The Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan have long been known to be rich with natural gas and oil reserves. As control of the country changed and an independent Azerbaijan emerged, development of the region was eminent. In May 1994, İlham Aliyev was appointed vice-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). He participated as one of the key figures during the negotiations between Azerbaijani government and Western oil companies during the conclusion of new contracts now known as Contract of the century(1). Shortly afterward, in February of 1995, a consortium of 10 companies formed the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) with BP as the largest shareholder to develop the gas field in the Caspian. Today, offshore Caspian has become one of the world’s leading hydrocarbon provinces. The development of the region’s oil and gas resources has made Azerbaijan a focal point of the global energy market. The past decade has seen significant international investments in the region with offshore production, processing plants, and 1800 km oil pipelines being built from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea.
Discovered in 1999, the Shah Deniz gas condensate field is the largest in the Caspian. The development project in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea brings gas condensate to shore at the Sangachal Terminal, south of Baku. The terminal receives, processes, stores and exports crude oil and gas produced from the Azerbaijan’s offshore oilfields in the Caspian Sea. Treated crude oil and gas at the terminal are pumped to storage tanks and finally pumped to export pipelines for onward shipment to the world’s markets. From Sangachel, gas is exported through Georgia, through Turkey with plans to export gas to the EU, without having to traverse countries like Russia or Iran.
Rolls-Royce has been successful in providing Gas Turbine equipment to the consortium. Between Shah Deniz platforms and the Sangachal terminal Rolls-Royce has provided (17) RB211 power generation packages. BP AIOC had purchased the turbine in a variety of configuration including, Dry Low Emission, DLE, Dual Fuel, and Gas fuel and Non- DLE. At the time of their manufacture, the RB211 power gen packages were supplied with the En-Tronics® FT-110 control system. As the En-Tronics® product became obsolete and un-supported, BP contracted R-R to upgrade the control systems on all 17 power gen units.
Replacing the FT-110 controller with the new FT125 System consisting of Allen-Bradley ControLogix processors and ControlNet Flex I/O was the solution. As the BP specification mirrored the requirements of the recently completed UCG – ConocoPhilips project, UCG was once more called upon to supply the upgrade. Keeping the existing control panel enclosures and reuse existing field wiring was a requirement of BP replaced on the retrofit. This fit the modular solution developed by UCG which places the I/O modules and field connections into module design consistent with the footprint of the existing controller and I/O boards. This solution provides a bolt-in, plug-in replacement for the existing system. In addition to the new PLC system, the existing enclosure received a new door containing the new FT-210 HMI and keyboard tray. The design integration included a new Device Net Driver for fuel valve interface. All hardware engineering and software development was executed by United Control Group.
At the time of writing, three units are fully commissioned and are running smoothly. All parties are pleased with the progresses and success of the project to date.