Carrying out exploration operations in the deep water of the Caspian Sea requires special drilling equipment, based on
which the plan to build a semi-submersible drilling rig was defined by the National Iranian Oil Company, NIOC and was funded in 2001.
During this project, with the efforts of professional and experienced Iranian staff, a platform suitable for the Caspian Sea climate was designed and built, which is called Amirkabir semi-submersible drilling unit (Amir Kabir SSDU).
The objectives of the Amirkabir semi-submersible drilling rig project were as follows:
• Carrying out exploratory drilling and development operations related to oil and gas in the Caspian Sea
• Establishment of Iran's territorial sovereignty in the southern part of the Caspian Sea
• Increasing the country's foreign exchange earnings through the development of offshore hydrocarbon fields in the South Caspian Basin
• Proving the technical capabilities of domestic experts and the Iranian oil industry
• Introducing Iran as the first country with deepwater drilling technology in the region
• Job creation in the northern provinces of the country
• Improving the level of capability of Iran's maritime industry
This project was initially assigned to a consortium consisting of the Iran Marine Industrial Company (Sadra) and the Swedish GVA company. Still, after leaving the Swedish company (due to American ownership in this company), this project was wholly taken over by Sadra, in February 2006.
This massive structure of 15,000 tons is part of the fourth generation of semi-submersible drilling rigs, capable of drilling in waters with a depth of 1000 meters and a wave height of 7.8 meters. The power of 11200 watts of power generators of Amirkabir semi-submersible platform allows this platform to drill and complete a well with a depth of 7600 meters in the safest conditions through its 3000 hp drilling package. Underwater equipment and eruption control of 15,000 psi platform has provided the ability to operate in the most challenging conditions of the Caspian Sea operation. Its eight-anchor positioning system has given the platform the flexibility to deal with different weather conditions. The platform height of the rig is 50 meters from the drilling deck, and its capacity is 120 people.