The Bijupira and Salema Fields were discovered in 1990 and are located in the Campos Basin, 150 miles east of Rio de Janeiro.

The development is significant because it is one of Brazil’s first major fields developed by a foreign operator and also because it is one of the first turnkey subsea developments in Brazil.

Project Launch

ISN were initially engaged to run the provision of several parts of the overall project. Included in the Project Mandate were the following discrete requirements:

  • Upgrade office systems and provide a communications package for the semi-submersible drilling rig Ocean Yorktown
  • Upgrade of desktop, server and communication services within the Rio de Janeiro office
  • Link the onshore support base and the Ocean Yorktown to the Rio de Janeiro office
  • Commission and support the fabrication yard in Singapore, for use by the FPSO fit-out team

Initially, a project team was formed, which was headed by an ISN Senior Project Manager. This Manager was then responsible for running the team of engineers over a 12 month period.

Gathering requirements

The first task of the Project Manager focused on delivering a Project Brief, which included gathering the requirements and outlining the existing environment, together with the results of an audit and the possible solutions for this complex set of deliverables.

This Project Brief required that a strong base line be present in the voice and data communication systems across all sites. Initially, a desktop and server team and an in-country project manager were despatched to Rio to perform surveys of the drilling rig, the support base and the head office. At that time, an audit of the main office had shown that the systems had several inherent weaknesses that would need to be addressed before they were loaded with further complex systems.

With a survey of the remote locations and the Ocean Yorktown completed and the available options fully examined, the project team was able to accurately forecast which solutions and costs it would propose to the client. At the end of this phase of work, the Project Manager presented his Project Brief to the client’s management team and a suitable scope of work and an appropriate level of spend was approved for the next phase of work.

Detailed planning

During the next phase of work, the Project Team worked on addressing the finer points of the project brief and essentially coming up with a detailed Initiation document, which indicated how the project would be executed and if there were any cost variations from the Project Brief.

During this phase, the desktop and server team were given the task of addressing the technical shortfalls in the Rio environment, and the project manager started to work on the provision of services for the remote sites. As more of the work was progressed, the Rio environment was updated, the contracts for the provision of the communications backbone between the three sites were examined and work was started on specifying the finer detail of both the support base and the Ocean Yorktown.

At the end of the project Initiation phase, the project scope was fully defined and the costs were revised appropriately. At an appropriate point in this phase, further approval was gained from the client, particularly in relation to costs. Once approved, work began on the support base and the Ocean Yorktown and after a period of 2 months, all systems were fully tested and found to be operational.

A handover document was then completed and distributed to the support team, and the services of ISN were retained for a period of 12 months, in order to provide technical assistance and knowledge sharing.

Fabrication office

In Asia, a similar format was followed in the commissioning of the fabrication office in the Jurong shipyard; That being the Project Mandate, Project Brief, Project Initiation and Project Handover..

Once again, the fabrication yard was successfully added to the clients wide Area Network, with suitable consideration having being given to corporate standards and, more importantly, systems’ security. The special needs of this project included:

  • A project spanning multiple continents, multiple time zones and multiple languages
  • The careful planning of resources and materials, especially when being sourced and mobilised from a central location
  • The careful gathering of requirements which led to the Project Brief
  • The management of change

The entire project was successfully delivered to the Shell team on time and to budget.


Client feedback on this project is available either through FPAL (First Point Assessment Limited) or contact ISN on 020 7313 8300 to get further references.