In 2020, the result of a trip by AVENCOM’s technical director to the United Kingdom was the creation of a subsidiary for participation in international projects. One of the “successful” contracts was the project of integrating and commissioning a complex of security systems (CSS) on the sites of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). SPDC is a joint oil and gas exploration company, 55% owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), 30% by Anglo-Dutch Shell, 10% by the French Total, and 5% by the Italian Eni. In 2018, Shell Global decided to switch all its security systems to the Genetec platform, integrating all other systems into a common interface. As a pilot, it chose its Nigerian subsidiary.
AVENCOM, with its excellent experience working with security systems, took on the complex’s integration, commissioning, and operation.
The scale is impressive – four remote facilities are conventionally “ground-based” terminals for oil and gas transfer, and the other two are offshore drilling platforms. The security systems of these facilities are designed to operate autonomously. Still, they are federated, and data from all remote points are accessible from the SPDC central office in Port-Harcourt. The Genetec system there also integrates existing video surveillance and access control systems.
By the time we were involved in the project, it had became clear that a phased deployment was necessary – in the first phase, the Genetec system as an integration platform of everything, the intrusion detection system on the perimeter OptaSense, thermal HGH and X-ray Kelvin-Hughes radar. In the second phase, we transferred the deployment of video surveillance and access control systems, including automatic vehicle number recognition and specialized gates and turnstiles.
My first attempt to enter Nigeria resulted in an extra day spent in the Istanbul airport due to an incorrectly filled-out visa application. It turned out later, this was far from the last mistake in processing entry documents, which made me learn to check all fields with accuracy to the symbol. But who knows what other surprises the bureaucratic machine has in store?
As usual for us as integrators, we faced some problems as well. But we immediately aimed to demonstrate a high level of competence as experts in the security field, as well as our experience in project management. Before starting any work, we made a detailed plan indicating the risks and requirements for each activity and the deadlines and responsible parties. During the work, we provided daily reports for monitoring progress. At the end of each trip, we made a detailed report on all the settings made, indicating the problems and recommendations for their elimination, as well as overall suggestions for the further development of the project.
During the work, we had a chance to communicate with representatives of vendors from France, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as with Shell Global employees from the Netherlands and India.
We have handed over the central office in Port-Harcourt (without the functionality of the federated system) to the customer, all the equipment for the first phase in the oil and gas terminal in Forcados, and prepared equipment for the terminal on Bonny Island. Soon, a trip is expected to conduct several training sessions for the customer’s personnel on the administration and operation of security systems. The plans include work on Bonny Island, two offshore platforms, and the entire second phase of the project. The expected completion date of the project is 2024-25.
Mobilization to such remote locations is a different challenge. The last time my way home looked like this: by helicopter from Forcados to Port Harcourt, then by plane from Port Harcourt to Lagos, then to Istanbul, Astana, Almaty, and finally to Uralsk.