Heavylift / Breakbulk
A drilling rig straight to the Caspian Sea
Every project transport operation has its star player. This time it was an oil drilling rig, whose sections weighed in at 270 t. It was transferred to an inland barge by a ‘double-banking’ manoeuvre in just 24 hours.
An oversized oil drilling rig had to be transported to the Caspian Sea region for an offshore oil and gas industry project recently. The United Kingdom’s Trans Global Projects Group (TGP) was on hand for the most demanding part of the route, namely the stretch from the Romanian port of Constantza to the Caspian Sea covered by an inland barge.
The huge piece of equipment was dismantled into three parts before it arrived in the port. It continued on its journey from there on a heavylift vessel. The largest section measured almost 13 m high, with individual parts weighing 270 t.
The first task TGP faced was to transfer the consignment from the ship to a barge through a delicate ‘double-banking’ operation. In order to ensure the rapid transfer from one unit to the next in the port, TGP’s project managers started the planning process for the transfer a few months before they were due to execute it. This coordination work carried out in advance was well worth it, as the transfer was thus completed in just a day.
Shipped through the Russian inland waterway network
At the beginning of September the drilling rig’s journey covering almost 3,000 km was then ready to begin. Its route saw it mainly pass through the Russian inland waterway network. This meant the team not only had to cope with a limited window to complete the job, on account of the impending frost period, but additionally also faced infrastructural hurdles, including low bridges and low-hanging electricity cables. The overall weight of the rig was only just under the limit possible on the waterways, which made the task harder. TGP developed a detailed route plan to make sure it avoided all hurdles.
The barge arrived safely at its destination, where the unloading process was also completed without any incident. The company’s chief executive officer, Colin Charnock, was very proud to point out that “TGP’s team had to work with millimetre precision to deliver this drilling rig. The planning process for this oversized consignment commenced at the beginning of May. We analysed every viable option and plumped for the most efficient and thus most cost-effective solution.” The key to TGP’s successful completion of the project cargo undertaking, Charnock closed, lay in its intelligent engineering solutions.