Aker Kværner signed a letter of intent to perform fabrication, outfitting, and testing of seven barges for oil production in the giant Kashagan oilfield in the north Caspian Sea, offshore Kazakhstan.
The letter of intent includes three oil separation barges, two gas-dehydration and glycol-regeneration barges, one emergency power generation and utilities barge, and one fire fighting/sea water barge. All of the barges will be 95 m long, 16 m broad, and 5.5 m high. After delivery, they will be installed on pre-installed piles and hooked up in 4-6 m of water, as part of the first phase of the Kashagan development project.
In the letter of intent, Agip Kazakhstan North Caspian Operating Co. NV and Aker Kværner confirm their intentions to complete final negotiations and sign a contract for the work later this autumn. The work on the project will start immediately under an interim agreement.
"The North Caspian Sea, is a very attractive area for Aker Kværner. We have clear intentions on growing our business in the Kazakhstan-based oil and gas industry and will position ourselves to compete for hook-up, maintenance, modifications, and operations in the Kazakhstan market. As part of this, we will work with local parties on the current projects and seek new partners for future opportunities in the region," said Simen Lieungh, Aker Kværner's executive vice president..
The barge hulls will be fabricated at the Aker Tulcea and Braila Yards in Romania. Six of the hulls will be towed to Kværner Egersund for outfitting and testing, while one will be towed to Astrakhan Korabel Yard in Astrakhan, for completion. They will all be transported on the Volga and Don rivers to the Caspian Sea.
The partners in the Kashagan project include Eni (Agip, operator), ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, and British Gas with 16.67 % interest each, and ConocoPhillips and Inpex, with 8.33 % each.
Aker Kværner Engineering & Technology AS, a company within the Aker Kvaerner group, will sign the contract.