Over 11 Thousand Tons by a Single Barge

Transportation of the riser block topsides for Vladimir Filanovsky field being developed by LUKOIL in the Caspian Sea began in Astrakhan.

The riser block is designed for connection of inter-field and external pipelines used for transporting oil and gas from Filanovsky field. In 2013 substructures for the four platforms were erected in the Caspian Sea. Topsides for the Central processing platform and the Accommodation block have already been delivered to the field this year. Shipment of the topside for the Ice-resistant fixed platform designed for well drilling and production is scheduled for October.

“Implementation of the Vladimir Filanovsky field development project is ongoing in strict compliance with the schedule. LUKOIL Caspian Development Program is a long-term project, and we are sure that it will considerably boost development of shipbuilding and related industries in the South of Russia”, – underlined Azat Shamsuarov, LUKOIL Senior VP Oil and Gas Production.

Topsides for the Central processing platform already arrived at the erection site. They will be installed right on the spot – on offshore substructures. The structure weighing more than 10 thousand tons was delivered to the destination point on a transportation and erection barge. Special operations of this kind are carried out by oil producing companies for the first time in Russia.

As mentioned by LUKOIL representatives, this method allows avoiding using expensive crane equipment, considerably reducing the time spent on offshore operations and outfitting works as well as mitigating the risks. Such technologies, states Nikolay Lyashko, LUKOIL-NizhnevolzhskNeft General Director, are unique for Russia. “In Russia this operation was first completed by Mammoet. The total weight of the structure comes up to 10 thousand tons. The main point of its shipment on an erection barge is to lower it offshore on the substructures installed last year”.

To be more specific, overall weight of the structure made 11,264 tons. Beside the extra load, which had to be moved onto the barge, Mammoet Rus faced another serious task – they had only 14 days until the X day – water level in the Volga was to fall below the critical level. Failure to meet the deadline would have resulted in project delay for the whole year.

Certainly, this operation had been preceded by over 18 months of preparation: calculations, engineering, negotiations and approvals. Mammoet Rus work practices were agreed upon by the Marine Warranty Surveyor. Equipment itself was inspected by the MWS and tested in its presence.

The Company mobilized 62 containers with the gear to do this work: 8 lifting hydraulic columns with a lifting capacity of 2,200 tons each; 36 600-ton hydraulic pads for moving the structure onto the barge; 5 winches used for mooring the barge; 23 submersible pumps, each of them with 1000 liters per hour of capacity, for ballasting the barge.

As a result of meticulous work the CPP topside with a shipping frame were mounted on supports on Yuri Kuvykin barge on June 12, 2014.

It is worth mentioning that all field development units were built in Astrakhan shipyards. That is, the Central processing platform topside was constructed on Ilyinka facility not far from Astrakhan by means of Mammoet Rus crawler cranes (LR1750 and LR1400).

As mentioned by Nikolay Lyashko, commissioning of the Central processing platform is scheduled for the spring of 2016. Upon construction completion the CPP will enable processing of V.Filanovsky field formation products to comply with market standards and their transportation ashore.