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Oil Rigs on the Silk Road

Move One's Regional Manager explains some of the most challenging logistics jobs in the industry - moving entire oil rigs

By Marko Lukic
April 7, 2011
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Oil rigMove One is a key player in the development of the Central Asian energy economy. In what was once a market dominated by Middle Eastern interests, the realization of the resources in regions such as Mongolia has brought on a new age of energy exploration. These regions represent some of the most challenging environments and rugged terrain anywhere on Earth. In order to explore these areas, companies have come to rely on the premier expertise of Move One and its detailed knowledge of local geography, customs and infrastructure.

Move One’s Regional Manager for Central Asia, Sean Kosa, is a veteran of the logistics industry surrounding the Central Asian resource exploration sector. One of the greatest challenges posed by Sean’s clients is the transportation of entire oil rigs. These multi-million dollar equipment systems are the front line of the clients’ business, and represent some of the heaviest, most complex and most sensitive moves to be found anywhere in the energy sector. Sean Kosa talked to us and explained just what it takes to move an entire oil rig.

“We moved our first medium sized rigs in 2008 in Georgia and Armenia,” he said. “… and in 2009 we had shipments destined for Kazakhstan originating from Mongolia, along with domestic moves within Kyrgyzstan. Kazakhstan still looks to us to have the most potential in terms of drill-able resources, but for the time being the bulk of our rig moving has been done in Kyrgyzstan.”

Moving the rigs is a very technically complex operation, and one that has to be achieved in very remote locations, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest service or support team. A wide array of vehicles is used, from heavy lift cranes to low-bed trucks, forklifts and flatbeds. Added to this are all the specialized tools and internationally certified lifting and lashing materials, meaning that each move needs to be intricately planned well in advance.

We asked Sean what the biggest challenges were in planning and executing these moves. “The biggest challenges occur in locations with little or no infrastructure to support over-sized and heavy loads. A good example of this would be in the south of Kyrgyzstan where we had to engage local officials to temporarily move fencing and clear roads for our over-sized goods. During road surveys we also identified low-hanging power lines at certain locations and had them cleared safely by the time our equipment was passing through. We like to cause as little disruption as possible to the populated areas which we transit, and doing this preparation in advance ensures that Move One and the local officials are happy.”

Expert planning is clearly one of the elements behind Move One’s position as an industry leader. Depending on the size of the rig in question, and the availability of local infrastructure, the planning and information-gathering process alone can take from a few days to a month. This will be enough time for Sean and his team to arrange everything, from the fine details of the client’s needs to the loading plans, equipment breakdowns and lashing schematics. Sean takes particular care to foster an environment of cooperation and collaboration with the client, rather than simply following a more hands-off and less efficient standard client/vendor relationship.

“The key to really delivering customer satisfaction in this field is preparation,” he added. “We perform detailed research in advance, allowing us to ensure that we have no delays once the rigs are mobilized. This is crucial to a successful rig transportation, as down time costs are very high for the client. Each day that we can save on a transit keeps project costs down for our customers, and therefore keeps everyone satisfied.”

Move One has been active in the Central Asian theater for over a decade, taking a lead role in numerous projects and providing logistics support to a wide-range of customers. Through our strategically located offices across the region, Move One can handle the challenges posed by even the most complex and demanding projects. Our professional teams include both expatriate and local expertise that is dedicated to providing innovative solutions for the ever changing requirements within the region.



For further information about Move One’s logistics services in Central Asia, please contact Sean Kosa at sean.kosa@moveoneinc.com.

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