Azerbaijan International

Summer 2003 (11.2)
Page 69

Progress At McDermott
Activities at the Shipyards

Left: The Baku Deep Water Jacket Factory where McDermott's projects are being constructed.

Guloghlan Nazarov, 47, still remembers the spring day back in 1992 when he first met representatives of McDermott Caspian Contractors Inc. (MCCI), the Caspian operating subsidiary of J. Ray McDermott S.A. "I had been working at the Baku Deepwater Fabrication Factory for nearly 10 years and was anxious about the changes that were taking place at the factory and about its future," he recalls.

It was very difficult time for the Baku Deepwater Jacket Factory (BDJF), and Azerbaijan's economy had been affected by social and economic problems just like all the other newly independent republics after the collapse of the Soviet Union. "Being a master mechanic at the factory, I had always worked closely with MCCI. After a while, I became convinced that their presence would revive the facility that had been one of the largest and most modern industrial units in the region. I'm so glad my intuition was right," says Nazarov.

Guloghlan was one of hundreds of Azerbaijani professionals participating in MCCI's previous fabrication activities in the Caspian as a contractor for AIOC's Early Oil Project in 1997. Shortly after that project was completed, Guloghlan returned to work for BDJF, which, by that time, had been renamed ShelfProjectStroi (SPS).

Then when MCCI was awarded a new contract for AIOC's Phase 1 of the Azeri Project in 2001, Guloghlan was invited to rejoin MCCI as Equipment Maintenance Superintendent. "It sounds confusing, doesn't it?" asks Guloghlan rhetorically: "During the last ten years, I've worked for BDJF, MCCI, SPS and MCCI again, but in reality I've never moved from the fabrication area where I started more than 20 years ago as a graduate of Kiev Polytechnic University!"

Left: Guloghlan Nazarov who works at the shipyards.

The changes I've seen since I rejoined MCCI in January 2002 are amazing," says Guloghlan. In October 2002, MCCI signed new contracts with AIOC for the fabrication of two integrated topside decks - West Azeri (WA) and East Azeri (EA) - for Phase 2 of the Azeri Project, and the installation of the 28-inch gas trunkline from the Azeri field to the Sangachal Terminal. The size of the two decks, WA and EA weigh approximately 15,500MT each.

Earlier in November 2001 MCCI was involved with the fabrication and installation of Central Azeri (CA) 14,000MT integrated deck and offshore installation of 187km of export pipeline for Phase 1 of the Azeri Project.

MCCI with BDJF are forming a new Azerbaijan company, Caspian Offshore Fabricators, LLC (COFLLC) to carry out the work for the fabrication of decks. MCCI will provide COFLLC with its technology, proven in-house resources, development experience and project management expertise to manage and build project facilities. BDJF will contribute the required fabrication facilities and skilled personnel.

"Upgrades and fabrication work have commenced on the WA contract and are currently ahead of schedule," said Clint Anderson, Vice President of MCCI. "A full infrastructure is being established at the BDJF yard after the comprehensive Phase 1 upgrade program where we undertook work valued at more than US $20 million to refurbish the existing facilities," said Anderson.

"By the end of April 2003, our work on the CA contract approached the mid-point of the schedule and the project is on track for Sailaway at the end of June 2004", explained Anderson. "Although the upgrades scope of work of KMNF's pipelay barge, the "Israfil Huseynov", which we are also commissioned to execute by AIOC has turned out to be larger than we initially expected, we are optimistic that the barge will depart for sea trials towards the end of May 2003."

The barge upgrade has required more than 600,000 MCCI direct labor and subcontractor man-hours over the last 14 months. The offshore installation scope of pipelay includes approximately 400km of oil export lines, gas lines and in-field lines, with approximately 31,500 pipe joints of 30-, 28-, and 18-inch diameters, to be installed. The pipelay barge is scheduled for nearly a full year of continuous operation for AIOC.

"We have completed 16 months of continuous work with no serious incidents in the fabrication yard and on the barge", continued Anderson. "This is a remarkable achievement and we could never have reached this milestone without the committed efforts and hard work of our operations and project teams."

"Our family of employees and associates has substantially increased, too. At present, more than 80 percent of our workforce is Azerbaijani personnel. We are proud to have experienced 'old-hands' like Guloghlan Nazarov working as part of our team. With this amount of employment of Azerbaijani personnel, we continue contributing to the economic development of the country by providing employment opportunities for Azerbaijanis," concluded Anderson.

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