The first ice-class floating storage and offloading system (FSO) to be completed at a Caspian Sea shipyard and deployed for service in the Caspian Sea is to be issued ABS classification. The Yuri Korchagin is set to be towed out of Baku for installation, hook-up and commissioning this week. It is destined for the Yuri Korchagin Field in the Russian sector of the Caspian where it will operate for Lukoil.
The FSO hull was constructed in two longitudinal halves by Keppel Singmarine in Singapore and was towed through the Volga-Don River Canal and assembled at Keppel Fels’ Caspian Shipyard Company (CSC) in Baku, Azerbaijan. According to ABS District Manager Simon Jones, the size limitation of the Canal dictated that the unit be constructed in two modules for import into the region. The two hull sections were aligned and joined in drydock at the Caspian shipyard. The helideck and accommodation quarters, as well as other equipment, were loaded alongside the hull sections and also assembled at CSC.
ABS was involved in the project from the outset, continuing through initial construction to assembly and final delivery, working closely with the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS).
The unit has been built to the ABS class notation +A1, Floating Storage and Offloading System, Ice Class C0, +AMCCU, FL(20). The unit is 132.8m in length, 32m in width has a depth of 15.7m. It has a fatigue life of 20 years and is dual classed with RS. The FSO can withstand ice conditions of minus 20 degrees Celsius and ice thickness of 0.6 meters.
Russia’s Lukoil is targeting December to start commercial oil production. When in operation it will be the largest FSO in the Caspian Sea. ABS Senior Surveyor Donald Dunlop, the project surveyor from Azerbaijan, reports ABS will be in attendance during the installation of the unit and will also class the mooring system once completed.
ABS has helped other operators meet the challenges of Caspian operating requirements, most notably Maersk’s first semi-submersible rig, DSS-20-CAS-M and the ABS-classed Parker Rig 257, the world's first arctic-class drill barge, operating in the shallow waters of the Northern third of the Caspian.
ABS has a robust ice program within its Corporate Research and Product Development Department. The aim of the program is to develop state-of-the-art methodologies and tools for assessment of ships and offshore structures operating in ice.