Minimum facilities platform: A modular solution for marginal fields - Aquaterra Energy

Minimum facilities platform: A modular solution for marginal fields

By Stewart Maxwell, Technical Director, Aquaterra Energy

Not known for their use in deeper waters, modular solutions are rarely considered in water depths over 60m. However, we used our flagship minimum facilities platform, Sea Swift, in a project off the coast of Malaysia in water depths of 65m. This uniquely-designed project was centred on a minimum facilities platform design.

This first-of-its-kind project didn’t come without challenges. Especially when the operator wanted to go from conceptual design to commissioning within 12 months, bypassing Front End-Engineering Design (FEED). But we also had to consider:

  • a minimum fatigue life of 10 years
  • installation via a jack-up
  • the use of complex single, dual and triple splitter wellheads

We needed to install a minimum facilities platform to meet this challenge. So, how did we do it?

Robust design

Knowing certain steps of the process were going to be bypassed ensuring optimal design was a crucial first step for this offshore platform project. In depths of 65m, and with topsides weighing over 400tonnes, developing a robust design mattered. To build a strong foundation, the conductor legs penetrated the mudline by a further 80m. The two subsea structures provided the required strength and stability needed to ensure the performance of the minimum facilities platform was maintained.


However, these subsea structures created significant drag, so it was necessary to complete complex structural analysis to ensure that the offshore platform strength, stability and design fatigue life was achieved.

Minimum facilities platform

The central element to this project build was a minimum facilities platform. By reviewing the client requirements and challenging anything that was not critical for either the development or safety offshore, we reduced both delivery times and the overall weight of the topsides. This also allowed us to install the platform using proving drilling technique. But that wasn’t all. We also wanted to keep the timeline from development to commissioning lean. This was assisted by completing as much installation and pre-commissioning onshore as possible to reduce work time offshore.

Keeping it all connected

Once the topside was installed, the offshore work scope was completed by providing connection to the nearby mobile offshore production unit (MOPU), where the necessary process facilities are located. The MOPU provides power generation, process systems and the accommodation for the personnel to operate the processing plant onboard the MOPU and wellhead facilities on the platform.

This minimum facilities platform is now completed with the structure in place and producing. Since then, production rates have met and exceeded expectations and further development of the field is planned to bring newly discovered reserves on stream.

Our team has extensive experience designing and delivering minimum facilities platforms, get in touch to find out how we can help.