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Old 25th January 2016, 10:41   #31
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Very nice and informative thread.

Did you have to undergo any formal safety training before you were allowed on the rig?

Jeroen
I work for Yokogawa and Honeywell is still our major competitor. yes, there are many different trainings you need to undergo before you can go on site. Depending on the location, you will have specific training to finish. For onshore refinery, you'll need to do H2S gas safety training which will involve wearing different types of breathing apparatus and connecting to main oxygen lines. You also have overviews on PPE and which equipment has to be used in which location. Identifying tags on scaffolding to ascertain which are safe to bear load and which are not, evacuation and muster drills. Also in the middle east, I have noticed an extra training is provided based on health and safety precautions to be taken based on ambient temperature. In offshore platforms, you have similar H2S training where you'll need to wear a mask within a designated time, helicopter rescue training where you have to jump off a suspended helicopter into a pool. Evacuation drills are more common in rigs.

While my company works on distributed control systems, I specialize in emergency shutdown and burner management safety systems so there is a further training on functional safety I'm required to clear before I can work in an installation.

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@shreyascashyap

I noticed that in one of the pictures, the platform is spewing fire on to the side, and not to the top like we usually see. Is there any reason for that set up? Is it something only for Natural gas?
Good observation. The reason for that is mainly to do with safety. Most plants have vertical flares which are located at least 250m away from the main plant area. You can see that here also in the photo with the platform, there is a separate offshoot that goes to the side and connects to the flare. This way, the wind speed and direction is not of major concern to you. However, since the rig is for all practical purposes a ship, it is not possible to have a flare constructed so far away - the flare will have to be a part of the ship body. This means that the flare is dangerously close to humans and machinery. If you have vertical flaring, wind speed and direction will be a nightmare to deal with - bear in mind, wind speeds get insanely high out in open sea. You'll end up with a whip of pure flame that's 100 feet tall, swaying about in every direction!! That would make it pretty much impossible for helicopters to approach the rig for landing. Also, incase of loss of flare pressure or failure of the flaring system, gravity would pull all the poisonous, unprocessed gas downwards which is going to be a total catastrophe.
Hence, horizontal flaring. The level of the flare is below the deck level of the rig. You have two flares on either side and the flare gets switched based on wind direction. There are multiple jets of high pressure water sprayed at the flare tip which creates a fine armour of mist which prevents excess heat from getting transferred to the rig and also prevents the flame from suddenly changing direction incase of sudden gusts of wind.

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Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Hello. That was very funny and was amusing, to know, about Indian Females = Iranian Females. You know why, Just go through the History. Almost all good Buildings in India, post 1600 AD, were built, by them, before the Britishers came. All the marble 'naqquasi' and the Inlay work, (the Kashmiris too, learnt the art, of carpet weaving, and wooden inlays, paper mash and other fine woolen work (from 'shatoosh') from the Persians. The Pulao or pilaf, the rogan josh, the art of cooking with saffron, The lavendar oil and perfume, etc etc; )

Its no wonder these artists fathered and sired many; and many many beautiful womenfolk, with sharp features, beautiful, dreamy eyes with beautiful eyelashes, warm glowing skins, started dotting the canvases of whole of western and eastern India, specially Kashmir, Punjab and to some extent Rajasthan. 90% Male Indian; below 25 and above 15, will agree to this.

Coming to kababs, The persians and the turks were the original inventors ( well, i am NOT talking about meat roasting on fire, with salt, pepper and lime juice rub ! which some people mistakenly call them, kababs !)

Did you find the kababs, Any better tasting or worse than one found in Middle east or India. I had tasted authentic Afghan and Paki Kababs (they have large border with Iran, so does Pakistan). The Afghan's are more bland (as per our taste) than pakis (similar to our taste).

What about the Pulao and the Curries or rogan josh?

Any more pictures we should expect? Please, do put some from the offshore and some from the country side and market place. I am sure, you had clicked hundreds. Had voted a deservedly 5 star rating, for such enlightening travelogue.

When will you be back there. Thanx in advance.

regards

dr. sen
Irani kebabs are just pieces of meat grilled on coal and then a dab of butter and some fresh lemon juice is squeezed on top. Salt and fresh green chillies are given separate and you add as much salt as you want and bite into the chillies occasionally for the rush of spice. The concept of marinating the meat in multiple spices before grilling them is absent. So the kebabs would be similar to afghani ones, pretty bland by our standards.

The biryanis there are also different from the ones we get here. You do not generally get a huge chunk of meat piled on with flavoured rice. Instead their biryani is similar to our vegetable pulao - the meat is finely minced/shredded and cooked along with the rice and vegetables. In dishes that do have a big piece of meat, its usually plain white rice, a big chunk of plain grilled/boiled meat and lightly spiced tomato based sauce would be poured on top. The garlic yoghurt they give on the side is usually spicier than the dish itself!

Iranian pickles were of no help to us because they are just chopped vegetables preserved in an obscene amount of vinegar. In fact, the smell from when you open a bottle of their pickle is strong enough to make a fully grown horse pass out! We basically had packed lots and lots of indian pickles and chutneypudi ( that's what we call it in Karnataka. gunpowder it's referred to in some of the other states down south. It's a powder of multiple dry roasted spices, you add it to anything under the sun to make it taste a million times better!) and thokku from back home so we survived our time there.

Irani pizza was a novel experience. They have a layer of shredded meat on top of the crust which is as thick as the crust itself. They add a token amount of cheese and vegetables on top of this before they bake it in the oven. Unless you are a hardcore meat lover, it would be difficult to eat this.

I do have lots of pictures. I will upload them tomorrow.
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Old 25th January 2016, 10:50   #32
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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In parallel with this operation, another work is carried out which is laying the pipes on the sea bed from the location of the platform to the on-shore refinery. A pipe laying barge along with trawlers first dredge the sea floor and make sure you have a relatively flat, unbroken line of the sea floor which is free of all manners of obstacles. Then they dig a little channel on the floor and lay the pipes one segment at a time. Underwater robots weld the different segments together so that there is no leakage. This depth is usually not very deep so human divers also go down to supervise the work.
The offshore platform is only a node for extracting the gas/crude oil from under the sea bed - there is no storage or refining that occurs there. All the processing and piping happens on-shore in refineries which receive the sour gas/crude oil through these underwater pipes.
Shreyas, I would like to add some more explanation on the pipe lay operation. Dredging of the sea floor to make it flat or obstacle free may be possible in shallow waters but not in deeper waters. The sea bed terrain can be quite challenging with steep scarps extending few 100's of meters in elevation or lots of peaks and troughs which cannot be avoided which lead to long spans in the pipeline (sections of the pipeline which are not supported by the sea bed due to the pipe spanning over 2 crests), debris such as ship wrecks, dropped objects and more. Typically trenching of pipeline is done in shallow waters...to protect pipeline from dropped objects, fishing activities, on bottom stability of the pipeline, and also avoid buckling of the pipeline, etc.

I don't think welding will be done by ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) on the sea bed. Welding something subsea is not easy as it is uncontrolled environment and many things can go wrong. Typically, the segments of pipe (40ft or 80ft sections carried on the pipe lay vessel) are welded on the vessel in a continuous process one after the other as the pipe sections keep moving on the rollers to form a pipe string which is then continuously lowered through the stringer from back of the vessel. ROVs are used to typically take videos of the as laid pipe and trenching process. Some times also used for trenching/back filling process. Below video from youtube shows the typical s-lay process.

There is also some thing called J-lay which is typically used in deeper water.

Pls feel free to correct me if something different than an s-lay was done on your project.
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Old 25th January 2016, 11:23   #33
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Wonderful narration Shreyas and very informative. I have a very close relative working in offshore rig, but never got this level of details and snaps earlier. I had another person in Iran who used to be in the legal department of a Oil major and has heard about the charm of Iran. Now with sanctions relaxed, there might be more changes coming in
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Old 25th January 2016, 12:42   #34
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Beautifulllllll Write-up!

Loved every bit of it, all i imagined before reading your write up was that iran is a desert with people running around with guns and zero development, but looking at the pics you have posted we seem to be much more behind,such a shame.

Definitely iran is on my wishlist to visit.

Thanks again for such a lovely write-up.
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Old 25th January 2016, 12:59   #35
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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Dredging of the sea floor to make it flat or obstacle free may be possible in shallow waters but not in deeper waters.

I don't think welding will be done by ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) on the sea bed. Welding something subsea is not easy as it is uncontrolled environment and many things can go wrong. Typically, the segments of pipe (40ft or 80ft sections carried on the pipe lay vessel) are welded on the vessel in a continuous process one after the other as the pipe sections keep moving on the rollers to form a pipe string which is then continuously lowered through the stringer from back of the vessel.

Pls feel free to correct me if something different than an s-lay was done on your project.
Thank you for the information dileep.The persian gulf is very shallow, 75m being the deepest depth in the region we were operating in. There are lakes all over the world deeper than that. Dredging was carried out before pipe laying for certain.

I stand corrected. The s-lay method was in fact used to lay the pipes. I got confused because I had been shown a video of ROVs doing some underwater welding, so I assumed the entire welding process was done in this fashion. Maybe they were fixing one particular leak or something like that.

Regards,
Shreyas
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Old 25th January 2016, 14:07   #36
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Hi shreyascashyap,

Delighted to see , in fact I was working on board on one of those oil Rig you photographed ( Sahar II ) as captain , anyway nice narration. Cheers.

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Old 25th January 2016, 15:25   #37
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

I travel to Hamburg regularly and get to see some interesting ships in the Blohm and Voss shipyard there. One such visit I saw this one - called Petrojarl Banff. No idea what it is, but something to do with oil and gas!

EDIT: further research reveals it to be an FPSO - Floating Production, Storage and Offloading unit.
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Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran-petrojarl_banff_ship_1997_hamburg_02.jpg  


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Old 25th January 2016, 15:51   #38
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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Originally Posted by shreyascashyap View Post
The s-lay method was in fact used to lay the pipes. I got confused because I had been shown a video of ROVs doing some underwater welding, so I assumed the entire welding process was done in this fashion. Maybe they were fixing one particular leak or something like that.
Thanks for confirming. Those ROVs are fascinating, just like remote control toys...except that you cannot afford a mistake which might cost few hundred thousand $$ or may be in the order of millions. Needless to say the potential damage that can be caused to the subsea equipment and the lost time.
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Old 25th January 2016, 15:59   #39
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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I travel to Hamburg regularly and get to see some interesting ships in the Blohm and Voss shipyard there. One such visit I saw this one - called Petrojarl Banff. No idea what it is, but something to do with oil and gas!
Yup, you are right. That is FPSO. It is of use where the sea is too deep and it's not economically feasible to construct a pipeline. Or in cases where the oil/gas deposit is not too large and will quickly get depleted - the returns on investment are minuscule if you have conventional fixed platforms and undersea pipelines.

This kind of vessel, as the name implies is mobile and after extracting the gas/oil from under the sea, it will offload it to a waiting tanker for transport to port.
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Old 25th January 2016, 17:32   #40
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These FPSO are really neat. My very last trip on the AHT SmitLLoyd 32 was somewhere of the coast of Africa, Congo I believed. We installed a huge supertanker as a FSPO . Last offshore job I did, 1986, since then these FPSO have only gotten bigger I think.
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Old 25th January 2016, 18:27   #41
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

I had always seen Iran from the sky (LOL) and always wondered, what a beautiful city Teheran was.
Thanks for bringing all of us closer to Iran!

Lovely and fascinating read, good insight into things uncommon and mostly unknown!

Enjoyed thoroughly...

Cheers!
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Old 26th January 2016, 00:39   #42
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

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I work for Yokogawa and Honeywell is still our major competitor.
Wonderful experience shared. Must be a lifetime experience setting up an oil rig. Ironic you may say, I work for a manufacturing company and we are going to supply our products to Yokogawa and Honeywell for BPCL India project.

I am also in touch with your counterparts for Iran project.
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Old 26th January 2016, 20:10   #43
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That was an awesome post on Iran and rigs. Well written.
Many heartfelt thanks.
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Old 27th January 2016, 06:09   #44
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Nice write up about the place and your work. The bits added by others on the thread are valuable too. Hope you would like to come up with more posts about such lesser known but super relevant industries/places.
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Old 27th January 2016, 08:21   #45
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Default Re: Life onboard an Oil Rig in the Persian Gulf, Iran

Nice write up ! Good to know so much nice things about the country which is always in the news for wrong reasons ! Happy to see the beautiful side of Iran.

Awaiting more pictures and information about Iran. Please keep posting.
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