Lukoil steelworks, a Russian fabrication facility for metal structures used in construction, has started to load a fixed offshore ice-resistant off-loading terminal (FOIROT) on to sea-going barges.
The FOIROT is a structure with a total weight of over 11,000 thousand tonnes which consists of a base leg with an accommodation module, a mooring cargo handling system (MCHS) with a jib, and a helicopter pad. The fabrication and assembly of the FOIROT at the facility took 15 months. The facility is bound for the Varandey Oil Export Terminal (VOET), located on the Barents Sea coast in the Nenets Autonomous District.
Two barges will be used to deliver the FOIROT to the site of installation. One of the barges has on board about 10,000 tonnes total weight of the base leg and the accommodation module; the second one will receive the mooring and cargo handling system. 432 trailer axes are reported to have been used to load the base leg on to the barge, which set the world record for relevant operations.
When the barges arrive at the Barents Sea installation site, the FOIROT base leg will be launched afloat and secured to the seabed by 24 piles at the depth of 17 metres, 22 km offshore. Then the MCHS will be mounted on the base leg and the FOIROT will be connected to two underwater pipelines, where the oil will be fed from onshore tanks.
The VOET is designed for sea export of oil produced by Lukoil in the north of Nenets Autonomous District. The company is increasing the terminal capacity up to 12 million tonnes of oil a year. It is expected that after capacity of the terminal has been increased, the oil will be exported via the shortest route, including to the US market.
The upgraded VOET is to be commissioned in Q4 2007.
Anatoly Barkov, VP of Lukoil says: 'The unit itself is a unique engineering facility designed and assembled by Russian specialists. It is the first offshore ice-resistant oil terminal ever to be built in the world for year-round operation in a severe Arctic environment.'