Harris Pye refurbishes ‘Atwood Hunter’ in West Africa

Harris Pye Engineering and a subsidiary of Atwood Oceanics, Inc. recently forged another successful partnership by jointly executing a very challenging project off the coast of West Africa – the exact location, at anchorage in the Port of Limbe, Cameroon, for the Atwood Hunter.


“The objective of this project was to safely refurbish the rig with enhanced capabilities by executing the scope of work in a location which minimised transit time from the rig’s operating market to a shipyard and back,” Michael Pue of Atwood Oceanics commented.

“Three offers were evaluated for this job. Ultimately, Harris Pye was awarded the project because they had the experience required and resources necessary to execute such an aggressive project schedule in a complex foreign environment,” Pue added.

Following detailed discussions and in-country surveys, Atwood decided to choose Limbe as the project location. Doing so avoided 48 days of transit time which would have been expected when towing to and from a conventional shipyard capable of executing the magnitude of work required.

Chris David, Harris Pye Group Technical Director, said: “We have worked with Atwood Oceanics on numerous projects, all of which were a total success because of the strong teamwork between the two companies.
This project was particularly demanding because of the remote location, local environmental conditions and the inconsistent paperwork formalities for import/export. The amount of planning required to ensure the project was a success was immense.”

The larger scope of work included a complete blast and paint of the underdeck and columns, approximately 250 tonnes of general steel and pipe renewals, change out of eight shale shakers for 4 state-of-the-art units, renewal of five fairleaders weighing eleven tonnes each, and major modifications to the mud pits and associated piping.

Harris Pye Engineering also recently purchased over 2MM USD of QuikDecK™ equipment, an excellent specialist hanging staging system utilised on this particular project to access the rig’s underdeck. It is estimated that Safway’s QuikDecK™ technology reduced the overall timeframe of the scaffolding work by approximately 18 days, when compared to conventional scaffold systems.

Project logistics was a massive undertaking as over 1400 tonnes of blast grit and 3000 tonnes of equipment in 97 containers were shipped to the West African coast using a specifically chartered vessel. The overall project duration was about six months which encompassed preplanning, execution and demobilisation phases and utilized almost 700 people; it is worthy to note that almost half of the labour team were friendly Cameroonian locals. More importantly, over 400,000 man hours were expended during this project and all were worked without a recordable injury. This achievement gives testament to the safety culture of both Atwood Oceanics and the Harris Pye Group.

Mark Prendergast, Managing Director of the Harris Pye Group, stated: “I am very proud of the fact that Harris Pye executed the project safely and efficiently, whilst injecting impetus into the local economy and many thanks goes to Atwood Oceanics for giving our organisation the opportunity to do so. We look forward to similar projects in the future.”

Press Release, July 21, 2014; Image: Atwood Oceanics


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