Work underway on decks for Hebron gravity base structure

Frank Gale
Published on July 4, 2014
While work continues on the exterior of the Port Harmon Industrial Facility in Stephenville, inside the fabrication of decks for a standalone concrete gravity base structure for the Hebron oilfield is underway. This large grey area, where men are working using a scissor jack, is where one of two mega-doors will be installed to remove the deck components when they’re completed. — Photo by Frank Gale/The Western Star

The Port Harmon Industrial Facility is a busy spot these days, with Pennecon Energy working on the fabrication of one of the decks for a standalone concrete gravity base structure for the Hebron oilfield

Gerald Costello, senior project manager with Pennecon, said the east and west portions of Deck 50 are moving along. The construction is underway in what was previously the Abitibi-Consolidated paper shed at Port Harmon in Stephenville.

Costello said next up is the fabrication of Deck 71, for which the components arrived Thursday.

Sixteen management personnel and 35 workers are on the project now, and Costello said within another month another management position will be filled and the workers’ number will double.

The work may not stop at the completion of these two decks — depending on the success of the fabrication, more decks could be built at the facility. Those would include the top deck elevation 118M and another deck below, 98M.

The gravity base structure will consist of reinforced concrete designed to withstand sea ice, icebergs and meteorological and oceanographic conditions. It will be designed to store about 1.2 million barrels of crude oil.

The Bull Arm site is the primary construction site for the structure, which will support an integrated topsides deck that includes living quarters and facilities to perform drilling and production. A substantial portion of the topsides will be engineered and fabricated in this province, and the integration will be performed at the Bull Arm site.

Trades people on site in Stephenville include electricians, ironwork fitters and welders, labourers, carpenters, scaffolders and equipment operators.

Costello said modifications are being carried out to the Port Harmon Industrial Facility that involve installing two mega-doors in the end of building to remove the decks once they are constructed.

He said the first deck is expected to be completed by the end of August, at which time it will be lifted onto a barge and towed by a tug to the Bull Arm site for installation on the gravity base structure in mid-September of 2014.