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Delivering the equipment - and the knowledge - needed to tackle an offshore challenge

December 4, 2019

When an oil & gas industry EPC needed onboard nitrogen to support an oil-rig rebuild in the Gulf of Mexico, not only did Atlas Copco Rental Mexico have the needed solutions at the ready — it also provided the insights needed to greatly increase efficiencies and to prevent work stoppages.

A premier multinational EPC (engineering, procurement and construction company) for the oil & gas industry, McDermott was hired to rebuild and repair the Abkatun Alfa oil rig after an April 2015 explosion left it badly damaged and out of comission. Owned by Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company, the rig is located far off the Mexican coast in the Gulf of Mexico, creating significant logistical and financial hurdles to liquid N2 delivery. Not only were the costs of getting liquid N2 to the rig very high, but severe weather could halt deliveries altogether — creating the potential for work interruptions until storms passed and deliveries could be made.

When Carlos Mezza, Atlas Copco Rental Mexico’s South Region Sales Manager, offered McDermott a solution that would allow for on-site nitrogen generation on the rig, the initial answer was no. While the proposed solution — the NGM 1100 nitrogen generator — could meet the 1,000 PSI pressure and the 1,000 CFM flow requirements needed for the work being done on the rig, the client had been using 99.9% pure nitrogen for the repair/rebuild work on board, and wanted to maintain this extremely high level of purity. Because the NGM1100 produces nitrogen at approximately 95% purity, the client didn’t think it would fit the bill.

But Guillermo Garza, country manager, didn’t give up. He knew that the 95% pure nitrogen generated by the NGM1100 could get the job done — and after consulting with a N2 specialist from Rental North Amercia, he presented the client with the documentation to prove it, all based on similar successful projects. The data was convincing — and after multiple tests on the rig, McDermott agreed that the proposal was a winner.

A Successful Solution

To facilitate the desired on-site nitrogen generation on the Abkatun Alfa, we delivered the proposed NGM 1100, along with a pair of PNS 1250 oil-free, diesel-driven air compressors and a B7-41 booster. Further, an on-site operator was made available 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that things ran smoothly. The results, after McDermott employed the proposed solution to produce on-site nitrogen on the rig for 10 months:

  • Saved client money by eliminating the high costs of delivering liquid N2 to the rig

  • Avoided the risk of interruptions in N2 availability due to severe weather — and the subsequent risk of work stoppages

When the client needed high-quality equipment and experience-derived know-how to tackle a tough job, we delivered big to the rig — on both counts.

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At Atlas Copco, we have been turning industrial ideas into business-critical benefits since 1873. By listening to our customers and knowing their needs, we deliver value and innovate with the future in mind.

Great ideas reinforce sustainable development. At Atlas Copco Specialty Rental, we team up with our customers to set up state-of-the-art temporary air, flow, steam and nitrogen solutions. Our passionate experts have extensive application and equipment knowledge. We understand our customers' needs and can provide a total solution for any industry, no matter if it is for emergencies or planned projects. We are a division of the Power Technique business area, headquartered in Boom, Belgium and offer specialty rental solutions under several brands around the globe.