Project Description

Metocean observation systems are commonplace in the oil and gas industry providing input to operational forecasting, and building a long term picture of the off-shore environment.  Keen Marine spent considerable time between 2007 and 2013 providing a range of services to a Metocean project in the vicinity of the Northeastern Caspian Sea.

The Caspian Sea is situated east of the Black Sea, between the co-ordinates 36-47°N, and 47-54°E.  Proven oil reserves for the entire Caspian Sea region (that’s total country reserves, not just the Caspian Sea itself) are estimated at 18 – 35 billion barrels, comparable to the United States (22 billion barrels) and the North Sea (17 billion barrels). Most of these reserves have not been developed, and many areas of the Caspian region remain unexplored. Most of Azerbaijan’s oil resources are located offshore, as are perhaps 30-40% of the total oil resources of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

When in-country Keen Marine was based in Atyrau, Kazakhstan.  Keen Marine returned to the project many times on behalf of several clients who held the main contract (2006 to 2013), playing various roles ranging from the project manager, project auditor and technical specialist.  Peter was responsible for the management and daily scheduling of a team of field technicians who serviced the metocean sites.   These stations were widely distributed around the coast, on artificial offshore islands where drilling activities were taking place in addition to seasonal subsurface oceanographic deployments.

Stations communicated in a range of modes with the Atyrau base: satellite; short-range radio; or GSM back to a central repository that stored the data, applied basic QC, and displayed 10 minutes averaged data in near real-time.  Over the period of Keen Marine’s involvement, the system was expanded and upgraded, new stations were installed and the communications links made more reliable so that by the end of their tenure the observation system was reliably gathering data from all stations on the network, not an insignificant feat in a country that can feel extremely remote at times.


Concrete jetty on a frozen Ural river


Mosque, Central Atyrau


White painted trees to protect from the snow