Bluewater Bluewater still standing tall Sustainability in the polders Opportunities are returning
Introduction The offshore oil and gas industry is licking its wounds after four years of heavy reces sion which tested the sector to its limits. With the influx of American shale oil and gas, the market was weighed down by a continued surplus. Thousands of companies closed down all across the world. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs. Meanwhile, the tide has turned and a new equilibrium has been found. The global surplus has disappeared. Reserve stocks have shrunk, old fields are past their best and, with the stagnation in the develop ment of new fields, oil and gas giants are announcing new projects. Companies that kept their heads above water are now pre paring for better times.
They are doing that in the knowledge that their experience and expertise goes way beyond simply offshore oil and gas. After all, in recent years, many suppliers have been successfully focusing on offshore wind, as a development that appears to offer many opportunities throughout the world. These developments have prompted the Insights editorial team to take a closer look at this sector. Here is what they’ve learnt. An informative publication offering an insight into a rapidly changing market.
Bluewater Bluewater still standing tall
MARIN Building on a future at sea
Breman Machinery The unique position held by Breman Machinery
Bluewater This is where our qualities lie
Compressor Systems Holland B.V. Your challenge, our work!
Bluewater This is a respectable business
Konnektus. Service provider with a strong reputation
Jumbo Offshore Ready for the future
Offshore Energy Low cost is here to stay
KIVI Engineering has never been more relevant than it is now
MOCS Conquering the market with VIKTOR
IRO Opportunities are returning
Park 20|20 Sustainability in the polders
Bluewater Bluewaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s FPSO fleet
The tide seems to have turned after crisis in the offshore oil and gas market
Bluewater still standing tall Bluewater Energy Services is still standing tall after a crisis which hit the global oil and gas industry tremendously hard. CEO Hugo Heerema confirms there is “considerable movement” in global production and development and that he is confident that the market will continue picking up. “I am certain that our market segment will recover from its decline.”
Bluewater Energy Services. Heerema took over the company in 1993 - when it had just thirty employees. These days, a quarter of a century later, Bluewater employs, on average, between a thousand and twelve hundred people - including its offshore crews - and has grown thanks to its focus on two key pillars: FPSO systems (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading) and SPM systems (Single Point Mooring). In other words: flexible, ship-based production platforms, and offshore mooring and trans fer systems. Bluewater has become a medium-sized player in the FPSO market. The company’s fleet consists of five (of its own) FPSO vessels. However, the FPSO branch only provides a limited amount of differentiation, stresses Heerema. The SPM expertise in this area is what really makes the difference. “We are undoubtedly one of only two hi-tech com panies in the world to offer this. This is our core competence. Our engineering com petence is unparalleled. We have also become unique in the continued develop ment of this technology. Meanwhile, we are an expert in systems that allow single point mooring in even the most extreme conditions - including the Arctic - and in compliance with all associated rules and regulations.” Balance Over the last few years, activity in the oil and gas sector was at historical lows. As a result of the intensifying oil price crisis, the oil companies stopped developing oil fields, Hugo Heerema
and this had an immense impact on the entire industry. “This had global implica tions,” says Heerema. “Floating cranes, drilling equipment, tug boats, service provi ders: everything has been under pressure since the end of 2014. Meanwhile, we are gradually seeing a new balance between oil supply and demand. The reserve stocks have declined, aging oil fields are past their peak while exploration and development have stagnated. At the same time the global economy is picking up again, increasing the demand for oil. This is noticeable.”
Cash is king - also with them hence the interest in lease. This growing demand for FPSOs of course is good news for us.” Heerema believes there are still many deep-water oil basins across the world “which can easily compete with shale oil fields in terms of development cost”. These are “really large reservoirs”, which will allow for more than twenty-five years of production and which are therefore relatively economical to develop. “It is only a matter of time before we see some firm developments kicking off. The question is not so much if, but rather when it will happen.” Strength Bluewater Energy Services has a contract for three of its five FPSO vessels. The other two are “gradually beginning to be more in demand”, says Heerema. One possible option is a project in Brazil, although he has his reservations. “Our strength lies in operating in harsh weather conditions and areas governed by stringent rules and regulations. This is where we can add the greatest value. We therefore do not simply seize the first opportunity. This also has to do with the complexity and duration of the work.”
Also the company believes it will benefit in the coming years from the diminishing interest in the application of traditional production platforms, which are not shipbased. “Oil companies are now mainly looking at the opportunities provided by ‘floating production’ solutions. Therefore, even with large oil fields, oil companies are increasingly interested in leasing FPSOs.
Unlike the more complex and often turnkey SPM projects, the FPSO market is less technology- driven, emphasizes Heerema. “The market is fiercely compe titive, despite the many develop m ents expected. In the SPM market, innovation and a smart, excellent design are highly va lued. That is less so in the FPSO market.” Regrettably, he must admit, “because, even though FPSO has become a kind of commodity, it is still not the case that all oil is identical. Every oil reservoir is different. Not only do we deal with different types of oil, production often includes high volumes of associated gas. This must be cleaned and compressed in order for us to export it, or must be re-injected into the field to maintain the field pressure. For the same reason, water - from the field or from the sea - must also be cleaned and injected under high pressure.”
“Our strength lies in operating in tough weather conditions and areas governed by stringent rules and regulations”
This means, he says, that an FPSO vessel must be adapted each time for a new field or different location. “Such conversions rapidly add up to tens or hundreds of millions of euros and the contracts can be very risky. We sometimes sign up for only five or six years, naturally in the hope that it will end up being eight or nine, in order to spread the costs over a longer period. However, if an oil field turns out to be disappointing it can also mean ‘game over’. There is some kind of compensation in such cases but in financial terms this does not compare with a project lasting for eight or nine years. You end up with an FPSO that is only partly amortized, which you then need to deploy elsewhere.” Tricky There are also the capex costs. FPSO vessels are often built specifically for first field that they will perform on. Heerema: “This can easily add up to an investment of a billion euros. You normally finance part of this with equity, but most needs to come from external funding. Therefore, if a project arises adhering to the budget and schedule is paramount. However, industry expe riences show that budgets were often exceeded. And then the going gets tough, with lease prices always fixed up front. That is why many players have had to cease business over the years.” The financial component has been more onerous than ever in recent years during the oil price crisis, says Heerema. He considers himself fortunate that his company has survived in a world where
thousands of fellow companies have gone under and almost three- quarters of a million people have lost their jobs. “In most cases, these people have transferred to other industries and I think that leakage of know-how will be felt industry-wide in the coming years.”
this in mind, we are continuing to develop ourselves, with a solid focus on the oil and gas world. I believe that the world’s fossil fuels are a long way off being exhausted. Furthermore, the world’s energy require ments keep on growing. I expect that, by 2050, our dependence on fossil fuels will still be over 55 per cent. There is work in our business for decades to come. It is in this market that we wish to continue rein forcing our position as a niche player, by leading the way in technological terms and continuing to focus on innovation and know ledge intensity. In doing so, we will remain the player that is much in demand.”
Astute For a while it was also “a close call” for Bluewater, he acknowledges. “The banks were queueing up to secure their loans. In such a climate, you are soon referred to the restructuring department. We were able to deflect disaster by acquiring new contracts just in time. However, the procedure did get me thinking. In the past, the bank was your business partner, but these days the banks have much stricter rules. You really need to be on the ball.” Market developments have taught him that, for a healthy future, Bluewater must continue to focus on technical innovation and on reinforcing the competences that set the company apart. “With
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Great challenges need sophisticated solutions. This is the work of specialists. Machines which produce components with exceptional proportions and extreme accuracy. Welcome to Breman Machinery B.V. We are situated in Genemuiden (the Netherlands), beside open water, which means we have a direct connection to the international ports, including Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Antwerp.
For over 150 years, we have offered customized solutions for our relations all around the world. We build components which weigh tens or even hundreds of tonnes, yet are within a tolerance of a few hundredth of a millimeter. The extreme precision you are looking for. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meet in person! Call 088 27 36 200 or go to www.breman-machinery.nl.
Breman Machinery B.V., The Netherlands, T 088 27 36 200, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.breman-machinery.nl
180073_BREMAN OFFSHORE INDUSTRY-193x132.indd 2 Bremann goo.inddMACHINERY_ADV 1
05-07-18 02-10-18 13:29 08:36
Research institute MARIN gives more focus to open innovation
Building on a future at sea MARIN, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, is increasingly focused on open innovation projects. There is much ambition, explains Olaf Waals, as the head of offshore. “We wish to play a role in the future at sea.”
fish farms, helping with design verification: very specific, application-oriented work. Also, for the past two to three years we have become increasingly focused on open innovations, targeting larger developments which affect the future of the sea.” Challenging This is how MARIN came to launch some research last year on the possibility of creating floating mega islands. “These are not something you will see out there tomor row,” claims Waals, “but that does not mean it is not worth investigating. The supporting idea is: what would be required to make a floating island on the sea? What challenges will you face? How could you moor them? Which forces would apply? It is a truly challenging question - and research ing this together with industrial knowledge partners who are strong in applications is truly fascinating and inspiring.”
Research institute MARIN is involved in the cluster approach, which the Netherlands has been able to achieve in the maritime sector and an essential part of the ‘golden triangle’, which has been created between companies, politicians and the research world. MARIN is also a real spider in the web with, on the one hand, its contacts in the industrial and research world and, on the other, its wide-reaching network with relevant parties to way beyond the country’s borders. In the offshore segment, MARIN is clearly adopting an increasingly two-track policy, says Olaf Waals. “On the one hand, we are following the market activity and carrying out customer assign ments. This can involve providing knowledge, carrying out model trials or improving design details. This is done on the basis of 1-to-1 contact with clients and represents 70 to 80 per cent of our work. Research into FPSOs, FLNGs, semi-submersibles, wind turbines and
The research, known as ‘Space@Sea’, is subsidised by the EU Horizon2020 pro gramme. It is being conducted by a total of seventeen parties at home and abroad and offers a new dimension into a series of
today’s questions. Waals: “In the past, there has been a study of the possibilities to make islands by spraying sand and then placing e.g. a runway on top. This remains relevant, but you can also consider it on a much wider scale: the expansion of large sea ports, making ‘sea farms’ for e.g. culti vation of fish, greenhouses for fruit and vegetables, accommodating maintenance teams while they work on wind farms, etc. And the advantage of a floating platform is that it is pretty much unaffected by the depth of the water and sea water levels.” Extreme MARIN tested a scale version of the idea, in its own test environment, says Waals. “This demonstrated what an incredible challenge it would be. There are tremen dous forces out in the open sea. The area is extremely rough. There is always wind. Waves reach twelve or thirteen metres high in the most extreme storms. We organi sed a big seminar - The Floating Future - as part of the research project, when we put our heads together with all kinds of rele vant parties on the question of what was and was not possible. This led to a pile of ‘homework’ for everyone. After all, you are giving a starting signal, not putting a full stop.” Space@Sea is one of the research projects about the future at sea in which MARIN is
involved. Multifunctional use of space is another topic, says Waals. “The North Sea is becoming increasingly congested: wind mills, ships, food production, defence. Based on that, idea we are studying the possi bility of using the ‘empty’ space between wind farms, e.g. to cultivate algae or gene rate floating solar energy between the poles of turbines. However, before we can do that, we first need to know how that will affect the wind farm. This is often done jointly with the industry and other know ledge partners. We establish a basis with a brainstorming session and a trial in a water tank. This is followed by a seminar in combi nation with a demo for a larger audience. We then raise the question: how do you think we should proceed?”
“What happens if you make a floating island on the sea? What challenges will you face? How can you moor such islands? Which forces would apply?” Trial About ten years ago, MARIN did a trial with the first floating wind turbine. A scale model of such was also placed in a water tank back then. “Meanwhile the interest is growing rapidly,” confirms Waals: France, Japan, Taiwan and Korea: all of these countries have oceans where the water becomes very deep relatively quickly. Floating turbines are certainly a solution. However, the economic challenge is enormous, as a floater remains more expensive than a turbine pole. Nonetheless, such a question can form the basis to bring parties together, release some energy and set off some innovation.” The developments are strongly connected with the offshore oil and gas world, says Waals. “For example, in October, we had the FPSO Joint Industry Projects week. This deals with questions like: what does the future of the FPSO look like? For example, is hydrogen production an option? We are certainly heading for a future in which we make the switch from pure oil to gas, before finally generating renewable energy at sea which can then be stored. We don’t know how quickly it will happen, but it is heading in that direction. And I am sure that the parties who are now playing a prominent role in offshore oil and gas will shortly be very involved.”
The unique position held by Breman Machinery “Time pressure and short lead times” are what Sales Engineer Jan Boer and General Manager Machining Gijsbert Kamp at Breman Machinery consider to be important developments in the market. “For this reason we notice that our customers are increasingly involving us in the engineering phase. This saves an enormous amount of time.” Meanwhile, Breman Machinery in Genemuiden has been around since the 19th century. Once a traditional blacksmith, the company has now become a leading sup plier of specialized components for sectors including offshore, gas and oil, defence, aerospace and aviation. Breman Machinery boasts extensive lifting capacity, state-of-the-art machining, their own conservation department and the most modern plate rolling, bending and welding machines.
equipment, machine parts, modules and constructions. One of its current projects includes work on Gripper, Fixation and Turret systems for the oil and wind industry. Kamp: “as example, for Bluewater, we are making Swivels, a sort of state of the art connection for gas, water and oil separation systems aboard F(P)SO ships. These must stand up to the most extreme conditions. We test the entire installation under very high pressure.”
“We’re the ones for premium steel projects requiring extreme precision”
Together with Breman Offshore in IJmuiden and Plaatswalserij Purmerend in Wijdewormer, the company has an enviable range of in-house disciplines. “In that respect we are unique in the Netherlands,” says Jan Boer. “We’re the ones for premium steel projects requiring extreme precision.” We have all the relevant equipment and capacity in-house, allowing us to act quickly and flexibly in response to our client’s requests. The difference lies in our employees’ abilities. Such accuracy is not learnt at school, but only in practice. We continue to bene fit from the experience of our staff who have been working here for several decades.”
In many cases, our work involves tasks for new constructions, however, Breman Machinery was recently involved in a revision assignment. This meant that all components were transported to to Genemuiden, where they were examined with ‘extreme precision’. “This is also a matter of time pressure,” says Boer. “It costs a fortune for ships to be out of action. That is probably why revision will become a trend in the coming years.” Leader There is more certainty when it comes to the future of wind energy. Once again Breman Machinery is a leading supplier for this industry. “Currently many countries do not meet with the European standards for wind energy generation, and efforts will be required to catch up in the coming years. Asia and the United States are also discovering wind energy. We therefore expect that this will remain a key growth market for us.”
Specialist Breman Machinery specialises in transforming innovative designs into useful and mobile components in installations,
More information: www.breman-machinery.com
Extreme precision 9
Aoka Mizu ready for the ultimate challenge
“This is where our qualities lie” As from early 2019, the FPSO vessel Aoka Mizu (Japanese for Blue Water) will produce oil in the Lancaster field, to the west of the Shetland Isles, north of the UK. The FPSO lies in one of the world’s roughest ocean areas, putting unprecedented pressure on the ship, anchoring and production installation. “This is where our qualities lie.”
The task that awaits to the west of the Shet lands is incredibly challenging in every respect, claims vice president Technology Peter Burger from Bluewater Energy Services. The company has been busy with the design and upgrade of the FPSO for about two years. The Aoka Mizu has been upgraded in Dubai, to stand up to the extreme weather conditions ahead. This also included raising and strengthening the bow, and essential modifications to prepare the ship for the disconnectable mooring systems, which have also been adapted to the harsh conditions. “The North Sea and the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean are among the most extreme areas in which to operate,” says Burger. “Strong winds, current, high waves and water depths - in the area where we will operate - that can range from hundreds of metres to over one kilometre. This combi nation makes it an incredible challenge. Both the ship and the SPM mooring system have been prepared in such a way that they meet all requirements to stand up to the most ‘extreme storms’ that may occur only once in 10,000 years. However challenging the area may be: safety and the environment remain the top priority.”
Aoka Mizu The Aoka Mizu, which sails under the flag of Curaçao, was built in the late 90’s on behalf of Bluewater Energy Services. The ship is almost 250 metres long and 42 metres wide. It can hold over 600,000 barrels of oil. The ship was speci fically designed and built for use as an FPSO under harsh conditions and has been deployed on the Ettrick and Black bird fields for Nexen Petroleum UK. The FPSO is equipped with a Bluewater designed, disconnectable Turret Moorings System (TMS), which allows the FPSO to be installed extremely quickly once on location in the open sea.
The Lancaster field The Lancaster field, which was discovered in 2009, is located to the west of the Shetlands, and is operated by Hurricane Energy. The field, which is being developed in phases, consists of a granite-like reservoir 4,000 metres below the sea bed, with a number of faults at various levels. One of these can be traced back to a series of earthquakes in the earth’s surface over 2.4 million years ago. The expected yield of the various parts of the field is estimated at over 700 million barrels of crude oil. According to the website offshore-technolgy.com, Hurricane Energy drilled a first horizontal well in 2014 with the Transocean drilling platform Sedco 712, in order to assess the potential of the Lancaster field. This single well emitted oil at a rate of 9,800 barrels per day of 38° API. As further exploration of the source’s potential, Hurricane also followed with a special programme for another test drilling. This also produced good results at a depth of over 1,600 metres.
Contract At the end of 2016, Bluewater Energy Ser vices signed the contract with the English company Hurricane Energy. This was also when a conditional start was made with the resulting FPSO modifications on the site in Dubai. “Without wishing to boast: the Aoka Mizu is the only existing FPSO vessel able to tackle this job. About twenty years ago, we had a vision to build an extra- strong ship, not heavy, not too big, but strong, to manage work in seriously harsh conditions. That choice is now paying off, even though we had to upgrade even fur ther for this area. Likewise we had to sig nificantly reinforce the disconnectable moor ing system.”
The SPM system that has been prepared is - once again - very distinc tive for such area, says Burger. “The buoyant part of the system hovers - held down by anchor chains - about twenty to thirty metres under water. It is pulled into the Aoka Mizu upon arrival and fixed by an advantage locking mechanism. This buoy is locked in a rotating component, with bearings of around thirteen metres in diameter. This mooring system also enables all fluids, gasses, electric and control signals to flow from and to the seabed while the ship is kept in place, whilst also leaving it free to rotate in the wind, current and waves.” The Aoka Mizu has a nominal crew of 55, mainly from the UK. Bluewater Energy service was awarded a contract for a minimum period of three years, but “it’s more of a ten-year agreement,” claims Burger. “The anticipated yield is based on the least-per forming oil reserves, but the expectations and indications are that the field will produce a remarkably higher yield.” Sceptical He believes that Bluewater is fortunate with its client Hurricane Energy, “a company quite like us in their culture and vision”. It is also a company that has dared to stick its neck out with the Lancaster field. “The field’s geology is a fractured basin which is far less common, making some geologists more sceptical about its potential while others, like, Hurricane, strongly believe in its potential, and so do we.”
“About twenty years ago, we had a vision to build an extrastrong ship, not heavy, not too big, but strong, to manage work in the toughest conditions” Hurricane Energy has a number of the mostknowledgeable and experienced specialists when it comes to drilling and reservoir management, in Burger’s opinion. “Test drilling was carried out based on their own analysis, and turned out to be extremely success ful. There is certainly oil - and probably in far greater quantities than already demonstrated. This will become clear in the coming years. So this is certainly a very important project both to us and Hurricane. For the company’s future, but equally for our position as an innovative leader.”
WELCOME TO JLT JLT is one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading providers of insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits related advice, brokerage and associated services. Our client proposition is built upon our deep specialist knowledge, client advocacy, tailored advice and service excellence. Together, we place our clients first, champion independent thinking and expect to be judged on the results we deliver.
Client First culture; Specialized niche office; Highly experienced people; Flexible organization; Strong sector knowledge; Ability to build innovative and alternative products. P.O.Box 23004, 3001 KA Rotterdam, the Netherlands Schouwburgplein 30-34, 3012 CL Rotterdam, the Netherlands Direct Dial: + 31 (0)10 4400550, www.jlt.com JLT Goo.indd 1
INNOVATIVE OFFSHORE SOLUTIONS DESIGN - ENGINEERING - PRODUCTION
Hymek was established in 2004 and have significant experience in producing custom designed Offshore Hose Loading Stations. We design, engineer and fabricate customised products in steel, stainless steel and aluminium. We have high focus on product innovation and have competence within mechanics and hydraulics. To ensure high quality products we perform simulations, analysis and testing at our facilities in Egersund, Norway.
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â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we make the reel thing 21-08-18 14:33
Compressor Systems Holland B.V.
Your challenge, our work! Compressor Systems Holland (CSH) B.V. is located in Vianen, the Netherlands. We design, engineer, package, test, start up, commission and maintain customized compressor and blower packages according to the highest international standards.
CSH’s customers are end users, OEM companies and EPC contractors in the oil and gas, offshore, shipbuilding, petrochemical, refinery and biogas upgrading industry. Some of the main applications are Fuel gas boosting for gas turbines and gas engines, Wellhead gathering, Gas recovery systems (for example flare gas, oil associated gas, LPG), High pressure air/nitrogen boosters (both onshore and offshore), (Emergency) Instrument air compressors and Biogas compressors. Recently we have designed, engineered and built a Fuel Gas Compressor Offshore Package (see picture) for the Bluewater FPSO “Aoka Mizu”. With this compressor package the casing gas (associated gas) is no longer flared but used as fuel for the on-board gas turbines. The capacity of the electric motor driven GEA oil lubricated screw compressor is 4474 Nm3/hr compressing the fuel gas from a nominal suction pressure of 16 bar (a) to a discharge pressure of 31 bar (a) in 1 stage. In this way we contribute to a better environment and substantial cost savings for our customer Bluewater.
Bluewater FPSO ‘Aoka Mizu’
We also are specialized in another working area. Our sister company HYDRODIESEL (www.hydrodiesel.co.uk) is an expert in the design, manufacture and supply of the fire waterpumps for FPSO’s and marine class Fire Fighting systems. We offer a wide range of fire pumps, each specifically designed and manufactured to exacting standards of performance and reliability for land, marine and offshore applications.
Together with our customers we come to the perfect solution for their application. Fuel Gas Compressor Offshore Package
FPSO Hydrodiesel Firewater Pump Set
email@example.com Phone: 0031 347 324610 www.compressorsystems.com www.hydrodiesel.com www.linkedin.com/company/compressor-systems-holland-b-v-/
KIVI CEO Micaela dos Ramos
“Engineering has never been more relevant than it is now” Dutch businesses are desperate for engineers, says the professional association KIVI. However, technical universities are announcing stops for students due to the cost and the cabinet is doing little to resolve the problem. “It is a real blow that the government is failing to respond. Engineering has never been more relevant than it is now.”
After years in the closet, engineering and technology are once again a real ‘hype’. This includes the technical profession - like that of an engineer - which is therefore enjoying a grand ‘revival’, demonstrated by a tremendous rise in interest in tech nical training. “At every level,” stresses KIVI CEO Micaela dos Ramos. “Ranging from ‘MBO’ (middle-level applied education) to academic education.” The professional association KIVI (20,000 members) “is overjoyed” with this develop ment, she says. “The common thread in our message for so long has been that tech nology is not only everywhere, but also that it plays a crucial role in our economy. For years we have been trying to promote the technical and engineering profession, with initiatives like the Day of the Engineer and the Prins Friso Engineering award for the engineer of the year (see insert, ed.). We are delighted with the fact that this is reaping
its rewards. However, the fact that training new talent is being put on ice because budgets are not keeping up is really disappointing.” Dominant KIVI is doing all it can with training and trade organisations to change this, says Dos Ramos. “Never before have we seen engi neering and technology hold such a dominant position in our society. They are popping up everywhere: in smart industry, in mobility, in automation, in care, in environmental changes, in smart city-type concepts. ‘Conventional’ engineering is increasingly being given a second technological layer. The social relevance is thus steadily increasing. In this respect, it is particularly unfor tunate that education is being forced to hold back.” The growing role of technology in our society and the increasing integration of functionalities also means that the engineering profession is changing dramatically, says Dos Ramos. “Nanotech nology, robotics, the Internet of Things, building management, operating mechanisms, artificial intelligence: on the one hand we need engineers that are strong on subject matter and who can work in a multidisciplinary manner and, on the other hand, there is a growing need for architects and integrators, who can manage these multifunctional teams and keep them together.”
pipes and that was about it. These days it will include a whole range of electronics and sensors, with a massive impact on the engineering process.”
Micaela dos Ramos
In such a different world, engineers must be able to manage both the breadth and the depth, she says. “This is affecting our members in literally all disciplines of the profession. And it is necessary to stay ahead. In the Netherlands, we must be able to continue doing things at the highest technical level. Equally we must be able to place things in the wider context right from the design stage.” Interaction A good example, in her opinion, is the use of robots in care, which not only need to be very intelligent from a technical perspective, but also capable of a high level of social interaction. A dyke must keep water at bay, but its design must also allow the installation of sensors for surveillance. Dos Ramos: “Put simply: in the past, when you built a tunnel, you dug a hole, connected some concrete
“The Prins Friso Engineering award has certainly helped” Setting up an annual Day of the Engineer and the related Prins Friso Engineering award for the engineer of the year “has certainly contributed” to renewed interest in the profession, says KIVI CEO Micaela dos Ramos. “It has created considerable publicity, within the professional group and beyond. We notice that candidates are tremendously proud simply to be nominated. It is really having an effect in that sense. 2019 marks the f irst lustrum of this award. This will be cele brated at ASML. This shows that: even hi-tech and high-end industries like to get involved in adding strength and visibility to the power of engineering. And as you can see: this not only helps in restoring interest in engineering, it also benef its the role of the engineer behind such engineering.”
For (emerging) engineers such developments have an enormous impact on the subject matter, she stresses. “On the one hand, everyone must effectively manage their own discipline and, on the other, there must be an insight into what’s involved in projects on a wider scale. Engineers must alternate between and work with other disciplines, and achieve a final result that is much more complete. Much more is being asked of them than say ten or twenty years ago.” Furthermore, there is also a need for a totally new type of engineer, more of a generalist, and one that knows a little about lots of things, maintains an overview and keeps track of the general picture. Challenges More demands are placed on any engineers involved in say project management, com munication, safety aspects, sustainability and circularity. Dos Ramos: “There are all kinds of challenges that require different competences than in the past. Engineers develop their expertise while they are working.” That is why, for its members, KIVI has set up an online instrument (the Online Professional Development tool, OPD). “This allows thought and attention with which to develop such competences.” A start is being made at school and, in that respect, the education system is increas ingly sending out ‘semi-finished goods’, says Dos Ramos. “It is essential to keep on learning. Professional qualifications, such as Chartered Engineer (WO or university education) and Incorporated Engineer (HBO or higher professional education) are there fore becoming more important. These follow on once people have graduated and provide a quality standard for the professional. In the past, we were very proud of the quality of our education, which was held in high regard. We are still very happy, but this education alone is no longer sufficient.”
MOCS platform automates and optimises the design process
“Conquering the market with VIKTOR”
Bergman producing a glass-fiber reinforced polymer bridge (2016)
The engineers at the Delft start-up company MOCS were just doing so well, when the oil price collapsed in 2014. The brand-new company found an escape route in the design and development of glass-fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridges. This was the forerunner of their platform known as VIKTOR, with which MOCS is now going to conquer the market.
“Yes, things can sometimes turn out differently to what you expect. You must keep looking for opportunities and switch at the right moment.” Anande Bergman, senior engineer, has been involved in MOCS from the very beginning and experienced how a mix of entrepreneurship and innovation got the company through the oil crisis. “VIKTOR is the most tangible spin-off of this. The development was produced entirely in-house.” VIKTOR arose from the design and development of glass-fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridges, “a successful business, which we set up when the oil market collapsed and which helped us enormously through the difficult years”, claims Bergman. “We discovered that a large percentage of sales, engineering and work preparation was a repetitive and time-consuming process. Being an innovative engineering company, we thought about how we could improve this. This led to the invention of VIKTOR.” Outstanding This has led MOCS to one of the activities in which the engineering company really stands out: the optimisation and automation of design and engineering processes. “The VIKTOR platform makes it quick and easy to build applications that automate the design and engineering process. Boring routine work that is prone to errors no longer needs to be done by specialists, thus leaving them more time to think up creative solutions to improve the company’s market position.” The tool designed is widely applicable, he stresses. “We are proving very successful in the maritime, offshore and civil engineering markets.”
Bergman is partly responsible for engineering projects and VIKTOR. As an engineer, he is also regularly employed at Bluewater Energy Services, “one of our very first clients. We often carry out projects for Bluewater. There are about twenty of us working at MOCS, and four or five colleagues are regularly employed at Bluewater.” Continued benefits The offshore oil and gas industry is one of the sectors that can continue to benefit from the advantages of the VIKTOR platform, believes Bergman. “The golden years of oil are over. Everyone is keeping a close eye on their costs. Standardisation and automation are essential to remain competitive in project acquisition and new product development. These save on development and engineering costs in order to provide a competitive and creative solution. We have great expectations, and are keen to invite Bluewater to discover how VIKTOR can make the difference.”
More information: www.mocs.nl and www.viktor.ai
Trade association IRO sees the market flourish
Opportunities are returning The upstream market, decommissioning and offshore wind. These are the three elements on which the Dutch suppliers in the oil and gas industry are gradually developing their market share. And the future looks bright, according to Sander Vergroesen at IRO. “Dynamics are increasing across the board.”
Times are busy for Sander Vergroesen. As managing director at IRO (see insert), he has hardly had time to recover from the Offshore Energy 2018 fair in Amsterdam and is already preparing for ADIPEC 2018, in mid-November in Abu Dhabi. “This is one of the most important fairs in our annual programme,” he says, “together with the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, every year in May. These events are really important to our members. The OTC is the largest oil and gas confe rence in the world.” IRO positions itself internationally as the ‘Holland Pavilion’, representing over 400 member companies. In 2019, in addition to the usual ‘certainties’ ADIPEC and OTC, the calendar also includes fairs in e.g. Malay sia, Mexico, Brazil and (probably) also Scot land. IRO is now returning to some of these, following a period of absence. The reason: after a time of relative calm, oil companies are now relaunching new developments.
“And South-East Asia and Central and South America are real hotspots,” says Vergroesen. Transition phase For four years, the oil and gas market was in the dumps due to the rapid emer gence of shale gas and oil, causing a surplus and the prices to collapse. Mean while, the market is in a transition phase, says Vergroesen. “You can see the dyna mics increase across the board, also because companies have begun to diversify due to the crisis. Offshore wind has there fore become a valuable new market for our members. Furthermore, the growing importance of cost efficiency has had a spin-off effect on innovation efforts and the rate at which new things have been launched.” Investments made by companies in expansion and innovation during the difficult years are starting to pay off now that the market appears to be on the rise -
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handicaps is that we are unable to store energy. However, if we soon succeed in turning wind energy into hydrogen and converting that back into electricity, these empty fields will be incredibly handy for storage. After all, hydrogen is also a gas. A different gas, but still a gas.”
IRO IRO is the Association of Dutch Suppliers in the Oil and Gas Industry and Offshore Renewable Industry. On a global scale, this branch of Dutch industry ranks among the top 5 in the world. IRO was founded almost half a century ago and has 42 members. The association encourages the transfer of knowledge and collaboration among its members and focuses on the promotion of export and lobbying. IRO is committed to winning an honest playground for the Dutch oil, gas and offshore renewable industry. A strong focus on cost efficiency, innovation and sustainability in companies is essential if this goal is to be achieved. Members of the IRO include both multinationals and SMEs and cover the entire supply chain.
certainly now that all indicators for the coming years look promi sing. Vergroesen: “It is a fact that the world’s population is still growing. Logically this leads to a growth in consumption, along with an increase in the need for energy. If you look at areas like South-East Asia and Central and South America, they have access to the resources required to meet such growth in demand. And we are delighted to help them extract such resources. We are also equipped to do so in every way.”
“What we see, is that the knowledge and know-how among our members in offshore oil and gas covers a large domain” Opportunities closer to home are also growing rapidly, namely in the North Sea. Decommissioning platforms which are no longer in use is becoming more common as many small fields run dry. Meanwhile, it is increasingly the smaller players with ‘trim’ organi sations who are drilling new (gas) fields. Developments in offshore wind are positively ‘booming’. Vergroesen: “One of the current
Expertise In hindsight, the crisis in the oil and gas market may have upped the tempo of many other positive developments, he claims. “Many members have shifted some of their focus towards offshore wind, making them less vulnerable as well as giving them new expertise. Prior to Offshore Energy in Amsterdam, IRO paid a visit to a fair in Washington and companies in Boston. These regions are home to many outdated energy plants, which are in need of replacement. And there are great plans to use wind on the east coast of America. This can create lots of work for our members. Meanwhile, the Americans are also aware of how much know-how can be found here.” The Dutch supply industry is in a good position, he says. “What we see, is that the knowledge and know-how among our memb ers in offshore oil and gas covers a large domain. Offshore wind is just one example but, with the whole energy tran sition, new opportunities are bound to emerge. IRO members are therefore busy targeting matters like geothermal energy and electricity storage.” Robust As opportunities arise, IRO members are sufficiently robust to take them, says Vergroesen. “There is no doubt about that. We can stand our ground on the global market. In fact, what makes us most appre hensive is the impact of political feeling in the Netherlands. This has become imbalan ced since the earthquakes in Groningen. The entire world swears by gas, and our country wants to be rid of it. Foreign partners are bewildered as everyone knows: gas is the perfect transition fuel. Yet any thing to do with fossil fuels is currently ‘bad’. The consequence of this is that politi cians are tying the hands of our industry and making it harder to emerge at the highest levels abroad. We are in the wrong corner - and that is a handicap that causes concern.”
Park 20|20: cradle2cradle in practice
Sustainability in the polders A passionate project developer, with a clear vision of the future. Coert Zachariasse, known to experts as one of the Dutch leaders in cradle2cradle office development, was involved in setting up Park 20|20 in Hoofddorp. When asked about his dreams, ambitions and ‘ecodesign’ in construction: “We always try to do better.”
We are halfway through our conversation when Coert Zachariasse, the owner of Delta Development, bursts out laughing. The subject: the moment when oil and gas com pany Bluewater Energy Services decided to move to Park 20|20. “No, it has never felt awkward,” he says. “In fact, I think the company should be praised for taking such a step. In addition to this: oil and gas are not immediately identified with the word ‘sustainable’, but at present there are no alternatives in the world to take on the role of ‘fossil fuels’ entirely.” Neither did Zachariasse see any obstacles in the wider context. “It is also a question of perception. I want to do things right, but it is not up to me to improve the entire world. Furthermore, there is so much to say about the production of solar panels. We still have much to do and learn. How ever, I really believe that the attitude of a company involved in the oil and gas sector can have a great impact on the philosophy of Park 20|20. If it’s a matter of creating understanding and support, Hugo Heerema in his profession may well have more impact than someone else.” Fokker Zachariasse took Delta Development over from his father about twenty years ago. At the beginning of this century, he teamed up with Volker Wessels and the investment company Reggeborgh to buy a former Fokker site at Schiphol-Oost. “Our plan was to develop some offices and a logistics department there,” he explains. “However, the office side of things was a challenge, due to the lack of good transport facilities. We had to do something, but didn’t know what or how.”
The question came at a time when Zachariasse was growing more convinced that he needed to change things in order to make his father’s company his own. Around this time he also met the American designer-architect William McDonough, co-author of the book about cradle2cradle and globally recognised as an authority in the field of sustainable development. “His book, the man himself, it was a revelation,” says Zachariasse. “I knew from that very moment in which direction I wanted to take my company.” Exchange He approached this by agreeing on an ‘exchange’ with the district of Haarlemmermeer: Schiphol-Oost would be developed further as a logistics location and a better office plan would be created in a more suitable location. “This became Park 20|20, which you can easily reach by foot from the NS station in Hoofddorp,” said Zachariasse. “Designed, developed and built entirely in accordance with the principles of cradle2cradle. As far as construction is concerned, we are about halfway there. And interest is growing.”
“For more and more businesses, sustainability simply goes without saying”
Even so, it was tough at the start, he remembers. “The idea came to fruition around 2008 and the problem was that the building industry was not at all aligned with cradle2cradle. Enormous amounts of research and engineering were required. We were actually fortunate that the market completely collapsed due to the financial crisis. Companies were looking for work and had time on their hands. We were able to make good use of this situation by going deep into the building chain, changing the approach and involving all available expertise in the design process right from an early stage.” In this way, chain integration ‘avant la lettre’ became the tool to shape our ambitions, “something that we achieved because there was a lull in the market,” says Zachariasse. “It cannot be compared with the situation there is today. The whole building industry has
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returned to its former delusion. However, our advantage is that, in the meantime, we have built up a good network and good relations. We are no longer unknown.” Interest Park 20|20 on the Taurusavenue in Hoofddorp is currently home to eight large ‘c2c’ office buildings. Another three are in development, for construction in 2019. “The park development is very satis factory,” says Zachariasse. “There is plenty of interest, probably due to the combination between the building method, space and location. Sustainability is also a factor, although I have the impres sion that for more and more businesses, this simply goes without saying.” One factor that is becoming more important: the buildings at Park 20|20 score increasingly well on the famous Leesman Index, which determines the relationship between the workplace and produc tivity. “And this naturally implies that sustainable office develop ment is not simply a hype, but that it creates economic advantage,” says Zachariasse. “And we are delighted about that. More than delighted in fact. After all, this highlights how the supporting vision is the right one.” This means there is no reason to sit back and relax, says Zachariasse. “We keep trying to become better at what we do. We therefore do our own development, design and building, within our ‘team of three’ Delta Development, Volker Wessels and Reggeborgh. Companies can buy or rent, but we will always do the building. We have developed a complete programme, which we are always trying to improve. In the end it all boils down to the fact that we are realising the dream that we had ten to fifteen years ago.”
Bluewater’s FPSO fleet Bluewater owns a fleet of five FPSO vessels operating worldwide. ‘Eye-catcher’ Aoka Mizu has already been introduced elsewhere in this magazine, in the article about the Lancaster oil and gas fields. On this page you will find a short description of the other four FPSOs and their track records.
FPSO Haewene Brim The Haewene Brim FPSO is contracted by Shell UK E&P on the Brynhild & Pierce fields in the UK North Sea. The Haewene Brim was built in 1996 and is equip ped to operate in the most highly regulated and harshest weather environments. She was converted to a high specification FPSO in 1997-1998 and was commissioned into operation at the Pierce field in early 1999. Bluewater purchased the Haewene Brim in 2001 and its water injection capacity was increased in 2004 with the integration of an additional module to extend Pierce field life. Topside modifications to tie in the Brynhild field (Lundin) were executed in 2013-2014. Bluewater is currently examining an upgrade to export (previously field injected) gas to shore. FPSO Bleo Holm Bluewater designed, built and owns the FPSO Bleo Holm based on a dedicated FPSO hull. She is currently contracted by Repsol. The Bleo
Holm was built in 1997 in Japan. Its hull was adapted with a view to its prospective use as an FPSO. The vessel commenced opera足 tions in the first half of 1999 at the Ross & Parry fields in the UK North Sea. Topside modifications were conducted in 2001 to connect the BG-operated Blake field, located approximately 10 km from the Ross & Parry fields. Hook-up to the Blake field was achieved ahead of project schedule. The Bleo Holm continues production under a long-term bareboat charter. FPSO Munin Munin is an extremely versatile FPSO due to its legacy DP system and two disconnectable turret systems - one system to be passively moored and one system that allows production being fully dyna足 mically positioned by its thrusters. The Munin was built in 1997 in South Korea. The vessel commenced operations at the Lufeng field in the South China Sea for Statoil (Equinor). Bluewater pur足 chased the Munin in 2001 and continued to operate it for Statoil until 2009 when she was re-fitted to operate at the Huizhou field
until 2016, after which the vessel was mobilised to Labuan. FPSO Glas Dowr The Glas Dowr is a Bluewater-designed, built, owned and operated vessel. The hull was built in Japan back in 1995-1996 and was immediately converted to an FPSO. FPSO Glas Dowr commenced operations at the Durward & Dauntless fields in the UK North Sea in 1997. In 2003 the Glas Dowr was moved to South Africa to start production for the Sable field for oil company PetroSA. Later on she was converted for operation at the Kitan field offshore East Timor for ENI. She was com足 missioned at the Kitan Field from 2011 until the end of production in 2015, after which she was mobilised to Singapore.
Heerema: oil and gas industry wrongly snubbed as a great polluter
“This is a respectable business” In the Netherlands, public opinion towards fossil fuels is negative beyond proportion, believes CEO Hugo Heerema at Bluewater Energy Services. He is in favour of clean energy, he confirms, but does not believe it is justified to reject the oil and gas industry as a wicked polluter. “This is a respec table business.”
Heerema says it’s unjustified. “We are now seeing a tremendous anti-gas offensive in the Netherlands, but it has fragile justification. It all started with ‘Groningen’, but what is happening there should be considered quite separately from the gas phenomenon. Gas that is consumed produces very little CO2 and this makes it relatively clean. Gas is the modern fuel. Indeed, it is clean gas that the whole world is after, as a replacement for coal and oil. And we are kicking it out. That’s unbelievable.”
Heerema does not oppose sustainability or the use of renewable energy. To the contrary. However, alternative sources are not ready to take over yet, he announces. “Wind energy is expensive in comparison and has too little global capacity. Solar energy is a very interesting option, but currently lacks efficiency. We are seeing a continuous and increasing growth in the world’s energy needs. This increase is estimated to be as much as 25 per cent in the next 20 years. It is an utopia to realise this without oil and gas.” Indispensable Fossil fuels are being cast aside too easily and too simply, in Heerema’s opinion. “Something that is often forgotten in the discussion is that oil is not only a fuel, but also the basis of, for example, asphalt, medical products and a whole range of plastics and synthetic materials that are indispensable in our modern world. The discussion of fossil fuels must also include the raw materials for a range of highly valuable products.” Furthermore, fossil fuels are far from being exhausted in fact. Technology progress is increasingly allowing the industry to develop reservoirs that were inaccessible until quite recently. Heerema: “This can be done efficiently, at a relatively low cost. This is partly why I anticipate that ‘fossil’ will continue to play a significant role for some time. Independent, reputable institutes predict that fossil fuels will still be providing for over 55 per cent of the world’s energy needs in 2050. The rest will come from renewable energy and nuclear energy.”
Floating islands Bluewater Energy Services is focusing on the possibilities to use its knowledge of offshore mooring systems more widely. The company is currently involved in research into the development of floating islands, which can be “kilometres long,” says Peter Burger. “The present proposition is: relocate sand and you create some land. We have another plan of approach and are looking at floating, connectible islands that can be moored. There are plenty of potential applications. They can be used for farmland like for cows or crops, wind turbines, solar panels, or to create a harbour or even an airport. We don’t know whether it will be commercially feasible, but we wish to be part of the pioneering team headed by MARIN. It is a sidetrack, but it is still something worth looking at. As far as the future is concerned, we see potential with our technology not limited to the obvious.”
He stresses how he is not opposed to sustainable energy. “I also believe that we should focus our efforts on this. I may be an oil man but, when it comes to sustain able energy, I say: let’s do it! But we really need the mix of different sources.”
tant to the Netherlands. Above all - and I really believe this - we are a respectable business. We comply with strict regulations, deal responsibly with people and the environment and offer plenty of added value. That deserves more appreciation.” This does not mean that Bluewater Energy Services is not orienting towards new forms of energy, says Peter Burger, vice president Technology. “Using our offshore mooring expertise we are opera ting on an ever broader scale than simply traditional oil and gas. Looking at the growing potential of LNG, not to mention floating wind turbines, or gigantic floating and anchored islands. We still make our living with oil and gas, but renewables are gaining ground. And we are not blind to what is happening.”
Happy For Bluewater Energy Services this also means concentrating on a longer term role within the oil and gas industry, says Heerema. “And we are perfectly happy with that. There may be derogatory words about this industry, but we are still impor
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Furthermore, Bluewater was involved in setting up a totally different form of rene wable energy with ‘BlueTEC’: collecting tidal energy. A test installation at the Dutch isle of Texel demons trated its feasibility - an anchored and floating platform with an underwater turbine attached - but, accor ding to Heerema, the company was simply ahead of its time. “The turbines were not yet efficient enough from an economical perspective. Meanwhile, further progress has been made, but the industry for rene wable energy and thus investors are mainly focused on offshore wind.”
action with the turbine matched our design assumptions. The key issue to cease was the turbine capacity not yet sufficiently large to be a serious competitor for the larger wind turbines. This also made investors reticent to invest in further development and upscaling at that point in time. Add to that the fact that companies in the world of renewables are risk adverse: demon strate before deployment. The oil and gas sector is conservative, but this goes a step further.”
“I may be an oil man but, when it comes to sustainable energy, I say: let’s do it!!” Feasibility demonstrated Burger can, at this point in time, not say whether this means that tidal energy has been wiped off the ‘map’. “My view is this: The demonstration was successful: We designed and setup a test installation, which was later on decommissioned due to the fact that the turbines still lacked sufficient capacity. Scale up of the turbines was not a priority, opposed to wind turbines, but from Bluewater’s floater and mooring point of view it was a great success: the inter
But when it comes to sustainability, Bluewater Energy Services is also working on the experimental landscape beyond the horizon, he says. “For example, there are other offshore mooring experi ments like seaweed and fish farms. This has little to do with our business, but once sustainable farming moves to large construc tions moored at sea then our interest soon becomes clear. Similarly we are considering a variantion of an FPSO for the production of clean and usable (potable) water at sea for use on land up to the technical potential for developing moored, floating islands for e.g. large solar fields on the water or as farmland. These are examples of the ways in which we can use our core competences in the future in order to expand the business.”
Service provider with a strong reputation Konnektus has developed a strong reputation as a service provider in recruitment and project support in the fields of on and offshore projects. Flexibility and know-how are key aspects, says manager Jeffrey Rynenberg. The oil and gas sector has endured some difficult years, but luckely Konnektus has hardly suffered, says Rynenberg. “We have been able to compensate the decline in demand for people by finding new territories in the fields of on and offshore, and that includes the sustainable sector. We have also positioned ourselves effectively in the market of decommissioning, dismantling and removal of platforms.” This successful expansion of activities has allowed Konnektus to cope with the toughest of times. Rynenberg: “Meanwhile, the oil and gas sector is clearly on the rise again. We can see this from the increase in the demand for technical specialists in the industry - an op portunity for further growth.”
According to Rynenberg, the strength of Konnektus lies in the fact that it can deploy professionals in a range of disciplines to strengthen project teams. “When a client wins a project, it can make use of our employees. The teams can be strengthened in many different ways, ranging from design to managing document flows and project management.” Our versatility is very clear, for example, in our longterm partnership with Bluewater Energy Services, he confirms. “Over the years, we have done much work together on design & engineering. We are currently also very well repre sen ted in procurement. A good example of how Konnektus supports its clients in a wide range of disciplines.”
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Ready for the future Offshore Oil and Gas, Subsea and Renewables. These are the three pillars on which Jumbo Offshore will continue developing its installation and engineering activities, says vice president Roddy Lafontaine. “The future is bright, we are quietly confident.”
No, agrees Lafontaine, these past few years were no fun at all. However, after consolidation at the beginning of 2015, the ‘in-house contractor’ at Bluewater Energy Services returned to growth. “We have not yet reached the same level as before the crisis, but we are seeing the growth continue.” Just like many other parties, Jumbo Offshore - specialist in the installation of mooring systems - focused mainly on the opportunities that arose in the market of sustainable energy. “This has been responsible for 30 per cent of our turnover in recent years. It has helped us to get through the crisis without too much damage.” Positive Meanwhile, the company is so committed to the industry that it has ordered the construction of an entirely new offshore ship, the Stella Synergy. “This will enlarge and diversify our market and strengthen our clout significantly,” claims Lafontaine.
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With its innovative design, Stella Synergy anticipates the growing demand for smarter, safer and more environmentally-friendly installation ships. “The quotations in the tender bank already amount to 25 per cent more than last year. The oil market is expected to stabilise, while the gas and wind markets will continue to grow. We are well represented in all three.” More information: www.jumbomaritime.nl
Offshore Energy 2018 zooms in on the future
“Low cost is here to stay” In the coming years, the suppliers in the offshore oil and gas market will compete in an energy mix that is greater than ever before. Cost efficiency remains crucial and floating wind platforms are maturing. Furthermore, the impact on the environ ment weighs ever heavier in offshore activities.
no means is the end of oil and gas in sight, despite what politicians and the media claim. In the coming decades, the consump tion and also energy needs will continue to grow, and the sun and wind are good alternatives, but only as an addition. Oil and gas will continue to play an important role in the world’s energy supply.”
This was confirmed in October by Wout Janssens, as director of Operations and Engineering at Jumbo Offshore, during Offshore Energy 2018 in the RAI in Amsterdam. During one of the themed meetings on offshore transport, installation and decommissioning he outlined future developments as seen by the company and which played a role in the company’s decision to build the new multi-purpose ship Stella Synergy. One thing that the industry must certainly avoid, in Janssens’ opinion, is to be blinded by the increasing oil price. “This is likely to continue in the short and medium term, but the prognosis in the longer term is for the price to drop to about forty or fifty dollars per barrel of crude oil. That means that ‘low cost is here to stay,’ says Janssens.
Heerema - who talked with a mixture of pride and enthusiasm about the realisation of the world’s largest construction vessel Pioneering Spirit and dreams of its succes sor Amazing Grace - added that the discus sion about the effects of CO2 and the role of the oil and gas industry in this “is totally out of proportion”. According to the presi dent of Allseas, the link is inconclusive and it is also “improbable” and “wrongly esti mated”. Nonetheless, he agreed with the need to reduce CO2 emissions. “Do be critical
Therefore, cost efficiency is and remains a crucial factor, in combi nation with reducing the impact on the environment, he confirms. This applies in the oil and gas business, but no less so in the world of offshore wind. “Global energy demand is sure to grow until 2050 and ‘renewables’ are the fastest growing area in energy supply,” says Janssens. Just like most other speakers, he mentioned the past few years, which were ‘terrible’ for the oil and gas industry, he says. Jumbo, he said, just like other companies in the sector, came to a standstill. Today’s motto, bearing in mind the lessons learned in the crisis, is: “Consolidate, diversify, innovate and grow. In that order.” Downhill President Edward Heerema from Allseas referred to “bad years” as well. The oil price was low, there were barely any new develop ments and the installation market went increa singly downhill. “It was all about low costs and never about added value. And the ever stronger competition did not help matters either,” he said. Even so, he spoke with moderate enthu siasm about the future. “The fact that there is talk of an energy transition does not mean that wind and solar energy will take over. And by
Beneficial From a cost perspective, things are looking favourable, says Mochet, who added that the industry must stick its neck out and help with investments to speed up the developments, specifically where this con cerns reducing the costs of mooring solu tions. If the step towards industrialisation and mass production is successful, then ‘wind farms’ at sea can end up costing 30 to 40 percent less.
though,” he emphasised when addressing his audience. “Don’t run blindly after hypes.” Support CO2 hype or not: renewable energy is on the rise and this is creating opportunities for innovative companies, claim the French men Clement Mochet (Bourbon) and Clement Mochet (Vryhof). In a market where the share of renewable energy is gradually increa sing, support for floating wind turbines will rapidly emerge, in their opinion. Working in close collaboration, these companies have already developed and installed floating windmills off the coast of Norway and Portugal.
In the industrialisation process, Mochet expects that things will begin with smallscale commercial wind farms. “With this I mean about ten turbines, in farms gene rating around 100 Megawatts.” He cannot predict how soon we will see the first floa ting farm far out at sea. “But we can be sure that the time will come. This is a develop ment of the future.”
According to Mochet, the move towards floating wind platforms is a logical one. He compared this with standard oil production, which went from onshore to nearshore to offshore. And the further these are from the coast, the more wind can be captured and the greater the benefits of floating turbines. After all, as the water gets deeper - with depths of over sixty metres - there is no need to build very expensive foundations. This paves the way for larger turbines, as further from the coast means out of sight and therefore more support from the public.
Offshore Energy Offshore Energy in Amsterdam, together with Offshore Technology Days in Bergen (Norway) and the SPE Offshore Europe Conference & Exhibition in Aberdeen (Scotland), is one of the leading offshore fairs in West Europe. The three-day event features a fair in which over 600 supply chain companies are represented and there are knowledge and themed sessions and conferences in which topical questions and challenges in the industry are raised. In total the fair in the RAI attracts almost 12,500 visitors, both from here and abroad.
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