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FLNG – Prelude takes off Seismic – Flying nodes Safety – ready to respond
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Technology 4 News Anadarko hits gas off Mozambique; ITF signs up Thailand’s PTTEP; Lucius mooring work awarded; Technip wins Cheviot umbilicals
8 FLNG Shell is pushing ahead with its offshore Australia Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project. OT takes a virtual tour of the giant vessel
14 Clean seas A new green oil field technology has revolutionised international clean sea standards at the Peregrino field offshore Brazil
19 The Netherlands The Netherlands has a long tradition of excellence in the offshore arena. We take a look at Seaway Heavy Lifting, Lankhorst Ropes and Shell’s new well control technology
28 OTC Houston once again plays host to this year’s Offshore Technology Conference – OTC 2012 - with 70,000 professionals expected to attend. Some 13 companies have been awarded the prestigious Spotlight on New Technology Awards
32 Deepwater positioning The move to deeper waters is presenting unique challenges for vessel positioning. Sam Hanton, Nautronix’s chief surveyor, looks at subsea positioning systems
36 Renewables 2-B energy and Scottish Enterprise have teamed up to deliver a potentially cost-saving turbine technology. The new blade will be tested in Scotland
EDITORIAL PANEL The vitality of any magazine depends on there being a twoway conversation between the people who produce it and the audience it hopes to please. In order to strengthen that relationship Offshore Technology has invited an informal editorial advisory panel of industry experts. Recently recruited to the role, their guidance and industry knowledge is warmly welcomed. While the panel's input will be invaluable, we still welcome comments, suggestions and story proposals from all our readers and encourage you to write to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
40 Marine warranty Marine warranty surveyors aim to ensure the safety of marine operations. Marine consultant William Penney gives an insight into their work
Alistair Birnie CEO, Denmore Technologies Ltd Aberdeen, UK www.denmoretech.com
42 Corrosion prevention Cathodic protection is a cost-effective way of preventing corrosion in subsea pipelines and structures
44 New products
Dr Paul Jukes President of MCS Kenny Houston, Texas www.mcskenny.com
Keppel’s next generation rig; Macgregor’s chain wheel manipulator for offshore operations; Forum Subsea’s Tomahawk ROV
47 Spotlight Roy Burnett of Scotvalve Services examines how service companies are rising to inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) challenges
Edward Jones Head of Strategic Services, Operations AMEC, Aberdeen, Scotland www.amec.com
Disciplined Thinking Projects, Facilities, and Construction
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Safety tops the agenda at OTC 2012 wo years on from the Macondo disaster, delegates gathering at OTC in Houston will, as ever, have safety at the top of their agendas. Minds have once again been focused on the inherent dangers of offshore oil and gas operations with the ongoing escape of gas from the G4 well on the Elgin field in the UK North Sea. Total is currently working to control the escape through a top kill operation by pumping mud into the well, while two rigs have been mobilised to drill relief wells. The well was in the process of being decommissioned when the accident happened and the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that the problems at Elgin/Franklin might foreshadow a deeper malaise in the North Sea, where hundreds of platforms and thousands of wells will be decommissioned over the next 30 years. The IEA said in its latest market report: “Other companies are sure to look towards
Total’s experience as an indicator of problems that might occur when routine maintenance becomes problematic for an entire field complex.” While prevention is better than cure, the industry is working hard to make sure the technology is in place to cap wells in the event of a blowout. Jan Brakel, Shell’s R&D manager for wells, told OT on a recent visit to the company’s technology centre at Rijswijk in the Netherlands: “In the wake of Macondo we have realised that the safety systems we have on rigs are not foolproof. We are seeking an extra layer of protection.” As well as its own capping device, Shell has developed an emergency separation tool and a collapsible insert device to control the flow of hydrocarbons in the event of a well control incident. We take a look at these new technologies in this issue. Sticking with Shell and as the recovery of stranded gas becomes a hot topic, we also examine the company’s Prelude
floating liquefied natural gas project (FLNG), planned for offshore Australia. The IEA estimates that there is more than 250 years of gas available in the world at current consumption rates. There is estimated to be 4050 Tcf of stranded gas offshore Norway, 60-70 Tcf off East Africa, 30-40 Tcf off Brazil, 3040 Tcf in the Asia pacific region and 100-110 Tcf offshore Australia, which could be tapped through the FLNG concept. The race is on to develop FLNG technology to tap these reserves. Elsewhere, we focus on the Netherlands and take a look at Seaway Heavy Lifting’s versatile vessels which are being put to work on wind farm as well as oil and gas projects. Vessel positioning also comes under the spotlight, while on the Peregrino field off Brazil a breakthrough technology has revolutionised international clean sea standards. John Sheehan Editor, Offshore Technology email@example.com
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Cover Photo: Shell has won an OTC distinguished achievement award for its Perdido spar development in the Gulf of Mexico The content of this journal is recorded in the IMarEST Marine Technology Abstracts available on CDROM and in the SciSearch and Research Alert databases of the Institute of Scientific Information, USA 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 or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Copyright © 2012 IMarEST, The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology. Information published in Offshore Technology does not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Whilst effort is made to ensure that the information is accurate the publisher makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or correctness of such information. It accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any loss damage or other liability arising from any use of this publication or the information which it contains.
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Anadarko strikes it rich off Mozambique nadarko has completed the drilling portion of its planned appraisal programme in its Prosperidade discovery area offshore Mozambique. The final well in the programme, Barquentine-4, located in Offshore Area 1 of the Rovuma Basin, encountered approximately 525 net feet (160m) of natural gas pay, and became the Anadarko partnership's ninth successful well in the complex. Prosperidade includes the Windjammer, Barquentine, Lagosta and Camarao discoveries, as well as the five subsequent appraisal wells in the block. Prosperidade is estimated to hold recoverable resources of 17 to 30-plus Tcf of natural gas. "Our appraisal drilling programme in the Prosperidade complex offshore Mozambique delivered outstanding results that provide significant confidence in the vast extent of this accumula-
The Deepwater Millennium drillship has been operating offshore Mozambique
tion and will be key in achieving third-party reserve certification, as we advance the partnership's worldclass LNG (liquefied natural gas) project toward final investment decision," Anadarko Sr. vice president, worldwide exploration, Bob Daniels said. “Our next step is to mobilise the drillship to the northern section of our block to begin testing additional high-potential exploration
prospects that may expand the resource even further and provide tieback opportunities for future LNG hub facilities." The Barquentine-4 well is the northernmost well in the Prosperidade complex, approximately 19 miles (30 kilometres) north of the Lagosta discovery well located on the southern end. It is located in water depths of approximately 5,400ft (1,650m).
ITF signs up Thailand’s PTTEP TF, the oil and gas industry technology facilitator has signed up Thailand’s national oil company PTT Exploration & Production Public Company (PTTEP) as a new member. PTTEP is the latest ITF member in South East Asia and joins Malaysian stateowned Petronas to support oil and gas technology development and address technology challenges in the region.
ITF plans to secure $9m in investment from its members across the Asia-Pacific region to launch ground breaking technologies. The organisation will also bolster its team by creating a business development position, which will be based at its Kuala Lumpur office to further strengthen its presence across the region. ITF will now work with
PTTEP to fund innovative solutions to key technology challenges which have been identified in South East Asia, including: unconventional reservoir characterisation; sub-basalt imaging and nanotechnology. Ryan McPherson, ITF’s regional director in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, said: “South East Asia is an important market for the energy industry and PTTEP’s membership is
Ryan McPherson, ITF regional director
central to our growth strategy for the area. We are dedicated to finding novel technologies that will help to boost production in the region.”
April 2012 Offshore Technology
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Lucius mooring work tied up eepwater mooring specialist First Subsea has been awarded a contract by Technip to supply the mooring line connectors for a new spar platform to be moored in 7,000ft (2,134 m) of water in the Lucius field, Keathley Canyon block 875 in the Gulf of Mexico. Lucius will be developed with a truss spar floating production facility with the capacity to produce in excess of 80,000 b/d of oil and 450 MMcf/d of natural gas. The spar is currently under construction at Technip's facility in Pori, Finland and will be the largest of Anadarko's operated spars -a deepwater production solution pioneered by the company in 1997. The Lucius spar will be moored by nine Ballgrab ball and taper mooring connectors attached to polyester mooring lines. “This is a significant contract and marks our ninth spar mooring project for Technip,” says Brian Green, general manager, First Subsea Ltd. “The flexibility and
Constitution spar in the Gulf of Mexico
ease of deployment of Ballgrab ball and taper connectors will ensure the deepwater mooring goes smoothly. We look forward to working with Technip again.”
Offshore Technology April 2012
Anadarko Petroleum operates the Lucius field (35%), and its partners are Plains E&P (23.3%), ExxonMobil (15%), Apache (11.7%), Petrobras (9.6%) and Eni (5.4%).
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Technip wins Cheviot umbilicals deal echnip’s Duco subsidiary has won a contract from Bluewater Industries for work on the UK North Sea Cheviot field development, which is operated by ATP. The Cheviot field is located in Block 2/10B, approximately 100 km East of the Shetland Isles in water depths of 492ft (150m). The project also includes the development of the Peter and Eclat fields. The contract covers engineering, project management and fabrication of four static steel tube umbilicals, four dynamic thermoplastic umbilicals, and a thermoplastic Subsea Intervention Valve umbilical. The total length is 12 kilometres. The umbilicals will control four drill centres from a floating semi-submersible production facility.
Duco’s factory in Newcastle, UK
The subsea distribution system will also be supplied by Duco and this scope includes umbilical termination
assemblies, subsea distribution units, 64 hydraulic and electrical flying leads and other equipment. The steel tube umbilicals and subsea distribution system will be manufactured at Duco’s facility in Channelview, Houston. The thermoplastic umbilicals will be manufactured in Duco’s factory in Newcastle, United Kingdom. The project is scheduled for delivery in 2014. Cheviot is being developed with an Octabuoy floating production and drilling facility. The Octabuoy, designed by Moss Maritime, is a stateof-the-art semisubmersible dry-tree-completion production processing unit designed for oil storage in the columns.
Forgemasters sees new opportunity heffield Forgemasters in the UK is using its welding capabilities to create new markets by expanding its portfolio to fabricate large components for the burgeoning offshore oil and gas sector. The company, which has an unparalleled track record in the manufacture of large structural castings for offshore oil and gas platforms, has expanded its services to weld these castings into rolled steel sections, creating fabricated components which make final assembly easier for its customers.
Cast steel pad-eye for Offshore Group Newcastle (OGN)
Forgemasters recognised that the specialist welding skills required to successfully join the different elements of cast steel and steel plate are
seen as a potential hurdle by some contractors, so it is now undertaking this complex work. Paul Mockford, design director at Forgemasters’ dedicated offshore division, Vulcan SFM, said: “Many contractors do not have experience of welding to castings and do not have the weld qualifications in place for this type of work. By carrying out this work and leaving the contractor with only plate to plate welding we remove what may be seen as a further complication from their workload.”
April 2012 Offshore Technology
Shell is pushing ahead with its ambitious Prelude FLNG project with work getting underway in earnest at the Samsung yard in South Korea
Shell forges ahead with Prelude FLNG hell is gearing up to cut the first steel for the turret of its offshore Australia Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel in May this year, as work on the giant project ramps up. Prelude FLNG, which is being assembled in dry-dock at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in South Korea, will be
488m long and 74m wide and will weigh around 600,000t when fully ballasted, making it the largest offshore floating facility ever built. At peak, Prelude is expected to produce just over 5mt/yr of LNG, LPG and condensate. The vessel will remain on the field for 25 years. The length of a par five golf hole, it will require about
260,000t of steel to build, around five times the amount of steel used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge. A final investment decision to go ahead with the project was taken in May last year and the large engineering team, which has already clocked up 1.6 million man hours on the scheme, is transferring to South Korea as the build work
Shell’s Prelude FLNG vessel – artist’s impression
April 2012 Offshore Technology
gets underway in earnest. Shell has decided to push the go button on the project as it believes that FLNG will enable the development of gas resources, ranging from clusters of smaller more remote fields to potentially larger assets via multiple FLNG facilities where an onshore development is not viable. Prelude was discovered in 2007 by Shell in the WA-371-P permit, an area which covers around 1,000 sq km in the remote Browse Basin, 475km north-northeast of Broome, Western Australia. Marjan van Loon, Shell vice president for LNG projects and technology, said at a briefing at the company’s technology centre in Rijswijk, the Netherlands: “If you have a discovery a long way from your customer then the normal option of putting the gas in a pipeline might not be possible for economic reasons. “FLNG has become a hot topic in the past year or two, but it is not that recent. At Shell we have been busy on it for nearly 15 years already, starting with studies, simulations, testing and development work. “We’re not building this because it is such a large complex facility and because as engineers we’re very excited about it. We’re doing it because it makes business sense. FLNG really monetises gas that could not otherwise be monetised economically.”
SHELL IS set to become a gas company this year as it produces more gas proportionally In Brief than oil for the first time. Matthias Bischel, projects and technology director at Shell, said: “By the end of the year our gas production will account for 51-52% of our overall production. We are becoming a gas company and there are several elements to that. “On one hand it is LNG, in which we have a very long history going back to 1964 in Algeria. Since then we have been producing LNG in a whole range of countries. “Unconventional gas is also something we are involved in. We have a significant acreage position in the US and Canada, and in China we have several joint ventures with PetroChina where we are in the exploration phase for gas.” Meanwhile, Inpex says it has agreed a deal to take a 17.5% stake in Prelude from Shell.
She said energy demand is expected to double or triple over the next few decades as emerging economies develop. “We need all the energy we can get our hands on. We need renewables, we need oil, we need gas. Gas is important because it is the cleanest fossil fuel.” According to the US Energy Information Administration, there is more than 250 years of gas available in the world at current consumption rates. There is estimated to be 4050 Tcf of stranded gas offshore Norway, 60-70 Tcf off East Africa, 30-40 Tcf off Brazil, 3040 Tcf in the Asia pacific region and 100-110 Tcf offshore Australia, which could be tapped through the FLNG concept.
Offshore Technology April 2012
“These are remote resources that normally could not be piped to an onshore plant that you can now make economic. There are several reasons for it. You can put the floater close to the field and you can also use the floater to tieback several smaller fields. “You can have a big field and put several floaters on it, so you can play with the floater and the concept. The floater is also re-deployable, so you don’t need one field with 20-30 years of gas reserves to underpin one floater. It brings flexibility and is comparable in cost to onshore LNG or cheaper. How Prelude FLNG compares to world’s tallest structures
“FLNG is still a very small player in the LNG space. We believe it is complementary because it is aimed at these remote fields.”
FLNG – a complex solution Harry van de Velde, principal process engineer FLNG with Shell, explained at the technology briefing that the FLNG concept is far more complex than just transferring onshore plant to an offshore environment. “One of the key things for offshore FLNG is that you will have tanks that are not completely filled, and with the ship slightly moving you are at risk the LNG will slosh, so you need to be able to predict what forces this will exert on the tank. “We did a lot of work on this and we have models that can predict this. The other key thing you need to sort out is how you offload the LNG to an LNG carrier. On Prelude the FLNG vessels will moor alongside the FLNG vessel and will be connected by means of offloading arms. “They use the same principle we use for offloading at onshore plants, but they are doctored for the offshore environment. There has been a lot of work done to design the offloading arm for both LNG and LPG. A lot of simulations were done to simulate how a carrier could moor alongside the FLNG.” He said another key compo-
The Arctic Discoverer LNG carrier being filled at Statoil’s Hammerfest LNG plant in Norway
nent of FLNG is the double mixed refrigerant process (DMR) liquefaction technology, used by Shell on the Sakhalin project in Russia. “We have chosen this because it is relatively safe and requires a relatively small equipment inventory and you need a relatively small amount of power to liquefy the gas.” Van de Velde said another important aspect is to understand how the vessel moves. “Prelude will normally be operating in a very benign environment but there are periods when there will be hurricanes. We need to be prepared and understand how the facility will behave. “We have done a lot of work in the test basin and also to develop software to establish how the vessels would behave and react. The software has been calibrated against our operating FPSOs as well.” Shell’s FLNG facility has been designed to withstand a Category 5 cyclone. “The other key thing is on tests we did with spill. It is very unlikely but if you were to have a spill of cryogenic liquid, that
would have an impact on your steel on the top of the vessel. You want to be sure that if you have a fire, then it can resist that.” He said Shell has taken out 110 patents to protect some of the key technologies for the project.
Vessel layout puts safety first Van de Velde said safety was paramount when designing the layout of the vessel. “The most hazardous equipment has been placed as far as possible from the accommodation. “We also have safety gaps between the modules, so if something goes wrong in one of the modules, the possibility of escalation is mitigated against. If an incident happens it stays localised.” The accommodation module and helideck will be located at the rear of the vessel with the turret and flare stack at the front. From the accommodation unit moving towards the front, the facilities become more hazardous. “The utilities and power generation are close to the ac-
commodation, then you move to the liquefaction unit. Then towards the front, you have the turret with the hydrocarbons and the inlet facilities – the area which is most hazardous.” He explained that the gas will enter the vessel by means of a flexible riser that connects some of the subsea flowlines to the turret. The turret area is the only bit that stays fixed. It is connected by mooring lines to the sea bottom and the remainder of the facility is allowed to weathervane around it, depending on waves and wind. “The FLNG has been equipped with three thrusters that allow us to move the ship a little bit in another direction and that allows us to provide a little bit of help to an LNG carrier when it moors. You can shelter it and make mooring a little bit easier. Apart from that an FLNG does not have its own propulsion system “On Prelude four subsea risers connect the subsea system to the turret and then you have a swivel stack where the hydrocarbons are transferred from the world that is fixed to the world that moves and that is connected
April 2012 Offshore Technology
to the FLNG. “What arrives at the FLNG is not only the hydrocarbons and the gas that you liquefy, but there are also all kinds of other components in there that you need to take out before you can do that. “There is a mixture of gas, condensate, LPG and there is still some CO2 and there can be mercury in it. We also add some flow assurance fluids to ensure that the water that is in the gas does not freeze when the temperature is lowered.”
Largest turret ever built
Prelude FLNG with LNG carrier moored alongside – artist’s impression
The turret itself is a significant piece of engineering, weighing in at around 10-12,000t. It will be the largest that has ever been built. Drydocks World of Dubai has won a contract from SBM Offshore to build the turret. Once completed, it will be delivered to Samsung in South Korea. From the turret the gas will move to the inlet separators where gas is separated from the liquids, which are mainly condensate, water and glycol. Condensate is then taken out and stabilised in two columns where the lighter components are removed and the condensate can be stored ready for shipping. Glycol is also taken
out and regenerated. Van de Velde said: “A mixture of gas, water and a little bit of CO2 comes out of the top of the separator. We then remove the CO2 by bringing it in contact with a solution of water and amine. Gas then comes out of the column with a little bit of water that is removed in three dehydration columns. Trace mercury is also removed. “We then cool it down and take down the pressure and separate LPGs, (propane, ethane and butane). We use some of this for the refrigerant and the remainder is stored as LPG. “What then comes out is almost pure methane with a little bit of ethane, a product which is ready to be liquefied in the DMR process.” To do that most efficiently, pressure is increased. “We liquefy the gas again and then we take the temperature down to around 25 degrees Celsius. There are then three steps of pre-cooling to take the temperature of the gas down from 25 to 0 degrees and then from 0 to -25 degrees and then to -50. That is done with refrigerant. Then it is taken down from -50 to -160 degrees Celsius to liquefy it.” Inside the hull there are six LNG tanks and two LPG tanks for storage.
The vessel is equipped with seven offloading arms – three for LPG and four for LNG. 150,000t LNG vessels will moor alongside Prelude and take on the LNG, generally filling up in 24 hours. Condensate will be offloaded from Prelude once a week. Typically there will be 100110 people on board during operations. Crew for the vessel are already being trained up in a joint venture with the Challenger Institute and Curtin University in Perth. Prelude, which is estimated to start-up in 2017, will be equipped with a steam system to generate electricity for use on board and also to drive the compressors for the liquefaction system and to drive the booster compressors. Prelude FLNG is part of a “one design and build many” concept being adopted by Shell, with all future projects set to benefit from lessons learned during its implementation. Van Loon said: “We have master agreements in place for FEED and construction with Tehncip and Samsung to build multiple FLNG facilities. We have more and more certainty about how much such a project will cost. “We hope the next floaters will be even faster and cheaper than the first one and the partners in Sunrise (Shell 26%) offshore Australia are considering FLNG. They can use 90% of the work already done and just 10% of it would be Sunrise specific.” And Van de Velde said there was no reason why the concept could not be used in multiple locations around the world including in the North Sea. Shell is also aware that its competitors are also advanced in designing FLNG concepts, although it is the first to take it to FID. “We know there are a lot of people looking at FLNG but it’s not about being first, it’s about doing it right,” van Loon added.
April 2012 Offshore Technology
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A breakthrough green oilfield technology has revolutionised international clean sea standards offshore Brazil
Peregrino clean water levels boosted
he challenge of purifying ‘produced water’ – pumped in high volumes through pipelines with heavy crude oil to enable extraction – to advanced levels has been answered by scientists on a Scottish island at the heart of the British and international oil and gas industry. The purification process perfected by Opus has performed significantly beyond industry norms and massively under-cut progressive international regulations. The company’s purposebuilt separation plant, processing thousands of cubic metres of produced water daily, has
FPSO Maersk Peregrino Photo Øyvind Hagen – Statoil
achieved output levels of less than eight parts of oil per million which is several times better than the contracted target of 28 parts per million. The Compact Flotation Unit is installed on the FPSO Maersk (floating production, storage and off-take vessel), serving the two platforms on the Peregrino field. It was commissioned last year off Rio de Janeiro, and has a production capacity of 100,000 b/d. With estimated recoverable oil of up to 600m bbl, the Peregrino field is the biggest
operated by Statoil outside Norway. Opus had the device built, installed, tested and commissioned against a tight timescale and then optimised the process to achieve the ‘above-spec’ quality of water being discharged back to the sea. Particularly suited to FPSOs, being unusually robust and unaffected by motion in the sea, the CFU uses three separation techniques, combining gas flotation (in which oil droplets attach to tiny bubbles), droplet coalescence (pulling tiny droplets together into removable accumulations), and cyclonic separation (use of a vortex to force oil and
April 2012 Offshore Technology
gas components into a stream for ejection). The high-performance technology is further improved when coupled with another Opus innovation, the ‘Mare’s Tail’ which uses fibre to catch and combine oil droplets. Opus separation technologies have been installed on fixed and floating installations by companies including BP, Hess, Total, Statoil and Maersk. In addition to the ’coalescer’ technology, Opus provides solutions to a range of process and environmental needs for oil and gas producers, including fluids analysis, process upgrades and marine ecotoxicity testing. The company’s Director of Strategic Operations, Glen McLellan, said: “At Maersk Peregrino, we were told by the client that our installation and services were the smoothest part of the FPSO topsides development project.
“Between that and the superb performance of the CFU, we are making sure we live up to our aim to not only deliver
How the Opus clean water system works
results but to continuously develop our technologies and services to stay ahead of the field.” The CFU is the fourth such unit to be deployed internationally by Opus, whose research and development facility is on the Orkney ‘oilhub’ island of Flotta, with design, project management and process optimisation run from their Guildford, Surrey, base. Fergus Ewing, energy minister in the Scottish Government, said: "Scotland's oil and gas sector leads the world, and the skills and knowledge developed in Scotland since the development of the North Sea are a key strength to Scotland's economy and play a vital role in our future, both in the oil and gas sector and the developing renewable energy sector. "This technology developed by Opus is an example of the sort of innovative thinking Scotland excels in, and I wish them every success."
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Offshore Technology April 2012
Statoil looks north to Harstad
Statoil is setting up shop in Harstad in northern Norway as operations build off the coast tatoil is to set up a new operational area based in Harstad in northern Norway, which should be operational in the first half of 2013. The company says it is making the move due to the considerable increase in activities taking place off the three northernmost counties in Norway. “This will boost our presence in Northern Norway and help ensure added value from the northern fields in the future. “Ever since the merger in 2007 and the setting up of Operations North in Stjørdal, we have expressed our intention of establishing a new operational area in the north when activities and materiality justified such an industrial decision – and we are now seeing that level of activity,” said Statoil CEO Helge Lund. Lund adds that there are also expectations of further activities in Northern Norway, owing to the increase in exploration in newly opened acreage and in areas expected to be made available to the petroleum industry; initially the Barents Sea and subsequently areas in
The Norwegian flag
Along the Norwegian coast
the north-eastern Norwegian Sea. To begin with, the new operational area will be responsible for the already operating Norne and Snøhvit fields, as well as for the Aasta Hansteen field. The Skrugard/Havis field will also report to the new operational area, which will be managed along similar lines and carry the same executive authority as other operational areas. Meanwhile, it is the intention to locate the Aasta Hansteen field’s operational organisation in Harstad, the supply base in Sandnessjøen and the helicopter base in Brønnøysund. “In wishing to base the Aasta Hansteen operational organisation in Harstad, we are envisaging the possibility of synergy effects obtained from a joint localisation with the Norne field. “A new operational organisation will also boost competence and enhance the
specialist milieus in Harstad,” says Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. The creation of this new area of operations will lead to an increase in the number of employees at the Harstad office. Once the decision on Aasta Hansteen is taken, more employees will join the new area; overall the increase is likely to amount to some 30-50 people. “Trøndelag and Møre, including Stjørdal, Trondheim and Kristiansund will still remain important locations for Statoil’s NCS activities. Haltenbanken and our fields there are – and will remain for a long time to come – a core area for Statoil. These locations will continue to be run from Stjørdal,” said Michelsen. The creation of the new area in Harstad will not have any direct consequences for personnel working at Stjørdal in the already established operational area. Work on the detailed planning of the new operational area in Northern Norway is now getting under way. The area will commence its operations in the course of the first half of 2013.
April 2012 Offshore Technology
Flying nodes obot-like devices that can cluster into swarms on the seafloor, could soon aid in the quest to find new hydrocarbon resources. Developed by a British company, Go Science, with operational support from Shell, these â€œflying nodesâ€? could not only increase the efficiency of ocean-bottom seismic data acquisition, but also could reduce its cost by 50%. The self-propelled surface nodes would be deployed from a ship and guided into position by GPS satellite communications. The pre-programmed flying nodes would then be launched; up to 2,000 could be sent out per day, potentially surveying an area thousands of kilometers square and up to 3,000m deep. They move at speeds of up to 24km per hour and could travel up to 250km on a single battery charge. A collision avoidance system keeps them clear of underwater obstacles. Following instructions from the deployment vessel and surface nodes, the flying nodes manoeuvre into position. Then multiple vessels on the surface can begin the seismic survey, using compressed air guns to send sound waves through the ocean floor. Quality control nodes collect data to determine if the flying nodes are working properly and also can instruct a node to return to its deployment vessel or move to another position on the survey grid. After the seismic survey has been completed, all nodes would return to the deploy-
Offshore Technology April 2012
Seismic vessel at work
ment vessel. In addition to offshore environments, the system could be used in inland waters or combined with a land-based system to survey such challenging terrains as swamps. It could also be effective in Arctic environments, by deploying nodes underneath the ice. Shell, together with GoScience, is now testing flying node prototypes and aims to deploy them within about two years.
Flying nodes could be the future for seismic surveying
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SHL makes light of the heavy stuff eaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) is keeping its two heavy lift crane vessels busy at the moment with a range of projects including offshore wind farm work and the more traditional oil and gas topsides installations and takedowns. But Aart Ligterink, marketing department manager at the company’s Zoetermeer office, told OT he is expecting a relatively quiet time in 2013 in terms of market prospects before things pick up again. The 5,000t crane lift capacity Oleg Strashnov is currently in India installing topsides for Larsen & Toubro’s Mumbai High North field project, while smaller sister vessel Stanislav Yudin, which has a 2,500t lift capacity, is mobilising to carry out wind farm work in the North Sea.
The Oleg Strashnov has a lift height capability of 100m for the 5,000t main hook and 132m for the 800t auxiliary hook, enabling her to undertake a large range of projects from dual hook upending of large jackets to heavy deck installations and small lifts at high platform elevations. The installed DP3 system also enables the vessel to be employed for the installation of large and heavy subsea structures, such as tension leg platforms (TLP)/spar foundations and topsides. A unique feature of the vessel is its innovative hull shape, which enables her to transit at speeds of up to 14 knots, while also providing vessel stability during heavy lifts. Ligterink said: “The Oleg Strashnov is installing 2030,000t of topside modules on
the project in India and the biggest lift we have done so far is about 4,000t. “A number of lifts are being done at the moment on dynamic positioning (DP) as well as anchors. We did the 4,000t lift on anchors but we are now carrying out smaller lifts - up to 2,000t - which we are doing on DP. The project is going fine. The vessel works like a Swiss clock.” Before heading to India in late December following a yard stay, the Oleg Strashnov installed around 66 monopiles as well as transition pieces on the Sheringham Shoal wind farm project in the UK North Sea. The Oleg Strashnov is alternating her workload between wind farm work and installation and decommissioning of oil and gas platforms.
SHL’s two heavy lift vessels are adapting to a wide range of tasks
4,000t lift on Mumbai High North field by Oleg Strashnov (photo SHL)
Offshore Technology April 2012
Oleg Strashnov installs Clipper South topsides in North Sea
Ligterink said: “We installed the Clipper deck for RWE in the UK sector and then she was in port for two months before sailing to India. We will be back early summer in the North Sea and we will be installing monopiles on the Riffgat wind farm.” Oleg Strashnov also has another two offshore wind jobs lined up, but will become available for hire from early in the fourth quarter. Stanislav Yudin, meanwhile, has picked up a lot of work recently, as Ligterink explains: “We are mobilising at the moment and I expect she will be busy from early April until October installing wind farm foundations as well as oil and gas platforms. “She will install the Katy platform in the UK North Sea
Sterling grabs Dutch licences
A JOINT venture between Sterling Resources and Wintershall has been awarded exploration licences E3 and F1 in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. The licences have been awarded for a period of four years, with a commitment to acquire approximately 600 sq km of 3D seismic. “We are pleased to have started our business growth programme in the Netherlands by involvement in an exciting exploration opportunity with a strong partner,” said Stephen Birrell, Sterling’s vice president and general manager, France and the Netherlands. “We look forward to applying our Southern North Sea exploration and appraisal experience in this new jurisdiction in conjunction with our current activities in the F Quad.”
over the summer. She is starting with a few substation installations, which will be followed by one foundation project and then on to Katy.” As far as the market going forward is looking, Ligterink is looking forward to the post 2013 revival. “I see a tremendous workload coming up in 2014-2015 with quite a lot of work in offshore wind and some decommissioning projects in oil and gas as well as the normal installation projects for oil and gas.” And he warned oil and gas companies planning decommissioning projects not to leave it too late to secure heavylift capacity. “We hear more and more clients saying ‘our platforms are over 30 years old and one day we will have to remove them.’ That day is coming closer and closer. “With the current high oil price a number of platforms are being kept in production, but with a falling gas price they may become redundant and companies will start to think about removing them. “My message to oil companies is that if they wait too long and wind farming really takes off, they could see a big problem because offshore wind Round 3 in the UK requires big installation vessels as well “If the oil companies at the same time try to market their decommissioning projects,
there might be a lack of interest unless they are willing to pay a premium.” Last June, Stanislav Yudin removed six platforms from Shell’s Indefatigable field in the North Sea and she is able to carry out most of the decommissioning work that will come up in the UK, Danish and Dutch sectors of the North Sea. As well as her suitability for the North Sea market, the Oleg Strashnov is targeting work around the world. She has a high sailing speed of 14 knots and with the ability to lower the A-frame, she can pass under the bridges on the Suez canal cutting the sailing distances to Asia by about 4,400 miles. Ligterink said: “We have had a lot of talks with clients in Asia and some have asked us to go to the Gulf of Mexico. The Oleg Strashnov can be in the Gulf of Mexico from Rotterdam within three weeks. “Clients realise that when you need a vessel like the Oleg Strashnov, you have to make an early commitment otherwise someone else could be there in front of you. “When you have a smaller vessel, like the Stanislav Yudin, in the old days there was always a vessel that could do that work, but with the 5,000t crane it is different. If you want to have this vessel on the job, you have to come out to tender early.”
April 2012 Offshore Technology
Shell – ready to respond wo years on from the Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are looking at innovative ways of well control in a bid to improve safety. Shell is at the forefront of these moves and is developing a multi-layered well control system designed to minimise risks. The company currently operates 17,000 wells worldwide. In addition, it will direct its rigs – currently numbering 140 – to drill tens of thousands more between now and 2020. As well as doing as much as it can to prevent emergency situations from arising, Shell has developed secondary ‘cap and contain’ well control techniques to shut down subsea wells safely and quickly after any uncontrolled hydrocarbon release. Much of the work into these new systems is carried out at the company’s technology centre at Rijswijk in the Netherlands. Peter Sharpe, Shell’s executive vice president for wells, told OT at a media briefing at the centre: “There has been an enormous increase in activity in deepwater. In 2005 there were 20 ultra-deepwater rigs operating, now there are 100 and there will be 140 by 2014. That is an enormous increase in activity. For us to grow in the area we have to ensure we have the expertise to do it safely.
Shell is ready to respond to emergencies with a range of well control solutions
“We have developed an electronic well control assurance tool. We have implemented dual shear rams on all of our deepwater floating rigs. We have also been investing in a well emergency severance tool which can cut absolutely anything.” He said that people had been shocked in the aftermath of Macondo at the apparent inability to respond to the crisis in an adequate fashion. “We have been upgrading our own capping equipment and taking on the lessons learned. We have been doing desktop exercises and we are doing actual deployment exercises, clearly for our upcoming operations in Alaska, but for elsewhere around the world as well.” One of these R&D initiatives Shell is involved with is a joint project with National Oilwell Varco and Noble Drilling, to develop a system to automatically activate blow-out preventers (BOPs) at the sign of a
Offshore Technology April 2012
Shell Technology Centre, Rijswijk
possible loss of well control. Shell also either owns, or has ready access to, the equipment required to cap its subsea wells. A modular Shell-owned capping system covers Shell’s global portfolio of deepwater wells. The system is available for emergency deployment from Aberdeen on Shell operations worldwide within 10 days. Once on location, it can be deployed via wire or drill pipe from a rig or service vessel. The capping system is designed with a 10,000 psi working pressure for use in water depths up to 10,000ft. A second Shell-owned capping system with a 15,000 psi working pressure is currently under development and is expected to be ready for deployment from Singapore by mid-2012.
Shell’s emergency severance tool
These capping systems complement other industry initiatives with which Shell is involved, such as the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) and the Subsea Well Response Project. Shell formed the MWCC with ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips in a bid to improve the industry’s readiness to cap and contain a blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. MWCC has an initial well cap and containment response system available that can collect up to 60,000 b/d of oil from a leaking well in 8,000ft of water. The MWCC system can flow the oil via flexible pipes and risers to surface vessels. A new MWCC system under development and which will be delivered this year will be able to capture up to 100,000 b/d of oil in 10,000ft of water. A further R&D project has resulted in the Emergency Separation Tool (EST). EST severs – in milliseconds and with very little deformation – any tubular equipment that might be located across the BOP, allowing the equipment to drop into the well and clear the BOP’s sealing rams. It is a secondary safety mechanism that can be activated to ensure the closing of the BOP. Jan Brakel, Shell’s R&D manager for wells, said: “In the wake of Macondo, we have realised that the safety systems we have on rigs are not foolproof. We are seeking an extra layer of protection. “We use explosives to make the cut with the EST because
Shell’s collapsible insert device
April 2012 Offshore Technology
we find it more effective than mechanical shearing. We use charges positioned in a circle in two layers positioned above each other. There are no moving parts and you can control it remotely.” The EST is designed to be deployable in subsea depths of 10,000ft. Another R&D project has yielded the Collapsible Insert Device (CID). The device is placed inside the well casing, deep in a well but above the hydrocarbon zones. It can be activated to buckle the casing so that it blocks flow up the well. The device is activated in a wellcontrol emergency by means of an encrypted acoustic signal – either from the drilling rig or a remote location – sent through the casing. Later, the well can be brought back into service after
Test rig at the Rijswijk technology centre
the insert has been milled out. “If all else failed and there was a release of gas or oil to surface the CID can be deployed in that interim period while the capping stack is being mobilised. “The CID is a piece of casing inside a housing with explosives on the outside. If you set off that explosive it deforms the casing inward, reducing the flow-through area. “We have some special technology for the initiation of that explosion. We use three explosives positioned around the casing. This will be installed in the casing string and cemented into the well. “The plan is to have this installed in our critical wells.”
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Offshore Technology April 2012
Mooring ropes are evolving as developments head into deeper waters
Lankhorst Ropes drives deeper moorings he latest developments in mooring ropes are pivotal to the successful deployment of the next generation of ultra-deepwater production systems. Moored in water depths in excess of 2,000m and further offshore, they will be subject to greater wave and current movements. Meeting the greater engineering demands, while at the same time reducing mooring installation costs, is concentrating the minds of rope manufacturers, naval architects and installation contractors alike. One company taking a lead is Dutch rope manufacturer Lankhorst Ropes. Based in Sneek, northern Holland, Lankhorst Ropes is part of the Royal Lankhorst Euronete Group, and has over 200 years experience in maritime rope manufacture. In 2009 the company acquired Portugese rope maker Quintas & Quintas Offshore (QQO) to form Lankhorst Ropes Offshore division, supplying permanent deepwater and temporary mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) moorings, single point mooring (SPM) systems for CALM (Catenary Anchor Leg Moor-
ing System) buoys and latterly umbilical and riser tethers. Recent deepwater mooring projects in the US Gulf of Mexico have included Murphy's ThunderHawk DeepDraftSemi FPU, Petrobras' Cascade-Chinook FPSO, and the award to supply polyester mooring ropes for Anardarko's Lucius truss spar hull which will be installed in a water depth of 2,165m. “The trend towards deeper
moorings is unstoppable as oil and gas operators search out new fields,” says Wilco Stroet, managing director of Lankhorst Ropes. “With the cost of mooring line deployment now exceeding the cost of the mooring lines, finding ways to reduce installation costs, while delivering higher mechanical performance in deeper waters, is where we are directing our research efforts.”
Lankhorst Ropes Gama 98 Dyneema deepwater rope manufacture
April 2012 Offshore Technology
The BW Pioneer FPSO at the Cascade/Chinook field in the Gulf of Mexico
The BW Pioneer FPSO at the Cascade/Chinook field in the Gulf of Mexico
Focusing on rope manufacturing led Lankhorst to develop a rope length measurement system (LMS) for Chevron's Tahiti Spar project in 2008. Until the Tahiti spar mooring, rope length tolerances from +/- 2% for deepwater mooring lines were not uncommon. The LMS meant polyester rope mooring line could be supplied within +/- 0.5% of the correct length after post installation tensioning. This significantly reduced the time needed to tension the mooring lines. In 2011, Lankhorst invested over 2m Euros in a rope test machine capable of testing 20m ropes with loads up to 1,200 tonnes. “The lack of specialised rope test equipment, and the very high cost of test-
Lankhorst Ropes rope test machine for 'what if' scenario testing of deepwater mooring ropes
ing, has hampered the availability of authoritative data on rope properties for a variety of fibre types and rope constructions. The test machine will address this, as well as enabling 'what if' mooring scenarios, allowing us to optimise rope installation offshore,” Stroet explained. One outcome of the research into rope performance has been a potential new methodology for mooring rope pre-tensioning during installation. High loads on ultra deepwater mooring lines, rising to over 2,500t, make traditional
rope pretensioning practices unsafe, impractical and uneconomic. Traditional pre-loading practice is based on the application of fixed loads at variable rope length. The new approach uses variable loads at fixed rope length which is more representative of the way the rope performs in service. Although more rope testing is needed at the project outset, this is more than outweighed by the benefits of lower capital costs for mooring equipment and faster installation times. Pre-loading, where required, will be conducted at lower and safer tensions; with the option of using smaller installation vessels. Looking to deeper moorings beyond 2,000m, Lankhorst Ropes is working with another Dutch company DSM, a life science and material science company, on the development of ultra-deepwater mooring lines made from Dyneema (High Modulus Polyethylene, HMPE) yarn. The stiffer HMPE rope is better suited for longer mooring lines than polyester lines. At this year's OTC, Lankhorst is announcing the industry's first HMPE rope for permanent moorings based on its Gama 98 rope construction, using DSM’s newest fibre technology innovation. Stroet added: “We believe the new HMPE ropes and higher stiffness will provide the optimum station-keeping conditions for permanent moorings at ultra-deepwater depths.”
April 2012 Offshore Technology
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OTC 2012 highlights innovation
he Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which takes place 30 April – 3 May in Houston will focus on safety advancements, project updates, and energy policies. OTC attracts oil and gas professionals from more than 100 countries and across every technical interest. More than
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70,000 professionals are expected to attend the event this year. One of the highlights of the event is the new technology awards, and 13 technologies have been awarded the 2012 Spotlight on New Technology Award. The award recognises innovative new products that provide significant impact for offshore exploration and production. Winning technologies were selected on the grounds that they are: New - less than two years old; Innovative - original, groundbreaking, and capable of revolutionising the offshore E&P industry; Proven through full-scale application or successful prototype testing; Broad Interest - broad appeal for the industry; Significant Impact - provides significant benefits beyond existing technologies. Steve Balint, OTC’s chairperson for 2012, said: “This year’s award recipients focus attention on the inventive and advanced technologies that allow the industry to produce offshore resources. “I would like to congratulate all the Spotlight award winners for representing a broad range of technologies and solutions, and for making this a highlight of OTC.”
Spotlight Recipients and Products for 2012 are: Baker Hughes – TeleCoil Downhole Communication System; Baker Hughes – MaxCOR Large-Diameter Rotary Sidewall Coring Service; ClampOn – ClampOn Subsea Corrosion-Erosion Monitor; Dockwise – Dockwise Vanguard; FMC Technologies – Pazflor Subsea Separation System; FMC Technologies and Petrobras – Marlim Subsea Oil-Water Separation System; Halliburton – EquiFlow Autonomous Inflow Control Device (AICD); Reelwell – Reelwell Downhole Isolation System (RDIS); Schlumberger – Signature quartz gauges; Schlumberger – PowerDrive Archer high build rate RSS; ShawCor – The ShawCor Simulated Service Vessel (SSV); Tesco Corporation – Directional Liner Drilling System; Versabar, Inc – The Claw. OTC will present its 2012 Distinguished Achievement
April 2012 Offshore Technology
Awards to Joe Burkhardt for engineering Exxon USA’s Subsea Production System (SPS), and to Shell’s Perdido development project. The technical programme covers a wide range of topics related to offshore energy and mining resources. It offers key insights by industry leaders, emerging technologies, major projects, health, safety, and environment, and the changing regulatory environment. Meanwhile, several new events have been confirmed for OTC. Topics include a progress report for the new Center for Offshore Safety; US energy policies; and the University of Houston Energy Research Park. Topical breakfasts include a session on the emerging role of China in the offshore industry. Over the last two decades, China has experienced un-
precedented growth in both its economy and its position in the world energy markets. The country has rapidly developed its local industries, including the building of infrastructure, heavy manufacturing, and the overall oil and gas market. The presentation by Daniel Chang, executive vice president, Wison Offshore and Marine and Dwayne Breaux, president/CEO, Wison Offshore and Marine will address China’s impact in the global offshore oil and gas sector. It will also review how the local infrastructure and supply chain has been expanded to meet the demands of its role in this market, in particular the development of deepwater assets, subsea and offshore equipment manufacturing, LNG terminals, and other highly technical pursuits. Topical luncheons will include a focus on safety - Mining the Diamond – by Neil Duffin, President of ExxonMobil.
A speaker addresses the OTC conference
As the oil & gas industry continues to push the boundaries of new technologies and geographic areas to meet the world’s energy needs, it must
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continue to seek new innovations in safety performance as well. While there has been success in reducing the overall number of safety incidents that occur, it has not had equivalent success in reducing the number of high consequence safety events, including fatalities, from occurring. This has prompted ExxonMobil to begin to think differently about its health and safety approach to ensure it is preparing for and eliminating the highest impact incidents. The company’s new approach focuses on “mining the diamond” of the traditional safety pyramid. To take safety performance to the next level, additional emphasis must be placed on identifying and mitigating the high consequence risk that can lead to fatalities or serious injury. This focus needs to be placed on not just personnel safety, but process safety as well.
Amazing teams It takes diverse talent to fuel a growing world. So at BP, we hire the brightest minds to join us in a culture of collaboration and respect. The results are amazing, with teams sharing knowledge across borders and disciplines. But meeting the global demand for energy will take still more expertise. That’s why we’re creating new jobs for all kinds of professionals. Extraordinary projects From Alaska to Houston, Oman to Azerbaijan, BP people work at the forefront of engineering, science, technology and business. Whether developing subsea imaging, leading the way in oil recovery or exploring new territories, we’re building on a deep heritage of innovation. Join us and you’ll not only share in this, but add to it in ever more extraordinary ways. Tremendous potential The scale, global reach and breadth of our business offers tremendous career potential. So does the way we develop our people. For instance, we invest more than $500m in staff training each year and we’ve built new learning centers in Houston and London. Combined, the way we work and the way we learn leads to fascinating, fulfilling careers. To find out more, visit www.bp.com/upstream/OTC BP is an equal opportunities employer.
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Offshore Technology April 2012
Damen supplies fast crew vessels yprus-based EDT Offshore has taken delivery of two Damen fast crew supplier vessels, the EDT Leda and the EDT Nefeli. Both are built to the Damen Sea Axe design that reduces slamming up to 75% and increases crew comfort. EDT has a fleet of 20 diving support vessels, offshore support vessels, crew suppliers and dregders, that operate worldwide. EDT’s managing director Darios Melas: “We are a family-company and many of our employees have been with us from the start in 1980. This is reflected in our business. We want our ships to be both hightech and a ‘home away from home’, so we spent a lot of at-
BP books new Ensco drillship
ENSCO HAS agreed a five-year term drilling contract with BP for the new Ensco DS-6 ultra-deepwater drillship at a rate of approximately $522,000 per day. The contract also includes two one-year options at mutually agreed rates. Ensco DS-6 was recently delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries’ shipyard in South Korea and is now undergoing BP requested and funded modifications in Singapore that include BP’s latest enhanced voluntary drilling standards. The Samsung DP3 ultra-deepwater drillships are equipped with advanced technological features for drilling deepwater wells including DPS-3 certified dynamic positioning, six ram 15,000 psi BOPs, two million pound hook load, 6,000 bbl active fluid systems, significant storage and deck space, and accommodation for up to 200 people. The BOP for the Ensco DS-6 drillship will have doubleblind shear rams to meet BP’s specifications.
The EDT Leda and EDT Nefeli
tention to details. “For Nefeli, we sat down with Damen to adapt the basic design to our needs and discuss the options offered by Damen. In addition to the dynamic positioning and firefighting systems, we’ve outfitted the vessel with extra accommodation for clients and their representa-
tives and extra luggage compartments. Furthermore, this 50 metre crew boat will be making some long trips to platforms. Therefore, we’ve installed luxury seats with entertainment systems and internet access.” EDT has assigned two dedicated crews to each vessel.
Pipelay trio for IHC IHC MERWEDE has signed contracts for the design, engineering and construction of two new 550t pipelay vessels and a 300t pipelay vessel. A third contract has been signed with OSX Construção Naval Brazil for the design and engineering of a 300t pipelaying vessel, as well as a large equipment package supplied by IHC Engineering Business. The orders are worth $590m. All three ships will install flexible pipelines in Brazilian waters for Petrobras. IHC Merwede will build the two identical 550t pipelaying vessels at the Krimpen aan den IJssel yard. The vessels are the first fully integrated offshore vessels to be completely designed, engineered and built by IHC Mer-
wede with a pipelay spread supplied by IHC Engineering Business. In addition, IHC Drives & Automation will deliver the integrated automation system, the full electrical installation and the complete electrical machinery package. Other IHC Merwede businesses, such as IHC Piping, are also delivering equipment. The third vessel - with a top tension capacity of 300t will also be designed and engineered by IHC Merwede. The vessel will be built at the OSX yard in Açu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The delivery dates for the vessels to be built in The Netherlands have been set for May and August 2014, respectively.
April 2012 Offshore Technology
Forte readies for Gorgon work airstar Heavy Transport’s new build 50,000 dwt semisubmersible vessel Fortehas undergone a series of tests and sea trials off the coast of China. The sea trials were carried out under the supervision of Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the vessel's Classification Society. In July, Forte will go on contract for the next two years for work on the Gorgon LNG Project. She is scheduled to transport some of the biggest and most valuable modules from South Korea to Barrow Island, Australia over the course of the timecharter.
The Forte’s sister ship Finesse is scheduled for delivery to Fairstar in Late October 2012. Willem Out, COO of Fairstar, said: “I have been in the shipping business for almost 40 years, out of which I have been at sea for over 20 years on many different types of vessels. “This is one of my proudest moments at Fairstar and one of the most satisfying for me personally. Our crew on board the Forte are all full time Fairstar professionals; a combination of veterans from the Fjord and Fjell as well as a number of newly hired Dutch mariners
Forte and Finesse under construction at GSI
and engineers. “Our partners at Guangzhou Shipyard International have done an excellent job. They have
maintained a disciplined schedule and we are totally satisfied with the design of the ship and the quality of her construction.”
PGS orders new seismic vessels PETROLEUM GEO-SERVICES (PGS) has signed two shipbuilding contracts with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the delivery of two Ramform seismic vessels in 2013, with the option for one or two additional vessels to be delivered in 2015. The parties have also agreed to extend the exercise period for the options by six months. The new Ramform vessels will be called the Titan class. “These fifth generation Ramform vessels will further enhance PGS' position as a leader in 3D seismic acquisition when it comes to productivity and efficiency. The Titan Class is designed to
utilise and bring forth the full potential from the flagship, ghost free GeoStreamer GS technology, providing a stepchange in seismic productivity, data quality and resolution,” the company said. The new vessels will include a significantly upgraded GeoStreamer based seismic package and are designed to take the full benefits of the GeoStreamer towing efficiency. "The vessels will further strengthen PGS' leading position in the fast growing High Density segment of the market, where large spreads, long streamers and towing efficiency are key success factors."
Offshore Technology April 2012
The increasing move to deepwater activities presents unique challenges for vessel positioning
NasNet array on seabed
Deepwater dynamic positioning eliable and accurate positioning of vessels and subsea assets is a key part of any offshore development, but challenges to the reliability of satellite positioning from recent increased solar activity, along with the traditional limitations of subsea acoustic positioning systems in deepwater,
By Sam Hanton â€“ chief surveyor, Nautronix have highlighted the sparseness of quality positioning options available offshore. Technically, there are four main issues that need to be overcome in the pursuit of the optimal deepwater acoustic positioning system; accuracy, up-
date rate, latency and battery life. These factors are interlinked and so a change in one may well have corresponding effects on the others. Accuracy is often defined as â€˜the closeness of the calcu-
April 2012 Offshore Technology
lated value to the true value’, and is affected by a range of factors. Acoustic positioning systems are generally divided into the categories of USBL (Ultra Short Baseline), SBL (Short Baseline) or LBL (Long Baseline). The two former categories are vessel based systems using a single reference transponder on the seabed for dynamic positioning (DP), while LBL requires an array of seabed transponders. The accuracy of vessel based systems decreases as water depth increases, so LBL provides the most accurate positioning in deepwater. Latency can be formally defined as the time delay between the moment something is initiated, and the moment one of its effects begins. In acoustic positioning that effectively means the age of the position. A highly accurate conventional LBL system can measure very accurate ranges, and subsequent position, but by the time the position is calculated and used it is typically 4-8 seconds old and the vessel may well have moved. Latency increases with water depth due to the travel time of the signal from surface to seabed and back again. Latency for conventional LBL systems is also increased by the period that the system has to wait for range data before calculating a position. Update rate is also an important factor in positioning, both as a contributor to dynamic accuracy and also as a credibility factor for the DP system. As a side benefit, faster (and stable) position updates generally improve the fuel economy of DP vessels with constant small adjustments being more economical than fewer large ones. Position update rate of typical acoustics systems is generally considerably slower than that from global navigation
Nautronix equipment ready to be deployed from vessel
satellite systems (GNSS). Traditionally, the process of determining a position has been a cyclic process – interrogation of a transponder, response and calculation of position, then repeat. The time taken to complete a cycle is dependent primarily (for DP purposes) on the water depth, with a typical update being between 4-8 seconds. A technique called ping stacking can improve the rate of position update but at a cost to the battery life. Ping stacking is effectively increasing the interrogation and subsequent response rate, which obviously reduces the life of the battery. Although battery life doesn’t directly affect the performance of an acoustic system, practicality dictates that a longer battery life is desirable for both reliability and because
Offshore Technology April 2012
of the logistics and time involved in changing units or batteries in deep water. Physics again has a large say in where advantages can be gained in battery life, with a given amount of energy being required to transmit a certain amount of data a particular distance. Often, much more energy is used than is actually required because of a range of factors; acoustic noise, sub optimal detection methods, and inefficient encoding of signal data. Multiple users are also a challenge to batteries, with most systems being required to respond to additional interrogations if more users are involved, and therefore using a proportionally greater amount of power from the battery pack.
What is the solution? It is apparent that of the various limitations of commonly used acoustic systems, some are imposed by the laws of physics, some are caused by the basic techniques used by the systems, and some are a combination of the two. NASNet DPR was developed, in response to demand from the industry, as an application of the proven NASNet subsea positioning system and uses a fundamentally different approach to other systems to remove a number of the limitations completely, while optimising those that are imposed by laws of physics. NASNet is essentially a long baseline (LBL) acoustic positioning system but the most fundamental improvement over conventional systems is in the method used to measure the ranges from which positions are subsequently calculated. Pulses are transmitted from NASNet stations at preset intervals, typically every 4-5 seconds. There is no interrogation of the station required to prompt a response, unlike conventional systems. The benefits that this approach provides are significant with respect to dynamic accuracy, latency, update rate and, in some circumstances, battery life. The dynamic accuracy is largely linked to latency – the age of the ranges used in the solution, and the age of the solution itself. Use of one-way ranging removes the majority of latency in the solution in two ways. Firstly the range itself is subject to no latency error when received by the positioned object; because the time of reception is time stamped. The second difference is that, because there is no fixed cycle of interrogation and receive, ranges can be entered into the position solution im-
Drillships like the Stena Drillmax benefit from DP in deepwater
mediately as they are received, minimising the latency between measurement of the range and calculation of the position. NASNet DPR uses each range as soon as it is received, replacing the previous range from the applicable station, and therefore ensures a more up to date position solution. This has the effect of increasing the frequency of position update significantly, typically to around 1 Hz. The increased update rate over conventional systems is not at the cost of battery life, as each station is typically only transmitting every five seconds. A huge gain over conventional approaches is in the multi-user environment when multiple users are using the same array. Even the latest generation conventional systems require additional interrogations and response for multiple users, and these impact drastically on battery life. By making use of the one way transmission technique multiple users can position from the same array with no increase in demand on the NASNet Stations, as each
pulse can be received and used by an unlimited number of receivers.
Commercial Aspects The cost and schedule impacts associated with the installation of transponders on the seabed for use as position references are significant. To install and calibrate an array for localised positioning within a few hundred metres can easily take a day of vessel or rig time. Even installation of transponders in pre-installed seabed frames will require several hours. Taking this time and scaling it up over multiple drilling locations, and potentially drilling units, can clearly result in enormous costs over the life of a project. Transponders and frames are often also required for construction activities, from ROV positioning to pipeline or manifold installation. These activities increasingly overlap with drilling campaigns and new challenges of positioning system management have arisen. Due to the limitations of traditional systems, each user is required to install their own array with a field manager identifying which users can
use which codes or frequencies. The duplication of effort associated with these installations also adds unnecessary costs. NASNet targets these identified areas of cost inefficiency through a number of means. Making use of long range acoustic signalling technology the system reduces the number of seabed units required to cover a field. In comparison with conventional systems, which in deep water may provide positioning coverage of less than 0.25 sq km from a four transponder array, NASNet can provide large scale coverage with few stations, in excess of 50sqkm coverage for DP purposes from a four station array. This means a sparse array covering the whole field can be very efficiently deployed for drilling DP purposes, with additional units added for subsea construction positioning. Importantly all of the units deployed can be utilised by any positioning user, whether in a SIMOPs situation or not. This removes the need for separate arrays for all users and again greatly enhances the cost efficiency of positioning.
April 2012 Offshore Technology
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2-B Energy’s two-blade turbine has potential to make significant cost savings
2-B Energy’s twoblade turbine – artist’s impression
2-B turbine gears up for Scotland testing enewable energy company 2-B Energy has joined forces with Scottish Enterprise (SE) to deliver cutting-edge offshore wind technology with the potential to reduce costs by up to 45%. The organisations will work together to support commercialisation of 2-B’s unique two-bladed offshore turbine concept through development of offshore test and demonstration facilities in Scotland – potentially by the end of 2014. Recognised as potentially game-changing technology, the 2B concept bucks the trend toward the more conventional three-bladed horizontal axis onshore wind technology currently being deployed offshore. Its revolutionary design significantly reduces the number of components required throughout the lifetime of the turbine, which should result in significantly lower operation and maintenance costs, the company says. The 2-B turbine has a 6MW capacity and a rotor diameter of 140 metres, but distinguishes itself from other turbines with its two bladed rotor on a full lattice structure that extends all the way to the seabed. The Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC), based in Aberdeen, has supported 2-B’s application for European funding, through the EU Framework Programme 7, for development of the company’s technology and offshore demonstrator in Scotland. The project is targeted for development at the Scottish Enterprise-owned Fife Energy Park in Methil where 2-B Energy has stepped up its ambitions and
focus has shifted from a singlenear shore unit to two units offshore in a broader project. The project will be part of a test and demonstration hub of activity which will accommodate a range of potential interests in the Scottish offshore wind sector. Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: “2-B Energy is developing an innovative and exciting offshore wind turbine which has great potential to reduce costs for clean energy generators across Europe. I’m delighted that the Scottish European Green Energy Centre has been able to support their plans and that the company has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Scottish Enterprise. “This strategic agreement with our enterprise agency is another important development for Scotland’s burgeoning offshore renewables industry, which is bringing jobs and investment to communities across the country. 2-B Energy’s decision to develop its technology here underlines the increasing international recognition that Scotland offer’s the optimum business and natural environment for clean-tech developers to pursue their ambitions.” Mikael Jakobsson, chief operating officer for 2-B Energy, said: "We will continue to work closely with Scottish Enterprise to implement our development strategy for the commercialisation of our innovative new offshore wind technology. “We have reached an exciting point in the development of our company and technology and we could envision that this
partnership and the support from SEGEC will help open up further opportunities for growth options of our business in Scotland.” Adrian Gillespie, director of energy and low carbon technologies at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We recognise the significant potential 2-B Energy holds for the next generation of offshore wind technology. We have joined forces with the company to support the long term development of its technology and to reach a key step of technology evolution in Scotland. “2-B’s exciting approach has the potential to play an important part in Scotland's future renewables wind development and create a possible step-change in future reduction of power generation cost. “We are working closely with the company and our network of partners to look at potential funding models that will help expedite the final stages of demonstration and commercialisation for this exciting technology.” Chris Bronsdon, CEO of SEGEC, said: “The technology approach maximises the potential for cost reduction from the outset, whilst minimising technology risk through using existing, proven components that have already been operating and financed in the market for several years. The project will demonstrate the significant improvements in operations and maintenance that can be achieved and will confirm the position of the technology within the global offshore wind supply base.”
April 2012 Offshore Technology
Goliath installs Borkum piles eoSea’s Goliath jumbo jack-up platform has installed 120 tubular piles for the Borkum offshore wind farm in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the North Sea. The work at Borkum (formely known as Borkum West II), was carried out during the worst meteorological months of the year in the German Bight area, which is renowned for its harsh wave and weather conditions. The Trianel-owned Borkum offshore wind farm is one of the first large-size offshore wind farms and covers an area of 56 sq km. It is situated about 45km off the northern coast of the island of Borkum and directly adjacent to Alpha Ventus, Germany's first offshore wind farm. Once completed, the turbines will generate 200MW, enough to provide some 200,000 households with green electricity. The wind farm will deliver its first electricity to the German grid by the end of 2012. GeoSea’s pre-piling methodology, which was firstly developed and successfully executed for the Ormonde and Thornton Bank offshore wind farm projects, was further developed for the project specific requirements of the Borkum field. GeoSea said: “The technology has enabled GeoSea not only to install the tubular piles within tight installation tolerances but also measure and thereby prove the same using an innovative metrology system. “This highly accurate metrology system enabled GeoSea to execute quality control without any diving or ROV operations.”
The Goliath jack-up has tackled the elements off Germany to install turbine piles
GeoSea’s Goliath jumbo jack-up platform
In the run up to the pre-piling activities the Goliath went through a complete make-over to enable the pre-piling methodology, which included constructing a giant moonpool, installing a new 400t pedestal crane and fitting a fully geared piling template beneath the hull. This transformed the Goliath into a powerful pre-piling machine. The completion of pre-piling works has paved the way for the installation of tripod foun-
Offshore Technology April 2012
dation structures and subsequent grouting works which are planned to take place from May 2012 onwards. Following the completion of the pre-piling scope GeoSea will continue to provide logistics and installation services to Trianel on Borkum, which includes grouting works, wind turbine component logistics and wind turbine installation of 5MW Areva wind turbines. GeoSea’s jack-up platforms include Neptune, Goliath, Vagant, Buzzard, Zeebouwer, Halewijn, Tijl II, and Kobe. The Innovation (in co-ownership with Hochtief) will complete the fleet in the second half of 2012.
Diary dates All-Energy 2012 May 23-24 Aberdeen, Scotland The exhibition will span three interlinked halls and for the first time in 2012 there will be sector-specific trails around the show, enabling visitors to preplan their route. All-Energy 2012 introduces "Offshore Maintenance â€“ where offshore wind meets oil and gas". New feature areas on
Delegates at the SNS conference 2012
the show floor include Smart Energy (energy efficiency and energy management) and LCVs (encompassing both infrastructure and hydrogen fuelled vehicles). www.all-energy.co.uk
Arctic Oil and Gas North America May 23 - 24 Newfoundland, Canada Having previously taken place in Houston, this event has become a key strategic forum for the major stakeholders in the upstream oil & gas industries. Although risks associated with development, ongoing territorial disputes and the region's harsh and remote
environment are considerable, potential rewards are immense. www.informaglobalevents.com
World Gas Conference 2012 4-8 June Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Hosted by Petronas and organised by the International Gas Union (IGU), the conference and exhibition will seek to address the seismic shifts and developments in the energy sector, with the prime focus on the global gas industry. Themed "Gas: Sustaining Future Global Growth", WGC2012 will showcase major achievements and milestones accomplished by the global gas industry. It will also draw on critical inputs from an array of global gas professionals to chart new strategies for the natural gas industry. The WGC2012 technical programme has been structured along critical themes for each day. Beginning with "Foundation for Growth", the conference progresses with "Securing Gas Supply," then "Enhancing Gas Demand", building up to "A Sustainable Future" on the final day. www.wgc2012.com
Floating Production Norway 2012 Jun 5 - 6 Oslo The conference will focus on the market and cost and risk elements, as well as technology developments and operational experiences. The conference will discuss the oil and gas market - is there a wind of
April 2012 Offshore Technology
change? Is there a new boom for FPSOs? Electricification from shore will also come under the microscope. Design of process systems and separation as well as logistic challenges of transport related to heavy oil will be addressed. FPSO developments, concept evaluations, lifetime analysis and new technology developments will be on the agenda.
Energy drives our economic growth and prosperity – but our energy use is damaging our planet. We all embrace the calls for change, but are we willing to accept the consequences? The world is crying out for energy diversification, sustainability and security of supply while keeping costs low. www.ons.no
ONS 2012 August 28 – 31 Stavanger ONS provides an arena for the presentation and high-level discussion of the political, economic and technological issues surrounding the international oil and gas industry. “Confronting energy paradoxes” is the main theme for the 2012 event and will set the agenda for the leading biennial energy meeting place in Stavanger, Norway.
Gastech 2012 London, UK October 8 - 11 Gastech, which is celebrating its 39th year serving the gas industry, will bring together thousands of commercial and technical industry professionals for unrivalled networking, new business opportunities, the exchange of ideas and to showcase the latest innovations, technologies and developments across the gas value chain. The conference features more than 120 of the indus-
Offshore Technology April 2012
try’s most prominent speakers and representatives, with four days of ministerial keynotes and addresses; commercial, technical and specialty presentations; question and answer sessions and panel debates.
OSEA 2012 27-30 November Singapore
Offshore Energy is introducing an Offshore Wind Zone at the fifth edition of the event. Offshore Energy is the only annual event in The Netherlands dedicated to offshore energy and is the fastest growing offshore event in Europe. It combines an extensive exhibition with a conference programme on the latest developments and markets in the industry, attracting key players from the international offshore, oil & gas, offshore wind and renewable energy sector.
The oil and gas industry in Asia is experiencing a tremendous amount of growth due to increasing energy demand, particularly from China and India. This demand is forcing the exploration and production companies to develop ever more challenging fields. The consequent requirement for improved technology is creating a dynamic business opportunity for companies able to provide a wide range of specialised products and services. OSEA is the Asian Oil & Gas event where industry professionals gather once every two years. Some 14 national pavilions are expected at OSEA2012 - Australia, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, UK & USA.
Offshore Energy 2012 23-24 October Amsterdam
The marine warranty surveyor could be considered as an intermediary between the contractor or the operator and the insurance Underwriter
An oil field jacket leaving port following inspection
Issues in offshore marine warranty he Marine Warranty Surveyor aims to complement procedures and equipment selection to ensure so far as is possible that a planned voyage or marine operation can go ahead safely, that instructions have been followed and that problems arising at site are discussed and resolved to mutual satisfaction before a Certificate to proceed is issued. What happens after the ship or barge leaves the refuge of port or harbour is then up to the Master. Marine surveying may be carried out routinely in preparation for the sailaway of ships and dumb cargo barges. This could include the inspection of very large project cargoes or a mixture of large
By William Penney, marine consultant and small packages stowed aboard ship for an overseas new build. Surveying may require a longer attendance at site either in port or coastal site or at a remote location while a structure or its components are being installed or removed - as in decommissioning. These activities may be supported by a preliminary review and acceptance (or not) of the procedures, drawings and calculations in order to assure so far as is possible that the intended operation is safe. Occasions arise when a surveyor may be asked to attend a marine casualty and this may require a different set of activities in conjunction with loss adjusters and salvors.
Office Work Routine marine warranty will commence with the review of the documentation and issue of a formal Document Review Notice. Effectively this could become a legal document should something go wrong during the installation or transportation phase of a project. Often there is not time to examine documents in detail because of allocated budget. Responsibility for the docu-
ment rests with the originator and the surveyor is merely assessing what is planned, checking that procedures appear to be satisfactory and calculations give a result that ‘feels’ right. His (or her) short report or Technical Review Note (aim for one page!) will state whether the document is indeed satisfactory as well as noting procedural requirements such as environmental conditions. This will then be used by the surveyor in attendance at site when the event takes place. If the document is not satisfactory, then it will be placed ‘On Hold’ pending amendment and resubmission.
Certification at Site An intended marine operation such as a load out or sailaway would not be considered insured unless a unique Certificate of Approval has been issued by the attending marine warranty surveyor. In the event of a future claim, this document is considered a legal entity and must have been signed and dated by the surveyor on behalf of his company. He may add special notes or requirements following preparations for the voyage,
April 2012 Offshore Technology
though recommended weather conditions, route planning or ports of refuge will have been determined beforehand in conjunction with the ship’s owners. Tug and towing arrangements are included in his inspection. Nevertheless, responsibility for the voyage rests with the Master, though a ‘friendly chat’ may be mutually reassuring. During one particular coastal pipeline pullout from shore, the contractor sought Underwriter’s permission to have the site survey work terminated: among other matters, the surveyor had rejected the pipelay barge as ‘unfit for purpose’ and withdrew its operational certification. Following discussion with Warranty, the underwriter instructed his client to ‘continue complying with warranty instructions’. Another example of Underwriter interjection arose during loading of a pipe cargo aboard a small cargo ship. Although the cargo was loaded entirely to surveyor satisfaction, inspection of the ship itself revealed potential damage inside the double bottom with oil being seen in a water ballast tank. The Master declared that he had Classification (agreed), but the surveyor said that he would not issue a sailaway certificate, despite extreme verbal pressure from the officials around! Underwriters were advised and accordingly issued instructions that the ship should not sail without surveyor approval: the ship sailed 10 days later after temporary repairs.
Barge Loadouts and Off-loads Most offshore project cargo is loaded aboard dumb barges at fabrication site and then towed to installation site for similar offload or lifted into place with
a crane vessel. Smaller items might be carried on the deck or hatch covers of a cargo ship, subject to adequate strength, weight distribution and securing by suitable lashing or other restraint for the expected voyage. The surveyor must be satisfied that as far as possible the cargo will be delivered in good condition, which means observing arrangements for the loading or discharging operation. Slings and lifting appliances must be seen to have indate certificates so that the cargo item is safely loaded on to the barge (or delivered to destination). On one occasion a 20km continuous length of underwater pipeline had to be loaded from shore stowage on to a pipelay vessel. The pipe had been manufactured and reeled into its shore carousel during very cold temperatures. As the pipe snaked aboard ship, continuous inspection showed some cracks in the plastic outer coating, necessitating local repair before loading was continued. The project
Offshore Technology April 2012
Topsides for offshore platform being rolled on to cargo barge using selfpropelled motor trailer. The Marine Surveyor would have issued a Certificate of Approval to proceed
manager was concerned that the pipe was fit for service and this was guaranteed by the manufacturer.
Special Projects Inspection of repairs to ships and barges, such as jack-ups, may require a third-party verification and certification for insurance purposes, typically by a visit to a jack-up rig which had undergone welding repairs to one of its legs. Another example involved a visit to a wind farm installation vessel that had a new pile lifting, turning and installation tool. Underwriters were unsure how to evaluate the construction risks involved and hopefully the site observation put them at ease! Such a visit greatly enhanced an initial report into the operation, providing a vivid review and
discussion of possible operational problems - fortunately uneventful that time! GL-Noble Denton provides a Towing Vessel Approval Scheme and tugs entering this scheme must undergo a Bollard Pull assessment which may also be used for owner’s marketing purposes. The aim of such assessment is to determine the maximum available pull that can be exerted by a tug working at full power as well as a short-time overload pull that might be needed in an emergency. The stern of the tug is attached by a long wire to, say, the rock face of a Norwegian fiord and the engines run at full designated power for a period of 10 minutes with pull measured by load cell in the tow wire at the shore end. The analysis results in the issue of a Bollard Pull Certificate which hopefully conforms to the tug designer’s expectation. The comments herein are the sole responsibility of the writer, with gratitude and acknowledgement to GL-Noble Denton as a Marine Warranty Surveyor.
Retrofit cathodic protection solution helps maintain subsea asset integrity
Corrosion prevention athodic protection (CP) is a cost-effective solution for the prevention of corrosion and should be considered as part of any longterm subsea asset integrity management strategy. With accurate datasets it is possible to predict the most likely future state of a structure’s integrity, which assists with timely effective planning for preventative action if necessary. When a CP system reaches the end of its design life, a retrofit system is often required to ensure an asset’s integrity is not compromised. Stork Technical Services designed, engineered and supplied a bespoke retrofit solution to cathodically protect Marathon Oil UK LLC’s (Marathon) West Brae field manifold. The existing CP system was in need of repair and the solution had to enable a full integrity maintenance repair without major disruption to ongoing production.
By Gordon McKinnell, cathodic protection solutions manager, Stork Technical Services
that were installed onto the structure at manufacture. The CP system had a design life of 15 years and through comparisons with its survey history it was evident that the system had entered the depolarisation stage. Electrical potentials for silver, silver chloride and seawater were recorded and becoming more positive, which linked with the increasing anode wastage levels being reported from the visual survey. The levels of anode wastage and readings confirmed the predicted design life was correct and the small shortfall of lifespan was attributed to the addition of new equipment to the manifold post-installation. A retrofit system was commissioned to ensure the
required CP levels were maintained. A long, slender bracelet design was chosen as a stand-off or anode sled design could have impacted on future tie-ins and current production levels. Sacrificial anodes made from an aluminium and zinc composition were chosen to protect the manifold and associated steelwork. A conservative approach was taken in the design with regards to coating breakdown, the remaining original anode mass, future additions to the manifold and their effect on the CP system. A standard size of anode was used where possible in order to reduce the cost of fabrication and casting. This also simplified the installation of the units by reducing
Retrofit case study – The West Brae manifold In August 2010, Marathon carried out a routine ROV GVI (general visual inspection)/CP survey of the West Brae field manifold, located in the North Sea. The manifold was installed in 1997 and its original design included a CP system of 18 off anodes
The GVI/CP survey identified anodes on the West Brae manifold in need of repair.
April 2012 Offshore Technology
the number of separate anode and bracket parts to be bolted and electrically connected to the structure. Continuity was achieved throughout the bolting process by tightening a volcano bolt on the anode band/core bar, which penetrated the surface of the structure, including any paint coating, and closed the electrical circuit. Due to the complexity of the manifold design and the limited space available for anodes to be placed, four different sizes of anodes were
selected to achieve an effective distribution. The anodes were distributed to provide an adequate spread and avoid any shadow areas where the CP current would not flow. Three of the retrofit anode designs clamped on to members as bracelets and a fourth type was designed to clamp onto the core bar of the existing anodes. The anode placement had to take into account several super duplex fittings which, having a more positive potential CP protection range than steel, could be-
come overprotected and in danger of hydrogen embrittlement. The CP system was installed in April 2011 and is operating successfully. The system will be inspected on a yearly basis with ongoing monitoring ensuring it is achieving the correct protection levels across its design life. Bryan Melan, senior pipeline engineer for Marathon, said: “When we received the 2010 ROV CP report, we were already aware of new wells at West Brae coming onstream in 2011.
This would extend the life of the West Brae field and it was imperative that the existing production facilities outlast our newly discovered production.” “We made sure our lead subsea engineer participated in the design review. He made several recommendations to the bracelet design which greatly streamlined the subsea installation. The entire installation from start to finish was only 18 hours which came as a very pleasant surprise for all of us involved.”
Technology Look out for the next issue of Offshore Technology magazine which will include the following in-depth special reports and geographical features Recruitment & Training Middle East & Mediterranean Seismic Technology Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) Preview Bonus distribution at Offshore Northern Seas, Stavanger 28th – 31st August
News…….profiles ……..new product listings …….and much more
Next issue July 2012
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www.imarest.org Offshore Technology April 2012
Keppelâ€™s next generation rig
s the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas reserves moves to harsher terrains and becomes more complex, technological capability will be a key differentiator. The need for high-specification harsh environment semisubmersibles to support exploration and production work in the North Sea deepwater region gave Keppelâ€™s Deepwater Technology Group (DTG) and its partner, Marine Structure Consultants (MSC), strong impetus to develop the sixth generation DSS-51 and DSS-60 semisubmersibles for worldwide operations, in particular for North Sea environments. These two designs were developed based on the successful DSS-20, DSS-21, DSS-38 and DSS-51 semisubmersible designs, and benefited from the
With enhanced safety and environmental features, the sixth generation DSS60 semisubmersible aims to provide maximised uptime and drilling efficiency
wealth of data gathered from various model test verifications. DSS-51 has an operational displacement of 52,000t and a high variable deck of 6,000t, while DSS-60 has an operational displacement of around 61,000t and a higher variable deck of 7,500t. The two new rigs have superior motion characteristics and are designed with drilling equipment suitable for well work-over intervention, explo-
ration drilling and development drilling. They are capable of operating in water depth of up to 7,500ft and can drill up to 30,000ft from the rotary table, for year-round operations. The rigs are also provided with self contained mooring of up to 500m water depth for the North Sea. Equipped with dynamic positioning (DP) 3 capability with operating conditions of Beaufort10, these two harsh environment semisubmersibles have winterised features such as derrick cladding and machinery space heating and have accommodation facilities to house 200 men. With enhanced safety and environmental features, they aim to provide maximised uptime and drilling efficiency and optimum working conditions.
April 2012 Offshore Technology
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Chain wheel handling offshore he offshore industry looks set to reap commercial and safety benefits from an advanced chain wheel handling system. Anchor-handling tug/supply vessels (AHTS) must be able to handle the variety of chain sizes employed in subsea mooring operations, and so they carry a range of interchangeable chain wheels which can weigh up to 12t. Cargotec has developed the MacGregor Chain Wheel Manipulator in response to an approach from STX. The shipbuilder required a solution for five STX OSV design AHTS vessels under construction for DOF by STX Norway Offshore’s subsidiary STX Offshore Brazil. These vessels are intended for operations some distance off the Brazilian coast under long-term contracts from Petrobras, which specified that it should be possible to change chain wheels at sea.
The MacGregor Chain Wheel Manipulator enables an anchor handler to safely change chain wheels at sea
“Changing a chain wheel was previously complicated and labour intensive, and any movement of the vessel caused by wind or waves made it unacceptably hazardous, forcing a vessel to return to port and change the wheel alongside,” said Frode Grovan, director, sales and marketing, advanced load handling. “The trend offshore is to
introduce remote-controlled devices that keep crew members clear of potentially hazardous operations while also improving a vessel’s profitability. Cargotec developed the Chain Wheel Manipulator to meet both of these objectives. It is designed in accordance with Det Norske Veritas’s rules for certification of lifting appliances, and can accommodate chain wheels of various sizes, covering all anchor-handling demands likely to be made of any AHTS”.
Forum Subsea launches Tomahawk Forum Subsea Technologies has officially launched Tomahawk, the latest addition to its class leading range of multi-role remote operated vehicles (ROVs). Tomahawk has been built to be fast and agile and it shares the same 35kw power system and thrusters as Forum’s Comanche ROV. It is manufactured by SubAtlantic, a product line of Forum Subsea Technologies, at its facility in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Mick Jones, senior vice president of Forum Subsea Technologies, explained: “The Tomahawk has been designed
and built in response to customers’ needs for a dependable and adaptable multi-role ROV that can deploy and operate in demanding environments”. Tomahawk’s open deck space and payload are supported by a large buoyancy area, which provides a very stable platform. It is rated to a depth of 3,000m, which makes it ideal for deepwater operations such as in the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, and Brazil. It is also well suited to a variety of uses including survey, well intervention and drilling support tasks. The Tomahawk is also
Mick Jones with the company’s latest multirole ROV Tomahawk
equipped with Coarse Wave Division Multiplexing (CWDM) and dual gigabit Ethernet options and communication junction box to easily integrate the operators’ own equipment, which can be monitored, controlled and diagnosed by Forum Subsea’s Sub-Atlantic subCAN system.
Combined with Sub-Atlantic’s 3,000v, 400Hz small diameter tether technology makes the Tomahawks speed and agility ideal for live-boating operations. It can also be equipped with a 10kW hydraulic power unit for running heavy-duty manipulators, tools and work skids.
April 2012 Offshore Technology
Service companies rise to IRM challenge t’s no exaggeration to say that the world’s easy to reach oil has been found, and that demand for the world’s remaining oil reserves is only going to increase. As a consequence, the oil industry is under even greater pressure to remain highly efficient and deliver results. In particular, oil producers are facing tougher conditions to reach the remaining oil, and a greater demand to keep on increasing capacity. These growing challenges mean there is even less room for time-consuming or costly oil extraction. Reassuringly, however, these pressures have also played a key part in encouraging the industry to adopt more readily best practice in the fields of inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM). For example, full certification is now a pre-requisite to be able to provide such services to the most critical of items such as
well control and process equipment. Oil services company Scotvalve Services Limited (Scotvalves) – a subsidiary of the international oil and gas service provider Petrofac – has witnessed significant change across the industry since it started operations in 1986. The changes reflect how the industry’s approach to repair and maintenance has developed over the years including the investment in improved repairs associated with recertification; and the increasing deployment of turnkey services that ensure greater efficiency for the industry. Firstly, more stringent requirements and tighter controls now surround the inspection, repair and maintenance of equipment. Previously, these services were provided by a wider range of companies, including independent workshops com-
petent to do the work but not necessarily approved by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM). A need to tighten standards and ensure OEM-level integrity in the quality and technical compliance of repair means such work scopes need to be certified by the appropriate OEM. Ultimately, this offers greater quality control and improved safety and asset integrity for the process critical equipment. Secondly there is an increasing requirement for turnkey services – the ability to take on a whole job (as opposed to component parts). Using one company to provide a full service reduces cost and ensures more efficient delivery times. Service companies offering a one-stop-shop are best placed to respond to the challenges of repairing eroded and worn equipment using specialist repair tech-
The oil industry is working hard to overcome pressures in inspection repair and maintenance
By Roy Burnett ROY BURNETT is director of oilfield services for Petrofac Offshore Projects & Operations with responsibility for sales and business development across the company’s mechanical services facilities in Aberdeen, Egypt, UAE, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. Roy joined Petrofac in 2010 following the company’s acquisition of Scotvalve Services Limited, the business he established in Aberdeen in 1986.
A Scotvalves technician at work
Offshore Technology April 2012
niques and returning equipment to OEM approved standards of integrity. This is a vital requirement where repair of process critical equipment is key to asset operation and uptime.
Time is the key It is clear that oil companies and their partners must go to great lengths to ensure maintenance is carried out safely and correctly, as well as being completed quicker than ever before. Recently, Scotvalves worked on ETAP and Petrofac’s Chergui facility in Tunisia, where an around-theclock maintenance team conducted all repairs safely and correctly in six days – a job which would have taken twice as long as little as five years ago. On another project, the company oversaw the repair of two critical valve components which were air freighted from West Africa to Glasgow, before being transported to Aberdeen and sent back to the vessel within a narrow window of only five days. The industry is undergoing a period of change, and
A Petrofac worker offshore
companies such as Scotvalves are helping to drive an evolution in best practice, by focusing on improving efficiency through developments in inspection, repair, maintenance and certification. Not only does such activity ultimately help to ensure the safety of an asset and its personnel, but it also helps to reduce the likelihood of damage to the environment. Concerns in regard to safety, quality, time and cost, and finding suppliers that are able to provide a service which balances all four of these at the same time becomes ever more critical.
Safety is critical Even more significant in the deployment of efficient maintenance is safety. This includes the safety of operations within the Scotvalves facility and its field-based and offshore activities, and the safe operation of repaired and re-
certified equipment. To further illustrate the industry’s focus on safety, there has been an increase in third party surveillance. It starts at the dismantling stage and follows all the way through the lifecycle of a contract to completion testing – as opposed to just being conducted as a function test at the end of a project. The industry is clearly responding well to the challenges, but must not become complacent. This is one of the many reasons why Scotvalves is pleased to have become part of Petrofac (in January 2010), and is leading the charge to further invest in and improve the field of inspection, repair and maintenance of process and pressure control equipment. The coming years will bring new developments, as other countries look to the UK and North Sea for guidance, thanks to their management of regulation and reputation for best practice. Scotvalves, for example, has significant growth plans to ensure that capacity is in place ahead of the anticipated increased demand for its services, whilst also continuing to service the needs of its existing customer base. All things considered, it is clear that inspection, maintenance and repair are priority issues for the oil & gas industry, as it seeks to thrive in rapidly changing and challenging conditions. There have been many developments in recent years, yet safety, quality, time and cost continue to be the priorities.
April 2012 Offshore Technology
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Published on Apr 1, 2012
The April/May 2012 edition of Offshore Technology contains features on Prelude, Shell's floating liquefied natural gas project; green oil fi...