McDermott Completes Biggest Deck in the Caspian to Date

McDermott Caspian Contractors, Inc. (MCCI), the Caspian operating subsidiary of J. Ray McDermott, S.A., has completed fabrication, load out and sailaway of an integrated deck for AIOC's Central Azeri platform (CA), weighing more than 15,500MT.

The deck was fabricated under a contract to the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) for the Phase 1 of the full field development of the Azeri, Chirag and deepwater Gunashli (ACG) field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

"This was a major world-class construction project for MCCI, first in a series of deck fabrication and pipeline installation projects we have been awarded by AIOC since 2001," said Hafez Aghili, Vice President & General Manager, J. Ray McDermott - Middle East, India & Caspian operations. "The CA deck is the biggest deck built to date by J Ray in the Eastern Hemisphere, and is certainly a significant achievement for the project team. We are especially proud of the fact that the work was completed in accordance with the client's schedule and to international standards of quality."

MCCI scope of work included the onshore fabrication, assembly, onshore hook-up, commissioning and loadout of the deck as well as offshore hook-up, commissioning and start-up assistance of the integrated deck.

The fabrication work was done primarily in Azerbaijan utilizing the infrastructure, equipment and labor of the fabrication facility of the Baku Deep Water Jacket Factory named after the late President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev (BDJF). As part of the CA fabrication contract to AIOC, MCCI executed a comprehensive upgrade program of the BDJF facilities.

MCCI has also implemented extensive safety and craft training programs for the local workforce consistent with its commitment to AIOC to perform the work safely while achieving maximum local Azerbaijanian content. "Almost 4,000 Azerbaijani nationals have undertaken safety and craft related training to perform work for the CA fabrication," commented Hafez Aghili. "Fabrication of the CA deck in Baku's BDJF consumed 30 months of dedicated work and more than 10 million man-hours in the fabrication yard in Baku without a single lost time incident."

MCCI was also responsible for transportation and offshore installation of more than 375km pipelines for the Phase 1 of the ACG Project. The pipeline installation was carried out using the Israfil Huseynov pipelay barge (PLBG), which AIOC upgraded significantly over a 16-month period at BDJF. The pipeline was installed from the Sangachal beachpull site to the Azeri field. The average pipelay rate during the project was 2 km per day with a peak layrate of 3.4km.

"With the completion of the 30-inch pipeline installation, we have achieved yet another major milestone related to the development of AIOC's Azeri field," said Hafez Aghili. "More than 70% of the work was performed by Azerbaijani craftsmen and professional personnel, who were trained to work safely and productively, in accordance with the international standards required in the marine construction industry."

The pipelay and diving work scope was completed ahead of schedule. During the pipelay operation, MCCI delivered some 4 million man-hours with no days away from work cases between 2001 and end 2003.