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BARDEX SKIDS, LEVELS and LOCKS AZERI FIELD RIG IN THE CASPIAN SEA

GOLETA, California, U.S.A., April 14, 2005

Bardex Corporation of Goleta, California USA, has provided the hydraulic load handling systems for rig skidding, levelling and seismic restraint for both the skidbase and derrick equipment set (DES) on the 48-slot Central Azeri production platform. The Central Azeri Production Platform, as part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Project full field development in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, has just produced its first oil.

The Bardex skidding, levelling and locking systems include two 510 tonne push/pull capacity hydraulic gripper-jack assemblies for east/west skidding and four integrated 360/305 tonne push/pull capacity LeveLockTM hydraulic gripper-jack assemblies for north/south skidding and levelling of the DES. The LeveLockTM gripper-jack and levelling assembly is a Bardex patent pending design which integrates these complex functions into one compact unit. The LeveLockTM has a lifting capacity of 1750 tonne and horizontal locking capacity of 400 tonne. A digital readout of shim thickness for each DES footing to ensure exact derrick levelling is provided by a PLC included in the system.

The Central Azeri platform is installed in an area of the Caspian sea that is known to be seismically active and it is a project requirement that during a major earthquake the drilling facilities are to remain stable. Therefore Bardex has supplied a seismic restraint system which includes eight sets of 800 tonne seismic locking wedges for horizontal restraint and eight sets of 1450 tonne restraints for locking the rig against vertical movement. The complete Bardex system includes a free standing control console and remote-mounted PLC.

Bardex Corporation is the inventor of the combined hydraulic friction lock/double acting jacking assembly known as the "gripper-jack" which has become synonymous with fixed platform rig skidding systems. Well over 250 skidding systems worldwide have been installed utilising the gripper jack technology.

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