ALE loads out Yuri Korchagin satelite platform topside

Image: ALE

Heavy-lift specialist ALE has completed the load-out of satellite platform (SP) topside for Lukoil’s Yuri Korchagin oil field in the Caspian Sea.

ALE said on Friday that it was contracted to perform the engineering, weighing, jacking, load-out, and offshore pulling operations of the satellite platform topside, as well as the mooring and ballast supervision for the project in Astrakhan.

The first stage of the project started in November 2017 and involved jacking of the topside to 1.5m, and weighing of the topside so the client could integrate skid beams in between the topside and the desk-support frame underneath. The company said that the topside was weighed at 3,200 tonnes.

In December, ALE performed the mooring and pulling operations using four SJ600 strand jacks and two 300t capacity breakout jacks to load-out the topside onto the transport barge in just one day.

David Le Masurier, project engineer for ALE Offshore Services, said: “As the desk-support frame had to incorporate the offshore skidways, leading to a large transverse center of gravity, it made the structure more challenging to control during the ballasting operations. By utilizing our in-house-designed strand jack monitoring software and the barge’s internal ballast monitoring, we were able to overcome and correct any deviation of the structure.”

ALE said that the next phase would involve the offshore skidding of the topside on the substructure during the floatover operations in the Caspian Sea, expected to start in 2018.

The Yuri Korchagin field is an offshore oil field located 180 kilometers from Astrakhan and 240 kilometers from Makhachkala at a sea depth of 11–13 meters.

In 1999, Lukoil started exploratory drilling at the field using the Astra jack-up rig. Production at the field was launched in April 2010. Yuri Korchagin and Vladimir Filanovsky fields in the Caspian Sea, both operated by Lukoil, hit 10 million tonnes of combined produced oil in June this year.

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