April 2018 www.osjonline.com
CELEBRATING OSJ’s 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Evolving technology challenging the role of ship managers Offshore market improving but owners still emerging from survival mode
Big data and electric operation make lifting more efficient “Telford Offshore’s value proposition is firmly anchored in keeping costs low and enhancing efficiency” Tom Ehret, chairman of the board, Telford Offshore, see page 47
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volume 21 issue 3
5 COMMENT 56 IMCA NEWS 59 BEST OF THE WEB
News focus 6 Steve Gordon, managing director of Clarksons Research, reflects on the macro trends in the market 8 Speakers at the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal, Awards & Exhibition Conference spoke about recovery, but also about the many challenges facing the market
Area report 11 North Sea: the market is picking up and should improve over the summer
Finance 12 A credit void is one of the biggest problems facing vessel owners
Dynamic positioning 14 Owners bringing vessels out of layup should have been making plans for reactivating DP ships
Load handling 19 Big data and electrically-operated cranes can enhance operations
Bridge systems and electronics 23 New bridge electronics have been introduced by JRC subsidiary Alphatron, Praxis, Furuno, Navico, Sperry Marine and Raymarine
Communications 27 Offshore vessel operators can reduce costs, improve crew welfare and enhance operations using the latest in IT and communications technology
Fleet management and IT 28 OSV super-major Solstad Farstad is using IT to reduce costs
Propulsion 30 A new system developed by Caterpillar Marine promises to deliver optimised management of multiple engines
Maintenance 33 The role of the shipmanager as a provider of technical services is changing
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
contents Autonomous vessels 34 The UK sees a bright future for autonomous vessels
Dive support vessels 37 A dive support vessel designed by Incat Crowther has been delivered to a client offshore West Africa 38 As more DSVs enter the market, so established owners are expressing concern about overcapacity
Oil spill response 40 Offset installation enables capping gear to be installed from a safe distance
Contractor profile 43 Aubin in Scotland has been testing lifting technology that uses pumpable fluids 44 M2 Subsea is expanding internationally, having only been formed in late 2016
Operator profile 47 Tom Ehret’s new company Telford Offshore has acquired several DP3 accommodation units
Heavy-lift 48 Specialist heavy-lift companies RollDock and SAL Heavy Lift have decided to form a pool, but BigLift has ended a venture with the former
Training 49 Training on laptops and using cloud-based systems to teach personnel look set to become a feature of the marine industry
On order 51 Subsea 7’s new reel-lay ship will outperform Seven Oceans, a relatively recent addition to its fleet
55 Galvanic corrosion causes dropped object – satellite dome fell from mast
Market data 60 Statistics 63 VesselsValue
Next issue Main features include: Main area report: Middle East; Safety; Digital solutions for OSVs; Crewboats and helicopters; Daughter craft and rescue boats Front cover photo: Saipem 7000 undertakes a lift on the Asgard field in the North Sea (photo: Statoil)
April 2018 volume 21 issue 3 Editor: David Foxwell t: +44 1252 717 898 e: email@example.com Deputy Editor: Martyn Wingrove t: +44 20 8370 1736 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Brand Manager – Sales: Ian Glen t: +44 7919 263 737 e: email@example.com Sales: Indrit Kruja t: +44 20 8370 7792 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales: Colin Deed t: +44 1239 612384 e: email@example.com Head of Sales – Asia: Kym Tan t: +65 9456 3165 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales – Asia & Middle East: Rigzin Angdu t: +65 6809 3198 e: email@example.com Sales – Southeast Asia & Australasia: Kaara Barbour t: +61 414 436 808 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager: Ram Mahbubani t: +44 20 8370 1710 e: email@example.com Subscriptions: Sally Church t: +44 20 8370 7018 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Chairman: John Labdon Managing Director: Steve Labdon Finance Director: Cathy Labdon Operations Director: Graham Harman Head of Content: Edwin Lampert Executive Editor: Paul Gunton Head of Production: Hamish Dickie Published by: Riviera Maritime Media Ltd Mitre House 66 Abbey Road Enfield EN1 2QN UK
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Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
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COMMENT | 5
OSV MARKET COULD RECOVER MORE QUICKLY THAN EXPECTED
D David Foxwell, Editor
avid Palmer, chief executive of Pareto Securities in Singapore, has some comforting words for offshore vessel owners. He believes the market could return to balance sooner than expected. Mr Palmer and Pareto analyst Synnøve Gjønnes believe we are much closer to a turnaround in fortunes in the offshore support vessel (OSV) market than some would have us believe. The key point is when the recovery will start to gain speed and when rates and utilisation will reach more normalised levels. Mr Palmer and Ms Gjønnes said that point “will be sooner rather than later” although they expect that any recovery will be volatile and there will be reversals. The key point they are keen to get across is that the OSV industry is not a ‘sunset industry.’ They assume that vessels that are older than 25 years will be cold stacked and scrapped. Vessels that are cold stacked but older than 10 years will need significant
capital expenditure to bring them back into service. Take out vessels that are cold stacked and owned by financially distressed owners who don’t have the working capital to take vessels out of layup. These vessels will be scrapped in place. Some could be sold. Next, adjust the orderbook for speculative orders that have been under construction for more than three years. The resale price of vessels that are already in service will have an adverse impact on the economics of completing many newbuilds. Lastly, adjust the orderbook for low-end vessels where both the owner and the yard are in significant financial distress. “At some point down-cycles end because sentiment stops people doing things that extend them. This is happening, and the market is turning – it’s a classic recovery cycle,” said Mr Palmer. “But the OSV market is like a VLCC, it takes time to turn around. All stakeholders need to be patient because once it has turned it will be a long time before it trends down again.” OSJ
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Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
6 | NEWS FOCUS
Offshore market improving but owners still emerging from survival mode Oversupply, debt and a dearth of opportunities characterise the offshore vessel market as it struggles to return to balance, but 2017 provided reasons to be more optimistic
fter a multiyear downturn and the worst market since 1986, the offshore oil and gas industry “hit the bottom” in 2017. However, major structural challenges remain, and much of the market is in “survival mode,” Steve Gordon, managing director of Clarksons Research Services, told the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference in London in February. Describing some of the macro trends in the offshore oil and gas market and how they affect the market for offshore support vessels (OSVs), Mr Gordon highlighted the oil price, trends in exploration
and production (E&P) activity, costs, the number of vessels that are in layup and the number of newbuilds yet to be delivered into the market in a wide-ranging presentation. The oil market improved in 2017 with support from OPEC production quotas and various outages, but as Mr Gordon highlighted, shale oil production has proved to be responsive and shale output is still growing, so there are limits to the upside in terms of the likely extent and effects of better oil prices. The effect of shale oil is also evident in E&P, which saw an increase in 2017, but mainly targeting production from onshore fields. More encouraging for OSV owners is the fact that offshore project final investment decisions (FIDs) were also up 36% to US$79 Bn in 2017. There is further good news in as much as field development costs have come down by more than 30%, as has opex. “However, offshore needs to remain competitive against shale,” said Mr Gordon. Looking at the OSV market, he noted that layup and stacking have been stabilising and falling in some regions but remain at high levels (circa 30% globally). “Reactivation potential and timing is uncertain,” he explained.
OFFSHORE SUPPORT VESSEL FLEET Offshore Support Vessel Fleet as at 1 January 2018 (No of Units)
Dive & ROV support
MSV Subsea support AHTS >16,000 BHP
AHTS 12-16,000 BHP AHTS 8-12,000 BHP
Middle East/ISC 22%
AHTS 4-8,000 BHP
AHTS <4,000 BHP
Sth America 9% West Africa 11% NW Europe 11%
PSV/Supply 4,000 DWT+
PSV/Supply 3-4,000 DWT PSV/Supply 2-3,000 DWT
Nth America 14%
Asia Pacific 24%
Laid Up 26%
PSV/Supply <2,000 DWT
Crew Fast supply
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
AHTS >4,000 bhp
PSV >1,000 dwt
NEWS FOCUS | 7
LENGTH OF TIME IN LAYUP Number of OSVs in layup globally, by period spent in layup 1,400
1,000 LAID UP <1 year
LAID UP >=1 AND <2
800 LAID UP >=2 600
Data source: Clarksons Research
The current OSV fleet contains 68% more boats than in 2008, and the average age of vessels has fallen by more than three years. The number of OSVs reported to be in layup remains significant, with around 130 anchor handling tug/supply (AHTS) and platform supply vessel (PSV) units laid up across the North Sea. However, laid-up vessels may still be offered into any term requirements, which means they are still placing negative pressure on rates levels. Despite severe fleet oversupply, the number of OSV demolitions has remained relatively low, as it generally has over the years. One of the problems with scrapping OSVs is the significant costs involved in transporting them to demolition yards in Turkey, China and India. If owners want to bring vessels out of layup, one of the key issues they need to consider is reactivation costs, which may be significant if a vessel has been in layup for a long period of time. This being the case, said Mr Gordon, scrapping in place is expected to become an increasing trend. Another key influence on the OSV market is the number of vessels on order that have yet to be delivered. The more vessels that are delivered, the worse utilisation and rates will be. Mr Gordon said yards are looking for solutions to a significant ‘stranded’ inventory of vessels that they have built or partially completed, which are not yet delivered. Interestingly, more than 50% of the vessels in the orderbook have already been launched but remain stranded. “Since the offshore downturn, there has been a large increase in the number of launched units on the orderbook,” said Mr Gordon. “There has been a 12-fold increase in the number of units launched for longer than two years since September 2015. Of the 191 launched vessels currently on the orderbook, only five have been launched for less than a year.” As he noted, just as there are costs involved in bringing a vessel out of layup, there may be reactivation costs associated with delivering launched units that have not been delivered, and yards may be increasingly forced to enter the resale market. One notable and encouraging development in the offshore oil and gas industry as a whole is that production asset FID is improving. Mr Gordon
told delegates that there had been a pickup in floating production, storage and offloading units, floating liquefied natural gas and floating storage and regasification unit awards, which could drive demand for support vessels. He also drew attention to specialist subsea newbuild orders and service operation vessels for renewable energy projects, such as in the offshore wind energy market. Describing potential demand growth in what he called “adjacent markets,” Mr Gordon said owners and shipyards are looking for opportunities in just these adjacent sectors. Another potentially encouraging development – at least for owners with vessels in the North Sea – is that 2018/19 will hopefully see exploration/appraisal campaigns in Russian waters. These could have tangible effects on the supply/demand balance in the North Sea OSV market if they remove large AHTS vessels on term charters into Russian waters. Less encouraging is the fact that the financial landscape for shipowners remains very challenging. There are fewer European ship finance banks in the market than there once were. Regulation of financial markets is increasing, and terms are more conservative than they once were. There is more export credit and leasing available (especially in China), which could have a potentially adverse effect if it enables more vessels to be delivered into an already overcrowded market. However, 2017 also saw the first annual increase in finance raised on capital markets since 2013. Day rates for OSVs are one of the most important measures of the health or otherwise of the market. Mr Gordon was able to report “marginal improvements” in rates in the North Sea, but said most rates remain at or close to opex globally. Against this backdrop, he said, there is an ongoing need for restructuring and consolidation. There will be more merger and acquisition activity of a type that typically occur where owners take advantage of countercyclical opportunities. Even so, he told delegates, there are major financial issues to solve. “S&P activity is increasing,” he said, “but there is still room for wider consolidation.” OSJ
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
8 | NEWS FOCUS
NEED TO CONSOLIDATE DRIVEN HOME BY INDUSTRY LEADERS THE 2018 ANNUAL OFFSHORE SUPPORT JOURNAL CONFERENCE HEARD THAT THE INDUSTRY IS BEING BUFFETED BY OVERSUPPLY AND DEBT BUT THAT THERE ARE SIGNS OF RECOVERY IN THE MARKET
ddressing delegates at the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition, Solstad Farstad’s chief executive Lars Peder Solstad – who provided the keynote speech at the event – told delegates that the financial turmoil of the last two years for the industry “had been a game-changer” and changed forever the way the industry does business. Consolidation is the new order, Mr Solstad said, although as he pointed out, the merger between Solstad Offshore, Farstad Shipping, Deep Sea Supply and Rem Maritime to create the company he now leads was, to date, the only major consolidation that the industry has seen. The industry’s failure to consolidate, said Mr Solstad, meant that the only winners in the market today are his clients. Mr Solstad said that, at the time that he gave his presentation to the conference, there were 57 vessels on the spot market in Norway and the UK owned by 25 companies. “The going rate is £6,000/ day,” he said, which was “the equivalent of having a lawyer in the office for a day or two.” A typical one-year contract generated enough to pay 13–14 highly skilled crew, a little bit of maintenance and interest, but essentially the company’s clients are getting the vessel for free. “The period we are in now is probably the worst period ever,” Mr Solstad said, “at least in the last 30 years. So, what do we learn from this experience? In my opinion, we need to consolidate further, especially in the PSV segment. That is obvious. As it is now, we compete each other to death.” The tough times are not over, said speakers at the event. Activity will pick up, but unless the industry acts decisively, the
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
rates will not automatically follow. As Mr Solstad pointed out, most owners have negotiated special rates with their lenders, but at some point, this will come to an end. Clarksons Research Services’ Stephen Gordon gave a typically comprehensive view of market indicators (see page 6), demand, the laid-up fleet and shipbuilding book. There was the same
LARS PEDER SOLSTAD, who now leads one of the largest OSV companies in the world, says more consolidation is required
optimistic albeit cautionary tone to his comments. Also highlighting the need for consolidation, Mr Gordon drew attention to the industry’s fragmented ownership base where the average OSV owner today owns five ships. Mr Gordon also drew attention to an accelerating timetable of environmental legislation and the danger of owners overspecifying to meet these new requirements. There was pithy advice from Larry Rigdon, until recently the interim chief executive at Tidewater in the US, and Quintin Kneen, president and chief executive at GulfMark Offshore. Both gentlemen run companies that emerged from bankruptcy proceedings in 2017. “I am not a total pessimist,” Mr Rigdon told the conference. “There will be an upturn … but if you are not in survival mode in 2017 and 2018, you are in trouble.” Mr Kneen said “There are too many boats out there. Getting the boats to go away is an issue. There is too much debt out there. Getting the debt to go away is an issue. There is too much management out there. Getting the management to go away is an issue. We are all self-interested and trying to protect our assets and our customer relationships … We are going to have to break that mould to go forward,” he said. Mr Gordon said it is in niches and especially in a resurgent floating production market and potentially floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) projects that opportunities may emerge. “I don’t know anyone in our trade that is operating at a profit,” Mr Rigdon said. “I don’t know any smaller organisations that are operating on positive cash flow. As much as I hate to admit it, Tidewater is losing cash every day. Something has to change, and I think we have to push back respectfully with our customers and bring back balance in the market.” Mr Kneen echoed Mr Rigdon’s comments and said a new paradigm was needed. By the time the 2019 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference takes place, perhaps such a paradigm will have emerged. OSJ
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North Sea AREA REPORT | 11
FEBRUARY A MIXED BAG FOR NORTH SEA OWNERS For most North Sea vessel owners, February was another month to forget, at least on the spot market, but drilling activity will pick up through the spring and summer of 2018
ates for platform supply vessels (PSVs) in the North Sea remain low, with the majority of fixtures coming in within the range of £5,000–6,500 (US$6,900– 9,000) in February 2018, with owners struggling to recoup operating costs at those levels. Broker Seabrokers said owners did not fare much better in the anchor-handling tug/ supply (AHTS) vessel market, with most spot fixtures in February carrying day rates of less than £10,000. “However,” said the broker in its February market report, “spot availability of AHTS vessels tightened considerably at the tail end of the month.”
The broker said this was the closest we have come so far in 2018 to a situation where spot rates may spike at short notice – as they often do in the North Sea, only to fall back quickly later. Seabrokers said that, with bad weather playing havoc with charterers’ vessel plans, owners were hoping that the tightened supply will continue into March and April, allowing them to achieve higher rate levels. In the medium term, however, this year’s outlook is brighter, if only because activity levels in the North Sea always pick up in the spring and summer months. “As we move towards spring,
drilling activity will start to increase, and this should bring improved trading conditions for owners,” Seabrokers said. “There is a queue of rigs waiting to leave port and return to work, and the increasing activity levels should see spot rates start to move higher.” Several owners released quarterly results in January and February that led to a little more optimism creeping into the market, with a number of them reporting slightly improved earnings. Solstad Farstad put forward the view that “the recent increase in the tender activity level gives reason to believe that the market has bottomed out and that the activity level will continue to grow going forward.” This stance was repeated by several other owners, although concerns remain about the number of vessels that may be reactivated from layup. “However,” said Seabrokers, “while there is a more upbeat projection from some North Sea owners, this is not
Far Sitella was one of a number of Solstad Farstad vessels to benefit from recent contract awards
replicated on a global basis, at least not in the near term, with the vessel oversupply expected to persist for several years.” The broker also noted that, with offshore activity in the UK sector poised to increase this year, Solstad Farstad has picked up a long list of term PSV contracts in recent weeks. TAQA has selected Far Spica to support its drilling campaign with the semi Paragon MSS1. Far Spica was fixed for 14 firm wells with an estimated duration of 560 days, with five one-well options available. The rig was due to commence operations in March. Spirit Energy has awarded long-term contracts to two Solstad Farstad PSVs. Sea Titus will support the Paragon B391 jack-up for one month from March and then the Noble Hans Deul jack-up for 12–13 months. Far Sitella will support Paragon B391 for a continuous period of 23 months from March. Elsewhere, AGR (on behalf of Siccar Point) has chartered Normand Aurora for one firm well plus a one-well option, and Far Symphony had a contract with Fairfield extended for six months. Having recently secured an 18-month extension for Viking Princess with Chevron, Eidesvik has secured more term work for its North Sea PSVs. Statoil has exercised a one-year option for Viking Energy, tying it up until April 2019. Viking Prince will support Decipher Energy for one well with Ocean Guardian in the UK sector and then Norske Shell for two wells with Scarabeo 8 in the Norwegian sector. Viking Queen has been chartered to support Statoil’s pipelay operations offshore Norway for 100–160 days. OSJ
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
12 | FINANCE
BANKS BEGINNING TO ACT AS CREDIT VOID SEES SHAREHOLDERS MARGINALISED Institutions that used to lend to offshore vessel owners have given up on them, adding to their difficulties as shareholders are forced to take a hit and banks weigh up the consequences of taking action
he offshore support vessel market is emerging from hibernation mode, according to Pareto Securities chief executive David Palmer, a mode in which it has been stuck for the last 18 months. Life remains very difficult for vessel owners, not least because they are heavily indebted and finding access to new sources of funding – at least from conventional sources – is all but impossible. However, it is not just vessel owners that are suffering – so too are their shareholders. “Banks and traditional investors have run away from offshore and see offshore services as a pariah industry,” Mr Palmer told OSJ. “We are deeply into a credit void that has crushed secondhand and newbuilding prices. “The capital structure of the industry is being reconstructed. Banks are seeking to deleverage, recapitalise and take a more cautious risk policy and are struggling to deal with the overwhelming number of non-performing loans and new regulations. “In restructurings, shareholders are becoming marginalised, and that comes at a high cost. Financial institutions are beginning to take appropriate haircuts and
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
For financially over-burdened owners such as Harvey Gulf bankruptcy proceedings may be the only answer
are prepared to share in what is needed to ensure a sustainable survival, but it is naïve to think that banks can solve all the problems,” Mr Palmer said. “Although they need to lend money when the timing is right for new equity to enter the market, that is often when there is blood on the street. 2018 will see new OSV companies emerging.” Mr Palmer said asset valuations are now much more realistic, with fair market values giving way to forced sale values and liquidation values extensively used. S&P visibility is improving as more secondhand deals are concluded – there were 113, a record, in 2017 – mostly at significant discounts to newbuild or replacement assets with vessel owners looking to divest or spin off older, non-
core assets and yards looking to reduce inventory. “The first rule for all operators in this situation is of course to survive. In any cyclical market, calling the bottom is difficult, and we are cautious about signalling a widespread international recovery. In 2017, forecasts of a recovery brought temporary relief as banks and creditors at least decided to be patient and flexible, take the necessary write-downs and look for more permanent signs of recovery. “Unfortunately, the ‘lower for longer’ mindset has created more despondency, with distressed assets only presenting attractiveness to outside investors at what can best be described as laughable values. There is little doubt that a recovery is taking shape, but it could be painfully slow.”
Because of the dire financial situation in which owners find themselves, several corporate cadavers have been laid out in the last 12 months. The first real restructurings are being presented. However, not many companies have emerged with what can be described as significantly improved capital structures. “The whole process will take years to complete and, in the case of many companies, will most likely go through multiple stages with multiple stakeholders in attempting to get liquidity runways through to 2020,” Mr Palmer said. “Most will require injections of new equity in exchange for haircuts and moratoriums.” Only in the US, he said, have bankruptcy proceedings at companies such as GulfMark Offshore and Tidewater really improved companies’ finances. In March 2018, another well known American company, Harvey Gulf International Marine, also entered Chapter 11 proceedings. However, even in a bankruptcy scenario, adversarial relationships often lead to losses for everyone. It is hardly surprising that banks have kicked the can down the road for so long rather than take drastic action and end up owning ships they don’t want. “In any restructuring, transparency, honesty and an acute awareness of real asset values will be the key to sustainability,” Mr Palmer concluded. OSJ
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14 | DYNAMIC POSITIONING
OWNERS NEED TO TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT VESSELS ARE READY TO RETURN MARTYN WINGROVE HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR OWNERS OF LAID-UP OFFSHORE VESSELS TO ENSURE ALL ONBOARD SYSTEMS – INCLUDING DYNAMIC POSITIONING – ARE THOROUGHLY TESTED DURING THEIR REACTIVATION
The nature of DP operations – often involving vessels operating in close proximity to other units – means safety is paramount
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
reater levels of scrutiny of dynamic positioning (DP) systems and operator competence checks will be needed as offshore support vessels are reactivated following long periods of layup, industry experts told the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London in February. Owners should also be prepared to install new bridge systems and satellite communications hardware on vessels that have been in warm and cold stack during the prolonged downturn in offshore vessel markets, they argued. A combination of a slump in demand at a time of record levels of deliveries has left offshore support vessel owners having to lay up fleets of ships. Some operators, such as Tidewater, had to lay up almost a third of the fleet. There are hundreds of vessels in various temperatures of layup worldwide, some ready to return to operations in days or weeks, others in months. As market conditions slowly improve, there will be opportunities to bring vessels back into service. However, when owners decide to reactivate their static assets, they will need to invest in new systems and ensure existing equipment works properly. There will be some that need to replace components on the bridge and in the engineroom.
DYNAMIC POSITIONING | 15
All should do thorough checks and ensure they have class and flag approvals before vessels are allowed to re-enter service. With all this in hand, there should be additional checks on the DP system as this is critical for safe offshore operations. It is essential to keeping vessels on location during operations close to offshore infrastructure or when divers are working on subsea systems. Reactivation of onboard DP and power management systems should involve testing and revalidation during sea trials. A vessel’s failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) documentation validation is a critical requirement of this. Owners planning to reactivate offshore vessels should not try to do so ‘on the cheap’. They need to be thoroughly prepared and ready to act and invest in their vessels and crew to ensure onboard systems such as bridge equipment, communications and the vessel’s DP are in proper working order, fully tested and certified and that the seafarers have the competence to operate them safely. Owners expecting to reactivate vessels should have planned to do so when they were first laid up, said V.Ships Offshore director Alessandro Ciocchi. He said vessel owners should have maintained onboard systems and will need to retrain crew and plan for gaining flag and class reapprovals. He told delegates they should have “planned for reactivation at the point of putting vessels into layup” if they want a smooth reactivation. “It is about management change of systems, personnel and equipment,” he explained. A key element is the reactivation of onboard DP and power management systems. This involves testing
and revalidation during sea trials. The vessel’s FMEA documentation validation is also an important requirement. “Validation of the FMEA is key as it indicates that the vessel is ready to go back to work,” said Mr Ciocchi. Looking at the number of DP stationkeeping event reports, which include incidents, undesired events and observations, shows the issues that can arise from DP system failures and operator errors. The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) received 98 reports of DP stationkeeping events in 2017 from 75 vessels. IMCA technical advisor Andy Goldsmith said this included 17 incidents of loss of DP ability, 56 undesired events and 25 observations of faults. At Riviera’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference, Mr Goldsmith said the greatest percentage of incidents was due to thruster and propulsion issues, while position reference and computer issues were also common. However, it is a 20% increase in events reported in 2016 at a time when more of these vessels are going into layup, which is worrying. A question to be asked is does this indicate there are more events because of system problems or just the industry being more proactive about reporting them? Mr Goldsmith said he was encouraged that the figures demonstrated the DP sector was reporting more events that can help prevent others in the future. Nonetheless, even one event can lead to fatalities and destruction of offshore infrastructure. As more vessels are brought back into service after layup, DP systems will need to be renewed, retested and recertified. Nautical Institute chief executive John Lloyd said many operators will need DP refresher training,
TOP: Alessandro Ciocchi: “owners ought to have been planning for reactivation from the outset” BELOW: Michael Cowlam: “we’re moving into the PlayStation generation”
familiarisation and, in some cases, recertification to ensure they are competent to operate these systems. He said training should also include more manual shiphandling skills, as some operators may have lost these competences, which could prevent a DP event becoming a disaster. DNV GL SeaSkill service manager Torsten Schröder said simulation training and assessment should be part of a competence assurance scheme. Perhaps owners reactivating their vessels should consider that as well. Speakers at the DP conference also highlighted a lack of training, which, they said, poses a significant danger to crew safety on offshore installations and vessels. Speaking at the London conference, representatives from London Offshore Consultants and Seacroft Marine Consultants said a dilution of traditional maritime skills within the offshore industry is increasing the likelihood of catastrophic collisions. “As an industry, offshore industry skills have been diluted over the years, and much of the responsibility for avoiding a collision has been pushed onto the vessel,” said Seacroft Marine Consultants technical director Michael Cowlam. Both Mr Cowlam and London Offshore Consultants’ Group technical authority DP services Sen Abhayasinghe said the lack of more catastrophic incidents to date was down to good fortune. “A failure can happen any time,” Mr Abhayasinghe said, admonishing operators who equate the lack of past failures with a guarantee that a serious malfunction won’t take place in the future. “Some of the people in the industry think, ‘This vessel has been operating properly for 10 or 15 years,’ … but I think it’s luck,” Mr Abhayasinghe said. Mr Cowlam agreed, saying
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
16 | DYNAMIC POSITIONING
there is “enough evidence” of smaller collisions to offer substantial warning for the potential of a larger incident. “I think, statistically, 99% of collisions are with vessels immediately attending the area [of an offshore installation],”
Mr Cowlam said. “There were 14 reported collisions in a two-year period in the North Sea alone,” he said, noting the collisions were “fairly low level and low consequence.” Ultimately, Mr Cowlam said there was a broad tendency
among crews to lack a complete understanding of FMEA worst-case scenarios and to work towards the minimum operating standards laid out by classification societies rather than the higher standards of IMCA. Add to that
an over-reliance on technology and the dilution of traditional maritime skills, and there is cause for concern, according to Mr Cowlam. “We’re moving into the PlayStation generation. People are good at pushing buttons, but
BOURBON TESTS DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY Leading offshore vessel operator Bourbon has taken another step into fleet digitalisation through a strategic partnership with classification society Bureau Veritas. With the help of Kongsberg Maritime and Airbus subsidiary Apsys, Bourbon will test digital technology for remote monitoring of offshore support vessels. Bureau Veritas and Bourbon will jointly develop and deploy automation, real-time monitoring applications and developing digital technologies, while mitigating cyber risks. But first, they will test some of these smart ship technologies for verification of DP operations in real-time. A pilot has been implemented on Bourbon Explorer 508,
which is operating in Trinidad. This monitoring technology was developed by Kongsberg Maritime, which is already a strategic partner of Bourbon and is certified by Bureau Veritas. It collects data from the DP system that can be used on board and by onshore support teams to improve DP operations. Bourbon expects this to improve safety and reduce fuel and DP maintenance costs. Apsys is helping the partners to identify and mitigate cyber security risks linked to data collection and communication between Bourbon’s vessels and onshore infrastructure. It will also help Bureau Veritas create certification and class notations covering cyber security.
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DYNAMIC POSITIONING | 17
explained how static DP capability plots do not show the reality of operations in North Sea conditions. This was based on studies of offshore vessel operations around Shell’s Brent oil field in different wave conditions. In another presentation,
Corvus Energy senior vice president for business development Halvard Hauso highlighted the fuel savings and emissions reductions from using batteries in combination with gensets. This was demonstrated by Eidesvik’s platform supply
vessel Viking Energy. “For one year, it used 21.5% less fuel during port and standby ops and 7.5% lower during transits using batteries,” he said. The vessel had 27% fuel savings in DP mode during one year of operations with Corvus energy storage on board. OSJ
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they’re not so good at driving ships any more,” he said. Captain Lloyd also updated delegates on the Nautical Institute’s DP certification and training centre accreditation schemes. He said Nautical Institute introduced accreditation for DP refresher training at the beginning of February this year. The institute has accredited 96 training centres and expects to add another five this year, compared with around 85 in 2015, according to Mr Lloyd. Captain Lloyd said there were around 22,500 DP operators with valid certificates worldwide, and this is expected to peak at 24,000 people during the year ahead. However, there has been a considerable drop in the number of new certifications from more than 3,000 in 2016 to 1,650 in 2017. Offsetting this, Nautical Institute has increased the number of DP operator recertifications from about 1,000 in 2015 to about 3,000 in 2017. It has reduced the processing and return time of DP operator certification applications from four weeks in 2016 to around 10 working days this year. The conferences also provided an opportunity to review recent developments in thrusters and energy storage technology. Schöttel sales manager for tugs and offshore energy Henning Frerichs outlined the processes and computerbased modelling involved in the development of its new thruster VarioDuct. He said four levels of design and optimisation were used, including computational fluid dynamics, and model testing to produce a high-speed thruster that would produce up to 10% more bollard pull. Voith Turbo vice president for research and development Dirk Jürgens
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LOAD HANDLING | 19
BIG DATA AND ELECTRIC OPERATION CAN ENHANCE LIFTS AND MAKE OPERATIONS MORE EFFICIENT LIFTING OPERATIONS ARE EVOLVING. CRANES ARE GETTING LARGER AND INCREASING USE IS BEING MADE OF FIBRE ROPE, BUT THERE IS STILL ROOM FOR TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE LIFTS SAFER, MORE EFFICIENT AND LESS ENERGY INTENSIVE
Lifting operations aren’t only a question of the right vessel and the right crane – the interaction between the two also matters
n the last few years it has been tempting to see the development of cranes and load handling systems for offshore vessels purely in terms of the development of larger and larger units capable of lifting heavier and heavier loads. However, offshore lifting isn’t just a question of the capacity of a crane. A lot also depends on when and if a vessel and crane can undertake a lift, and how the process might be optimised and, above all, carried out as safely as possible. That is certainly the message that Richard Myhre, managing director at AXTech in Norway has for the industry. To undertake a lift, first and foremost, he said, you need a stable platform from which to undertake it. AXTech recently acquired a start-up company, MRPC, which has developed patented technology that forms the basis of an accurate, fast-acting anti-heeling system which is particularly relevant for heavy-lifting at sea. “This kind of technology is relevant to AXTech as a designer and manufacturer of lifting systems and to the industry as a whole,” said Mr Myhre. “It optimises the operation of a vessel and the crane installed on it. The system can actively reduce vessel motions by 50-70%. This means that the requirements made on a crane’s heavecompensation system can be reduced, as can the amount of power needed by the heave-compensation system. “We have made detailed studies of the technology MRPC has developed and believe that it has a number of potential applications in the offshore oil and gas and offshore wind industries,” he told OSJ, noting that the same technology is also suitable for use elsewhere in the marine industry – its first application was on a
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
20 | LOAD HANDLING
large trawler for Aker Biomarine. Mr Myhre also believes that much greater use could be made of big data in the offshore lifting segment. “For a long time, we have installed advanced monitoring systems on module handling systems on subsea construction vessels,” he explained. “This makes it possible to use data logging and analytical tools to provide operational support and support maintenance strategies for lifting equipment. “The next logical step would be to harvest far more vessel data and provide vessel owners with a much more comprehensive understanding of operational performance than they currently have,” he explained. “By combining an analysis of the data from lifting equipment and the vessel on which it is installed and transmitting it ashore, a land-based support centre can become a hub for decision-making at sea.” Mr Myhre explained that, for some time, AXTech has been working on the implementation of ‘help-desks’ for offshore operations in which remote support can be used to provide support for operations. “Data would be measured offshore but analysed onshore to help optimise operations,” he explained. “Data we have collected shows us quite clearly that often vessels are undertaking lifts when their stability is less than optimum, or that they are choosing to delay lifts when they might very well be undertaken if only they had access to sufficient data,” Mr Myhre told OSJ. “If you are constantly gathering data about a vessel’s stability, the sea state and so on, and analysing it, you can provide the ship with a very accurate decision-making system about when, or when not, to undertake a lift, or how that lift can be optimised.” Apart from getting larger and
New solutions for cranes for subsea vessels can reduce power consumption and emissions
undertaking heavier lifts, the other major change in offshore cranes in the last few years has been the widespread adoption of fibre rope in place of steel wire. As OSJ has highlighted on several occasions, most major crane manufacturers now offer fibre rope crane or hybrid cranes that combine the use of steel wire and fibre rope, but fibre rope is not without its challenges. One challenge is that fibre rope can overheat when used on a heave-compensated crane. Active heave-compensation can introduce a lot of heat into fibre rope, which can degrade its performance. Huisman’s solution to this was to develop a hybrid fibre rope system which combines the advantages of fibre rope with heave-compensation on steel wire rope. As Huisman’s product manager for cranes, Cees van Veluw, explained, the company strongly believes in the future of fibre rope cranes but felt that without what he described as “some serious active cooling of the rope” when
World’s largest leg-encircling crane installed In February 2018 a 1,600-tonne leg-encircling crane designed and built by Huisman in the Netherlands was installed on Van Oord’s turbine installation vessel Aeolus. The new crane, said to be the largest of its type ever built, will enable Van Oord to install larger and heavier foundations and turbines for offshore windfarms. Such is the size of the new crane that it was installed by a heavy-lift vessel, Heerema’s Thialf. The leg-encircling crane was specifically designed to be used on a jack-up vessel and is built around one leg of the jack-up. If required, the boom for the crane can be stored around another leg, saving valuable deck space. The crane also has a small tail swing, freeing-up deck space.
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
in active heave-compensation (AHC) mode there was a question mark about how widespread their use might be. “The thermal behaviour of fibre ropes in AHC mode has proved to be unreliable, hard to measure and hard to predict,” he explained. Huisman’s solution sees spooling of the fibre rope undertaken on a traction winch, with active heave compensation on a winch handling steel wire. Another trend Mr van Veluw highlighted is how much power a crane uses, and the growing use of electric cranes. Electrically-driven cranes are environmentally friendly because they don’t require the use of potentially polluting hydraulics, but their advantages are more numerous than that. “With an electric crane, when it’s in standby mode, you’re not using lots of power the way you are with a hydraulicallyoperated crane,” said Mr van Veluw. “You don’t need to provide power to all the motors and pumps that you have in a hydraulic system. With an electric crane you also get enhanced heavecompensation and you can make use of super-capacitors to store energy. “With an electrically-driven crane you can also make use of peak-shaving during heave compensation and you can reduce the demands that are made on the vessels’ power grid. That can help to reduce emissions too. “How often have you seen a vessel start producing black smoke when a lift is underway? That’s because of the power demand that the lift is putting on the ship’s grid and on the engines on board. You don’t get that with electric.” OSJ
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BRIDGE SYSTEMS AND ELECTRONICS | 23
Electronics improve situational awareness on OSVs
ew bridge systems and electronics have been introduced by manufacturers to improve situational awareness and ergonomics in the wheelhouse of offshore support vessels. This latest generation of bridge electronics has simpler network architecture and more flexibility with integrated workstations that can be used for more advanced navigation and alarm monitoring applications than has been possible before. For example, Japan Radio Co (JRC) subsidiary Alphatron Marine has introduced an integrated bridge system for offshore support vessels and workboats. Alphatron divisional manager Rogier van Roon told OSJ that AlphaBridge’s design should enable optimised views from the bridge and full control of displays and equipment – including autopilot, VHF and propulsion controls – from the master chair. AlphaBridge has three navigational displays in the front consoles. It is also fitted with JRC’s latest JMR-5400 marine radar and a new conning system and can also come with a new adaptive autopilot and a new VHF radio that has a 5-inch touchscreen. The JMR-5400 radar comes with 19-inch or 26-inch displays, greater processing power and an updated human-machine interface. Alphatron has introduced the NeCST route planning station. This is an interactive chart unit that enables operators to plan voyages on a 46-inch touchscreen. The planning station would be connected to other bridge systems enabling officers to transfer a route to an onboard ECDIS. Like JRC, Japanese group Furuno Electric has also developed a new series of radar with more advanced functions, such as improved clutter and noise reduction and faster target tracking than its previous series. The FAR-2xx8 series has a solidstate transceiver and an instant access bar on the display. This radar series uses automatic clutter elimination to detect and reduce radar reflections from sea and rain
New bridge electronics have been introduced by JRC subsidiary Alphatron, Praxis, Furuno, Navico, Sperry Marine and Raymarine
from being displayed on the screen. An updated interface contains shortcut menus for direct access to tasks that an operator would frequently use. In addition, this radar series acquires a target’s tracking data within a couple of seconds, which Furuno said adds to the situational awareness of the operator. Similar to these suppliers, Praxis Automation Technology has developed configurable digital panels with touchscreens for its Mega-Guard operator workstations to replace analogue control panels. Praxis software engineer Lars van Ruiten explained to OSJ that each workstation is equipped with a marine computer, a 22–26-inch thin-film transistor colour display and a trackball. These are interconnected with the radar antenna via a redundant ethernet link. Workstations can display X-band
Alphatron designed AlphaBridge with optimised views from the bridge and full control of displays and equipment
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
24 | BRIDGE SYSTEMS AND ELECTRONICS
and S-band radar with automatic plotting capabilities, ECDIS with radar overlay and conning. It can also be configured to display alarm information and feedback on what is causing the alarm and advice on what action to take, said Mr van Ruiten. “It is just a matter of changing the software,” he said. The Praxis Mega-Guard integrated navigation system can be supplied with between three and 10 integrated operator workstations and a centralised alarm monitoring system. Mr van Ruiten said operators can also control vessel systems, such as main propulsion, thrusters, ventilation and emergency response systems. There can also be an integrated manoeuvring system with propulsion and steering and heading controls that automatically manage a vessel’s direction of motion using rudder or azimuth thrusters. This can be extended with dynamic positioning in classes DP1, DP2 and DP3. Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine has unveiled new networked bridge solution VisionMaster Net with integrated workstations that enable bridge builders to connect any combination of equipment over an ethernet ring by using standard cables. VisionMaster Net has a modular design that enables easy integration of workstations for ECDIS, radar, conning, chart radar, alarm monitoring and control, engine and thruster controls, radio communications and other navigational aids. There is flexibility in the way panel PC displays can be configured for any vessel type. Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine managing director James Collett said VisionMaster Net’s architecture will enable future navigation and communications
applications. “It enables e-navigation and ship-to-shore solutions,” he said, adding that the intuitive interfaces minimise the need for retraining while “increased software functionality enables more efficient maintenance and upgrades.” VisionMaster Net needs fewer point-to-point connections than existing Sperry Marine bridge systems without compromising redundancy in the network. It has a central alert management module and links to a ship’s satellite communications and voyage data recorder equipment. Navico has introduced two new bridge products that improve navigation and monitoring. Its new IMO type-approved S3009 echosounder for offshore vessels and workboats is based on the non IMOapproved S2009 sounder that is used mainly in leisure and fishing vessels. It comes within a package that includes transducer options for both shallow and deep waters and, like its forebear, is said to be easy to install. Navico sales director for commercial marine sectors Jon Krohn said that this was a new portfolio of simple-to-install Simrad IMO-approved speed logs. Their “easy tankmounting technology means installing the transducer is very simple without the need for costly or customised gate valves and transducer tanks,” he said. Flir Systems subsidiary Raymarine recently introduced its new Quantum 2 Chirp Radar with Doppler target tracking. Marketing manager for the Americas Jim McGowan explained that compact and lightweight radar would be ideal for fast offshore vessels, including crewboats, offshore wind service craft and fast rescue craft. Quantum 2’s Doppler radar target tracking technology “dramatically improves safety and situational awareness for watchkeepers that are transiting both congested waterways and open
seas,” he said. Raymarine radar can instantly recognise subtle changes to the frequencies of its return echoes caused by targets in motion. Moving targets with a decreasing range are colour coded in red on the plan position indicator (PPI), while those with an increasing range are coloured in green. Non-moving or stationary targets are displayed in a neutral third colour. “This makes it simple for watch officers to quickly identify targets in motion on the radar scope and assess their risk of collision,” said Mr McGowan. Raymarine also introduced a safety sector function to its radar to reduce the risk that bridge teams will become so overwhelmed by multiple moving targets that they lose awareness of the nonmoving contacts, such as navigation aids, stopped or moored vessels, exposed rocks or land masses. The safety sector is an invisible cone 5 degrees wide, projected outwards to 200 m in front of the vessel on the radar PPI. “Any contacts, moving or stationary, that enter the safety sector with a decreasing range are coloured in red to highlight them as a threat,” said Mr McGowan. Raymarine also equipped Quantum 2 with its latest-generation mini-ARPA (automatic radar plotting aid) system, which he said was suited to fast offshore vessels “because of its superior ability to track radar contacts moving at high speeds and in heavy weather conditions.” Quantum 2 can automatically acquire and track up to 25 targets while calculating their course, speed, closest point of approach and time to that point. This radar operates with Raymarine’s Axiom and Axiom Pro series of multifunction displays. Beijer Electronics has introduced its new X2 extreme series of rugged human-machine interfaces for offshore environments. They are available in 7, 12 and 15-inch displays with standard, high-performance and fully sealed highperformance versions. Beijer extended the environmental capabilities to include operating temperatures from -30°C to +70°C and designed them to operate in hazardous areas where gases, vapours and dust are present, and they are tested for high vibrations and high pressure. OSJ
Raymarine has added Quantum 2’s Doppler radar to its range of bridge electronics
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
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COMMUNICATIONS | 27
Combining comms and monitoring can help keep assets online Offshore vessel operators can reduce costs, improve crew welfare and enhance their operations by using the latest in IT and communications technology, as Martyn Wingrove reports
y upgrading satellite communications, vessel owners can utilise digitalisation technologies to monitor onboard equipment performance and prevent failures from forcing vessels off-hire. Speaking at the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference in London in February, Lloyd’s Register strategy marketing manager Richard McLoughlin outlined how the whole offshore vessel sector should invest in data analytics and diagnostics technology for asset management, performance and condition monitoring and for making more informed decisions. “Data helps [owners] manage degradation before failure,” he told delegates. Operators can “capture performance and condition, identify fatigue hotspots and make adjustments.” Lloyd’s Register has introduced cyber notations and just certified the first newbuildings indicating that some of their systems are remotely monitored. “We expect cyber enablement will allow us to implement analytics and affect the extent and frequency of vessel surveys,” he said. Inmarsat can provide the connectivity between ship and shore for remote system monitoring. This is possible over its fourth and fifth generation of satellites. Inmarsat vice president for sales in offshore energy Eric Griffin explained how Ka-band connectivity over the Global Xpress constellation has enough bandwidth for data transmissions on top of the requirements for crew welfare and other operational uses.
NETWORKING TECHNOLOGY WILL ENHANCE CONNECTIVITY Two communications companies have formed a partnership that will develop alternative online network technology for offshore drilling rig connectivity. IP communications enabler, Softil, and mission-critical server pioneer, Nemergent Solutions, are developing long-term evolution and 5G mobile networks. These can be used for mission-critical communications from offshore drilling rigs and other maritime infrastructure using coastal and offshore networks. They can also be applied to onshore infrastructure protection and disaster relief operations. Softil chief executive Pierre Hagendorf expects the technology will enable video conferencing and data streaming from remote locations. “Our solutions represent definitive building blocks for the next generation of mission-critical communications in the widest of applications,” he said. Nemergent chief executive Jose Oscar Fajardo said the partnership technology can be used for streaming “real-time information that involves transmitting significant amounts of data in a reliable and uninterrupted manner.”
To assist offshore vessel operators, Inmarsat has introduced a flexible version of its Fleet Xpress hybrid VSAT service that combines Ka-band with FleetBroadband L-band. “Our flexibility means owners can move up or down one of 13 plans across the contract period to meet changes in demand,” said Mr Griffin. Owners can increase bandwidth available to vessels that are on charter and need greater amounts of data transmission capacity. They can then reduce bandwidth once vessels go off-hire. He said these plans can offer bandwidth of up to 8 Mbps download and 4 Mbps upload. Another application for this connectivity could be for monitoring the performance and condition of deck equipment. MacGregor director of digitalisation and technology Håkon Jørgensen explained that sensors in a series of cranes on vessels would capture data, such as pressure and temperature, which can be transmitted to shore for analysis. With greater levels of data, analysis algorithms “can follow trends and patterns” and compare values with other cranes “to establish ranges and benchmark” performance. Machine learning will enable these analytics to identify when cranes are “outside their operating ranges” and alert operators “before this leads to a failure,” said Mr Jørgensen. Caterpillar Marine used the OSJ event to introduce its multiengine optimising (MEO) tool (see elsewhere in this issue). Product manager Theodore Wiersema explained how this could reduce fuel consumption and emissions from offshore vessels and tugs. MEO is loaded with optimised test data that is used to operate a vessel’s various engines in combination to achieve their optimum performance. MEO uses proprietary performance data and patented control algorithms to provide intelligence to advise powermanagement systems on which engines to operate. It enables the use of dynamic asymmetric loads to drive a combination of engines and loads to create the lowest possible fuel consumption. OSJ
A combination of monitoring technology and communications can help owners keep valuable assets working
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
28 | FLEET MANAGEMENT AND IT
OSV firm uses IT to reduce costs
ffshore vessel supermajor Solstad Farstad is making active use of IT and software to reduce administrative and operational costs across its fleet of offshore support vessels. After the massive company was formed last year, the Norwegian group has introduced software that can help lower fuel consumption and emissions, and it is seeking support from its clients for its use. The company was formed in 2017 by the merger of four Norwegian familyrun vessel owners – Solstad Offshore, Farstad Shipping, Deep Sea Supply and RemOffshore. This created one of the world’s largest owners of vessels in the supply, anchor handling, subsea construction and renewable segments, with 147 vessels in total. Consolidation of this scale has led to synergies in fleet management and administrative resources. However, there is “huge potential for more cost savings,” said Solstad Farstad chief executive Lars Peder Solstad. The new structure included centralising key management functions and reducing the number of offices from 17 to 11, he told delegates at the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London on 7 February. Solstad Farstad has reduced annual costs by around 15% through centralising fleet and crew management, renegotiating terms with suppliers and improving procurement. Mr Solstad expects more will come from introducing new IT and fleet management software. He told delegates that this puts the vessel operating group in a better position as the offshore support vessel market begins to recover. “Activity will start to pick up in 2018,” he said. “Oil companies are starting to invest again. We have seen
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
SOLSTAD FARSTAD HAS TURNED TO YXNEY MARITIME TO FIND MORE FLEET MANAGEMENT EFFICIENCIES AFTER ACHIEVING SYNERGIES DURING ITS MEGA-MERGER
LARS PEDER SOLSTAD sees IT and fleet management as a way to reduce costs at the massive company he runs
large contract awards for subsea work, which is positive.” However, Mr Solstad said this upturn was from “the worst market downturn for 30 years” and that charter rates for offshore vessels are unsustainable. “As the market recovers, we must make sure we get rates back to sustainable levels,” he said. To further improve the sustainability of its operations, Solstad Farstad worked with Yxney Maritime to reduce fuel costs and emissions. This involved using Yxney’s fuel-efficiency software MarESS, which enables charterers to track vessels working under contract to them and monitor fuel consumption. MarESS also enables charterers to communicate with shipmanagers to suggest ways to reduce fuel costs. Yxney can also use MarESS to identify efficiency gaps and recommend ways to achieve lower consumption and emission levels, said the company’s chief executive Gjord Simen Sanna. “We can recommend targeted fuel-saving measures related to vessel positioning,” he explained. The project with Yxney is part of Solstad Farstad’s green operations campaign on reducing emissions, said chief operating officer Tor Inge Dale. “MarESS also reduces emissions, helping us contribute to reaching UN sustainable development goals 12 and 13,” he said, adding that this covers responsible energy production and consumption. Solstad Farstad completed a MarESS pilot project in 2017, with finance from Innovation Norway, and this led to a contract announced in February 2018 for deploying this software across the fleet and introducing it to charterers. It expects to identify the bestperforming ships across the fleet and transfer best practice from those vessels to other units. Mr Dale wants to achieve fuel consumption savings of between 8.7% and 11.4%. OSJ
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Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
aterpillar Marine first unveiled its Multi-Engine Optimizer (MEO) tool for the first time at the 2017 Europort exhibition. The concept behind it is simple: it is loaded with optimised test data that is then used to operate a vessel’s various engines in conjunction to achieve the optimal performance.
MEO leverages proprietary performance data and patented control algorithms to provide intelligence for power-management systems. It works by advising powermanagement systems on which engines to operate and enables the use of dynamic asymmetric loads to drive the combination of engines and loads to create the lowest possible fuel consumption. Speaking to OSJ, Caterpillar Marine product manager Dra Wiersema said “MEO allows users to use variable-speed and constant-speed generators on a single bus. This means that they can leverage the lowload advantages of variable speed with the high-load advantages of constant speed.” The MEO’s simulation tool then allows users to view the fuel consumption of any combination of power sources. By using the estimate of a vessel’s load profile, it becomes possible to construct the engineroom that best meets the end user’s requirements. “The most common question about MEO is, ‘How much can it save?’ The truthful answer is, ‘It depends,’” said Mr Wiersema. The system has been tested on several vessels and has seen fuel economy reductions of between 5% and more than 15%. Mr Wiersema explained that the results achieved very much depend on engineroom configuration and vessel load profile. The MEO is designed for multi-engine installations that have multiple load factors. Obviously, a single engine installation has no use for the MEO, and not every multiple engine installation – such as one that spends most of its operating hours in the 75–90% load range – will also benefit from using it. On an installation consisting of four
PROPULSION | 31
similarly sized engines, if there are only four load steps of 20%, 40%, 60% and 80%, then a basic power-management system can be utilised to trigger single-engine operation at 20%, two-engine operation at 40% and so on. At each of the four load points, that combination of engines will be operating at peak efficiency with no room for MEOdriven improvements. However, Caterpillar believes that the MEO will not lack for opportunity because there are enough vessels that work with significantly differentiated load characteristics. Further, just because a vessel's load characteristics seem simple, it does not mean the crew will operate in the best interests of fuel efficiency. This is where MEO can deliver results. Operating in a North Sea environment, one offshore support vessel achieved 7% over a 23-week period with weekly savings ranging from 2% to14%, depending on the vessel loads. High-percentage savings are not synonymous with high load. Whether MEO can provide savings is dependent on the engine options, the capability of the existing power-management device, the load, the willingness of the crew to use MEO and the duration of the load changes. Mr Wiersema explained “Sometimes a mid-range load point under operational constraints is a good MEO situation, and in other vessels, it might be a bad MEO situation. Again, it depends.” In terms of the vessels that can benefit from the system, Mr Wiersema is clear. “It is likely your vessel will benefit from MEO if you have a vessel with multiple engines and a load profile that spends less than 60% of its time within any 15% band of the vessel’s maximum power.” “MEO is viewed by class societies as an advisory system and will have type-approval certification. As an advisory system, MEO can be turned off at any time, allowing the existing power-management device to return to its normal operating procedures to provide an extra layer of protection and safety,” said Mr Wiersema. By mixing and matching engines and independent load points, MEO allows engines to provide power at their most efficient point. Compared with the common scenario of engines operating at an equally shared load, MEO creates an unlimited combination of virtual enginerooms to match each particular vessel load. The performance maps and control algorithms give MEO the ability to manage different types of engines and power sources on the same bus. Customers can
now choose combinations of Cat and MaK engines that best match the customer load profile (a set of high-speed engines for low-load situations that provide additional power to the set of medium-speed engines during high-load situations). Mr Wiersema said one of the key factors in MEO’s favour is that its effects can easily be measured. “Simply put, MEO measures fuel, and MEO can be turned off. You cannot turn off a hull coating, you cannot turn off your drive motors, you cannot turn off your propeller design, but you can turn MEO off and see the consequences,” he said. MEO’s capability to provide fuel savings increases significantly when the combination of different engine types is customised to the vessel load characteristics. By leveraging different sized engines, customers can limit engine wear due to lowload operation, reduce fuel consumption and improve emissions by having engine combinations that allow engines to operate in their peak efficiency zones at multiple vessel load points. Depending on the degree of difference between engines, many powermanagement systems are not able to maintain a stable bus in an environment of load variability. The different ability of each engine to respond to a load can cause a breaker to trip due to voltage fluctuations. MEO fuel maps and control algorithms prevent excessive voltage fluctuations, enabling the customisation of vessel engineroom configurations. This ability extends to include the combination of constant-speed generator sets with variable-speed generator sets. Since, as a rule, constant-speed power is most efficient above 50% load and variablespeed power is most efficient below 50% load, the combination of larger constantspeed gensets with smaller variable-speed gensets has the potential to be one of the most efficient power packages possible, even when accounting for the power conversion losses of the power electronics. Mr Wiersema concluded “MEO does not help manage how load is delivered to the engines from the power consumers, but from the power-management perspective, we believe it is of benefit of our customers to say that, with access to the proprietary fuel, emission and response maps, a broad MEO-adaptable product line and the use of the patented control algorithms, it will be difficult to beat the efficiency of MEO. Under certain circumstances, some systems may get close, but if MEO is functioning properly, it simply cannot be beaten.”
Corvus bags battery power project Corvus Energy has been selected by Seacor Marine and Kongsberg Maritime as the supplier of lithium ion-based energy storage systems (ESSs) for four platform supply vessels (PSVs) being retrofitted with a hybrid power system. All four PSVs are owned by Mantenimiento Express Marítimo SAPI de CV, Seacor Marine’s joint venture in Mexico. A Corvus Orca ESS will first be installed on Seacor Maya, which is due to have its retrofit completed this month. By July 2018, hybrid power retrofits will be completed for three additional Mexicobased Seacor vessels. Typical vessel operations will utilise the batteries to provide spinning reserve during critical vessel operations such as dynamic positioning, as well as to provide support for peak shaving, enabling the diesel engines to operate more efficiently. Utilising battery power from the Orca ESS will not only reduce the environmental footprint of the offshore operations but will also significantly reduce operational costs, including fuel and maintenance on the engines. “We are confident in the energy-saving and safety elements of the Corvus Orca ESS for Seacor Maya and keen to start migration of more of our vessels to this unique, environmentally friendly and highly efficient power solution,” said Tim Clerc, manager of engineering, Seacor Marine. OSJ
Corvus Energy is to supply its Orca ESS to four PSVs owned by Seacor Marine’s joint venture in Mexico
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
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MAINTENANCE | 33
Evolving technology is challenging the role of the ship manager
ne of the major changes in vessel operation and management in the last 20–30 years has been the growing use of communications and the use of communications to allow ever-greater volumes of data and information to be transmitted between ships and shore. But who is benefiting from this process? Is it mainly manufacturers, or do technical managers also have a role in it? As Anglo-Eastern Group’s group managing director offshore Douglas Lang told the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition, as manufacturers make ever greater use of data gathering on board ship and of the ability to transmit that data ashore, existing vessel management models are no longer sustainable and a new approach is required. The role of the technical manager is changing and will continue to change, he argued. Also, because of these changes, there has been a drift in responsibility from ship to shore and, to some extent, this diminishes the decision-making responsibilities of those on board. Changes are taking place on board vessels and ashore that the industry will need to respond to, the shipmanagement expert told delegates. As he pointed out, manpower changes mean there are often fewer people on board. “Ashore, the role of the superintendent is diminishing as the ability to intervene is reduced,” he told delegates. The role of the superintendent is becoming akin to a conduit to a manufacturer rather than a ‘vessel supremo’, he said. As in many walks of life, a concept of repair by replacement is also being adopted. There is more and more automation, more and more remote monitoring and more and more predictive maintenance, but manufacturers are ‘hijacking’ that process, because they are the ones who have access to the data. “As a shipmanager, you may be reliant on feedback from a single system on your
The role of the shipmanager as a provider of technical services is changing and needs to evolve to keep pace with technological advances and the growing role of manufacturers
Douglas Lang: “technology is changing the way ships are maintained and the role of the ship manager”
ships, but a manufacturer has access to hundreds of systems. At that level, predictive maintenance becomes a reality because they are basing it on a useful sample size. “Without that kind of scale, you can’t do predictive maintenance sufficiently rigorously to enable us to say to our engineers, ‘Substitute my process for what you do now,’ which is breakdown, calendar and running hours,” said Mr Lang. “Experience has shown us that calendar and running hours have served us very well, and it’s difficult to argue that my inventories would be any less now, because the sample sizes simply aren’t there at the moment to do that,” he said. “I don’t agree with those who people who argue that we are seeing a diminishing level of competence on board, but I do believe that we are seeing a diminishing level of ability to intervene. That’s quite different, and it’s because more and more systems are black boxes. Over time, this might mean that engineers will lose some of their abilities, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less competent. “If you scroll forward, as a technical manager, you want to remain involved in the process. One outcome of this process is that the vessel manager loses out and loses a lot of his ability to take decisions. Is that a desirable state of affairs? I don’t think so, although, as a technical manager, I have a vested interest in saying that. “I don’t actually know if the manufacturers or the class societies have thought that far down the road. They have a toolbox of toys, and they’re just plugging them together now. It’s not quite clear where it’s all going to lead to, and I think that the opportunity for technical managers is to get into that mix and be part of their decision-making process so that we do remain in control and in some respects driving the process, not just allowing them to wash over us – which is what some of them want to do.” OSJ
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
34 | AUTONOMOUS VESSELS
Developed by Autonomous Marine Systems, C-Worker 7 was the first semi-autonomous vessel to join the UK ship register
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autonomous vessels UK TRANSPORT SECRETARY CHRIS GRAYLING HAS OUTLINED HIS VISION FOR UNMANNED SHIPPING
ddressing a conference held in early March, UK transport secretary Chris Grayling said autonomous vessels and artificial intelligence are among key technologies that will revolutionise shipping. The minister said the British Government wants to be at the forefront of these developments. Outlining his vision for the UK, the minister highlighted several technologies that he believes will shape the future of shipping. These include augmented reality, artificial intelligence, hybrid propulsion, autonomous surface vessels and magnetic berthing. Mr Grayling expects they will make shipping safer and more environmentally friendly. “Autonomous shipping is just one aspect of a maritime technology revolution that has the potential to radically transform the industry, making it safer, cleaner and faster than ever,” he said, adding that the UK should be driving these changes in the maritime industry. UK ministers are working with IMO to “pave the way for this new era of shipping,” said Mr Grayling, adding that “we want to work closely with the industry to ensure we are doing everything possible to allow this new technology to thrive.” Augmented reality could be used to train new seafaring cadets and familiarise them with vessel operations, which would improve safety, he said, while artificial intelligence will enable navigators to plot more efficient routes and avoid severe weather. It could also be used to highlight disruption at ports and diagnose mechanical problems on ships. Mr Grayling expects autonomous vessels would improve safety at sea because they help reduce the risks that seafarers can be exposed to. They could also reduce the potential for accidents by partially removing the potential for human error. There could also be national economic reasons for developing autonomous shipping, as Mr Grayling thinks there could be a change in the way freight is transported around the UK. He envisions fleets
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
of coastal ships with electric or hybrid propulsion replacing heavy goods vehicles, which would reduce road congestion. The above-mentioned form part of the UK’s Maritime 2050 project, which was announced in February. Part of the transition towards autonomous shipping involves developing class society documentation and operating them safely. For the latter, Maritime UK published a code of practice for autonomous vessels in November 2017. In the same month, C-Worker 7 became the first semiautonomous vessel to join the UK ship register. It is a multipurpose work-class vessel that was developed by Autonomous Marine Systems for a variety of offshore and coastal engineering work. It can be used for tasks such as subsea positioning, surveying and environmental monitoring. Another application for an unmanned and remotely controlled vessel would be fire-fighting in ports or at sea. With this in mind, naval architect Robert Allan has collaborated with Kongsberg Maritime to develop a remotely operated fireboat that could be used to tackle dangerous port fires without putting lives at risk. Robert Allan is using its experience of tugboat design to develop the RALamander uncrewed fireboat. Kongsberg would provide the remote-control technology, including control systems, battery packs, vessel automation and navigation systems, said Kongsberg sales manager for autonomy and offshore Sondre Larsson. RALamander would be linked to a remote-control centre using Kongsberg’s maritime broadband radio communications, he explained. This vessel “can work with other unmanned fire-fighting vessels or alone,” he said at the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London in February. Robert Allan has designed the vessel to have a FiFi 1 firefighting module with a 2,400 m3/hr capacity, with pump and monitors supplied by Fire Fighting Systems. This vessel could be directed to tackle marine and port fires involving containers or petrochemicals, both on ships and shoreside structures, said Mr Larsson. Mr Larsson told delegates that remote-control vessels could also be used for standby and emergency response operations offshore. “This all depends on the regulations and market needs.” A fire-fighting vessel could be controlled from an offshore installation or master vessel using broadband communications. OSJ
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DIVE SUPPORT VESSELS | 37
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delivered to Stapem Offshore Incat Crowther in Australia is well known for the crewboats it designs but has also provided owners with several dive support units, of which Stapem Beluga is the latest
tapem Beluga, the first of two Incat Crowtherdesigned 18 m aluminium dive support catamarans, has arrived in Angola early in 2018. Built under ABS survey by Legacy Marine Group in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for French oil and gas services company Stapem Offshore, the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel will operate off the Angolan coast where it will begin work shortly. The vessel design was fully customised to suit the client’s specific operational requirements and is equipped with a bow configuration specific to the landings on floating production, storage and offloading units and platforms for safe transfer of
personnel. The vessel also has custom-fitted fendering suited to the operational conditions. Equipment fitted to the vessel includes a threeperson Unique Hydra nitrox air dive system, complete with multiple video and twoway communication as well as data-logging systems, onboard high-pressure and low-pressure air compressors, underwater welding facilities, Caviblaster underwater highpressure washer, full diesel engine-driven hydraulics system for subsea tools and deck crane, twin aircon units and FP duty and standby diesel generators. The vessel is also fitted with lighting to support night operations, including a forward-looking infrared
Stapem Beluga will be followed into service by a sister unit, Stapem Narval, which is currently under construction
camera system. The aft deck is configured to support dive operations and has full CCTV camera coverage. Four dive ladders and three davits are also fitted to the aft deck. The vessel is classed to ABS +A1 (E) HSC Coastal Craft +AMS and has a full array of safety and detection systems suitable for use in the offshore oil and gas industry.
Keppel Singmarine delivers multipurpose ice-class vessel Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered a multipurpose ice-class vessel to New Orient Marine Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based Maritime Construction Services SA. Everest was built to a proprietary design from Keppel O&M’s ship design and development arm, Marine Technology Development (MTD), and can operate in ambient temperature as low as -30°C. It has ice-class Arc 5 notation and class 3
dynamic positioning. It is capable of navigating in ice up to 1 m thick. Everest can carry out subsea repair and construction activity at depths of up to 3,000 m and is also capable of well intervention and dive support services with an 18-person twin-bell system. The vessel is also capable of fire-fighting, towing and the provision of supplies. In the last decade, Keppel O&M has completed 10 ice-class specialised shipbuilding projects, excluding Everest.
The vessel design is a semi-planing catamaran hull, propelled by two 560 hp MAN inboard diesel engines coupled via ZF360 gearboxes to Hamilton HJ403 waterjets with full MECS control, giving it excellent manoeuvrability, an operational speed of 20 knots and a sprint speed of 23.5 knots. The fuel systems provided allow for high-end water separation and filtration of diesel from main tanks to day tanks to accommodate substandard fuel qualities. The vessel is designed to work alongside a mothership and is not required to provide crew accommodations. Its primary mission objective is to serve as an effective dive workstation from which dive operations can be carried out on a 24/7 basis by a team of 14 personnel in a safe and comfortable manner. Stapem Beluga’s sister ship Stapem Narval is currently under construction at Legacy Marine’s yard in Port Elizabeth. OSJ
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
38 | DIVE SUPPORT VESSELS
INFLUX OF DIVE SUPPORT SHIPS TROUBLES THAI-OWNED COMPANY SINGAPORE-LISTED, THAI-OWNED MERMAID MARITIME PUBLIC CO LTD SAYS IT ANTICIPATES THAT CONDITIONS IN THE SUBSEA/DIVE SUPPORT VESSEL MARKET WILL CONTINUE TO BE TOUGH
ermaid Maritime has joined a growing number of companies and analysts to have expressed concern about overcapacity in the market for dive support vessels. Concern has been expressed mainly because of the growing number of newbuild dive support vessels entering the market, not just in Asia but worldwide. Announcing its Q4 2018 results, the company said rival newbuild saturation dive support vessels (DSVs) continued to enter the market in 2018, with two such vessels entering its regional markets and targeting the Middle East, India and Far East regions. Utilisation of key owned assets, including the company’s large saturation dive vessels, is a high priority, it said. “Cost cutting and consolidation will continue throughout the year in an effort to maintain a cost base low enough for us to win work in these challenging times,” the company said. Regional repositioning of assets is expected in 2018 as the company looks to secure higher utilisation figures given the overall reduction in the amount of subsea work available. Mermaid Endurer
Subsea/DSV owner Mermaid said it had been cutting costs to remain competitive as more newbuilds enter the market
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
and Mermaid Sapphire have already been repositioned to the Middle East. Mermaid Maritime said offshore/subsea vessel companies “are still expected to struggle financially in 2018 given the lack of construction and IMR work available, increased subsea tonnage entering the market and the consequential pressure on rates.” The company continues to preserve cash where possible and to reduce capex spending to essentials. However, the company is exploring options to purchase distressed assets where appropriate, in preference to subcontracting in equipment and personnel. However, the chief executive of one of the companies that is actively taking delivery of newbuild DSVs, Shel Hutton of Ultra Deep Solutions, has expressed optimism about the market. “Lately, we have witnessed a major surge in dive support/ construction vessel activity,” said Mr Hutton, “with oil and gas companies showing substantial profits and now finally opening up their wallets.” As a new era in the DSV market dawned, early 2018 marked the end of an era as the DSV Oriela was scrapped. Analyst Jeremy Punnett, founder and managing director at Stamford Maritime, which provides strategic advice to companies in the offshore sector, said “I would wager it has been one of the most profitable offshore assets in an economic sense over its life. “With a build cost much lower in real terms than newbuild tonnage and in a market with a much lower number of competitors, this asset would have paid for its keep many times over. “As it goes, it is worthwhile considering that the huge margins Oriela generated were a signal for other players to try and replicate this formula and build competitive assets and businesses. Such is the long-run nature of the supply curve, these new assets continue to arrive long after the margins have vanished, and despite some newbuilds costing vastly more in a nominal and real sense, it is not clear, beyond being more fuel efficient, that they are superior economic assets. “It is notable that Technip has sold off a large portion of it diving businesses and assets and is only really present in the North Sea now, which is a clear signal how profitable they think the saturation diving business will be in the coming years. “The unwillingness of Technip to commit to specialised replacement tonnage for the North Sea market also signals its view that there has been a structural change in the North Sea sat diving market, and anyone going long on it should have a very robust business case, because without a rebound in construction work, the market looks oversupplied for years. Soon Wellservicer will join Oriela, and a new generation of assets moves to the fore.” OSJ
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40 | OIL SPILL RESPONSE
Offset installation enables capping gear to be installed from safe distance A new concept of operations developed by Oil Spill Response Ltd on behalf of its members enables well capping equipment to be installed where vertical access to a wellhead is not possible
il Spill Response Ltd (OSRL) in the UK, the international industryfunded co-operative that responds to oil spills wherever they occur by providing preparedness, response and intervention services, has unveiled its latest development in subsea well capping technology. Unveiled at the equipment’s home base, the offshore installation equipment (OIE) is the culmination of six years’ work between members of the Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP), OSRL and Saipem. Designed specifically for scenarios where direct vertical access to a wellhead is not possible, the new OIE enables well capping or related equipment to be installed at a safe distance from an incident. This is the first time that such a capability has been made available to the offshore oil and gas industry. The OIE is now available to existing OSRL members through a subsea well intervention services supplementary agreement. Current OIE members include BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, Shell, Statoil and Total – all of which represent the founding members of SWRP.
The OIE concept enables a well to be capped without vertical access
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
The OIE can be deployed up to 500 m from a wellhead and is suitable for use at a working depth of 75–600 m. It was designed to be fully compatible with OSRL’s capping equipment, creating an endto-end capping and containment solution suitable for almost all subsea scenarios. In line with OSRL’s approach, each member organisation will be provided with training to enable their own personnel to understand the capabilities of the system and operate the OIE during an incident. Following the end of SWRP, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) through the Wells Expert Committee will work with OSRL to ensure that all stakeholders gain awareness of OIE’s capabilities as part of the process of promoting the adoption of good practice worldwide. The introduction into service of the OIE coincides with the final phase of the SWRP, following completion of the related capping and containment projects, as OSRL’s chief executive Robert Limb explained. “For us and all those involved in SWRP, the launch of the OIE is the final piece of the puzzle and the culmination of a lot of hard work. Since the formation of the project in 2011, we had one core objective – to design and build a comprehensive range of well capping solutions, with the flexibility to meet the current and future requirements of the industry. With the arrival of OIE, that objective has been met.” SWRP project lead Eli Bøhnsdalen said “OIE has the potential to make a huge difference in the time it takes to cap a well or stop a critical blowout and has never been attempted before. “The equipment is now available to the industry. Saipem, which has been responsible for the design, fabrication and testing, will now be responsible for the OIE’s ongoing storage and maintenance from its base here in Trieste. Saipem’s extensive experience working with equipment designed for harsh environments, remote areas and deep water means that the OIE couldn’t be in safer hands.” Saipem’s chief operating officer E&C offshore division Stefano Porcari described the OIE as “an unprecedented solution” for use in the event of a subsea well incident where vertical well access by vessel is not possible. OSJ
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CONTRACTOR PROFILE | 43
Subsea system makes lifts easier and more affordable A Scottish company that has been developing lifting technology that uses pumpable fluids to undertake lifts has demonstrated a concept that could reduce costs and make operations safer
ubin has been working on pumpable subsea lifting technology for the better part of a decade. OSJ first provided the industry with details of the technology that the company was working on in 2011. Its latest development is an underwater lifting system (ULS) that enables lifting and placement operations without also needing a lifting vessel or a crane. The technology enables equipment to be moved easily by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or a diver. Aubin believes it is the only company in the world that has a product line based on the pumpable lifting technology. It said the use of fluid lifting in subsea operations had given engineers a transformative tool for projects requiring buoyancy. “Our pumpable buoyancy products can enable subsea structures to be moved with ease using fixed and variable buoyant forces. Our patented technology offers pumpable, incompressible and safe buoyancy alternatives for subsea operations,” the company said, noting that the technology can provide buoyant lift at depths of up to 3,000 m. It has the potential to be used in a wide range of applications such as subsea construction, decommissioning, inspection, maintenance and repair and the growing offshore renewables industry. The company recently released footage of a successful trial of the innovative underwater lifting system. The ULS was
tested at Aberdeen University’s OceanLab facility. Aubin has been engaged with the university in a two-year knowledge transfer partnership funded by Innovate UK. The ULS is designed to allow ROVs and divers to move objects with ease using the patented, low-density, incompressible liquid that, when pumped, renders objects neutrally buoyant. Suitable for installation, remedial work and removal, the ULS offers a simple, controllable means of placing, recovering and moving infrastructure on the seabed. Because it reduces the requirement for vessel-mounted cranes – and waiting on weather risks associated with the use of vessels and cranes – the ULS can improve safety, reduce costs and offer operators a solution for many challenging subsea lifting operations, the company said. Aubin chief executive Paddy Collins said “The ULS is an excellent example of what can be achieved when universities and SMEs work together.” Aubin, an independent supplier of specialist chemicals to the energy industry, has long worked on potential offshore applications for novel low-density gels that can be reused and are non-hazardous and environmentally responsible.
“The ability to promptly install and commission infrastructure once manufactured significantly reduces yard/ storage space requirements and the level of upfront investment required from developers,” the company told OSJ, noting that it believes that this feature will allow more UK ports to be used for such installation projects. Back in 2011, the company was talking about a gel lifting system (GLS) that could support much heavier loads than the ULS. It proposed the use of GLS technology for lifts of up to 1,000 tonnes to a depth of 100 m. One potential application that it foresaw was using GLS technology to assist with the transport and installation of offshore wind turbines. The original GLS was a spin-off from Aubin’s DeepBuoy product, which was developed for lifting, supporting and lowering heavy subsea structures to a depth of 3,000 m. The company said the GLS would also be suitable for developing small-field developments and decommissioning old infrastructure, such as the many smaller structures and subsea tie-backs in the southern North Sea, where it is not economically viable to rely on cranes. OSJ
Aubin has pioneered the use of pumpable subsea lifting technology
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
44 | CONTRACTOR PROFILE
GROWING ROV COMPANY PLANS GLOBAL EXPANSION
stablished in late 2016 when the private equity-backed company acquired a number of remotely operated vehicles from Harkand, Mike Arnold-led M² Subsea is carving out a niche for itself in the inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) market. With offices in Houston (where Mr Arnold is based) and Aberdeen, the company employs more than 20 people in the US and around 40 in the UK. Speaking to OSJ in early March, Mr Arnold explained that he had spent much of the first 18 months of the Alchemy-backed company’s existence establishing a presence in the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea, but M² Subsea is now ready to expand internationally and venture into new markets, such as marine renewables. Forming a new company in the midst of one of the biggest ever upheavals in the offshore oil and gas industry was not a step for the faint-hearted but seems to have paid off for Mr Arnold and his colleagues. Now the company is looking to expand beyond the Gulf of Mexico, where it has a presence in the Mexican market and in the US, and North Sea. March 2018 saw M² Subsea strengthen its senior management team with the appointment of Andrew Imrie as global sales and marketing director. With a career spanning more than
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
ESTABLISHED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CRISIS IN THE OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY, M² SUBSEA IS FORGING RELATIONSHIPS AND FINDING NEW CLIENTS AROUND THE WORLD
20 years in the industry, Mr Imrie joined M² Subsea from Ampelmann where he was commercial director, based in the Netherlands. He has broad industry experience, coupled with a strong commercial track record. As global sales and marketing director, Mr Imrie will spearhead M² Subsea’s drive to expand its international offering from
Mike Arnold: “local content will be a key part of our offering as the company expands internationally”
its hubs in Aberdeen and Houston. He will be based at the company’s headquarters in Aberdeen and will join the main board. December 2017 saw M² Subsea bolster its European business development team with the appointment of David Sinclair as business development manager – renewables and decommissioning. Based in Aberdeen, he will be responsible for leading the company’s business acquisition strategy for both sectors in the UK Continental Shelf and Europe. Mr Arnold told OSJ “Our rapid growth has required us to take a more focused commercial approach over the past 12 months. We are looking to expand both in the UK and the US, while actively targeting other markets where we see huge growth potential, such as the Middle East and Asia. “With Andrew’s wealth of new business expertise, he will be pivotal to ensuring we achieve our business goals, building on the great progress we have made to date, while further strengthening our partnerships, capabilities and geographic reach.”
As Mr Imrie noted, M² Subsea has achieved a lot in a very short space of time and has worked hard to position itself as a leading provider of ROV project management and engineering services worldwide. Mr Arnold said the key to its success has been to focus on reducing costs and risk to meet the demands of the oil and gas and renewables sectors. “The market has had to recalibrate in the last two to three years,” Mr Arnold told OSJ. “It’s essential now to work closely with vessel owners, to be innovative and be able to offer clients higher-quality services and to add value.” He cited a multimilliondollar contract with TransCanada that was awarded to M² Subsea as evidence of the company’s ability to work closely with local partners to add value and achieve cost reductions. M² Subsea will manage the project working closely with local partner Frontera Resources, utilising the Mexican-flagged multipurpose support vessel Tehuana. “This is our second project with Frontera in the Mexican sector,” said Mr Arnold. “Local content is an integral part of our growth plan. “Inspection, survey work, pipeline and plant protection have been our meat and drink,” Mr Arnold concluded. “We have seen some green shoots of recovery in the industry, if on a small scale, and our client base is expanding all the time.” OSJ
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OPERATOR PROFILE | 47
Industry leader Tom Ehret behind acquisition of Sea Trucks’ DP3 vessels Tom Ehret, a well-known leader in the offshore oil and gas industry, is the man behind the acquisition of Sea Trucks Group’s DP3 offshore accommodation/construction vessels
om Ehret’s company Telford Offshore, a new name in the global oil and gas industry, has acquired the four DP3 multipurpose offshore construction vessels from Sea Trucks Group following its liquidation. The newly-formed contracting company has acquired the vessels –Jascon 25, Jascon 28, Jascon 31 and Jascon 34 – which can support multiple activities, focusing on high-capacity accommodation combined with lifting, fabrication and installation services. Together with the firm’s project experience, Telford Offshore plans to address the market for full lifecycle of operations in shallow and deep waters, on greenfield and brownfield developments, from installation to decommissioning, including inspection, maintenance and repair and modifications. Headquartered in Dubai, Telford Offshore will focus on areas where the vessels and company project personnel have demonstrated their capabilities, namely West Africa, southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, with subsidiaries or representatives in each of these territories.
Mr Ehret, who is chairman of the board at Telford Offshore, said “Throughout the downturn, the oil and gas industry has been focused on reducing cost. The pain and the lessons learnt must not be forgotten as we start to recover. Indeed, the focus will remain on keeping costs low while increasing efficiency. This is why we believe the time is right for Telford Offshore to launch their value proposition which is firmly anchored on these two driving forces and our strong culture of service, performance and safety.” Chief executive Fraser Moore said “Our goal is to reward the support our investors have provided to Telford Offshore by increasing the value of our company over the coming years.With the combination of our proven multi-purpose assets and our strong, resourceful teams, both onshore and offshore, we are confident we will succeed. “We have a sustainable balance sheet which should provide the confidence to both clients and other contractors that Telford Offshore will be a reliable partner in offshore engineering and construction activities. “We have formed a new executive team, including Ivan Coyard (chief financial officer)
Telford Offshore has gained access to four DP3 accommodation vessels
and Duncan MacPherson (chief operating officer), and combined with a hugely experienced board of directors and the full support of investors, we believe we have developed a business platform that can provide stability and growth in the coming years.” Telford Offshore’s fleet now comprises four modern vessels, all built between 2007 and 2011, the newlyrenamed Telford 25, Telford 28, Telford 31 and Telford 34. Their DP3 capabilities and walk-to-work systems allow them to benefit from high connectivity rates to fixed and mobile production installations, reducing downtime while on station. Their multi-purpose capabilities ensure that diverse operations can be undertaken by one single vessel. Each vessel can provide accommodation services, to transport, lift and install subsea or topside components, lay pipe and carry out subsea construction.
In a varied and highly successful career Mr Ehret was instrumental in several industry-shaping moves including the merger of Stena Offshore and the US listed Coflexip. After the acquisition by Technip, he became group vice chairman and president of the offshore branch of the company. He was latterly the chief executive of Acergy (now Subsea 7), a leading offshore contractor listed in the US and Norway. Since he stepped back from his chief executive role, he has developed a portfolio of non-executive directorships of listed and private companies, such as SBM Offshore, Huisman Equipment and Comex. He is also an active investor in various private businesses and executive chairman at Sea Trucks Group since December 2017. Telford Offshore expects more assets to expand the company fleet in the coming months. OSJ
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
48 | HEAVY-LIFT
Heavy-lifters adjust to changing market and new opportunities Specialist heavy-lift companies RollDock and SAL Heavy Lift have decided to form a pool, but BigLift has ended a venture with the former
The RollDock/SAL Heavy Lift pool will include six vessels, including RollDock’s S- and ST-class vessels
ebruary 2018 saw RollDock and SAL Heavy Lift, two leading players in the heavy-lift market, join forces for roll-on/roll-off and float-in/ float-out heavy-lift cargoes. Both are well known for their work in the offshore oil and gas and related sectors. The pool will consist of a combined fleet of six vessels and will be managed by RollDock with SAL providing specialised heavy break bulk cargo support. Five of the vessels come from the existing
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
RollDock fleet (S-class and ST-class vessels) and one from SAL (Combi Dock I). SAL’s managing director Martin Harren said of the arrangement “We quickly saw the advantages of working together. Through a consolidation, we will see a better utilisation of the vessels.” SAL Heavy Lift was acquired by Harren & Partner in 2017. At about the same time, another well known heavylift ship specialist, BigLift, announced that it was
targeting the growing market for jacket-type foundations and extra-large monopiles for offshore windfarms, using two MC-class ships that had been assigned to a co-operation agreement with RollDock. Newly painted in BigLift colours after the agreement to market the vessels with RollDock ended late last year, BigLift said the vessels – BigLift Baffin and BigLift Barentsz – are well suited to the offshore renewables markets. By adding two wide-deck carriers to the BigLift fleet, the company has enhanced its heavy transport capabilities significantly in terms of greater module sizes, load-carrying ability and project optimisation and efficiency. With Finnish Swedish 1A ice class and a high level of redundancy, the vessels have a strong, flush deck of 125 m x 42 m and are able to handle large module shipments, cranes and other cargo. The vessels have already had a number of challenging projects that demonstrated their low fuel consumption, excellent service speed and reduced motions. BigLift said it is focusing on opportunities in the renewables sector and in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. It said this could include transport of jackets and new-generation monopiles for offshore wind and large modules for LNG projects. BigLift Shipping decided to put an end to the BigRoll Shipping joint venture with effect from 1 January 2018. As briefly highlighted by OSJ, another well known
owner/operator of heavy-lift vessels, Jumbo, signed a letter of intent with China Merchants Industry Holdings late last year for the detailed engineering and construction of a dynamic positioning class 2 heavy-lift crane vessel. Due to be delivered in Q1 2020, the design was developed by Jumbo working closely with Ulstein Design and Solutions BV. The vessel will make use of Ulstein’s X-BOW hullform – which will be a first for a heavy-lifter – and will be fitted with two offshore mast cranes with a lifting capacity of 2,200 tonnes and 400 tonnes, respectively. The cranes will be designed and built by Huisman Equipment. The vessel will also have a moonpool and will be prepared to undertake flexlay projects if required. Jumbo anticipates that the vessel will find work in the offshore wind energy market, installing turbine foundations and will also be able to install/ decommission infrastructure in the offshore oil and gas industry and install mooring systems and floating structures in deeper water. It also anticipates that the vessel will install subsea structures, foundations and flexlay tie-backs. Jumbo’s managing director Michael Kahn said that, despite the currently depressed nature of the offshore oil and gas industry, the company is committed to it in the long term. “Signing this letter of intent is a milestone for Jumbo’s offshore division and will enable us to step up, scale up and diversify,” he said. OSJ
TRAINING | 49
Simulation meets automation to enhance ROV training and analysis Training on laptops and using cloud-based systems to teach personnel look set to become a feature of the marine industry
orum Subsea Technologies and BluHaptics are to collaborate to provide training solutions for remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and subsea engineering applications. The collaboration brings together Forum’s VMAX software, a 3D ROV simulation product, with BluHaptics’ Dex-OS manipulator control system. VMAX is used to train and evaluate ROV pilots as well as by subsea engineering teams for modelling and verification of procedures involving intervention tasks related to installing and maintaining subsea equipment. It can provide a range of ROV training scenarios designed to test pilots’ skills in realistic operational scenarios, many of which require the use of a seven-function manipulator. The user interface for manipulator control is key to providing a realistic user experience. BluHaptics’ Dex-OS manipulator control system provides an intuitive user interface with the ability to introduce variable levels of automation to make execution of subsea intervention tasks more safe and efficient. The company describes it as a cost-effective alternative for control of seven-function manipulators within VMAX simulated operations. The company also anticipates that it will provide variable levels of automation to offer inspiration for engineering teams seeking to improve operations involving increasingly complex intervention scenarios. For ROV operators who are interested in implementing BluHaptics Dex-OS technology into their ROV fleet, VMAX and BluHaptics can now offer a simulated environment as a platform for demonstration and transition training to ROV pilots without tying up expensive ROV assets. Both systems operate on laptops, which offers mobility, convenience and flexibility. VMAX product director Andy McAra said “We have seen an increase in the use of 3D simulation products by engineers for evaluating subsea systems and the way in which underwater vehicles interact with them. “For engineers who are a not accustomed to piloting an ROV, let alone controlling a seven-function manipulator, we can now offer a very cost-effective and intuitive alternative to the legacy controller.” BluHaptics vice president business development Luke Wissmann explained that Forum’s portable VMAX simulator had made it possible to demonstrate its Dex-OS system in conference rooms around the world. He said this has enabled the company to demonstrate how the system functions in real-world scenarios. “So
demonstrations become very credible, and the value proposition of Dex-OS becomes even more apparent,” he said. Kongsberg Digital has signed the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) as a pilot-customer for the cloud-based application of its K-Sim simulation technology. BCIT will be among the first to offer simulation as a service by integrating K-Sim with the new Kognifai digital platform, to enable its students to train anytime and anywhere. Initially, Kongsberg Digital will focus on enabling students at BCIT’s School of Energy to use the K-Sim Engine thermal power plant (TPP) simulator for engineers by giving them access to the simulator on their own devices. However, the ‘train anytime and anywhere’ strategy is set to improve and extend the use of simulation in other industries too. In addition to the K-Sim Engine TPP, the first maritime engine room simulators will soon be running in the Kognifai cloud environment, extending the K-Sim product offering from traditional classroom and full-mission simulators to include self-study training where students can use their own computers to access highquality, simulation-based courses. With cloud-based training, instructors can assign exercises to students who can complete them anytime and anywhere. The training provider can complement traditional simulator training in the centre with training beyond physical confines and opening hours. The benefits of cloud-based training using high-quality simulators that are easily accessed and managed by instructors and students through a web portal are numerous. Through integration of the K-Sim platform with Kognifai, Kongsberg Digital focuses on convenience and ease of use for all users to ensure that students have a more complete and flexible platform to reach their training objectives. Additionally, as the solution is provided as a service, the cost is directly related to the usage, and providers only pay for licences that are used. The cloud-based software licences can for example be integrated within course fees, making the cost-management risk to the training provider virtually zero. OSJ
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ON ORDER | 51
Subsea 7’s new reel-lay vessel, shown here, will replace Skandi Navica
HIGH SPEC REEL-LAY SHIP WILL OUTPERFORM SEVEN OCEANS
n September 2017, Subsea 7 signed a letter of intent with Royal IHC in the Netherlands for construction of a new reel-lay vessel and associated pipelay equipment. The new vessel will replace Seven Navica, which is expected to be retired from reel-lay operations, and complement another Subsea 7 vessel, Seven Oceans, which entered service in 2007. Speaking at the time that the vessel was ordered, Subsea 7 chief executive Jean Cahuzac said “We are committed to having the right fleet size and specification to meet the needs of our clients. We achieve this through a combination of owned highspecification vessels and leased vessels having strict regard to capital discipline. We have removed three owned vessels from our fleet during the last two years and will continue to actively manage our fleet composition. “The expected gradual recovery of market activity and application of new cost-effective technology supports this investment decision, which will enable Subsea 7 to participate in new prospects that are already visible in the market.” The cost, excluding capitalised interest,
Subsea 7’s newbuild reel-lay vessel will replace the elderly Skandi Navica but will also be much more capable than another more recent addition to its fleet, Seven Oceans
is expected to be below US$300M with an early 2020 delivery. When delivered, the vessel will be Subsea 7’s highest specification reel-lay vessel, capable of installing complex rigid flowlines including pipe-in-pipe systems and electrical trace heating. This capability will address the market trend towards longer tie-back developments. Royal IHC said that, working in close cooperation with Subsea 7, it had incorporated several innovative features to make the vessel “the most technologically advanced of its type” to date. Royal IHC chief executive Dave Vander Heyde said “Based on the ratio between top-pipe tension and payload to displacement, this will be one of the most cost-effective vessels to enter the market.” Its compact dimensions are facilitated by the positioning of its three enginerooms and main reel, efficient use of the superstructure and low-profile pipelay ramp. The smart use of space opens a large aft working deck, while the optimised mass distribution minimises the ballast water requirement. With model tank testing already having been performed, Subsea 7 can be confident
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
52 | ON ORDER
that it will receive a vessel from IHC that excels in performance, both in transit and in DP conditions, and provides maximum comfort for the crew. The design of the reel-lay system focuses on operational efficiency and flexibility alongside crew safety. The twin tensioner pipelay ramp tilts to allow pipeline installation from shallow waters to depths of up to 3,000 m. The large multilevel workstation optimises the efficiency of operations in and around the firing line, while a fixed auxiliary reel, recessed into the main deck, gives payload flexibility. Speaking at the 2018 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London in February 2018, Subsea 7’s vice president, asset development Stuart Smith said the vessel would meet the emerging needs of clients in a way that the now elderly Skandi Navica could not. Mr Smith noted that the vessel would also have greater payload, increased top tension and improved straightener capacity compared with the vessel it will replace and much improved overall efficiency. The vessel will, he said, be more capable and more cost-effective than competing vessels and offer clients a lower day rate as a result. He explained that numerous options and variations for replacing Skandi Navica
FAMOUS NAME TO DEPART MARKET Subsea 7 acquired Skandi Navica in 2008. The vessel, which has had an illustrious history and undertaken many important projects, was built in 1999 so the need to replace it was pressing. At the time that the company acquired it, the ship had already been on charter to Subsea 7 for eight years. With an overall length of 108 m and a beam of 22 m, the vessel was capable of operating in water depths of up to 2,000 m and has pipelay capability for installing both rigid and flexible flowlines and umbilicals, with one deckmounted storage and deployment reel with capacity for pipe diameters of up to 16 inches and a total weight of 2,200 tonnes. Other features include an optional piggy-back 250-tonne reel, a lay ramp system, abandonment and recovery systems, a 60-tonne offshore crane and a top tension capacity of 205 tonnes.
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
The newbuild is also significantly more capable than Subsea 7’s other reel-lay ship, Seven Oceans
were considered over a two-year period. These include simply ordering a copy of Seven Oceans. Other options addressed included different reel layouts and sizes and configurations and conversions of existing hulls. The inclusion of other lay methods was also included – including J-lay – as was the possible inclusion of other heavy equipment, including cranes and underdeck carousels. Subsea 7 opted for twin father/ son reels, with a non-fleeting tower at the stern and a swivelling aligner. With a total installed power of 22.5 MW and three azimuth thrusters aft, the newbuild will also have two azimuth thrusters and two tunnel thrusters forward, conferring a high level of manoeuvrability on the vessel. This configuration will give the ship a bollard pull of 100 tonnes. The vessel will have storage capacity for 5,600 tonnes of pipe and will be able to handle 20-inch single pipe and 14-inch x 18-inch pipe in pipe. With a top tension of 600 tonnes, the new vessel will have a 650/720 abandonment and recovery system and will be able to handle standard pipeline end terminations (PLETs) of 10 m x 10 m x 5 m at 65 tonnes. It will also be able to handle outsize PLETs and other bulky objects. It is being designed to install 16-inch flexibles and will have a 260-tonne capacity main crane with active heave compensation capable of working to a depth of 3,000 m. In operation, when lowering objects to the seabed, the crane will be complemented by two work-class remotely operated vehicles. Apart from being a much more capable vessel than Skandi Navica, the newbuild
is more capable in a number of respects than Seven Oceans. It has a larger hub and aligner diameter and stronger straightener and can handle larger pipe in pipe. It also boasts a higher top tension and can handle larger diameter pipes and work in greater water depths. It also has greater storage capacity and hence requires fewer trips per project. The twin tensioner system has more efficient cutting and handling facilities, and twin reels will provide for a greater level of flexibility and require the vessel to spend less time in a spoolbase compared to Seven Oceans. The vessel also has a larger initiation winch, which will be more efficient for initiating pipelay over the ramp, and a large lead string/tail string winch that will be more efficient and lead to less wasted pipe. The twin abandonment and recovery system will provide the required top capability with easier wire size for moderate requirements. The new ship also has better pipe handling systems and a larger bollard pull and can handle larger PLETs than the earlier vessel. Compared with Seven Oceans, the newbuild is also a more capable vessel in respect of its marine systems. These include full dynamic positioning class 3 capability, three independent enginerooms, an additional bow thruster, full SPS notation and reduced water ballast requirements. Overall, said Mr Smith, the layout of the vessel has been optimised as has weight distribution, with the reel and main payload further forward in the hull. The centre of gravity of the tower has also been lowered. The newbuild also benefits from having ice classification and winterisation features. OSJ
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SAFETY FLASHES | 55
Galvanic corrosion causes dropped object –
satellite dome fell from mast THE INTERNATIONAL MARINE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION REGULARLY PUBLISHES SAFETY FLASHES SUMMARISING SAFETY MATTERS AND INCIDENTS, ALLOWING WIDER DISSEMINATION OF LESSONS LEARNED FROM THEM, A RECENT EXAMPLE OF WHICH IS REPRODUCED HERE
vessel was sailing in its assigned standby location during heavy weather when the VSAT satellite antenna dome mounted on the vessel’s mast fell off and landed in the monkey island above the wheelhouse. The equipment was secured and the vessel master informed. The event was reported to shoreside management. There were no injuries.
What were the causes?
What went wrong?
A preliminary investigation revealed corrosion as the cause of the failure. The corrosion was discovered in the bolts and the mounts and was due in part to the use of galvanically incompatible materials. Deeper investigation looked at weather conditions, the securing arrangements of the VSAT satellite antenna dome, maintenance of the mast and its attachments, activities associated with the mast and the area above the wheelhouse. The investigation team found the arrangements by which the pedestal was attached to the mast to be unsuitable: • The bolt sizes were deemed insufficient for the static and dynamic loads that would be imposed on a VSAT antenna assembly while in service, particularly at the mast location and given that corrosion is a long-term concern. • The materials used for securing the pedestal to the mast were galvanically incompatible for the environment – that is, mild carbon steel bolts used in combination with stainless steel nuts.
The use of dissimilar metals in the nuts and bolts anchoring the pedestal of the VSAT satellite antenna dome to the mast allowed gradual galvanic corrosion of the mild steel bolts and eventual failure. The location of the dome on the mast would have exacerbated the problem, as the dome would be exposed to both windage effects and tangential g-forces as the vessel responded to wave movement.
• The securing arrangement was very difficult to inspect properly, as the nuts and bolts were almost invisible. • Welding the dome pedestal to the vessel structure would be beneficial. • Where nuts and bolts are used, careful consideration should be given to ensuring the nuts and bolts are both the correct material for the environment in which they are used and that they are the correct size.
What actions were taken?
• Inspections and maintenance – revise the vessel planned maintenance system to provide specific guidance as to what equipment to check when performing a visual inspection and clarity as to what common concern(s) to look out for. • Improvements to the design process. • Consider the use of a welded solution where practical. Where a nut and bolt arrangement is practicable, the mounting material applied should be commonly used in (and suitable for) the marine environment, such as galvanised steel bolts and nuts. Mounting materials of different composition should be avoided to minimise corrosion in a
marine environment. Members may wish to refer to the following incidents: • High potential near-miss: SWL plate fell from crane auxiliary block. • Near-miss: corrosion-related failure of bolts used to secure lifeboat winches. OSJ IMCA’s safety flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing wider dissemination of lessons learned from them. The information below has been provided in good faith by members and should be reviewed individually by recipients, who will determine its relevance to their own operations. The effectiveness of the IMCA safety flash system depends on receiving reports from members in order to pass on information and avoid repeat incidents. Please consider adding the IMCA secretariat (email@example.com) to your internal distribution list for safety alerts and/or manually submitting information on specific incidents you consider may be relevant. All information will be anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate. A number of other organisations issue safety flashes and similar documents that may be of interest to IMCA members. Any actions, lessons learned, recommendations and suggestions in IMCA safety flashes are generated by the submitting organisation. IMCA safety flashes provide, in good faith, safety information for the benefit of members and do not necessarily constitute IMCA guidance nor represent the official view of the association or its members.
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
56 | IMCA NEWS
e-portfolio will demonstrate freelance workers’ experience and competence Being able to demonstrate experience is one thing – being able to demonstrate competence is another. To meet this need, the International Marine Contractors Association has developed an electronic document that covers both
NICK HOUGH: “an e-portfolio is an easy way to demonstrate the competence of freelance personnel”
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
he phrase “I’ll send you my CV ” could soon be a thing of the past as far as freelance personnel working in the marine contracting industry are concerned. Before long, they will be offering to send their IMCA freelance competence e-portfolio – a dynamic document used to record the competence of tasks pertinent to the individual’s prospective employment. The IMCA e-portfolio, which is intended to provide competence assurance to a contractor and their client, is being launched initially in IMCA’s offshore survey division in April 2018, before being made available to the other technical disciplines covered under its competence and training remit. What has brought this about? Increasingly, contractors are reliant on freelance personnel. Currently, the main tool used to assess their competence is a curriculum vitae (CV, or résumé). As Gavin Smith of Caledonia Competence, vice-chair of IMCA’s Competence and Training (C&T) Committee, explained “Traditionally, CVs have been the only mechanism available to freelance personnel when they were asked to demonstrate their suitability for a role. “However, the need to demonstrate competence in addition to experience means that a CV is no longer enough for many IMCA member companies. Indeed, IMCA members are now more focused on the need for evidence showing that a freelancer is competent for the role. “While some companies have already moved to an e-portfolio for their own personnel, the need to make something available to the freelance population, and in turn the agencies and contractors that they represent, is a significant step forward for our industry.” As IMCA’s Nick Hough, technical adviser – HSSE, competence and training,
survey and ROV, explained, the association’s offshore survey division, in conjunction with the C&T core committee, set up a workgroup to develop an easy, cost-effective and measurable way to assess and verify the competence of freelance personnel agency workers and subcontractors. The freelance competence e-portfolio is based on IMCA’s existing competence framework and consists of an explanatory introduction with examples, FAQs, a customisable Excel spreadsheet and supplementary information. These documents can be used for observation records (an assessor’s summary of the task they observed a candidate performing in the workplace), questioning records (Q&As between an assessor and a candidate), witness testimonies (used to record specific events that have been observed by a work colleague) and candidate testimonies (which the freelancer uses to demonstrate knowledge when observation is not possible and the criteria too wide ranging for questioning). Mr Hough explained that the first step will be for freelance personnel to undergo a self-assessment process whereby their competence is assessed with or without supporting evidence using the relevant competence table within the e-portfolio. This self-assessment process is intended to act as an informal tool for the individual to benchmark themselves against and identify areas for assessment rather than be a formal proof of competence. The freelancer will then compile evidence to support their self-assessment. Closing the competence gaps that they have identified during self-assessment, by planning and seeking assistance, will be an important next step in the process. “We are looking forward to the initial roll-out and then widening the scope to all our technical divisions throughout 2018,” Mr Hough said. OSJ
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7915 10th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98108 USA Tel. 206.764.4650 - Toll Free 888.726.1688 - Fax 206.764.4653 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - Web: www.smithberger.com
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The entire energy industry will be there to do business. Keep up with technology and innovation at ONS 2018!
BEST OF THE WEB | 59
BEST OF THE WEB OSV super-major looking to sell vessels Solstad Farstad, the OSV behemoth formed a year ago, is looking to sell what it describes as non-core assets. In its Q4 2017 results, announced last week, Solstad Farstad, which was formed 12 months ago from the merger of Solstad Offshore, Farstad, Deep Sea Supply and Rem Offshore, confirmed it has initiated a process to sell out parts of its non-core fleet. The company said a successful sale would have a significant impact on group liquidity and would in particular benefit one of its non-recourse subsidiaries – which it did not name – where the liquidity “has shown a more negative development than expected.” From a financial risk perspective, the company is organised as four separate entities; with no parent company guarantees issued by Solstad Farstad on behalf of former Rem Offshore, Farstad Shipping or Deep Sea Supply. The company said the process “has secured interest from both industrial and financial players” but so far no transaction has been concluded. It continues to evaluate and discuss different options with relevant stakeholders and third parties. Solstad Farstad said “In light of the low cash position in one of the subsidiaries, this will also include discussions with the lenders of such subsidiary in order to find a sustainable solution.” http://bit.ly/2tk4BF6
Ezion Holdings asks for more time as ‘consensual’ talks continue Singapore-based offshore operator Ezion Holdings has applied for a further extension of 30 days for the release of its FY2017 financial statements as it wrestles with a restructuring exercise. The SGX-ST has informed the company that it has no objection to its application. Ezion Holdings is in discussions with stakeholders such as bank lenders in light of anticipated challenges with the group’s cash flow and has arranged a series of informal meetings with its lenders and holders of securities issued by the company pursuant to its S$1.5Bn (US$1.1Bn) multicurrency debt issuance programme. The company said it is finalising a refinancing exercise for itself and its subsidiaries, including its secured and unsecured debt, in order to strengthen its cash flow and enhance the company's working capital position. http://bit.ly/2oRdAbk
Subsea 7 adds to offshore renewables capability
Norwegian outfit planning supply and subsea base in Newfoundland Norway’s NorSea Group and Integrated Logistics, a Canadian company based in Newfoundland, are proposing the development of an offshore supply/subsea base in the region. The companies formed a new entity, Canadian Supply Base Company (CSBC) late last year and are exploring the development of a multi-user, ‘one-stop shop’ port cluster at Bull Arm, Newfoundland.
Subsea 7 has signed an agreement to acquire Siem Offshore Contractors and two vessels, subject to competition clearance in Germany. The acquisition will include the entire issued share capital of Siem Offshore Contractors, the inter-array cable lay vessel Siem Aimery and the support vessel Siem Moxie. The acquisition will further expand Subsea 7’s presence in the renewables segment. Siem Aimery and Siem Moxie, are owned by Siem Offshore Rederi AS. Siem Offshore Contractors GmbH and Siem Offshore Rederi AS are wholly owned subsidiaries of Siem Offshore, which is a related party to Subsea 7.
www.osjonline.com/ s/knowledgebank To view more whitepapers visit the Knowledge Bank at www.osjonline.com To upload a whitepaper to the Knowledge Bank, please email Kirsty Mash at email@example.com
Patented laser technology removes reflection risks The problem of target ambiguity for local position reference systems is described and recent results with the CyScan Absolute Signature system are highlighted to show how it can entirely remove the danger of laser target ambiguity.
The CyScan AS sensor is a high performance local position reference sensor specifically engineered for dynamic positioning (DP) applications. The sensor accurately measures the range and bearing to retro-reflective targets allowing for the calculation of vessel position and heading making it ideal for station keeping, or for accurately moving a vessel. Absolute Signature (AS) resolves longstanding, common industry challenges by providing an improved performance during target identification, acquisition and tracking.
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
60 | MARKET DATA
Statistics & trends Compiled using data and graphs provided by Seabrokers’ monthly market report Seabreeze
NORTH SEA DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS
NORTH SEA AVERAGE RATES: FEBRUARY 2018
DEPARTURES: Vessels that have recently left or are due to leave the North Sea spot market
AVERAGE RATE FEB 2018
AVERAGE RATE FEB 2017
supply duties PSVs <900m2
supply duties PSVs >900m2
supply duties AHTS <22,000 bhp
supply duties AHTS >22,000 bhp
ARRIVALS: Vessels that have recently arrived or are due to arrive on the North Sea spot market Ben Nevis
Ex Black Sea
Ex Central America
Ex Black Sea
Ex Black Sea
Ex Black Sea
NORTH SEA SPOT AVERAGE UTILISATION: FEBRUARY 2018 MONTH
MED LARGE PSV PSV
NORTH SEA AVERAGE RATES: FEBRUARY 2018 CATEGORY
supply duties PSVs <900m2
supply duties PSVs >900m2
supply duties AHTS <22,000 bhp
supply duties AHTS >22,000 bhp
OSVs RECENTLY DELIVERED VESSEL
Ulstein SX-157 AHT
ALP Maritime Services
STX SV 310 DF PSV
Harvey Gulf International Marine
Maersk Mover Marsh Island
Salt 200 AHTS
Maersk Supply Service
NA312E CD VE PSV
Edison Chouest Offshore
IMT 984 PSV
Swire Pacific Offshore
104M icebreaking support vessel
Pacific Grouse Yevgeny Primakov
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
MARKET DATA | 61
LEFT: PSV availability rose significantly in the period
DAILY AVAILABILITY: FEBRUARY 2018 PSV 2018
BELOW LEFT: the oil price remained in the US$60-65/ barrel price range
26 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
OIL PRICE VERSUS RIG UTILISATION 100%
$55 $50 $45
$30 Feb17 Mar17 Apr17 May17 Jun17 Jul17 Aug17 Sep17 Oct17 Nov17 Dec17 Jan18 Feb18 average Brent Crude US$/Bbl
Northwest Europe rig utilisation
South America rig utilisation
US Gulf rig utilisation
AVERAGE DAY RATES TO MONTH (FEBRUARY 2018) £20,000 January 2017 January 2018
£10,000 £9,073 £7,143
£ PSVs <900m2
AHTS <22,000 bhp
AHTS >22,000 bhp
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
Whatever flag you are sailing, you are never far from a TTS service engineer Whatever flag your operation is sailing or wherever in the world your vessel needs support, you can benefit from the TTS global service network. TTS Service engineers are dedicated to provide the very best service solutions to customers around the world, offering specialist knowledge on Cranes, Winches, Hatch Covers, Davits, Ro-Ro Equipment and more. On the face of it, there is no better team. www.ttsgroup.com
0760 TTS SORJ Half page advert April 17.indd 1
SIREHNAÂŽ Navigation system Designed for all types of offshore vessels
Dynamic Positioning system DP Equipment up to DP2
Heading Control System Track Control System
Complete services Ship modeling Algorithm of control command Certification Installation onboard & sea trials Worldwide service and training center
committed to the quality of the world fleet
We are committed to upholding the values of safety, security, and environmental protection. This is evidenced through the quality of our fleet and outstanding port State control record as the only major international flag to remain on the United States Coast Guardâ€™s Qualship 21 roster for 13 consecutive years. International Registries, Inc. in affiliation with the Marshall Islands Maritime & Corporate Administrators
firstname.lastname@example.org blog.register-iri.com www.register-iri.com
+33 2 44 76 57 57
MARKET DATA | 63
Offshore vessel values
February 2018 The table on page 64 shows the monthly percentage change in value for offshore support vessels, by year of build, from 1 February to 28 February 2018. Values have slightly softened in both anchor-handling tug/supply (AHTS)/anchor-handling tug (AHT) and platform supply vessel (PSV) sectors this month. PSVs
PSV values have slightly softened this month. There was one platform supply vessel sale this month. Peggy Jean (800 dwt, June 2000, Hope Services) was sold to an undisclosed buyer in the US.
AHTSs and AHTs
AHTS values have slightly softened this month. There were five AHT/AHTS sales. Pacific 28 (6,000 bhp, June 2004, Keppel Singmarine) was sold at auction for US$0.6M, VesselsValue value US$0.72M. Swire offloaded Pacific Worker (10,800 bhp, October 2002, Vard Brevik) and Pacific Rover (7,210 bhp, November 2002, Pan United) to undisclosed Taiwanese buyers. MPDL Conqueror (8,000 bhp, May 2010, Tongfang Jiangxin Shipbuilding) was sold by MMA Offshore. Nam Cheong International sold SK Progress (5,150 bhp, June 2012, Fujian Southeast).
TOTAL VALUE OF SECONDHAND SALES IN FEBRUARY 2018 VS 2017
NUMBER OF SECONDHAND SALES IN FEBRUARY 2018 VS 2017
Number of secondhand sales February 2018
• The total value of sales is down circa 25% in February 2018 compared to February 2017. • Bulker, tanker and gas sales are all lower by transaction value this February whereas container sales are higher. • Bulker total sale prices are down circa 42% this February compared to February 2018, also confirmed by fewer number of sales. • Container values by secondhand sales are higher this February compared to February 2017, agreeing with number of sales in below graph.
• Total sales by number were down circa 32.5% for February 2018 compared to February 2017. • Bulker sales are down by 60% this February. • The tanker market has been very quiet in February with only 17 sales in 2018 compared to 27 in 2017. • Only two sales occurred in the gas sector this month, both vessels are small LPGs with an undisclosed price.
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
64 | MARKET DATA
OFFSHORE VALUES PERCENTAGE CHANGE/1,000s OF DOLLARS: FEBRUARY 2018 BUILT
Offshore Support Journal | April 2018
Experience the progress.
Liebherr Board Offshore Crane Series (BOS) • Lifting capacity: Up to 1,200 tonnes • Maximum radius: Up to 102 metres • Lattice boom and open A-frame design for utmost stability and less weight • Ideal solution for heavy lift, supply and maintenance work • For application in harsh environments and in the area of oil and gas extraction
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VROON OFFSHORE SERVICES CONNECTING MARKETS
VROON OFFSHORE SERVICES excels in the provision of diverse services and solutions for key offshore-support needs, including platform supply, emergency response and rescue, anchor handling tug supply, walk to work and subsea support. With a versatile fleet of approximately 100 vessels and highly qualified and experienced colleagues, we are committed to providing safe, reliable and costeffective services. Vroon Offshore Services is an international operator with a strong geographical presence in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Indian Ocean and Asian regions.
Find us on:
ABERDEEN | DEN HELDER | GENOA | SINGAPORE www.vroonoffshore.com
Offshore Support Journal is the leading publication focusing on the offshore support vessel market.