Page 1

March 2019

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Yevgeny Primakov

OSJ Support Vessel of the Year

SOUTHEAST ASIA Increased drilling and capex hint at recovery

ANCHOR-HANDLING When will spot rates next hit US$84,000?

WALK-TO-WORK Access systems benefit from digital-twin technology

PROPULSION Operating in DP3 mode with a single engine


Contents March 2019 volume 22 issue 2

Regulars

3 COMMENT 4 MARKET DATA 40 IMCA NEWS

Anchor-handling

7 Maersk Supply Service’s fleet renewal programme has been finalised 8 Why the North Sea anchor-handler market is currently struggling

Walk-to-Work

11 Gangway-based access systems are benefiting from digital-twin technology 14 How knowledge-sharing is making walk-to work transfers safer

Area report

16 Southeast Asia: good times lie ahead for OSV owners

Standby and rescue vessels

20 ERRVs have come a long way from their trawler origins

Ice-class vessels and technology

24 Two new Gazprom Neft-owned icebreakers are making a big impact above the Arctic

Vessel news

28 Sovcomflot’s Yevgeny Primakov sees off WEM 1 and Maersk Inventor to win Offshore Support Journal Support Vessel of the Year award

Simulation and training

31 Simulator-based training can prepare crew in a safe environment 35 Do IMO’s technology training standards go far enough?

Propulsion: diesel-electric

36 Offshore vessel owners are utilising diesel-electric and hybrid configurations to increase the flexibility of their fleets 38 A front-loaded propulsion arrangement for a new heavy cargo deck carrier

Next issue

Dynamic positioning; Cranes, A-Frames and winches; Fleet management; Dive support vessels; Bridge systems and electronics; Energy efficient vessels; Autonomous vessel technology Front cover image: Sovcomflot’s Yevgeny Primakov, winner of the 2019 Offshore Support Journal Support Vessel of the Year award

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Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


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COMMENT | 3

Why the OSV future is battery charged

W John Snyder, Editor

Equinor has put requirements in its long-term charter contracts stating that OSVs must be fitted with battery-hybrid systems. Other oil producers are bound to follow”

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ith the market in a slow recovery, OSV owners need to think about how they can operate more efficiently and differentiate themselves from their competition. I think one of the most viable solutions is outfitting your vessel with battery technology. Batteries can provide reserve power for redundancy requirements and act as an alternative to spinning reserve power to handle variable loads or peak shaving to lessen the heavy loads on engines. The use of batteries in hybrid applications also allows operators to install smaller horsepower engines. Battery-hybrid propulsion provides true operational flexibility. After hearing Corvus Energy vice president Halvard Hauso speak at the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition, I am even more convinced that the future for OSVs is battery charged. Batteryhybrid propulsion technology promises longer intervals between engine overhauls because you are either running your engine at an optimal load or not running it at all by using battery power instead. Not running your engine equates to not burning fuel. Mr Hauso put fuel savings at 20-25% and maintenance savings at 35-50% for a DP vessel. US-based Seacor Marine has made a significant investment in 12 battery hybridpowered platform supply vessels through its joint ventures in Mexico and China. Seacor felt the fuel savings they could achieve through battery-hybrid propulsion would give the company the boost it needed to stand out in the crowd. The environmental benefits of the technology are also compelling. Depending on the operating profile of the vessel, I have heard CO2 emissions can be reduced by 10-30%. At the conference, OSV owners discussed their efforts to shed older OSVs and reconfigure their fleets to feature a core

of ‘Tier 1’ vessels – those with dynamic positioning class 2, with large clear deck areas and younger than 10 years old. What if those Tier 1 vessels also featured batteryhybrid propulsion? I think those vessels would have an upper hand when competing for a charter. Equinor appears to agree with that sentiment. It has already put requirements in its long-term charter contracts stating that OSVs must be fitted with battery-hybrid systems. Other oil producers are bound to follow Equinor’s lead. How can OSV owners who do not have strong balance sheets afford the costs involved in financing the conversion of a vessel to battery-hybrid technology? Costs should come down as the use of battery-hybrid propulsion expands. As of this year, there are 157 vessels with batteries in operation, 22 of which are OSVs, with another 100 under construction, including 20 OSVs. The fleet of battery-equipped vessels in operation and under construction should grow to over 300 by 2021. Many Norwegian OSV owners have used the Norwegian NOx fund to help finance their investments in battery-hybrid technology. For wider-spread adaption of battery-hybrid propulsion, non-Norwegian companies need access to innovative financing solutions. I would suggest borrowing a page from the aviation industry, where the power-by-thehour engine maintenance approach has been going on for decades. In the aviation model a complete engine and component replacement service is offered by the manufacturer on a fixed-cost-per-flying-hour basis. This aligns the interests of the manufacturer and owner. With the digital tools now available to monitor vessel equipment, a similar model could be applied in the marine space with battery-hybrid technology. It might just be the financing solution needed to put a charge into the industry’s future. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


4 | MARKET DATA

Positive signs in offshore chartering The offshore charter and sale and purchase market for January shows encouraging signs of activity

T

he charter market was hit with bad news in early 2019, as ExxonMobil cancelled its charter on seismic survey vessel Ramform Atlas. Ramform Tethys and Ramform Atlas were mobilised in early December 2018 for survey work in South America for 13 months at a value of approximately US$75M, but both vessels had been on paid standby since 23 December due to “unresolved issues affecting the survey,” according to the owner, One Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS). It was later announced that PGS had been notified by ExxonMobil that Ramform Atlas�s services were no longer required. Ramform Atlas and Ramform Tethys are both Titanclass survey vessels. The Titan-class carries 24 streamer reels – 16 abreast, with eight in a second row – and 22 tow points on its 70 m back deck. The Titan-class can deploy two stern-launched workboats and is fitted with three variablepitch propellers providing 1.8 MW of power. Ramform Atlas and Ramform Tethys were both built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan, the former in 2014 and the latter in 2016. There was better news in the North Sea, where Seabrokers Chartering reported that it had brokered the exercise of a three-year option for a three-way deal involving Remoey Shipping and three PSVs: Rem Eir (PSV Design VS 4412 DF, built-2014), Rem Hrist (PSV Design PX 105, built-2011) and Rem Mist (PSV Design PX 105, built-2011). Commencement of the three-year periods will be in direct continuation of the existing firm periods, namely March 2019 for Rem Hrist, and May 2019 for both Rem Eir and Rem Mist. On the other side of the globe, Chevron Australia has contracted Maersk Supply Service to support its Gorgon Stage Two drilling programme. Two Starfish-class AHTS vessels will provide towing, anchor handling, supply and ROV services for Chevron’s activities in the Northwest Shelf, offshore Western Australia from Q2 2019. The vessels, Maersk

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

Mariner and Maersk Master are already in Western Australia – since September 2017 in Maersk Mariner’s case and since March 2018 in Maersk Master’s case. They will be operated by local crews and supported from Maersk Supply Service’s Perth base. The Starfish vessels are 95 m in length, with a beam of 25 m and are equipped with a raft of innovative features, including an anchor-recovery frame that simplifies operations over the stern roller and a remotely operated deck-handling gantry crane. On the valuation side, VesselsValue reports that “continued interest by energy majors in onshore production is being felt in the offshore market.” It notes that asset values remain soft and have fallen across all PSV and AHTS/AHT sectors. But there was some activity in the sale and purchase market in January 2019, which is a positive sign compared to the lack of interest shown in January 2018.

“CONTINUED INTEREST BY ENERGY MAJORS IN ONSHORE PRODUCTION IS BEING FELT IN THE OFFSHORE MARKET” There was only one asset sale in the AHTS sector in January: the VOS Olympian (5,500 BHP, built-2006, at Jaya Asiatic) sold from lay-up with dry docking due, to Trinity Offshore for US$0.70M (VV value US$0.61M). There were 11 sales in the PSV sector during January 2019: Sunrise 2, Sunrise 3 and Sunrise 5 (3,800 dwt, built September 2019, January 2020, and April 2020, respectively, at COSCO Zhoushan) were sold to SEACOR Marine Holdings in en bloc deal worth US$46.00M (VV en bloc value US$37.58M). Energy Duchess and Energy Empress (4,200 dwt, 2019-built, at Nantong Rainbow) were sold to Golden Energy for US$18.10M each (VV value US$14.91 and US$14.45M, respectively). Toisa Independent (4,400 dwt, 2003-built, at Appledore) was sold to A1 Offshore for US$1.85M (VV value US$1.37M). OSJ

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MARKET DATA | 5

OFFSHORE VALUES PERCENTAGE CHANGE/1,000s OF DOLLARS: JANUARY 2019 BUILT

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004

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LARGE PSV

MEDIUM PSV

SMALL PSV

SUPER AHTS

MEDIUM AHTS

SMALL AHTS

-0.4%

-0.4%

-0.4%

-5.1%

-2.0%

-2.0%

-0.4%

-0.4%

-0.4%

-5.4%

-2.4%

-2.4%

-0.3%

-0.4%

-0.4%

-5.9%

-2.9%

-2.9%

-0.4%

-0.5%

-0.5%

-6.2%

-3.3%

-3.3%

-0.3%

-0.4%

-0.5%

-6.6%

-3.6%

-3.6%

-0.3%

-0.3%

-0.4%

-6.9%

-3.9%

-3.8%

-0.2%

-0.3%

-0.5%

-7.2%

-4.2%

-4.2%

-0.3%

-0.3%

-0.5%

-7.1%

-4.1%

-4.2%

-0.2%

-0.2%

-0.3%

-7.2%

-4.4%

-4.1%

-0.1%

-0.3%

-0.2%

-7.1%

-4.1%

-4.2%

-0.1%

-0.4%

-0.2%

-7.0%

-5.0%

-4.9%

-0.0%

-0.3%

-0.3%

-6.7%

-3.9%

-5.1%

-0.1%

-0.4%

-0.1%

-6.3%

-3.3%

-4.5%

-0.2%

-0.4%

-0.2%

-6.3%

-4.9%

-2.4%

-0.1%

-0.6%

-0.4%

-6.7%

-5.0%

-3.6%

-0.0%

-0.5%

-0.7%

-3.1%

-0.1%

-4.7%

5.2k

5.2k

5.2k

5.2k

5.2k

5.1k

5.1k

4.8k

4.8k

4.8k

4.8k

4.8k

4.8k

4.8k

4.8k

4.8k

3.6k

3.6k

3.6k

3.6k

3.6k

3.4k

3.3k

3.3k

3.3k

3.3k

3.3k

3.3k

3.3k

3.3k

3.3k

3.3k

1.7k

1.7k

1.7k

1.7k

1.7k

1.7k

1.7k

1.6k

1.6k

1.6k

1.6k

1.6k

1.6k

1.6k

1.6k

1.6k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

24k

8.2k

8.2k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

8k

5.5k

5.5k

5.2k

5.2k

5.2k

5.2k

5.2k

5.2k

5.1k

5.1k

5.1k

5.1k

5.1k

5k

5k

5k

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


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ANCHOR-HANDLING | 7

MSS completes fleet renewal programme Maersk Maker, the last of six Starfish-class anchor handlers, was delivered by Norway’s Kleven Maritime on 14 February, completing Maersk Supply Service’s fleet renewal programme

O

ver the last three years, Maersk Supply Service (MSS) has added 10 newbuild vessels and divested itself of 23 older OSVs under its fleet renewal programme. Starfish-class AHTS vessels are well known to readers of Offshore Support Journal. Last year, Maersk Master won the Support Vessel of the Year award at the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition. Maersk Master and sister vessel Maersk Mariner will provide towing, anchor handling, supply and ROV services to Chevron Australia’s Gorgon Stage Two drilling programme starting Q2 2019. Built for deepwater anchor-handling operations, the dynamic positioning (DP) class 2 Maersk Maker has a length overall of 95 m, a beam of 25 m and an open deck area of more than 800 m². It also has an additional 102 m² of covered deck area and a 450-tonne drum anchor-handling winch, two 170-tonne secondary winches and 200-tonne anchor recovery frame. Powered by five medium-speed engines with a total output of more than 23,000 bhp, Maersk Maker has a fuel-efficient and flexible hybrid propulsion system and fixed-pitch thrusters, a combination of features that are expected to provide high reliability, good fuel economy, low emissions and excellent station-keeping capabilities. Besides the six Starfish-class AHTS vessels, the newbuild programme at MSS added four Stingray-class subsea support vessels (SSV). Dynamic

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positioning class 3 Stingray SSVs are 137 m long, with a large free deck area of 1,850 m2 with more than 300 sea fastenings for cargo, two work-class ROVs capable of operating in up to 3,000 m of water, two moonpools, and two large subsea cranes. The two knuckle-boom cranes, of 400 tonne and 100 tonne lifting capacity, are fully active heave compensated and capable of operating in up to 3,000 m water depth. The SSV’s diesel-electric propulsion, fixed-pitch thrusters and main propellers enable the vessel to operate in DP2 or DP3 mode under all conditions, creating the required thrust without idle loss. Each Stingray-class SSV features modern accommodation for up to 120 people in single cabins, three conference rooms, 10 client offices and has been built in compliance with DNV GL’s

comfort classification for passenger vessels to provide the highest level of comfort for all personnel onboard. “As some of the newest vessels operating in the offshore support vessel industry, they have proven their highly advanced capabilities from the moment of delivery,” said MSS chief executive Steen S. Karstensen. In 2016, MSS set out to reduce its fleet in response to the global oversupply of OSVs. A total of 23 platform supply vessels (PSVs) and AHTS vessels have since left the fleet, the last of which was in October 2018. “It has been a priority for us to do our part in addressing the oversupply in the industry,” said Mr Karstensen, “as well as strengthening our asset base for project delivery. Here at the end of the renewal programme, we have a more modern and competitive fleet to meet the needs of our customers.” The result of the newbuild programme, in combination with the divestiture programme, is that the average age of the 44 vessels in the MSS fleet has been reduced to less than 10 years. The Danish owner also said that the composition of its fleet – 30 AHTS vessels, 12 SSVs and two PSVs – supports its integrated solutions offerings for offshore projects in the areas of towing, mooring and installations, subsea construction, inspection, maintenance and repair and light well intervention. OSJ

Maersk Maker has a fuel-efficient hybrid propulsion system and fixed-pitch thrusters

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


8 | ANCHOR-HANDLING

AHTS vessels: tight supply makes for North Sea feast or famine With as few as 30 vessels actively being marketed for spot charters, conditions in the UK North Sea for anchor-handler owners are either excellent or dire, depending on your perspective

A

“feast or a famine” – that is how Seabroker analyst Paul Dear described conditions among anchorhandling vessel owners operating in the North Sea, during the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London on 6 February. To drive home his point, Mr Dear told delegates that during the first three weeks of 2019, six drill rig movements pushed spot day rates for a large anchor-handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel from £9,500 (US$12,270) to £65,000 in the span of a two-week period. A week later day rates had dipped again to below £10,000. This roller-coaster effect is the result of elevated market expectations, an oversupply of anchor handlers and the use of drill rigs fitted with dynamic positioning (DP) systems, according to Mr Dear. “Last year at this conference, one of the CEOs on a panel highlighted the high-specification AHTS vessel market as

one that he thought would be the best performing in the year ahead” said Mr Dear. “In reality, it proved to be one of the worst sectors.” According to Seabrokers’ data, cumulative average day rates for AHTS vessels for 2018 were actually worse last year than they were in 2016 or 2017. Last year, the annual average day rate for a medium AHTS vessel was £12,672, as compared with £18,846 in 2016 and £18,886 in 2017. Why did the anchor-handling sector not improve like everyone expected? Partly because, as conditions began to improve in the AHTS market, owners started to reactivate vessels that were in layup, while other vessel owners repositioned vessels from other regions, pushing supply up.

DP-equipped rigs

Mr Dear also noted that drilling contractors have employed more drill rigs equipped with DP systems and position

The DOF Group’s anchor-handler Skandi Angra is currently working in Brasil

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

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ANCHOR-HANDLING | 9

mooring (posmoor) systems, requiring less assistance or none at all from 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 location to another. Westshore Shipbrokers offshore analyst Inge Moy agreed. At the European Dynamic Positioning Conference on 5 February 2019, Mr Moy said the use of DP on drill rigs has had a significant impact on the AHTS vessel market worldwide. As of 2004, 29% of the drill rig fleet operating worldwide were fitted with DP systems. As of 2013, this level increased to 59%. As of 2019, 74% of drill rigs have DP systems, and, as Mr Moy explained, some regions have 100% or close to it. When drill rigs are fitted with DP systems, AHTS vessels are not required. With the demand for DP drill rigs rising, “you can see why (AHTS) owners are struggling,” said Mr Moy. Mr Moy pointed out, however, that the lack of newbuilding in the AHTS market – no new vessels were ordered in 2018 – should be a concern to the oil majors because the industry is not investing in the latest technology. Mr Dear warned charterers that they should not be complacent about the UK North Sea market. With only 30 to 35 vessels trading on the spot market, as few as two or three drill rig movements in a short period could tighten the market significantly. “It really is a market that can fluctuate massively,” said Mr Dear. He also noted that a “significant portion” of the 60 AHTS vessels in layup were not North Sea-class tonnage. “Rather,” he said, “these are vessels that have finished contracts in other regions and been brought to the North Sea for layup. If they go back to work, it probably won’t be in the North Sea.” The current global AHTS fleet, including those in layup or under repair, is 1,942 vessels, totalling 16.32M bhp, according to Italian ship broker Banchero Costa. Over half of the fleet, 1,057 units, falls into the standard type AHTS vessel, with a power range of between 5,000 and 9,999 bhp. Those AHTS vessels under 5,000 bhp account for 19% of the fleet, while those over 10,000 bhp account for 27%.

Newbuild orders

While the current AHTS orderbook is a healthy 164 vessels, no newbuilds were contracted for in 2018. According to Banchero Costa, 38 of the AHTS vessels on order were scheduled for delivery in 2018 and another 126 in 2019. However, in the first 11 months of 2018, only 26 vessels totalling 0.27M bhp were delivered, down from the 37 AHTS vessels of 0.4M bhp delivered in 2017. Banchero Costa anticipates that because of the current weak market conditions deliveries will keep falling due to postponements. Many of the vessels contracted on speculation are now ready for delivery but remain tied up at shipyards because “the contractor disappeared, went bust or the contractor is the yard itself and there are no buyers in the market.”

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About 71% of the orderbook are the most common type of AHTS vessels – between 5,000 to 9,999 bhp – with the most powerful vessels above 10,000 bhp represent 24% and smaller vessels below 5,000 bhp about 5%. There are currently 28 vessels on order between 10,000-14,999 bhp and 11 vessels on order over 15,000 bhp. The overall AHTS fleet remained flat in 2017 and due to the acute crisis in the whole industry, says Banchero Costa, deliveries will continue to slow and will be much lower than originally expected.

“WITH THE DEMAND FOR DP DRILL RIGS RISING, YOU CAN SEE WHY AHTS OWNERS ARE STRUGGLING”

With significant levels of oversupply in the AHTS market, 2016 orders collapsed and only nine newbuilds have been ordered since then. By comparison, 133 AHTS vessels were ordered in 2014 and another 84 in 2015. Over the past decade, Chinese shipyards have emerged as the dominant builders of AHTS vessels. Over 44% of the AHTS fleet, 854 vessels, have been built in China. By contrast, European, Singaporean and Indonesian shipyards have built 15%, 8% and 8% respectively of the global fleet. Around 74% of AHTS vessels currently on order are being built at Chinese shipyards, followed by 10% for Indian shipyards and 6% for Malaysian shipyards. Chinese shipbuilder Fujian Southeast currently holds orders for 31 AHTS vessels, followed by Zhejiang Fenghua, with 17, Jiangmen Hantong, 14 and Guangzhou Hangtong, 12.

Demolitions pick up

In a bid to address the issue of oversupply, demolitions did start to pick up in 2017, when 32 vessels under 35 years of age were scrapped. This trend continued during the first 11 months of 2018 when owners scrapped another 28 vessels with an average age of 22 years, according to Banchero Costa. “We remain positive that the efforts of the offshore industry to adapt to the new low oil price environment will start to ripen,” said Banchero Costa, “and new, simpler and more efficient designs, together with the use of new technologies, will drive down costs and will lower breakeven prices. However, present oil prices leave a very thin margin, if any, for the development of new offshore projects.” The major constraint for the offshore industry remains onshore fracking, which does not require the vast amounts of capital investment involved with offshore exploration and development and can offer much quicker returns. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


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WALK-TO-WORK MARKET | 11

New modelling techniques raise the bar for W2W systems Digital twins and hardware-in-the-loop simulations are improving the workability and safety of gangway-based access systems

T

he walk-to-work (W2W) market continues to see strong demand in both traditional offshore oil and gas and the offshore renewables environment, as operators recognise the cost and safety benefits it can bring. It was a hot topic at OSJ’s sister title’s Offshore Wind Journal Conference in London on 5 February 2019, where the “Walk-to-work vessels and access systems” panel addressed issues such as key trends in the market, cost benefits, safety and workability, and innovation in offshore access. The role of technology, especially in the form of simulation software, played a major part in the discussion. “Our more experienced clients ask us to have more transparency for our performance,” said Acta Marine general manager commercial offshore Simon Anink, explaining that his company is being asked to provide increased

predictability of operations, requiring improved upfront modelling of systems. Damen Shipyard Group business development manager for offshore wind Peter Robert highlighted the use of digital twins – simulations of systems based on sensor data from the physical system – to predict the workability of vessels, which he described as “the next step in this industry”. He explained that Damen has a full simulation setup, incorporating multiple pieces of equipment such as the DP system and gangway into a full hydrodynamic model of the vessel. When combined with metocean data about the area in which a vessel will work, this allows for accurate predictions to be made of the vessel’s workability. The system relies on hardware-in-the-loop technology, which the company used on service operations vessel Bibby Wavemaster 1. This involves replacing a physical part of a system with a

Damen used hardware-in-the-loop technology in the development of Bibby Wavemaster 1 (credit: Damen)

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Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


12 | WALK-TO-WORK MARKET

simulation, allowing for testing and improvement of integration and controls design before construction begins. For example, a digital twin of a new gangway can be integrated into an existing vessel’s control system to see how it works and to identify issues before installation. Using these methods, Damen compared the workability of a converted PSV with a dedicated W2W vessel design, Mr Robert said. The result was that by using a fit-for-purpose, dedicated design, operators would gain 70 additional working days over the course of the year. “You cannot comment on performance if you just look at the gangway itself, or the DP system itself, or the platform itself; if you have that isolated approach you’re not going to get real workability,” he said. “You need a combination of systems to simulate the task [a vessel is] designed for.” “If you’re bringing a new design to the market with a dedicated purpose you need to have something extra. With the hardware-in-the-loop simulator, we are able to supply the market with real assessments in a three- or four-hour simulation run, where we can guarantee the performance of the vessel.” Mr Robert said: “More and more, we are using simulation technology for existing or new products to bring to the market” Uptime International director of sales and business development Bjørnar Huse also noted: “We see end-users like Shell building that [technology] into their requirement for any walk-to-work vessel or floatel they want to hire in. “They require the gangway vendor, the ship vendor, equipment vendors [all] work together to make a complete digital simulation of the whole vessel before they actually enter into a contract.” Added Mr Huse: “In the future, we will see more use of advanced simulations and advanced computer simulations, to ascertain that operations can be done in the planned timeframe.”

Unmanned platforms

Also at the Offshore Wind Journal Conference, Equinor marine department manager Morten Sundt and marine department advisor Ole Steinar Andersen discussed Equinor’s experiences using W2W vessels in projects on the Norwegian continental shelf, and their plans for the future in this area. Mr Steinar noted Equinor’s experiences using a W2W system to gain access to an unmanned platform for commissioning. The platform, Oseberg H, was installed in mid-2017, but delivery of Askepott, a new jackup vessel intended to be used for commissioning work, was delayed. Equinor therefore chartered Island Offshore’s installation support vessel Island Crown on a two-month basis to provide accommodation for the approximately 35 workers needed to finalise Oseberg H’s commissioning activities. As the platform is unmanned and does not have a helipad, a W2W vessel was the only suitable access method. Island Crown was fitted with a crane for logistics purposes

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

Island Clipper can transform from PSV to W2W vessel, by mounting a gangway at 48 hours’ notice

and an Uptime gangway for personnel transfer. The personnel worked daytime shifts, with the gangway permanently connected in passive mode while work operations were under way, serving as the main evacuation route to Island Crown in significant wave heights of approximately 2.5 m. Askepott is now drilling wells, but once this activity is completed, Equinor will have further need of a W2W solution for maintenance campaigns on the platform. These will take place semi-annually and will require a vessel to be on station for about 10 days at a time, said Mr Steinar. Having a vessel dedicated to this purpose would be too expensive, Mr Steinar said, so the decision was taken to charter Island Offshore’s platform supply vessel (PSV) Island Clipper. The PSV will spend most of its time as a pool vessel carrying out platform supply activity, but an Uptime gangway will be stored at the vessel's Mongstad base, capable of being fitted at 48 hours’ notice to transform it into a W2W vessel. Currently, this gangway is a 23.4 m model, capable of operating in significant wave heights of 2.5 m, but in 2020 this will be replaced with a 30 m solution that can operate in significant wave heights of 3.5 m. Mr Sund and Mr Steinar noted that Equinor plans to increase the number of unmanned platforms in Norwegian waters, and is also considering a project for a windfarm to produce energy for the Snohvit and Gulfaks oil fields, which would also need W2W access. Equinor will therefore need a new solution to handle W2W demand from these new windfarms and platforms post-2022. It will look to have a purpose-built vessel engineered with these duties in mind, rather than modify an existing one. To keep costs to a minimum and ensure utilisation, such a vessel would need to be able to undertake other roles in addition to W2W duties, said Mr Steinar. Equinor is considering a high-spec PSV as one option, or a multirole emergency response and rescue vessel capable of operating in significant wave heights between 4-4.5 m. Such a vessel would require an active stabilisation system and good station keeping abilities, together with a W2W system with additional roll and heave compensation. OSJ

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14 | WALK-TO-WORK MARKET

Think smarter, not bigger for safer walk-to-work access Advances in automation and cross-sector knowledge-sharing are making walk-towork personnel transfers safer

T

he main focus now is not making gangways bigger, we are now focusing on adding more intelligence to the system by removing a lot of the dependence on a skilled operator to operate and land a gangway correctly,” said Uptime International’s sales and business development director Bjørnar Huse at the 2019 Offshore Wind Journal Conference in London on 5 February. He noted a lot of issues with gangways come from operation in heavy weather, or in cases of drift-off or of dynamic positioning systems being unable to hold position, and that computer systems are better able to handle and resolve these issues than humans. “Mixing people into anything that is automated can cause inconsistencies in the system,” said Mr Huse, observing that while you can make a gangway land automatically, the human factor remains unpredictable and can be prone to accidents and trips when traversing a gangway. “We have to make the systems as safe as possible [to account for] for personnel behaving erratically.” “We can make the gangway talk to the DP system and we can make the gangway land automatically, but we can’t get the crew across from the boat – they have to do that themselves.” Uptime’s director of sales and marketing Svein Ove Haugen told OSJ how the company focused on improving existing systems, rather than selling new products to the oil and gas sector during the downturn: “In these years our goal was not delivering equipment but helping customers to have safe access.”

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

“I’m really happy to see that oil and gas is moving again, and it’s also good to see [it] adapting technology from wind and renewables, and the other way around,” said Mr Haugen, adding: “Evolution is moving faster because they are pushing each other.” Though 2019 marks Uptime’s 40th year providing gangways for the offshore oil and gas sector, it has been active in the offshore wind sector since 2011 and has observed that operators in both sectors share many requirements, including a reliance on walk-to-work systems for access where other methods are not available or suitable, Mr Haugen noted. Therefore, vessels capable of operating in both sectors are in high demand. He cited the example of Bibby Wavemaster, winner of the Offshore Renewables Award at the 2018 Annual

Bjørnar Huse (Uptime International): “We have to make the systems as safe as possible [to account for] personnel behaving erratically”

Offshore Support Journal Awards: “It was built for renewables but after three months working [in that sector] it was chartered by Total as they recognised they needed the same features.” “Uptime was nominated for the Offshore Renewables Award at the Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards in London in 2019, for its development of a 30m gangway, to be installed on a new Bernhard Schulte offshore vessel, with features including autonomous landing, autonomous trolley transfer and 4-tonne crane function.” Operators of smaller craft such as crew transfer vessels (CTV) are finding smaller gangways an effective alternative to traditional transfer methods, Mr Haugen says. He noted Uptime has recently received five contracts for its smaller 12 m gangways, with four going to US-based Candy Offshore and the fifth going to Singapore-based Penguin International, all of which will be installed on CTVs operating in the oil and gas sector. “We can see that this market is looking to increase operability, to go away from bump-and-jump or swing-rope landings,” Mr Haugen added. Uptime is co-operating with another Norwegian company, Marine Roll and Pitch Control, to incorporate stabilisation systems into gangways in order to provide access at significant wave heights up to 5 m, Mr Huse said. “With the stabilisation system we gain easily half a meter to a meter by spending €1M (US$1.1M),” he says, adding that Uptime is using computer model-based simulations to test this work. OSJ

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16 | AREA REPORT Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia: a light amid the darkness OSV owners are being cheered by the encouraging signs of increased offshore drilling activity and capital expenditure coming out of Southeast Asia

up slightly towards the end of last year, hitting about US$9,000/day in November 2018, matching the year’s previous high in January. Day rates for large PSVs with clear decks of 1,000-1,200 m3 in November 2018 actually slipped below the year’s high of US$7,500/day in January.

Growth in Malaysia and Indonesia

McDermott’s Derrick Barge 30 will be used to support the Pan Malaysia project (source: McDermott)

I

ncreased drilling activity in Southeast Asia will see two additional jackup rigs and one floater come online in 2019, according to M3 Marine chief executive Capt Mike Meade, speaking at the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in February this year. This is in addition to the current active fleet of 83 drilling rigs, with 47 jackup rigs, two midwater floaters, four deepwater floaters, 12 ultra-deepwater floaters and 18 tender rigs. Other signs of recovery highlighted by Mr Meade involved the reactivation of two cold-stacked rigs in the region

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

and floater utilisation rates jumping up by 61% after years in the doldrums. There are also 12 idle drilling rigs that have contracts in hand and due to start work in Q1 and Q2 of 2019. Still, utilisation rates for anchorhandling tug supply (AHTS) and platform supply vessels (PSVs) were weak in the region, driven by chronic oversupply. There are about 400 OSVs cold stacked in Asia that have been laid up for more than two months. As of December 2018, the total utilisation of AHTS vessels was about 54%, with PSVs at 48%, according to M3 Marine data. Day rates for high-spec AHTS vessels with 12,000 bhp outputs edged

US-based McDermott International, Inc., which has a strong presence in Southeast Asia, has been awarded two separate contracts to provide the transportation and installation of offshore structures, pipelines and pre-commissioning work for Pan Malaysia field development offshore Sarawak, Malaysia. One of the contracts is with Sarawak Shell Berhad for the transportation and installation of jackets, topsides and pipelines for the Gorek gas field. The other contract is with Sapura Exploration and Production (SEP) for the transportation and installation of jackets, topsides and pipelines for the Larak and Bakong gas fields. McDermott will also fabricate risers and spools for SSB and SEP. “These two contracts give McDermott the opportunity to strengthen our long-standing relationship with Sarawak Shell Berhad and develop a new relationship with Sapura Exploration and Production,” said McDermott senior vice president for Asia Pacific Ian Prescott. McDermott’s heavy-lift installation vessel Derrick Barge 30 will support the work with its pipelay equipment, boom crane, with a main hook capacity of 2,794 tonnes, two deck cranes and construction equipment. Derrick Barge

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Southeast Asia AREA REPORT | 17

30 also has accommodation for 302, with a medical clinic, galley, mess room, conference room and client offices. McDermott’s project management team will be based in Kuala Lumpur in order to maximise the use of its Malaysian workforce to meet the local content requirements. Fabrication of the risers and spools will be performed at McDermott's global execution centre in Batam, Indonesia. The offshore campaign is expected to begin in Q2 2019. “We are extremely pleased to secure the Pan Malaysia field development work, which enables us to support the growth of the Malaysian oil and gas sector and the country," said Mr Prescott. Capt Meade noted that shallowwater drilling and increased IMR, repair and subsea activities by Malaysia oil and gas company Petronas should push up demand for OSVs. One roadblock for l​ ocal OSV owners is that their ​vessels are locked into long-term, loss-making contracts, some of which are for work that has not yet commenced. This is preventing them from bidding on other projects​. Other owners lack the capital to reactivate their laid-up vessels, said Capt Meade. ​ In Indonesia, Italy’s Eni has drilled and tested the Merakes East prospect in the East Sepinggan block. The well was drilled to a depth of 3,400 m in 1,592 m

“DUE TO CABOTAGE LAWS IN INDONESIA, FOREIGNFLAGGED VESSELS OF GREATER THAN 12,000 BHP AND IMR-TYPE VESSELS ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET WORK” of water depth and recorded an excellent gas deliverability of the reservoir. Eni plans to submit a field development plan for the commercial exploitation of this new discovery. The well is expected to deliver 70 MMscf/d of gas and 1,000 b/d of associated condensates. The prospect is 33 km southeast of the Eni-operated Jangkrik field and 3 km east of the Merakes field. The proximity of this new discovery to the Merakes field is in line with the company’s near field exploration, which will allow it to maximise the synergies among the subsea infrastructures as well as to reduce costs and time for the execution of the future subsea development. Due to cabotage laws in Indonesia, foreign-flagged vessels of greater than

McDermott’s lay vessel 108 at the Ichthys gas field in the Timor Sea, off of the northwestern coast of Australia (source: McDermott)

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12,000 bhp and IMR-type vessels are more likely to get work, Mr Meade pointed out.​He said OSV owners had good spot utilisation in 2018 and should continue to enjoy 70-80% utilisation this year. Apart from Pan Malaysia, McDermott International is currently executing the ONGC’s 98/2 project, together with its consortium partners BHGE and L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering in India. Working with BHGE, McDermott is also delivering an engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) project for POSCO Daewoo’s Shwe project in Myanmar. “In India, we have started the offshore campaign for Reliance’s KG-D6 project, which is going according to plans,” said a McDermott spokesperson.

PV Drilling rebounds in Vietnam

Capt Meade said there were five jackup rig awards either confirmed or pending final approvals for the region. Two of the contracts went to regional contractors, with the other three won by Vietnam’s Petrovietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PV Drilling). Since the start of the year, PV Drilling has secured five drilling contracts, which is welcome news for the company following the prosecution of its former president and chief executive Do Van Khanh by Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security last year. According to a statement by the company, the investigation focused on a five-year period from August 2010 to November 2015 during Mr Khanh’s leadership at PV Drilling. Mr Khanh resigned from the company on 31 November 2018. The prosecution is completely unaffected to PV Drilling’s current business activities during the time Mr Khanh worked at PV Drilling as chairman, from December 2015 to 30 November 2018. “At PV Drilling, Mr Khanh has always accomplished all the tasks assigned, significantly contributed to corporate governance and restructured PV Drilling in responding to the oil price slump, thereby, reducing the negative impacts on PV

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


18 | AREA REPORT Southeast Asia

Drilling's business performance. His contributions are highly appreciated by PV Drilling's management and staff.”

Thailand needs gas

Thailand produces about 60% of its power generation from natural gas. The country’s Department of Mineral Fuels is required to meet the country’s domestic gas demand through the management of its offshore gas fields or LNG imports. One crucial element of the plan is to prepare the bidding round for concessions for the Erawan and Bongkot group, which are due to expire in 2022-2023. The two groups are the crown jewels among Thailand’s gas fields, accounting for a combined 75% of the Gulf fields’ outputs of natural gas. In 2018, Thailand produced 52.67 mmbbl/y of crude oil, 35.5 8 mmbbl/y of condensate and 1,062.53 Bcf/y of natural gas. Thailand’s PTTEP has plans to invest US$16Bn domestically and internationally over the next five years.​ Chevron, which is leading Indonesia’s first ultra-deepwater development in the Kutei Basin, is the top oil and gas producer in Thailand, supplying about 35% of the country’s natural gas demand. Myanmar has drafted a new Woodside Energy’s North Rankin Complex, North West Shelf Project in Western Australia (source: Woodside)

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

petroleum law to attract foreign investment and exploration interest. Its current law mandates high taxes on profits, heavy royalty obligations and takes 77% of revenues generated. Drilling in the Shwe, Shwe Phyu and Mya gas fields in Blocks A-1 and A-3 is expected to begin in the latter part of 2019​.

Australia, LNG leader

Australia is the world’s largest exporter of LNG, surpassing Qatar back in November 2018.​A big part of that stems from Shell’s floating LNG vessel Prelude. Moored approximately 475 km north-north east of Broome in Western Australia, Prelude will produce 3.6 mta of LNG for the next 20 to 25 years. Another key gas project in Australia is the Ichthys project. “We are in the final delivery phase for one of the world’s largest subsea field developments, INPEX’s Ichthys project, which is a US$2Bn project that we won in January 2012,” said a McDermott spokesperson. “Apart from that, we have a tank storage project for Puma Energy and two separate FEED studies for Western Gas’s Equus Gas project and Woodside Energy’s Scarborough Floating Production Unit; both have the potential to progress

into full EPCI scope.” McDermott Australia Pty Ltd has been awarded a contract to undertake engineering studies for the floating production unit, which includes the option to progress to an engineering, procurement and construction contract for execute-phase activities. Australia’s Woodside Energy also awarded three other contracts for front-end engineering design activities for the proposed Scarborough project. Subsea Integration Alliance, a consortium between OneSubsea Australia Pty Ltd and Subsea 7 Australia Contracting Pty Ltd, has been awarded a contract to undertake engineering studies for the subsea umbilical risers and flowlines, with the option to progress to an engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract for execute-phase activities. Saipem Australia Pty Ltd has been awarded a contract to provide export trunkline engineering support services with an option to execute pipeline coating and installation activities. Intecsea Pty Ltd has been awarded a contract for export trunkline engineering. A FID is expected on the Scarborough project in 2020. Singapore independent oil company Jadestone Energy Inc. has signed a rig contract for infill drilling on the Stag oilfield, located offshore Australia. Ensco Australia Pty Limited has agreed to provide the Ensco 107 jackup drilling rig to Jadestone, after completion of its current operation in Dampier, Western Australia. Jadestone intends to drill the Stag-49H well from the Stag wellhead platform, targeting approximately 1.2 mmbbl of incremental oil reserves from the field. Jadestone is planning to spud the Stag-49H well in early March 2019 and drilling operations are expected to take approximately 34 days. Future Australia projects include the Caldita/Barossa, which is due for FID this year, with production starting in 2023, ​and Browse, due for FID in 2021 with production starting in 2026​. OSJ

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20 | STANDBY AND RESCUE VESSELS

Emergency search and rescue vessels: Offshore’s Swiss Army knife North Star Shipping’s Grampian Endurance is an IMT960 tanker assist class OSV

The standby and emergency response vessel has evolved from modified trawler to bespoke rescue craft. Here, we trace the development of one of the most important vessels in the offshore fleet

S

tandby search and rescue vessels (SSRVs), or emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs), have increased significantly in size and complexity over the last 30 years, evolving into what could be considered the offshore oil and gas market’s equivalent of a Swiss Army knife. Beyond their primary role of offshore personnel safety, SRRVs also carry out oil spill recovery, rescue towing and dynamic positioning (DP) duties. Highlighting their development, OSD-IMT naval architect Duncan Grigg explains: “The typical ERRV of the pre-Piper Alpha period was a converted trawler with a couple of fast rescue craft, rudimentary survivor facilities and limited

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

manoeuvrability, courtesy of a single engine and propeller and a small bow thruster.” Sentinel Marine chief executive Rory Deans agrees: “I first came into this market 35 years ago, so things have changed dramatically. We’ve gone through many stages; they were first fishing vessels, which were later upgraded to hospitals, then small platform supply vessels. Now they are purpose-built, multi-function vessels, so they are much more marketable.” Last year, Aberdeen-based OSV operator Sentinel Marine announced it was investing £36M (US$46M) in three newbuild multirole ERRVs. Designed by Singapore-based Khiam Chuan Marine (KCM), Cromarty Sentinel, Trafalgar Sentinel and Viking Sentinel will be built by China's Fujian Southeast Shipyard and delivered by the end of 2020. The trio of OSVs will be an enhanced version of the KCMdesigned ERRVs that Sentinel Marine has been operating in the North Sea over the past four years. They will all feature increased DP capabilities with a notation of DP2, a firefighting class of 1, oil recovery, liquid mud and dry bulk capacities. Their primary role will be ensuring offshore personnel safety, but they will also be able to carry out oil recovery, rescue towing and DP duties. “While conversions (more recently of OSVs) continue to

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STANDBY AND RESCUE VESSELS | 21

account for a reasonable part of the ERRV market,” Mr Grigg says “newbuilds are now more common, particularly as many older vessels have been removed from the market by scrapping in recent years.” Dozens of ERRVs have been built to Dutch ship design and marine consultancy OSD-IMT designs. “There is variation in the design of modern ERRVs, driven either by specific contract requirements from field operators, or what owners perceive will be future demand,” explains Mr Grigg. He continues: “At the most basic is the ‘pure’ ERRV. Such a vessel is intended for instances where only a safety standby capability is required, and the main design driver is the reduction of the day rate. This is obtained by making the vessel relatively small (45 m to 50 m in length overall is common) and adopting a simple machinery arrangement. A single main engine and propeller, with a retractable azimuth thruster forward is one such arrangement, and in standby mode the vessel can operate on the retractable thruster for economical operation.” Mr Grigg notes that increasingly, additional operations are required: “A common ‘extra’ is to have a vessel capable of limited platform supply capability, with such vessels termed ‘field support vessels’. Usually such vessels are in the region of 55 m to 65 m length overall and would tend to have a diesel electric machinery arrangement more typical for a platform supply vessel.” For fields with FPSOs and offloading buoys a combined ERRV/tanker support vessel is sometimes specified, which is a combination of large ASD tug of approximately 100 tonnes bollard pull and ERRV. “In a similar vein, large PSVs and AHTS are sometimes outfitted as ERRVs whilst maintaining their role as PSV or AHTS. The combination of roles on a single ship will be driven by the requirements and economics of the specific field at which the ERRV operates,” Mr Grigg explains.

Evolution of the SSRV

Mr Grigg laid out the history of the SSRV. The date 6 July 1988 is etched into the collective memory of those involved in offshore oil and gas. It is the date when a gas condensate explosion on the Piper Alpha platform led to the deaths of 167 people in the resulting explosions and fire. The large firefighting, hospital and accommodation vessel Tharos, which was in the vicinity at the time of the disaster, proved to be largely ineffectual as the disaster unfolded, and the majority of survivors (37 out of 59) were recovered by the SSRV Silver Pit. Silver Pit was typical of contemporary SSRVs. A converted sidewinder trawler originally built in Canada in 1947, it featured a single engine and propeller, a small bow thruster and hand steering. A small fast rescue craft and davit was fitted amidships and the former fish room was converted to survivor accommodation, with seating and rudimentary medical facilities. The provision of SSRVs was mandated in the UK Sector by the Mineral Workings Act, introduced in the aftermath of the Sea Gem disaster of 1965, when the

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requirements for vessels and crew bordered on laissez-faire. The 1991 Cullen report into the Piper Alpha disaster, while praising the actions of the master and crew, was critical of the Silver Pit, citing its lack of manoeuvrability and shortcomings in arrangements for transfer of survivors, as well as reliability issues associated with the age of the vessel. Around this time, operators of safety standby vessels (SSV) started buying older stern trawlers, anchor handling tugs and platform supply vessels for conversion, but some owners came to the conclusion that it would be possible to have something rather better by building purpose-built vessels.

Starting from Scratch

At the time, Neil Patterson had recently founded Marine Design Service, which later became IMT Marine Consultants, and was working out of the spare room of his Carnoustie home. “I was working on three projects at the time,” says Mr Patterson, “so I had a drawing board in the spare room, one in the garage, one in the shed and my computer in a cupboard under the stairs. “I was doing some consultancy work for an offshore contracting and consultancy company who had been approached by a shipowner who was also an existing client with an enquiry to design a newbuild SSV. One day I asked how they were getting on and was advised that nothing had been progressed with the other company. As I was working on some conversions and modifications, converting existing old trawlers and offshore vessels into SSV, I had some ideas for a newbuild vessel, so they gave me the go ahead to start developing a design.”

“A common ‘extra’ is to have a vessel capable of limited platform supply capability, with such vessels termed ‘field support vessels’” At the time there were no applicable regulations in force to govern the design of SSVs, so, armed with the conclusions of the Cullen Report, Mr Patterson and his small team began working out a design. At that stage the design featured a single azimuth thruster aft and a pump-jet thruster forward. In the end the owner decided to purchase and convert two newbuild stern trawlers which were in an advanced state of construction, rather than develop a purpose-built vessel design, but fortunately there were others in the market for such a vessel. Through contacts in the industry, IMT was able to secure a contract with Sunset Shipping in the Isle of Man for the design and supervision of two newbuild SSRVs, to be constructed at Yorkshire Drydock in Hull. During the tender process, the design was further developed

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


22 | STANDBY AND RESCUE VESSELS

and changed to the final arrangement, with two azimuth thrusters aft and a forward retractable azimuth to give improved redundancy. Viewed today, the site of the now long-closed Yorkshire Drydock shipyard (YDD) seems an unlikely place to build a ship. Squeezed between Lime Street and the narrow River Hull into which new vessels were launched, archaic construction practices and small lifting capacities meant that vessels were erected piecemeal. However, the yard had a well-established track record in the construction of coasters and had recently constructed a cruise vessel for the River Nile. Therefore, it was a good choice for the construction of this small, specialised vessel. IMT however faced other challenges. “Our contract was for the basic design, construction drawing approval, as owners representative and construction supervision,” continues Mr Patterson. “Although we had our own experienced construction steelwork supervisor, he was already committed on a contract to supervise a newbuild ferry and a ferry lengthening project, but as we had already worked on some projects with YDD, I knew Tony Lapthorn who had just finished building and supervising a series of coasters at the yard for his own company. As Tony was semi-retired from day-to-day ship management we managed to secure him to be our on-site superintendent, and as he knew the yard very well he was able to get the workforce he wanted working on the project.” Yard number 332 Scott Guardian was launched in 1993 and went into long-term charter arrangement for Amerada Hess at the Scott Platform. The second vessel in the series, Trafalgar Guardian, was

completed in 1994 and was long-term chartered to Enterprise Oil for the Nelson platform. Both vessels were operated and managed by Seaboard Offshore Aberdeen on behalf of the owners Sunset Shipping Ltd. Due to corporate mergers and takeovers the vessels have sailed for several owners and under different names. In 2005, Scott Guardian and Trafalgar Guardian sailed for Viking Offshore Services and were renamed Viking Guardian and Viking Victory, respectively. When Viking Offshore Services was sold to Vroon in 2008 the vessels were renamed VOS Guardian and VOS Victory. VOS Guardian has just completed its 25-year special survey, so the book is not yet closed on the story of these vessels. While the conversions of the same period have mostly gone to the scrapyard, the erstwhile Scott Guardian and Trafalgar Guardian continue on. Vroon Offshore’s Robbie Coull offers his views on why they remain valuable assets: “The layout for survivor flow is probably still the most effective and they are arguably still the most manoeuvrable vessels within the industry. We have a master who is of the opinion that they are the most manoeuvrable vessels he has sailed on.” Mr Coull continues: “They are good sea-keeping vessels and very comfortable in heavy weather. The crews that have sailed on them like them; I was fortunate to serve as master on the Scott Guardian for a number of years. The crew accommodation is excellent, with large cabins with bunks inboard just off the centre line of ship. They have operated for the past 25 years with little or no major problems.” Subsequently, 39 ERRVs have been built to nine different OSD-IMT designs, and most have followed the general concept introduced by Scott and Trafalgar Guardian. OSJ

SSRVs and ERRVs – like the Survivor Class VOS Pioneer – have come a long way from their modified-trawler origins

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

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24 | ICE-CLASS VESSELS AND TECHNOLOGY

Essential ice-breakers bring oil from the Arctic Two new powerful ice-breaking supply vessels, owned by Gazprom Neft, are playing a critical role in the logistics of transporting crude oil from fields above the Arctic Circle

The Umba floating storage and offloading terminal in Kola Bay (source: Gazprom Neft)

T

he development of the Novoportovskoye field on the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic Circle is a key part of Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft’s strategic plans. In 2018, 9.9M tonnes of oil equivalents were produced at the Arctic field – a 40% increase over the previous year.

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

Getting the oil from the field to European consumers has some complex operational and technical challenges though. Oil produced at the field is sent via a 100 km pipeline to the Arctic Gates terminal. Six specially designed Arc7 ice-class shuttle tankers load oil via a single-point mooring system at the terminal, which is an 80-m tall structure

about 3 km offshore in the Gulf of Ob. Once the oil is loaded to the Shturman-series ice-class shuttle tankers, it is transported to Murmansk via the Northern Sea route for shipment to the Umba floating storage and offloading vessel moored in Kola Bay. The Umba is a permanently moored VLCC with a total cargo capacity

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ICE-CLASS VESSELS AND TECHNOLOGY | 25

of around 300,000 tonnes that can accommodate the simultaneous berthing of vessels on both sides. Its onboard infrastructure makes possible the intake, storage and transhipment of oil. Shturman-series tankers complete more than 200 trips from the Arctic Gates oil offloading terminal to Murmansk a year, the majority of which are undertaken in challenging ice conditions. The Arctic Gates terminal is designed for year-round operation under the extreme climatic conditions that are found in the Arctic: temperatures can drop below −50°C, and ice can be up to two metres thick and last for up to nine months of the year. With intense tanker traffic the partially refrozen ice rubble around the terminal can become several metres thick, reaching almost to the bottom of the sea.

Keeping the oil moving

To support its shuttle tanker operations in these extreme operating conditions, Gazprom Neft ordered a pair of powerful icebreaking supply vessels, the Aleksandr Sannikov, and sister vessel, Andrey Vilkitsky, from Russia’s Vyborg Shipyard, part of United Shipbuilding Corporation, for delivery in 2018. The company has placed an emphasis on the development of the region as part of its 2030 strategy and Gazprom Neft managing director Vadim Yakolev says the new class of icebreaking supply ships plays a critical role in that vision: “It is important for us to increase logistic capacities. Having our own icebreakers is a guarantee of the uninterrupted and efficient operation of the Arctic oil transportation scheme, which creates new prospects for further development of fields in this region.” Added Gazprom Neft chairman Alexander Dyukov: “Logistics are playing the vital role here, making it possible to continue shipping and transporting oil through the Kara Sea, regardless of the weather conditions. Building these ice-breakers was an essential precondition to the further effective development of Novy Port.”

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Powerful twins

As is the case with Sovcomflot’s Yevgeny Primakov – winner of this year’s Offshore Support Journal Support Vessel of the Year – the Aleksandr Sannikov and Andrey Vilkitsky are well equipped to operate in the harsh, icy conditions of the Arctic Circle. The flagship of the two icebreaking supply vessels, Aleksandr Sannikov, began operating at the Arctic Gates terminal last July and was joined by sister vessel, Andrey Vilkitsky on 24 January. Both vessels are based on the Aker ARC 130 A design developed by Finland’s Aker Arctic. The ice-breaking supply vessels are a further refinement of Aker Arctic’s design of the Polaris, the most powerful ice-breaker operating under the Finnish flag. Polaris has an overall length of 110.5 m, beam of 24 m, and design draught of 8 m. Classed by Lloyd’s Register with a notation of PC 4 Ice-breaker (+), the Polaris has four main generating sets that produce a total of 21,000 kW and one harbour generator with an output of 1,168 kW. The Polaris is a dual-fuel vessel, burning both low sulphur marine diesel oil (MDO) and LNG. It has two 6,500 kW Azipod azimuthing thrusters in the stern and one 6,000 kW unit in the bow. It has an open water speed of 17 knots, can break 1.8 m of ice at 3.5 knots or 1.2 m of ice at 5 knots and navigate two metres of

brash ice channel at 10 knots. It has accommodation for 24. By contrast, the two sister vessels are longer and slightly beamier than the Polaris, with an overall length of 121.7 m, beam of 26 m and draught of 8 m. They have the capability to break ice up to 2 m thick and 30 cm of snow while steaming at 2 knots. They also have additional ice strengthening and an ice class of Ice-breaker8, which is equivalent to IACS PC 2 notation. Similar to the Polaris, Aleksandr Sannikov and Andrey Vilkitsky each have a diesel-electric propulsion system that consists of three Azipod azimuthing propulsion units, two in the stern and one in the bow, supplying the vessels with excellent manoeuvrability during ice-breaking operations. In open water each vessel’s 1,800 kW transverse bow thruster provides dynamic positioning class 2 level capability – critical when operating year-round in close proximity to other vessels, tankers and the loading terminal. The ice-breaking supply vessels each have four main generating sets – which only burn low sulphur MDO – producing a total output of 27,000 kW. Besides ice-breaking and ice management, Aleksandr Sannikov and Andrey Vilkitsky are equipped for a wide range of important secondary duties while on standby at the offshore terminal.

Ice-breaking supply vessel Andrey Vilkitsky en-route to the Arctic Gates terminal (source: Vyborg Shipyard)

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


26 | ICE-CLASS VESSELS AND TECHNOLOGY

Each has a powerful external fire-fighting system that meets the most demanding class notation from the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS). Each vessel also carries multiple workboats and oil spill response equipment and has dedicated storage tanks for recovered oil. The open aft deck served by a 26-tonne crane can be used to transport containers and other cargo. The forward helideck can accommodate large Russian helicopters such as the Mi-8. “According to our forecasts, demand for the transportation market on the Northern Sea Route will increase by one-third by 2030,” explains Mr Dyukov. “The development of our own Arctic fleet will allow the company to maintain leadership in the Russian Arctic for the long-term prospect.” Alexander Sannikov and Andrey Vilkitsky are designed to provide up to 40 days of operation at extreme temperatures of -50C. The onboard computers monitor the ice-breaker life support, start the generators, synchronise the equipment, control the emergency modes, adjust temperature and operational conditions on all decks of the vessel. Digital control of the icebreaker improved the efficiency of the crew – in order to perform similar functions on other icebreaking vessels a twofold increase in crew is necessary. In the open water, the ice-breaking supply vessels can reach speeds of up to 16 knots (25 km/h) and make a 360-degree turn in under a minute. The powerful ice-breaking capability of each vessel is comparable to nuclearpowered ice-breakers. This is facilitated by the special hull shape of the icebreaking supply vessels and their three thrusters, located in pair in the aft and one unit in the fore part of the vessel. Typical ice-breakers run into the ice and break it with their weight. The hulls of the Aker Arctic-designed vessels cut through the ice, which is then chopped by their propellers. The vessels also each have their own fire station, hospital, helideck, emergencyrescue boats, powerful winch and crane with capacity 26 tonnes. Besides tanker

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

escort, the vessels can also transport cargo, provide towing assistance and participate in rescue operations.

“TYPICAL ICEBREAKERS RUN INTO THE ICE AND BREAK IT WITH THEIR WEIGHT. THE HULLS OF THE AKER ARCTICDESIGNED VESSELS CUT THROUGH THE ICE, WHICH IS THEN CHOPPED BY THEIR PROPELLERS”

Most equipment installed on the icebreaking supply vessels was provided by Russian manufacturers. Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center, part of United Shipbuilding Corporation in Severodvinsk, equipped the vessel with its bow propulsion unit. Other shipboard equipment, such as navigation system, bridge and generators, were supplied by Russian companies.

New ice-breaking anchor-handlers

Russia oil company Rosneft has also ordered four multi-purpose icebreaking anchor-handling supply vessels that will be built at the Zvezda Shipyard in the Bay of Bolshoy Kamen, Primorsky Krai in Russia. Zvezda Shipyard is part of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship-Repairing Centre (FESSC), which is owned by Rosneft. Construction began last October on the first of the series of vessels that will have an Ice-breaker 7 class notation. The vessels, designated as IBSV 10022 designs, will be delivered at the end of 2019 and during the first half of 2020. The multifunctional IBSVs will perform the transportation of goods to/from offshore drilling rigs and

production platforms, anchor handling, ice-breaking operations, ice situation control, rescue, oil spill response, fire-fighting, towing of jackup offshore platforms and other large offshore structures and carriage of ISO containers on their main decks. Back in September 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Zvezda shipyard for the keel-laying ceremony for the four vessels. “Today, it is important to start accomplishing the main longterm strategic task and to launch production of full-fledged mediumand large-capacity vessels and marine technology as soon as possible,” President Putin said. "I know that a long-term plan for utilising the enterprise’s production facilities up to 2035 has already been approved.” Mr Putin added that the four iceclass multifunctional supply vessels “will strengthen the company’s potential and that of the national fuel and energy sector, as well as promote the development of the Northern Sea Route.” Zvezda’s technology partner, Dutch shipbuilder Damen, is assisting in the development of the icebreaking supply ships. One of the features of the IBSV 10022-class vessels will be podded drive propulsion units, which will offer several benefits to the operator, such as increased propulsion efficiency and manoeuvrability and reduced fuel consumption and exhaust emissions For the shipyard, podded drives reduce installation time and allow for flexible machinery arrangement and a simplified hull form and structure. The podded drives will be built at a plant at the Zvezda shipyard. Construction of the facility began in November 2017. The Sapphire Pod Drive Plant project is managed by a joint venture of Rosneft and General Electric. The ice-class-range of Seajet pods are available for ice-going vessels up to Icebreaker 7 class notation, with a power range from 7.5 MW to 15 MW. They are a joint development of General Electric and AETC Sapphire. OSJ

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28 | VESSEL NEWS

Ice-breaker Yevgeny Primakov takes vessel of the year Sovcomflot’s ice-breaking standby vessel Yevgeny Primakov took the Offshore Support Journal Support Vessel of the Year award at this year’s Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition, but it was a close call with CTV WEM 1 and Maersk Inventor giving it a run for its money

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ovcomflot multipurpose icebreaking standby vessel Yevgeny Primakov was awarded the Offshore Support Journal’s Support Vessel of the Year award for 2019 at the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London. Sponsored by DNV GL and determined by industry voting, the award was collected by Sovcomflot executive vice president, chief technology officer and chief operating officer Igor Tonkovidov at an industry gala on 6 February. Yevgeny Primakov was delivered to Sovcomflot (SCF Group) in January 2018 by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, a subsidiary of United Shipbuilding Corporation. The multipurpose icebreaking standby vessel serves the offshore oil and gas platforms of the Sakhalin-2 project under a long-term agreement between Sovcomflot and Sakhalin Energy. At the time of Yevgeny Primakov’s delivery, Sakhalin Energy production director Ole Myklestad, said, “I can proudly say

that in the next 20 years the ship will ensure the best operating conditions and safety at our three offshore production platforms in the Sea of Okhotsk.” Sovcomflot chief executive Sergey Frank added, “Sovcomflot has 20 vessels supporting the Sakhalin I and Sakhalin II projects. Yevgeny Primakov is one of the company’s best vessels in terms of technical capacity, multifunctionality and power-to-weight ratio. This ship is the result of our long experience in operating vessels in severe ice conditions, as well as the experience of many generations of Russian seamen.” The vessel is designed to operate in the challenging ice and navigation conditions of the Sea of Okhotsk. Assigned an Ice-15 ice-class, Yevgeny Primakov is 104.4 m long, has a beam of 21 m and a deadweight tonnage of 3,670 tonnes. The ice-breaking standby vessel is equipped with two Azipod units with a total capacity of 13 MW that provide high levels of manoeuvrability and allow it to sail independently through ice up to 1.5 m thick,

The ice-breaking standby vessel Yevgeny Primakov is one of 80 vessels in Sovcomflot’s fleet that has an ice-class rating

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

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VESSEL NEWS | 29

with a snow cover of up to 20 cm. Since it entered service in Q1 2018, Yevgeny Primakov has been ensuring the safe operation of Sakhalin-2 offshore platforms, providing year-round standby, search and rescue services. The vessel also performs ice management functions, preventing the formation of hummocks and heavy ice fields around the platforms and escorting other vessels through the ice. In addition to those services, Yevgeny Primakov is equipped to quickly respond to possible emergencies and undertake subsurface surveys, engineering, and repair works, when needed. Despite its relatively small size, Yevgeny Primakov can provide sleeping accommodation for 70 people (in addition to 18 crew), and in the event of an emergency it can accommodate up to 150 people. With Saint Petersburg as its port of registry, Yevgeny Primakov flies the Russian flag. Yevgeny Primakov is yet another vessel in a series of multifunctional ice-breaking supply and standby vessels built under a long-term agreement between Sovcomfolt and Sakhalin Energy, the Sakhalin-2 project operator. The first three vessels in the series, Gennady Nevelskoy, Stepan Makarov and Fedor Ushakov joined the Sovcomfolt fleet in 2017 and are all operating near Sakhalin. SCF Group is one of the world's leading energy shipping companies, specialising in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and LNG, as well as the servicing of offshore oil and gas exploration and production. The company’s fleet includes 145 vessels – 80 of which have ice class – with a total deadweight of 12.5M tonnes. SCF Group operates the world’s largest fleet of ice-breaking supply and standby vessels, seven of which service Sakhalin-2.

Maersk Inventor goes to work in West Africa

One of the runners-up at this year’s Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference’s Support Vessel of the Year award was the subsea support vessel Maersk Inventor, which has gone to work in West Africa, according to a social media post on 13 February 2019 by its Danish owner Maersk Supply Service. “She is the second vessel of our I-class subsea support vessels (SSVs) to be performing light well intervention work, along with Maersk Installer,” said Maersk Supply Service in a tweet. The third vessel delivered by China’s COSCO (Dalian) Shipyard of the Stingray subsea support vessel series, the Maersk Inventor is designed as a flexible, stable and reliable platform to carry out a wide range of operations, in challenging offshore environments. Based on an MT6027 design from Norway’s Marin Teknikk AS, the SSV has an overall length of 137 m, a beam of 27 m and has been outfitted with extensive internal and external safety and energy efficiency features. Maersk Inventor has a large free deck area of 1,850 m2 with more than 300 sea fastenings for cargo, two work-class ROVs capable of operating in up to 3,000 m of water, two moonpools, and two large subsea cranes. The largest of the two moonpools, measuring 8.4 m x 8.4 m, is located in the centreline of the vessel, making it accessible from

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Subsea support vessel Maersk Inventor is performing light well intervention work off West Africa

the main deck. This offers the possibility of deploying equipment through the moonpool in a protected environment under harsh weather conditions, maximising uptime and customer value. The two knuckle-boom cranes, of 400- and 100-tonnes lifting capacity, are fully active heave compensated and capable of operating in up to 3,000 m water depth. In addition, diesel-electric propulsion, fixed-pitch thrusters and the main propellers enable the vessel to operate in DP2 or DP3 mode under all conditions, creating the required thrust without idle loss. Maersk Inventor features modern accommodation for up to 120 people in single cabins, with three conference rooms and 10 client offices. It has been built in compliance with DNV GL’s comfort classification for passenger vessels to provide the highest level of comfort for all personnel onboard.

WEM 1 offers stability for windfarm technicians

Offshore windfarms are located where the waters are shallow and the winds favourable. Nordsee One windfarm is located about 40 km north of the island of Juist in the German Bight, where the average wind speed is about 10 m/sec (36 km/h) and the water depths are between 26 m and 29 m. While that makes for an ideal location for an offshore windfarm, it can be a challenging one for crew transfer vessels (CTVs) that service the wind turbines because shallow waters and strong winds generate higher and sharper waves. The other nominee for the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference’s Support Vessel of the Year award 2019 was the CTV WEM 1, which went on a six-month charter to Nordsee One in June 2018, following its delivery to UK’s Wind Energy Marine by Piriou Vietnam. WEM 1 was designed by the UK’s BMT Nigel Gee to offer a stable, comfortable and safe platform for the three crew and 24 technicians it transports between the shore and offshore wind turbines. Equipped with a deck crane forward, the WEM 1 can accommodate a maximum of 20 tonnes of cargo. Built with an aluminium catamaran hull, WEM 1 has a resiliently-mounted superstructure and adjustable interceptors to provide maximum comfort and safety when operating at high speeds. Waterjet propulsion makes the WEM 1 highly manoeuvrable, allowing it to reach service speeds of 25.5 knots. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


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SIMULATION AND TRAINING | 31

Cutting risks through advanced crew training Simulator-based training can help OSV owners reduce the risk of incidents and allow crew to familiarise themselves with new technology in a safe environment

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uman error is the main contributory cause for maritime incidents in the OSV sector. It is an unfortunate albeit unsurprising fact, but one that can be addressed and mitigated via improved training techniques. Such techniques, placed alongside better and more frequent competency checks, improved risk management and stronger communication, can make the workplace safer for seafarers, with the added benefit of improving efficiency – and hence the bottom line – for vessel owners. The above factors were identified in a study by the Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) at Cardiff University. The study analysed the reasons behind 693 accident investigation reports from the UK, Australia, the US, New Zealand, Germany and Denmark between 2002 and 2016. In these accidents, there were multiple contributory causes, ranging from inadequate risk management – identified as the top contributing cause of accidents with 306 cases (representing 44%) - third-party deficiencies (25%), failure in communications (23%), weather (20%) and poor judgement (19%). Researchers identified that a contributing factor in 115 cases (16.6%) was the ineffective use of technology, while inadequate training was considered a factor in 113 cases (16.3%). This explains the current focus on training and the effectiveness of assessing crew competency to improve safety and reduce the risks of accidents. These concerns are especially pertinent for operators of dynamic positioning (DP) systems, who must remain alert to multiple risks. This likely explains why training and DP operator assessment remains a major subject of discussion and interest at Riviera Maritime Media’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference, held each year in London. At this year’s conference, Hornbeck Offshore chief operating officer Carl Annessa noted that incidents in the Gulf of Mexico once again highlighted the importance of crew competence and knowledge. He said that OSV accidents in the region demonstrated that “bridge teams had limited understanding of technology” and

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John Flynn (Stena Drilling): Training crew for Stena Don was a big challenge during the rig's reactivation period

there were questions over the competence of DP operators. Mr Annessa believes DP operators gain competence through experience and specific training, which needs to be regularly assessed. “We can use technology for validating this experience and time on DP operations that is mission specific” he explained. The Nautical Institute chief executive Capt John Lloyd FNI described why the introduction of re-assessments was important in terms of competence verification and continuous personal development. “It means DP operators can maintain their currency and preparedness for work and develop new workplace skills,” said Capt Lloyd. He said there are around 25,000 DP operator certificates in service, and that his organisation revalidated around 3,400 DP operator certificates in 2018. “We are busy in DP operator revalidation; currently we process them in 15 days, but we still get non-compliant applications of around 2%,” said Capt Lloyd. In January, The Nautical Institute introduced a new certification scheme to cover self-elevating jack-ups operating

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


32 | SIMULATION AND TRAINING

in the renewables sector. It was developed in response to an increased need for specialist operators on jack-up barges used to install wind turbines. It is based on the organisation’s established certification scheme, using the same logbook as the DP offshore scheme to record time spent on vessels. But it includes a separate task section developed in collaboration with renewable-sector employers. “We tried to balance the number of days on board and the activities, to tailor a log-book of experience for DP operators,” said Capt Lloyd. Upon completing this training scheme, DP operators will receive a DP certificate that is restricted to self-elevating platforms. Successful completion requires that operators have spent a minimum of 120 days on board a DP-classed vessel and they must complete 30 separate DP operations along with the relevant task sections dictated by the training. The Nautical Institute has also introduced two approved courses for DP operations: a course for emergency handling of OSVs; and the Nautical Institute’s refresher training for DP technical personnel. The former trains seafarers in responding to vessel handling in the event of DP failures, “where there is a risk of a loss of position,” explained Capt Lloyd. However, only 30 candidates completed this course in 2018, which Capt Lloyd thinks demonstrates that OSV owners need to prioritise their safety focus. “Take-up was poor and is disappointing,” he said. However, take-up of the refresher training for DP technical personnel was better, with more than 400 technical staff completing training in various centres.

Improved reporting

During this year’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference, International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) technical adviser Andy Goldsmith outlined how the reporting of incidents and station keeping events is incorporated into training to improve safety across the offshore sector. He said there had been increasing numbers of companies, 40 in 2018, involved in this initiative, with around 145

European DP conference panel (l-r): Carl Annessa (Hornbeck), Andy Goldsmith (IMCA), John Lloyd (NI), Steven Cargill (DNV GL), Chad Fuhrmann (OpTech)

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

incidents reported last year. Details of the causes for these incidents can be fed into operator training and future DP system design. Mr Goldsmith said IMCA was promoting the importance of continuous professional development among seafarers operating on OSVs. Such development can include informal learning through work experience, or structured activities such as: • specific courses • distance learning programmes • desktop study • preparation of papers and presentations • mentoring • involvement in professional body activities • volunteering or attending seminars. Professional development should include time on simulators that test operators’ reactions to different scenarios. All Offshore managing director Dan Endersby explained why digital check lists and emergency procedures should be included in simulator training courses. “Simulators can identify that DP operators know the system and can operate a vessel in DP,” he said. “Worst cast failure training can flag up issues and make sure DP operators are trained correctly,” he added. But simulators can be used for more than just training. DNV GL segment director for OSVs Arnstein Eknes says simulators can also be used for testing different technologies and human-machine interactions. “Simulators are being used for version prototyping,” he explains, “Different experts can be brought into one room and can test systems and emergency operations.” Mr Eknes continues: “We can provide people in simulators with a live feed from the vessel and can then simulate what will happen on the vessel, perhaps five minutes ahead.” He says this enables operation experts in onshore simulators to test scenarios and then advise seafarers onboard vessels how to best tackle situations. Simulators are also used for equipment-specific and familiarisation training, which is especially important when offshore vessels and drilling rigs are reactivated for new projects or contracts. For example, Stena Drilling invested in a drilling-systems simulator when it needed to train crew how to work on a reactivated semi-submersible rig. Stena Drilling won a four-month contract in April 2018 from Total to drill an exploration well on a prospect west of Shetland, UK. For this, the drilling contractor reactivated 2001-built Stena Don from lay-up in Scotland. Stena Drilling marine superintendent John Flynn explained that while there were technical issues to overcome, the biggest challenge was absorbing a new crew with those that had worked on the rig for 15 years. To achieve this, Stena used a simulator and worked with third-party trainers to develop training modules, including 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. OSJ

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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.

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SIMULATION AND TRAINING | 35

Update STCW to address technical training IMO’s standard training may no longer be enough to satisfy owners’ requirements for their crew to show competency in the latest technology

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MO’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) is a requirement for OSV training. However, owners are investing in further levels of simulator training, e-learning, competency assessments and virtual reality (VR) technology. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents vessel owners’ interests at IMO, has called on the governing body to update STCW to match the realities of modern training. ICS chairman Esben Poulsson has called for revisions to these rules, as many vessel owners and managers are adopting additional training and assessments of officers holding STCW certification. Mr Poulsson thinks STCW can be revised to adopt more of the technical advances made in training. STCW should also reflect advances in automation, digitalisation and hybrid propulsion technology that OSV owners have embraced. STCW needs to prepare for future technology, such as remote control operations and it should be able to mesh seafarer training information into the systems that owners and charterers use to assess and track competence and experience. Regulators have not stood still since STCW was first introduced and there have been largescale changes, including the Manila amendments in 2010. However, Mr Poulsson believes that this was essentially evolution and that it is now time for real change.

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Raal Harris (KVH Videotel): VR will supplement e-training programs

He wants IMO to recognise new developments in training and the competencies that will be needed to operate vessels in the future. For example, VR is being used to mimic OSV operations in a desktop simulator. Uptime International has developed a VR training system for operators of walk-to-work gangways, which was demonstrated in the supporting exhibition of this year’s Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition. This VR resource, which was tested by OSJ, provides trainees with an immersive environment that simulates the type of conditions they would encounter while operating gangways on offshore renewables and oil and gas

maintenance projects. Within the program, operators use controls to manoeuvre a gangway to set it down on a static platform, such as the landing point on an offshore wind turbine foundation. In this VR environment, operators are tested in their abilities to swing the gangway out from the accommodation or crew supply vessel. They then extend the walkway and safely and securely land it on the structure. Elsewhere, KVH Videotel is creating VR programs to train and assess seafarers as an additional resource to its existing e-learning and video training courses. In October, KVH Videotel and OMS-VR agreed to produce and distribute VR maritime training. Together they will develop a series of VR training segments over the next two years, to build a portfolio of more than 40 training courses. KVH Videotel managing director Raal Harris expects the appetite for VR training and assessment to grow rapidly. He says the first courses will be available on Oculus technology, which enables a user to apply a VR application on the latest generation of Android mobile phone. “This makes it cost-effective and widely accessible to seafarers,” he says. The topics for existing and future VR modules include critical safety material, cargo and engineering tasks, and industry best-practice exercises. These will conform with STCW requirements, but will extend trainees’ competence beyond these standards, as offshore vessel owners now expect. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


36 | PROPULSION diesel electric

Efficiency and versatility drive diesel-electric demand Growing numbers of offshore vessel owners are harnessing diesel-electric and hybrid configurations to provide greater flexibility across their fleets

E

ven in the mighty arena of subsea construction vessels, the 153.6 m long, 18,151 gt North Sea Giant is an impressive specimen. Last year it became even more so; its six 3,600 kW GE engines (driving five Voith-Schneider thrusters and a Rolls-Royce tunnel thruster) were supplemented by an energy storage system designed and installed by Wärtsilä. The result is arguably the most capable DP3 vessel on the market. That capability is not just thanks to the vessel’s battery system, which provides over 2,000 kWh across three modules. As owner North Sea Shipping intends to use the vessel, those batteries would be irrelevant if it was not for an even newer technology. The electric bus link (EBL), developed by Yaskawa Environmental Technology, enables the operator to link battery systems in series and (more importantly) to disconnect them at previously unachievable speed. “EBL splits the on-board grids in a matter of microseconds, isolating faults and protecting the complete operational system,” says Yaskawa general manager Asbjørn Halsebakke. “This offers significant savings on maintenance costs. Also, by rapidly connecting and disconnecting energy sources from one another, including batteries and engines, they can be optimised for efficiency.” In theory, that rapid shutdown capability means that the North Sea Giant can operate in DP3 mode with a single engine, the first vessel capable of this feat. Safety requirements previously required ships to perform several operations,

including DP3, with engines providing power to each grid, rather than using one engine to power the grids in series or using batteries to power each grid. But with approval from DNV GL – which will now revisit its DP3 class rules – the ultra-fast line breaking technology deployed on North Sea Giant means that just one engine can be used, with the three battery packs providing redundancy.

“Its rapid shutdown capability means that North Sea Giant can operate in DP3 mode with a single engine, the first vessel capable of this feat” Wärtsilä Norway general manager Tore Marcus explains that the ship is currently performing these operations with three engines, each supported by one battery string, while the companies await a slot in the ship’s busy charter schedule for final testing. When North Sea Giant finally meets its potential, Mr Marcus predicts that the vessel’s unique DP3 power arrangement will save up to two million litres of fuel a year. Those savings and the rewriting of safety rules around DP3 give a strong indicator of the potential of diesel-electric and battery-hybrid propulsion. But you do not have to operate DP3 vessels, or indeed install batteries, to realise dieselelectric efficiencies. Nor do you have to be a giant. Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld is set to deliver the first diesel-electric arrangement for the shallow draft, DP2 version of its versatile Shoalbuster series.

Broad capability

Mighty savings are in the pipeline once North Sea Giant’s DP3 arrangement is accepted

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

The Shoalbuster 3514 SD DP2 will be used by owner Herman Senior initially for windfarm support work in coastal waters. But, according to Herman Senior managing director Jack van Dodewaard, the vessel will be equally capable of working on projects further offshore. With a 60-tonne bollard pull, the

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diesel electric PROPULSION | 37

vessel – to be named Brutus – will also have the potential to attract towing work. “The demand for DP2 vessels is increasing and this will fill a gap in the market,” says Mr van Dodewaard. That claim is backed up by an installed power that belies the small size of the 35 m-long vessel. Four Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines will deliver a total of 3,876 kW to four 1900 mm-nozzle waterjets. That arrangement contributes to the vessel’s shallow-draft capability while the dynamic positioning system, including ancillary thrusters, safeguards position-holding around structures. Dynamic positioning could be used in the open sea as well – an open stern will make Brutus suitable for cable-laying operations. Among the many other roles which Brutus will be capable of taking on are pre-lay grapnel runs, remote vehicle surveys, mattress installations, mooring, pushing, dredging support, ocean-going towage and general OSV duties. The vessel will even be equipped for anchor handling, with a roller at its stern. “The vessel will be very fuel efficient and will have a very low carbon footprint,” says Mr van Dodewaard. That is a direct result of the diesel-electric configuration that allows the operator to run from one to four engines depending on propulsion power demand, with the remaining engines providing power for one of the many tasks within the vessel’s remit. Brutus will also be IMO Tier III compliant thanks to the Caterpillar engines’ selective catalytic reduction units. If Brutus, due for delivery in early 2020, epitomises the efficient, modern, multitasking offshore vessel, there is still a way for older vessels to compete. That is according to Caterpillar Marine product manager Theodore Wiersema. Speaking at the Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in February, he noted that owners can use retrofit packages to update engines to meet IMO III fuel

A shallow draft, DP2 capability and diesel-electric propulsion will boost Brutus' employment prospects

and emission regulations, while variable-speed generator sets can help increase efficiency by up to 20% compared with fixed-speed gensets. Vessels can be retrofitted with electric motors and batteries to reduce load demand on engines for propulsion. Mr Wiersema said that version 3.0 of Caterpillar’s Multi-Engine Optimiser (MEO) tool can advise engineers on managing diesel-electric and hybrid propulsion to optimise operations and reduce fuel consumption. “MEO leverages data and algorithms to provide the best combination of load points,” Mr Wiersema explained. “It can be combined with a battery manager for charging and discharging and with digitalisation with Cat Asset Intelligence.” Theoretically, this would allow a 15-year-old vessel to compete with a modern equivalent. Big or small, new or old, vessels in the offshore sector face demands for efficiency and versatility that are making dieselelectric propulsion an increasingly appealing option. OSJ

Semi-submersibles set to tap hybrid potential It is not only OSVs that are harnessing hybrid power. Northern Drilling will introduce the first energy storage system on a semi-submersible rig when West Mira begins operations in the North Sea this year. The rig’s dieselelectric generators will be supplemented by a lithiumion system, Siemens’ BlueVault, that is expected to cut the running time of the platform’s diesel engines by an estimated 42%. That will cut CO2 emissions by 15% and NOx emissions by 12%. The solution consists of four converter and battery systems with a total maximum power of 6 MW. The batteries will be charged from the rig’s engines and used to supply power during times of peak demand. They will also serve as backup to prevent blackouts and provide power to thrusters if engine power is lost. Siemens head of offshore solutions Bjørn Einar

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Brath says: “Offshore rigs have highly variable power consumption for drilling and dynamic positioning. By incorporating energy storage, it is possible to reduce the runtime of diesel engines and keep them operating on an optimised combustion level. This ultimately leads to lower emissions.” The energy storage solution has already been installed in more than 60 vessels worldwide, and Siemens has marked the offshore market for further potential. To this end, it has opened an automated plant in Norway that will develop and manufacture energy storage technologies for both marine and offshore oil and gas applications. “The facility will play an important role in helping Siemens meet the global demand for more efficient drilling operations, with the ultimate goal of reducing the offshore industry's carbon footprint,” says Mr Brath.

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


38 | PROPULSION diesel electric

Heavy-lift vessel puts power up front

UWL DECK CARRIER Length o/a: Breadth, moulded: Depth to main deck: Draught:

An unusual set of operational challenges has led to an innovative, front-loaded propulsion arrangement on a heavy-cargo deck carrier under construction at Jiangsu Zhenjiang Shipyard

Load capacity, max draught:

A

Working deck area:

new heavy-cargo deck carrier will feature a clever front-loaded propulsion arrangement to improve its ability to transport very heavy but fragile turbine components, which must be rolled rather than lifted onto the deck. Designed by Hamburg-based engineering company HeavyLift@Sea, the carrier will initially operate in the North Sea and Baltic for offshore wind specialist United Wind Logistics (UWL) before being made available for offshore installation projects worldwide, potentially through UWL sister companies United Heavy Lift and United Engineering Solutions. HeavyLift@Sea managing director Hendrik Gröne explained that this operational requirement, demanding a wide cargo deck, had to be balanced against other constraints. “The deck width had to be reconciled with a ship that was small enough for the approach to a particularly small Danish port and to meet the requirements of the Kiel Canal,” he said. The ship design squeezes 3,600 m2 of deck space, with a loading capacity of 10,000 tonnes at maximum draught, onto a vessel that is 148.5 m long and just 28 m wide. This was achieved in part by making the superstructures, including

the 21-person accommodation block, as compact as possible. “In the first few years, the deck carrier will transport wind power components in the North and Baltic Seas, and we have optimised it for this purpose,” said Mr Gröne. “At the same time, however, we also designed the ship to meet the shipping company's need for flexible worldwide deployment and maximum utilisation of such a special vessel.” The requirement for deck space also proved challenging for the propulsion installation, especially for the positioning of the exhaust funnel and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) units. Project manager Frank Schernikau explained that deck space was optimised by putting the funnels near the superstructure close to the bow of the vessel. But putting main engines at the fore would usually require a very long propeller shaft, disrupting the layout across the length of the ship and increasing the risk of alignment issues. The solution was to opt for a dieselelectric configuration, with engines installed near the ship’s bow and a propulsion room with electric motors driving fixed-pitch propellers via conventional shafting aft. Although the diesel-electric configuration is not as efficient as directly driven propulsion,

The deck carrier boasts diesel engines at the bow and thruster drives in an aft propulsion room

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019

Speed:

Deck load: Cabin capacity:

Classification:

148.5 m 28 m 8m 5.6 m 10,000 t 12 kn 130 x 28 m 20 t/m2 21 DNV GL (general cargo ship, BWM (D2, DG)

due to conversion losses, it regains some of the lost efficiency by allowing engines to be run at a consistent, optimal load, which also reduces engine wear. The shipyard has ordered two MAN 9L 21/31 and two MAN 6L16/24 gensets for the DP2 vessel. The engines will meet IMO’s Tier III NOx emission regulations thanks to their SCR systems, which will ensure compliance should the proposed North Sea and Baltic Sea NOx Emission Control Areas enter force in 2021 as planned. MAN Energy Solutions head of fourstroke marine Lex Nijsen said: “This new order confirms our solid foothold within the segment for small-bore, mediumspeed engines powering specialised vessels. I welcome this new reference and feel that it highlights the diversity of our product portfolio.” Steel was cut in November and delivery is expected at the end of 2019. UWL is employing Peter Döhle Schiffahrts for building supervision and technical management. MAN Energy Solutions’ licensee CMP will build the engines in China Meanwhile, HeavyLift@Sea has been awarded the basic design contract for the shipowner’s next vessel, a special ship for offshore wind operations. OSJ

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IMCA NEWS | 40

A busy year on the dynamic positioning front

T Capt Andy Goldsmith, IMCA

M 248 PROVIDES A SUMMARY OF ALL THE REPORTS; IT GIVES THE MAIN CAUSE, THE SECONDARY CAUSE, THE OPERATION UNDER WAY AT THE TIME AND THE DP CLASS”

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he publication of IMCA’s Dynamic Positioning Station Keeping Review (IMCA M 248) coincided with the European Dynamic Positioning Conference on 5 February 2019. In 2018, 147 DP stationkeeping reports were received from IMCA members operating DP vessels; all were analysed and are included in the publication. For the second year running, participation in the scheme has increased significantly. This is a welcome and positive reaction from the industry, which recognises the importance of sharing data so that lessons learnt can contribute to the safe and efficient operation of DP vessels. Compared to 2017, 50% more reports were received from 33% more vessels in 2018. The 147 reports were submitted by 100 vessels – an average of 1.5 reports per vessel. There are three categorisation levels: DP Incident; DP Undesired Event; and DP Observation. Those making a report are urged to provide both a main and a secondary cause of the event. The largest percentage of main causes reported for 2018 involved thruster/ propulsion (35%); computer and position reference systems were the next largest (21%). The largest secondary causes were electrical (42%) and human factors (23%). M 248 provides a summary of all the reports. It gives the main cause, the secondary cause, the operation under way at the time and the DP class.

DP Practitioner Accreditation Scheme

On 1 May, IMCA’s DP Practitioner Accreditation Scheme will be launched; the application process being opened. The scheme will give confidence that DP practitioners attending vessels for trials and personnel conducting DP assurance

duties are qualified to the IMCA standard. Gaining and maintaining accreditation will also assist practitioners to increase their knowledge base. Two categories of personnel will be eligible for the scheme: a DP Trials and Assurance Practitioner and a Company DP Authority. To be eligible for accreditation, applicants require a specified level of relevant certification, experience and knowledge. Following acceptance of the initial criteria, they will be required to sit a multiple-choice examination. The scheme is designed to improve the consistency and conduct of DP trials, and set an expected level of knowledge for DP practitioners.

The DP Committee’s agenda

It is going to be a busy year for IMCA’s Marine DP Committee. Some of the tasks to be undertaken, such as providing information on remote trials, are a direct result of the Marine Technical Session at our highly successful Annual Seminar in November 2018. The following also figure on our action list: • Amalgamating all IMCA DP position reference guidance into one document; • Reviewing the library of our DP guidance documents and information notes; and • Developing communications with offshore DP personnel to better understand current issues onboard DP vessels. And top of your list? Keep those DP event reports coming in and share M 248’s contents to ensure continuous improvement of safety and efficiency within the DP community. OSJ For further information on IMCA’s Marine Division, please visit: www.imca-int.com/ divisions/marine

Offshore Support Journal | March 2019


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Offshore Support Journal March 2019  

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

Offshore Support Journal March 2019  

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