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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Offshore Combination Barges Chevalier Floatels: More Than Just Floating Accommodation One Thing Leads to Another What Happens Offshore? Regulation, Standards and Good Business Practice Offshore Accommodation A High Quality Facility

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


Much MorE ThAN JuST AccoMMoDATioN

DP2 Service Support Vessels Gezina and Galyna with Ampelmann heave compensated gangways and 48 guest cabins

Doddendael Estate, Kootwijkerdijk 2 3774 JT Kootwijkerbroek, The Netherlands

T +31(0)342 441 404 info@cfbv.com, www.cfbv.com

Floatels Sans Vitesse with 101 cabins with en suite bathrooms and Kalmar with 220 cabins


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Offshore Combination Barges Chevalier Floatels: More Than Just Floating Accommodation

Contents

One Thing Leads to Another What Happens Offshore? Regulation, Standards and Good Business Practice

Foreword

Offshore Accommodation A High Quality Facility

2

John Hancock, Editor

Chevalier Floatels: More Than Just Floating Accommodation

3

Commissioned by Chevalier Floatels, written by WordPefectText.com, Tom Oomkens Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor John Hancock Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2014. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

The Roots and Philosophy of Chevalier Floatels Advantages of ‘Water Based’ Offshore Facilities The Current Fleet Accommodation Barge / Floatel ‘Kalmar’ Accommodation Barge / Floatel ‘Sans Vitesse’ Offshore Support Vessels ‘DP Gezina’ & ‘DP Galyna’

One Thing Leads to Another

8

John Hancock, Editor

Growth Drives Everything A History of Improvement Offshore Energy Today The Need for High Quality Accommodation Not Only Oil and Gas But Also Renewables

What Happens Offshore?

10

Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Self-Sufficient Communities of Workers on the Sea What Do The Workers Do? Not Only Oil and Gas Today

Regulation, Standards and Good Business Practice 11 Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

When Something Goes Wrong UK Regulations From HSE US Regulations From ABS Not Only Regulations

Offshore Accommodation

13

Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Cities on the Sea Different Units for Various Applications A Range of Accommodation Delivery Systems A Growing Global Fleet A Modular Alternative

A High Quality Facility

15

John Hancock, Editor

A Brief History of Offshore Accommodation Units What is Needed? Safety and Stability

References 17

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

Foreword O

ffshore energy once was thought of as the

reputational management plus engineering success

final frontier on earth. The image was Wild

have driven standards in every aspect of offshore

West even if the reality was probably never a

operations to levels not far behind those applied

wild-west attitude among operators or workers.

on land. Also the people that the business needs

But there was undoubtedly a tremendous

are highly skilled and very experienced, which puts

physicality and self-reliance in operations pushing

their services at a premium in a growing industry. So,

the boundaries of technological and engineering

not least among the many improvements that have

capabilities to their furthest extent and sometimes

occurred, the quality of accommodation has been

testing for danger by getting on with the job.

driven to ever higher levels in recent times.

The public invested that world with a degree

That is covered in the second article and is followed

of romance that must have been belied by the

by Francis Slade’s overview of what happens on

conditions under which people were working and

offshore installations and who has to do it. And

living miles from shore.

he doesn’t neglect the relative newcomer to the

This Special Report opens with an article that

sector, offshore wind power with the potential to

discusses the importance of providing safe and

transform future energy markets. Peter Dunwell then

comfortable accommodation for crews and staff

looks at the regulations and standards that apply

working on offshore oil platforms and wind parks.

to offshore accommodation with reference to two

Chevalier Floatels, which has been building and

prominent bodies in the field: the UK Health and

operating floating accommodation units for third

Safety Executive (HSE) and the American Bureaux

parties since the early 2000s, decided to develop

of Shipping (ABS). Francis then takes a brief tour of

their own fleet. Their first client was the Dutch Ministry

offshore accommodation provision and some of the

of Defence in 2003. The article goes on to describe

engineering solutions to providing comfortable living

the numerous advantages of accommodation barges

far from land. Finally we consider what are the facilities

and combined offshore support/accommodation

and characteristics that make accommodation

vessels as compared with quayside hotels and

integral to workforce morale and productivity.

apartments and concludes by describing various of the vessels in the Chevalier Floatels fleet. Everything in the offshore industry has changed over time and a combination of regulation and corporate

John Hancock Editor

John Hancock joined as Editor of Offshore Technology Reports in early 2012. A journalist for nearly 25 years, John has written and edited articles and papers on a range of engineering, support services and technology topics as well as for key events in the sector. Subjects have included aero-engineering, testing, aviation IT, materials engineering, weapons research, supply chain, logistics and naval engineering.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

Chevalier Floatels: More Than Just Floating Accommodation

Much More than just accoMModation

Commissioned by Chevalier Floatels, written by WordPefectText.com, Tom Oomkens Striving for superior levels of comfort in self-supporting offshore accommodation

O

FFSHORE LIVING quarters, in the widest sense of the term, are a primary necessity for offshore oil platforms and wind parks. After a long shift and many hours of work, crews/ staff need to relax in a safe and comfortable environment. Moreover, because good crews/ staffs are increasingly difficult to source, efforts have to be made to achieve the highest levels of comfort inside the accommodation facilities. To meet the needs of today’s crews, accommodations have to be spacious and pleasantly decorated in a modern style with light colours. The finish of the interior, choice of furniture, selection of fabrics and quality of carpentry, all have to be a very high standard. At the same time, considerable attention has to be paid to the minimisation of noise and vibration, thus making the living spaces very quiet and comfortable. To complete the package, this is to be supported by sophisticated ‘state of the art’ internet, gaming and audio/TV/movie facilities, fitted in all cabins. Call it the demand for ‘a home away from home . . .’ In the offshore energy market there is one additional challenge, as most employees do not have a maritime background, but are skilled technicians in ‘land based’ specialisms, like electro technical or civil engineers. These people are not used to experiencing the ‘charm’ of water based accommodation or transport. Especially with the growing European market for wind energy in mind, Chevalier Floatels develop and design concepts for ‘next generation’ staff accommodation and transportation to offshore energy installations to meet all these requirements.

The Roots and Philosophy of Chevalier Floatels Chevalier Floatels have successfully built, owned and operated floating accommodation units and accommodation vessels since the early 2000s to

the satisfaction of top-flight clients. Their unique expertise is in developing new concepts for floating accommodations. In the last decade, they have developed a wide range of floating accommodation, ranging from floating prisons for governments up to worker accommodation barges and five star floating hotels with full facilities. Whilst at first Chevalier Floatels ‘just’ designed and built a complete range of floating accommodations for third parties, the company soon decided to develop their own fleet. Chevalier’s first client, in 2003, was the Dutch Ministry of Defence to whom they supplied floating accommodations for Asylum seekers and floating prisons. Within five years of that, they started developing their own fleet of five floatels for the oil industry in Kazakhstan. These vessels accommodated about 300 guests each and were employed in the demanding environment of the Caspian Sea. Since their inception, it has always been Chevalier Floatels’ ethos that their vessels should be more than just ‘floating accommodation’ or ‘means of transport’. The well-being, comfort and safety of the crew and technical staff on board is paramount. However, there is also significant focus on reducing operating costs (including fuel), environmental aspects and reliability. Chevalier Floatels believe in focussing on what they do best: developing and managing floating accommodation facilities. Other expertise and skills are outsourced. This means vessel management, catering and maintenance are all sourced from reputable companies, ensuring that Chevalier Floatels remains focussed only on their core business: ‘satisfaction of the customers’. An experienced and well-trained crew complement the high standards of the CF fleet and make sure the stay on board is safe and comfortable, thus providing ‘the home away from home!’

DP2 Service Support Vessels Gezina and Galyna with Ampelmann heave compensated gangways and 48 guest cabins

Floatel Sans Vitesse with 101 Cabins with en suite bathrooms

Floatel Kalmar with 220 cabins

+31(0)342 441 404 info@cfbv.com, www.cfbv.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

Because good crews/staffs are increasingly difficult to source, efforts have to be made to achieve the highest levels of comfort inside the

DP GAZEMA AT SEA

accommodation facilities

RESTAURANT – KALMAR

Advantages of ‘Water Based’ Offshore Facilities Nowadays, companies with hands-on experience in offshore energy production facilities will appreciate the advantages of accommodation barges and combined offshore support/ accommodation vessels, even for relatively ‘inshore’ projects. When housing technicians much closer to their work location, instead of in ‘onshore’ quayside hotels and apartments, transport time and fuel consuming trips can be reduced or even eliminated, which translates into more work time and lower transportation costs. Added to which the limited number of technicians allowed on board a crew transfer tender and the advantage that a vessel anchored or at DP near the work location is an easy one to draw. Furthermore, shorter windows of good weather 4 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

can be exploited if staff are just minutes away from their job. These are just a few of the general arguments highlighting the advantages of ‘water based’ accommodation facilities. To implement the ‘Chevalier Philosophy’ successfully into the design and building process of their vessels, Chevalier Floatels involve super yacht and interior specialists in the project at an early stage to work side-by-side with the offshore experts. This provides a guarantee of a high level of reliability, efficiency and comfort. The hull design, in combination with various equipment on board, provides the vessel with very pleasant sea-keeping characteristics. Reducing (sea) sickness and absence rates to an absolute minimum increases the costeffectiveness of the contractor.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

Much More than just accoMModation

DP2 Service Support Vessels Gezina and Galyna with Ampelmann heave compensated gangways and 48 guest cabins

SANS VITESSE

The fleet’s high quality finish of the cabins and bathrooms almost give personnel the illusion that they are on board a luxury yacht or have checked into an exclusive (land) hotel. Cabins feature TV, internet (with increased web bandwidth), access to an ample supply of online ‘movies-on-demand’ and game consoles, just to mention some of the facilities. Common recreational areas, fitness rooms and round the clock service are among the other pleasant standards on board; there are several big screens in communal areas for sports and games enthusiasts. Cabins are cleaned daily and there is a (free) laundry service for all guests and crew.

Accommodation Barge / Floatel ‘Kalmar’

The Current Fleet

Accommodation Barge / Floatel ‘Sans Vitesse’

Chevalier Floatels current operational fleet comprises of two accommodation barges and two offshore support/accommodation vessels. Accommodation barge ‘Kalmar’ was originally built in 1993, but underwent two major conversions in 2004 and 2013. The ‘Sans Vitesse’ was built in 2004 by the Municipality of Arnhem (The Netherlands). Acquired by Chevalier Floatels in 2012, it underwent a comprehensive upgrade in 2013, to make it suitable as luxury accommodation for workers on offshore energy plants. DP Gezina and DP Galyna were purchased in 2011 from the original owner and operator ACE Link. The two former passenger ferries operated a daily cruise service in Sweden since 2008 and were upgraded to luxury offshore support/accommodation vessels in 2012/2013. At present, all vessels are operating successfully under a short- or longer-term contract. Chevalier Floatels are currently investigating future fleet expansions and upgrades, to enable them to provide even more luxurious and comfortable ‘water based’ accommodation and transport facilities.

The Kalmar measures 94,10 x 26,20 x 1,50 x 18,60 metres (L x B x T x H) and is registered under the Dutch Flag with Lloyd’s Pontoon Class. The barge is equipped with 220 single berth cabins with 150 shared sanitary units with showers and toilets. The two restaurants have a total seating capacity for 200 persons with a complete self-service counter, which is served by a contemporary galley with all modern facilities. For recreational purposes the Kalmar features a bar area, eight large recreation rooms and a fitness area. For working on board, nine client offices are available.

The fully air-conditioned Sans Vitesse has the following main dimensions: 76,50 x 13,20 x 1,80 x 13,20 metres (L x B x T x H) and has Germanischer Lloyd’s ✠ 100 A5 I Pontoon Class, with Dutch Flag. The accommodation consists of 101 single berth cabins each with en suite bathrooms. The spacious restaurant and café area, served by a well-equipped galley with cold and dry stores, has ample capacity to accommodate all persons on board. The barge’s popular gym and fitness area provide the necessary facilities for relaxation after working hours.

Floatel Sans Vitesse with 101 Cabins with en suite bathrooms

Floatel Kalmar with 220 cabins

Offshore Support Vessels ‘DP Gezina’ & ‘DP Galyna’ The two vessels, DP Gezina and DP Galyna, are built to Lloyd’s ✠100 A ✠LMC, UMS, DP(AA) class approval, according to SPS Code 2008 and operate as DP2 Service Support Vessels. They are each an ‘all-in-one solution’ being able to transport staff, tools and equipment to and from the work sites, whilst at the same time being able to provide overnight accommodation. The

+31(0)342 441 404 info@cfbv.com, www.cfbv.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

When housing technicians much closer to their work location, instead of in ‘onshore’ quayside hotels and apartments, transport time and fuel consuming RECREATION ROOM – SANS VITESSE

trips can be reduced or even eliminated, which translates into more work time and lower transportation costs

RESTAURANT – SANS VITESSE

principle dimensions of both vessels are: 71,10 x 13,40 x 3,20 (L x B x T), offering accommodation to 65 people in single-berth cabins with en suite bathrooms. With a few simple adjustments the vessel can optionally facilitate 90 persons (part of the accommodation can be modified to two-berth cabins). To provide 24/7 five-star hotel and work facilities, the vessels also accommodate three offices, a changing room and reception on the bridge deck. On the upper deck there are dedicated areas for a restaurant, day room, hospital, survey room plus client’s equipment, material and tool storage. Laundry facilities and a fitness room can be found on main deck. 6 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

State-of-the-art navigation and bridge equipment, with integrated automation and monitoring systems, including Dynamic Positioning (DP), guarantee a safe and reliable ship. The extensive propulsion plant, consisting of two 360 ° azimuthing thrusters, a retractable 360° bow thruster and a fixed tunnel bow thruster, ensures high manoeuvrability of the ship. The propulsion plants are powered by a diesel-electric system controlled by a power management system. This ensures that the diesel engines always run at an optimal load, thus fuel consumption is relatively low and the emission of harmful exhaust gases is greatly reduced.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

A self-stabilising Ampelmann personnel transfer platform with a walkway, which actively compensates all vessel motions, is fitted on the bridge deck of both vessels. As a result of the optimised placement of the Ampelmann, entrance platforms of windmills (or working decks of a platform) can be accessed straight from the vessel. This eliminates dangerous transfers close to the water and the waves. In combination with a reliable DP2 system and a powerful set of retractable stabilizers, a safe, easy and fast transfer of the vessel to the offshore work locations can be guaranteed. Even in wave heights of 2.5 meters (significant) work can continue, resulting in 85 to 90% efficient use of time on site. Outside deck facilities feature a class required Man Over board Boat (m.o.b.) and dedicated crane complete with “man riding” capability. Other deck equipment includes a fast crew boat and a heave compensated ‘work’ crane of 5,3mt at 18m outreach. The remaining work deck space, on the aft ship is equipped with container lashing points. On the sides and at the stern of the vessel, platforms are provided for wind cats or other support vessels to come alongside. There are other provisions inside the hull, making the vessel even more versatile from an operational point of view. It includes, for example, multi-beam sonar facilities to perform seabed surveys and inspections of offshore structures or foundations. The completeness and the multi-purpose character of the vessel makes it attractive to a wide variety of clients, with many and varied uses.

Contact

Common recreational areas, fitness rooms and

Much More than just accoMModation

round the clock service are among the other pleasant standards on

DP2 Service Support Vessels Gezina and Galyna with Ampelmann heave compensated gangways and 48 guest cabins

board; there are several big screens in communal areas for sports and games enthusiasts

Floatel Sans Vitesse with 101 Cabins with en suite bathrooms

Chevalier Floatels BV Mr. M. (Marcel) Roelofs Doddendael Estate Kootwijkerdijk 2 3774 JT Kootwijkerbroek The Netherlands Tel.: +31 (0)342 44 14 04 Mob.: +31 (0)6 225 35 406 E-mail: info@cfbv.com Web: www.cfbv.com

Floatel Kalmar with 220 cabins

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

One Thing Leads to Another John Hancock, Editor

More offshore resources require more people who all have to be housed in high quality accommodation

Standards of accommodation for offshore workforces have had to progress to keep up with modern expectations and to continue to attract the best workers to spend weeks at a time many miles from shore in often inclement climates doing difficult and challenging jobs

KALMAR

Growth Drives Everything The offshore energy sector, like any other economic sector, is driven by demand which, given increases in population and raised life expectations among an increasing number of countries and people, is currently growing with no obvious end point in sight. Even the recent economic downturn has had less effect on developing and emerging economies who willingly took up any slack in energy demand from the developed world. It is this demand context that has not only made current energy resources more valuable than ever but has also made even the exploitation of lower quality reserves remaining in older fields and less accessible environments profitable. As a result, the now mature offshore energy sector has moved a long way from the functional ‘frontier’ mentality of earlier decades to an established modern industry operating to all of the standards we expect of modern industries. In this context, standards of accommodation for offshore workforces have had to progress to keep up with modern expectations and to continue to attract the best workers to spend weeks at a time many miles from shore in often inclement climates doing difficult and challenging jobs. However, before my colleagues cover the past, present and future developments for offshore accommodation facilities, it is probably a

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good idea, as a background for the paper, to take a brief tour of the current offshore energy industry, how it came to where it is and how the future looks.

A History of Improvement There have been oil wells underwater since at least the nineteenth century, “The first commercial offshore oil rig began drilling in 1947 off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico in just 14 feet of water. Permanent platforms were the first offshore oil rigs to drill successfully in deep waters, followed by the drill ships and semi-submersible offshore oil rigs that became widespread in the 1960s. These could reach to a depth of 1,000 feet. Since then, offshore oil rigs have stayed much the same in basic design, but their capabilities have evolved greatly and the amount of offshore oil rigs in use worldwide has skyrocketed.”1 That reality, with ever rising expectations for quality of working conditions and accommodation, has driven operators to seek more and ever higher quality workforce facilities.

Offshore Energy Today Offshore energy embraces many activities. Technology, equipment and operating methods used in activities conducted under water and


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

At the same time that the oil [and] gas industry is going to deeper and deeper waters, the offshore wind industry seems to be the next one that will require offshore floatels, but certainly with specific requirements different from those in oil and gas

and a swathe of strategic investment decisions have resulted in an increase in offshore activity, and this in turn means more beds are needed for the higher number of workers employed on rigs in the waters of the Gulf and beyond. For this reason the success of offshore accommodation providers is also a bellwether for the overall offshore market...” Confidence for the immediate future was confirmed in 2013 by Infield Systems whose research results5 published in February 2013 suggest that, “the outlook for the Subsea industry is amongst the most promising in the offshore oil and gas world, with Subsea Capital Expenditure (Capex) set to grow at a staggering 14.8% CAGR to 2017.” Looked at another way; “Deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil and gas production began in the early 1990s, reaching approximately 1.5 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2000, and now exceeds 7.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOED).” according to Plant Engineering6. Meeting the demands represented in those growth expectations requires ever more complex engineering programmes to be deployed across an infrastructure that itself is growing. Energy industry analysts at Douglas-Westwood7 are projecting more than 7,000 fixed and more than 200 floating platforms… installed plus a number of major modification programmes to push growth in offshore operations and maintenance in the next couple of years. It isn’t only the growth of new fields but also the life extension of established fields that is stretching oil and gas production life cycles to extents that were not previously planned. All of this requires the presence of high quality and skilled workers housed in commensurately high quality accommodation.

Much More than just accoMModation

DP2 Service Support Vessels Gezina and Galyna with Ampelmann heave compensated gangways and 48 guest cabins

Floatel Sans Vitesse with 101 Cabins with en suite bathrooms

Not Only Oil and Gas But Also Renewables offshore2 are sometimes categorised as ‘subsea’. Also “Subsea [activities] are usually split into shallow water and deepwater categories to distinguish between the different facilities and approaches that are needed.”3 For the purpose of this paper, the main relevance of all that is that the people involved will be engaged in one of the most demanding and costly economic activities. Therefore the quality of their working environment and their accommodation will have a real impact on the quality of their work which, in turn, will feed through to the effectiveness of these costly activities.

The Need for High Quality Accommodation Arabian Oil and Gas summed it up4. “As oil prices fluctuate, so do the markets [for] a number of oil and gas services. One such industry is offshore accommodation. Recent high oil prices

And we mustn’t forget that the oceans are not only ‘last frontier’ repositories for traditional carbon-based fuels such as oil and gas but are increasingly seen as either the largest generators of renewable energy through wave and tidal power or the best place to economically harness wind power. This is relevant to our paper because, according to the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA)8, “At the same time that the oil [and] gas industry is going to deeper and deeper waters, the offshore wind industry seems to be the next one that will require offshore floatels, but certainly with specific requirements different from those in oil and gas; so new concepts of offshore floatels are expected.” All in all, whatever directions the offshore energy sector might take, it is always going to need high quality people and high quality people today demand high quality accommodation, wherever they are working.

Floatel Kalmar with 220 cabins

+31(0)342 441 404 info@cfbv.com, www.cfbv.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

What Happens Offshore? Francis Slade, Staff Writer

What do the people who need to be accommodated do?

As many of these rigs are located far from cities and shores, the employees (who range from engineers and geologists to divers and doctors) live for weeks at a time on these huge structures

Self-Sufficient Communities of Workers on the Sea Offshore energy platforms are, of necessity, self-sufficient. A typical oil production platform is self-sufficient in energy and water needs, housing electrical generation, water desalinators and all of the equipment necessary to process oil and gas.9 However, as How Stuff Works explains, “Offshore production platforms may be marvels of modern engineering, but none of that valuable petroleum makes its way out of the wells and into refineries without a great deal of human labour. In fact, larger oil rigs often employ more than a hundred workers to keep the platform running. As many of these rigs are located far from cities and shores, the employees (who range from engineers and geologists to divers and doctors) live for weeks at a time on these huge structures... The weeks away from home can strain workers’ home lives, as they spend half the year away from their family. To help cope with these issues, petroleum companies frequently put a great deal of effort into providing comfortable living conditions for offshore workers.”10

What Do The Workers Do? Platform workers fall into two broad groups. Those whose functions are part of the platform’s regular operations (i.e. extracting oil and/or gas) including managers, a variety of different engineering disciplines, systems specialists, marine crew (platforms are, after all, a long way from the shore and, in most cases, are really just very large, unwieldy vessels) safety personnel, equipment operators, technical operators, catering and housekeeping crew, and transport/ communications crew. There will also be other personnel on a platform from time to time to undertake work that might be an important part of the operation but will not be a continuing function. For instance, for further drilling work

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or a platform upgrade, a specialist crew will be brought to the platform for a time.

Not Only Oil and Gas Today Of course, all of the above relates to oil and gas production which remains by far the most significant offshore operation. But there is another offshore energy resource that is being increasingly exploited. As onshore wind generators have attracted ever greater criticism that, whatever their ‘green’ energy credentials, they constitute an unsightly and noisy blight on the best landscapes; so offshore wind generators have come into their own. The cost is much higher than for land-based machines but, out of sight of shore, generators can be much larger than onshore machines. They also tend to be located in large arrays for which a permanent workforce will be more economical than ferrying people back and forth as and when problems arise. As with all energy sectors, this one is growing: Clean Technica11 explains… “The United Kingdom’s offshore wind sector installed capacity has grown by 79% over the period of July 2012 to June 2013… thanks in part to four massive wind farms going operational at Greater Gabbard, Gunfleet Sands III, Sheringham Shoal, and London Array… the world’s largest offshore wind farm.” And it isn’t only the UK that is seeing growth: “Offshore wind power generation is on track for a seventh consecutive year of record growth... Total wind energy capacity has increased… while offshore wind capacity is increasing at a rate of nearly 40 percent a year. What it all amounts to is that offshore energy needs people to make it work and that the diversity of those people is increasing as the oceans’ range of energy potentials grows; which will have to be a part of future offshore energy planning.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

Regulation, Standards and Good Business Practice

Much More than just accoMModation

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent The application of common sense and common decency will ensure that accommodation contributes positively to the business

DP2 Service Support Vessels Gezina and Galyna with Ampelmann heave compensated gangways and 48 guest cabins

Floatel Sans Vitesse with 101 Cabins with en suite bathrooms DP GEZINA DAY ROOM

When Something Goes Wrong “Floatel Superior was positioned on Dynamic Position (with all anchors racked at the anchor bolsters) and due to severe weather in the area the vessel was located at standby mode some 200 meters away from Njord A. This morning an anchor came loose from the bolster, damaging two adjacent tanks. This caused a flooding of the vessel’s tank No. 10... It has also been verified that the vessel’s tank No. 3, already filled with ballast water, has suffered some damage. The immediate flooding of the empty tank No. 10 caused the vessel to list some 3-4 degrees and the listing was immediately eliminated by counter ballasting tanks on the opposite side. The reason for the anchor coming loose is presently unknown and will be part of an investigation.”12 This extract from an 11th July 2012 press release, illustrates how close to danger offshore workers and installations function most of

the time. The subsequent evacuation of nonessential personnel to an adjacent platform is testimony not only to the operator’s (Floatel International) standards but also to the network of regulations and standards that ensure the safe and civilised day-to-day operation of all offshore facilities and, in this particular case, of offshore accommodation units. No regulations can eliminate the possibility of unforeseen and/or hazardous occurrences during offshore operations and, while drilling and production platforms are where problems are most likely to arise, given the environment and location of all offshore facilities and their proximity to the working platforms they serve, accommodation units cannot be excluded from that risk. Also, in addition to safety considerations, operators have to maintain working and downtime conditions equivalent to those available onshore for their increasingly highly skilled and mobile offshore workforces.

Floatel Kalmar with 220 cabins

+31(0)342 441 404 info@cfbv.com, www.cfbv.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

As well as ensuring compliance with local regulations, offshore

UK Regulations From HSE

US Regulations From ABS

For operators in UK territorial waters, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has set down detailed standards and requirements with which all offshore installations in its jurisdiction have to comply13. The Guidance goes into detail on a number of matters including:

In USA territorial waters, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)15 maintains a similar regulatory regime for ‘Personnel Accommodation Areas’ explained as, “To promote safety, efficiency, and habitability, it is important that personnel maintain appropriate levels of mental and physical fitness while onboard offshore installations. To help accomplish this, personnel should be provided with suitable accommodation areas. Appropriate accommodation areas design helps promote reliable performance by reducing the potential for fatigue and human error. Appropriate accommodation areas may also enhance morale, recruiting, retention, comfort, and overall quality of life at sea. “Conversely, inappropriate accommodation areas can adversely impact the personnel’s ability to reliably perform assigned duties, fully relax, sleep and recover from mentally and physically demanding work activities. This in turn can impact their ability to carry out duties on succeeding watches with the required diligence, accuracy, and attention to safety procedures. Providing an onboard environment that increases personnel alertness and well-being should be of concern to installation owners.” The ABS regulations also go into considerable detail on matters such as… ‘whole body vibration’, ‘noise’, ‘indoor climate’ and ‘lighting’. It is this specificity of regulations that ensure they address all needs and are able to quickly reflect actual experience with amendment to particular regulations.

Sufficient beds

accommodation units must also adhere to

… there [should] be sufficient beds or bunks for the number of people expected to sleep on the installation, i.e. there must be a bed or bunk for everyone at all times.

Hot bunking

the usual rules of good business. Operating costs are a key factor in profitability

The requirement for sufficient beds means that HSE will consider formal enforcement action if there is evidence of ‘hot bunking’.

Temporary increases in Persons On Board (POB) Sleeping accommodation needs to take into account temporary increases in POB such as those that occur during planned shutdown, maintenance and drilling campaigns, or major modification work. Additional temporary beds in the accommodation to cope with staffing peaks are unlikely to meet the guidance for reasonable privacy and comfort. … and can be quite specific… “Any room designated as sleeping accommodation must not be overcrowded. Overcrowding occurs when cabin accommodation occupancy levels exceed the maximum allowable occupancy level, for the actual volume of the room. It also extends to the need to have sufficient space to allow for reasonable access to the facilities within the room, disturbance to sleeping occupants by others using the facilities within the room or using the adjacent corridors and rooms, and to disturbance caused by cleaning/servicing the room.” The rules even extend to cover accommodation standards for normally unattended installations for both “Short duration visits on a periodic or irregular basis with no expected overnight stays.” and “Full day visits on a periodic or irregular basis with no planned overnight stays but emergency overnight stays could be expected.” And in these days of equality, regardless of gender or other considerations, “The regulation requires men and women to have separate cabins offshore. Segregation by shift allocation is not adequate to meet this requirement.”14

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Not Only Regulations As well as ensuring compliance with local regulations, offshore accommodation units must also adhere to the usual rules of good business. Operating costs are a key factor in profitability and a number of offshore accommodation providers (themselves supplying an outsourced service) will outsource some functions such as catering, maintenance and vessel management to businesses with experience and track records in those activities. And, of course, the build quality of an accommodation unit is a vital component in its success. The provision of high quality accommodation is not simply a perk of the job but, as the HSE and ABS standards show, a prerequisite for a productive and safe workforce. Also, high quality accommodation can help retain valuable skilled personnel in an increasingly competitive market.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

Offshore Accommodation

Much More than just accoMModation

Francis Slade, Staff Writer The challenge of providing decent places to eat, relax and sleep in often hostile environments

DP2 Service Support Vessels Gezina and Galyna with Ampelmann heave compensated gangways and 48 guest cabins

MESS ROOM ON BOARD DP GEZINA

Cities on the Sea A floatel (sometimes spelt flotel) is a floating hotel or a boat used as a hotel and, for our purposes, providing accommodation for workers serving an offshore energy installation (an oil and gas extraction process or wind generator array). Workers on such installations have to work in inhospitable, remote and inaccessible places, away from home for weeks or even months. “To help cope with these issues, petroleum companies frequently put a great deal of effort into providing comfortable living conditions for offshore workers. In many cases, quarters are on par with those found on major cruise ships – featuring private rooms, satellite TV and even gym, sauna and recreation facilities. The food on board also tends to be above average – and available 24 hours a day. After all, work on an oil rig continues day and night...”16 says ‘How Stuff Works’.

Different Units for Various Applications Flexibility is sometimes important for a system that has to serve a sector needing long term

Floatel Sans Vitesse with 101 Cabins with en suite bathrooms production units but with the capability for growth and reduction in size as economics and markets dictate and for temporary structures to support the completion of one-off stages in a process. To meet these variations, there are three categories of offshore living quarters: permanent living quarters (PLQs), temporary living quarters (TLQs) and additional living quarters (ALQs). Permanent living quarters (PLQs) might well be part of the structure of the platform built during the platform’s initial construction or at a subsequent refit and, as such, are pretty much fixed and inflexible. Floatels can also be used as near PLQs but with the advantage of getting off-duty personnel away from the working platform and having some degree of manoeuvrability to cope with changing market conditions. Also, with PLQ accommodation off the working platform, older units can be re-engineered to handle extended life and extended reach operations. Temporary living quarters (TLQs) are usually installed to cater for an additional work force brought onto the platform to complete a specific and finite task such as the hook-up and commissioning phase or, perhaps, a major maintenance or

Floatel Kalmar with 220 cabins

+31(0)342 441 404 info@cfbv.com, www.cfbv.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

Upgrades not only improve the quality of accommodation and communal facilities: they can also be the time to upgrade operating systems and instigate proper scheduled maintenance planning to minimise the likelihood of failure

improvement job conducted on station and while the platform continues with its usual work. Again, floatels can fulfil this role. Additional living quarters (ALQs) are installed when a larger workforce is required with a long term increase in a platform’s work.

A Range of Accommodation Delivery Systems Accommodation provision can be delivered through a variety of solutions with similar characteristics as most structures used around offshore installations. The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) tells us that “The offshore oil industry is the main market for accommodation vessels or floatels and these applications represent their ‘state of the art’. Many projects have been developed in recent years, with new concepts and innovative vessels and systems promising to improve the living conditions of seafarers working in the offshore industry.”17 Floatels can be structures on semi-submersible barges (powered and non-propelled) for more permanent applications while for some jobs, large purpose built floatel ships can provide accommodation and even act as platforms for other functions such as diving. Smaller floatel ships (sometimes purpose built, sometimes converted from other types of vessel such as ferries and offshore support vessels) are often used to provide shorter term, more flexible accommodation such as might be relevant during construction, refurbishment or upgrade programmes. There are even jackup barges fitted to provide accommodation and an operating base for servicing offshore structures such as wind turbines. These are usually converted from former drilling rigs. Also, a number of older accommodation units are being converted and upgraded to Floatel standards such as Chevalier Floatels recently purchased accommodation barge ‘Sans Vitesse’ which will be upgraded to today’s high standard before being redeployed. Upgrades not only improve the quality of accommodation and communal facilities: they can also be the time to upgrade operating systems and instigate proper scheduled maintenance planning to minimise the likelihood of failure in units that cost $millions

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to deploy and often more to replace on even a temporary basis.

A Growing Global Fleet According to RINA (see above for reference) the floatel fleet in 2011 stood at: •S  emisubmersibles: 20 units in total, with average age of 25 years. •B  arges: About 100 units in total of which about 45 have accommodation capacity exceeding 250. •J  ack-ups: Between 20-30 units depending upon specification (many very old units). •S  hips: only a few units are expected in the short term. However, newer units are on the drawing boards and in the construction yards and these will need to be able to support oil and gas discoveries in ever more remote and deep water environments. To operate in those environments and challenging conditions, the next generation of offshore accommodation units will be fitted with dynamic positioning (DP) systems, considered the best stabilising solution in waters more than 300m deep. Not only are the majority of units in production fitted with DP but also a number of older units and vessels are being retrofitted with DP during routine refurbishment programmes.

A Modular Alternative Another type of accommodation (more often but not exclusively used for projects and temporary changes in demand rather than long term operations) is modular units. These are usually configured within the dimensions for international (ISO) shipping containers in order to facilitate their transportation and on-site handling. The offshore market demands very high standards from accommodation units associated with its ‘cities on the sea’ plus they also look for longevity and low maintenance outlays in challenging locations; but none of this should compromise the critical safety requirements for offshore service. And, given the changing nature of offshore energy production and the greater lengths to which operators have to go in order to source reserves, the quality of offshore accommodation will be an increasingly important employer differentiator in future years.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

A High Quality Facility

Much More than just accoMModation

John Hancock, Editor What makes good accommodation good and why does it matter?

DP2 Service Support Vessels Gezina and Galyna with Ampelmann heave compensated gangways and 48 guest cabins

CABIN ON BOARD DP GEZINA

A Brief History of Offshore Accommodation Units The first purpose built semi-submersible floatel ‘Safe Astoria’ was built in 1977 while the first floatel ship is believed to have been a conversion of the platform supply vessel ‘M/V Edda Fjord’ in 2005. The two types of vessel are not mutually incompatible but perform better in different conditions. Semi-submersibles are inherently more stable for longer term deployments in harsher conditions while floatel ships are more flexible in their deployment to provide temporary additional accommodation. Less costly than either are mono-hull barges, usually, but not always, non-propelled so needing tug assistance to move; but a cost effective solution in the right conditions.

What is Needed? There are several factors to take into account for offshore accommodation units. The first is quality, which underpins everything else. It might once have been acceptable to house offshore workers in barracks-like facilities with hot-bunking arrangements on the grounds that salaries were more than adequate compensation for ‘roughing it’; and that, in any case, the hours were long

so accommodation was simply a place to eat and sleep. Those principles have long been discarded. Given the boom in offshore energy and the finite number of people qualified and/or willing to spend long periods away from home working in challenging (and still dangerous) environments, accommodation has become a significant employer differentiator. The best accommodation units today are equivalent to high-end hotel accommodation, offering the extent and standards of facilities that users would expect at home. The management of offshore accommodation units has itself become a specialist area blending hotel management, maritime management and facilities management to ensure smooth running and operational integrity. Another important factor for people undertaking often physically demanding work in sometimes challenging conditions is catering. Apart from its nutritious value, good food can also benefit morale and the bility to get the job done. Good quality catering services will include18: •P  lanning and preparation of nutritionally balanced menus, which incorporate the principles of quality, food hygiene and environmental programs;

Floatel Sans Vitesse with 101 Cabins with en suite bathrooms

Floatel Kalmar with 220 cabins

+31(0)342 441 404 info@cfbv.com, www.cfbv.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

Another important factor for people undertaking often physically demanding work in sometimes challenging conditions is catering. Apart from its nutritious value, good food can also benefit morale and the ability to get the job done

CABIN ON BOARD SANS VITESSE

•A  lcohol licensing requirements and beverage service; •P  resentation, cleaning and staffing of dining rooms and kitchens. Cabins must include those staples of 21st century life such as Internet access with decent broadband, television, access to movie and games libraries, decent showers and privacy – even in shared rooms. Regular and thorough cleaning is also an important contributor to health and morale as is a laundry service. Communal provision must include recreational and fitness spaces as well as ‘sports’ lounges and the above mentioned catering provision.

Safety and Stability There always need to be offices and meeting rooms somewhere in the platform complex and, often, the accommodation unit is the

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best placed to house them. And, given the inherent dangers of offshore workplaces, all buildings need to incorporate ‘safe’ rooms with sufficient capacity to protect the largest number of people anticipated on the facility. Safety is, as always, the key factor in any offshore energy plans or operations. Vessel stability is also key to comfort and therefore productivity and general wellbeing. It really has to be considered at the design stage, but systems such as dynamic positioning (DP, see earlier article) and active roll damping can harness IT power and engineering to add immediate locational stability to inherent seagoing characteristics. Offshore accommodation is not simply a place to sleep but is integral to recruitment, retention and productivity of high quality workers in a business that needs to ensure a good return on very high outgoings.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE COMBINATION BARGES

References: 1

 eHow http://www.ehow.com/about_4597210_offshore-oil-rigs.html

2

Oilfield Wiki http://www.oilfieldwiki.com/wiki/Subsea

3

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsea_%28technology%29

4

Arabian Oil and Gas http://www.arabianoilandgas.com/article-10604-offshore-options-accommodation-update/1/print/

5

Infield Systems http://www.infield.com/news/subsea-oil-gas-sector-growth-2017

6

Plant Engineering

http://www.plantengineering.com/single-article/challenges-of-offshore-oil-and-gas-production/15fa92acc29c4fe160821e99f427f026.html

7

Jason Waldie at the ‘Subsea Asia Conference’, Kuala Lumpur

http://www.subseauk.com/documents/subsea%20asia%20-%20jason%20waldie.pdf 8

Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA) https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bwn2f-4KqGqpMzY1MDExMzQtMDE4My00Y2Q1LWFkZDAtNDc5YzNhNWJjMTRl/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1

9

10

11

12

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_platform How Stuff Works, ‘How Offshore Drilling Works’ http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/offshore-drilling.htm/printable Clean Technica http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/11/uk-offshore-wind-capacity-grows-80-year/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29

Floatel International http://www.floatel.se/News+%26+Press_1__.html/lid/160503

13

UK HSE, ‘Guidance for the provision of accommodation offshore http://www.hse.gov.uk/offshore/notices/on-82.htm

14

UK HSE, ‘Offshore accommodation standards - men and women sharing cabins’

http://www.hse.gov.uk/offshore/notices/on_77.htm 15

American Bureau of Shipping, ‘Personnel Accommodation Areas’ http://www.eagle.org/eagleExternalPortalWEB/ShowProperty/BEA%20Repository/Rules&Guides/Current/105_CrewHabitabilityOffshoreInstallations/Pub105_CrewHabitability_Offshore

16

How Stuff Works http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/offshore-drilling8.htm

17

Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA)

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bwn2f-4KqGqpMzY1MDExMzQtMDE4My00Y2Q1LWFkZDAtNDc5YzNhNWJjMTRl/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1 18

Offshore Technology http://www.offshore-technology.com/contractors/accommodation/catercare/

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 17


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