Ilham Aliyev attended sail away of first topsides units built for Shah Deniz Stage 2 platforms

01 june 2017, 10:45

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today attended the sail away of the first topsides unit built for the Shah Deniz Stage 2 platforms.

SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev and BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gary Jones informed the head of state of the works carried out under Shah Deniz 2 and the Southern Gas Corridor projects.

The Quarters and Utilities (QU) platform topsides, which was completed ahead of schedule, sailed away to the Shah Deniz contract area in the Caspian Sea from the Azfen fabrication yard in Bibi-Heybat.

The topsides unit was jacked up onto the loading frame at the quayside of the fabrication yard on 8 May 2017 in preparation for transfer onto the STB-1 transportation barge.

The topsides transportation, float-over and installation activities have been carefully planned and are expected to take around 5 days to complete. The unit will be installed on top of the QU jacket which is already at its offshore location in a water depth of 94 metres.

The QU topsides unit weighs about 12,400 tonnes and is 100 metres long by 60 metres wide. It contains 100-person living quarters, four main power generators totalling 60MW, 10 direct electrical heating modules and a range of subsea production equipment.

The construction of the topsides unit, which was built by the AMEC-Tekfen-Azfen (ATA) consortium at the Azfen fabrication yard, was fully undertaken in the country using local infrastructure and facilities. Over 5,000 people, including sub-contractors and specialist vendors, were involved in the construction works. More than 90% of these were Azerbaijani citizens.

President Ilham Aliyev viewed the platform. The head of state then met with the project staff, and addressed them.

Speech of President Ilham Aliyev

- I congratulate you on this wonderful event. This day will go down in history, as we are officially announcing the launch of the Shah Deniz platform topsides. In a few days these giant facilities will sail away for installation on Shah Deniz field. This is a great historic event. It is gratifying that these giant installations are fully constructed in Azerbaijan. Several years ago, especially when the contract for Shah Deniz field was signed, we could not even imagine this.

I would also like to note that the Shah Deniz contract was signed during the Caspian Oil and Gas exhibition in June 21 years ago. Twenty-one years on, we are celebrating this historic day. All these facilities are built in Azerbaijan. I was informed that the majority, 90 per cent of those who worked on the construction of these facilities, are Azerbaijani citizens. So over these years, a great human resource potential has emerged, and this will certainly enhance the energy and economic potential of our country. After all, an additional 16 billion cubic meters of gas, as well as a fairly large amount of condensate, will be produced within the Shah Deniz-2 project alone. Contracts have been signed for all these natural resources to be produced. There are already customers for them and they will be taken to world markets via the Southern Gas Corridor which is under construction.

Each of the projects is a historic event – TANAP, TAP, the South Caucasus Pipeline, the Shah Deniz-2 project, the construction of these platforms, the recent opening of the Heydar Aliyev semi-submersible drilling rig. I want to note once again that each of these projects is a historic project in itself, but when we view them in aggregate, we see what a great potential has appeared in Azerbaijan.

This is a truly historic day. Twenty-one years after the signing of the Shah Deniz contract, we are celebrating a day of historic importance. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to Azerbaijan’s strategic partner and longstanding good friend – BP. The signing of the Contract of the Century in 1994 marked the start of our cooperation. Since that time, many companies have worked and continue to work with us. I want to remind you that at that time Azerbaijan signed a contract for the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field with a consortium of foreign oil companies, and BP was only one of them. It had a significant share. A great partnership was carried out and it continues with certain changes to this day.

The special relationship with BP is based on the fact that since that time this company has been an active player on the energy market of Azerbaijan and on the global energy market. Many other contracts have been signed since then, making our partnership strategic. One of them is Shah Deniz. Next in line are Shallow Waters and others. This is a good indicator of partnership. We trust BP. I am sure BP also trusts Azerbaijan. Otherwise, it would not have invested so much in our country. As Mr. Jones noted yesterday and today, Azerbaijan is number one investment destination in BP’s sphere of activity. And this further strengthens our cooperation. As I noted yesterday, they are working on extending the contract for Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli now. I do hope that it will be realized soon. In addition, our partnership on Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli alone will be continued until 2050. I am sure that more gas will be produced from Shah Deniz than planned. We have branded Azeri-Chirag a Contract of the Century, while today I am talking about a contract of centuries.

I would also like to once again thank all our partners in Shah Deniz for their investment in Azerbaijan and for the successful activities, and the companies that built this unique facility. The international team working in Azerbaijan helps develop our country. I believe that the host country is creating a unique atmosphere between the local company SOCAR and foreign investors. I congratulate you again. I wish you continued success in the coming years.