Fit for the future
Nestled in the south eastern peninsular of Trinidad, away from the main roads and hustling hub of activity that is the Mayaro junction is BP Trinidad and Tobago’s Terminal facility in Galeota Point. The 40 plus year old facility is home to bpTT’s onshore operation which covers a wide expanse of acreage on the south eastern coast. BPTT has two main processing facilities on land on the south east coast. The terminal liquid processing plant is located at the south eastern tip of the island known as Galeota Point. The Beachfield gas processing and distribution plant is located approximately 5 miles west of Galeota Point. The onshore facilities were commissioned to process oil and gas flowing from offshore fields from bpTT’s existing acreage in the Columbus Basin. The gas from Beachfield is transported to Atlantic, or it feeds into the national energy grid. The crude /condensate is stored and exported via tanker at the marine base operations in Galeota Point
- The Terminal facility is located at Galeota Point in Guayaguayare, off the south east point of Trinidad.
- The Terminal facility is 100% owned by bpTT
- The Galeota Point Terminal is designed to handle condensate delivered from the Beachfield Gas Receiving Facility and the condensate and crude oil mixture from the offshore platforms.
- Condensate (liquid hydrocarbons that sometimes come up with the gas) from the facility is pumped in batches from Beachfield through a 6" pipeline at rates of up to 250 gallons per minute (gpm).
- Crude oil is stored in five crude storage tanks. Saleable oil is periodically loaded from the storage tanks to tankers for export.
- There are two processing plants at the Galeota Point Terminal, the crude oil plant (COP) and the stabilization plant (Stab).
- The crude oil plant (COP) which was commissioned in 1976 processes liquids coming from TSP (Teak, Samaan, Poui fields) and CIFK (Cassia, Immortelle, Flamboyant, Kapok fields).
- The stabilization plant was commissioned in 1987 and is designed to process the lighter condensate associated with the gas production.
- There are three lines entering the Terminal facility from offshore - 16", 18" and a 12".
What goes on at the terminal?
Described as the nerve centre at Galeota Point, the terminal facility is an integral part of bpTT’s operation in Trinidad. As an onshore asset, the terminal processes produced liquids from the offshore facilities, transported via a 12” subsea pipeline. The liquids are separated into water and condensate at the inlet separators, with the water being routed for further processing in the Crude oil plant. The condensate is routed to the Stabilisation section of the plant to reduce vapour pressure for storage in Floating Roof Tanks. The Crude Oil plant also receives crude from the Repsol TSP (Teak, Samaan and Poui) facilities where water is removed before being routed to the floating roof storage tanks and combined with the Stabilised Condensate. The resulting crude and condensate are commonly known as “Galeota Mix” and approximately every two weeks are exported via tankers in volumes of approximately 370,000 barrels to refineries across the world such as Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
40+ years in operation
When the terminal was initially designed, it was to process high volumes of liquids (oil) in its early days in the 1970s. Since then, bpTT has primarily become a gas producer with the majority of the hydrocarbons being found in the form of gas. This gas is transported via pipeline to the Beachfield facility. That meant that for a facility of 40+ years, the terminal experienced significantly reduced volumes passing through the lines. This presented significant challenges in terms of maintaining the integrity of equipment, while at the same time understanding vulnerabilities to keeping the operation safe and reliable. At present day, the focus at the Terminal is on ensuring the reliability and integrity of the facility, with the necessary integrity management programmes to support the business’ goal to be efficient and reliable. The plant has not been downsized with regard to the lower volumes flowing through. Instead, the teams working there are dedicated to ensuring high operational reliability by ensuring equipment can be operated in line with the BP prescribed procedures. In his role as Area Operations Manager at the Galeota and Beachfield sites, David Stobbs has had a varied workload when it comes to running the terminal facility. “A large part of my role as an AOM is as an integrator of the various teams that bring a successful business,” he offered. “Days can range from managing and reducing our risks associated with our risk action plans, OMS compliance actions, project execution support and talking to my team during office and site visits by ensuring our operations have the rigour required to manage a high hazard business.” To keep the facility safe, Larry Drayton, Onshore Site Manager at the Terminal works with a team to ensure that safety improvements to improve its efficiency are routinely implemented into the site. He offered some insight into the ongoing work by saying: “At present, we have a leak reduction plan which on a prioritised basis and are pro-actively repairing lines based on inspection results. We continue to work towards ensuring a safe and highly reliable operation for the business.”
The future of the terminal
To ensure the long term safety and reliability of the terminal facility, the teams are undertaking upgrade works to optimise the operation. Glenis-Ann Borel, Engineering Team Lead for the onshore asset said, “Currently we are working on a project to assess infrastructure that is no longer in use to reduce maintenance costs and risk” she revealed. With a clear focus on simplifying and optimising the operation for the long term, the ongoing and planned work at the facility not only removes risk and reduces unnecessary cost but it allows for resourcing and maintenance of the remaining equipment to a high standard. Stobbs closed by saying: “Although there is no real production taking place at Beachfield and the terminal, without both assets, all of our offshore production would be curtailed. This would have significant impact on Trinidad’s economic and social well-being as well as BP’s profitability. Therefore, the onshore assets are a big part of bpTT’s business here in Trinidad and Tobago. We are keeping the BP values top of mind in maintaining a successful operation. We are still on a journey in this regard but it’s a goal we are sure we can attain for the next 20 years and beyond!”