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November 2016 www.osjonline.com

Offshore accommodation units are bound for Mexican waters Consolidation not an option for some Norwegian owners Subsea vessel owners need to add to contract backlog

“We are planning further acquisitions and further growth. Our combined range of products and services will be unique. We will stand stronger together� Styrk Bekkenes, co-managing director, Palfinger Marine, see page 53


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contents

November 2016 volume 19 issue 9

45 18

Regulars 5 COMMENT 6 BEST OF THE WEB 8 VESSEL NEWS 54 IMCA NEWS 57 PEOPLE NEWS 58 COMPANY NEWS 60 ROV/AUV

Area reports

33

48

12 Gulf of Mexico: the Greater Lafourche Port Commission is moving forward with plans to develop a ‘next-generation’ deepwater facility at Port Fourchon 14 Southeast Asia: brokers say utilisation levels for vessels have fallen, but Indonesia offers a glimmer of hope 18 North Sea: Norwegian owners are divided about whether consolidation is the right option 21 North Sea: owners and operators in the North Sea are feeling the full effect of the downturn 22 West Africa: recent weeks have seen owners secure charters for vessels supporting deepwater projects in Angola, Congo and Nigeria 25 Middle East: long-term investment in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE will result in more vessel charters, but at lower rates, say brokers 26 Brazil: Norwegian owners have been hard hit by the downturn in Brazil, but there are signs of hope in the region 28 Caspian/Mediterranean: progress is being made in Kazakhstan oil projects and a proposed gas pipeline across the Black Sea

Load handling 30 MacGregor has developed a new fibre rope crane for offshore vessels

Subsea market 33 Well known owners need to add to their contract backlog in the next few months

Dive support vessels & equipment 36 IMCA’s suite of DESIGN documents is being updated

Communications 38 Technology will enable real-time seismic surveys, greater redundancy and seamless communications from offshore vessels

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Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


contents Bulk handling & tank cleaning 42 PG has despatched the first MultiVac to meet DNV GL’s new standard Certification 2.7-2 to a vessel built for Canadian operations

November 2016 volume 19 issue 9

Recent deliveries

Editor: David Foxwell t: +44 1252 717 898 e: david.foxwell@rivieramm.com

45 Barreras and Navantia have completed accommodation vessels for Pemex 46 Seaways International recently took delivery of Seaways 24, the latest addition to the RAmpage 5500-ZH class of infield support vessels

Deputy Editor: Martyn Wingrove t: +44 20 8370 1736 e: martyn.wingrove@rivieramm.com

Dynamic positioning

Brand Manager – Sales: Ian Glen t: +44 7919 263 737 e: ian.glen@rivieramm.com

48 UK-based Guidance Marine has brought a number of new products to market in the last 12 months

Self-propelled jack-ups 50 BlueConnect says a self-elevating unit could be ideal for well intervention jobs in the Middle East

Contractor profile 53 Palfinger Marine is growing fast in the marine, offshore and renewables sectors

Safety alerts

Sales: Indrit Kruja t: +44 20 8370 7792 e: indrit.kruja@rivieramm.com Sales: Colin Deed t: +44 1239 612384 e: colin.deed@rivieramm.com Head of Sales – Asia & Singapore: Kym Tan t: +65 9456 3165 e: kym.tan@rivieramm.com

63 ‘Stop the job’; fall onboard; near miss

Sales – Asia & Middle East: Rigzin Angdu t: +65 6809 3198 e: rigzin.angdu@rivieramm.com

Market data

Sales – Southeast Asia & Australasia: Kaara Barbour t: +61 414 436 808 e: kaara.barbour@rivieramm.com

64 Statistics 67 VesselsValue

Next issue Main features include: main area reports: Middle East & Australasia; fire-fighting systems; cranes, A-frames and winches; offshore vessel designers; green propulsion; ice-class vessels and technology; offshore construction ships and equipment

Front cover photo: Shipyard HJ Barreras in Vigo, Spain, recently delivered a monohull offshore accommodation vessel to Pemex, Mexico’s state oil company (photo: HJ Barreras)

Production Manager: Ram Mahbubani t: +44 20 8370 7010 e: ram.mahbubani@rivieramm.com Subscriptions: Sally Church t: +44 20 8370 7018 e: sally.church@rivieramm.com Chairman: John Labdon Managing Director: Steve Labdon Finance Director: Cathy Labdon Operations Director: Graham Harman Editorial Director: Steve Matthews Executive Editor: Paul Gunton Head of Production: Hamish Dickie Business Development Manager: Steve Edwards Published by: Riviera Maritime Media Ltd Mitre House 66 Abbey Road Enfield EN1 2QN UK

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Subscribe from just £299 Subscribe now and receive ten issues of Offshore Support Journal every year and get even more: • supplements: Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference & Awards, Guide to Dynamic Positioning*, Guide to OSV Shipbuilders, Guide to OSV Propulsion*, Offshore Support Journal Industry Leaders and Arctic & Ice-Class Vessels* • access the latest issue content via your digital device • free industry yearplanner including key dates • access to www.osjonline.com and its searchable archive. (*published every two years)

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Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

ISSN 1463-581X (Print) ISSN 2051-0594 (Online) ©2016 Riviera Maritime Media Ltd

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

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COMMENT | 5

A FEW HOPEFUL SIGNS IN AN OTHERWISE AWFUL MARKET

R David Foxwell, Editor

“THE OSV MARKET REMAINS HIGHLY CHALLENGED”

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ecent weeks have seen some good news on the oil price, with Brent crude reaching US$53.73/barrel on 10 October and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) coming within a few cents of its early-June high of US$51.67 per barrel. The rally was sparked by expectations of concerted action by oil producers to curtail oversupply. There is likely to be more news that will drive the market, hopefully upwards, at OPEC’s November 2016 meeting, but in the meantime, a growing number of companies say they think their segment of the market may have reached the bottom or that we might be approaching the bottom of the market. Unfortunately, the vast supply overhang in the offshore support vessel (OSV) sector means that, in the straight supply vessel market and some others, an uptick is still way off. A sustained increase in the oil price would, however, at least lay the groundwork for a gradual recovery, even if, in some segments of the offshore vessel market, sentiment will remain distinctly bearish for a good while yet. That the sentiment is and will remain bearish for many for some time was reinforced by Clarkson Research’s latest Offshore Market Outlook. “In our last report, we stated that the offshore market was facing up to ‘its worst market for thirty years’. Unfortunately, we remain in broadly the same position,” said the broker, although it notes that there are a few positive signs to report. Clarkson anticipated that offshore exploration and production (E&P) spend would decline by 25 per cent in 2016, following on from a 20 per cent cut in 2015. Offshore project sanctioning remains constrained. It expects offshore E&P spending to fall marginally in 2017 and notes that cost cutting is still a primary focus for many oil companies as they try to adapt to a multiyear downturn and make offshore production competitive and viable. Working rig utilisation has declined to 71 per cent, down 11 percentage points year on year.

Floater day rates have dropped 60 per cent from their peak, and jack-up rates are down 45 per cent. More positively, said Clarkson, rig supply is starting to tighten, with the fleet forecast to drop by 4 per cent across 2016 and the active fleet to drop by 6 per cent. Demolition activity is up 8 per cent to 31 units, and cold stacking is up 12 per cent to 173 units. “The OSV market remains highly challenged,” said Clarkson, “with most regional markets operating at around opex. OSV layup decreased marginally during the summer but is still more than 600 vessels above pre-downturn levels and stands at 20 per cent of the global fleet. The orderbook is down to 425 units but with around half this number built and sitting at yards. The OSV to rig ratio is up to eight, utilisation is below 60 per cent and large PSV rates are down by 50 per cent on pre-downturn levels.” It confirmed that the outlook for the subsea support vessel market has become increasingly challenged. After 230 newbuild contracts were placed in 2015 (down 68 per cent year on year), a mere 38 offshore orders have been recorded in 2016 to date, the lowest for at least 30 years, and the situation for yards and suppliers remains painful. There are, however, signs of optimism in the renewables sector (about which you can learn more if you attend Riviera Maritime Media’s Offshore Wind Journal Conference on 7 February 2017 in London), with the UK authorities recently giving permission for the 900 megawatt Hornsea 2 project, for example. “The outlook for offshore wind seems to have brightened somewhat in 2016,” said Clarkson, noting that decommissioning could also become an important demand driver in the North Sea and that restructuring and merger and acquisition activity is increasing, as is activity involving distressed assets. Moreover, while such developments are rarely positive for the parties involved, they may allow for industry consolidation or vessel removals as the cycle progresses. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


6 | BEST OF THE WEB

BEST OF THE WEB

osjonline.com

Bourbon calls bottom of the market Bourbon says it believes the bottom of the market has been reached in some segments of the offshore vessel industry. Announcing its second-quarter and firsthalf 2016 revenues, the company said the impact of the oil market cycle reaching its bottom was evident in its first-half 2016 adjusted revenues of €599.2 million, a 21.0 per cent decline year on year and 11.7 per cent reduction compared to the second half of 2015. Bourbon said its performance during 2016 “is and will reflect the full impact of the down cycle, as illustrated by a quarteron-quarter reduction adjusted revenues”. However, the company said the bottom of the market in the subsea segment was reached in the first quarter of 2016, and it is anticipated the improvement in utilisation

rates in the second quarter will continue in quarters to come. The company said the bottom of the market for the crewboat segment was in the second quarter of 2016. In what it characterises as its deep and shallow-water segments, Bourbon said it anticipates the bottom of the market will be in the third quarter of 2016, due to the late cyclical nature of this business. “More than ever, Bourbon is focusing on what it can control: safety, reliability, cost control and improved efficiency to the benefit of customers,” said Jacques de Chateauvieux, chairman and chief executive officer of Bourbon, noting that the company “is ready to benefit from the market recovery when it materialises”. http://bit.ly/2b1OAal

Jacques de Chateauvieux: “Bourbon is ready to benefit from the market recovery when it materialises”

IUMI sees gloomy outlook for offshore energy market Speaking at the IUMI Genova conference in September, Simon Williams, chairman of the International Union of Marine Insurance’s (IUMI’s) offshore energy committee, warned the offshore energy sector was facing a series of significant challenges. He said, “We have not witnessed this level of downturn for 30 years – a drastic reduction in the oil price and a slowdown in activity coupled with a very soft insurance market where capacity continues to increase.” The depressed oil price has forced operators and contractors to reduce their activity, which has driven down the premium base of the energy account. Mr Williams explained, “Most clients

still want to insure their assets, but the uncertain oil price is forcing a reduction in the premium base as many clients reassess their insurance needs. This is not something we’ve had to contend with for 30 years. Provisional 2015 numbers show a reduction in premium income of around 20 per cent when compared with 2014, and this number might reduce further when adjusted income is calculated at the end of the underwriting year. This theme is likely to continue for the 2016 year. “The challenge facing underwriters is, although the premium base has reduced, peak exposures still remain, and this means an energy underwriter has to manage a much more volatile book of business than

in the past. Peak exposures are relatively common, but set against a significantly lower premium base, they have the potential to have a much greater impact on the book. This level of volatility is a new challenge for energy underwriters.” Alongside this, market capacity is estimated to have risen to around US$7.5 billion. As capacity continues to grow, competition on pricing becomes more intense. More claims were recorded in 2015 than the previous year, and if 2016 losses match those in 2015, underwriting losses are very likely for the 2016 underwriting year warned Mr Williams.

Maersk rings the changes

also reflects the different challenges and prospects now prevailing in the two sectors. Following the changes Transport & Logistics will consist of Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Damco, Svitzer and Maersk Container Industry. The company said that Maersk Line will aim to grow its market share in the container market organically and through acquisitions.

The Energy division will consist of Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling, Maersk Supply Service and Maersk Tankers. The company said that investments in its offshore service businesses and Maersk Tankers will be limited. Maersk has also recently announced that Maersk Supply Service has been awarded a contract to provide decommissioning services for the ›››

AP Møller-Maersk is separating its businesses into two separate divisions – Transport & Logistics and Energy – as part of its strategic review and management changes. It

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

http://bit.ly/2cJ9xIT

www.osjonline.com


BEST OF THE WEB | 7

››› Janice subsea field in the North Sea for Maersk Oil UK. Maersk Supply Service will assume responsibility for engineering, project planning and managing the scope of the subsea decommissioning. http://bit.ly/2dcJAkA

Rationalisation sees Farstad close down Melbourne office Farstad Shipping is to concentrate its oil service activity in Australia to Perth and plans to close its management office in Melbourne. As a result, the Australian onshore organisation will be reduced from 65 to around 30 employees. “Farstad Shipping has participated in the development of the offshore oil and gas industry in Australia since the 1990s and has become one of the leading oil service companies in the region. To secure this position in the future, we are now transferring all of our activities to Perth, making it our new headquarters in Australia,” said Farstad Shipping chief executive Karl-Johan Bakken. Perth will act as the company’s headquarters and the operations centre in Australia, in addition to being the location of the company’s training and offshore simulation centre. Farstad Shipping Pte Ltd in Singapore, which has been reporting to Australia, will report direct to the company’s head office in Norway in future. http://bit.ly/2cYGi6a

OSV company fortunes are rigged David Palmer tells conference Forget the oil price and monitor rig utilisation if you want to know where the market is heading, Pareto Securities Asia chief executive David Palmer told delegates attending the 2016 Asian Offshore Support Journal conference in Singapore. In an opening address, Mr Palmer said recent oil price optimism has masked a looming gap in the number of rig contracts on offer. “There is a swelling chorus that suggests the worst is over for the oil price – but it will take months, if not years, before there is any impact on the rig and OSV markets, which lag behind the larger market,” he told a packed auditorium at the Marina Bay Sands Conference Centre. “There is likely to be more cold-stacking and rig retirements as 32 floaters and 88 jack-ups are scheduled to roll off contract before year end,” he added, citing the 209 wells drilled through August this year, down from 680 in 2015 and 1,167 in 2014 and an annual average of 1,500 going back to 1960. Driving his message home, he said that OSV companies overbuilt fuelled by easy access to secured and unsecured bond financing, which has now become unsustainable. “2016 will be a year to forget and 2017 a year to reflect,” he told the gathering. http://bit.ly/2coC5Vd

IMCA welcomes entry into force of Ballast Water Management Convention The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has welcomed news that the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) enters into force on 8 September 2017 and has produced a 12-point information sheet on the BWMC for its members. The BWMC aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water. It was Finland’s accession on 8 September this year that triggered the entry into force of the BWMC in a year’s time. Under the convention’s terms, ships will be required to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens. “This

is a significant environmental development, which provides certainty with regard to a definite implementation date,” said IMCA’s technical director Richard Benzie. “IMCA and its industry partners have expressed concerns that type-approval procedures for ballast water management systems need to be practical and that flag and port state administrations must be capable of implementing the requirements of the convention." This is something that IMO member states were due to consider in October during the next session of the MEPC. http://bit.ly/2c9Wemx

To view more whitepapers visit the Knowledge Bank on www.osjonline.com To upload a whitepaper to the Knowledge Bank, please email Steve Edwards at steve.edwards@rivieramm.com www.osjonline.com/s/knowledgebank

Editor’s selection:

Editor’s comment:

DP Positioning – Relative Position Referencing Goes Targetless

Guidance Marine recently unveiled a new sensor, RangeGuard. Instead of targets on offshore structures, it uses radar reflections to calculate precisely a vessel’s range to the nearest object in its field of view.

This paper discusses RangeGuard Monopole DP, the first local DP reference sensor system for offshore windfarms that operates without dedicated targets.

www.osjonline.com

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


8 | VESSEL NEWS

Lloyd’s Register unveils notation for offshore vessels and walk-to-work systems Lloyd’s Register (LR) has introduced a range of class notations for offshore support vessels (OSVs) to reflect their development and changing service features, while retaining established notations. The new notations cover vessels intended to operate in the renewables sector, for example, those servicing the offshore wind market. LR has also launched the special feature notation W2W (walk-to-work), which is applicable to personnel transfer systems. These systems are now increasingly used not only in the renewables sector but also in the oil and gas sector. The notation ‘offshore support vessel’ has been introduced where more specific notations might fall outside the scope of the intended operation of the vessel. The expanding vessel type sometimes referred to as service operation vessel (SOV), which supports the offshore windfarm industry, would fall into this category, and with LR’s new W2W notation included in the string of class notations, it is now possible to define this type of vessel and its operations.

LR’s new range of class notations covers vessels intended to operate in the renewables sector and walk-to-work market

As of 1 July 2016, the following vessel type notations are now offered by LR for OSVs: AHTS – assigned to vessels designed for anchor handling, towing and supply of specialised stores and cargo; anchor handler – assigned to vessels specially designed, constructed and equipped for handling anchors used to secure floating offshore installations; cable laying vessel – assigned where special consideration has been given to operations for laying/maintaining underwater cables; diving support vessel – assigned where a diving system has been installed and where special consideration has been given to the launch and recovery systems for diving operations, including the strength and continuity in way of moonpools, large hatches and heavy loads; offshore supply vessel – assigned to vessels designed for the carriage of specialised stores and cargoes to fixed or floating offshore installations; offshore support vessel – assigned to vessels designed for the provision of support services to fixed or floating offshore installations; well stimulation ship – assigned where a plant has been installed and where special consideration has been given to operations associated with the stimulation of wells for offshore oil/gas production; pipe laying vessel – assigned where special consideration has been given to operations for laying/maintaining pipes associated with offshore oil and gas production; seismographic research vessel – assigned where special consideration has been given to operations associated with seismographic research and survey; standby vessel – assigned to vessels designed to provide rescue assistance and afford safe refuge in the event of an emergency on or near an offshore installation; and subsea support vessel – assigned where special consideration has been given to operations associated with subsea construction and installation support, inspection, repair and maintenance. LR has also expanded available special feature notations with the following: W2W – walk-to-work can be assigned where the vessel’s personnel transfer system is included in the class notation; and EWP – enhanced weather protection notation has been introduced for a more clear distinction between vessels’ capabilities and makes it clear that superstructure, windows and side scuttles have increased scantlings for vessels required to remain on station in adverse weather conditions.

Austal delivers second walk-to-work crew transfer vessel Austal Ltd in Australia has delivered an Incat Crowther-designed crew transfer vessel, Rashid Behbudov, to Caspian Marine Services Ltd (CMS) of Azerbaijan. The vessel was delivered less than 12 months after construction commenced in October

2015.The 70m catamaran, featuring DP2 (DYNPOSAUTR) dynamic positioning and an Ampelmann walkto-work gangway, was handed over to CMS at a ceremony at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle. Austal worked closely with CMS and Incat

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

Crowther to integrate Marine Link, Austal’s control and monitoring system, and Austal’s proprietary ride control technology with T-foils and interceptors that improve the vessel’s seakeeping characteristics and crew comfort. The Austal Offshore

Express 70 is an effective transport and logistics solution with more than 400m2 of cargo deck and the ability to carry 150 passengers (plus 16 crew) 400 nautical miles at 30 knots. Austal said the vessel offers oil and gas industry operators “greater ›››

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VESSEL NEWS | 11

››› safety, reliability and economy than alternative offshore transportation modes, such as helicopters”. Austal won the A$44.5 million (US$33.28 million) contract to build the vessel, which is a sistership to CMS’s Muslim Magomayev, in June 2015. Muslim

Magomayev, the first example of the design developed by Incat Crowther, was built by Incat Tasmania and delivered to CMS in 2014. Incat Crowther said both vessels were engineered for the Ampelmann walk-towork system.

Eastern Shipbuilding delivers Harvey Stone Eastern Shipbuilding Group has delivered Harvey Stone to Harvey Gulf International Marine. Harvey Stone is a RAmpage 6400 multipurpose field support vessel (MPFSV), designed by Robert Allan Ltd of Vancouver, Canada. Eastern is also currently completing Harvey Sub-Sea and Harvey Blue-Sea, two MPSVs based on a design provided by Vard Marine. Harvey Blue-Sea is expected to deliver in 2016 after outfitting and sea trials are completed. The RAmpage 6400 MPFSV was ordered in July 2014 and launched in December 2015. It was delivered to the owner on 29 August 2016. With a length overall of approximately 64.6m, the vessel has a bollard pull of 121 short tons and total horsepower of 9,374 bhp. It is fitted with two GE Marine 12V250MDC IMO II, EPA Tier 4-compliant diesel engines producing 4,687hp at 1,000 rpm, driving Schottel SRP3030 controllable pitch propellers in nozzles via Reintjes PTI/PTO clutches. The vessel has two Schottel STT2 bow thrusters to enhance manoeuvrability.

Rolls-Royce unveils new anchor handler design Rolls-Royce has produced a new design of anchor-handling tug/supply vessel aimed at meeting customers’ needs to cut building and operating costs while incorporating operational flexibility and efficiency in a variety of roles, including operating remotely operated vehicles and maintenance operations and offshore standby and rescue. The UT 7217 features a bollard pull of 100 tonnes. It is powered by two medium speed Bergen C25:33L9P CD (Clean Design) 3,000kW diesel engines, each

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driving an azimuth thruster, a shaft generator or 400kW gensets to provide power. Jan Emblemsvåg, senior vice president of ship design and systems, said, “The dramatic reduction in the oil price has forced both vessel operators and oil companies to trim their organisations and constantly look for more cost-effective ways of working, eliminating gold-plated solutions. Our UT 7217 is designed to meet the requirements of the future, which will be significantly different to the past.”

Seacor crewboats are first application of QSK95 Cummins recently delivered the first four QSK95 engines for a marine application and says four additional units will be delivered in December. The engines were delivered to long-time Cummins partner Seacor Marine Holdings for installation on a 57m catamaran crewboat designed by Incat Crowther. Named Puma and Panther, the crewboats will be built at Astilleros Armon in Burela, Spain. The first is expected to enter into service in April 2017, followed by the second in July 2017. Two crewboats will be built, each powered by four QSK95 marine engines rated at 4,000hp (2,983kW) at 1,700 rpm, matched to MGX-62500SC-H marine transmissions supplied by Twin Disc and quad HT-810 waterjets from Hamilton Jet, to achieve a maximum speed of 40 knots. The two forward engines will run Jason FiFi 1-class fire-fighting pumps off the front of the engine. Cummins is also providing auxiliary power – each vessel will have two QSM11-powered generator sets rated at 290 kWe as well as a fully enclosed QSM11-powered deck generator rated at 270 kWe.

Sovcomflot acquires new vessels and takes greater role on Sakhalin-2 Sovcomflot Group (SCF Group) has increased the involvement of its fleet in meeting the needs of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd providing support for the Sakhalin-2 offshore platforms. SCF Group, Sakhalin Energy and Swire Pacific Offshore have signed agreements that entail the acquisition of two platform supply vessels (PSVs) from Swire Pacific Offshore by SCF Group. All three PSVs used in the Sakhalin-2 project

will now be operated by SCF Group under long-term time charter contracts with Sakhalin Energy. The three ships are multipurpose iceclass (Ice-10) supply vessels, which have been under the management of the joint venture SCF Swire Offshore since 2009. The vessels are manned by professional crews consisting of mariners from the Russian Far East and are operated under the Russian flag. OSJ

Sovcomflot has acquired two platform supply vessels from Swire Pacific Offshore

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


12 | AREA REPORT Gulf of Mexico

Deepwater facility

planned at Port Fourchon The Greater Lafourche Port Commission is moving forward with plans to develop a ‘next-generation’ deepwater facility at Port Fourchon

S

eptember saw Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC) sign an agreement with the Edward Wisner Donation granting GLPC a right of first refusal on over 900 acres (365 hectares) of property immediately south of the port. A separate memorandum of understanding between GLPC and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was signed after nearly two years

of discussion and negotiation, allowing GLPC to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of a deeper draught channel into Port Fourchon. Coupled with the Corps’ study, this new property agreement could usher in a new era of growth for the port. The Edward Wisner Donation Advisory Committee, the entity that manages the Wisner Trust land, voted to approve a right of first refusal agreement

granting GLPC the ability to begin promoting its nextgeneration development, Fourchon Island, and working towards framing up a full lease document for the 900+ acre property. The port describes the Fourchon Island development as “the Gulf ’s first purpose-built, deepwater rig repair and refurbishment facility to service the major maintenance needs of the deepwater oil and gas rigs Port Fourchon services”. “What is so exciting to us about this deeper-water development is that it will allow us to truly service the entire industrial lifecycle of the assets for our tenants and their customers in the Gulf of Mexico,” said GLPC executive director Chett Chiasson. “The right of first

A new deepwater facility at Port Fourchon would allow it to undertake more rig and related offshore work

refusal document gives us first call on the property and allows us to truly engage the marketplace in discussions on their needs for this facility and what features are most important to our customers.” The USACE study is to consider deepening the main channel of Bayou Lafourche through Belle Pass, from its intersection with Pass Fourchon out into the Gulf of Mexico, to a depth of between 35ft and 50ft (10–15 metres) and to a distance of approximately six miles (10 kilometres). The study will also look at the economics of developing the Fourchon Island area as a rig repair and refurbishment facility, which will presumably enable Port Fourchon’s tenants to bring in deepwater rigs and assets for significant maintenance and repair work that can only be accommodated currently in other states or overseas. This next-generation project will add up to about 900 acres of slips and industrial land when fully developed. GLPC board president Perry Gisclair said, “Currently, we service over 90 per cent of all of the deepwater activity in the Gulf, and we know that many of these rigs were built right here in this region. They are serviced by companies based in Port Fourchon, and now we hope to add a cutting-edge deepwater rig repair and refurbishment facility at the most central and accessible location in the

www.osjonline.com


Gulf of Mexico AREA REPORT | 13

entire Gulf of Mexico. This will help our community to pick up work that currently has to go as far away as South Korea to get done, which in turn, will help the energy industry reduce their costs and downtime when refurbishing their deepwater assets in the coming years.” Added benefits of the project include the ability to utilise dredged materials as a vital borrow source for coastal restoration works in sediment-starved locations

along the Louisiana coast and the likely result of hundreds of acres of wetlands being created in the Port Fourchon area as part of the project’s mitigation requirements. It is anticipated the USACE deeper draught feasibility study will be complete by early 2019, allowing the Fourchon Island development to commence in earnest around 2020. Preliminary infrastructure necessary to access the property will likely be underway well before that.

NOIA seeks transparency on decommissioning The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) says it has sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) seeking information related to the agency’s recently revised estimates for future well plugging and abandonment and platform decommissioning costs in the Gulf of Mexico. The FOIA request reinforces industry efforts to obtain information being used by BSEE to determine estimates of decommissioning costs. To date, that information has not been released to the public or to companies attempting to meet new financial assurance/bonding requirements being issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The FOIA request seeks to assure transparency regarding the methodologies used to calculate BSEE’s revised estimates, the accuracy of which cannot be verified by industry without the supporting documentation. “BSEE estimates, particularly for facilities in the shallow water, appear to vary wildly from current decommissioning costs,” said NOIA. “BSEE released the revised estimates with little explanation regarding the assumptions and data it relied upon, despite the fact the agency’s own projections for decommissioning liability in the shallow-water Gulf are over 100 per cent higher than previous estimates from as recently as four months ago. In stark contrast, actual costs to perform decommissioning projects have decreased dramatically due to depressed commodity prices, better equipment and execution by operators and a reduction of overall service costs in the Gulf,” NOIA claimed. BOEM may be incorporating BSEE’s revised decommissioning estimates into its new financial assurance/bonding requirements for offshore operators. Thus, BSEE’s decommissioning assessments must provide realistic liability estimates for use by BOEM to establish bonding limits for each lease. “It is vital that underpinning formulas and information being used by BSEE are thoroughly vetted and verified,” said NOIA. NOIA member companies affected by the revised estimates have made exhaustive inquiries to BSEE regarding the assumptions and methodologies supporting the revised estimates, but their inquiries have yet to garner any meaningful response from BSEE.

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Electric ROV will help reduce costs in Gulf of Mexico

Saab Seaeye’s managing director, Jon Robertson (left) with ROVOP’s chief executive officer, Steven Gray

UK-based remotely operated vehicle (ROV) service provider ROVOP has expanded its fleet of ROVs for the US region. The company has taken delivery of a new vehicle that will be the first of its kind for the Gulf of Mexico and, in a direct response to market conditions, claims it is set to help operators reduce costs by 40 per cent. The commercially proven Seaeye Leopard electric work-class ROV, which ROVOP describes as the most powerful vehicle for its size in the world, adds to ROVOP’s existing capability at its Houston base. ROVOP Inc president Wayne Betts said, “The latest investment further strengthens our long-established working relationship with Saab Seaeye. The Leopard system can reduce costs by 40 per cent in comparison with traditional ROV systems, both in terms of equipment and personnel costs. ROVOP has realigned its service offering to ensure we are competitive, versatile and flexible to meet our clients’ requirements in this challenging market. Recent contract wins, coupled with an ongoing demand across our fleet, makes it clear how our adaptable and customercentric approach works. We listen to our clients and take action to align with their needs.

As part of this, we are working alongside our clients and suppliers to ensure we reduce costs and increase efficiency. “Further savings are also achievable, beyond our lower charges, when using the Leopard vehicle due to the small topside footprint enabling deployment from smaller vessels and directly from platforms. The addition of the Leopard system further underpins our capabilities, enhances our service offering and will bring considerable added value for our customers in terms of cost-effectiveness,” said Mr Betts. The ROV’s power in a compact package offers workclass capability in a small footprint that is significantly less than other vehicles used in the Gulf of Mexico, ROVOP claims. With half a tonne of forward thrust and its iCON intelligent control system, the 2,000m-rated Leopard has a speed of over four knots whilst providing a stable work platform for handling significant work tasks in strong currents. “This makes it ideal for the region, where loop currents often stop operations,” ROVOP claimed, noting that the vehicle is ideally suited to tasks such as drill support, pipeline survey, exploration, salvage, cleaning and inspection, maintenance and repair. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


14 | AREA REPORT Southeast Asia

Utilisation heads south but Indonesia offers glimmer of hope Apart from Indonesia, the Middle East market offers some prospects for owners

Brokers say utilisation levels for vessels owned and operated by offshore vessel companies in Southeast Asia have fallen to below 50 per cent, but Indonesia offers a glimmer of hope

W

ith utilisation levels in decline, rates at opex levels and vessels of all types and sizes laid up, one country in the Southeast Asian offshore support vessel market – Indonesia – could provide a bright spot. “Indonesia may prove to be a bright spot,” said Fearnley Offshore Supply AS (FOSAS) in its latest report on the offshore vessel sector, which was published on 3 October 2016. “Tender activity is on the rise here, and utilisation for the larger owners has crept up to around 60 per cent and a number of projects have been earmarked for 2017, coupled with governmental push for increased development drilling. “Owners of Indonesianflagged vessels have a sparkle

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

in their eye when talking about future prospects,” said FOSAS. “Some may even go so far as to say that the worst is over for Indonesia,” said the broker, attributing this to the controlled influx of vessels through Indonesia’s cabotage regime and responsible reactivation by owners of vessels that have been laid up. These factors, the broker believes, may give Indonesia a head start compared to other markets on the road to recovery. FOSAS said Middle East activity – which owners in Southeast Asia have increasingly looked to – remains resilient on the back of substantial reserves and relatively low production costs. Saudi Aramco is moving ahead with a US$35 billion five-year production increase plan, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company reportedly plans

to invest up to US$25 billion in production in Abu Dhabi. “We expect a number of additional long-term charter opportunities in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar,” said FOSAS, “however, rates are taking a severe beating because of oversupply of vessels targeting the region.” FOSAS said cancellations at Chinese yards continue to be a weekly occurrence. “Owners will twist and turn to find a way to get out of taking delivery of newbuilds, leaving Chinese yards stranded with a very sizeable fleet of offshore support vessels with no immediate way to market,” FOSAS said. “We are not overly concerned about the impact this fleet of ‘orphaned’ vessels will have on the market, but it will stick around like a dark cloud in the sky, threatening to rain just as the steaks are going on the BBQ,” the company said. “With some banks testing the water by pushing a very limited number of vessels for liquidation, the market has responded, offering about 20 cents on the dollar for fire sales,” said the broker. “That is if you can find a buyer at all. With most owners being in breach of covenants and facing severe liquidity shortage, banks’ ‘for sale’ lists are growing by the day and will require a finely controlled approach by the banks to avoid carnage. “On a more positive note, we have seen a few transactions concluded of specialised offshore vessels attracting pricing closer to 80 cents on the dollar, proving that, for unique vessels, the market is

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Southeast Asia AREA REPORT | 17

willing to pay. With little relief in sight, owners’ focus in the fourth quarter should continue on cost control and utilisation if they are to have a chance at weathering the storm.” According to the interim judicial managers (IJMs) appointed to handle one severely distressed owner, Swiber, the prospect of saving the group hinge on support from stakeholders and its ability to complete some US$1.67 billion worth of secured projects, which could in turn pave the way for a restructuring exercise that will lead to a better outcome for creditors than under a winding-up scenario. In a report filed in the High Court in Singapore in September, the IJMs said key stakeholders – including major suppliers, vendors and creditors – have expressed willingness to work with them to support the completion of the ongoing projects. The IJMs pointed out that the Swiber group’s key strengths are in the engineering and construction of upstream projects, and completing projects it had already won would be a crucial milestone. This would be value accretive and positive for the recovery of Swiber Offshore Construction Pte Ltd (SOC). SOC, the group’s main operating subsidiary, also has a potential orderbook of about US$608 million for projects for which it has submitted bids. The key personnel of SOC are still intact and have the necessary experience and credentials to complete these projects. The IJMs, led by Mr Bob Yap, head of advisory at KPMG in Singapore, also disclosed that, at that time, they had received 24 expressions of interest, including proposals from potential investors to provide equity/debt financing, asset financing and project financing. They will evaluate such expressions of interest together with Swiber’s management. Mr Yap said, “We

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The outlook for Swiber remains uncertain, although the company’s interim managers say a sale could still be concluded

are hopeful that the support of the various stakeholders for Swiber to complete ongoing projects together with our proposed restructuring plan will help turn around the situation and lead to a better outcome for all stakeholders.” The IJM report provided the High Court with details of the companies’ cash position, information on ongoing projects and an assessment of Swiber Holdings’ and SOC’s ability to generate value for one or more of the objectives of judicial management, including the rehabilitation of the companies. The report was filed at the direction of the Court during Swiber Holdings’ and SOC’s application for judicial management in July 2016. The IJMs believe that, under their plan, there is a reasonable prospect of achieving one or more of the three objectives of a judicial management, which are the survival of the company or the whole or part of its undertaking as a going concern, the approval under section 210 of the Companies Act of a scheme of arrangement between the companies and/or their creditors and effecting a more advantageous realisation of assets than in a winding up. In subsequent statements, the IJMs said that, as of 22 September 2016, the total sum of claims received by the group was approximately US$241.5 million. They said the company

was seeking legal advice on some of the claims. The board of directors of Pacific Radiance Ltd was forced to issue statements about provision of doubtful receivables for services rendered to the related entities of Swiber Holdings Ltd and various media reports following the situation faced by Swiber over the preceding two weeks. The company said it wanted to clarify that, whilst the provision is expected to negatively impact the net tangible assets and earnings per share of the company for the financial year ending 31 December 2016, it is a non-cash accounting provision, which is not expected to significantly affect the company’s cash flow position. “Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the company will continue to pursue all legal avenues of recovery of the doubtful receivables,” it said. Pacific Radiance said the company, its subsidiaries and related entities “continue to have the full support of their banks, lenders and business partners, and their cash flows remain manageable” and said that the company’s management “continues to vigorously and tirelessly manage its operations and financial position in a conservative and sustainable manner,” taking into account the challenging environment,

which may last for the next two to three years. In this regard, the group constantly evaluates and pursues opportunities to enhance its liquidity position and raise additional cash in order to ensure business sustainability and position itself for any potential market opportunities. “Since the onset of the industry downturn in late 2014, the group has implemented and will continue to roll out various measures as part of its risk mitigation strategy to proactively reduce both capital and operating expenses and manage its cash flows,” said Pacific Radiance. Some of the key steps include the refinancing of loans with its key lenders and the amendment of a financial covenant of its sole S$100 million (US$73 million) bond issue due August 2018 to avoid any technical breaches. In parallel, the group continues to intensify its marketing and business development efforts to grow existing markets and expand into new ones. The company also highlighted the fact that it has a different business model and operates in a different business segment from Swiber. The group owns and operates a fleet of offshore support vessels that are mostly chartered out on a time charter basis, while Swiber is a contractor that offers a range of engineering, procurement, installation and construction services. “The businesses are different,” Pacific Radiance’s statement concluded. In September, Pacific Radiance announced that it had cancelled all four PX121 units it had under construction at Chinese yards, despite the fact that the ships were nearly completed. Late cancellations and postponed deliveries have emerged as the prevailing trend for vessels ordered on speculation, and the few units that it has taken delivery of are the ones with firm contracts. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


18 | AREA REPORT North Sea

CONSOLIDATION NOT AN OPTION SAY OWNERS With the collapse in crude oil prices and the severe downturn in the offshore sector, survival is the name of the game for Norwegian vessel owners, but views differ about what the best strategy might be by Malcolm Latarche

Håvard Ulstein: “oil companies promoted gas-fuelled ships but won’t pay more to charter them”

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

R

ecent weeks have seen what looks like the beginning of consolidation in the offshore support vessel (OSV) sector. Some actors in the OSV supply chain say more consolidation is inevitable, but others fiercely oppose the idea. For the likes of Solstad Offshore and Rem Offshore, the solution was effectively decided for them by Aker ASA’s refinancing deal, which has seen the two companies merged into a single entity. For Siem Offshore’s owner Kristian Siem, a pooling arrangement is the preferred choice, but all choices are made harder because the Norwegian offshore sector has traditionally been a family affair, and some do not want this to change. In September, OSJ spoke with Håvard Ulstein, managing director of Island Offshore, Karsten Sævik, CEO of Remøy, and Ståle Kyrkjedelen, operations director of Bourbon Offshore Norway, to obtain their views on the situation. All expressed varying degrees of optimism but also expressed disappointment with the treatment that has been meted out to them by the charterers of their vessels. None of the three executives believed that consolidation was an option for them. Mr Kyrkjedelen explained that, as part of an already large organisation, there would be no chance for the Norwegian arm to merge with another company. Mr Ulstein noted that, across the industry, the main problem was long-term debt taken on to cover new vessels. Mergers would not reduce the number of newbuilds, he said. However, Mr Sævik did agree that fewer players would mean less competition and potentially higher rates, which, he said, were currently below operating expenses. The problem according to Mr Ulstein is made worse by new vessels entering the North Sea from abroad. “We are killing each other giving vessels away for free,” he said, adding that vessels need to be taken out of market, not added to it. All agreed that the reaction of the oil companies has not been helpful. They are taking vessels only on short-term contracts, which, in some cases, can be just days, and

more importantly, they are not prepared to pay premium rates for vessels with sophisticated equipment that has been fitted at the oil companies’ insistence. Mr Ulstein and Mr Sævik cited the case of vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the high cost of both the engines and fuel for this kind of vessel. Although they agree that LNG reduces maintenance and keeps engines cleaner, they regret having been drawn into ‘LNG as a fuel’ projects. Mr Ulstein said that two vessels in the Island Offshore fleet with Bergen gas engines were actually being operated on their diesel generators for much of the time and that putting them into layup “would be disastrous”. For Mr Sævik, the switch to short-term contracts could mean that safety issues are likely to become a problem. In more normal times, personnel on ships and rigs become familiar with each other and develop methods of working. With constantly changing ships and crew, that rapport is disappearing and could be the cause of incidents. Looking ahead, Mr Ulstein said that there is a consensus that the market will come back and in fact is already coming back as the cost of extracting oil is coming down. He cited Statoil’s investment in life extension projects in the North Sea and in projects in the Barents Sea as evidence. With the breakeven price for oil now coming down to the mid-US$40s, there is optimism that activity will pick up as it passes the US$55 level. “So I guess our future lies with the oil price, but looking forward, we will see inspection, maintenance and repair kicking off, followed by more rig operations. Recovery will come segment by segment,” said Mr Ulstein, “and I think that, within the next couple of years, subsea will recover as well.” However, he said that, as the owners of several PSVs, “we look at that segment not really coming back until perhaps 2020.” As to alternative uses for PSVs, none of the three felt this was viable. Converting vessels for use in the wind sector would be speculative and, without contracts, would be an expensive option with no guarantees. OSJ

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North Sea AREA REPORT | 21

DIRE DAY RATES AND RECORD LAYUPS Owners and operators of platform supply vessels and anchor-handling tug/ supply vessels in the North Sea are beginning to feel the true cost of the downturn in the offshore and gas industry

I

n the North Sea, around 135 vessels are currently laid up according to market intelligence experts IHS Markit, with stagnating demand continuing to be a massive problem. Danish shipowner Maersk Supply Service recently announced that it would be shedding around 400 crew jobs as it aims to sell off or dispose of 20 vessels in the coming months. Since that announcement, the company has said that a further 65 onshore jobs will be going. Maersk Supply Service announced in October that it will reduce its onshore staffing levels by up to 25 per cent (equivalent to the 65 positions). The reduction in staff is expected to be realised across all onshore functions globally. The company has said that the decision has been taken despite extensive cost reductions over the past years due to the decreasing market demand in the offshore industry. Commenting on the announcement, Jørn Madsen, CEO of Maersk Supply Service, said, “Our top line has dropped by 40 per cent over the past two years, and as a consequence, we have a significantly reduced vessel and crew pool. A rightsizing of our organisation is necessary to protect the longterm sustainability of our business.”

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Since making that announcement, Mr Madsen has moved on to become the CEO at Maersk Drilling, with Steen Karstensen stepping in to take over as CEO. Upon taking the role, he said, “I am excited to take on this new role. Maersk Supply Service is currently operating in very tough markets but nevertheless is well positioned to broaden its scope of operations. A strong balance sheet gives the business a position of strength from which it can be part of the consolidation and restructuring that inevitably will take place in the industry.” That is an interesting quote, one that could be taken to suggest that Maersk Supply Service plans to make acquisitions or perhaps merge with another company. On the other hand, it may simply reflect the fact that, as part of the powerful AP Møller Maersk Group, the company has the financial might behind it to be able to survive this very challenging period and come out strongly at the other end when the market recovers. Not all players in the North Sea have that financial might behind them, however, which is why the current layup situation and below breakeven day rates for vessels remaining in service are of such concern. The large number of vessel that are laid up should, theoretically, limit the choice available to charterers to the extent that day rates begin to push up or at least stay stable. That is not the case, however, with early October seeing some of the worst North Sea spot market day rates on record. One 2013built PSV managed by GulfMark – North Pomor – reportedly picked up just £1,960 a per day from MLS for a supply duties job on behalf of MLS in early October. By way of comparison, the same vessel picked up £27,900 per day for a similar job for Statoil back in September 2013. A large number of other PSV fixtures paying less than £3,000 per day have been recorded in September and October, showing just how powerless

vessel companies have become in terms of negotiating lucrative deals with shipowners. The trend on the AHTS vessel side of the market also continues to be a downward one, with the largest vessels in the fleet (18,000 bhp and above) earning around £20,000 per day for spot work in September. Around this time in years gone by, average rates have been double and more in many cases. Morbidly, it is the towage of rigs to scrapyards and layup locations that is propping up demand for these large AHTS vessels at present. With trading conditions so difficult, major shipowners including DOF, Rem Offshore, ER Offshore and Farstad all added tonnage to the layup list in September and October. It seems as though, once again, further consolidation within the OSV sector must be just around the corner. Whether that will take the form of mergers, such as was the case with Solstad and Rem Offshore recently, or takeovers of distressed companies remains to be seen. It is clear that some sort of restructuring within the sector, however, is now vital to ensure the survival of many OSV companies. OSJ

North Pomor was fixed for £1,960 per day, having earned more than 14 times that for a fixture three years ago

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


22 | AREA REPORT West Africa

OSV CONTRACTS AWARDED

FOR WEST AFRICAN PROJECTS Recent weeks have seen owners secure charters for vessels supporting deepwater projects in Angola, Congo and Nigeria

Far Sleipner has an 18-month contract with Total to support subsea development activities in Congo

by Martyn Wingrove

P

rojects in Angola, Nigeria and Congo are keeping some offshore support vessels in employment in the region, but many owners have kept assets in layup. An oversupply of tonnage means owners need to be competitive with charter rates. It also means those that can keep prices low have successfully gained employment for their vessels. In Angola, oil companies have contracted vessels to support their deepwater projects. Oceanteam secured contract extensions for two vessels, including one in Angola. Its construction support vessel Bourbon Oceanteam 101 has started a new time charter contract with Total, which has the vessel for three years and options to extend the charter. Prior to this, the vessel completed a long-term charter with Oceaneering and BP Angola, followed by a drydock period. Brokers said Total had also chartered Bourbon Evolution 803 for 12 months. These vessels will be supporting Total’s Kaombo

subsea project in Block 32. BP has extended the charter for two Swire Pacific anchor handlers. Brokers reported that contracts for 10,620 bhp, 4,078 dwt Pacific Gosling and 6,437 bhp, 4,078 dwt Pacific Goldfinch were extended for another year as the vessels support BP’s deepwater Block 31 projects. Norwegian brokers noted that BP had chartered multiservice vessel Ocean Intervention III to support its Block 18 Greater Plutonio project. Total was also busy in the charter market for vessels to support its Moho Nord development in Congo. It awarded a contract to Farstad’s construction support vessel (CSV) Far Sleipner. The VARD 3 07 design vessel has an 18-month contract to support subsea development activity. Total has options to extend the contract for the 9,200 dwt vessel by six two-month periods, if required. Farstad chief executive Karl-Johan Bakken said the contract came after Far Sleipner had already worked for Total

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

for 18 months on Moho Nord. “We are very pleased to be selected as Total’s preferred partner for the next phase of this project,” he said. “The contract demonstrates the attractiveness of our new series of subsea vessels and that they meet clients’ expectations for advanced subsea operations in deepwater developments.” Also in Congo, Micoperi chartered heavy-lift and pipelay vessel Sampson to support Eni’s developments from October. In Nigeria, Total was also the employer of more offshore vessels to support its deepwater facilities. Seabrokers reported that Total chartered 2005-built platform supply vessel Energy Scout from Golden Energy Offshore for a six-month firm charter. The UT 755 L design vessel is committed until the end of the first quarter of 2017, although Total has options to extend the charter. Other brokers reported that Saipem had hired Bourbon Evolution 801 to provide subsea support services on Total’s Egina project. Shell Nigeria is also

reported to have chartered 2011-built subsea support vessel Larissa for inspection, maintenance and repair work. The SX131 design vessel has a 150-tonne active heave compensated crane and accommodation for 69 people. It is now managed for Golden Energy Offshore Management after a deal was struck with Neptune Subsea. In the same deal, management of sistership Despina also reverted to Golden Energy Offshore. In Ghana, Fendercare Marine has completed work on Tullow Oil’s Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) development. The James Fisher and Sons subsidiary has installed and tested the floating export hose for the Modec-operated floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel Prof. John Evans Atta Mills. The contract was with Modec Offshore Production Systems, which was responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, mobilisation and offshore installation of the FPSO. OSJ

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Middle East AREA REPORT | 25

OWNERS SENSE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL Long-term investment in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE will result in more vessel charters, but at lower rates, say brokers by Martyn Wingrove

O

wners of offshore support vessel are securing charters from the Middle East as oil companies continue investing in offshore infrastructure. However, they should expect to cut rates further because of competition for long-term charters from Asian owners. Brokers at Fearnley Offshore Supply said Middle East activity remained resilient during the second half of this year as oil producers were investing in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. This is on the back of substantial reserves in the region and relatively low production costs. “We expect a number of additional long-term charter opportunities in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar,” the brokers said. “However, rates are taking a severe beating because of oversupply of vessels targeting the region.” They highlighted how Saudi Aramco was progressing with a US$35 billion five-year production increase plan. Also Abu Dhabi National Oil Co will invest up to US$25 billion in production projects, and Total has pledged to invest US$2 billion in

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Vivek Seth: “There is light at the end of the tunnel for the subsea market”

Qatar on the Al-Shaheen oil concession (OSJ, September 2016). These investments will drive forward field redevelopment and extension work in the region. This should result in more demand for support ships, such as diving support vessels (DSVs) anchor

handlers, crew transfer ships and utility vessels. The subsea support vessel market has hit the bottom and should begin returning from now to 2020, according to Halul Offshore chief executive Vivek Seth. He told delegates at this year's Asian Offshore Support Journal Conference in Singapore to expect incremental increases in demand over the next four years. “There is light at the end of the tunnel and yes I am bullish for the subsea market,” he said. Demand for DSVs and ROV service vessels is at a five-year low in the Middle East and South East Asia. The major driver, Mr Seth told delegates, is brownfield development. He advocated strategic alliances, use of multirole and fuel efficient vessels and vessel sharing agreements as methods for coping with the present challenging offshore market. He also said developing and maintaining in-house project expertise was a useful strategy for streamlining projects in the subsea segment, especially in an era where “lump sum contracts are prevalent”. Another coping measure is

offering more to the national oil companies than cheap vessels. Zamil Offshore does this for Saudi Aramco as it operates a support base in Saudi Arabia. “We are able to show Saudi Aramco that it is not just about rates,” said Zamil Offshore consultant engineer, international marketing and risk management executive Hassan Abouraya. “It is about providing lifecycle support, technical support and marine bases in Saudi Arabia to support our vessels – some of our competitors cannot do this,” he said. Saudi Aramco has contracted the Emas Chiyoda Subsea consortium to provide subsea services for the US$1.6 billion Hasbah offshore gas development. Onshore work has already begun on the project, but the offshore element is not scheduled to begin until the fourth quarter of 2017. There has also been some contracts awarded for accommodation services. Norwegian brokers said Saudi Aramco chartered Bourbon Evolution 806 and Bourbon Evolution 808 for accommodation duties. They also said NPCC had booked Topaz Commander for ROV and accommodation support work in the United Arab Emirates. To meet upcoming accommodation requirements Master Marine subsidiary Jacktel is contracting Lamprell Energy to construct and install extended legs and new suction caissons on jack-up Haven. This is under a US$17 million upgrade for the accommodation unit. Mutawa Marine Works has mobilised newbuild platform supply vessel Mutawa 306 from Guangzhou Shunhai Shipbuilding in China to the UAE. The 56m, 1,400 tonne dwt vessel has a clear deck area of 330m² a cargo capacity of 500 tonnes and accommodation for 38 people. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


26 | AREA REPORT Brazil

NORWEGIAN OWNERS HARD HIT BUT SEE A GLIMMER OF HOPE Petrobras cancelled a contract for Normand Clipper, which has since returned to Norway to be laid up

As with many offshore support vessel markets around the world, Brazil is suffering from the damaging effect of low oil prices, added to which the Brazilian economy is deep in recession and affected by the ongoing Lava Jato corruption scandal by Rob Ward

O

wners and operators of offshore support vessels (OSVs) everywhere have been hit hard by the downturn in the oil price, but in Brazil, this has been made worse by the situation in the country, and no-one seems to be suffering quite as much as Norwegian shipping companies plying their trade there. According to figures from the Brazilian Association of Offshore Support Vessel Operators (ABEAM), the number of OSVs operated by Norwegian owners has fallen by more

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

than 40 per cent since 2013, from 81 OSVs down to 48 as of October 2016, with more departures expected. The overall number of ships operating of all flags and countries has fallen from 435 to around 400, with six to 10 Brazilian-flagged newbuilds entering the market each year. As they enter the market, so foreign-flagged vessels are departing for layup. Until three years ago, Norwegian OSV operators in Brazil were making hay while the sun was shining, whilst the oil price remained above US$100. The Brazilian

National Petroleum Agency (ANP) was registering one discovery after another, especially in pre-salt layers below the seabed, and the Brazilian oil industry was booming, allowing everyone to make decent profits. But that was then and this is now and with the price plummeting to US$30/barrel just over a year ago and hovering at around US$50 currently. Petrobras, which dominates the Brazilian offshore market, has been drastically trying to cut costs, and this has led to a paucity of new contracts and the cancellation of existing

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Brazil AREA REPORT | 27

contracts, often without compensation. The pain has been felt particularly by Solstad Offshore, which has recently announced plans to merge with Rem Offshore. Solstad has seen its Brazilian fleet number fall from nine ships as recently as 2013 to just two, with Normand Master contracted to Petrobras, at least in theory, until the third quarter of 2017 and Normand Titan under contract until the third quarter of 2018. Both are AHTS 18000s. Earlier this year, Petrobras cancelled the contract for another Solstad unit, Normand Clipper, which has since returned to Norway to be laid up. In recent weeks, rumours have been circulating that Solstad might throw in the towel and close down its Rio de Janeiro office – housed in the very expensive tower blocks of Rua Lauro Muller in Botafogo – to save money, but the company’s CEO Lars Peder Solstad was having none of that. “It is not our plan to close down our Brazilian operation,” he said. “The plan is to continue in Brazil. The market in general is the concern, not just in Brazil. The problems in the OSV sector are the same in other places as well so we will continue in Brazil.” Earlier this year, Sven Stakkestad, deputy managing director at Solstad, told our sister publication, Norwegian Solutions, that one possible solution to the company’s problems in Brazil – and lack of Brazilian-flagged vessels – could be to buy a Brazilian company. However, he would not be drawn any further on which company or if it was still an objective. Apart from Solstad, other Norwegian operators – such as Deep Sea Supply and Olympic Shipping – are also struggling in Brazil. The John Fredriksencontrolled company started up in Brazil back in 2012 with two vessels, including the PSV 4500 Sea Brasil, which it had built

www.osjonline.com

Lars Peder Solstad’s company is one of a number of Norwegian owners to have been hard hit by the recession in the industry and Brazil’s domestic problems

at the Vard Promar shipyard in Niterói. After that, it started rapidly bringing in more anchor handlers, ranging from AHTS 7000s to 15000s. Then, in early 2013, DESS set up a joint venture with venture capitalist BTG Pactual, and that entity (part of the investment bank Banco BTG Pactual SA) put in US$60 million towards building six newbuilds (some already under construction) in China. Deep Sea Supply used to have around 15 vessels in Brazil, but that has fallen to seven. Although most Norwegian companies have laid up smaller platform supply vessels (PSVs), Deep Sea Supply has to lay up the AHTS 15000 Sea Jaguar when its contract came to a close. A manager at Deep Sea Supply said, “We have to work with a crisis situation, and I believe that we will eventually turn the corner. For now, we are just trying to survive.” Analysts have also noted that Norwegian OSV owners seem to have suffered more as a result of the crisis than many others. Armando Freigedo Rodrigues, a partner in the Aquapar shipping consultancy based in Rio de Janeiro, said Norwegian companies had been having a really hard time lately, and that might continue for some time. “The downtown in Brazil has affected every company that doesn’t have Brazilian-flagged vessels or only a few Brazilianflagged vessels,” he told OSJ. “Norwegian companies such as Solstad Offshore and Deep Sea Supply are suffering because of the paucity of Brazilianflagged ships in their fleets. To drop from nine ships down to two is a major blow. To be honest, even some Brazilian companies with large numbers of Brazilian-flagged vessels are not finding things easy.” The trials and tribulations of Norwegian shipowners in Brazil is a major concern for Ricardo Fernandes, the

president of the Norwegian Shipowners Association in Brazil (ABRAN). “We have been in very close contact with our members throughout this difficult period, and we have helped them to understand this particularly tough part of the business cycle,” said Mr Fernandes, noting that cutbacks and Petrobras’s encouragement of blocking to end contracts and run down charter rates have seen some Norwegian OSV owners who have Brazilian-flagged vessels competing fiercely with other Norwegian owners who don’t have much Brazilian tonnage. One way out for those without is to reflag onto the REB or Special Brazilian Register. “The blocking process has been hurting lots of our companies this year,” Mr Fernandes said, “so what we are seeing now among the Norwegian companies is that many are trying to register their foreign-flagged ships on the REB so as to benefit from the flag preference.” However, Mr Fernandes believes there is, finally, some light at the end of the tunnel. “Solstad, Deep Sea Supply and Olympic have really been struggling, but I think we are at a turning point now, and things will improve. I believe that the worst is over,” he added, “and that Petrobras has made nearly all the adjustments that it needs to make. The overall number of OSVs has fallen from 500 to around 400, and although smaller PSVs and oil spill response vessels might still struggle, the more sophisticated PSVs and anchor handlers, where Norwegian fleets are strongest, should be OK from now onwards.” The ABRAN head also pointed to the recent ‘partnership deal’ signed between Petrobras and Statoil, Norway’s state oil company, which he said bodes well for future OSV contracts for Norwegian operators. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


28 | AREA REPORT Caspian/Mediterranean

MORE VESSELS ORDERED

FOR KAZAKH PROJECT

Vard is to build more module carrying vessels for Topaz and Blue Water Shipping

Progress is being made in Kazakhstan oil projects and a proposed gas pipeline across the Black Sea by Martyn Wingrove

C

ompared with most other markets, offshore vessel owners can reflect relatively positively on the Caspian market where major oil projects are progressing. Tengizchevroil’s development of the Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan has led to contracts for multiple vessels owned and operated by a consortium between Topaz Energy and Marine and Blue Water Shipping. The combined revenue from these contracts will be more than US$500 million, according to Topaz. It has commissioned construction of 15 module carrying vessels (MCVs) for field operation. These are due to enter service in the second quarter of 2018. Topaz has also been appointed the technical manager of three additional MCVs by a consortium consisting of Blue Water Shipping and Kazmortransflot. All of these vessels will be transporting oil and gas modules for at least two years to the Tengiz oil field from transshipment bases in Kazakhstan. Two more MCVs were ordered in September from Vard Holdings. The 123m vessels are similar to the 15 units it is already building for Topaz. Vard’s shipyards in Tulcea and Braila in Romania and Vung Tau in Vietnam are constructing the MCVs for second-quarter 2018 deliveries. There was further good news for the Kazakh offshore oil industry as the consortium of oil companies developing the huge Kashagan oil field have begun production testing. The US$50 billion project has been beset by delays and problems since development began a decade ago, so the field operator, North Caspian Operating Co, will

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

be pleased to restart production since facilities were closed down three years ago. Kashagan began production in 2013, but output was suspended because of technical problems with the gas pipelines. There was good news in Azerbaijan, where BP is already operating two large offshore oil and gas projects. In September, state oil company Socar signed an agreement with Malaysia’s Petronas to explore and develop hydrocarbons in the prospective offshore Goshadash block in the Caspian. This is 15km north of the Absheron archipelago in water depths of between 10m and 50m, so jack-up rigs can be used for exploration drilling. If this goes ahead, there would be support opportunities for vessel owners. One owner operating in Azerbaijan has added another vessel to its fleet. Caspian Marine Services has taken delivery of a new fast crew supply vessel from Austal Ltd’s shipyard in Western Australia. Rashid Behbudov is a 70m Incat Crowther-designed large crew transfer catamaran. It can carry 150 passengers plus 16 crew at a maximum speed of 30 knots over a range of 400 nautical miles. It has a cargo deck area of more than 400m², an Ampelmann walk-towork gangway and DP2 class dynamic positioning. In the Black Sea, Gazprom has made progress on its proposed TurkStream gas pipeline project. It has received permits from the Turkish authorities to survey the planned route for the pipeline in Turkey’s territorial waters. This is a resurrection of the South Stream gas project that was cancelled for political reasons. If the TurkStream project does progress, it will follow 660km of the previously proposed South Stream route and then another 250km route to supply Russian gas to the European part of Turkey. Gazprom expects to lay two strings of gas line, with the first one exclusively for gas supplies to the Turkish market. In the Mediterranean, most of the offshore activity is focused on new gas projects in Egypt, but vessel operators are also picking up work from mobilising rigs to the region from the North Sea. The latest deal involved Finarge’s 19,000 bhp and 220-tonne bollard pull anchor handlers AH Varazze and AH Valletta towing Transocean’s semi-submersible rig Sedco 704 from Scotland to Malta in October. OSJ

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30 | LOAD HANDLING

Crane companies continue to invest in technology

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t is tempting to think that, in a downturn, development of new products comes to grinding halt. It might be thought that, with the subsea market as hard hit as it is by the downturn in demand and by overcapacity, there might not be much point in putting time and money into developing new offshore cranes for subsea vessels, but that is definitely not the case. For a number of years, OSJ has reported on the development of cranes that use fibre rope rather than steel wire to lower and retrieve loads. The advantages of fibre rope are well known. It helps overcome the problem the weight of steel wire imposes on a crane, and you can lower larger loads with a crane that uses fibre rope rather than steel wire or lower the same load with a smaller less expensive crane. A smaller, less expensive crane might also mean you can use a smaller vessel. The result, of

The subsea market may be in a slump, but when it recovers, vessel owners will be spoilt for choice, with a galaxy of advanced, highly capable crane concepts from which to choose

course – apart from a host of operational advantages – is cost savings, which is why companies such as NOV, RollsRoyce Marine and MacGregor are pressing ahead with the development of new fibre rope cranes despite the downturn. If you can reduce the cost of a project, your technology is likely to be of interest whatever the state of the market. At the Offshore Dialogue conference at SMM 2016 in Hamburg, Baard Alsaker, vice president R&D & technology at MacGregor, provided an insight into the company’s thinking and into a concept that is taking the whole concept of fibre rope cranes a step further. MacGregor has developed

MacGregor’s LFR Twin 2500 crane uses fibre rope – and thus has all of the advantages that confers – but also has a lightweight composite shell that makes it lighter still

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

a concept for a new type of offshore crane – the MacGregor LFR Twin 2500 – that uses fibre rope and thus has all of the advantages that confers, but it differs from a number of other fibre rope cranes in as much as it has a composite rather than steel shell. That makes the crane lighter still. Working closely with Gurit Ltd, MacGregor recently completed a technical feasibility study looking at using composite materials as strength-carrying members in an offshore crane. The result of the feasibility study was positive and, says Mr Alsaker, proves that the material is adequate for use on subsea cranes. MacGregor also recently signed a collaboration agreement with Parkburn Precision Handling Ltd to integrate Parkburn’s deepwater capstan into the new crane to handle the fibre rope. Classification society DNV GL has assessed the composite crane concept and says it cannot find any obstacles to its use from a regulatory perspective. The class society’s report concluded: “DNV GL’s position is that the crane concept is technically feasible. Certification frameworks for

technology assurance and verification exist in the DNV GL standards for composite components, deployment and recovery systems, lifting appliances, and offshore fibre ropes. Such certification is based on technology qualification, qualification of solutions, sufficient design review and follow-up in manufacture and operation, and is aligned with DNV GL’s classification system.” All in all, it seems that MacGregor is on to something with the composite, low weight crane concept, but of course, it is far from being the only manufacturer working on fibre rope cranes. NOV’s fibre rope crane concept won the Innovation of the Year award at the 2016 Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition in London in February, and only recently, Rolls-Royce Marine unveiled more details of the range of fibre rope cranes it is introducing. The latter’s crane combines the company’s proven expertise in equipment employing braided fibre ropes in deepwater offshore operations with its offshore crane technology and control systems. The FR cranes are available in a range of up to 400 tonnes and retain their full rated capacity down to maximum working depth, whereas a wire crane must, of course, be de-rated due to the weight of the steel wire. OSJ

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SUBSEA MARKET | 33

Subsea shipowners eye additions to order backlogs The subsea vessel market has not been as badly affected by the downturn as the supply vessel sector, but well known owners such as Subsea 7 need to bolster contract backlogs before long

Recent contracts have seen Total Congo secure Far Sleipner (seen here) for 18 months

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ontracts for work for subsea vessels continue to be awarded and some major projects are coming up, but overall the level of activity in the sector is down compared with the last 4-5 years. “Overall, the third quarter of 2016 has panned out in line with our predictions,” said Fearnley Offshore Supply AS (FOSAS) in a September 2016 recent report. “With only a handful of tenders awarded, vessel activity remained limited. Thankfully, there are still new subsea contracts being awarded around the world despite industry-wide budget cuts. In early September, Malaysia’s SapuraKencana reported several offshore contract awards totalling US$65.3 million, including subsea tie-ins for Repsol and pipeline installation for both Petronas Carigali and ExxonMobil. Then SapuraKencana Petroleum announced on 30 September that it had been

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awarded three contracts with a combined value of US$215 million. The work scope includes an engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) deal on the Mumbai High fields for ONGC and inspection, maintenance and repair services for Petronas Carigali’s Sepat field.” In the North Sea, Aker Solutions managed to secure further work through options on a contract won in April this year. The initial contract for preliminary engineering work to enable a tie-in of the Utgard subsea field to the Sleipner production platforms included an option for the provision of EPCIC of the tie-in. The company announced on 8 September that Statoil had exercised an option for the gas condensate field, which is valued at US$61.2 million. As reported on page 58, Aker Solutions, Subsea 7 and Det

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


34 | SUBSEA MARKET

norske have announced the formation of a development alliance. According to a statement issued at the time, the group agreed on a “one for all, all for one” collaboration model that “marks a major shift in how an operator and its suppliers can work together on oil and gas developments offshore Norway”. The high level of co-operation between Aker Solutions, Subsea 7 and Det norske will see technology and solutions ‘reused’ from project to project and will see the trio work as one integrated team to develop the most cost-effective solution for Det norske’s Norwegian subsea field portfolio. The announcement came in the wake of a previously announced frame agreement between the companies with a potential value up to NKr2.8 billion (US$350 million). “Det norske’s motivation for the alliance is clear,” said FOSAS. “Aker Solutions is already in bed with a number of other companies – including ABB and Saipem – and Subsea 7 has previously announced alliances with companies including KBR Granherne and OneSubsea (which in turn is a Schlumberger company). It will be interesting to see if these alliances will result in more balance than conflict of interest in the long run,” said FOSAS. As FOSAS also noted, Subsea 7 has not announced any new contracts for several months – a fact that cannot have gone unnoticed by the company’s management and board. “The company has to face up to the reality that its backlog is expected to shrink by around 40 per cent by the end of 2016,” said FOSAS. Technip, in contrast, was more fortunate in the summer of 2016,

announcing that it had been awarded the Greater Enfield EPIC development by Woodside. A press release from the company described the contract as “a large subsea contract”, which, in Technip’s book, places it in the range of €250–500 million. “It is worth noting that, while both Saipem and Technip have been awarded large onshore contracts recently, Subsea 7 does not have this ‘leg’ to stand on,” said the broker. “However, there are currently a number of active subsea umbilical, risers and flowlines (Surf) tenders that we expect will be awarded soon. We believe that Subsea 7 is well placed for Atoll phase I in Egypt and Mad Dog phase II in the US Gulf, and the Leviathan project in Israel and Fortuna floating liquefied natural gas project in Equatorial Guinea are also sizeable projects. Although all of the above include Surf awards valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the Indian development KG-DWN 98/2 is estimated to be worth up to US$1.5 billion.” Another massive contract was announced in late July and saw the Emas Chiyoda Subsea and Larsen & Toubro Hydrocarbon Engineering awarded an EPCI contract with Saudi Aramco in the Arabian Gulf. The second phase of the development of the Hasbah gas field is worth more than US$1.6 billion, almost 40 per cent of which, or US$640 million, will fall to Emas Chiyoda Subsea. The onshore engineering and fabrication component is well underway, with offshore operations scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2017. The broker reports that the 900km Turkish Stream

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SUBSEA MARKET | 35

(TurkStream) gas pipeline is back on and will be built eventually, according to a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Turkey and Russia seem to have reached agreement regarding the TurkStream project, with Gazprom reportedly receiving the first permits from the Turkish authorities. However, no update has been released about when installation will commence or which contractor will be awarded the installation job, although Saipem, having submitted the winning bid last time around, will certainly be a strong contender. “That being said, the handful of contractors that have the capacity to deliver a project of this magnitude, in water depths of down to 2,200m, have all seen their backlogs shrink dramatically since TurkStream was first awarded, so the competition is expected to be intense. Furthermore, we expect the Nord Stream II pipelay tender to be announced soon, with installation scheduled in 2018, and Saipem already has commitments to the Johan Sverdrup pipelay contract scheduled to commence in spring 2018,” FOSAS said. Summing up, the broker said the third quarter had seen a lower level of vessel chartering and, although the utilisation rate for subsea vessels might be envied by supply vessel owners, rates are reflecting the decline in activity. “West Africa is emerging as a hotspot,” FOSAS concluded, “with Total Congo securing Far Sleipner for 18 months and Total Angola chartering Bourbon Oceanteam 101 and Bourbon Evolution 803 for 36 and 12 months, respectively. OSJ

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36 | DIVE SUPPORT VESSELS & EQUIPMENT

IMCA TURNS ITS ATTENTION TO

DESIGN IMCA is approaching the completion of a longstanding process that has seen it update its DESIGN documents

E

arly November 2016 was expected to see the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) host a diving seminar in Aberdeen to present and discuss a number of proposed improvements to its Diving Equipment Systems Inspection Guidance Note (DESIGN), including the creation of a stand-alone life support package (LSP) DESIGN document. Alan Forsyth, director of HSE at Subsea 7, and Steve Sheppard, offshore services manager, Helix ESG, will introduce the programme and set the scene. Brendan Kearns, managing director, KBA Europe, will present ‘Current experience of using the suite of IMCA DESIGN documents’, before the discussion begins to consider and debate the review of the DESIGN suite. IMCA’s global Diving Division Management Committee will take the outcomes onboard before making final decisions on the implementation of any proposed changes. Delegates were also due to hear Allen Leatt, IMCA’s CEO, provide an update, followed by insight into the industry’s newest approaches, in terms of operation and technology, thanks to a presentation by Mark Richardson, group projects manager of Apache North Sea. IMCA said there would also be a ‘Totally Technology’ session comprising six diving-relevant quick-fire (10-minute) presentations. The DESIGN documents have evolved over many years. In the 1970s, the UK Government introduced regulations that required diving plant and equipment to be tested at regular intervals. These regulations were subsequently revised, but many of the requirements were not specific and, as a result, were open to interpretation. To help the industry clarify the

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

The International Marine Contractors Association’s suite of DESIGN documents, one of the most widely used industry tools for the auditing and monitoring of diving plant and equipment, is to be updated requirements, IMCA produced a number of reference documents, which led to the publication of AODC 041, the precursor of IMCA D 018. This guidance provided the foundation for DESIGN. The DESIGN documents now provide the industry with templates containing all the information required to fully audit and confirm that a diving system has the appropriate equipment and layout for a safe diving operation plus the examination, test and certification requirements to meet agreed industry practice. In doing so, the DESIGN report approach provides assurance to diving contractors, clients and others that specific diving systems are safe places of work and fit for purpose. In 2011, IMCA’s Diving Division Management Committee decided that it was time for the DESIGN documents to be thoroughly revised. The past five years have seen almost the entire suite of DESIGN documents reviewed and revised, plus the introduction of a document for hyperbaric reception facilities (IMCA D 053). However, it is appreciated that, despite the best efforts of the DESIGN workgroup, there are still a few issues that need to be resolved, hence the need for the event. In a related development, IMCA recently published ADCI/IOGP/IMCA Diving Terms as IMCA D 057. “This invaluable document has been prepared as a joint industry project ( JIP) involving representatives from IMCA, the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) in the United States and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) Diving Industry Work Group (DIWG),” said IMCA. “The aim was to create harmonised worldwide guidance for terminology

used in the offshore diving industry. The document is a ‘live’ document, and the JIP encourages input through the IMCA feedback button (feedback@imca-int.com) in the online publication. OSJ

Acoustic testing ‘safer, cheaper option’ for gas cylinders Periodic inspection and testing of high pressure gas cylinders in breathing systems, cranes, rigs and drill ships, has always raised the questions of where, when and how is best? For years, hydro testing – where water is pumped into cylinders then put under pressure – was the norm. But hydro testing can create more problems than it solves by introducing water into a vessel, causing internal corrosion. Ensuring all the moisture is removed can be difficult and time-consuming. DNV GL and specialists such as Chesterfield Special Cylinders (CSC) believe that acoustic emission (AE) testing is the way forward, and DNV-GL is committing more to the AE route which, it believes, is better in all aspects than hydro testing. Stephen Butler, director of integrity management at CSC, conducts AE tests while the cylinders remain installed. “AE testing is safer, cleaner, faster, easier and – in the medium-term – cheaper than hydro testing,” said Mr Butler. For more detailed information see the article on www.osjonline.com

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38 | COMMUNICATIONS

Advances in VSAT will deliver benefits to owners Technology will enable realtime seismic surveys, greater redundancy and seamless communications from offshore vessels by Martyn Wingrove

Tracey Haslam: “there will be a price point where realtime seismic data transmissions works”

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

R

ising bandwidth capacity and falling prices will enable real-time seismic surveys and video applications. New high throughput satellites will deliver faster data transmissions from offshore vessels, says service provider Harris CapRock Communications. Its president, Tracey Haslam, said very small aperture terminal (VSAT) technology was improving to increase bandwidth in multiple frequency bands. More satellite capacity is coming over the next five years that will enable vessel operators to stream live data in real time and use more applications. She expects that the next generation of satellites will enable seismic vessel operators to offer better survey data services. “Imagine what we will be able to do with the bandwidth,” she said. “We could get to a point where real-time seismic surveys could be available. We can accelerate data transmissions, and there will be a price point where real-time seismic data transmissions works.” In the meantime, Harris CapRock has built redundancy into its communications solutions. It offers C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band VSAT services to offshore vessel operators. This is now backed up with line-of-sight radio and mobile phone 3G and long-term evolution (LTE) 4G networks. It introduced OnePath wireless radio for high throughput and increased redundancy for offshore vessels. It enables secure, localised wireless data and voice networks with connections up to 160km, depending on the height of the antenna. It can deliver throughputs of up to 400 Mbps operating modes for point-to-point and point-to-multipoint applications. Ms Haslam suggested that a combination of LTE and OnePath Radio installed on a drilling rig, floating production facility, accommodation or construction vessel or pipelayer could provide rapid communications

for surrounding OSVs. “We would then have an area of low cost mobile communications.” She continued, “Connectivity needs to be seamless and integrated. We can use LTE, and all satellite bands to build up a full network with a module to manage leastcost routeing and OnePath Radio for redundancy. Harris CapRock gained a contract extension from Oceaneering International for VSAT services on its fleet of multipurpose support vessels. This includes initiating services onboard Oceaneering’s new multiservice support vessel Ocean Evolution. ITC Global also provides redundancy in its communications through dual VSAT antennas and LTE networks. Chief executive Joe Spytek explained how a high specification service can go even further. “The solution we can supply is highly redundant, with one active network, two antennas and two satellites in use, along with one backup network, antenna and satellite,” he said. The solution is configured to automatically switch between bands, network, antenna and satellite in order to retain connection. VSAT connectivity is through C-band and Ku-band from satellite operators such as SES and Intelsat. “When switching to the backup network, there should be no packet loss and no dropped phone calls, even if there is a satellite or teleport failure,” said Mr Spytek. “There should be no degradation as the system can use a second satellite. This way, we have two available networks for true redundancy.” In the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico, LTE technology is a viable backup. Outside these regions, Ku-band VSAT is the prime communications conduit. “We have seen OSV operators embrace Ku-band as a highly available solution using 1m antennas. Ku-band has flexibility, and with high throughput satellites coming, there will be incredible throughput figures,” said Mr Spytek.

www.osjonline.com


COMMUNICATIONS | 39

“Ku-band is being accepted offshore West Africa where there are rain fade difficulties because we can outfit vessels to cope with that. We expect to see different Ku-band antennas on vessels in the future,” he said.

CHANGES COMING IN VSAT ANTENNAS

Increasing volumes of data sent from vessels will mean owners will need to upgrade their Ku-band antennas with more uplink power. Current maritime VSAT antennas have low power block upconverters (BUCs) of around 8W or less in order to keep the weight of the unit down. This is adequate for VSAT connections designed for the majority of traffic coming on the downlink to vessels but not if there is a ramp-up in data transmissions from OSVs. Antenna manufacturers can install higher power BUCs, but so far, this leads to more weight and larger radomes. However, Cobham Satcom has developed a 20W BUC that is of a similar size and weight as an 8W unit. This has been included in a high power version of its Sailor 900 VSAT. “If vessel owners want higher internet uplinks, then they need higher power BUCs,” said Cobham Satcom director of maritime broadband business development Jens Ewerling. “We needed to find a way to develop a high power antenna with a 20W BUC on a Sailor 900 VSAT fully integrated unit,” he explained. This was achieved in the second quarter of this year. The Sailor 900 VSAT High Power Ku-band antenna with a 20W BUC operates on all Ku-band satellite services and has been tested to work on Intelsat’s EpicNG high throughput service. It can also be converted for Ka-band to operate with Inmarsat Fleet Xpress and Telenor’s Thor 7 services. Mr Ewerling expects that demand for higher power antennas will increase in the near future. “More owners are looking at this as more data is coming from their vessels,” he said. “We will offer an upgrade kit to a higher power version so owners can benefit from faster uplinks. The upgrade could be done by a Sailor-trained engineer and would involve replacing the RF pack and reconnecting the cables. There would be no need to replace the antenna.” Intellian Technologies has unveiled the v65, a 60cm-class VSAT for Ku-band for vessels that have limited space and weight. According to Intellian president and chief executive Eric Sung, this has improved RF performance, enabling vessel operators to have a global service

www.osjonline.com

Cobham Satcom has developed a high power version of its Sailor 900 VSAT

plan while using a smaller antenna. “The improved RF performance combines extremely well with the high throughput Ku-band capacity now coming online,” he said. The v65 incorporates updated motor technology with built-in encoders that improve tracing precision. The antenna can be installed and tested without the need for a crane or removing the radome. It can be commissioned and maintained remotely using Intellian’s Aptus system. Mr Sung said there would be more investment in multiband antennas. Intellian already offers a 1m Ku-band that can be converted to Ka-band, as well as a 2.4m antenna that combines C-band and Ku-band. “These are installed on offshore vessels using Ku-band as the main service but with C-band as backup to get bandwidth up to 100 Mbps,” said Mr Sung. “We are developing a C-Ku-Ka-band antenna that could get bandwidth up to 500 Mbps or perhaps even 1 Gbps. This would enable a huge change in lifestyles on accommodation vessels as passengers

can share more bandwidth. This will mean future-proofing the hardware so there is no need to swap the antennas,” he explained. KVH Industries has developed a multiband antenna for both C-band and Ku-band. The TracPhone V11-IP is a 1.1m antenna that delivers 4 Mbps on the downlink and 1 Mbps on the uplink using Ku-band and C-band as a backup. KVH also offers the 67cm TracPhone V7-IP and 30cm TracPhone V3-IP units All the antennas come with an integrated CommBox modem and software and can be used for receiving content from KVH’s IP-MobileCast service. According to KVH chief operating officer Brent Bruun, these antennas will operate with the high throughput spot beams. “Our antennas are unique with modems based on ArcLight spread-spectrum and low power waveform technology, which means smaller antennas can be used,” he said. “We will continue to innovate and update our antennas. We are looking at more updates for the high throughput satellites,” he said. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


Annual Offshore Support Journal conference | awards | exhibition 8-9 February 2017, London

NEW DATES FOR 2017

Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition 8-9 February 2017

The largest international conference for the offshore support industry Hundreds of industry professionals will converge on London on 8-9 February 2017 for the Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition. The 2017 event will see the industry transitioning to a new phase, with new preoccupations, challenges and opportunities. The offshore vessel market has been through tough times, but owners are already focusing on what the market will look like when it picks up. Identifying opportunities and preparing for a new kind of market will therefore be a key focus area in 2017: how companies can prepare themselves financially and technically; how to adjust manpower; and where the new opportunities will be. As ever, a highlight of the 2017 event will be the Offshore Support Journal awards and gala dinner. Innovation, operational excellence and achievement will be recognised on the night. You can nominate today at www.osjconference.com/awards The Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition is the OSV industry’s annual meeting point. Record numbers and strong representation from all sectors of the global community prove it.

www.osjconference.com

The European Dynamic Positioning Conference 7 February 2017

The conference will focus on the issues and challenges affecting the dynamic positioning market, the DP issues that affect the offshore vessel market as a whole, and on how, in a challenging market, DP can be used to make operations safer, more efficient and more cost-effective.

www.dynamicpositioningeurope.com

Offshore Wind Journal Conference 7 February 2017

The event will show delegates how opportunities in this fast-growing market can be exploited by vessel owners, equipment and service providers. The programme is tailored for companies already working in this sector and for those looking to enter it as part of a diversification strategy.

www.offshorewindjournalconference.com


Nominate for the Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards 2017 today! The Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards is one of the most anticipated social events in the offshore support calendar. Each year over 500 attendees from all sectors of the offshore business gather in London to celebrate the industry’s best performances from the past year. Visit www.osjconference.com/awards for further details and to start nominating. Please note voting will close on the 30th November.

platinum sponsor

gold sponsors

2017 award categories

• Support Vessel of the Year Award – sponsored by DNV GL

silver sponsors

• Offshore Renewables Award • Innovation of the Year – sponsored by Bureau Veritas • Environmental Award • Shipowner of the Year • Dynamic Positioning Award – sponsored by ABB

award sponsors

• Subsea Innovation Award • Industry Leader Award • Lifetime Achievement Award. (As always the Lifetime Achievement Award and OSJ Industry Leader Award winners will be chosen by the OSJ editorial team)

supporting publication

organised by


42 | BULK HANDLING & TANK CLEANING

PG DEVELOPS HARSH ENVIRONMENT TANK CLEANING UNIT PG has despatched the first MultiVac to meet DNV GL’s new standard Certification 2.7-2 to a vessel built for Canadian operations by Martyn Wingrove

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G Flow Systems has despatched the first of its new no harmful effects on the equipment inside. MultiVac modules that can be used for tank cleaning and PG said the improved MultiVac also has a portable fire extinguisher bulk powder removal on offshore support vessels (OSVs). system, an externally accessible fuel shut-off valve and is power-safe It has been sent to a newbuilding project for a vessel that in the event of a failure. The MultiVac range has a maximum pump is designed to operate offshore eastern Canada. It is the first offshore pressure of 810 mbar and can handle up to 3,856 m³/hr of water. “Our vacuum unit that conforms to DNV GL’s new standard Certification equipment is ideal for the harsh conditions of the offshore Canadian 2.7-2 for offshore service modules. waters in which this unit will operate,” PG said. Certification 2.7-2 was introduced in February 2016 to set The vacuum unit can be used for material and waste removal in standards for a range of safety measures. It provides greater protection tanks and drainage systems on vessels. It can remove viscous and for the equipment and also the offshore environment in which it will dense materials in confined spaces and transfer chemicals, fuel and operate. Equipment that meets the standard will be rated for operations other fluids. MultiVac can also be used for bulk powder removal, tank on deck in ice-prone areas and other harsh conditions. descaling and desanding, transferring waste off vessels and removing For PG to meet these requirements, it upgraded hydrocarbon heavy waste from vents. The offshore vacuum aspects of existing equipment design to develop units can utilise positive displacement or liquid ring a new MultiVac range. The updates technologies to provide vacuum performance. included lockable doors PG is delivering multiple systems including a that have fire-resistant liquid cargo-handling module and pumps seals when closed for an offshore construction and an integral support vessel that Vard gas detector. The Langsten is outfitting doors and louvres for a Canadian have an ingress subsea vessel protection rating of operator. It is also IP56, which means delivering freshwater the equipment is generators, ballast protected from water treatment dust and water. The systems, emergency MultiVac module and utility pumps. has sufficient Deliveries to the protection to VARD 3 08 design stop dust from vessel started in interfering with the third quarter internal operations, of 2016 and were so a powerful water jet expected to finish against the enclosure before the end of from any direction has The new MultiVac range has an ingress protection rating of IP56 this year. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

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RECENT DELIVERIES | 45

BARRERAS DELIVERS

OFFSHORE ACCOMMODATION UNIT TO PEMEX Shipyard Hijos de J Barreras in Vigo, Spain, recently delivered a monohull offshore accommodation vessel to Pemex, Mexico’s state oil company, and a second ship of the same type built by another Spanish yard, Navantia, recently started sea trials

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arly 2014 saw two Spanish shipyards, HJ Barreras and Navantia, awarded contracts by Pemex, Mexico’s state oil company, for the construction of two offshore accommodation vessels. Autumn 2016 saw the first, built by Barreras, completed and departing for Mexico. The second, at Navantia, started sea trials in late September. The Barreras-built unit Reforma Pemex is 131m in length with a beam of 27m and has cabins to accommodate more than 700 people. With a deadweight of 7,000 tonnes. the vessel has a service speed of 12 knots and has dieselelectric machinery based on six main generators, each of 2,700kW at 900 rpm. The accommodation vessel has two electro-hydraulic deck cranes, each of 15 tonnes at 20m, and a working deck area of 1,000m2 strengthened to 5 tonnes/m2. The DP3 class vessel has tanks for 2,300m3 of fuel oil, 100m3 of lubricating oil, freshwater capacity of 1,900m3 and ballast water

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capacity of 4,300m3. Speaking to OSJ at the SMM exhibition in Hamburg in late September, a spokesperson for the Spanish yard said Reforma Pemex was due to remain at Barreras until October in order for crew training to be completed, after which it will set sail for Mexico. Two and a half years ago, Pemex took a 51 per cent stake (and hence a controlling interest) in Barreras. It formally took control of the Vigo-based yard in January 2014. Speaking at the time that the deal was formally concluded, Carlos Roa, then chief of staff of Pemex’s directorate general, said the Spanish yard had been awarded a number of contracts including tankers for Pemex and a fishing vessel, although the status of these newbuild projects is not known. An order to build a dynamic positioning class 3 (DP3) multipurpose offshore vessel for Grupo Diavas was also expected, the contract never entered into force. Mr Roa also announced plans to build what he described

Reforma Pemex is the first of two monohull offshore accommodation units built for Pemex in Spain

REFORMA PEMEX Charterer Pemex Builder HJ Barreras Length oa 131.20m Length bp 122.40m Moulded breadth 27.00m Depth 9.40m Design draught 7.30m Scantling draught 7.50m Deadweight 7,000 tonnes Service Speed 12.0 knots Accommodation 700

as “Barreras in Mexico”. Two possible locations for the yard were identified, and a technical co-operation agreement could, it was said, lead to the transfer of expertise and some workers from Mexico to Spain “and in the other direction”, although, once again, the steep fall in the oil prices and subsequent reduction in offshore activity probably means that plan is on ice. The vessel that Navantia built is nearly identical, the design being a joint effort between the two yards. Like the Barreras-built unit, it will be fitted with an offshore access or walk-to-work motion compensated gangway system and an offshore crane. Speaking at the time that the orders were placed, a spokesperson for Navantia said that, although intended to operate in the relatively benign conditions offshore Mexico, the accommodation units would also be suitable for use in other areas where conditions are more challenging. The Navantia newbuild started sea trials at the end of September. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


46 | RECENT DELIVERIES

INFIELD SERVICE UNIT

IS FLEXIBLE AND FUEL EFFICIENT SEAWAYS INTERNATIONAL RECENTLY TOOK DELIVERY OF SEAWAYS 24, THE LATEST ADDITION TO THE RAMPAGE 5500-ZH CLASS OF INFIELD SUPPORT VESSELS DESIGNED BY ROBERT ALLAN LTD IN CANADA

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onstructed at Keppel Singmarine in Singapore, Seaways 24, the latest addition to Seaways International’s fleet, is an especially flexible unit capable of undertaking a wide range of tasks. With offices in Dubai, where the company has its headquarters, and Singapore, Seaways is well known as an owner of modern offshore support vessels, including dynamic positioning class 1 and class 2 anchorhandling tugs, tugs, barges and crewboats and has carved out a niche for itself in support for floating production, storage and offloading units and single buoy moorings

and in related areas such as support for drilling rigs, subsea construction support, ocean towage and port/terminal handling – roles to which Seaways 24 is well-suited. Delivered in August 2016, it was designed and constructed to ABS requirements with the following class notation: + A1, Offshore Support Vessel (AH, TOW, SUPPLYHNLS, FFV1 + FFV 2, OSR-S1) + DPS2, + AMS, + ACCU, UWILD, Green Passport, ENVIRO+, SSR-GR B (300), BP125, BWT+, NBLES, CRC. Above all, Seaways 24 is a multifunction vessel with a wide range of capabilities, including tanker handling and berthing

Seaways’ new ISV has particularly flexible propulsion machinery

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

(push-pull mode), SBM holdback duties, buoy maintenance, anchor handling, floating hose handling, deck cargo carriage and transfers including open sea operations with installed offshore crane, liquid cargo transfers (including methanol), fire-fighting with a FiFi system with total pump capacity up to 8,200 m3/hour, support operations for remotely operated vehicles, oil recovery Standby Class 1 for recovery and storage of hydrocarbons with flashpoint below 60°C, oil spill response with dispersant system and onboard Lamor oil spill collection system, ocean towing, standby and rescue operations with helicopter winch area, deck rescue zone, hospital, morgue, two fast rescue boats and facilities sufficient to accommodate 300 survivors. Seaways 24 is 55m overall with a beam (moulded) of 15.00m and maximum draught of 6.05m and has a flexible hybrid propulsion system. On trials, Seaways 24 met or exceeded all performance expectations, including a bollard pull ahead of 125 tonnes and bollard pull astern of 107 tonnes, with free running speed ahead in hybrid mode of 15 knots and free running speed ahead in electric mode of 7 knots. The new vessel has two 3,000kW MAK 9M25 main engines and two CAT MTA8 Z-drives, each with two power take-in (PTI) shaft connections turning CPP propellers. There are also two 560kW PTI electric motors for propulsion boost/ economical speed/dynamic positioning operations, two main engine power takeoff (PTO) gearboxes with two FiFi pumps and two 1,200 ekW constant speed shaft alternators plus two 830 ekW C32 and one 350 ekW C18 ship’s service gensets. This configuration allows the following operating modes: diesel-mechanical mode on main engines with house electrical power supplied by shaft alternators or service gensets; diesel-electrical mode for economical operations on propulsion electrical motors only and with house and propulsion loads on ship’s service gensets; hybrid mode for maximum bollard pull and speed on main engines and on propulsion electrical motors with electrical power supplied by service gensets; DP2 mode on main engines with house electrical power supplied by shaft alternators or service gensets; DP1 mode on propulsion electrical motors and with house and propulsion loads on ship’s service gensets; DP1 mode on one main engine only with house electrical power supplied by shaft alternator or service genset; and FiFi 2 operation on main engines only. OSJ

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48 | DYNAMIC POSITIONING

TARGETLESS SENSOR FINDS FAVOUR IN RENEWABLES SECTOR A NEW TYPE OF POSITION REFERENCE SENSOR THAT DOES NOT USE PHYSICAL TARGETS IS CHANGING THE WAY VESSELS NAVIGATE

ABOVE: After promising results obtained during trials, Bernhard Schulte decided to use RangeGuard as part of the DP system on Windea La Cour

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K-based Guidance Marine says a ‘targetless’ position reference sensor it has developed for dynamic positioning is especially well suited to use on service operation vessels operating in offshore windfarms, but it could have a host of other applications. Guidance Marine, which has long experience designing and manufacturing local position reference sensors used in the offshore oil and gas market, recently unveiled the new sensor, RangeGuard. Instead of targets on offshore structures, it uses radar reflections from its surroundings to calculate precisely a vessel’s range to the nearest object in its

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

field of view. Combining the information from two sensors allows range and bearing to be calculated and input into the dynamic positioning (DP) system of a vessel. The company claims that RangeGuard is, thus, the first ‘targetless’ DP local position reference sensor (PRS). Guidance Marine presented a paper at a recent conference on RangeGuard. Dr Sasha Heriot described collaboration between Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, Marine Technologies and Guidance Marine that saw two RangeGuard sensors installed on the Bernhard Schultemanaged vessel Ocean Zephyr. Dr Heriot explained that Hendrick Busshoff, a marine superintendent at Bernhard

Schulte Shipmanagement, trained as a master mariner in the offshore oil and gas industry before moving to offshore wind. He recognised the differences in vessel operation in a windfarm compared to an oil field and identified the need for a new type of position reference sensor. A vessel approaches an offshore wind turbine on DP and, typically, uses differential GPS and a laser PRS to obtain precise position. If poor quality reflector targets are installed on the wind turbine, it can lead to the laser sensor detecting false reflections due to their proximity to other highly reflective surfaces, such as the high-vis jackets of workers on the landing platform and walkto-work gangway. To overcome this problem, high quality

www.osjonline.com


DYNAMIC POSITIONING | 49

reflective prism targets should replace low quality reflectors, but the cost of installing these on every single wind turbine in a windfarm can be prohibitive. Removing the need for physical targets altogether is a stepchange in windfarm navigation. In the trials it conducted with Bernhard Schulte, Guidance Marine installed two RangeGuard sensors on the starboard side of Ocean Zephyr. The 24 GHz radar sensors send out a low power signal, and the radar reflections from their field of view are detected. By combining information from two sensors, the location of the wind tower relative to the vessel can be calculated precisely. Data was collected during a sea trial on the Bard 1 offshore windfarm. Although the sensors were not connected into the DP system, the sensors successfully recorded the movements of the vessel. The next stage of the project is now underway at Marine Technologies to connect the sensors into the DP system of the ship. After the promising results obtained during the trials on Ocean Zephyr, Bernhard Schulte decided to make full use of the potential of RangeGuard and install a fully DP integrated system on its new service operation vessel Windea La Cour. Guidance Marine has also developed a new, improved version of the long-standing Artemis System. The company’s head of sales, Declan O’Dea, said, “The Mk6 system is the evolution of the Artemis Mk5 system and the latest offering in sensor technology from Guidance Marine. With the addition of the Artemis Mk6 system, our laser and microwave position reference sensors can position vessels safely and effectively from anywhere between 10m and 10,000m.” The Leicester-based company took over ownership of the Artemis brand, first introduced to the offshore

www.osjonline.com

market in 1972, from CHL in 2015 and since then has extensively evaluated the Mk5 system and understood the needs of shuttle tanker and floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) operators. “The system is typically used in the offshore operation of offloading and transportation of oil between shuttle tankers and FPSOs. The Mk6 system is the most complete long-range radar in Artemis product history,” Mr O’Dea explained. The new system, which overcomes GNSS scintillation, boasts an allweather operating system up to 10km, interchangeable antennas and antenna units, a Guidance Dashboard user interface and is compatible with all existing Mk5 stations. Orders have already been placed by DP integrator, Kongsberg Maritime as well as Teekay, the largest independent operator of FPSO units in the North Sea and fourth largest leased operator in the world. Plans are now in the pipeline to release the Artemis Validator, a compact device designed to quickly and independently verify the operation of an Artemis sensor. Also recently introduced by the DP specialist is RadaScan View, which was designed to enhance conventional microwave DP reference sensors to provide additional situational awareness directly at the DP operator’s (DPO’s) station. An evolution of Guidance Marine’s RadaScan technology, the RadaScan View sensor is a combined position reference sensor and navigation radar. The key is evolution, not revolution, says the company – additional useful information without detracting from the already satisfying user experience. By combining the accurate position radar with this navigational view, DPOs are now able to confirm the position of responders with respect to the asset. This reduces the DPO workload during approach and can assist

during stationkeeping with optimum vessel positioning. By introducing the ‘View’ feature to RadaScan, DP operators can achieve a higher level of operational safety for these applications, more choice and higher levels of redundancy, the company claims. Current position references offer a limited view of the ‘real world’ environment. As today’s operations become more and more complex, providing situational awareness to an operator can help prevent an incident by providing early warning and allowing more time to correct a potential issue. Steve Mason, a master and senior DPO at Hornbeck Offshore, said he believed that the View feature “will be a great improvement to the system, especially for platform supply vessels and other vessels that operate in close proximity on DP”. Captain Frode Eineberholm and chief officer Ronny Waage on Østensjø Rederi’s Edda Ferd said, “It is useful when it is foggy and really useful when next to the installation. It helps to see whether or not they are parallel or at an angle to the object.” Also new from Guidance Marine is an ‘Absolute Signature’ enhancement to its well known CyScan Mk4 laser position reference sensor, which, it claims, can deliver “levels of confidence that were previously unachievable” in laser position reference sensor navigation. The laser reference technology applied by the company resolves long-standing challenges by providing improved performance during target identification, acquisition and tracking. The absolute signature allows immediate and definitive elimination of clutter. As the company notes, the synergy between the sensor and the target using AS technology “defines laser performance for DP operations”. Among the key benefits it cites are guaranteed

‘signature lock’ between the laser position reference sensor and the target, automatic target identification and acquisition and the ability to eliminate possible ‘walk-off ’ incidents, increase the level of false reflection immunity and reduce turnaround time, thus enhancing operational performance offshore.

Unique DP training centre acquires accreditation from Nautical Institute Unique Group’s training centre for DP systems has secured accreditation from the Nautical Institute. The training centre is in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and is a joint venture between Unique Group and Charkin Maritime & Offshore Safety Centre, a privately held maritime training institution that is part of Charkin Group in Nigeria. The training centre will offer the DP Basic Operator and DP Simulator courses, which are now certified by the Nautical Institute. The DP Basic Operator course will mainly focus on defining the principles of DP and the components of a DP system. It will also impart knowledge about the relationship between vessel movement, position reference systems, sensors, computers, propulsion units and feedback. The DP Simulator course will help trainees to further enhance their DP knowledge and skills through hands-on experience of simulation tasks. The other courses offered are the DP Introduction and DP Technical courses. The accredited courses are scheduled to run on a monthly basis. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


50 | SELF-PROPELLED JACK-UPS

Self-elevating units target Middle East market A pair of self-elevating units approaching completion in China are being offered into the Middle East market, says BlueConnect, the company managing the build

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ith the Middle East market withstanding the downturn in the offshore oil and gas industry better than many others, the project managers for a pair of 250-person selfelevating units (SEUs) say two new units are about to be completed by Nanyang Offshore. Singapore-based BlueConnect has worked on a number of projects with leading players such as MAC, Bibby Offshore, Tasik Subsea and the former Hallin Marine. Originally a system integrator and provider of turnkey engineering services on newbuild projects in the region, BlueConnect’s scope of responsibilities for projects has grown to the point where it is now acting in a consultancy and owner’s representative role and managing the build and marketing of the SEUs. Company spokesperson Ivan Seah told OSJ that the first of the SEUs was due to be launched on 18 October 2016 and completed early in 2017, and the second is due to be delivered by mid-2017. “We expect the SEUs to be ideally placed for work in the Middle East,” Mr Seah told OSJ. “They have a number of value-added features that similar units

BlueConnect says the first of two SEUs it is managing will be available in early/mid 2017

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

cannot match. Not only do they have accommodation for 250 people, they are also ideal for the installation of a workover unit on deck so that they can undertake well intervention work. Although the oil price is still low and E&P activity has been depressed, there is a growing demand for intervention on older wells, particularly in the Middle East region.” The SEUs are self-propelled and designed and built to service the offshore market in water depths of up to 70m. Designed with four legs, allowing for easy and stable jacking operations, they have DP2 dynamic positioning and can work successfully even in a harsh environment. “In addition to modern and well laid-out accommodation facilities, the units are equipped with large capacity cranes, helideck, offices and abundant storage areas. They were designed and built with strict compliance to all relevant international standards, and all of the systems onboard are supplied by internationally renowned brands.” With a length overall of 68.00m, beam of 40.00m, depth of 7.20m, draught of 4.00m and displacement of 8,400 tonnes, they are classed by ABS and have 103m long legs. They can work in a water depth of 70m and maximum wave height of 6.10m with an air gap of 10.00m. Once the SEUs are underway, they will have a service speed of 6 knots. They also benefit from a helideck suitable for a Sikorsky S92A or S61N.

GE Maine teams with Zentech GE’s Marine Solutions business and Zentech Inc are to co-operate to provide advanced vessels for their marine and offshore customers, including self-elevating liftboats, drillships and semi-submersibles. Zentech will contribute with its in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in design, and GE’s Marine Solutions business will provide smart and advanced engineering expertise and technology in power generation, propulsion and control. The deal has already started to bear results with a first contract, which sees GE set to deliver its electric power and propulsion, dynamic positioning and vessel control system solutions for Zentech’s Z-210, which is currently under construction at CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company Ltd in China. The Z-210 is a self-propelled, selfelevating, DP2, ABS-classed, high temperature (55°Celsius), four-legged mobile offshore unit capable of operating in water depths of up to 280ft (85m). Scheduled for delivery in 2018, the Z-210 addresses the growing needs for liftboats in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Far East markets where the production, well intervention and platform support activities require the capability for a wide range of water depths from as shallow as 13ft (4m) all the way to 280ft (85m). OSJ

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CONTRACTOR PROFILE | 53

Fast-growing marine business

builds new opportunities for Palfinger Cargo-handling specialist Palfinger says it remains in talks with potential acquisition targets after its attempt to take over Norway’s TTS collapsed

R

ecent months have seen a spate of news stories about Palfinger, a company based in a country – Austria – not normally associated with the marine and offshore industry, which is carving out a fast-growing share of business in those sectors. Speaking to OSJ at the SMM exhibition in Hamburg in September, Palfinger’s chief executive Herbert Ortner said, “We will continue to find the right acquisition partners” and added that TTS would have been a “fantastic strategic fit” had the deal come off. Mr Ortner expressed disappointment that its offer to buy shares had not reached its target of 90 per cent, a figure set so that it could take TTS off the stock market. Pre-acceptances totalled 66 per cent of TTS’s shares, but he declined to say what had finally been achieved. “We will continue to invest in the marine area even with this setback of the TTS acquisition,” he said, and did not rule out another attempt in the future. “Never say no,” he said. For much of its history, Palfinger has focused on land-based handling equipment and moved into marine to look for another growth area. Its most significant marine purchase was completed in June this year when it acquired the Norwegian lifesaving and deck equipment company Harding, making Palfinger “the top supplier of lifesaving equipment and [giving it] a leading market position in deck equipment”, according to a statement released in October. Speaking at the time that the deal was done, Styrk Bekkenes, formerly chief executive of Harding and now one of two managing directors at Palfinger Marine, said its acquisition was just the beginning.

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“We are planning further acquisitions and further growth.” This will include expanding its safety-related activities, he indicated. “We have a 50/50 focus on both safety and deck equipment,” he said. “Palfinger is a perfect match for Harding. Our combined range of products and services will be unique in today’s marine industry. We will stand stronger together and see huge advantages for both the equipment and service side of our business. For our customers, this will be a huge advantage, as in future, we will be able to offer services on more than one type of equipment during the same service assignment.” Asked if it was wise to invest at a time when the offshore market is weak, Mr Ortner said that this created an environment in which company owners wonder whether they would be better in a larger and stronger group. “It is a good environment to make acquisitions, but we are very long-term oriented. We don’t focus on quarterly results.” The acquisition was the largest carried out in the history of Palfinger Group. Palfinger’s marine business will almost double its business volume and, with more than €300 million, contribute substantially more than 20 per cent to the group’s revenue in the future. The service segment will also benefit and help to reduce Palfinger’s dependence on the oil price and the investment propensity of the oil industry. The deal means that Palfinger has come a huge step closer to its strategic aim of becoming an integrated supplier of marine deck equipment with global service locations, but it is not only in the marine sector that it is expanding. The offshore wind industry is also helping

Styrk Bekkenes: “we are planning further acquisitions and further growth”

Palfinger to secure a good number of contracts. It recently signed a contract with Alstom Wind France to supply a total of 66 PSM 400 boom cranes for the turbines on the Merkur offshore windfarm in Germany. The turbines for the Merkur project are being supplied by GE Renewable Energy. The PSM 400 is an electrohydraulic stiff boom crane approved by DNV GL and fitted with a number of safety devices. The cranes are remote controlled by radio, which provides the operator with full control from a safe location. Speaking at the time that the deal was struck, Palfinger Marine’s senior sales manager Rupert Reischl said, “All of the energy and effort we have invested for more than 13 years in the offshore wind business has paid off once again with this order.” Mr Reischl said deliveries of the cranes will be completed by September 2017. In another important breakthrough for Palfinger Marine, German turbine manufacturer Senvion recently became the first company to select Palfinger Marine’s newly developed blade access system for offshore wind turbines. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


54 | IMCA NEWS

IMCA REVISES GUIDANCE FOR TRAINING AND COMPETENCE OF KEY DP PERSONNEL

IMCA’S NEWLY REVISED AND UPDATED GUIDELINES FOR TRAINING DYNAMIC POSITIONING OPERATORS (DPOS) REFLECT THE MANY CHANGES THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT IN THE INDUSTRY IN THE LAST DECADE

L

ike some other key documents published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), M 117 tends to be better known by its number rather than its name – Guidelines for the Training and Experience of Key DP Personnel. It has become the recognised global industry standard for the training, competence and experience of those serving onboard DP vessels. M 117 was first published in January 1996 and in the period 2015/2016 was revised for the second time. IMO circular MSC:738, issued in June 1996, references IMCA M 117, and IMCA has informed IMO of this current revision so that it might also be accepted. As Richard Benzie, technical director at IMCA explained, the revision, published in September 2016, captures current industry practice and changes to the operating environment since the previous review in 2006. It clearly identifies and clarifies the roles of the key personnel required to safely and efficiently operate a DP vessel, including the introduction of a key DP position in the office. The guidelines stress that responsibility for training is with the vessel owner/operator. It also recognises that there are a number of DP training schemes available and various organisations that offer DPO certification. Previous versions of the guidelines recognised the importance of

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

continuous improvement; this version goes a stage further and provides a complete section on continuous professional development (CPD). IMCA M 117 Revision 2 considers that there are three departments to contemplate when identifying the key DP personnel required to operate a DP vessel – DP operator personnel, DP technical personnel and DP office-based personnel within the vessel-operating company. For many of the roles onboard a DP vessel such as master or chief engineer, the rank of the person fulfilling the role is obvious. However, over the years, there has been ambiguity with regard to the terms used to depict certain crew members’ rank and role onboard a DP vessel. The revised guidelines identify the role undertaken onboard and then provide specific requirements for the person fulfilling that role. For the first time, M 117 recognises the key role a person or persons in the vessel-operating company can take in providing training and experience in the operation of a DP vessel. Recognising

Richard Benzie: “revised guidance captures industry practice and changes to the operating environment since 2006”

this requirement is considered crucial in confirming the principle that it is the responsibility of the DP vessel owner to develop and implement procedures for the training and development of all key DP personnel. The guidelines explore several different forms of training for key DP personnel and stress that all training should be given by suitably qualified and experienced personnel. M 117 recognises that not everything can be taught in the classroom or simulator environment. These are essential elements of any training scheme, but the requirement for DP operational experience is recognised within the guidelines. Vessel owners are therefore advised to provide training for their senior DP personnel to enable them to deliver effective training and mentoring. Part of this onboard experience will be participating in DP operational and DP emergency drills, so one of the appendices provides practical guidance and suggestions for conducting DP emergency drills. A vessel’s safety management system requires all personnel joining any DP vessel to have a structured familiarisation procedure. An example of a DP vessel familiarisation checklist is included as an appendix. Structured training plans should be developed by companies to ensure that all personnel have the best preparation to respond efficiently and effectively to all anticipated normal, potentially abnormal and emergency DP operations. Personnel should ensure they maintain a record of their experience and training gained on DP vessels. Without regular professional assessment, a DPO (at all levels) does not know if they are performing well, and this therefore becomes a competence sustainment process through which to avoid skills fade (in DP activities to which a DPO is not routinely exposed). As with all IMCA documents, feedback is encouraged on M 117. Available solely online, the guidelines feature a feedback button to enable comments to be easily submitted. OSJ

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PEOPLE NEWS | 57

Morandi to lead technical board at Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering, the well known provider of marine warranty, dynamic positioning and engineering services to the offshore sector, has established a technical authority board to be led by Alberto Morandi, formerly head of Global Maritime Americas. The board will promote excellence throughout Global Maritime, ensuring consistent and high quality technical standards. Each board member, who will be nominated for a two-year term, will have specific knowledge in one of the following disciplines

Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering’s technical authority board will be led by Alberto Morandi

– marine operations, structural engineering, naval architecture, dynamic positioning assurance, marine systems, risk, insurance and mooring. Board members will also be responsible for defining the competency requirements for their specific disciplines and will be encouraged to become external industry experts through participation in expert panels, speaking engagements and the writing of technical papers. Mr Morandi has been at Global Maritime for over 17 years where he has held a

Interim CEO appointed at Viking Supply Ships Bengt A Rem has been appointed as interim CEO of Viking Supply Ships. The board has decided that Folke Patriksson will take over as chairman of the board for as long as Mr Rem is interim CEO. Mr Rem will continue as a board member. Mr Patriksson has significant experience in the shipping industry and is one of the founders of Viking Supply Ships and a

former managing director of the company. Mr Patriksson is currently deputy chairman of the board and has been a member of the board since 1972. Christian Berg recently announced that he would step down as CEO of Viking Supply Ships but will remain with the company and take on various projects within the group and act as an adviser to the board of directors.

Aberdeen Harbour Board completes restructuring process Aberdeen Harbour Board has completed the restructuring of its marine operations department with the internal appointment of a new harbour master and a marine manager. Captain Jeff Gaskin, formerly the harbour’s marine superintendent, has been appointed harbour master following the retirement of Captain Ray Shaw. Alexandra McIntosh has been appointed to the new role of marine manager. The position replaces that of assistant harbour master, which was held by Captain Danny Stroud prior to his retirement. Captain Gaskin has 26 years’ experience

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within the maritime sector. He started his career as a cadet with Louis Dreyfus Shipping in 1990 and enjoyed spells with both PNTL and Cunard before ending his sea-going career with Vector Offshore in Aberdeen. He was appointed as a marine pilot for Aberdeen Harbour Board in 2006 before being promoted to port marine superintendent two years ago. Ms McIntosh joined Aberdeen Harbour in 2013 as a vessel traffic officer, having previously spent almost four years as a marine pilot at Clydeport and eight years at Maersk Line.

number of senior positions in Houston, London and Rio de Janeiro. He has a PhD from the University of Glasgow in reliability of marine structures and an MSc in naval architecture from the University of São Paulo and is also a chartered engineer in the UK and a professional engineer in the state of Texas, contributing to technical committees and developing international standards and industry practices.

Grosland joins NAO Carl Fredrik Grosland is to join North American Offshore as a vice president, working on analyses, projects and business development. He has 12 years of international banking experience as an analyst and broker, focusing mainly on the energy/offshore and the shipping sectors. He has also played a key role in a number of major equity and debt transactions and for several years was a partner and board member at investment banking firm Pareto Securities. He was until recently a vice president at Clarksons Platou Securities head office in London.

New brokers at Seabrokers Seabrokers has announced the addition of two new brokers to its subsea team in Aberdeen. David Younie (ex-BP and Nexen) joins as the new manager of Seabrokers’ subsea and projects team, while Kevin Docherty (ex-Saipem and Ceona) joins as the company’s new subsea broker. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


58 | COMPANY NEWS

Tidewater gets more time but more work to be done

Tidewater has secured extensions to noncompliance waivers

US-based offshore support vessel operator Tidewater has received extensions of the limited waivers of covenant noncompliance until 21 October 2016. It has been in discussions with its principal lenders and noteholders to amend the company’s various debt arrangements with regard to certain covenant noncompliance, having previously received limited waivers from the necessary lenders and noteholders that waived the covenant noncompliance until 18 September 2016. “Consistent with disclosures included in the company’s recently filed Form 10-Q, the company believes the ongoing discussions with its lenders and noteholders have been constructive, and progress is being made towards resolving the principal open issues,” said Tidewater. “However, work remains to be done, and no assurance is given that the various parties will reach agreement on amendments to the various loan agreements and notes.”

Subsea 7, Det norske and Aker Solutions form development alliance Subsea 7, Det norske oljeselskap and Aker Solutions have formed a development alliance. The alliance combines Det norske’s exploration and production knowhow with Subsea 7’s capabilities in the engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning of subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (Surf) and Aker Solutions’ expertise in front-

end engineering, brownfield modifications and subsea systems. The companies said the alliance will enable the operator and suppliers to work as one integrated team to find the most cost-effective solutions for developing Det norske’s entire Norwegian subsea field portfolio. The companies will form an integrated project management team with

experts from each. This will enable continuity from one field development to another and facilitate a reuse of solutions and technology that will lower costs, reduce development time and promote safe and more efficient work methods amid a focus on continuous improvement. All parties share both risks and rewards. The alliance accord comes after Det norske in June announced a four-year framework agreement with Subsea 7 for Surf services and with Aker Solutions to provide subsea production systems and services for

the operator’s oil and gas developments in Norway. The scope of these framework contracts has a potential value of about NKr2.8 billion (US$345 million), of which approximately NKr2 billion (US$246 million) is Subsea 7’s share and NKr800 million (US$99 million) is Aker Solutions’ portion. Subsea 7’s chief executive officer Jean Cahuzac said, “This is an innovative way of collaborating with an operator and another supplier. Working together as one integrated team across developments will promote greater sharing of knowledge and best practices.”

Otto Marine gets paid and drops suit against Hoe Leong Corporation Referring to an earlier announcement relating to a winding-up application against Hoe Leong Corporation Ltd dated 18 August 2016, Otto Marine has announced that, on 9 September 2016, it received from Hoe Leong a cashier’s order for the outstanding

sum of US$0.92 million in furtherance to a statutory demand dated 16 June 2016 issued by the company. “Our solicitors have informed Hoe Leong’s solicitors that the company has accepted and cashed the said cashier’s order on the basis that it is an

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

admission by Hoe Leong of the debt owed,” said Otto Marine. The High Court of the Republic of Singapore was informed at the winding-up hearing on 13 September 2016 that full payment had been received by the company for the sum

demanded in the statutory demand. There was therefore no need for the company to proceed with the winding-up application. Hoe Leong was ordered by the High Court to pay the company costs plus disbursements for the winding-up application.

www.osjonline.com


COMPANY NEWS | 59

Seanamic Group acquires IMES Ltd Seanamic Group in the UK has acquired the business and trading assets of IMES Ltd, an inspection and monitoring engineering solutions company, headquartered in Aberdeen. Seanamic says bringing IMES Ltd within the group “marks a significant strengthening of the group’s ability to deliver products through to services in the surface-to-seabed space”. Formed in 2014, Seanamic provides integrated surface-toseabed systems to the oil and gas, marine renewables, diving, oceanographic, seismic and naval defence industries. It comprises Glasgow-based marine handling systems specialist Caley Ocean Systems and leading umbilicals and cable manufacturer Umbilicals International (UI), headquartered in Houston.

“The high quality inspection services and monitoring products offered by IMES Ltd are an excellent fit with our existing systems-focused businesses,” said Seanamic Group chief executive David Cooper. “As we operate in many of the same industry sectors, we see tremendous synergies with the range of IMES services and products. The acquisition by Seanamic provides IMES with the financial stability and access to future investment needed to ensure the long-term stability of the business. All aspects of the old IMES Ltd business have transferred to a new company, IMES International Ltd, providing a seamless transition and removing the risk to ongoing service delivery.”

GC Rieber Shipping hit by impairments GC Rieber Shipping says its results for the second quarter of 2016 were affected by a significant impairment of its fleet. “On the positive side, we are pleased recently to have been awarded several short-term contracts but nevertheless expect the current market situation in the offshore segments to remain challenging,” said the company’s chief executive Irene Waage Basili. The company recently secured charter contracts for two seismic vessels in addition to a contract for Polar Onyx with Technip Angola and Polar Queen with Senvion GmbH. GC Rieber Shipping had an operating income of NKr49.4 million (US$6.1 million) in the second quarter of 2016, compared to NKr240.8 million (US$29.7 million) in the second

quarter of 2015. EBITDA was negative by NKr22.5 million (US$2.8 million) in the second quarter, compared to a positive result, NKr141.7 million (US$17.5 million), in the corresponding period in 2015. Total fleet utilisation was 45 per cent, compared to 89 per cent in the second quarter of 2015. The group had a loss of NKr453.8 million (US$55.9 million) in the second quarter, compared with a profit of NKr103.4 million (US$12.7 million) in the corresponding period in 2015. The negative result in the second quarter of 2016 is mostly due to impairment of its fleet of NKr335.5 million (US$41.4 million) and low levels of activity in the subsea and marine seismic segments.

Oresund Drydocks plans expansion Oresund Drydocks in Sweden has opened up to the UK offshore support vessel repair and conversion market as it plans to expand its facilities. The shipyard near Landskrona has appointed L&R Midland (UK) Ltd as an agent to offer its facilities to UK-based vessel owners. The yard has already worked with Viking Supply Ships, Island Offshore, Solstad Offshore and DOF Group this year. This includes repairs to the 2000-built anchor handler Vidar Viking and 2011-built Island Centurion. “Oresund Drydocks is well positioned with links to technical and specialist

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services and critical subcontractors,” said L&R Midland executive director Jon Holloway. “It has done a number of specialist technical jobs on offshore vessels including dynamic positioning system conversions. It has a 195m drydock with two pits to overhaul azimuth thrusters and a 165m floating dock.” There are plans to expand the facilities by opening up a larger drydock in the future. Mr Holloway said there was interest from operators of subsea support vessels along the UK’s east coast, but no deals have yet been signed. Oresund Drydocks

Oresund Drydocks works on offshore support vessels at two of its three quays

has 800m of quayside and cranes that can lift up to 180 tonnes. The floating dock has a lifting capacity of 12,000 tonnes, two azimuth pits and two 15-tonne cranes. The 35m wide drydock has one crane with 50 tonnes lifting capacity and another with 20 tonnes.

The 260m Western Quay has two cranes, one with a lifting capacity of 130 tonnes and another of 90 tonnes, which combined can lift 180 tonnes. The Southern Quay is 260m and has a 130-tonne crane, while the Northern Quay is 115m, but has no crane. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


60 | ROV/AUV

Specialisation is the key in ROV market As Steve Robertson, a director at Douglas-Westwood, told delegates at the Offshore Dialogue conference at SMM in September, operating through the downturn has been a challenge for many companies specialising in remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). “We have seen distressed sales of units and expect more to come. Price pressure on the vessel contractors has reduced margins dramatically. Uptime of the vessel becomes highly critical – a few lost days of vessel availability means the difference between a small margin and a loss on the project,” he explained. Moray Melhuish of ROV specialists ROVOP made this point in his address at the Offshore Dialogue conference, highlighting the fact that ROV technology is moving forward rapidly and that a young fleet of units with modern, manufacturersupported equipment and controls is key to ensuring uptime. He told delegates that some of the technology drivers in the industry include the adoption of sonar and HD cameras and the ability to work in turbulent shallow water (to service the growing offshore wind market). Like many other areas of the offshore market, footprint on the vessel (or platform) is also critical, and development of electric tooling has the potential to reduce this

ROVOP’s business model has been to specialise in ROVs and their operation alone and on what the customer really needs

or allow the ROV to carry a greater payload. Mr Melhuish, who is business development director at ROVOP, told the conference that reliability as a percentage of dive time is a key performance indicator in the ROV sector. He explained that the majority of ROVs are owned by companies that own or charter vessels. “So is ROV service provision their priority?” he asked delegates. He noted that, in the offshore oil and gas sector, the major issue at the moment is cost savings. Maintenance budgets are also coming under pressure. The majority of work-class ROVs operating in the offshore oil and gas sector do so in relatively

deep water, but as highlighted above, in contrast, those in the offshore renewables sector usually have to work in quite different conditions in shallow water, where currents are an issue too. Overall, he explained, there is an ever-greater focus on increased reliability and competence, and vessel-based applications are declining in favour of platform-based service. There is a growing use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and increased demand for ROVs for inspection, maintenance and repair work in the oil and gas and renewables sector. The development of electric technology is helping to reduce the size and weight of ROV systems (and therefore vessel size), and internal technical support and training is more important than ever. ROVOP’s business model has been to specialise in ROVs and their operation alone and focus on the above-mentioned trends and what the customer really needs. Its strategy must be working, because even in the mother of all depressed markets, it is increasing its workforce in Houston and recently secured more than US$4 million in contract wins spanning the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Europe. It seems that, in the ROV market at least, specialisation really is the key to success and really can help drive down costs.

Osbit supplies customdesigned AUV systems Osbit has delivered two bespoke subsystems for an AUV operated by subsea and seabed intervention company Modus. Osbit designed and manufactured a floating launch dock and a sea ‘garage’ to meet Modus’s launch and recovery requirements for its Saab Sabertooth hybrid AUV, a lightweight underwater platform used for survey, inspection and other light intervention tasks. Osbit’s floating launch dock, which is suitable for use when the AUV is both tethered and untethered, enables the operator to deploy the vehicle and also return it to the deck of the ship. The dock is submerged in the sea as the AUV leaves and returns and partially fills with air to allow collection from the water surface. The subsea parking garage provides a safe haven for the AUV when not operational and allows the operator to deploy the AUV at a specific location without having to maintain a presence there. When it has completed its automated tasks, the AUV returns to the garage and safely awaits recovery at a time convenient for the operator.

New company secures first contract An independent company focused on underwater integrity, ROVs, surveying and subsea services for the offshore oil and gas and renewables market, Rovco has secured a contract with a UK marine trust. The company is also about

to embark on its second underwater survey project in partnership with a southwest diving company. Led by chief executive and founder Brian Allen, Rovco will offer a high quality, cost-effective solution for underwater

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

hydrographic survey and inspection services using high resolution state-ofthe-art 4K cameras and 360 degree scanning sonars. With over 15 years’ experience in the subsea industry, Mr Allen previously managed multiple ROV

systems on construction, inspection and lay vessels as a superintendent for DeepOcean. With a fleet of 10 ROVs, Rovco has the resources required to provide inshore/offshore services and inspections anywhere in the world. OSJ

www.osjonline.com


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SAFETY ALERTS | 63

‘STOP THE JOB’; FALL ONBOARD; NEAR MISS Compiled using information provided by the Marine Safety Forum, www.marinesafetyforum.org ‘STOP THE JOB’

A platform supply vessel (PSV) was working alongside an offshore installation carrying out cargo operations, which included the discharge of a small cargo basket. After unhooking the previous backloaded cargo carrying unit, the ABs ‘walked the crane’ approximately 15m and hooked on a cargo basket, then left the area and the crane began to take the strain. As the slack was being taken up, the lifting bridle caught under the lid of the basket. Fortunately, the crane driver noticed the lifting bridle snagging and lowered the load. Unfortunately, both ABs had walked away from the basket in different directions, neither observing the basket being lifted, and so neither was aware that the lifting bridle had snagged nor could they see each other to highlight the problem. After a short time, both ABs made their way back to the basket and cleared the lifting bridle. They then stood clear in a safe haven nearby while the crane took up the slack, but once again, the lifting bridle caught on the lid, this time buckling the lid and exposing the cargo inside. All of the personnel involved (on the vessel and on the installation) were experienced in PSV operations. The ABs on the vessel routinely carried radios to maintain contact with the bridge and crane. All were reported as fully operational although they did not routinely talk to the crane driver during every lift. As the incident progressed, there was minimal communication between the crane operator and the ABs regarding what problems were being encountered and how they would proceed. The operation and difficulties encountered were witnessed by at least three individual parties (the ABs on deck, the bridge team and the installation), but no-one stopped the job. The vessel has since undertaken a full review of their cargohandling procedures including: • a time out for safety meeting to discuss the incident • a review of their cargo operations procedures and risk assessment • a review of cargo operations toolbox talks to include items such as enforcing ‘stop the job’, working together as a team, good communications with the installation and avoiding ‘walking the crane’. The Guidelines for Offshore Marine Operations (G-OMO) document provides further information and guidance on the above subject (see section 6 Operational communications and meetings and section 9 Logistics and cargo handling operations). www.g-omo.info Also see Best Practice for the Safe Packing and Handling of Cargo to and from Offshore Locations (Issue 6), in particular,

www.osjonline.com

section 9 Carriage of goods by sea, para 10 Snagging hazards, which gives further information on cargo snagging. www.onshoreoffshorecargo.com

FALL INTO MANHOLE ON PSV

During vessel loading, the shoreside foreman walked into the safe haven area of the vessel and stepped into an open manhole. He managed to catch himself and prevent a freefall of 5m into the tank. However, he suffered a laceration on his shin requiring three stitches and some bruising on his forearm. The incident happened because of a lack of barriers and open manholes. Several different activities were ongoing at the same time. Activity was not co-ordinated. Among the corrective actions taken/recommendations were that: • manholes should be covered with gratings during work • work between parties in the same area should be co-ordinated through a toolbox talk.

NEAR MISS DURING PREPARATION TO LOAD ANCHOR CHAIN

During preparation to load anchor chain into a moonpool locker, a person almost fell into the chain locker. The hatch cover had been temporarily removed prior to the installation of the chain guide. The hatch had an opening of 155cm x 85cm. The depth of the locker was approximately 10m, and there was 1–1.5m of water on the bottom of it. The person fell backwards, with the upper part of his body towards the opening of the hatch. He managed to turn slightly over to his right side and grab onto the edge around the hatch opening with both hands. His ankles and the lower part of his feet were also above the edge of the hatch opening. He managed to get his right elbow over the edge. He shouted for help twice before getting the attention of his colleagues. This near miss occurred for several reasons including: • the hatch was left open without a barrier • the opening of the hatch was not sufficiently communicated • work was not risk assessed and sufficiently planned, based on the risks involved. Among the corrective actions taken/recommendations were that: • the hatch should not have been left open without a barrier • the opening of the hatch should have been sufficiently communicated • the work on deck should have been planned based on an assessment of the risks involved. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


64 | MARKET DATA

Statistics & trends Compiled using data and graphs provided by Seabrokers’ monthly market report Seabreeze

NORTH SEA DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS

NORTH SEA AVERAGE RATES: AUGUST 2016

ARRIVALS: Vessels that have recently arrived or are due to arrive on the North Sea spot market: AH Varazze

Ex Mediterranean

NORTH SEA SPOT AVERAGE UTILISATION: AUGUST 2016 MONTH

MED LARGE PSV PSV

CATEGORY

AVERAGE RATE AUG 2016

AVERAGE RATE AUG 2015

% CHANGE

supply duties PSVs <900m2

£4,533

£3,752

21%

supply duties PSVs >900m2

£5,543

£5,126

8%

supply duties AHTS <18,000 bhp

£12,278

£8,156

51%

supply duties AHTS >18,000 bhp

£18,230

£12,176

50%

NORTH SEA AVERAGE RATES: AUGUST 2016

MED AHTS

LARGE AHTS

Aug 2016

68%

85%

68%

71%

Jul 2016

73%

87%

64%

79%

Jun 2016

80%

96%

66%

76%

May 2016

81%

86%

46%

56%

Apr 2016

83%

81%

37%

53%

Mar 2016

70%

67%

42%

62%

CATEGORY

MINIMUM

MAXIMUM

supply duties PSVs <900m2

£2,750

£7,361

supply duties PSVs >900m2

£2,500

£9,202

supply duties AHTS <18,000 bhp

£7,275

£20,000

supply duties AHTS >18,000 bhp

£10,000

£50,000

OSVs RECENTLY DELIVERED VESSEL Grampian Freedom POSH Antares Seaways 24 Starnav Volans VOS Passion

DESIGN

OWNER/MANAGER

COMMITMENT

IMT 958 ERRV

North Star Shipping

North Sea TBC

6,600 BHP AHT

POSH Semco

Rampage 5500 ZM AHT

Seaways International

TBC

GPA 688 SC PSV

Starnav Servicos

South America

Ulstein PX 121PSV

Vroon Offshore

TBC

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

www.osjonline.com


MARKET DATA | 65

LEFT: Availability of anchor handlers has increased in recent months

DAILY AVAILABILITY: AUGUST 2016 PSV 2016

PSV 2015

AHTS 2016

AHTS 2015

BELOW LEFT: The oil price remained in the US$50/barrel price range into October 2016

34 32 30 28 26 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

1

2

3 4 5 6

7

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

OIL PRICE VERSUS RIG UTILISATION $85

100%

$75 90%

85.7% 85.0% 85.1% 84.6% 84.0% 83.2% 83.1% 82.3%

$70 78.6%

80%

81.9%

79.6%

70%

76.9% 75.4% 75.9%

77.1%

60% $46.99 $47.23

$48.12

$47.13

$44.42 47.9%

40%

$42.25

45.5% 46.9% 44.5% 44.4% $37.72

30%

$65 $60

74.2% 72.9% 69.2% 68.2% 68.0%

50%

75.1% 74.3% 74.9%

42.5%

$55 66.3% 64.6% $48.48

60.5% $47.21

$45.07

$50 $45 $40

$39.07

$35

$30.80 39.2% 39.1% 39.9% 38.2% $33.20

37.2% 36.8% 36.6%

$30 $25

Aug 15 Sep 15 Oct 15 Nov 15 Dec 15 Jan 16 Feb 16 Mar 16 Apr 16 May 16 Jun 16 Jul 16 Aug 16 average Brent Crude US$/Bbl South America rig utilisation

Northwest Europe rig utilisation US Gulf rig utilisation

EUROPEAN BUILT SUBSEA DELIVERIES (NEXT THREE MONTHS) SHIPOWNER

NAME

CHARTERER

SHIPYARD

TYPE

DESIGN

MONTH

Solstad

Normand Maximus

Saipem

Bard Brattvaag

Derrick Pipelay

Vard 319

September

Technip

Deep Explorer

-

Vard Langsten

DSV

Vard 3 06

September

Technip

Skandi Buzios

Petrobras

Vard Soevikness

Pipelay

Vard 3 05

September

Seven Sun

Petrobras

Merwede

Pipelay

550

October

Subsea 7

www.osjonline.com

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016


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MARKET DATA | 67

Offshore vessel values August-September 2016 Monthly percentage change in value for offshore support vessels built between 2001 and 2016 for the months of August–September 2016

PSVs

AHTS

ER Kristiansand (3,400 dwt, built 2005, Kleven Verft), ER Arendal and ER Bergen (3,500 dwt, built 2006, Kleven Verft) were sold at US$2.5 million each by ER Offshore to PSV Opportunity.

The vessels Siem Amethyst, Siem Aquamarine, Siem Diamond, Siem Emerald, Siem Garnet, Siem Opal, Siem Pearl, Siem Ruby, Siem Sapphire and Siem Topaz were acquired by the Siem AHTS Pool from Siem Offshore for an undisclosed price.

There were a total of six platform supply vessels (PSVs) sold in the period August–September 2016.

Maersk Finder (4,600 dwt, built 1994, Ulstein Verft) and Maersk Forwarder (4,600 dwt, built 1992, Ulstein Verft) were sold for an undisclosed price by Maersk Supply Service to Karadeniz Holding. They will be modified and removed from the offshore market. Viking Nereus (3,600 dwt, built 2004, Vard Aukra) was sold by Eidesvik Invest to an undisclosed buyer. Delivery of the vessel will occur in the final quarter of this year, subject to acceptance of the technical condition of the vessel from the buyer.

Anchor-handling tug/supply (AHTS) vessel sales included a large debt-restructuring move by Siem Offshore.

Maersk Puncher (14,280 bhp, built 1992, Vard Søviknes) and Maersk Provider (14,280 bhp, built 1991, Vard Søviknes) were sold for an undisclosed price to Karadeniz Holding. The vessels will be modified and removed from the offshore market. Farstad Shipping sold Lady Sandra (15,014 bhp, built 1998, Kleven Verft) for an undisclosed price.

Siem Offshore recently sold several anchor handlers to the Siem AHTS Pool


68 | MARKET DATA

OFFSHORE VALUES: AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2016 BUILT

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

LARGE PSV

MEDIUM PSV

SMALL PSV

SUPER AHTS

MEDIUM AHTS

SMALL AHTS

-2.40%

-2.40%

-2.40%

-0.90%

-2.70%

-2.70%

5.2k

3.6k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

-2.90%

-2.80%

-2.90%

-1.10%

-3.60%

-3.50%

4.8k

3.6k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

-2.80%

-2.90%

-3.00%

-1.20%

-3.50%

-3.60%

4.8k

3.4k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

-3.00%

-3.00%

-3.10%

-1.20%

-3.60%

-3.70%

4.8k

3.3k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

-3.00%

-2.90%

-3.20%

-1.30%

-3.70%

-3.60%

4.8k

3.3k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

-3.00%

-2.90%

-2.80%

-1.40%

-3.70%

-3.50%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.2k

-3.00%

-2.90%

-3.30%

-1.50%

-3.60%

-3.70%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

-3.00%

-3.10%

-3.20%

-1.50%

-3.30%

-3.80%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

-2.90%

-3.00%

-3.10%

-1.00%

-4.00%

-3.90%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

-3.20%

-2.90%

-2.90%

-1.80%

-3.20%

-3.80%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

-3.10%

-3.30%

-3.30%

-1.90%

-3.90%

-4.60%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

-2.90%

-3.40%

-2.90%

-2.10%

-3.60%

-2.80%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5k

-3.40%

-2.80%

-3.60%

-2.10%

-4.30%

-3.40%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5k

-3.10%

-3.30%

-3.40%

-2.20%

-3.40%

-4.20%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5k

-3.10%

-3.00%

-2.00%

N/A

-2.10%

-2.50%

4.7k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5k

-3.00%

-3.50%

-2.30%

N/A

-4.90%

-2.90%

4.7k

3.3k

1.6k

19k

8k

5k

OSV values have continued to soften this month, with consistent reductions across the board.

Offshore Support Journal | November 2016

www.osjonline.com


VROON OFFSHORE SERVICES CONNECTING MARKETS

VROON OFFSHORE SERVICES provides a diverse range of services and solutions for key offshore-support needs, including platform supply, emergency response and rescue, anchor handling, walk to work and subsea support. With a versatile fleet of more than 100 vessels and 2,500 skilled and dedicated colleagues, we are committed to providing safe, reliable and cost-effective services. We have the fleet to meet your needs, the people to deliver and the determination to succeed.

ABERDEEN | DEN HELDER | GENOA | SINGAPORE

Find us on:

WWW. VROONOFFSHORE.COM


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Offshore Support Journal November 2016  

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

Offshore Support Journal November 2016  

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