GALLERY: BP sends Shah Deniz 2 QU topsides offshore

BP has sent the first topsides unit built for the Shah Deniz Stage 2 platforms off to its offshore location in the Caspian Sea. The official sail away ceremony, held in Baku today, was attended by Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan.

The Quarters and Utilities (QU) platform topsides, which was completed ahead of schedule, will sail away to the Shah Deniz contract area in the Caspian Sea from the Azfen fabrication yard in Bibi-Heybat.

The topsides unit was jacked up onto the loading frame at the quayside of the fabrication yard on 8 May 2017 in preparation for transfer onto the STB-1 transportation barge.

The topsides transportation, float-over and installation activities are expected to take around 5 days to complete. The unit will be installed on top of the QU jacket which is already at its offshore location in a water depth of 94 meters.

The QU topsides unit weighs about 12,400 tonnes and is 100 meters long by 60 meters wide. It contains 100-person living quarters, four main power generators totalling 60MW, 10 direct electrical heating modules and a range of subsea production equipment.

According to BP, the construction of the topsides unit, which was built by the AMEC-Tekfen-Azfen (ATA) consortium at the Azfen fabrication yard, was fully undertaken in the country using local infrastructure and facilities. Over 5,000 people, including sub-contractors and specialist vendors, were involved in the construction works. More than 90% of these were Azerbaijani citizens.

Gary Jones, BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said: “The first platform topsides sail away is an important milestone and we are pleased to have achieved it ahead of schedule as we move towards successful completion of the giant Shah Deniz 2 project safely, below the planned budget and on schedule. The project is making good progress towards completion of the remaining areas.

“I would like to thank the Government of Azerbaijan, SOCAR and our partners for their support and cooperation in moving this complex project forward. My thanks are also to all people representing BP, contractors and subcontractors whose hard work has made it possible to achieve this milestone with excellent safety results. I would like to specifically thank the AMEC-Tekfen-Azfen consortium for their firm commitment to BP’s safety standards throughout the 3-year construction period.”

“The topsides unit, which is one of the biggest and state-of-the-art facilities in the Caspian, was delivered with exceptional safety results. This really is a great achievement and I am confident that the offshore installation of this unit, as well as the second topsides will be delivered with the same level of commitment to safety and quality.”