (Plant Design Management System) was created, developed and reviewed on a regular basis, both internally and with Apache. This allowed ongoing, interactive discussions between various engineering disciplines as the design progressed, leading to a well-defined concept for taking into detailed design.
Atkins is supporting ADMA-OPCO’s expansion programme for its offshore production facilities by assisting the safe life extension of existing critical infrastructure. We have been involved in the quantitative structural assessment of 31 Well Head Towers (WHTs) in the Umm Shaif Field, offshore from Abu Dhabi. Atkins undertook structural assessment of the WHTs to establish a robust integrity management system for the company's fleet of offshore structures, building SACS models to enable detailed analysis. We also undertook advanced structural analysis of barge-type structures, which form the central platforms of ADMA OPCO’s offshore processing facilities. Atkins’ 40 years of experience in asset integrity management was a key factor in this work. Our approach to life extension enables operators to get the most oil and gas resource out of a field before the infrastructure needs to be replaced. Our experience means we can safely anticipate and manage repair of age related defects, allowing continued use and development of ageing infrastructure. In some cases we have been able to extend the life of an asset by double its design life. This adds considerable value to the asset by deferring future investment cost, as well as providing assurance of asset integrity.
The five year agreement covered the provision of engineering and design services, drawing on a range of Atkins’ expertise across a number of disciplines in subsea, structures, pressure systems and environmental feasibility studies. The agreement applies to any fields Centrica decides to decommission in the UK or Netherlands during the contract period, including the Rose and Stamford fields. The agreement also helped to strengthen Atkins’ existing relationship with Centrica, continuing the partnership in providing structural and subsea integrity services for Centrica’s offshore assets, ensuring the work is completed as safely as possible and in an environmentally friendly way. As more oil and gas infrastructure begins to reach the end of its design life, multi-industry expertise and decommissioning experience from the nuclear sector, as well as the oil and gas industry, has become an important differentiator for Atkins in winning work. We have been active in decommissioning for over 15 years, and as one of the leading experts in the field we have worked on some major projects including decommissioning for BP Thistle, Miller and North West Hutton, Fairfield Dunlin, Shell Brent D and TOTAL E&P UK’s subsea systems amongst others.

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The first liquefied natural gas terminal (LNG) to be established in China was developed in the Guangdong province. It was set up to provide a more reliable source of energy and provide environmental benefits through the reduction of air pollution by replacing coal burning power stations. Atkins was appointed to act as international consultants on the project. The role included providing environmental input at the design stage, undertaking an environmental and social impact assessment study for government approval, and carrying out a comprehensive risk assessment.

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WHAT WE DO

Enhancing recovery from existing fields and exploiting new fields in difficult environments and uncertain market conditions present our oil and gas industry with many technical and economic challenges. We have the breadth and depth of expertise, the intellect and the drive to overcome these challenges and help our clients to realise the potential of these fields. 

Overcoming the challenges

We think like an operator; we’ve been working together with some of our clients for 40 years so we understand their goals and can share their vision.

It matters to us that:

> Safe and cost effective constructability and operability is inherent in concept selection, FEED and detailed design 
> New assets are future proofed for economic field development at a later stage if required  
> All risks and benefits in maintenance programs can be challenged in a single list to optimise operational spend
> Transfer from design, through operations, life extension and decommissioning is seamless
> Lessons learned on asset integrity management are fed back into design to optimise capital spend and reduce operational expenditure

An independent view on concept selection
For any project, the most opportune time to make the biggest positive impact on project cost is early in the conceptual phase. Listening and exploring options with our clients, helping identify critical issues for optimising overall project economics at concept stage is where we add value. 

We aren’t trying to favor a particular type of structure, process or approach to subsea. We are concept neutral so it’s all about what works best for our client and their success.

Expertise

Working as part of a global community with our clients, industry partners and academia, we are listening, imagining and co-creating the best solutions in:

FIELD DEVELOPMENT AND CONSULTING
We provide the best in client decision support, independent multidisciplined technical expertise, field development solutions and engineering consulting across the whole of the project lifecycle.

Our key skills cover process and facilities engineering, subsea and flow assurance, independent structural analysis and verification, safety, reliability and human factors, fluid mechanics and CFD, hydrodynamics, and many other areas of technical performance:

CONCEPTUAL ENGINEERING
Covering both green-field and brown-field, we engineer options for infrastructure and production facilities development to a level that ensures feasibility and reliable cost estimates for the full project lifecycle. We support the appraise/select process and provide business case and investment strategy support to our clients' decision making processes.

PRE-FEED OPTIMISATION OF FIELD DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS 
We specialise in having the deep technical expertise and production experience needed to assure and optimise selected concepts prior to FEED investment. Our fully multidisciplined approach, with safety and production operability always at the front of mind, is aimed at ensuring FEED progresses to plan, with "no surprises" in the technical solution, cost or schedule delivery of the project.   

OWNER'S ENGINEERS  
We provide technical and project delivery support throughout the project lifecycle, from design through operation and final decommissioning. We are able to mobilise from a wide technical discipline base, but also project management, cost estimation and delivery, that enables us to work in the Owner's Engineer role on a short or long-term basis.

SPECIALIST CONSULTING SERVICES
We provide specialist technical services across all engineering disciplines from small, single disciplines analysis packages for operators and contractors, to larger multidisciplined frameworks in support of design and operations. We recruit, maintain and develop our technical people to be best in their field, and to understand the value of providing independent expertise in solving clients' engineering problems.

OFFSHORE ENGINEERING  
Design and engineering of fixed and floating production facilities from foundation to flare tip, including subsea engineering and all associated project services.

We embrace the increasingly complex challenges presented by high pressure, high temperature environments, ageing assets, process optimisation, marginal fields and oil price fluctuations.
ONSHORE ENGINEERING  
Design and engineering of onshore facilities, including LNG, pipelines, and all associated infrastructure and project services.
 
ASSET INTEGRITY AND PRODUCTION OPTIMISATION  
We're committed to helping our clients reduce costs, maximise production, minimise downtime and improve safety and environmental performance in the face of ever-ageing infrastructure, changing reservoir performance and economic uncertainty. 

We look after all areas of asset integrity management from asset construction through to warm shutdown. We work with our clients to help reliably maintain an asset to its optimum performance whilst applying appropriate standards to its maintenance and management depending on the asset's stage in its lifecycle. Our four key areas of expertise are:

STRATEGIC INTEGRITY MANAGEMENT
This area sets out the strategy and management tools required to proactively manage integrity and provide sufficient assurance thereof for any given asset, typically onshore hydrocarbon facilities such as gas plant and oil terminals, offshore manned and unmanned platforms, subsea installations and pipelines.

OPERATIONAL INTEGRITY MANAGEMENT
Providing 24/7 support to operators in the daily operation of their assets. This include offshore enactment, real time analysis and engineering decisions as well as budget amd workload support.

ADVANCED ANALYSIS
We provide all levels and types of techniques - structural and mechanical, static and dynamic analysis - in response to triggers such as damage, modifications or new information on an asset to provide assurance for proposed solutions or continued operation. This uses real time data to accurately predict the risk associated with given anomalies.

DECOMMISSIONING
Our decommissioning offering provides asset support right from construction. We support the development of proposed decommissioning plans and estimates in the production phase of an asset, leading to more detailed provision of engineering and management support to operators when planning for shutdown and eventually removal. This includes all the statutory and regulatory approvals and support.

Angles

Jessica Green
03 Feb 2017

I have always been of the view that the huge push for gender diversity we see so frequently in engineering firms is condescending and undermining to women. I don’t need a support network when I see myself as equal. I don’t need motivational sessions from ‘empowered women’ when I see no difference between the ‘empowered women’ and the more competent of my male colleagues around me. Strong and weak people come in both genders, and by categorising ourselves as empowered, we succumb to the stale stereotype that women are weaker than men, and we degrade ourselves whilst complaining that it is the men that are degrading us. In my relatively short experience as an engineer, I have received nothing but respect from my male counterparts; the only sexism I have encountered was from another female engineer who, for some reason, did not like having another woman in the office. I felt patronised when colleagues asked how I thought they could attract more women to the firm. There isn’t an abundance of women with engineering degrees, where did they think they were going to attract them from?! Engineering was simply more for the male‐minded amongst us. Recently however, whilst working on an international project with a global workforce, I specifically noticed one very alien concept: the Spanish engineers were an equal male‐female balance. In fact, on researching the figures, I discovered that the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineers in the whole of Europe. Whilst I still disagree with the use of

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Karen Blanc
19 May 2016

Two weeks ago, I packed my baby's bag (we're still at the breastfeeding stage), and took him along with me to the judging sessions for WICE Mentor of the Year in London. I wasn't going to, but realised that if one of my mentees suggested that as a basis for not going, I'd tell them to think again. And for me, that's why I mentor: because it makes me a better person. Not in a "better than you" kind of way; in a way that being a parent turns you into the kind of person you want your kids to be. It encourages me to give my best in life, to go for the things I want to do, even if they're a stretch. (And how would I have ever known that my baby sleeps better on the train?) “Why do you mentor?” was the question posed to us during introductions at the Women in Construction and Engineering awards interview day in London last month. It’s a good question. Why do we mentor? Not to be the best at it, that’s for sure (though the recognition is of course very nice). Mentoring is all about other people, but of course there’s something in it for the mentors too. As a mentor I talk candidly about my own experiences, because my experience, my perspective, might help others. I’m often surprised when a mentee tells me something made sense to them because of what we’d spoken about. Of course I should know how

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Priya Jain
03 May 2016

His strategy, which was chronicled over numerous award-winning adverts, was to honor those who think different, signaling a new way of approaching problems and doing business at Apple. The idea, at its core, is elegantly simple—to solve seemingly insurmountable problems, you must get beyond conventional ways of thinking. You must think differently. So how do you take this seemingly simple, now cliché, think different and turn it into a meaningful trigger to actually spur change in your organization? I’d propose one of the easiest ways to do this is to permeate your organization with individuals who are different. In other words, incorporating diversity is one of the most effective ways of creating an organization that truly thinks differently. Through diversity, new viewpoints and perspectives are instantly gleaned; potential roadblocks are seen miles sooner and examined from a greater variety of viewpoints; and solutions become more inclusive. "I’d propose one of the easiest ways to spur your organization to think different is to permeate it with individuals who ARE different." And gender diversity is arguably the most readily available to incorporate. Women make up half the population and potential workforce, and they come packing impressive qualifications. In the U.S., women represent 52 percent of the nations PhDs, 60 percent of master’s degrees, 60 percent of college graduates,(1) and more than 70 percent of high school valedictorians in 2012.(2) The business case is also compelling with numerous independent studies showing how gender diversity benefits the bottom line. Why Diversity Matters, a 2015 study by McKinsey

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Katherine Knight
29 Apr 2016

Carbon capture, storage and utilisation (CCUS) is something of a “buzz” technology at the moment. The recent cancellation of the CCS competition in the UK has made the headlines, the technology is making some progress in Canada and the USA, and is making leaps in the Middle East. Leaving aside others parts of the debate around this – particularly costs around limiting emissions harmful to the atmosphere and whether CCS is the panacea for decarbonising the energy system – I want to look at what’s positive about CCUS, and where it could be going. CCS is still an emerging technology and there are certainly lessons to be learned from other projects about what works and what doesn’t. Commercialising carbon capture technology is hugely important in order to get it up and running in more places around the world. Many of the CCS projects in operation or construction have low capture costs (they’re attached to natural gas processing facilities for example), are located close the area of storage so long distance transport of the CO₂ is not needed, and they can take advantage of revenue streams from the CO₂ (typically revenue from enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations). A challenge for future projects is that one or all of these advantages may not be available, so those projects are likely to need greater financial incentives to be built. At the moment, government support is needed for CCS projects to get underway. This is happening in many places, and financial incentives are starting to play a greater

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