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Hurezani Gas Hub - A hub for a better life

1.4 million homes in Romania are provided with energy in a safer, more efficient manner, thanks to the hard work of the passionate people of OMV Petrom at the Hurezani Gas Hub. The last piece of the puzzle was the Hurezani gas treatment system, which allows delivery of up to 6 million standard cubic meters of natural gas per day to the national transport system. The Hurezani Gas Hub is more than just an item in a complex project. It is a masterpiece in terms of project management and has changed the lives of those involved.

Where there's a will there's a way

The Hurezani gas hub serves four of the most important gas producing fields in OMV Petrom’s portfolio, located in Gorj County, Romania. It was a long journey from the need to provide proper gas quality for the fields previously served by the old Turburea C2 plant, which has reached the end of its lifecycle after 40 years in operation, to a fully functional gas treatment hub. The project took over 9 years and it came in three stages: The upgrade of the gas compression unit, the dehydration unit and finally the latest phase, which includes the modernization of the gas treatment units and pipeline infrastructure – completing the overall gas compression and treatment chain. Around 200 million Euro were invested in total, leading to increased energy efficiency and significantly contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring safe operations of the infrastructure for the long-term future.

From an old Dacia to the fastest car

Florin Avram, Department Manager Operations at Asset Oltenia, to which the Hurezani hub belongs, spent almost 30 years working for OMV Petrom. He saw the need for a new plant, the challenges and all the necessary work. The transformation process is personal for him. “It’s like having your old Dacia exchanged with a new, automatic car. It is safer, easier to drive and has better overall performance. We all contributed and we all are the beneficiaries. Asset Oltenia is completely transformed. Now, with the integration and automation completed, it’s easier for everyone, you can see the whole Upstream and Downstream system.”

Especially the last project stage, the installation of the Hurezani gas treatment system, brought plenty of changes and challenges during the execution phase: starting with enabling works to prepare the site for execution, relocation of high voltage power lines and soil stabilization. The project team had to manage many physical interfaces, integration into the existing facilities at the boundaries, commissioning of the new scope with minimum production deferment, but also to deal with challenges like Permit to Work system or procurement strategy for the main equipment. 

It took 15 months to reach mechanical completion, with peaks of 200 workers on site, but due to a real focus on Safety First, more than 500,000 man-hours have been recorded with no LTIs (Lost Time Injuries), meaning that no work-related accidents or incidents happened during the completion of that project. Throughout the construction, commissioning and start-up, more than 400 site HSSE trainings were conducted and more than 950 toolbox talks held. 4,600 work permits have been issued for the safe execution of the works in alignment with the parallel operations taking place in the rest of the functional hub. 

I felt that the project was going to work the moment all the stakeholders stepped in. They’ve turned the vision to reality. Not only that they wanted the project to happen, but when they felt that it could become reality and it was in their power to deliver, they were all in. 
Carmen Dumitrana, Senior Project Manager, OMV Petrom

Empathy is key

Integrated view of the plant boundaries was the key for the successful tie-in of the new plant and pipelines into the existing infrastructure, but also the integrated team working to achieve the same goal was a major factor contributing to the success. “I felt that the project was going to work the moment all the stakeholders stepped in. As we say in Romania, they put their shoulders into it. I felt that every team player would work to make it happen. Not only that they wanted the project to happen, but when they felt that it could become a reality and it was in their power to deliver, they were all in,” says Carmen Dumitrana, Senior Project Manager. There is always a smile in her voice when she talks about Hurezani. She says the project changed her.

Finding a good partner is as hard in projects as in life, so it took time to find the right one and to understand its needs. The biggest challenge was to support the contractor with project delivery before and after the contract signing. How to work closely was redefined during the project. “You have to always show empathy and support for all the tasks, both theirs, the contractors who work for us, and ours. If you put yourself on a pedestal and say: 'I don’t care how you do it, I paid you to do it, so do it', things don’t work. If you reach out to from the same position, and you try to understand his needs and weaknesses, you try to help fix the problems, you’ll get things done”, she summarizes the project experience.

Carmen says they’ve developed together to that stage where they could understand each other’s needs without words. It’s a treasured relationship, a symbiotic one. And this project was the deal maker. Ion Apostoiu confirms. He is Team Leader Production Optimization in Asset Oltenia and he has been working for OMV Petrom for more than 30 years. He says working on this project is his biggest achievement and proudly recalls all the steps they all took together, as a team, from the pipeline changing to the final 72 hours performance test. Now, the unit is operational and produces better gas and more condensate than forecast.

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