Noble Denton has successfully provided marine warranty services for the transportation and installation of two offshore platforms in the Yuri Korchagin oil field for Russian oil and gas company Lukoil. In conjunction with Crane Marine Contractor Limited (CMC) based in Astrakhan, Noble Denton was assigned to supply technical expertise for the tow of the ice-resistant fixed platform, LSP-1 and LSP-2.
The Yuri Korchagin project started in 2004 and was concluded recently. The oil and gas field is located in the Russian sector of the North Caspian Sea. It will be the first of the North Caspian fields to be brought commercially on-stream, scheduled for December 2009. The field is 180 km from the City of Astrakhan and 240 km from Makhachkala at sea depth of 11-13 meters. 3P (proven, probable and possible) reserves are 570 million barrel of equivalent. Oil and gas condensate production will peak at 2.3 million tonnes oil and 1.2 bcm gas per year. First oil is expected in early 2010.
Noble Denton was in charge of the transportation of the two platforms from Lukoil's fabrication yard to the final destination in the Caspian Sea and the installation of LSP-1 and LSP-2. LSP-1 is an ice-resistant fixed platform, built at the Astrakhansky Korabel shipyard in Kaliningrad, and intend to drill and operate wells as well as collect and pre-treat reservoir content. The LSP-1 has a 560-tonne rig capable of drilling up to 7,400 meters wells. Field construction will include 26 production wells, three water injectors and one gas-injector. The platform also has two 70-tonne cranes. LSP-1 is 95.5 m long, 72.2 m wide, 86,6 m height from a sea level and weighs 25,655 tonnes when embedded and filled with liquid ballast. The LSP-1 will be complemented by a living quarters for up to 105 employees. The two platforms will be joined by a 74.2 m bridge.
The LSP-2 is ice-resistant platform with health care area, service quarters, galley, foodstuff larder and a helipad on the fifth deck. It measures 41.5 x 40.2 m and 38 m height from a sea level. A conductor-platform with a cluster of seven production wells and 9 km of 300-mm pipeline to feed product to the LPS-1, and a 9-km 150-mm gas pipeline to feed gaslift gas from the LSP-1 to the conductor-platform should be built during the second phase of field construction.
The width of the platform's modules was restricted to 16m so they could be shipped on barges through the Russian Volga-Balt canal system. The sections arrived for assembly in Astrakhan in late 2008. The completed sections were taken on barges from the Volga Delta seaport and installed using Crane Marine Contractor’s sheerleg crane, Volgar.
For John Quarrington, group director marine warranty services & marine casualty investigations, Noble Denton, the project was very complex:
"Given the platform size and low water depths on the canal we had to utilise all our towing and offshore construction experience to make the transportation and installation of this project a success."
After final assembly the LSP-1 platform was towed down the Volga Caspian Canal under the guidance of marine specialists from CMC and Noble Denton overcoming a draught problem on the canal, lowering power lines and identifying overnight “parking” locations during the tow.
After LSP-1 installation the pipeline connection was installed to link-up the platform to a floating storage unit with a single point mooring and in the end to the Transneft pipeline system. The oil is fed from the LSP-1 to the marine transportation complex using 58 km of non-embedded pipeline, 300 millimeters in diameter with walls 16 mm thick.
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