Welcome to the jungle.

Three of us went out for a trip along the road yesterday to have a look

through the Agogo processing facility and up to the drill pad where the

bush run of the line meets the road.

I think I have written about this before but just to reiterate, the

project is the construction of a set of pipelines from a wellhead in the

jungle to a processing facility at Agogo. The first seven kilometres,

the bush run, are through some very inhospitable jungle and everything

on that section needs to be flown in, men, equipment and materials. Then

from the end of the bush run to Agogo the lines follow the edge of a

dirt road, the road run, and finally there is the tie-ins and some

refurbishment of a separator vessel and the fabrication of a slug

catcher at the Agogo plant itself.

As I hadn’t been out in the field yet I jumped on the opportunity to go

out and have a look. So we left the rain surrounding Ridge camp for the

mere drizzle of Agogo about half an hours drive away. On entering the

plant and checking in at the control room we got a quickie safety

briefing and were then left to our own devices. The plant is small by

most standards and the area where we have to bring in the line is mostly

clear although we will have to excavate a rocky outcrop to get enough

space for the slug catcher.

By the time we left the plant a small miracle had occurred, it stopped

raining! Now we went up the road looking for possible laydown areas for

the pipe and to check on the road crossings we will have to put in. The

road steadily goes up and it wasn’t all that long before we were back in

the clouds but apart from the odd spot of rain it stayed pleasant enough

and after another hours drive we reached the end of the road and the

start for the bush run. There is a small camp up here for the drillers

and exploration crews that come by from time to time. It consists of

five or so portacoms a bush kitchen and a longhouse. The portacoms have

four or five rooms each, the longhouse sleeps about twenty and is

completely made out of bush material and plastic sheeting and looks like

something you’ll normally expect to see in the slums of Bombay although

it’s actually quite serviceable. The bush kitchen is a similar structure

as the longhouse but split in a kitchen and dining area and the kitchen

has all the stainless steel benches and appliances you would expect to

find in similar facilities around the world. As we are thinking about

possibly using this camp for some of our personnel we had a look around

to see what we might need to upgrade and change, mainly the toilet and

shower block, before we can move our people in.

When the cloud cover parts you can see the wellhead we have to start our

line from but in the hour or so we were up here it only cleared once for

two or three minutes. The scenery here is magnificent though with huge

trees and very dense foliage, from the camp you look into a gorge that’s

at least five hundred meters deep and which we will have to go down in

before crossing two rivers and heading back up a ridge to the well head.

With the rain making everything slippery and the clouds making

helicopter support hazardous it will be one hardcore construction

project.

On the way back we also called in to the area where we want to put our

main camp. Again this is located on a ridge and on a good day you look

down over Lake Kutubu of course there were clouds when we arrived but it

looks like an excellent spot with plenty of room all the same.

So that was that a Sunday well spend.

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