Gomes1, Ricardo L. F. P. Távora2

Copyright 2012, Instituto Brasileiro de Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis – IBP This paper was prepared for presentation at Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012, held in Rio de Janeiro from 17 to 20 September, 2012. This paper was selected for presentation by the Technical Committee of the event, following the information contained in the full paper submitted by the author (s). The organizers will not translate or correct the text received. The material as presented, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Brazilian Institute of Oil and Gas, Partners and Representatives. It is common knowledge and approval of the author(s) that this work is published in the congressional records of Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012.

The construction of Refinery Abreu e Lima, also known as Northeast of Refinery – RNEST, represents a landmark to the state of Pernambuco and the realization of thirty year-old dream of it's civil society – and why can't we also say the whole country's. In order to permit the beginning of productive activities the building and assembly of pipelines connecting the different processes' areas (transference and storage – for example) is a requisite, thus the project includes the assembly of approximately 28.000 tons of pipelines, 94.000 cubic meters of concrete, 930 kilometers of electrical cables and about 2.742 instruments. Total extension of interconnection pipelines is 8.120 meters. Managing a contract with the characteristics mentioned above demands the managerial capability of dealing with a vast number of interfaces, especially project and constructive interfaces and also with the other contracts involved in the project as whole an average number counts about 115 constructive interfaces per pipeline battery limit. This work focuses on the construction of the interconnection pipelines in Northeast of Refinery and it aims to describe the main constructive strategies used to achieve the goal of starting productive activities in September, 2013. It is also important to mention that during all the working process it was adopted a systemic productivity measurement method developed by professors at the Brazilian universities Estadual do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), which allowed to identify eventual unproductive processes and also to adopt corrective measures in order to achieve higher production levels. Due to experience gained during the work we also present the lessons learned and the best practices recommended to be adopted in future similar enterprises. Thanks are described, for those people who somehow contributed to the preparation of this technical work.

1. Introduction
Abreu e Lima Refinery – RNEST is located in a 6.3 km² area, strategically situated in a economic activity pool. In privileged geographic conditions due to it’s equidistance to the main centers of consumption in the northeast region of Brazil and also due to the road network confluence that surrounds it, the enterprise brings the region uncountable opportunities to enhance its development by the attraction of companies, the qualification of local labor force and the promotion of better life quality to the population. Its design includes technologies that respect the environment and people's relationship with its surroundings. The construction of Refinery Abreu e Lima has created about 40 thousand direct work positions and other 150 thousand indirect ones. When operating refinery should create 1,5 thousand direct work positions. Refinery should also increase tax collection in a R$ 2,5 billion scale (about U$ 1,3 billion at an average 1,9 R$/U$ exchange rate) per year, responding for 20% of Pernambuco’s Gross Domestic Product – GDP. Considering the diversity of tasks included in the Contract of Construction and Assembly of Interconnection Pipeway in Northeast of Refinery scope which include other than the assembly of pipelines itself, the construction of 87 bridges, 11 pump rooms – involving the installation of 115 pumps, 4 power substations, the construction of the fire fighting water supply (using about 3000 tons of pipes), a two flare system and that the contract includes part of the critical needs to the refineries operation in September, 2013, several constructive strategies have been implemented as described below:

__________________________________________________ 1 Mechanical Engineer, Sector Manager - PETROBRÁS S/A. 2 Civil Engineer, Sector Manager - PETROBRÁS S/A.

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 a) - Implementation of parts of the critical way in the Fast Tracking (parallelism) regime as often as possible; b) - Installation of advanced construction sites on the stretches of interconnection pipe-way, in order to make the parallelism of the fronts of services mentioned in the previous section. Such sites are equipped with all infrastructures to support sectors of Construction, Installation, Planning, Monitoring, Safety, Environment and Health, Quality, Field Warehousing and Tooling; c) – Use of five (05) inflatable covers in the pipe-way during the 2011 rainy season within the months of may and august and the use of more than twenty (20) of these coverage in the 2012 rainy season, allowing the block execution, laying of dormants and execution of concrete envelops; d) – Paving of eight (8) kilometers of pipe-way part of the contract’s scope, by land material excavation and replacement with sand and gravel or “rachinha” in order to mitigate the impacts of rainfall and its consequences; e) – Use of schedule compression techniques and the implementation of a shifts regime (2nd and 3rd shifts) in tasks including the contracts critical way. f) - Adoption of new technologies in relation to the issue of pipe insulation, in order to employ more agility in the execution of the activity; g) - Reduction of people and equipment onsite, by engaging in various activities of construction and assembly outside the Refinery boundaries. We can especially highlight the manufacture of pre-cast concrete parts, pre-fabrication of piping and welding Spools - pipe-type "double joints". Currently, there are more than 13,000 tons of welded "double-Joints" pipes in sites outside Abreu e Lima Refinery; h) - Due to the large volume of pre-cast concrete parts required in the enterprise and the lack of local suppliers to meet such a demand, besides the construction of a huge pre-cast concrete manufacturing plant in the borders of Abreu e Lima Refinery (average of 400 four hundred employees) there were also hired vendors in the states of Bahia and Ceará. i) - Maximization in use of forms used in onsite concreting activities aiming to reduce delays. j) - Construction of accommodation facilities in the vicinity of the refinery, with capacity for 1.920 employees - total area 37.517,19 square meters - with hospitality and entertainment services, enabling conditions for hiring professionals from other regions in face of the lack of labor force in the area as well as the lack of housing to meet local demand. It is worth stressing, which is currently under construction, a pipe-shop for the manufacture of spool's adjacent to the refinery, with an estimated capacity of 360 tons / month for an average diameter of 12 inches. During the assembly process of 28.000 tons of pipeline in pipe-way, there are used conventional cranes and 30 tons capacity cranes. Cranes are also used on the adjacent streets to the pipe-way for releasing spools. For mounting flares there will be used lattice boom cranes with 750 tons capacity. At the beginning of works in the interconnection pipe-way in Northeast of Refinery there were many adversities, mostly related to the impacts of rain and its increased consequences by the design of a temporary drainage system which used the pipe-way itself as part of drainage system. This system allowed the entire rainwater in the area of the plant, about 630 hectares, to flow into the pipe-way. This concentration resulted in severe impacts to the work, making, PETROBRAS, alter the drainage system adopted, and the implementation of a series of constructive strategies, able to mitigate the impacts caused by rainfall and its consequences, aiming to meet the deadlines set for the Refinery to start production in the first half of 2013.

2. Constructive Strategies for Civil Construction Works
2.1. Precast Concrete Parts Manufacturing Plant. In order to support the large volume of civil works in the interconnection contract’s scope it was built outside the refinery a large precast concrete manufacturing plant, endowed with two concrete mills with production capacity of up to 450m3 of concrete (see pictures 1 and 2). This factory supplied with parts for the 87 (eighty seven) bridges, 04 (four) power substations, eleven (11) pump rooms, drainage channels, sleepers for the pipe-way and pipe-racks. 2

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Picture 1. Precast Concrete Manufacturing Plant.

Picture 2. Concrete Mills. 2.2. Lining of pipe-way with “rachinha”. After the step of excavation and earthwork pipe-way, to mitigate the impact caused by the rain and its consequences, and also to facilitate the movement of equipment, we used the strategy of adding a layer of “rachinha”, a material composed by rocky material with small particles size, as Figures 3 and 4, greatly facilitating the activities of staking, blocks concreting, and assembly of pipeline sleepers.

Picture 3. Lining of pipe-way with “rachinha”.


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Picture 4. Staking of pipe-way with “rachinha”. 2.3. Inflatable Covers. In the 2011 rainy season in the region, within the months of May to August, there were used five (05) Inflatable covers. For 2012 it is expected the use of twenty (20) Inflatable structures as the ones used in the previous year. This constructive strategy proof to be efficient against the action of rain allowing to work in it’s interior at any climatic condition, including at night as shown on pictures 5 and 6, respectively. In addition to this we should include that the inflatable structures favor customization as it’s height, width and extension can be adapted according to constructive needs onsite.

Picture 5. Inflatable cover in the pipe-way.

Picture 6. Inflatable cover interior in pipe-way.


Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 2.4. Adaptation of Constructive Methods Constructive methods had to be adapted to work conditions, in order to minimize the risk of downtime caused by rainfall and its consequences. The work focused wherever possible the use of precast parts instead of in-situ concreting in the pipe-way, pictures 7 and 8, as the risk of disruptions caused by rain is significantly lower using precast structures. Bridges projects were changed in order to use precast parts as more as possible, same as the drainage channels where insitu concreting did not present the expected results and the use of precast parts was adopted.

Picture 7. Drainage channel construction.

Picture 8. Bridges Construction. 2.5. Fast Tracking Strategy Adoption. It was used the technique of Fast-Tracking by the parallelism between the activities of construction and assembly of pipe-way in order to reduce time initially scheduled (Pictures 9 and 10).

Picture 9. Constructive works and pipelines assembly. 5

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Picture 10. Constructive works and pipelines assembly.

3. Pipeline Assembly Constructive Strategies.
3.1. Pipes and Double Joints Storage. The segment of tubing in the interconnection contract, comprises the manufacture, assembly, Non Destructive Testing, conditioning, commissioning and pre-operation of all piping systems within a universe of 28.000 TON (Ø ¾ "to Ø 72") in carbon steel, steel alloy and stainless steel. Regarding the supplement of pipes the service supplier (often in an outsourcing agreement) is responsible for providing all piping in carbon steel with diameter smaller than 6" as well as part of the supply (15%) of carbon steel pipes bigger than or equal to 6" of total 28,000 TON of projects. The processed material (double joints and Spool's) is stored in a defined area, located in one of five (05) yards of storage under care of those suppliers (see picture 11).

Picture 11. Pipes and Double Joints Storage. 3.2. Pre-manufacture of Double-Joints, Metal Spools and Brackets. In order to gain productivity, while precast parts were manufactured outside refinery boundaries’ and the foundations were settled in the pipe-way bed’s, in other adjacent cities around Ipojuca (Northeast of Refinery’s hometown) there were welded 24 meters pipes spans (double-joints) (see picture 12), greatly reducing the number of joints to be soldered on the assembly of these pipes in the field. It is noteworthy that another highly positive factor in terms of time was the manufacture of spool's and metal supports in these same factories, where it was also performed pipes sandblasting and painting services. Among the welding processes used in making double-joints and welding spool's, we highlight the TIG / MIG (manual and semi-automatic) welds for the implementation of the root pass; MIG / SAW automatic, for the execution of filling and coverage. As a result of using automatic and semi-automatic processes records count for near zero welded joints repair index. 6

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Picture 12. Welding Double-Joint’s 3.3. Induction Spools Making Machine. In one of the double joints factory it is currently being tested the manufacture of spools from a straight tube using a machine to bend the tube by the induction process (see picture 13). This machine is capable of producing spools from 2” to 16” with thickness varying from 10 to 65mm. This new technique will allow a significant productivity gain by reducing the number of connections forged and the number of joints to be welded in the pre-fabrication of spools. This process allows the use of different types of materials such as carbon steel, stainless steel and alloy steel.

Picture 13. Bending by Inductions. 3.4. “Controltub”: Manufacture and Assembly Status. In order to control the manufacture and assembly programming of double-joints and spools it is being used the software “Controltub”. The software keeps record of varied information as shown on pictures 14 to 16.

Picture 14. Welded Joints Control. 7

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Picture 15. Double-joints and spools manufacture and assembly.

Picture 16. Pipe-Way 4.3 – Pipelines Assembly.

4. Managerial Strategies
4.1. Long Work Hours. Due to the large volume of concrete to be used in civil works (about 94.000 m3), the amount of pipe to be installed (approximately 28.000 tons) and the schedule to be completed, some measures were adopted with the aim of meeting dates to the launch of the onsite units in the refinery: extension of daily working hours, schedule of services at the weekends and holidays and the deployment of night shift. 4.2. Housing Construction. Due to the mobilization of workers in different regions in the country, it was necessary to build great accommodation facilities for up to 1.920 employees, located in the city of Ipojuca. 4.3. Working Group on Constructive Interfaces Implementation. At the stage of implementation of Abreu e Lima Refinery more than 30 contracts have been settled, in certain cases with physical schedules in parallel. Due to such a characteristic a huge number of constructive interference occurred. Dealing with the identification and treatment of those interferences it was created a working group composed by representatives of the different companies responsible for building on-site and off-site units and representatives of Petrobras supervision. It is noteworthy that by may 2012 144 meetings had been held, 1.690 interferences had been identified of which 59% had already been treated, what counts for the mitigation of rework, cost reduction, productivity gains and the avoidance of delays in refineries milestones.


Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 4.4. Working Group on Temporary Drainage Implementation. In order to mitigate the impacts caused by the rain and their consequences in the works in progress, it was created a Working Group, consisting of representatives of business units responsible for the construction of On-Site and Off-Sites and representatives of Petrobras supervision, whose first action was to design and size a new drainage system that would allow the routing of effluent storm water to appropriate destination, since the temporary drainage system originally deployed considered the pipelines and outlets, what brought great impact to services that were being held inside, especially during the rainy season. The group work’s routine, includes weekly meetings on these rainy periods, aiming at ensuring the implementation and maintenance of this provisional new drainage system in place, as well as it’s suitability to work. 4.5. Productivity Monitoring. At the start of works at interconnection pipe-way, it was deployed a method for monitoring services productivity. Initially in the civil discipline, at the cuttings helix activity, in the period from September 09th 2011 to March 11th 2012 there were collected 2917 Hh in 6035 meters of driven piles, and then eight reports were generated. Then followed the activity of root cuttings, there were collected 3093.72 Hh in 1329.9 meters of driven piles. Another monitored activity was the razing of cuttings, then there were collected 1578.95 Hh, in 157 prepared stakes, there were generated twenty-one reports for each subject in the period from April 2011 to April 05th 2012. This method allowed us to measure the amount of Hh by occupation, what helped at pointing the main unproductive work causes. The method includes generation of weekly reports sent to supervision and used as support information at the team’s internal meetings.

5. Lessons Learned and Best Practices.
5.1. Lessons Learned. 5.1.1. Interconnection Pipelines Drainage. The consequence of rain at the rainy season in the region, within the months from May to August in the years of 2010 and 2011, evidenced the need of changing the first drainage system adopted. That system considered the pipe-way part of the provisional drainage system throughout the refinery. After changes had been made, all the rain water flowed into drainage channels what allowed work to continue in the pipelines even in the rainy season. 5.2. Best Practices. 5.2.1. Precast Concrete Parts Manufacture. Due to the large volume of concrete being used in the interconnection pipe-way contract of construction, including the manufacture of pipes sleepers, construction of 87 bridges, 04 substations and 11 pump rooms, the use of precast concrete parts manufacturing plants proof to be one of the best practices adopted in the venture since it allowed considerable gains in quality of manufactured parts and especially time reduction in the construction of bridges and the 04 substations. 5.2.2. Double-Joints Mnufacture. Considering the need to comply with deadlines, the decision to weld pipes in 24 meters double joints was undoubtedly a good practice adopted in this work, which certainly can and should be disseminated in future projects of similar complexity, especially if there is already a reasonable amount of tubes stored and it is not possible to have them welded in-situ due to need of predecessors works such as laying the foundations, concrete blocks and sleepers assembly and construction of power substations.

6. Acknowledgements.
The authors thank the engineers Glauco Colepicolo Legatti and Ivo Tasso Bahia Baer by Petrobras, for the given opportunity of being part of the team that led the management and supervision of a contract with the characteristics of the one object in this study, also for the chance of making history by participating in the construction of Northeast of Refinery – the countries first venture in this scale in the last 30 years. The authors of this study also thank the engineers Bruno Nobrega Bezerra Cavalcanti and Jailson Dias Bezerra, members of the inspection team by Petrobras, for the dedication and cooperation given so that this technical work could be developed. 9

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Particularly, Antonio Edson Gomes thanks the engineer José Luis Dias Gomes, for the professionalism, dedication and commitment shown in helping to solve the most complex issues involving management and supervision of interconnection pipelines contract of Northeast of Refinery - RNEST.