Topaz Breakthrough in Turkmenistan

Sunday, October 25, 2009
Photo courtesy Topaz Energy and Marine

Topaz Energy and Marine, through its subsidiary BUE Turkmenistan, announced the award of a $14m contract with MMHE (Malaysian Marine Heavy Engineering). MMHE is operating a JV between Technip and Petronas in the construction and development of the hook up and commissioning of the Magtymguly Collector Riser (MCR-A) offshore Turkmenistan. The scope of work under the contract will include transportation to support the installation of the topside and pipe lay support from MCR-A to the onshore gas terminal. The end client is Malaysian state-owned oil major Petronas and the contract is expected to pave the way for future awards with both Petronas and Technip.

Turkmenistan has proven gas reserves of approximately eight trillion m³, placing it fourth in the world after only Russia, Iran and Qatar. The country sits on several of the world’s largest gas fields, primarily in the Amu’Darya basin in the east, the Murgab Basin, and the South Caspian basin in the west. The major international oil and gas companies operating in Turkmenistan are Petronas, Dubai-based Dragon Oil, Maersk, Wintershall and Buried Hill.

Petronas has been active in Turkmenistan since 1996 when it signed a 25-year production sharing agreement (PSA) with the Turkmen Government. The PSA covered the exploration, development and production of Block 1, including the Magtymguly (East Livanov), Garagel-Deniz (Gubkin) and Deyarbekir (Barinov) fields. Block 1 is located approximately 80 km southwest of Turkmenbashi. This was the first PSA to be awarded by the government of Turkmenistan and by the end of 2008, Petronas had invested USD 1.8 billion in Turkmenistan.

The Topaz contract will involve Topaz operating seven marine assets worth in excess of $60m in the Carigali field offshore Turkmenistan. The vessels are three anchor handling tug supply vessels (AHTS), two barges for pipe lay support, one fast crew boat and one towing vessel. Topaz Marine has been active in the Caspian for more than a decade and operates a fleet of circa 70 vessels in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

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