Kashagan artificial island

The Kashagan Field is an offshore oil field in Kazakhstan’s zone of the Caspian Sea. An international consortium of oil companies has developed this field by constructing a group of islands. Summum Engineering’s Diederik Veenendaal, while working at Witteveen+Bos, carried out the structural analysis for two water intake structures of one of the islands.

The Kashagan oil field has been producing oil since 2016 through oil wells accessible from a group of artificial islands in the Caspian Sea. The offshore production of oil requires water for injection in order to increase pressure. This water can be sourced directly through water intakes. The Kashagan islands use steel structures as water intakes, made from anchored sheet piles that retain the soil, internally stiffened by waling beams, struts and a concrete floor. The steel structure has to account for varying water levels and long-term corrosion and subsequent material loss due to the salt water. Apart from finite element modelling and checks on welds and anchors, particular emphasis was placed on developing a check on the torsional buckling of the U-profile waling beams.

Although interesting from an engineering point of view, the development of new sources of fossil fuels given the effects of global warming is questionable to say the least. For this reason, the founding of Summum Engineering, which aims to have a positive impact on the world, was highly influenced by having undertaken this project at the time.

    Location: Caspian Sea, Kazachstan
    Time: February 2009
    Services: Structural engineering

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