Cat® 3500 Diesel Generators to Power Russia’s Largest Offshore Oil and Gas Platform

Located a mere 15 miles (25 km) off the coast of Russia is the Berkut, the most technically advanced offshore drilling and production platform in the world. Slated to begin operations in 2014, the Berkut has drawn international acclaim not only due to its colossal size but the innovative designs incorporated into the structure to ensure it can withstand the severe conditions of the Arctic.

Weighing in at 160,000 tons (over 3.5 million pounds) and with a height equivalent to a 16-story building, the Gravity-Based Structure (GBS) of the Berkut platform was designed to be resistant to floating ice and icebergs up to 6 feet (2 m) thick and withstand waves reaching 59 feet (18 m) tall, while operating in active seismic conditions. Developer Exxon Mobil designed the platform for a forty-year operating life with the capability of drilling up to 45 extended reachwells.

“For a project this complex, they needed reliable power solutions that could perform under the most arduous weather conditions and tapped Caterpillar Oil and Gas to provide products they knew would be as tough as the conditions the platform is operating in,” noted Sergey Chernyshov, Caterpillar Oil and Gas territory sales manager. “Caterpillar will provide the complete scope of supply for all power on the Berkut platform.”

Three Cat® 3516B (HD) generator sets will provide both essential and emergency power for the topsides of the fixed platform. Each generator set can provide 2000 ekW @ 1500 rpm (50 Hz) of rated power. The platform also features 3x Cat 3412 fire pumps. Four Solar Titan turbines will also provide main power to the platform. The topside of the platform (where the generator sets and turbines are installed) includes drilling, production, oil and gas processing and storage facilities.  It will be shipped and installed on the GBS in the second quarter of 2013.

Essential generator sets provide a safe power source for the drilling process in case of loss of main power. Emergency generator sets provide safe power for the operators’ accommodations and other safety features necessary in the event main power is lost. All the diesel generators can be interchanged in service to cover both the emergency and essential loads as per power demand. The packages are highly customized for offshore service and severe seismic requirements.

Manufactured in Lafayette, Indiana, the Cat 3500 diesel generator sets have been installed on countless offshore platforms around the world en route to becoming the industry standard for prime power. With proven performance in drilling applications, the 3516B series features market-leading power density, a long overhaul life and the ADEM™ A3. For this particular project, auxiliary systems necessary for climate control, black dual starting capabilities at low temperatures and snow conditions as well as sophisticated controls, monitoring and protection systems were included in the package scope of supply.

Cat dealer, Sakhalin Machinery, with their project team of highly qualified Russian and Expatriate Engineers led by Mahmoud Helmy, Sakhalin Machinery's Power Systems Manager, successfully managed the project and led Caterpillar Global Petroleum’s efforts.

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Building the off-shore oil and gas platform