Page 1


Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference | Awards | Exhibition

How the OSV industry is fundamentally changing OFFSHORE WIND A market whose time has come

SUBSEA A reviving sector with a clear path ahead

OFFSHORE SUPPORT Pool assets and benefit from market upturn

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD A lesson in grit and grace

Rising Above SEACOR Marine is unmatched in geographic reach and fleet size. Around the globe, we can be counted on to leverage technology to deliver innovative solutions and excellence across a diverse range of offshore transport solutions. We are successful only when our customers are successful so SEACOR Marine is honored to be recognized as OSJ’s 2019 Shipowner of the Year, and privileged to have our CEO – John Gellert – distinguished as the recipient of OSJ’s 2019 Industry Leader Award.

John Gellert President and Chief Executive Offi cer


Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference | Awards | Exhibition Published April 2019 Editor: John Snyder t: +1 917 886 5192 e: Production Editor: Kevin Turner t: +44 20 8370 1737 e:


3 The premier gathering for international OSV owners


4 How digitalisation will change DP operations

Dynamic positioning award

Brand Manager – Sales: Ian Glen t: +44 7919 263 737 e:

6 New sensor puts Kongsberg in a winning position

Sales: Indrit Kruja t: +44 20 8370 7792 e:

8 Offshore wind: favourable breeze ahead

Sales: Colin Deed t: +44 1239 612384 e:

Offshore Wind Journal Conference Offshore renewables award

10 French wind project plays the right tune for Louis Dreyfus Armateurs

Head of Sales – Asia: Kym Tan t: +65 9456 3165 e:

Offshore Support Journal Subsea Conference

Sales – Asia & Middle East: Rigzin Angdu t: +65 6809 3198 e:

Subsea innovation award

Sales – Southeast Asia & Australasia: Kaara Barbour t: +61 414 436 808 e: Production Manager: Ram Mahbubani t: +44 20 8370 7010 e: Subscriptions: Sally Church t: +44 20 8370 7018 e: Chairman: John Labdon Managing Director: Steve Labdon Finance Director: Cathy Labdon Head of Content: Edwin Lampert Published by: Riviera Maritime Media Ltd Mitre House 66 Abbey Road Enfield EN1 2QN UK

12 Subsea shows signs of life but headwinds remain

14 Oceaneering’s smart ROV takes the top spot

Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition

16 The OSV industry is fundamentally changing 18 Exhibiting and networking: moments in time 20 The inside story on OSV financing 22 Awards and gala dinner: a glimpse of the high point of the year

Environmental award

24 Electrifying win for Rolls-Royce and Corvus Energy

Industry leader award

25 Seacor Marine’s John Gellert is a steady hand at the tiller

Safety award

26 Recognising Subsea 7’s safety-centric ethos

Support vessel of the year award

27 Sovcomflot award-winning ice-breaking support vessel

Shipowner of the year award 28 Why hybrids are key to this OSV owner

©2019 Riviera Maritime Media Ltd

Innovation of the year award

29 A fresh approach to testing DP generators

Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is correct, the Author and Publisher accept no liability to any party for any inaccuracies that may occur. Any third party material included with the publication is supplied in good faith and the Publisher accepts no liability in respect of content. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, reprinted or stored in any electronic medium or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the copyright owner.

Lifetime achievement award

30 A successful career built on hard work and determination

Thank you to our supporters 32 Special acknowledgement of our sponsors

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

Your access to offshore solutions.

Next level approach offshore crew transport. The FCS 7011 brings a new long-distance class capable of servicing large platforms over 100 nautical miles from port. Its size and capacity will enable it to exchange large volumes of personnel quickly, efficiently and in a very broad weather window. DAMEN.COM


The premier gathering for international OSV owners

I John Snyder, Editor


t is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition supplement. For 13 years, the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference has been the premier event for the international offshore support vessel industry to gather to discuss, digest and decipher global market trends and challenges. Offshore Support Journal Week, as it has come to be known, is four highly engaging conferences, combined with an outstanding exhibition, capped by a spectacular gala dinner and awards ceremony that has all the excitement of a maritime Oscars. If there is one common thread throughout every annual OSJ week it is the unprecedented networking opportunities available to delegates. The first day of this year’s gathering kicked off with three concurrent conferences, all with very robust agendas: the European Dynamic Positioning Conference, the Offshore Wind Journal Conference and the Offshore Support Journal Subsea Conference. The transformation of DP Digitalisation, automation and artificial intelligence are transforming the OSV business which was evident in the presentations at the European Dynamic Positioning Conference (EDPC). Chaired by Hornbeck Offshore Services chief operating officer Carl Annessa, the EDPC programme highlighted the use of artificial intelligence as a decision-supporting tool, providing the pathway to remotely operated vessels and eventually autonomous vessels that can be kept on station using dynamic positioning systems without human intervention. Offshore wind takes centre stage At the Offshore Wind Journal Conference, chaired by OWJ editor David Foxwell, delegates heard encouraging news about the global growth of renewables and offshore

wind in Europe and Asia and emerging opportunities in the US, where the first commercial offshore windfarm is expected to be sited in US Federal waters next year. Subsea market still recovering Subsea 7 vice president asset development Stuart N Smith chaired the Offshore Support Journal Subsea Conference that examined factors that have led to the slow recovery in the subsea sector. By all accounts it looks like OSV owners are in for more pain this year. The Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition The heart of OSJ Week is the two-day Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition, where delegates were treated to insight and analysis from an impressive roster of industry insiders accompanied by a wellrounded exhibition. While those gathered saw signs of a recovery in the market, OSV owners are facing another year of headwinds, marked by slowly rising utilisation rates and day rates. The evening of the first day culminated with the much-anticipated gala dinner and awards ceremony. Congratulations to all our award winners, who were recognised in 10 categories for their hard work, determination and innovation. Special thanks Special thanks to all of our sponsors, whose gracious contributions made OSJ Week possible, and our exhibitors, who represent a vital part of our programme. We also wanted to thank our presenters and panelists for their hours of preparation and participation, as well as our hardworking conference team that make events such as this run smoothly. If you attended this year, our hardy thanks to you for a lively week. We hope to see you again next year in London, 4-6 February, for what’s sure to be another exciting gathering. OSJ

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019


Digitalisation will further enhance DP operations Technology is at the heart of improving DP operations, while improving fault detection and reducing safety risks remain key issues


essel operators need to be prepared for the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and further digitalisation in dynamic positioning (DP). The offshore sector has started adopting digital decision-support and testing services. DNV GL segment director for offshore service vessels Arnstein Eknes explained to Riviera Maritime Media’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference in London how offshore vessel owners will be making greater use of AI and digitalisation in the future. This will include supporting DP operators in their operational decisions and enabling more remote operations. AI can be developed for DP systems to identify issues and conduct self-diagnostics. “Systems can do self-checks and self-validation, so operators can then focus on the reality of the job and prepare for emergencies,” said Mr Eknes. AI will facilitate further development of remote operation of offshore support vessels and it could lead to autonomous operation of vessels in the future, said Kongsberg Maritime product advisor for DP Kristian Ivar Øien. He explained that the “ultimate goal” is to develop autonomous DP systems capable of keeping a vessel on station without human intervention. Kongsberg is progressing with this and is moving forward with projects such as Yara Birkeland, the first fully autonomous, fully electric container ship. Kongsberg is also involved in designing remote-control firefighting vessels. “In an autonomous system, you cannot just issue alarms,” noted Mr Øien. “You have to have each component address its own problems.” Vessel owners are adopting digitalisation technology to enhance the safety and

Carl Annessa (Hornbeck): “We should not need lots of redundancy to stay on DP”


Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

efficiency of their DP operations. Hornbeck Offshore Services chief operating officer Carl Annessa said digitalisation is delivering benefits to owners. “We are using data for better decision support as we want incidentfree performance,” he said. DP systems would benefit from new applications of sensors, such as for anticipating sea states, and from batteries and logic-controlled power systems “to increase fault recognition and prevent interruptions”. Technology can prevent blackouts without the necessary redundancy. “We need to find fault issues and fix them, so, we should not need lots of redundancy to stay on DP,” said Mr Annessa. Solstad Offshore has used digitalisation to transition from paper-based DP assurance annual trials to a digital system. Solstad operations director for subsea construction John Steiner Sund outlined some of the lessons this vessel owner learnt from using digital workflows for DP trials. This was from using UniSea and Global Maritime software for remote DP trials on 14 vessels from its fleet of 150 ships. The first remote DP trial was performed on DP3 subsea construction support vessel Normand Installer. Mr Sund said digitalisation helps improve efficiencies and reduces costs of DP annual trials. “It gives us flexibility as trials can be carried out whenever the crew has time and then validated from shore,” he said. “It increases utilisation and saves on costs and increases revenue.” Unisea’s software has been integrated into Solstad’s own programs with data that can save money on future trials. “Digitalisation and remote DP trials is a way forward for the industry,” said Mr Sund.


All Offshore managing director Dan Endersby described how programs can be used to support DP operator decisions, onboard training and remotely managing DP systems. Mr Endersby reviewed the data that these programs have obtained during a yearlong trial. DP Time “provides information of the operational experience in both quantitative and qualitative formats for the benefit for all offshore stakeholders,” he said. Stena Drilling used technology for reactivating the 2001-built semisubmersible Stena Don when it received a 120-day contract from Total in 2018. Stena Drilling marine superintendent John Flynn explained that Stena Don was warm stacked in Norwegian coastal waters before being transferred to Scotland for reactivation to drill the Glendronach exploration well, west of Shetland. “We had 60 days to reactivate the rig,” recalled Mr Flynn. Working with a new client and new regulator were sizeable challenges; but the biggest challenge was absorbing a new crew, having worked with the same team for 15 years. To bring the new team up-to-speed, Stena Drilling invested in a drilling-systems rig simulator and worked with third-party trainers to develop training modules that included drilling and tripping, well control and stuck pipe training. The programme was so successful that

Stena Drilling now uses the simulator for all its reactivations and start-ups. Stena Don is now working on new Total contracts that will keep it employed for another year and a half. Stena Drilling spent US$80M upgrading Stena Don, including installing an eightpoint mooring system and upgrading the DP system to a position mooring system. New drilling rig mooring and DP systems are having an impact on the AHTS vessel market, according to Westshore Shipbrokers offshore analyst Inge Moy. He explained that only 29% of the drill rig fleet operating worldwide were fitted with DP systems in 2004. However, this had risen to 59% in 2013 and 74% this year. When drill rigs are fitted with DP systems, no AHTS vessels are required for manoeuvring, said Mr Moy, although they are required for towing between jobs. If rigs have the POSMOOR notation, this also limits the need for AHTS vessels. POSMOOR is used to actively reduce tension in individual lines, or assist the position mooring system’s winches in moving the rig from one position to another. With the demand for DP drill rigs rising, “you can see why (AHTS) owners are struggling,” said Mr Moy.

John Flynn: Stena Drilling spent US$80M upgrading Stena Don, including the DP system

Steven Cargill (DNV GL): Guidance is generated in response to observed gaps or shortfalls in the DP validation

Safety and guidance

Digitalisation and better reporting can improve safety. At the conference International Marine Contractors

Association (IMCA) technical adviser Andy Goldsmith outlined how the reporting of incidents and station-keeping events is improving safety across the offshore sector. It provides management with important feedback and helps to steer training. He said there had been increasing numbers of companies, 40 in 2018, involved in this initiative, with around 145 incidents reported last year. The majority of these incidents were due to issues with propulsion, human factors, DP control computers or loss of position reference. DNV GL Noble Denton’s DP technical authority, Steven Cargill, explained how the guidance issued by the Marine Technology Society’s (MTS) DP sub-committee boosts safety. He explained that MTS’s DP guidance is complementary to class rules, but intended to serve different purposes. Its guidance is generated in response to observed gaps or shortfalls in the DP validation and verification processes, he said.​It allows the user to understand and manage their station-keeping risk portfolio. MTS’s DP guidance “provides help to vessel owners who seek to differentiate themselves,” Mr Cargill added. Maritime Assurance & Consulting (MAC) operations manager Chad Fuhrmann introduced the OpTech DP operational and technical awareness program. This addresses charterers’ concerns about the gap in operational knowledge of management teams responsible for creating policies and procedures that govern DP operations. MAC’s OpTech awareness programme includes a DP double-check reference card, personnel and operational assessments, DP emergency drill strategies, and an onsite classroom for offshore personnel and management. The Nautical Institute has introduced two approved courses for DP operations, said chief executive John Lloyd. These comprise a course for emergency shiphandling of offshore support vessels and refresher training for DP technical personnel. The former trains crews in responding to vessel handling when there are DP failures, “where there is a risk of a loss of position,” explained Capt Lloyd. OSJ

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019


Kongsberg clinches dynamic award for positioning technology Long-range relative positioning of offshore support vessels and drilling rigs is more reliable and effective with a new sensor unit

Vidar Bjorkedal (Kongsberg Maritime) left: “This award recognises what we have done in developing sensors for DP operations for years to come”


ongsberg Maritime introduced the XPR 100 microwave-based solution for DP applications that require long-range relative positioning in 2018 to enhance safety and reliability even in harsh weather. For this innovation, Kongsberg was awarded Offshore Support Journal’s Dynamic Positioning Award during a gala dinner presentation in London. This award, which is sponsored by Damen Shipyards, recognises the developer of an innovative DP product or system, or contractor responsible for an especially innovative application of DP on a project. It was presented to Kongsberg during the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London. “This award recognises what we have done in developing sensors for DP operations for years to come,” said Kongberg Maritime Vidar Bjorkedal. Kongsberg’s XPR 100 provides precision readings, with high bearing accuracy, up to a distance of 10 km from a target,

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

which introduces a new level of versatility for diverse DP operations. It is compact and lightweight, has no moving parts and operates in the most extreme weather conditions. It operates in the 9.2-9.3 GHz band and each lightweight panel has an opening angle of 100°. XPR 100 can utilise several sensor panels, which can be deployed on suitable locations on the vessel dependent on the construction and operation. This provides an extended operational area and avoids blind angles. Its performance and operation can be configured and monitored using application software, which enables the sensors to interface with remote systems via serial lines or an Ethernet-based network. XPR 100 is designed to fill the need specified by IMO for DP-classed vessels. XPR 100 has an in-built system for testing, which means it can be verified before arriving at the location, reducing the risk of costly vessel DP system downtime. Kongsberg said XPR 100 features a highly intuitive human-machine interface that enables operators to assess the quality of vessel positioning rapidly and effectively during operations. Operators can select between a set of colour palettes and night display for operations under different light conditions.

THIS AWARD RECOGNISES WHAT WE HAVE DONE IN DEVELOPING SENSORS FOR DP OPERATIONS FOR YEARS TO COME” Kongsberg won the award against stiff competition from the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) and ABB Marine. IMCA was nominated for its DP stationkeeping events database and detailed case studies to ensure that lessons learned from industry incidents and accidents can be disseminated throughout the industry. ABB was nominated for its Ability Marine Pilot Control DP system. This fulfils the same role and functionality as a traditional DP system, while allowing for simplified operation through a touchscreen-based interface. OSJ


MOTION SENSOR & GYRO COMPASS The most versatile gyro compass by KONGSBERG. Ever.

Complete Engineering Solutions

“Innovation Driven by Expertise” For repairs and conversions, bespoke deck equipment, ship design

Tel: 01452 546570


Offshore wind: a market whose time has come Delegates at Riviera’s Offshore Wind Journal Conference were buoyed by news of a highly prospective and expanding market that is inspiring new contractual arrangements


he offshore wind market is on a roll with 20 national markets worldwide. The gravity of the industry is moving East and China is about to take over from the UK in terms of installed capacity Offshore Wind Journal editor David Foxwell told this year’s Offshore Wind Journal Conference. Speakers were, however, keen to underline this did not spell the demise of the UK industry. “The offshore wind industry is absolutely ready to step up and fill the gap left behind by the nuclear industry,” said RenewableUK senior policy manager Rebecca Williams. “And I think we need to better understand how that

ramp up could impact the supply chain. In general, I think the industry can be confident that if there was a need for a big increase in capacity, industry can meet that demand.” The Brexit question hanging over the UK and the European market was addressed. David Foxwell captured the consensus when he said “that the companies involved have probably began to make or probably now made arrangements to overcome any problems they might encounter.” Farther afield, the United States is attracting a lot of attention. Where the Trump administration was originally seen as anti-offshore wind, in practice the US administration was seen as

Ross Tyler (Offshore Wind): “It is really important offshore wind enjoys its rightful place in the future energy mix in California”

Rebecca Williams (RenewableUK): “We need to better understand how that ramp up could impact the supply chain”

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

beginning to swing behind it. Amplifying on US developments, Business Network for Offshore Wind executive vice president Ross Tyler drew attention to the two 6-MW turbines being installed off the coast of Virginia in 2020. “They may not be particularly significant from a capacity perspective, but they are significant as they are the first two turbines going into Federal waters. It means that all the Federal agencies, are going to have to work closely together in order for the permits to be issued, and that will pave the way for future utility-scale projects. “California is a highly prospective floating offshore wind market. But it faces stiff competition from onshore wind and solar. It’s really important offshore wind enjoys its rightful place in the future energy mix in California. Senate Bill 100 sets out the vision and calls for California to generate 100% of its energy needs from renewables by 2045, and 50% by 2025. “We're very confident. We've launched a two-year campaign and are already engaging with state legislators.” Offshore Wind Consultants director, John MacAskill, focused on developments on the other side of the Atlantic. Plans to develop wind projects offshore Dunkirk could reenergise the French market, he said. “There's a lot of things happening in France at the moment, policy wise, across a range of industrial areas, and I think that a successful Dunkirk round will put pressure on the aging French nuclear fleet.


“What needs to happen to get offshore wind off the ground in Ireland is a clearer policy framework around timelines and making sure that there's an identifiable technology portfolio for offshore wind so developers can feel confident.” Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy chartering manager Craig Morton addressed how offshore wind and market developments would impact O&M. “The last 18 months or so have seen a tightening of the market so we've had to instigate some strategies to increase the utilisation of the higher performing vessels. We've been getting some longer contracts and trying to bundle tenders where possible and give as many contracts as we can to one owner. “We have launched a European package tender and plan to launch some more. For the owners these tenders give them some security and mean if an owner has three vessels operating out of one port it brings a certainly predictability to planning in terms of crew, stores and logistics. They can have spare parts in one location as opposed to having maybe three or four vessels spread around one country or a couple of countries. It also gives greater visibility around forward earnings. “Vessels that are in high demand are those with high sea capabilities, capacity for say 24 on board, and can stay offshore for up to a week at a time.” F3O Offshore Services managing director David Nielsen told delegates on 5 February that “everything has changed” in the market for SOVs. “Prices have doubled,” said Mr Nielsen. As the oil and gas market has tightened so the number of subsea vessels available for offshore wind work has declined. Typically, offshore wind charters require a vessel with accommodation for 80-100 people and a 250-tonne crane. “Although prices are much higher than they were, offshore wind companies are still chartering vessels,” Mr Nielsen said. “They are willing to pay higher rates.” Acta Marine Wind Services

John MacAskill (Offshore Wind Consultants): “Offshore Dunkirk could re-energise the French market”

general manager commercial offshore Simon Anink said the nature of the relationship between offshore wind companies and vessel owners is also changing. Mr Anink said the market was seeing more and more turnkey contracts, and much greater use of key performance indicators. Acta Marine operates purpose-built SOVs rather than subsea vessels adapted for that role. “Charterers are moving from paying for a vessel to paying for a service,” he told delegates. Damen Shipyard Group business development manager offshore wind Peter Robert agreed with Mr Anink and said the market is moving towards performance contracting. He said this means it is more important than ever to predict the ‘workability’ of a vessel on a particular offshore wind site. Mr Robert said this is not only a question of how a ship would perform on an offshore windfarm but how that vessel would perform when fitted with different offshore access systems. Another trend in the SOV market he highlighted is vessel sharing, with a single vessel working across more than one windfarm. In a panel discussion on the walkto-work market, Uptime International

sales and business development director Bjørnar Huse said the level of performance expected of gangways is evolving all the time. “Gangways are getting bigger, they are capable of lifting more equipment, but the main focus of development now is on automation and using ‘intelligent gangways’ that are less dependent on a ‘man in the loop’ to operate them. “A computer can handle anomalies and make gangway operation safer, more reliable and dependable,” he said. Mr Nielsen concluded that he expected the cost of chartering vessels would continue to increase and the market would continue to tighten. Vessel design also featured in discussion. Damen Shipyards Group’s new design, the fast crew supplier (FCS) 3410 service accommodation and transfer vessel, was presented and assessed. The FCS 3410 develops the Axe Bow and Damen Fast Crew Supplier concept, and has been tailored to meet the requirements of the US market.

CHARTERERS ARE MOVING FROM PAYING FOR A VESSEL TO PAYING FOR A SERVICE” “We have given it long endurance capability so it can remain at sea for up to five days at a time – a requirement typically seen in US operations,” said Damen sales manager Daan Dijxhoorn. “To facilitate this, we have designed a vessel 6 m longer than previous FCS types, able to host more onboard personnel and accommodation." The FCS 3410 also draws on the successful Damen accommodation support vessel 9020, a walk-to-work vessel designed for transporting and providing accommodation for offshore personnel for up to a month. It would be built at an as yet undisclosed location in the US. OSJ

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019


sponsored by


Louis Dreyfus Armateurs wins for innovative SOV Paris, France-based Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group has been awarded the Offshore Renewables Award at the 2019 Offshore Support Journal Awards in London


ouis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) was awarded the Offshore Renewables Award at the 2019 Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards for service operation vessel (SOV) Wind of Change on 6 February. Sponsor F3 Offshore Services' managing director David Nielsen presented the award to LDA’s head of newbuildings Hervé Lapierre, who said “I’m very proud to be here and receive this award. I’ve enjoyed the teamwork with everyone [involved], including the designer, the shipyard, and very importantly, the client.” The vessel was designed by Salt Ship Design and is being built by Cemre in Turkey. It measures 83 m in length and has a beam of 19.4 m. It will be outfitted with a 19-m motion-compensated gangway from Uptime, and a TTS Colibri motion-compensated crane from TTS Group and Ulstein. The power plant comes in the form of L21/31 variablespeed gensets from MAN employing the EPROX energy saving electric propulsion system. ABB is providing an OnBoard DC grid along with a power and energy management system. The DC grid will integrate two sets of batteries that will be used primarily for spinning reserve and peak shaving so that power peaks during operation can be covered by the battery rather than starting another engine. Battery power can also act as backup for running generators, reducing the need to run spare generator capacity. The level of operating efficiency available in a hybrid power system reduces wear and tear on engines and significantly increases

Herve Lapierre (Louis Dreyfus Armateurs): “I’ve enjoyed the teamwork with everyone [involved], including the designer, the shipyard, and very importantly, the client”

fuel efficiency at lower loads where, in traditional AC power systems, generators run at a fixed maximum speed regardless of the power demand on board. Not only do the batteries have environmental benefits, but they will also result in the crew experiencing reduced vibration when operating in hybrid mode. “We have made every effort to save energy,” Mr Lapierre said. As many windfarm technicians are shore personnel rather than regular seafarers, ensuring they are comfortable on board the vessel was made a priority, he added. Common spaces on Wind of Change are designed to be bright and comfortable, so the lounges have full-height windows and the mess room is fitted with

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

windows on either side. “The idea is to get a lot of light inside the [common] spaces,” said Mr Lapierre, adding that LDA wants service personnel to forget they are inside a ship. “We wanted to give them as much comfort as possible aboard the ship – it’s like a 4 or 5-star hotel,” he said. Delivery is expected by the end of April 2019, Mr Lapierre said. When delivered, Wind of Change will be deployed with Danish energy company Ørsted in the Borkum Riffgrund 1 & 2 and Gode Wind 1 & 2 windfarms off the coast of Germany. A sister vessel, Wind of Hope, has been ordered and will service Ørsted’s Hornsea Two windfarm offshore the UK. OSJ

Middle East Offshore Support Journal Conference 24-25 April 2019, Dubai

The changing face of OSV supply and demand in the Middle East The Middle East Offshore Support Journal Conference in Dubai brings the leading shipowners, oil and gas majors, EPC contractors, technology and service providers together to discuss how best to plan for predicted OSV demand in the coming years.

Join us to hear our expert speaker panels discuss:

• OSV supply and demand forecasts • What types of vessels will be required? • What sources of finance are available to vessel owners in the Middle East? • How to adapt your risk management strategy • How digital technologies can improve performance and profits • What does the 2020 Sulphur Cap regulation mean for OSV owners.

Book your place online today at or for more information please contact Rigzin Angdu on +65 6809 3198 or at Sponsors



Subsea shows signs of life but set to remain challenging for a while yet The main takeaway from this year’s Offshore Support Journal Subsea Conference was that while there may be signs of life in the market, we’re a long way from a full recovery


aying out a heat map of the world’s most lucrative areas for subsea vessel work, Archer Knight executive director David Sheret saw that vessel activity and volume remain strongest in the areas that have traditionally been OSV hotbeds, including Northern Europe and the Gulf of Mexico. “We have seen some form of recovery” in Europe, he said, noting that utilisation has grown. However, rates have not followed utilisation, which presents a challenging situation. In the Gulf of Mexico, Mr Sheret says shale is “having an impact” on infrastructure development in the region, and that the Jones Act offers a significant barrier to international companies hoping to do business in the region. Globally, the subsea vessel fleet stands at around 400, according to Mr Sheret’s figures, with nearly a quarter operating in Europe and over 30% split roughly evenly between the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Asia. While he sees traditional ‘hot spots’ as most likely candidates to be future ‘hot spots’ for vessel activity, he is careful to qualify the term: “I would say ‘slightly warm spot’. “It is not going backwards, but I would say there is a challenge to operators [and] a challenge to rates.” IHS Markit analyst Catherine MacFarlane, however, appeared to confirm many operators’ worst fears: “The short answer to the question ‘Is the subsea fleet recovery real?’ is, ‘not really.’”

Ms MacFarlane examined the current fleet, determining the number of vessels that have been retired, those under construction and those sold. Some 16 vessels retired in 2017 and the same number again in 2018, she said, while a total of 19 pipelayers have retired since 2010. Eight diving support vessels (DSVs) were retired in 2017-18; however, only five ROV support vessels have been retired during the course of the last nine years. The subsea sector is seeing a high number of vessels under construction, with 58 vessels due for delivery in 2019, alone. And of the 71 vessels under construction as a whole for use in the sector, accommodation vessels account

Catherine MacFarlane (IHS Markit): “The short answer to the question ‘Is the subsea fleet recovery real?’ is, ‘not really’”

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

for more than any other vessel type (31). The market for walk-to-work (W2W) vessels is particularly strong, and service operations vessels (SOVs) “look like the market to be in”, when strictly comparing utilisation rates against the rest of the sector, she said. Ms MacFarlane’s data shows that 2018 had a historically high number of vessels sold (29), with the majority of those remaining in the markets they traditionally served. The data shows a growing trend for remotely operated vehicle support vessels (ROVSVs) moving away from oil and gas and into offshore wind work, and utilisation and day rates for ROVSVs tell a similar story. Looking at 2019 and beyond, Ms MacFarlane said: “This year, [overall utilisation for ROVSVs] is looking quite stable and hovering above 50% through 2023.” DSVs do not fare so well in the short term, with a “huge oversupply of vessels” limiting utilisation below 50% through 2023. On the whole, Ms MacFarlane expects utilisation to improve slowly, and day rates to make a “very slow recovery”. “We are still very far away from those rates that we saw in 2013 and 2014,” Ms MacFarlane explained. “On a global scale, the recovery has been very slow and very painful for the subsea market.” Wood Mackenzie’s director of upstream supply-chain consulting Dr Wei Liu said that the upstream value chain can expect pain into early 2020 as a result of slowdowns in project sanctioning during 2015, 2016 and 2017. He feels “cautiously optimistic” about longer-term prospects, especially when it comes to deepwater projects, noting “Deepwater is an integral part of the strategic development of the oil majors and national oil companies.”


While onshore unconventional production is due a couple more years of growth, it can be expected to plateau in the mid-2020s. Producers hoping to retain output levels through the next decade are looking to deepwater projects as a way to remedy this. “The only thing that is preventing a massive jump in deepwater investment is the payback period for the investment,” said Dr Liu. “But they cannot delay this forever because of production concerns. “The nature of the subsea market is to have a very short cycle when compared with the [asset-heavy] offshore industry, but we are not likely to see a return to the historic [capex] peaks [seen] in 2013 and 2014,” he said. “More efficient project management has decreased capex in general, so we are looking at permanently lower market prospects for capex.”

Gregory Brown (MSI): “[Decommissioning] is not just a North Sea issue, but a global one”

Opportunities for OSVs in strong decommissioning market

“The [decommissioning] market is now one of reality not promise,” according to Maritime Strategies International director of offshore Gregory Brown. “It is not just a North Sea issue but a global one, with a value of US$78Bn between 2018 and 2029,” he explained. While the UK market contains the lion’s share of this opportunity (US$23.4Bn), other key areas include the US (US$11.7Bn), Norway (US$8.6Bn), Brazil (US$7.0Bn), Angola (US$4.7Bn), Nigeria (US$3.9Bn), Thailand (US$3.9Bn) and the Netherlands (US$3.1Bn). The largest expenditure - at an estimated 49% of the cost - in a decommissioning project is the actual decommissioning of the well itself, rather than areas such as removal of topsides and subsea infrastructure, and it is here that Mr Brown sees OSVs as being particularly valuable. Reservoir abandonment, intermediate abandonment and wellhead capping are the three elements that make up this multistage process, with primary and secondary barriers required at the reservoir and


hydrocarbon flow levels, removal of casing strings, and surface plugging all required in the North Sea during P&A. Historically, these duties would be carried out by semisubmersible rigs, but the secondary surface plug, overhead removal of conductors and the removal of casing strings could be carried out by riserless wellintervention vessels (RWIVs). While RWIVs are not suitable for all work, Mr Brown explained that “full P&A of a well is very much possible for low- and mediumcomplexity wells using a RWIV, typically in shallow waters.”

Alternative business models can help odds of survival in changing market

In order to survive the downturn, Netherlands-based subsea services provider N-Sea opted to move to an alternative, “asset-light” business model. N-Sea survey lead Hans van Peet explained the factors that led to this decision. The oversupply of assets that characterised much of the oil and gas industry was one, but a strong drive from oil and gas operators to move toward alternative and new ways of doing business also influenced the move. This move has given N-Sea the flexibility to offer “fit-for-purpose solutions,” said Mr Van Peet. He explained that the company now owns two long-term assets: a dive support vessel, and a bespoke survey vessel, which allow it to service both the spot market and long-term commitments. Another key element has been a willingness to team up with partners to provide innovative solutions, he added. One example of this is the combination of Force Technology Norway’s FiGS contactless sensor technology in conjunction with an N-Sea remotely operated towed vehicle (ROTV) for cathodic protection surveys. This would traditionally be done with an ROVmounted probe, Mr van Peet said, but by using an ROTV it was found a line could be surveyed in four to five months, an improvement of two or even three times an ROV’s survey speed. OSJ

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019


sponsored by

Oceaneering wins for battery-powered ROV system Houston, Texas-based Oceaneering has received the Subsea Innovation Award, sponsored by Maats Tech, at the 2019 Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards

Arve Iversen (Oceaneering): “The concept is very daring, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the effort of – I would say – the best team there could be”


he subsea technology company beat stiff competition from Hampshire, UK-based Sonardyne International and Brøndby, Denmark-based NKT to win the award, in recognition of its innovative battery-powered remotely operated vehicle system, known as the E-ROV System. Maats Tech director Lisa Edwards presented the award to Oceaneering’s ROV operations manager Arve Iversen, who quipped: “Thank you very much. First of all I would like to thank everyone who voted for us – good job.”

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

He added “It’s very much appreciated. The concept is very daring, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the effort of – I would say – the best team there could be, ever. “I would like to emphasise the importance of Equinor’s contribution here. They believed in the concept and in us, making it possible to realise this as a commercial opportunity." The E-ROV is based around an eNovus work-class ROV with modified battery technology optimised to handle peak power consumption launched from a subsea garage that includes a cage-mounted 100 kW battery pack and tether management system. The eNovus has a 227 kg payload and a depth rating of up to 5,000 m. It measures 2.7 m in length by 1.6 m in width and 1.8 m in height, with a weight in air of 3,400 kg. The E-ROV can operate for extended periods of time without the need for surface recovery, and incorporates technologies such as machine vision learning and augmented reality. It is piloted using Oceaneering’s proprietary Remote Piloting and Automated Control Technology from one of the company’s Mission Support centres onshore, reducing or removing altogether the need for a surface vessel to remain on site. Connectivity is provided by a data/communications buoy that transmits ROV control data and live, high-definition video over 4G mobile broadband via securely encrypted VPN. The buoy itself features a highly engineered, robust mooring system capable of handling inclement sea conditions. The system produces efficiencies in a range of areas, including reducing vessel days required to complete operations, reducing carbon footprint and vessel mobilisations, expedited interventions and enhanced capability for operators to take advantage of favourable weather conditions. Norwegian energy giant Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, agreed in August 2018 to a three-year contract with Oceaneering for subsea inspection, maintenance and repair activities based around the E-ROV system. Under the terms of the contract, the E-ROV would be deployed in water depths up to 1,000 m on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Oceaneering’s origins lie in World Wide Divers, a Gulf of Mexico-focused diving company founded in 1963. World Wide Divers merged with two other diving companies in 1969 to form Oceaneering International. Since then it has expanded its offerings to cover a range of products and services covering the full lifecycle of an offshore oil field, along with work-class ROVs, maintenance services, umbilicals, subsea hardware and tooling. OSJ

MODERN CLASS FOR SMARTER OPERATIONS Today’s market needs smarter solutions – and a modern classification partner. Find out how our modern classification solutions can turn possibilities into opportunities – and make your operations safer, smarter and greener. Learn more at


How the OSV industry is fundamentally changing


ig changes and big opportunities – that was the message at the heart of Topaz Energy & Marine chief executive René Kofod-Olsen’s keynote address on the opening day of the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London. “As an industry … we cannot rationally expect to ever revert to the days where oil companies have the freedom to spend without proper control of costs,” Mr Kofod-Olsen said. The current downturn has changed the industry fundamentally, according to Mr Kofod-Olsen, but, with energy demand on the rise and with a projected increase in offshore exploration and investment ahead, there are now

tremendous opportunities after a period of cost rationalisations. “It is critical that none of us go on spending sprees or reactivate vessels without thought. The costs to the individual operator and the industry as a whole are simply too high,” he said, adding “May I plead here today with the audience to listen to your CFOs and not our sailors’ heart.”

Oil and gas market update – what does the future hold?

Rystad Energy’s London office chief Markus Nævestad told the opening session at the 2019 Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition that record-high cash flows in the exploration and production (E&P) sector point towards increased capital expenditure over the next few years. In fact, average capital expenditure on offshore projects in the next two years has the potential to double over 2017 and 2018 figures, according to his analysis. Mr Nævestad said his firm sees a clear correlation between high levels of operational cash flow and capex. After the precipitous plummet in 2015-2016 and flat numbers in 20172018, Rystad foresees a significant bump in 2019 and beyond. “For the offshore market, we expect that to turn this year and continue to be a positive story through 2021, at least,” he said.

Deepwater to become key to balancing drilling rig market René Kofod-Olsen (Topaz): “The days of buying a vessel and putting it on a day rate are numbered”

Offshore drilling rig demand is expected to improve in the next three years, too, as energy companies return to deepwater exploration and shallowwater field redevelopment.

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

This could lead to a more balanced market for floating rigs – semisubmersibles and drillships – from 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie director for upstream supply-chain consulting Dr Wei Liu. “There is an upside for the next decade in deepwater exploration and development drilling,” Dr Liu explained in the first session of the Offshore Support Journal Conference.


This will benefit operators of deepwater rigs that can drill in water depths of more than 500 m and ultradeepwater (1,500 m) in the long term. The latest (sixth and seventh) generation drilling rigs that were built in the last construction boom of 2012-2015 will be best placed to compete for the work.

Rapid growth expected for global offshore wind

Owners of offshore support vessels active in the renewable energy sector will benefit from significant growth in offshore windfarm construction and


maintenance requirements over the long term according to 4C Offshore chief executive Chris Anderson. The amount of energy generated by offshore wind turbines is expected to grow almost tenfold in the next 10 years, to more than 200 GW by the end of the next decade, he said. “Growth will be dramatic worldwide as 172 GW of power is added in the next decade, with significant growth in China, Europe and some projects in the US, Taiwan, South Korea and potentially India,” he said. Mr Anderson said he expects 20% growth year-on-year in installed capacity.

Middle East remains bright spot for OSVs but is still ‘treading water’

The OSV market in the Middle East is not showing massive improvements, but there is cause for hope and it remains stronger than other regions, said Dubai-based consultancy Synergy Offshore chief executive Fazel A Fazelbhoy. “We’re treading water,” he told the 2019 Annual Offshore Support

Paul Dear (Seabrokers): “Owners still have the collective capacity to shoot themselves in the foot”

Journal Conference, explaining “We’re not taking water on board but we’re not doing great either.” There are currently around 450 OSVs in the Middle East, he said, with around 100 of these having come from southeast Asia. While there was hope some of these would leave the region, this has not been realised, he said. Vessel utilisation rates are generally around 60%-65%, although some leading companies are claiming rates of around 90%. However while utilisation seems to have stabilised and is edging upwards, Mr Fazelbhoy noted that rates are not expected to recover until at least late 2019-early 2020. Overall, Mr Fazelbhoy said the Middle East is still seen as a “global bright spot” for OSVs, attributing this to the constancy of activity levels in the region.

UK North Sea PSV market at risk of ‘shooting itself in the foot’ Fazel A Fazelbhoy (Synergy Offshore): “We’re treading water. We’re not taking water on board but we’re not doing great either”

While a recovery of sorts continues in the UK North Sea platform supply vessel (PSV) market, “owners still have the collective capacity to shoot themselves in the foot” if they reactivate too many vessels from

lay-up too soon, noted Seabroker offshore market analyst Paul Dear. Mr Dear highlighted that UK North Sea PSV market has been in recovery for the last 18 months. To illustrate this, he noted that 23 more PSVs were on term contract in July 2018 than at the same time a year previous. However, Mr Dear said that the sector was still heavily oversupplied, with about 60 PSVs in long-term lay-up. He feels the cost to reactivate those vessels could be as much as £1M to £2M (US$1.3M to US$2.6M) and the current average day rates of £5,000 to £7,000 would not justify reactivating them. In short, he said PSV owners must carefully consider how and when to reactive vessels from lay-up, as too much too soon could prove disastrous for the current recovery.

Movement in Asia and Africa but oversupply remains an issue

The Asian and African markets are showing some signs of improvement but the oversupply problem is still obvious in both areas, Captain Mike Meade of M3 Marine said. Captain Meade noted that while Clarkson’s OSV index has historically tended to follow the oil price, this has not been the case in recent years. “We’ve got a decoupling in this cycle, a decoupling we’ve never seen before,” he said. And the explanation? “We’ve come apart because of huge oversupply. [There’s] too much steel and too much debt, and none of us saw shale oil coming.” Presenting on both markets at the 2019 Offshore Support Journal Conference, Captain Meade highlighted the numbers of OSVs in Asia and Africa that have been laid up for more than two months (defined as having had AIS turned off for eight weeks or more). Based on VesselsValue data, in Asia more than 400 vessels were in such a condition, while in Africa 229 were laid up, mostly in southwest Africa, the Gulf of Guinea and Angola. OSJ

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

The exhibition area was a hive of activity characterised by a sold-out exhibition and a backdrop for media and marketing activity

Delegates drawn from across the global offshore support vessel industry met to network, renew old contacts and forge new ones


A mix of companies drawn from the entire supply chain showcased their products and services across three full days. Hands on demonstrations were very much part of the scene



The challenges of OSV financing Financial experts discussed the difficulties OSV owners face obtaining financing in the current market on day two of the 2019 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference in London


NB Bank’s president of ocean industries and offshore Arnfinn Eilertsen, NIBC Bank’s associate director of offshore energy Wim van Wijngaarden and SpareBank 1SRBank’s director and head of energy and maritime industries Stig Horsberg Eriksen were joined by Norton Rose Fulbright partner Richard Howley on a panel to discuss issues such as refinancing, the likelihood of bankrupticies, market restructuring

and consolidations. Commenting on the outlook for owners seeking financing, Mr Howley reflected on the downturn in bulk and container shipping in the late 2000s and said “If you can take one thing from that it’s that there is life, eventually, [but] there’s a lot of pain and rationalisation required to get to that point.” “A good level of communication is needed between owners and banks about what is needed, how the next few years are going to play, what the pressure points are and how to address restructuring,” he said. Mr Eriksen said “The downturn in 2014 exposed cyclicality and volatility of the offshore sector to an extent no one had foreseen. Some of us are in this business to stay [but] for other banks it’s a case of once bitten, twice shy.”

Tidewater will only add assets if it ‘makes sense’

Stig Horsberg Eriksen (SpareBank 1 SR-Bank): “The downturn in 2014 exposed cyclicality and volatility of the offshore sector to an extent no one had foreseen”

Following its acquisition of Gulfmark in 2018, Tidewater will use its strong balance sheet, global footprint and continued scrapping programme of older vessels to right-size its fleet for the recovery, Tidewater president, chief executive and director John Rynd told conference delegates. “Six years into the down cycle, this business is far from being recovered,” said Mr Rynd, noting the oversupply

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

John Rynd (Tidewater): “Six years into the down cycle, this business is far from being recovered”

in the market and the 'need' for drillers to return. Tidewater’s US$340M all-equity transaction to acquire Gulfmark after both companies emerged from bankruptcy left the company with a well-positioned balance sheet to take advantage of a rising market, according to Mr Rynd. The largest OSV owner, with a market cap of US$919M, Tidewater has a fleet of 264 vessels, 100 of which


are stacked with an active fleet with an average age of 8.7 years. Tidewater is going to be very judicious in its spending to “right size“ its fleet, said Mr Rynd, and was not going to add assets “willy-nilly,” but only if it made sense – both in terms of individual acquisitions and M&A opportunities. In 2018, Tidewater continued to rationalise its fleet, scrapping or selling 41 vessels and targeting another 40 vessels for sale or scrap this year.

Mega-merger matchmaking: is Harvey Gulf ready to settle down?

Harvey Gulf has made no secret that it wants to merge or go into business with others, according to VesselsValue offshore analyst Robert Day. In one of his potential match-making scenarios, if Harvey Gulf were to merge with Solstad Offshore, the new fleet would have the greatest fleet numberto-value ratio. “However, if that was not the route that Harvey Gulf wanted to go down, they could actually look at merging with Bourbon [Offshore]. That would give them the overall highest number of vessels,” Mr Day said. And what would happen if Harvey Gulf were to merge with the new Tidewater-Gulfmark entity? “I don’t think the world is truly quite ready for that, yet,” Mr Day added. Addressing the question “Why does the recovery in the OSV market remain elusive?” AlixPartners managing director Jeff Drake said the financial health of the OSV market is a function of a supply-demand gap. AlixPartners estimates that OSV demand in 2019 will be at 2,291, whereas the supply is 3,647, equating to a 63% utilisation rate. Historically, OSV operators have used stacking as a low-cost means of handling oversupply and keeping the option open for a market recovery. However, even with a potential recovery in offshore drilling, the significant oversupply of OSVs could

“Larger players can afford swing vessels, but smaller owners struggle with the costs,” he continued. “Owners need to be looking at term chartering. They need a business case, as it is a big undertaking.”

Duncan Telfer calls for new balance in charter-party terms

Jeff Drake (DNB Bank): “The financial health of the OSV market is a function of a supply-demand gap”

continue to plague the sector, he said. A highly fragmented market – 400 owners in the market have fleets of six vessels or less – is making removing oversupply very difficult, according to Mr Drake, and many owners have a high debt-to-cash ratio that limits their financial leverage As more companies address their balance sheets, those with less debt will be able to price more aggressively, and those who retain debt will risk being driven out of business. “When you run out of cash, you run out of time,” warned Mr Drake.

Swire Pacific Offshore’s commercial director Duncan Telfer called for a reevaluation of charter-party terms in his address to the 2019 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference. Owners need to pay greater attention to aspects of the charter party (CP) beyond the day rate, Mr Telfer said. “Much of spotlight has been placed on the near-60% drop in rates but not enough attention has been paid to the gradual erosion of CP terms,” he said. “The day rate will be dictated by supply but the terms and conditions will not.” He highlighted several areas that negatively impact on owners while favouring charterers, such as consumables pricing being included in day rates, payment terms growing longer and longer, insufficient cure periods, terminations for convenience and cause not allowing for remedy, and draconian liquidated damage clauses. OSJ

OSV owners should pool assets for market upturn

Owners of small fleets of offshore support vessels (OSVs) should pool their assets and collaborate in gaining charters to compete with the major operators, according to Anglo-Eastern Group managing director for offshore Douglas Lang. “The best strategy for smaller owners is to collaborate so they can punch above their weight,” he said. Mr Lang also explained some of the barriers that challenge vessel operators when they consider bringing their assets out of lay-up, including rising reactivation costs and the inability to raise finance.

Duncan Telfer (Swire Pacific Offshore): “Not enough attention has been paid to the gradual erosion of CP terms”

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

Riviera’s Offshore Support Journal Awards are a highpoint of the industry calendar. Excellence is recognised across 10 categories

The dinner attracts a veritable who’s who of the industry. Networking and client entertainment are mainstays

AWARDS AND GALA DINNER | 23 Another successful evening, rounding out a very full day at the conference. Award winners included Seacor Marine Holdings for Shipowner of the Year, John Gellert for OSJ Industry Leader, Rem founder Åge Remøy for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Yevgeny Primakov for Support Vessel of the Year, OneStep Power for Innovation of the Year, Rolls-Royce Marine and Corvus Energy for the joint contributions they made to environmental operations in the sector, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs’ Wind of Change SOV for the Offshore Renewables Award, Oceaneering for the Subsea Innovation Award, Kongsberg Maritime for the Dynamic Positioning Award and Subsea 7 for the Safety Award


sponsored by

Hybrid propulsion and energy storage gain recognition Offshore support vessel (OSV) owners recognise the operational and financial benefits of investing in new ships with hybrid propulsion and energy storage systems. This technology has now been recognised by the wider industry as demonstrated by a milestone sector award


olls-Royce Marine and Corvus Energy have jointly won Offshore Support Journal’s Environmental Award, sponsored by BDO UK, for their joint efforts in developing a state-of-the-art battery energy storage system. This award also recognises that the technology has been accepted and ordered for a ground-breaking newbuilding programme in what is perceived as a tough market for this type of capital investment. Technology from Rolls-Royce Marine and Corvus Energy has been requested for eight Rolls-Roycedesigned, DNV GL-classed, newbuild platform supply vessels (PSVs) from COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Guangdong) shipyard. These PSVs will be operated by Seacor Marine Holdings for worldwide operations once delivered as part of the vessel owner's

global hybridisation programme. Rolls-Royce vice president for sales in ship design and systems Ronny Pal Kvalsvik said this was an international project with collaboration with multiple organisations. “With Seacor Marine we are working together to be successful in this project,” he said. “The first vessel was delivered from the shipyard and is now in Singapore.” Riviera Maritime Media’s Offshore Support Journal Environmental Award recognises a project or product that has made, or will make, a significant contribution to reducing the OSV industry’s environmental footprint. In this case it covers the technology behind one of the boldest environmental OSV projects to date at a time when the market is oversupplied with PSVs. The eight vessels will be outfitted with Rolls-Royce Marine and Corvus Energy battery containers. These were

Ronny Pal Kvalsvik (Rolls-Royce), centre: “The first vessel was delivered from the shipyard and is now in Singapore”

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

verified by DNV GL, which has issued product certificates for the complete containers, certifying these structures have adequate fire insulation for installation on OSVs. DNV GL also certified components like batteries, chargers, transformers and electrical installations in the container. These containerised battery systems have demonstrated through testing that they reduce emissions and improve reliability during dynamic positioning (DP) operations. These batteries minimise the risk of power blackout to DP systems, increasing the reliability of PSV positioning around offshore platforms and drilling rigs. The battery systems will also lead to savings in fuel consumption and onboard maintenance, with electric power minimising noise and vibration because the generators are loaded more evenly. Through testing, simulation and research, DNV GL has discovered that containerised batteries are a good value proposition for vessels operating over extended periods of low loads or transient duty cycles that swing from very low loads to high loads, similar to those of a PSV operating profile, especially during DP operations. • Heerema Marine Contractors and Royal Boskalis were also nominated for the Environmental Award: Heerema for its commitment to LNG propulsion on the next-generation DP3 semisubmersible crane vessel, Sleipnir; Royal Boskalis for using a biofuel blend on the project to install the export cable to the Borssele offshore windfarm. OSJ

sponsored by


Industry Leader John Gellert shows consistency and vision Seacor Marine Holdings chief executive John Gellert has taken home the 2019 Offshore Support Journal Industry Leader Award sponsored by Uptime International at the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference in London


ccepting his award, Mr Gellert quipped “I’d like to say it means millions, but we’re in the offshore business and in 2018, there weren’t millions. Sorry, that’s a joke ... It’s priceless, yes, in 2019 it will be priceless because the market’s coming back. It was a very active year for our first year as a separate company. Really helped establish our identity and our position in the offshore sector.” With over 25 years spent within Seacor’s various businesses, Mr Gellert told Offshore Support Journal in an interview late last year that his résumé was “pretty boring”. This self-effacing characterisation, of course, downplays a wealth of experience. In his most recent role, Mr Gellert was the steady hand behind the wheel of Seacor’s offshore marine services wing for 13 years. Prior to that, he spent another 13 years in financial, analytical, chartering and marketing roles within the organisation. Just over a year and a half after spinning off from Seacor Holdings to head up the new Seacor Marine Holdings, Inc, he has managed to grow the business during a difficult period. As Riviera Maritime Media’s head of content Edwin Lampert said when introducing Mr Gellert prior to his award “Our industry leader this year is both a pilot and a pioneer. He has piloted his company through a difficult period and now is pioneering its global leadership in terms of hybrid propulsion technology. To position the company for the future, this leader has decided to take the bold step of embracing hybrid propulsion technology by converting two PSVs to battery-hybrid power. And through joint ventures in Mexico and China, the company he leads will operate 12 battery-hybrid power vessels, which include four PSVs contracted to operate in the Gulf of Mexico and eight PSVs for worldwide operations.” By his own account, Mr Gellert has been firmly focused on the bottom line and ensuring Seacor could weather the ups and downs of a volatile market. Like others in the sector, the difficult conditions have forced Mr Gellert to add focus to international operations while also doing a better job of adapting within local markets to what each of those markets, individually, has to offer. The willingness to adapt is what forms the core of Mr Gellert’s leadership style, he said. To his mind, rigidity of thought is an enemy because it prevents sound decision-making.

Seacor Marine Holdings chief executive John Gellert received the Offshore Support Journal Industry Leader 2019 award

Mr Gellert’s determination to remain open and flexible in his thinking and to adapt to market conditions are behind the company’s increased focus on hybrid power options for its vessels and the role that automation will play in vessel operations in the future. The hybridisation of Seacor’s fleet also won the company the 2019 Offshore Support Journal Shipowner of the Year award. Another aspect that pushed Seacor to the forefront of its sector in 2018 was getting in line with the trend towards restructuring and joint ventures. The company closed a lift-boat transaction with one if its subsidiaries in February 2018 when it formed a joint venture with Montco Offshore. In January 2018, Seacor Marine also announced the formation of SEACOSCO Offshore LLC, a Marshall Islands entity jointly owned by Seacor Marine and affiliates of COSCO Shipping Group. SEACOSCO entered into contracts to buy eight Rolls-Royce designed, new-construction PSVs from COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Guangdong) Co, an affiliate of COSCO Shipping, for US$161M, of which 70% was financed by the shipyard and secured by the PSVs on a nonrecourse basis to Seacor Marine. OSJ

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019


sponsored by

Subsea 7 receives safety award for IMCA Resilience programme Sutton, UK-based subsea firm Subsea 7 has won the Safety Award, sponsored by Vroon Offshore Services, at the 2019 Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards


he company was given the award in recognition of its role in driving the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA)’s Resilience Awareness Programme through videos and supporting materials. Vroon Offshore managing director Craig Harvie presented the award to Subsea 7’s vice president of new markets and negotiations Stuart Smith, who said “Thank you very much indeed for this award - on behalf of Subsea 7 I’m deeply honoured and humbled to receive it.” “I think one of the fundamental reasons vessels like DSVs are still around is that there used to be an appalling safety record, and there was a huge amount of work done by a whole range of people [to remedy this]. “That improvement in safety around diving, for example, has been hugely influential in allowing us to continue with these activities. “Winning this safety award is a great honour and there’s a lot of people in IMCA and Subsea 7 who are really big stakeholders in achieving this award - much bigger stakeholders than I personally am, so on their behalf, thank you very much.” Other nominees for the award included IMCA itself and Guidance Marine, a Leicester, UK-based subsidiary of Wärtsilä.

Stuart Smith (Subsea 7), left: “Winning this safety award is a great honour and there’s a lot of people in IMCA and Subsea 7 who are really big stakeholders in achieving this”

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

The resilience concept originated with Shell, who introduced it in recognition of the impact the restructuring and uncertainty in the oil and gas sector in recent years could have on employees. Shell’s programme provided the framework for IMCA’s own, which focuses specifically on the marine contracting sector, and in which Subsea 7 took a lead role. With more than 11,000 staff across 36 countries, Subsea 7 has a safetycentric ethos and aims to build a culture of care and resilience in teams across operations. The Resilience Awareness programme comprises a series of six video modules along with guidance notes for facilitators and an introduction for those participating in the programme. It is intended to be used by groups of employees to promote discussion and share thoughts to become more resilient, and in so doing maintain operational safety. Filming for the programme took place on board vessels owned by Subsea 7, Saipem and Heerema Marine Contractors. IMCA’s board member companies Allseas, Fugro, Heerema Marine Contractors, Saipem, Subsea 7, TechnipFMC and McDermott International provided sponsorship for the programme. The programme is free to use for IMCA members and the six videos, each of which is 10 minutes long, cover the following topics: • What is resilience? – understanding ways to develop resilience to help us stay safe. • Keeping things in perspective – making safer decisions by learning how to keep things in perspective. • Change is part of life – exploring how to cope with change and prevent change having a negative impact on safety. • Looking after yourself – how taking care of ourselves will help us be safer by being more alert and sharper. • Taking decisive action – keeping ourselves safe by reminding us to always think things through before acting. • Summary and scenarios – recaps on previous modules with some further scenarios for discussion. Launched in January 2018, the Resilience Awareness Programme met with success, garnering more than 2,000 content downloads in the first four weeks alone. One user said: “The videos are very interesting and are reminding me about my own positivity and resilience that I can reach for. “The programme also helped me think about how I can support my team through any change, should I need to.” OSJ

sponsored by


Sovcomflot ice-breaking support vessel wins top award A specialised vessel built for the harsh winter conditions of the far east of Siberia has been recognised for its capabilities and advanced features


n icebreaking supply and standby vessel operated by Sovcomflot (SCF) was selected as the winner of Offshore Support Journal’s Offshore Support Vessel of the Year, which is sponsored by DNV GL. Yevgeny Primakov is the last of four platform supply and emergency response vessels built for SCF’s activities in the iceprone Sea of Okhotsk. It was specifically designed to operate year-round in the sub-Arctic conditions encountered east of Sakhalin Island. This 3,670 dwt, 104 m vessel was delivered to SCF from Arctech Helsinki Shipyard in January 2018 for operations on the Sakhalin-2 project, which produces oil and gas from an offshore platform. It operates under a 20-year time-charter agreement to Sakhalin Energy. Yevgeny Primakov transports supplies to the platform in all conditions. It is also ready for emergency evacuation, rescue and fire-fighting operations, oil spill response and protecting the platform from the effects of ice. SCF chief operating and technical officer and executive vice president Igor Tonkovidov explained this vessel was built for the harsh environment off Sakhalin. “We are working areas that few other vessels dare to sail,” he said. The other three vessels delivered under this four-vessel order to SCF were Gennadiy Nevelskoy, Stepan Makarov and Fedor Ushakov. With ICE-15 strengthened hulls, these vessels are capable of breaking ice up to 1.5 m thick with 20 cm of snow on top. They are classified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping with Icebreaker 6, AntiIce and Winterization (-35) notations. They have a breadth of 21 m and draught of 7.9 m. Maximum speed is 16.9 knots. They are each fitted with Wärtsilä engines, ABB Azipod azimuthing thrusters, with a total power capacity of 13 MW, Brunvoll bow thrusters and Gesab SCR exhaust gas treatment systems to meet IMO's Tier III NOx emission requirements. For winterisation, the deck outfittings are mostly under cover and lifesaving equipment is sheltered and fitted with protective covers. Along with scrubber systems, the vessels

Igor Tonkovidov (Sovcomflot), left: “We are working areas that few other vessels dare to sail”

are also fitted with systems to decrease underwater noise levels. They all have an Eco notation from class. Yevgeny Primakov has a large passenger capacity, providing sleeping accommodation for 70 people, plus a crew of 26. In the event of an emergency, it can accommodate up to 150 people. It is equipped with a high-specification dual dynamic positioning system, augmented by a 360˚ specialised radius reference system, which provides visualisation through all conditions, including ice, snow and fog. Yevgeny Primakov is further augmented over its three sister vessels for conducting sub-surface surveys, plus inspection and repair work using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). This vessel has a multibeam echo sounder for underwater surveys and a specialised heave-compensated crane for subsea work. It has a moonpool that enables year-round operations, including in ice conditions, four specialised diving launches and ROV recovery systems. Deck machinery includes a 150-tonne anchor-handling winch and anchor-handling stern roller. Yevgeny Primakov has a taut wire reference system for additional redundancy of position reference systems required for DP during diving operations. It also has dedicated cabins and offices for diving work, including a permanent dedicated diving server. OSJ

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019


sponsored by

The year’s top OSV shipowner is all about hybrids Winning the award for Shipowner of the Year, sponsored by V.Ships Offshore, at the 2019 Offshore Support Journal Conference & Awards in London was Seacor Marine Holdings


Accepting the award was Seacor Marine Holdings chief executive John Gellert, who also received the Offshore Support Journal Industry Leader 2019 award

eacor was shortlisted by the judges because of its active and early investments in hybrid technology. The group has set out an ambitious goal that, by the end of this year, it will have the largest fleet of hybrid vessels anywhere in the world. In addition to having converted two of its own PSVs to battery hybrid power, through Seacor’s joint ventures in Mexico and China, the company will operate 12 battery hybridpowered vessels, which includes four PSVs contracted to operate in the Gulf of Mexico and eight PSVs for worldwide operations. Accepting the award, Seacor chief executive John Gellert – who also received the Offshore Support Journal Industry Leader 2019 award – said “I’d like to thank the judging committee, thank everyone for this recognition. And I think, as you heard tonight, it’s a team effort. A lot of people from Seacor, the new company, Rolls-Royce and Corvus. We’ve also used Kongsberg – we’re non-denominational. So it was a group effort. We’re very excited about batteries and about the future, and as you mentioned, eight vessels are available – anyone looking for charters, they’re awaiting opportunity. So we’d like to thank you as we look forward to 2019 and 2020.” During a long-term evaluation of hybrid propulsion technology and its applications, Seacor took an active role in the 2015 DNV GL-managed joint industry project (JIP) ‘Opportunities and Barriers in Maritime for Hybrid Electric Power for Backup and Propulsion,’ which aimed to solidify the next steps toward widespread utilisation of battery hybrid power in the offshore oil and gas sector. Through its participation, Seacor validated

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019


the conclusions of the study on a cost-benefit basis for its operations. Using one of its own vessels as a source of data for the joint study with DNV GL, Seacor said the vessel, now in service, is making savings that are in line with the JIP. And while Seacor’s current retrofit projects will bring 12 energy-efficient, lower-emissions vessels to the market, the company intends to go even further in adopting hybrid technology. Seacor representatives have said they believe the decision to invest in hybrid technology is an advantage and makes a statement about Seacor’s outlook to the future. The company says it has seen greater interest from charterers, with some specifically asking for hybrid power now, in particular, those in the North Sea. In a crowded field, nominees were shortlisted and industry voting determined winners for categories including support vessel of the year, shipowner of the year, innovation of the year, outstanding contributions in the area of environmental practices, offshore renewables, subsea innovation, dynamic positioning, safety, industry leadership and Offshore Support Journal’s award for a lifetime’s achievement. OSJ

sponsored by


Generator voltage testing takes innovation award A patented testing method for vessel dynamic positioning (DP) systems has won a leading technical innovation award in the offshore sector


neStep Power clinched Offshore Support Journal’s Innovation Award at a prize gala evening for its patented Generator Voltage Response Tester (GVRT). This enables vessel owners and their clients to perform fault ride through verification and associated testing of ship’s DP systems in a safe and repeatable manner. This innovation award, sponsored by classification society Bureau Veritas, recognises an innovative product, system or service that has made a significant impact on the design, build and/or operational aspects of offshore support vessels in service during 2018. It was presented to OneStep Power’s management at the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London. OneStep Power’s GVRT allows for all excitation-based testing requirements, without the need to change protection system settings. This can be achieved in a controlled process. GVRT is the first testing system of its kind. OneStep Power engineers temporarily install a GVRT on each generator in a complete vessel system. Through its software and hardware components, OneStep Power can

control the system to perform testing. This means DP generators can be tested reliably and safely without modifying the system’s settings. In 2018, OneStep Power developed preproduction GVRT prototypes for multiple generators on a single buss-bar, and completed a voltage dip ride through test. Its final outcome demonstrated that this was a gamechanging moment in DP power systems. OneStep Power presented reliable and repeatable testing to prove closed-buss operating configurations. The next step is to take this innovation into a commercial project, said OneStep Power president Mark Craig. “We are a fresh start-up and in two years we have got this innovation up and running,” he said. OneStep Power beat MacGregor and Rolls-Royce Marine to win this prestigious award. MacGregor was nominated for its FibreTrac fibre-rope offshore crane, which allows operators to use the full lifting capacity of the crane, at practically any depth. This means a smaller crane and vessel can be used for more assignments, and owners can bid on a wider range of contracts. This is made possible because of neutrally buoyant, high-performance fibre rope, which does not add anything to the load experienced by the crane. This is in contrast to steel wire cranes, which have to bear the load and the ever-increasing weight of wire paid out. Rolls-Royce Marine was nominated for its new lightweight winch driven by a permanent magnet electrical motor. This XT70 PM escort, render and recovery towing winch provides enough pull for most oceangoing and harbour duties without the risk of oil leaks from a hydraulic drive. OSJ

Mark Craig (OneStep Power), right: “We are a fresh start-up and in two years we have got this innovation up and running”


Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019


Norwegian shipowner’s 40-year career a lesson in grit and grace At the 2019 Offshore Support Journal Conference & Awards in London, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Rem Offshore founder Åge Remøy


Rem founder Åge Remøy collects the Lifetime Achievement Award

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

lthough he said he is now ‘more or less retired’, 67-year-old Åge Remøy has spent more than four decades in the shipping industry, beginning with a fishing trawler he bought in partnership with a few of his family members. Given the longevity of his career and the cyclical nature of shipping and the offshore sector, the industry veteran has faced down his share of tough circumstances during his 40-plus year career. So, to get a fuller picture of the trajectory of Mr Remøy’s career along with insights about his family life and his plans moving forward, Riviera Maritime Media’s head of content Edwin Lampert spoke to Mr Remøy’s son Fredrik Remøy prior to the awards ceremony. Introducing Mr Remøy, Mr Lampert recounted one harrowing story that has become part of the Remøy family lore, “This year’s winner is a man of the sea. He has been involved with seagoing vessels since the age of 16, but in fact today might never have happened. On one of the voyages in his youth, the vessel Åge was sailing in nearly sank, and he nearly drowned.” Fortunately, for Mr Remøy he


escaped and lived to tell the tale. Mr Lampert also offered a glimpse back into the early beginnings of Mr Remøy’s shipping industry career, noting that it all started with a motoryacht and a love of fishing. “He actually bought his first trawler back in 1978. It was an old corvette he converted into a shrimp trawler,” Mr Lampert said. “And, together with friends and family, he financed the operation,” Mr Lampert said. The whole operation consisted of Mr Remøy’s 1940s-built vessel, which was purchased for Nkr6M (US$0.7M). His partners in the venture included his father and his three brothers, one of whom, Stig, is also a well-known executive in the shipping industry who started Olympic Shipping and Olympic Subsea, among other fishing and offshore maritime companies. The family grew up on Remøya, an island in a bridge-connected archipelago in the Norwegian municipality of Herøy. Mr Remøy's father and grandfather were both fishing vessel masters there, and historically the region’s economy has been very closely linked with fishing. Given the family’s long ties to the region, its administrative centre Fosnavåg eventually became the headquarters for some of the family’s companies. “Fisheries have long been in [Mr Remøy’s] blood, and he maintained involvement in that industry even as he started building Rem Offshore in 2004,” Mr Lampert said. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Mr Remøy’s group of partners made further investments within the fishing industry and eventually became involved in the offshore industry, continuing to forge what Mr Lampert called a “distinguished maritime path.” And, according to Mr Lampert, “what marks this man out is the way, like a wave, he has ridden the ups and downs that have followed in the ensuing years.” “Between 2004 and 2014, Mr Remøy built 34 vessels,


approximately three vessels a year, almost all of which were built in his native Norway. He built a strong, solid company and moved on from that company following the downturn, to create a second company which today has nine vessels, a mix of seismic, PSV and subsea… It may be by virtue of his being a chess player that he is able to anticipate the next move so adeptly,” Mr Lampert said. After entering the offshore market in 2004 with his Rem Offshore company, Mr Remøy resigned from his duties as chief executive of the company in May 2016, and Rem Offshore announced it was merging with Solstad Offshore in July 2016. As a condition of the merger, Mr Remøy shifted over his controlling position in Rem into a significant voting interest in Solstad after the merger was completed. Mr Remøy sold his shares in Solstad in early 2017. Not long after, Mr Remøy incorporated a new Rem Offshore business with management located in Fosnavåg,

Norway. Mr Remøy is chairman of the board, and his son Fredrik Remøy is chief executive. According to its website, the organisation operates worldwide with its main foothold in the North Sea market. The nine vessels that make up the company’s fleet are comprised of six platform supply vessels, two offshore construction vessels and one seismic vessel. The fleet has an average age of under 10 years, making it one of the most modern fleets in the market, according to Rem Offshore literature. Rem’s stated philosophy is to seek long-term employment for its vessels and reduce the company’s exposure to the spot market. Accepting his award, Mr Remøy said “I was educated as a ship’s engineer and had been working in shipyards in Norway for 10 years... before I got involved [in owning ships]. We bought our first trawler – built in Canada in 1942 – and converted it in 1978. So it started there, and as you also mentioned, I am now 68 years of age, I’ve been in the business for 40 years, starting with the fishing vessels and ending up with the offshore company. “Now, I am more or less retired, and my successor, my son Fredrik, he is now leading the company Rem as a sustainable and successful company, hopefully, in the future. My most important task at the moment is my family. We are… 18 altogether, 10 grandchildren, and that is the most important part of my life, today.” Other award winners included Yevgeny Primakov for Support Vessel of the Year, Seacor Marine Holdings for Shipowner of the Year, OneStep Power for Innovation of the Year, Rolls-Royce Marine and Corvus Energy for the joint contributions they made to environmental operations in the sector, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs’ Wind of Change SOV for the Offshore Renewables Award, Oceaneering for the Subsea Innovation Award, Kongsberg Maritime for the Dynamic Positioning Award and Subsea 7 for the Safety Award. OSJ

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019











Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 2019

17-18 September 2019, Singapore

Highlights of the 2019 annual event will include: • Regional and global O&G market trends and opportunities • Emerging market opportunities in the region • OSV supply & demand analysis • Rig activity updates • Evolution of the OSV supply chain and its impact • Cost, resource and practical application in the reactivation process • Assessment of alternative fuels and propulsion systems • Evaluation of demand for Walk to Work, Offshore Wind and DSVs.

MCF Training Grants MCF Training Grants are available for eligible participants

Book your place online today at or for more information please contact Kym Tan on +65 6809 1278 or at

Gold sponsors

Silver sponsors


Supporting organisations


Organised by


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, crew transfer and subsea support. In addition, VOS offers a wide range of complementary offshore services. With our versatile fleet and highly qualified and experienced colleagues, we are committed to providing safe, reliable and cost-effective 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:


Profile for rivieramaritimemedia

Offshore Support Journal Conference & Awards Supplement 2019  

Offshore Support Journal is the leading publication focusing on the offshore support vessel market.

Offshore Support Journal Conference & Awards Supplement 2019  

Offshore Support Journal is the leading publication focusing on the offshore support vessel market.