In 1997, a consortium of seven oil companies (AgipKCO) decided
to explore the feasibility of oil production in the northern part
of the Caspian Sea. In the area that was to be drilled first, the
water has an average depth of 3.5 metres and the dimensions of the
area to be explored is approximately 300 x 300 km,. During the
harsh Kazakh winters the thickness of the ice runs up to 80 cm and
ridges of drifting ice are a normal phenomenon.
An ice-strengthened pontoon with a draft of 1.80 mtrs. was used
as the drilling site. The pontoon was moored to a specially
designed plateau of sand and stone under the water.
Wagenborg Offshore was asked to advise during the construction
of the work island, and to supply two Ice Breaking Supply
Breaking Supply Vessels (IBSV)
The ships are specially designed
for the conditions in the north of the Caspian Sea and are in
operation in this area since October 1998. With their limited draft
and engine capacity of 2 x 2652 hp (1950 kW) they can access the
drilling sites of the Kazakh field, even during extreme winter
Shallow Draft Tug (SDT)
The Shallow Draft Tugs, with a
draft of 1.65 mtrs and an engine capacity of 2 x 675 hp, were
specially developed for tug work in shallow water. The SDTs are
used to tug cargo pontoons between the drilling sites and the
Ice-classed Barges (ICB)
The Ice-classed Barges are cargo
pontoons with a similar ice-strengthening as the IBSVs. They are
designed to transport a range of cargo.
As of 2007 Wagenborg Kazakhstan operates in the Caspian Sea with
a fleet of two icebreakers, four tugs, six flattop barges, three
ice-classed barges, one multicat, one stan tug and it carries out
the operational management of two accommodation units.