Mar. 11, 2005
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Italy's ERG and Shell to Develop LNG Terminal
Construction of the 8 bcm capacity LNG regasification terminal in Sicily is scheduled to begin in 2007 and be operational in 2010.

02.03.2005, 18:56

Roxar, TNK-BP Sign Deal
TNK-BP buys Roxar reservoir management and production optimization software for engineering R&D.;

02.03.2005, 18:45

ChevronTexaco Announces First Condensate
ChevronTexaco Corp. has announced first condensate production from the Sanha Field in Angola.

02.03.2005, 18:33

ExxonMobil Sells Sinopec Stake
ExxonMobil has completed the sale of its 3.7 percent stake in China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation(Sinopec.)

02.03.2005, 18:25

BJ Services Wins Cementing Contract
Marathon Petrolum Company has contracted with BJ Services for cementing services for a number of its wells offshore Norway.

02.03.2005, 18:19
2 March 2005 BJ Services

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Russia Seeks Integration in the Asia-Pacific Region

Olga Grigorieva

Construction of infrastructure facilities for the next phase of development of Sakhalin-II is in full swing. As early as next summer, the concrete gravity base structures for Lunskaya and Piltun-Astokhskaya offshore platforms will be built and installed.
Topsides of these platforms are being built at Samsung factories in South Korea while the bases are being built by the Norwegian company Aker Kvaerner (in partnership with Finland’s Quattrogemini and RR Offshore) at a specially equipped dry dock in the Russian port of Vostochny.

The Project’s Avant-Garde
“The construction of two concrete base structures for the LUN-A and PA-B platforms will basically be the first fully completed part of the Sakhalin-II project,” says David Meehan, project manager for Sakhalin Energy. He called the construction of these base structures the avant-garde of the Sakhalin-II project noting that at present work on the construction site is running ahead of schedule.
Ninety-seven percent in weight ratio of the building materials being used are Russian including rebar, silica, sand, cement, formwork and other materials. The majority of mechanical outfitting works such as rigging, piping and various metal components are being produced at the neighboring Nakhodka shipyard. Some components used in building the platform base structures were specially produced for the project in Astrakhan.

A batch plant built on the dry dock site was designed by the Finnish company Steel Kamet Ltd. Odd Inge Lunde, manager of the Concrete Department, says that the factory has been winter-proofed. Its production capacity is two times 60 cu. m per hour. Potable water is used for the production of concrete and the factory has a quality control laboratory to ensure cement meets acceptable standards. The factory’s ecological indicators meet international standards.

At any one time up to 2,500 people are working on the site and 93 percent of personnel are Russian nationals. “We’ve invited a number of specialists from Khabarovsk and Vladivostok to work on the project,” says Gulbrandsen, “and we’ve tried to replicate Norwegian working conditions for them.”

All industrial waste water and dirty water from the site collect in special settling ponds. Six of these have been built – each for a distinct type of discharge. After purification (though the precipitation of substances held in suspension), this water is passed into a drainage channel which leads to the open sea.
In order to purify water that contains traces of oil, the oil film is irrigated with dispersants. The resulting oil-based sludge is then sent to a boiler room for incineration. “In order to protect the environment in Vrangel Bay, additional measures are taken at the port of Vostochny including water treatment and the installation of special dust-catching filters at warehouses and timber plants. A similar defense mechanism is also used at the batch plant,” says Quattro LLC ecologist Tatiana Zinchenko.

The concrete gravity base structures which are being built in dry dock at Nakhodka are the first of their type in Russia. They are designed for conditions of increased risk from seismic activity and for use in the difficult and icy conditions on the Sakhalin shelf.
Àker Kvaerner management hopes that the fact that the dry dock can be used year-round, as well as its convenient location close to the industrial nations of the Asia-Pacific region, will mean more contracts in the Far East.

Primorye is more and more an area of interest for the oil and gas sector in the Far East. Its convenient geographic location in the quickly developing Asia-Pacific region makes it possible not only to redirect production capacity to the oil sector, but to actively cooperate with neighboring countries also working on the development of Sakhalin Shelf: Japan, South Korea and the United States.
For this reason Vladivostok was chosen as the location for the PACOMS Conference, run by the International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers (ISOPE). The forum drew around 140 participants from 11 countries.

Ñorall Bureau’s Story in Russia’s Far East
The Vladivostok forum gathered representatives from three large design bureaus in Russia and Ukraine – St. Petersburg-based Krylov and Rubin, as well as Corall from Sevastopol, a part of heavy machinery giant OMZ .
Corall Central Design Bureau’s general director Viktor Lensky tells OGE readers of the bureau’s potential and its history of participation in Sakhalin projects.
“During Soviet times we were fairly active on Sakhalin. We designed the topside of operational rig platforms for the Chaivo field and designed the base support structure in partnership with SakhNIPImorneftegaz in the latter half of the 1980s.
We also worked on the topsides of the stationary drilling platform for the Piltun-Astokhskoye field and produced working designs for shipbuilding factories at Nikolaevsk-on-Amur and Astrakhan. The factory in Nikolaevsk-on-Amur bought all the necessary equipment and components and assembled the metal construction using three blocks. But after the fall of the Soviet Union all design and construction work was stopped.
By 1998, Rosneft-Sakhalin contracted with the Corall Central Design Bureau to develop two versions of expanded technical proposal for the construction of a stationary ice-resistant rig platform for Exxon’s work on the Arkutun-Dagi field. Unfortunately we were not invited to do subsequent work.
Today the Corall Central Design Bureau is working on two projects: the reconstruction of the Shelf-7 semisubmersible drilling rig for the Korchagin field in the northern Caspian and a contract to rebuild Hutton TLP (tension-leg platform) drilling rig and technical modules for the Prirazlomnoye field in the Barents Sea.
We don’t yet have any projects in the Far East but we hope our expertise will be needed in this region, as well. Corall has a great deal of experience in the design of equipment for sea shelf exploration and production drilling, construction technology and technology for the servicing of floating cranes and crane barges.
Current demand is for optimal platform design for each specific field location. Sea depth, climatic conditions (the presence of ice or waves, for instance), seismic activity and the character of the seabed must all be taken into account. The modernization and transportation of old platforms to new fields (as was done with the Molikpaq and Orlan platforms for the Sakhalin projects) does not always make sense, and companies are begin to turn away from this strategy.
To use the potential and experience of domestic design bureaus that have worked on maritime constructions makes economic sense. But orders to domestic design bureaus continue to decline in frequency as foreign companies become ever more involved in Russian projects.
Often design work has to be done to very tight schedules, and we are ready to meet those demands. We have contacts with other design bureaus, such as the Rubin Central Design Bureau, and often subcontract work out to each other.
Since last year we have actively participated in tenders for the design of base support structures. Recently we prepared a combined proposal for the upper portions and support structure of an oil rig with a shipbuilding factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The support structure designs have already been approved by Det Norske Veritas (Singapore) – the Singapore office of the Russian Shipbuilding Register’s international equivalent.
We use SESAM Software adapted by DNV and use COSMOS, ANSIS and Lira for calculating the durability of metal constructions at various loads with bar and table graphics. We are ISO 2001 and ISO 14001 certified.”

In his welcoming message at the forum, Russia’s presidential envoy in the Far East federal district Konstantin Pulikovsky noted that, “at present concrete measures are being taken to develop the oil and gas, fuel and energy industries; steps are being taken to ensure that the proposed projects are attractive from an investment point of view. We are interested in the newest technological achievements – technologies for the development of both onshore and offshore oil and gas fields, as well as the construction of trunk pipelines and new infrastructure. Both regional administrations and companies from the Russian Far East are ready for partnership with experienced international organizations and companies, which are able, under mutually beneficial conditions, to supply tested and approved means of locating reserves and producing fossil fuels in the Russian Far East.”

The Far Eastern State Technical University initiated the process that brought the ISOPE symposium to Vladivostok. Alexander Bekker, conference organizer and chairman of the Far East Oil and Gas Industry Association’s Coordination Committee, believes that the search for partnership ideas between scholars and engineering companies and information sharing within the industry was the main concern of the meeting.

At the invitation of Aker Kvaerner, symposium participants visited the port of Vostochny at Vrangel Bay, where the base structure portions of LUN-A (Lunskaya) and PA-B (Piltun-Astokhskaya) platforms are under construction.

Aker Kvaerner is a world leader in the engineering, construction and supply of technology and integrated solutions for the oil and gas, petrochemical and shipbuilding industries.

The construction of the dry dock and two concrete gravity base structures is the company’s first large project on Russian/CIS territory. Another project will soon be underway on the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan.

Envoy Sees a Role for Norway in Far East
Norway’s Ambassador to Russia Oyvind Nordsletten visited the ISOPE conference in Vladivostok.. His agenda included meetings with the city and regional administrations’ representatives. Ambassador Nordsletten was also kind enough to agree to an interview with OGE.
Oil & Gas Eurasia: Ambassador Nordsletten, Norway today is striving to become Russia’s strategic partner in shelf development, chiefly in Arctic projects. What role do you think Norwegian companies will play in the Far East? What products and technologies can Norway offer here?
Oyvind Nordsletten: I see a strong perspective for the participation of Norwegian companies both in construction and in supplying technology. The development of Russian shelf in the Far East is happening in a very dynamic way. Norway’s Aker Kvaerner has vast experience in developing solutions for extracting mineral deposits under difficult climatic and geological conditions. The best testimony to this is the construction of the concrete base structures for two offshore rigs in the port of Vostochny. Our companies want to work in Russia long-term and are very interested in signing new contracts.
OGE: Is it possible to say that conditions in the Far East are comparable to those in the North Sea?
Nordsletten: Yes, to a certain extent, regardless of the fact that there are differences, too. In both cases we are dealing with exploration and production on the continental shelf under harsh climatic conditions in complex geological prospects that require cutting-edge technology. The most advanced technology in this field has been developed by Aker Kvaerner. It has been extensively tested at a number of Norwegian and foreign fields and allows to significantly reduce investment in the development of fields of this kind.
Until now Russia has primarily drilled for oil on land. Our experience is only on the shelf. This has allowed Norway to become the world’s third largest oil exporter behind Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as to gain experience and create technology, which, in our opinion, could be of interest to Russia, too.
OGE: What do you think about the Norwegian companies’ prospects for operations in other regions of Russia?
Nordsletten: Aker Kvaerner has good contacts with Russian producers in Russia’s northwest – for instance with the shipyards in Severodvinsk and other plants on the Kola Peninsula. Not so long ago Norway’s majors Statoil and Hydro signed agreements with Gazprom and Rosneft to cooperate in the Arctic shelf, including the Shtokman field. We, in turn, invite Russian companies to take part in Norwegian projects. Such invitation has been clearly articulated by our energy minister and Statoil is currently implementing this initiative in practice. In order to help develop Russia’s oil industry further, Norway is offering Russia its expertise and technology and would at the same time be glad to see Russia on the Norwegian shelf.
OGE: In what role?
Nordsletten: In the role of a partner in the development of different projects. Norway’s oil industry policy has always coupled government control over resources with legislative incentives for foreign participation and all the world’s largest oil majors are active in developing Norway’s continental shelf.
That is why it is quite natural that we would want to see Russian companies in our country, just as well as we are convinced that our companies could offer Russia’s oil and gas industry a lot of mutually beneficial solutions.

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