CPC guarantees efficient and environmentally safe movement of crude oil

The Project is designed to increase the trunk pipeline capacity


20221031-0.jpgIn line with its uncompromising stance on environmental protection and industrial safety in the operation of CPC Marine Terminal equipment in the Black Sea and prevention of emergency situations caused by oil spill, in August 2022, Caspian Pipeline Consortium stopped loading from two Single Point Moorings following the discovery of cracks on SPM 1 and SPM 2 in buoyancy tank to subsea hose connections.

The stop was also recommended by IMODCO, SPM manufacturer, and ABS, classification society, which controls safe operation of units.

Actions to flush the SPM loading systems and bringing them to safe condition were accomplished in a prompt manner. The above stated damages caused no oil spill incident or accident; there is no threat to population and environment.

Later, CPC developed a technical task order to replace the buoyancy tanks from those available in reserve. An appropriate qualification selection of contractors among Russian and foreign companies was done for the said operation.

In mid-September, the Company’s Shareholders approved execution of a contract for services to replace the SPM BT with Alliance LLC, which possessed equipment and vessels required for the work.

During the first ten days of October 2022, the Contractor mobilized and re-allocated the necessary labor and resources to CPC Marine Terminal seawater and proceeded to preparatory activities to perform the set tasks.

The Work Execution Plan was approved by relevant regulatory authorities.

According to the plan, the buoyancy tanks are replaced with the help of the Commander multi-purpose vessel. The sequence of replacement is determined: 1) SPM-1, 2) SPM-2.

The general work scheme includes the following:

    - installing the earlier manufactured concrete anchors on the sea bottom near the Pipe Line End Manifold (PLEM) and BT; - securing the BT to the installed anchors; - disconnecting the marine subsea hoses (the PLEM-BT section) from the BT; - lifting the BT together with the marine subsea hoses at the BT-SPM section using the Commander vessel’s crane; - detaching the BT and hoses on the vessel deck using a purpose-built device; - disconnecting the hoses from the damaged BT and connecting a new BT.

The steps for installing the new buoyancy tank are carried out in reverse order.

In accordance with the approved work procedure, the wind speed of 20 m/sec and the sea heaving of 1.5 meters are the limiting weather criteria.

Reference Information on Work Progress:

On 19 October 2022, Alliance started preparation to dismantle the damaged buoyancy tank of SPM-1.

On 28 October, the divers - working at a depth of 35-40 meters - connected the SPM buoyancy tank to the anchor system and the so-called subsea air bags to the subsea hoses. The 19-person diving team was supported by an underwater drone. The coordinated work of the contractors and the Commander's crew allowed for the lifting phase of the damaged buoyancy tank and the installation of the new one.

A particular difficulty in the work arrangement was that the operation required about two days of ongoing process and had weather-related restrictions - a wave height of no more than 1.5 meters in autumn-winter conditions.

As a follow-up to an action meeting on board the vessel (with participation of CPC General Director Nikolay Gorban and representatives of the Management of contractors engaged in the operation) and comprehensive risk assessment, it was decided to continue work within the established single-cycle phasing.

By late 28 October 2022, the divers removed in total 48 bolts from two flanges, getting the oil buoyancy tank ready to be lifted on the vessel.

On 29 October 2022, using the Commander multi-purpose vessel, the SPM-1 buoyancy tank was lifted from the depth of 40 meters. It was lifted with the help of specialized diving equipment and a 140-ton crane installed on the Commander vessel. The buoyancy tank was lifted to the surface and put on the Commander vessel’s stern on a specialized construction - lodgment made specifically for this type of work. After the work to disconnect the marine subsea hoses from the damaged BT was completed, a new BT was installed on the lodgment instead of the old BT and the marine subsea hoses were connected.

On the night of 29-30 October 2022, using the Commander's main crane, the new buoyancy tank was lowered into the water and through the rigging installed on the concrete anchors, the buoyancy tank was submerged to the specified depth for the subsequent flange assembly.

Work continues on positioning the new buoyancy tank in depth and bringing the flange joints together.

The full scope of work to replace the SPM-1 buoyancy tank will be completed following the hydrotest of hoses and the entire subsea pipeline system after completion of work to have the BT connected to SPM-1 loading system. Then, the Contractor will be in position to proceed to replacement of the buoyancy tank at SPM-2.

The work progress will be communicated additionally.