February 1 - Danish-based Blue Water Shipping has been contracted to move a jack up rig from the Middle East to the Caspian Sea in a movement over the Russian river system.

The current transport assignment is a Le Tourneau S116(E) specially designed jack-up rig, which is constructed by Lamprell at the Hamriyah facility in Sharjah (UAE). The rig has been ordered by EurasiaDrilling Company, the largest independent onshore drilling company in Russia. With this new rig, EDC wishes to extend its activities to include offshore drilling in the Caspian Sea.

The transport includes 85,000 cu m of cargo, totaling 8,205 tonnes, of which the heaviest unit weighs in at 1,050 tonnes. The individual units are to be transported on heavy lift vessels from Dubai to the Black Sea for subsequent transfer to river barges and the demanding transport through the river system to the Caspian Sea. Commencing in March 2012, the transport consists of three shipments, and is scheduled to be completed within four months.

"Considerable expertise in the handling of transport and logistics assignments of this type is required. The fact that Blue Water Shipping has been present in the Caspian area since the 1990s and has gained considerable experience and skill with these special transports has no doubt been a decisive factor in us being awarded this contract", says Claus Laursen, Blue Water Shipping Dubai, who is responsible for contract negotiations and transport implementation in close cooperation with Thomas Bek, global manager Oil & Gas at Blue Water Shipping.

Over the years, Blue Water Shipping has become one of the major players involved in the transport of giant constructions to the Caspian Sea through the Russian river system. Several of the transports handled by Blue Water Shipping have been drilling platforms or Floating-Storage-Offloading (FSO), which are special tank vessels for the storage of oil at sea. Platforms and FSOs are built at shipyards outside of the Caspian Sea, and due to the limited breadth and draught of the river system locks, it is necessary to separate the platforms into smaller sections, and subsequently assemble them upon arrival to the Caspian Sea.

Blue Water says the movement will leverage experiences gained by the 30-year old company in 2004 when it moved a TPG 500 gas production platform from Singapore to Baku, Azerbaijan (pictured below).

Blue Water Shipping was established in 1972 in Esbjerg, Denmark. The company has offices throughout Denmark and in countries around the North Atlantic, in Western and Eastern Europe, in Central Asia and the Middle East, in the Far East and North and South America.