The infrastructure that supports water injection in North Rumaila is vast! There are more than 160 wells that inject water, 10 manifolds for distributing water and five cluster pumps stations. We also have five industrial water pump stations with accompanying pipe networks that serve the north of the field – providing water for all the offices and facilities for IDC and the Basra Oil Company (BOC) and the Basra Gas Company (BGC), as well as the BOC housing compound and the oil police force’s check points. All of these need maintaining!
We have 39 men in the team and a lot of the work is related to maintaining or replacing the multitude of valves. The kind of tools we use include hydraulic and electric devices to release tight bolts and flanges, a gasket cutter, a flange balance device and a hydraulic lifter. We also undertake various welding tasks as well as link and delink water injection wells.
But it’s when the pressure levels reach 200 bars inside the wells – that’s when things get especially challenging: there are so many different sized valves and flanges to work on and we have to be extra careful to make sure everyone works according to set guidelines so that they stay safe.
The work is also particularly demanding when a facility shut down is required to undertake maintenance work. It’s always a race against time to complete our tasks as quickly possible, sometimes within three hours or less!
I’d say this is when we feel the shortage of staff the most; like many teams at Rumaila, we’d like to have more team members to help us, but the operation has to operate in difficult economic times. And despite all the difficulties we face, I’m happy to say we work well as a team and deliver high quality outcomes.