PETRONAS Launches Oil Platform on Caspian Sea

This morning, PETRONAS Carigali (Turkmenistan) Sdn Bhd launched the GDDP-A (Garagol Deniz Drilling Platform) oil drilling platform in the Caspian Sea.

The launching ceremony of the drilling platform GDDP-A, held on the territory of the Marine Steel Assembly Shop in the village of Kiyanly, from the Turkmen side was attended by the representatives of the Turkmengaz State Concern, the Nebitgazylmytaslama Institute, Turkmenbashi International Seaport, SES of the city of Turkmenbashi, administration of the Kiyanly town , migration and border services, a number of departments of the Primorye Territory, as well as media representatives.

Chief Executive Officer of PETRONAS Carigali (Turkmenistan) Sdn Bhd Ruslan bin Abdul Ghani via video link from the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, thanked Turkmengaz State Corporation, ILK Insaat Taahut San. Ve Tic. A.S., which was involved in the technical execution of this project as a contractor, and everyone who was involved in the extensive work on the construction of the new drilling platform. Ruslan bin Abdul Ghani expressed confidence that the commissioning of the GDDP-A will help further successful development of the oil and gas sector in Turkmenistan.

“We expect the first oil from the Garagol-Deniz West field with a planned production rate of 6,700 barrels per day, it will be processed at a gas treatment plant and in an onshore gas terminal, and then sent for export,” he added.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian company, Van Shafrizal spoke about how work on the construction of the drilling platform went, what difficulties the specialists faced during the project, and what innovative solutions were first used in the GDDP-A design.

After the completion of official events, the impressive size of the multi-ton structure (to be precise, the weight of the new drilling platform is 3919 tons, and at the same time it is not the largest of those operating in the fields of the Caspian Sea), pre-fixed on a special pontoon barge with a carrying capacity of up to 11,000 tons, and tied to two special tug boats – a type of “sea tractors” – issued, according to maritime rules, a lingering whistle, and went on a journey at an extremely low – for safety reasons – speed.

After travelling 75 km to the Garagol-Deniz West oil field in about 16 hours, the upper part of the GDDP-A platform – as it is officially called, -will be securely fastened to the foundation, which has already been built in the sea, right above the oil well. And only after that the whole structure will become a full-fledged drilling platform for oil production. Moreover, it will not be afraid of any, even the most powerful, sea storms and earthquakes.

The GDDP-A has been assembled at the Marine Steel Assembly Shop built by PETRONAS in Kiyanly on the Caspian coast north of Turkmenbashi, and the current drilling platform is the fourth one manufactured there. Work on GDDP-A began in 2013, the design and construction of the platform lasted almost 8 years – you can imagine how high-tech and labor-intensive the work was.

How does all this work and when will the first oil be obtained from the Garagol-Deniz West field?

The drilling platform is connected to the shore by a pipeline with a diameter of 14 inches, or slightly more than 35 and a half centimeters. It will be used to pump produced crude oil, which will go directly to the Gas Treatment Plant and the Onshore Gas Terminal (GTP and OGT). Associated gas will be directed to a special gas pipeline, where it will be partially used to generate electricity. The planned production capacity of the GDDP-A platform is up to 10,000 barrels per day.

In addition, monoethylene glycol (the simplest representative of the category of polyhydric alcohols, also called polyols) will be pumped in the opposite direction (from the shore to the platform), which, when mixed with crude oil, will not allow it to thicken on the way from the well to the gas pipeline and OGT.

A fiber-optic cable was laid parallel to the underwater oil pipeline to serve as the main line for data transmission from the platform to the GTP and OGT, as well as for telephone and video communication. What is especially interesting is that the GDDP-A is equipped with the most modern technologies and is designed for fully autonomous operation, i.e. does not need a permanently present and residing working staff on the platform, unlike other similar oil-producing structures.

It is left to add that the first oil is planned to be obtained from the GDDP-A drilling platform in August this year.

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