Developing local expertise in West Africa: EM&I and Stark Energy lead the way

By Francis Ameyibor II Contributor
Business Features Developing local expertise in West Africa: EMI and Stark Energy lead the way
APR 3, 2024 LISTEN

EM&I and Stark Energy Elevate Local Content and Knowledge Transfer through On-the-Job Training (OJT) on FPSOs in Angola and Côte d’Ivoire.

The enduring partnership between EM&I and Stark Energy is evolving with a commitment to deepen local content through a comprehensive initiative.

This initiative is focused on Asset Integrity Management Services (AIMS) and inspection and rescue services onboard FPSOs offshore Angola and Côte d’Ivoire.

This collaborative venture exhibits EM&I and Stark Energy's dedication to ensuring that their staff are adequately trained, maintain the highest safety standards, and meet or exceed all compliance requirements.

Neil C. Woodcock, Director of Regional Development Africa EM&I Group, was recently in Ghana to reinforce the EM&I and Stark Energy Channel Partnership which is now fully approved and certified with the Petroleum Commission (PC) of Ghana.

Mr. Woodcock explained to newsmen that as part of this strategic partnership, EM&I is intensifying its efforts to deepen local content by providing on-the-job training (OJT) to certified engineers from Stark Energy.

He said this initiative aims to transfer knowledge and skills as well as foster the growth of local talent in the AIMS sector.

The Director of Regional Development Africa, EM&I Group, said two Stark Engineers have so far been offshore, with EM&I teams receiving OJT and offshore experience, and two more are planned to join the EM&I/Stark offshore teams in the near future.

Mr. Woodcock noted that embarking on a journey marked by excellence, the collaborative project in Angola incorporates four seamlessly integrated phases.

He explained that it was executed concurrently and adaptable to client operational schedules. These phases include remotely operated vehicle (ROV) UWILD services, EM&I’s ODIN underwater techniques and alternative inspection, NDT inspection for structural integrity, and valve and sea chest isolations featuring cutting-edge technologies such as LIMPET and bladder plug systems.

He noted that in “Côte d'Ivoire, our team provides routine Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and exclusive standby rescue services. Stark’s UAV pilots may also form part of our collaboration.”

Mr. Woodcock stressed that EM&I's state-of-the-art integrity-class ROVs are deployed for comprehensive underwater inspections, ensuring critical subsea assets' integrity without the need for diver intervention or drydocking.

“This approach minimizes downtime, optimizes safety, and addresses Persons on Board (POB)-related concerns while aligning with project efficiency goals,” he stated.

Dr. Papa Benin, Managing Director, Stark Energy Limited, also explained that the integration of cutting-edge technologies like LIMPET sea chest isolations further enhances maintenance activities within the vessel below sea level by mitigating the risk of flooding, streamlining processes, and improving safety.

“ODIN inspections employ advanced technology to enhance efficiency and ease during valve integrity checks.

“This unique methodology allows visualization and function tests of valves without the need to split flanges, contributing to a holistic understanding of the asset's condition,” he noted.

Dr. Benin stressed that alternative inspection methods were also employed to ensure a thorough examination of critical components in areas with limited accessibility, highlighting our commitment to excellence.

“Within this scope, the team was tasked with a comprehensive NDT inspection of various vessel assets. With experienced technicians utilizing advanced techniques, potential defects or abnormalities were adequately identified and captured," Dr. Benin stated.

The Managing Director of Stark Energy Limited stressed that thorough examination prioritizes safety, efficiency, and data quality, providing valuable insights into the condition of key components.

“Due to EM&I and Stark Energy's commitment to safety, detail, and excellence, the combined team has been offshore in Côte d'Ivoire, with our skilled personnel providing 24-hour standby rescue services and routine NDT inspection services onboard the vessel,” he stated.

Dr. Benin emphasizes that the joint effort not only seeks to enhance asset integrity but also establishes a benchmark for the industry, demonstrating the convergence of safety, operational excellence, and technological innovation.

“As EM&I and Stark Energy continue their collaborative journey, the focus on local content development and knowledge transfer within the West African sub-region ensures a sustainable impact on local economies as well as EM&I’s and Stark Energy’s growth," he stated.