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Island Offshore’s Subsea can use its fleet of DP vessels to install subsea Xmas trees

ISLAND OFFSHORE SUBSEA rides surge in subsea work


y 2020, the number of subsea wells in operation is expected to double to over 11,000—with many located in water depths of 3,000 meters or more. In its Global Perspectives Subsea Market Report To 2017, energy analyst Infield Systems Ltd. says the steady increase in subsea developments is due to high oil prices, technological advances and the need to counterbalance declining production from mature shallow-water basins. “In fact” says Infield Systems, “capital-intensive ultra-deepwater developments are expected to capture 48% of Capex and 23% of tree installations in 2013-2017, in contrast to 37% of Capex and 15% of installations in 2008-2012.” The growth in subsea work has in turn led to increased demand for riserless Light Well Intervention (LWI) to maintain the subsea wells and increase oil recovery. What was once the exclusive domain of drilling rigs, LWI operations are increasingly being performed by sophisticated DP-3 monohull vessels. These vessels can maintain well control and access to the well bore via a subsea lubricator system, resulting in substantially lower costs for intervention operations. An established player in the field of Light Well Intervention services since 2005, Island Offshore Subsea has a fleet of four extremely sophisticated DP-3 vessels. Three of the vessels, the 106.2 m, 4,706 dwt Island Frontier, the 116 m, 9,200 dwt Island Wellserver, and the 120.2 m, 9,100 dwt Island Constructor have a fully integrated subsea lubricator system. The fourth, the 120.2 m, 9,100 dwt Island Intervention, is designed as a subsea construction unit for Xmas tree installations, top hole drilling and plugging and abandoning operations of suspended subsea wells. 38 MARINE LOG September 2013

By John R. Snyder, Editor-in Chief

“The Island Intervention is more of an IMR vessel,” says Managing Director Robert Friedberg. At any one time, the vessel could have as many as 65 to 70 crew and subcontractors onboard. Island Offshore Subsea operates the vessel with about 51 to 52 onboard, with additional personnel from companies such as FMC, Oceaneering and Island Offshore Management filling out the balance. Unlike the crews on ship-shaped vessels, such as offshore support vessels and anchor handlers, crews on LWI vessels work two weeks on and four weeks off. This means that 150 Island Offshore Subsea crew rotate on one vessel, 50 onboard and 100 onshore. Island Offshore Subsea has long-term contracts in place with Statoil and BP. Statoil’s goal is to maximize its production from the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Right now, about half of its production is from subsea wells. Statoil is looking to increase oil recovery from 50 to 60 subsea wells per year. Statoil’s Senior Vice President of Drilling and Well Øystein Arvid Håland has called Light Well Intervention vessels “an important tool in Statoil’s toolbox to increase recovery from the fields on which we operate.” He says compared to conventional drilling units, LWI vessels can “reduce the cost of well interventions by 50 to 70 percent.” This past May, Island Offshore and the North Sea RLWI Alliance were awarded a two-year contract extension with BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd., covering 2014 and 2015, for well intervention tasks. Island Constructor will perform the scope of work. At the time, Friedberg commented, “We have acquired some unique experience working with the BP team in the harsh environments West of the Shetland, and we look forward to building on that in the future.” ■

September 2013 Marine Log Magazine  
September 2013 Marine Log Magazine