bp Azerbaijan sails away Azeri-Central-East platform's topsides unit (PHOTO)

Transport Materials 7 August 2023 16:37 (UTC +04:00)
Sadraddin Aghjayev
Sadraddin Aghjayev
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, August 7. The topsides unit of the Azeri-Central-East (ACE) platform loaded onto the STB-1 barge has been sailed away from the Bayil fabrication yard in Baku where it was built, Trend reports via bp Azerbaijan.

According to BP, the unit of the ACE platform weighs 19,600 tons and stands 36 meters tall.

Last year, the STB-1 barge underwent the necessary upgrades for use in the ACE project.

STB-1, the Caspian Sea's largest barge, with a length of 163 meters, a width of 45 meters, and a carrying capacity of 18,000 tons.

On April 4, 2018, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, paid a visit to the topsides fabrication yard and viewed the nearly finished topsides unit before it sailed away to its permanent destination. Since then, the crew has successfully completed the essential commissioning tasks that were scheduled to take place onshore. These tasks primarily comprised completing the rig access period, the integrated assurance test, and the blowdown safety testing successfully.

Following these completions, the topside unit was safely jacked up and lowered onto the load-out frame in preparation for skidding onto the transportation barge.

On May 30, the transportation barge STB-1 arrived at the Bibi-Heybat yard, and preparations for load-out activities commenced. On July 2, the topsides unit was transferred onto the STB-1 barge, sea-fastened, and prepared to sail away to the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field.

The topside transportation, float-over, and installation activities have been carefully planned and are expected to take around four days to complete. The unit will be installed on top of the ACE platform jacket, which has been at its offshore location since March this year, at a water depth of 137 meters.

The construction of the 19,600-ton topsides unit started in 2019 and was completed with outstanding safety achievements of over 21 million hours worked injury-free.

The ACE topsides unit consists of oil and gas processing facilities, an integrated drilling rig, a gas compressor, and living quarters.

The topsides unit was constructed by Azerbaijan's Azfen company in the Bayil fabrication yard using local infrastructure and resources.

The $6 billion ACE project is the next stage of development of the giant ACG field in the Caspian Sea.

ACE is centered on a new 48-slot production, drilling, and quarters platform located midway between the existing Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms in a water depth of approximately 140 meters. The project also includes new infield pipelines to transfer oil and gas from the ACE platform to the existing ACG Phase 2 oil and gas export pipelines for transportation to the onshore Sangachal terminal.

In addition, there is a water injection pipeline between the East Azeri and ACE platforms to supply injection water from the Central Azeri compression and water injection platforms to the ACE facilities.

The ACE platform and facilities are designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The project is expected to produce up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime.

At its peak, over 8,500 people were involved in the ACE project's construction work in Azerbaijan.