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September 2017 www.osjonline.com

North Sea recovering

but more rigs and ships need to go

Lifting platform joins growing ranks of offshore access offerings Fibre rope has numerous advantages but greater standardisation needed

“Vessels colliding with a platform have long been considered a major risk for offshore oil and gas installations and better training can help to avoid it� Michael Cowlam, technical director, Seacroft Marine Consultants, see page 19


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contents

September 2017 volume 20 issue 7

05 15

Regulars 5 COMMENT 32 IMCA NEWS 35 BEST OF THE WEB

News focus 6 Mozambique is emerging as a potential sweet spot for OSV owners 8 Hybrid battery propulsion is being specified by charterers such as Statoil

23

Area report 11 West Africa: expectations that the market had begun to recover came to nought mid-year

Offshore access/walk-to-work 15 The latest addition to the growing range of offshore access systems is not a gangway but a lifting platform

26

Simulation & training 19 An Aberdeen, UK-based maritime specialist has launched a 500m zone management training course 20 The Underwater Centre is winning business from an increasingly diverse client base

Lifting & handling 23 Fibre rope is steadily displacing steel wire but there is a need for greater standardisation, harmonised testing and certification

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Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


contents Well intervention vessels 26 Whether a rig or a vessel is used, could well intervention do more to maximise economic recovery, asks Andrew Paterson, managing partner, OFS Partners

Innovations 31 OSVfinder offers charterers and owners the ability to connect directly and reduce costs in the process

Market data 36 Statistics 39 VesselsValue

September 2017 volume 20 issue 7 Editor: David Foxwell t: +44 1252 717 898 e: david.foxwell@rivieramm.com Deputy Editor: Martyn Wingrove t: +44 20 8370 1736 e: martyn.wingrove@rivieramm.com Brand Manager – Sales: Ian Glen t: +44 7919 263 737 e: ian.glen@rivieramm.com 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: Kym Tan t: +65 9456 3165 e: kym.tan@rivieramm.com

Next issue Designs and deliveries: this issue will feature the most notable vessels that have been delivered or ordered during the last 12 months

Front cover photo: Cygnus Bravo, the satellite wellhead platform in the Southern North Sea’s Cygnus development, attended by an ENSCO jack-up unit and PSV (photo: ENGIE E&P)

Sales – Asia & Middle East: Rigzin Angdu t: +65 6809 3198 e: rigzin.angdu@rivieramm.com Sales – Southeast Asia & Australasia: Kaara Barbour t: +61 414 436 808 e: kaara.barbour@rivieramm.com 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

31

Chairman: John Labdon Managing Director: Steve Labdon Finance Director: Cathy Labdon Operations Director: Graham Harman Head of Content: Edwin Lampert Executive Editor: Paul Gunton Head of Production: Hamish Dickie 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 and Offshore Support Journal Industry Leaders • access the latest issue content via your digital device • access to www.osjonline.com and its searchable archive. Subscribe online: www.osjonline.com

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

ISSN 1463-581X (Print) ISSN 2051-0594 (Online) ©2017 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 | 7

VESSELS EXITING LAYUP AS NORTH SEA MARKET IMPROVES

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P confirmed in late July that it had returned to profit in Q2, helped by firmer oil prices and what chief executive Bob Dudley said would be a “tight focus on costs, efficiency and discipline in capital spending.” That the oil companies have begun to make money at US$50 oil was one bit of good news. Another is that conventional oil and gas producers are approving new projects at the fastest rate since the oil price crash three years ago and are “fighting back” against competition from shale and low crude prices. A third piece of good news is that offshore vessel owner Tidewater has exited bankruptcy proceedings. Another leading player in the market, GulfMark, is said to be close behind, and fourthly, over the summer, a number of leading OSV owners have restructured. According to a recent Wood Mackenzie report, A big year for FIDs: 2017 marks a turning point, the number of upstream projects reaching final investment decision (FID) in 2017 could double to 25 compared to only 12 last year. In the first half of the year, the industry has witnessed 15 project sanctions, which equates to about 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bn boe) of reserves, mostly in brownfield projects. This is almost comparable to project

sanctions in the whole of 2016, which saw 12 FIDs and 8.8bn boe of reserves approved. “These are positive signs that the upstream industry is continuing on the road to recovery and that the more competitive conventional projects are moving down the cost curve sufficiently to attract new investment,” said the analyst. So much for the good news. The oil companies’ relentless focus on cost cutting has put them in a position to make money at US$50 oil, but there is still a hell of a lot of work to be done in the supply chain, as analysis by Rystad Energy and VesselsValue suggests. After an all-time high level, with 409 rigs contracted in 2014, demand for jack-ups plunged 25% to 308 units in 2016. With 100 newbuilds either completed and not delivered or yet to be completed with delivery scheduled during the next few years and only 63 units so far retired, the jack-up market remains oversupplied, resulting in low utilisation and depressed rates. Although contracting activity appears to be on an upswing, only a small number of contracts are long-term deals. For the market to improve, the duration of contracts needs to improve. Otherwise, jack-up contractors could find themselves on a short-term contract treadmill. For the oversupply situation to begin to correct itself, a minimum of 110 more jack-ups must

be retired, Rystad believes. As in the jack-up market, overcapacity is still the spectre at the feast in the OSV market. Using VesselsValue’s offshore mapping service VV@, the company’s senior offshore analyst Charlie Hockless has put together a snapshot showing the percentage of the offshore vessel fleet currently laid up. Across all offshore types, 28% of the fleet is currently laid up, with platform supply vessels topping the table with 36% of the fleet currently laid up. Here then, as elsewhere in the supply chain, there is much work to be done, and it is important that, as the market improves, too many vessels are not brought out of layup and back into service too quickly, which would depress rates. For its part, Westshore, the well known broker, says vessels are coming out of layup faster than you might imagine and that, one by one, work is being found in the North Sea and other parts of the world. However, some owners are choosing to take the vessels out speculatively, which might not be such a great idea. Westshore says that, compared to January/February 2017, when there were more than 150 platform supply vessels and anchor handlers laid up in the North Sea, that number is now around 108 – a near 30% reduction. OSJ

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Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


6 | NEWS FOCUS

INVESTING IN LOCAL CONTENT IN MOZAMBIQUE COULD PAY DIVIDENDS LATER The East African country of Mozambique has been in the press often in the last five years as large gas reserves have been discovered offshore – reserves that could provide much-needed opportunities for owners of offshore vessels by Philip Woodcock*

LEFT: Vroon Offshore is one of a few companies to have established a presence in Mozambique – more could follow but will need to train Mozambicans

I

n 2012, Mozambique became a household name in the offshore industry when a country whose GDP is ranked 124th in the world by the CIA World Factbook was found to have the 14th largest proven gas reserves. The opportunities for the offshore industry and the country seemed boundless, at least until the global oil crash came and oil majors Eni and Anadarko applied the brakes on E&P spending. As a final investment decision (FID) has yet to be reached, this puts pressure on both the government who were relying on the tax revenues and suppliers looking to make investments.** One thing what will be certain is that Mozambique will be a positive place for operators of offshore support vessels to work, although it is uncertain when that will occur. As Block 4, the Coral Field, is a deepwater exploration, development and production will require the support of the worldwide fleet of large anchor handlers, platform supply vessels and subsea construction and support vessels. Onshore development of terminals, reliquefaction plants and general infrastructure will be tug and barge based, providing opportunities for West African, Asian and Middle Eastern operators of smaller equipment. Despite having a long coastline and its ports of Maputo, Beira and Pemba providing access to its many interior neighbours, Mozambique does not have a large merchant navy or a deep pool of maritime professionals. According to the World Factbook, 81% of the population is employed in the agriculture industry, so there are huge challenges for Mozambique to capitalise on the gas industry by enforcing local content requirements. Operators of offshore support vessels have seen the dramatic opex inflation that can occur when strict local content rules are applied in a market where insufficient investment has been made. Mozambique currently has only one STCW training institution certified by the government body INAMAR – ROTC Pemba Bay. This institution is a joint venture between local Mozambique investors, STC BV, the large Dutch maritime training provider, and companies in the offshore and port infrastructure industries, with the objective of being able to provide internationally accepted training

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

standards within the East African market. Célia André, general manager of ROTC Pemba, said market conditions are very challenging with delays in investment decisions in the gas industry resulting in ROTC expanding into onshore industrial training. Ms André expressed frustration that international companies are looking to external training providers rather than looking at opportunities within Mozambique to use a local training company to train local workers. “It’s like they don’t know we exist,” Ms André said. “We have a new fire-fighting training module delivered to add to our wide range of courses, but companies are using training companies from their home markets.” Ms André further explained that training outside the country for internal projects may not be the best option. “Mozambican authorities often do not recognise certificates of competency issued by entities that are not locally accredited, not to mention the high costs that training outside the country adds to the projects,” she said. The Mozambique workforce is caught in a Catch 22 situation with the delay in tax revenues restricting the government’s ability to sponsor training and the oil companies not yet investing in developing local content. This could result in two negative scenarios for operators of offshore support vessels as the market develops: very high opex as operators fight over the few locals who are trained or a reduction in offshore safety as untrained personnel are rushed in to fill vacancies. Companies serious about operating in Mozambique waters will be well advised to start training locals and using them in their fleets in order to be ahead of the market if local content rules are enforced. OSJ *Philip Woodcock, general manager, Workships Contractors BV **A final investment decision for the Coral FLNG project was taken in late May and announced early in June 2017. ENI has signed a US$8Bn deal to develop the Coral South field, giving a green light to the longawaited, 3.4 million tonnes a year floating LNG project

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8 | NEWS FOCUS

Battery power enhances OSV efficiency and environmental profile Hybrid propulsion that combines electric drives, diesel generators and batteries can make offshore vessels more fuel efficient, reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and enhancing the level of redundancy onboard

Havila Charisma is one of a number of vessels fixed by Statoil that will be upgraded with batteries

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ecent weeks have seen Statoil fix term charters for several offshore vessels that will be upgraded with hybrid battery propulsion as a condition of the contract. All of the vessels in question will be equipped with hybrid battery operation, with the possibility for shore power connection. This will allow them to reduce fuel consumption while working in dynamic posi­tioning mode. Four vessels were awarded five-year firm contracts with five further one-year options: Sjoborg (Skansi Offshore), Far

Searcher (Solstad Farstad), and Skandi Flora and Skandi Mongstad (DOF). Three vessels were awarded threeyear firm contracts with three further one-year options: Juanita (Ugland); and Havila Charisma and Foresight (Havila Shipping). As highlighted by our sister journal Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery, batteries in a hybrid arrangement benefit vessels in a number of ways. The overall powergeneration requirement can be downsized by removing a genset, while other gensets can be loaded in their

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

optimum working range. Also, batteries smooth the load by compensating for peaks and troughs, as well as enhancing safety and reliability by providing back-up in the event of blackouts. The increased adoption of hybrid propulsion systems relies on developments in battery technology, namely the ability to offer evergreater energy density, power and performance while maintaining safety. As things stand, lithiumion (Li-ion) technology leads the way. Lithium-ion is in fact a generic term: there

are multiple chemistries underneath, with the chemistry being appropriate for a different application. In the case of hybrid propulsion, the choice of battery technology is critically important. Saft has become known for its Li-ion Super-Phosphate (SLFP) batteries. Jayesh Vir, Saft key account manager for the marine segment, said: “As a Li-ion technology, SLFP has the advantages of high efficiency, long calendar and cycling life, fast-charge capability and high power output. It is also modular, meaning that a battery system can be tailored to closely match the customer’s power and voltage requirements.” Saft’s Seanergy Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are based on SLFP technology and are intended to provide maintenance-free energy storage in a reduced volume, combining high operational reliability over thousands of cycles with outstanding energy efficiency “Compared with other Li-ion chemistries,” says Mr Vir, “SLFP technology is particularly well suited to civil marine applications as it delivers reliable performance over a wide temperature range, has high tolerance to electrical and mechanical abuse, and has a high inherent level of safety.” SLFP cells are incorporated

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NEWS FOCUS | 9

in a number of high-profile applications. They are present in the two specialised Seanergy battery systems that Rolls-Royce Marine is integrating in the hybrid propulsion systems for the polar research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough. The new vessel, one of the most advanced ever, has been commissioned by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council for operation by the British Antarctic Survey. The diesel electric propulsion system will be powered by new Bergen B33:45 engines that will operate in combination with the two Li-ion batteries. Fully integrated into the vessel’s control and automation system, the batteries provide a combined 1,450kWh capacity with a maximum voltage of 1,011V. They will help deliver the peak power required by the vessel, such as when operating in a dynamic positioning mode, and have been sized to enable the vessel to be self-sufficient in fuel during voyages of up to 19,000 nautical miles. The Li-ion batteries will also help to push the vessel through ice up to 1m thick, while towing equipment over the side, with extremely low underwater radiated noise, avoiding disturbing marine mammals and fish shoals or interfering with survey equipment. On a rather different scale, Saft SLFP batteries will form part of an innovative propulsion system for Project Zoza, the working name for the mega yacht under construction by Benetti in Livorno, Italy. As one of the largest and most advanced private hybrid luxury yachts in the world, Project Zoza will feature six main engines and an electrical power plant including two battery systems with a total capacity of 3MWh. The batteries will enable silent propulsion, as well as peak shaving and zero emission

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operation in harbour. Project Zoza is one of the first yachts in the world with this capability. A more recent entrant to this market is Corvus Energy’s Orca ESS. Introduced in June last year, the Orca also uses lithiumion technology in its batteries. In fact, Orca uses cells with an extremely high energy density, producing 1.6MWh. Orca offers a number of safety-orientated innovations, including thermal runaway protection. This problem can generally be prevented, of course, by selecting a highquality cell manufacturer and designing the battery system with a sophisticated battery monitoring system, hardware safeties, and good integration with the energy management system. In the highly unlikely event that a cell fails and its temperature spikes, it is important that adjacent cells do not also experience thermal runaway. Speaking at Nor-Shipping, Geoff Crocker, director of product management and technical sales at Corvus Energy, said: “The Orca energy storage system design achieves true cell-level thermal runaway isolation, meaning that adjacent cells stay cool without the need for expensive active cooling. Further, the Orca ESS module is designed with internal ventilation pathways to vent gases generated by thermal runaway, and prevent gas from entering

“The Orca energy storage system design achieves true cell-level thermal runaway isolation”

the battery room.” Orca ESS passed the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) thermal runaway propagation Test 1. The NMA requires tests to verify that when safety systems are deliberately defeated and thermal runaway of a battery module is induced by overcharging, the thermal runaway is limited to a single module and does not spread to other modules in the battery pack. Mr Crocker said: “Corvus demonstrated that Orca was designed with a higher level of fault tolerance by eliminating the possibility of thermal runaway spreading to neighbouring cells within a single module.” Thermal management is another area where the system succeeds. “The Orca ESS design is optimised for heat-shedding to maintain a uniform temperature across the cell,” said Mr Crocker. “This enables the cell to operate at its maximum capability. The design incorporates integrated rack fans and active temperature monitoring between cells, which improves reliability and reduces maintenance costs in the long run,” he explained. Improved thermal management also means that, typically, air-cooling is all that is required to satisfy marine demands, and less battery room infrastructure is needed—both of which reduce system costs. For electrical safety, the design of the Orca ESS module-and-rack leaves no exposed cables for increased safety during installation and operation. Even the optional air- or liquid-cooling systems are integrated into the rack, resulting in actively cooled connections. Fewer connections, a shorter conductive path, and cooled connections lead to higher reliability and performance, in addition to improving safety.

Mr Crocker concluded: “Some of the design features—in particular those for thermal management and electrical safety—also result in overall system cost-savings due to faster installation, and lower expenditures on the battery room and fire extinguishing system.” Vancouver, BC-based Plan B Energy Storage (PBES) recently opened a manufacturing facility in Norway and appointed Arnstein Andreassen to develop its marine energy storage markets. The company says it took a “blank sheet” approach to designing a marine battery and has designed a brand new battery with a particular emphasis on safe operation. “We have been validated and audited by and are currently a supplier to Siemens, ABB, Wärtsilä, GE and Norwegian Electric Systems,” Grant Brown, vice president brand and marketing at PBES, told OSJ in an interview last year. “We have a number of innovations that are related to performance and safety that we believe make our system the only one in the world able to stop thermal runaway from occurring after it has already started,” although as highlighted above, other suppliers have recently brought new solutions to market too. The solutions that the company has developed are known as CoolCell and Thermal-Stop. These thermal runaway protection systems reduce the explosion risk and risk of cascading thermal runaway in batteries that are overcharged or overheated. Another new concept, E-Vent, provides gas extraction from the battery space, allowing any flammable or explosive gases produced by a battery failure to be removed and dispersed safely. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


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West Africa AREA REPORT | 11

WEST AFRICAN MARKET IN DOUBLE DIP AS MOMENTUM STALLS EXPECTATIONS THAT THE WEST AFRICAN MARKET HAD BEGUN TO RECOVER CAME TO NOUGHT MID-YEAR AS THE NUMBER OF RIGS WORKING IN THE REGION BEGAN TO FALL AGAIN, BUT SOME COMPANIES STILL SEE OPPORTUNITIES THERE

B

roker Chart Shipping said that, after five months of continuous increase in the number of rigs working in Africa, it began to look like the market might be starting its long awaited, if fragile, recovery. The working rig count rose from 17 units in December 2016 up to 24 rigs in May. “However, the rally was largely driven by a number of oil independents’ short programmes, while the oil majors have been staying out of the water. Sadly, the momentum has now flagged, and the working rig count fell to 22 units in June.” With precious few new campaigns slated for the remainder of 2017, the broker believes that the market is destined for a double dip. In fact, the effects of the decline in momentum are already apparent. Chart Shipping said that, although spot rates for mid-sized platform supply vessels (PSVs) may have held up, they are an anomaly, with rates for all other classes of offshore support vessels falling in most cases back to Q4 2016/Q1 2017 levels. At the same time, average monthly availability for all classes of vessels trended upwards, with the exception of large anchor-handling tug/supply (AHTS) vessels. Small AHTS vessels had the biggest increase – five units. “Sentiment among owners is rock bottom and term rates, already hovering at unsustainable levels for most, declining further in Q2,” Chart Shipping said. “This is bleak news for owners and charterers alike. With no prospect of reprieve, for owners, the trend to lay up will continue, ultimately reducing elasticity in the market and eventually killing the regional spot market. This in turn will necessitate periodic requirements having to be filled by dedicated vessels. It is therefore clear that we are at the

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DeepOcean says acquiring Searov will allow it to expand its operations from Ghana into countries such as the Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire

bottom in terms of rates.” Peter Döring, a broker at Mercers Offshore, estimates there are approximately 50 vessels in layup in West Africa. In the warm waters there, hull fouling is going to be a major problem when it comes to reactivation. Mr Döring cited an example of a

requirement for three PSVs to support drilling work. He said he was inundated with vessels, some of which were in warm layup, others not. The status of some vessels being bid for the contract was unclear. If a vessel has worked recently, it stands a much greater chance of picking up a

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


12 | AREA REPORT West Africa

fixture, but a lot of owners have turned off the lights and walked away. Mr Döring says some owners have “given up.” Vessels known to be in the region have their beacons turned off and cannot be found on AIS. He says a two-tier market has developed in which a number of vessels that are trading regularly are available at short notice with many others that have not worked recently unlikely to pick up work. There is no sign of improvement yet, he says. It’s a desperate situation for owners, but he suggests that, when the market eventually picks up, rates for offshore vessels in the region could skyrocket. By the time the recovery comes, fewer and fewer vessels will be active and available, an effect likely to be compounded by the fact that there are only two drydocks in the region that can handle vessels that need to be reactivated. Although the market offshore West Africa may be in the doldrums, some parties evidently still see potential in it, among them ABIS Holdings Energy Services Ltd, which has signed an agency agreement to support the development and operation of an offshore supply base serving West Africa on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, and DeepOcean, which recently acquired West African remotely operated vehicle (ROV) specialist Searov. The UK-based energy services provider will act as the agent for Gran Canaria Subsea and Offshore Base (GCSB), an organisation that operates in the Port of Arinaga, in attracting and negotiating with clients looking to use the port. The facility is described as an ideal location for operators requiring port facilities ahead of work in West Africa and across the mid-Atlantic Ocean. It is inside the Canary Islands Special Zone, is tariff free and incorporates corporate tax levels of just 4%. The site includes 20 acres of laydown and storage facilities. The base will offer a suite of services to support the marine industry with repairs, refurbishments and general maintenance while also being in the centre of Atlantic activity, making it opportune for project mobilisation. Francis Kiernan, chief executive officer of ABIS Energy, said “The base provides all the benefits of political stability within the EU and is easily accessible for businesses serving all areas of West Africa, from Luanda to Morocco. Full laydown and storage facilities are accompanied by full technical and project support services with a high-quality trained and certified local workforce.”

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

ABIS Holdings Energy Services Ltd has signed an agency agreement to support development of an offshore supply base serving West Africa

make the most of its management expertise and draws on the extensive experience and knowledge held within the business. The base offers all the facilities businesses would expect to find at a successful port and provides options for safe storage.” Searov, which was established in 2008, is a provider of ROV services with a strong focus on West Africa. The company owns and operates 10 ROVs from its operating bases in Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo, and Port-Gentil, Gabon. It has a track record of delivering inspection, maintenance and repair and construction support services to international oil companies in West Africa. Speaking about DeepOcean’s acquisition of Searov, Henk van den IJssel, DeepOcean’s managing director for Africa, said “This acquisition will allow DeepOcean to expand its West Africa operations from its current operations in Ghana into other countries in West Africa such as Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire. “Africa is a key region for DeepOcean, and building a platform for the provision of life-of-field subsea services to our customers is one of our main strategic objectives. We are excited that Searov’s president Maxime Cerramon has decided to join DeepOcean.”

RECENT VESSEL MOVEMENTS

The partners in the project believe that GCSB would be an optimal location for operations all over the world. The base offers a wide range of services adapted to the subsea and offshore sector. These include facility support services, port and harbour facilities, ships agent services and access to full technical and project support services. Odd Are Tveit, chairman of GCSB, said “Our vision is to create the preferred offshore and subsea hub located centrally in mid-Atlantic with strategic connections to Europe, Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and South America. Bringing ABIS in to support with the port’s development allows us to

• Royal Boskalis Westminster’s anchorhandling tug Union Sovereign has mobilised from Côte d’Ivoire to the Netherlands. The 2003-built vessel has 180 tonnes bollard pull, dynamic positioning class 2 and is FiFi 1. • Swire Pacific Offshore’s Pacific Leader has departed West Africa and has sailed back to Aberdeen following a recent cargo run for Kosmos Mauritania. The 5,000dwt PSV was built in 2014 and is DP2 and FiFi 1 classed. • The 2009-built J Keith Lousteau has mobilised to West Africa from the Far East. The Tidewater AHTS vessel has a bollard pull of 155 tonnes and was built in 2009. • SBM Installer has left Côte d’Ivoire for Las Palmas following conclusion of a work programme on the Espoir field for CNR. The inspection, maintenance and repair vessel is fitted with a 275 tonne crane and DP3. • Mossalem Tide recently departed Dubai and is mobilising to Nigeria. The 2011-built Tidewater AHTS vessel has a bollard pull of 60 tonnes and 355m2 of clear deck space. OSJ

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OFFSHORE ACCESS/WALK-TO-WORK | 15

Lifting platform joins growing ranks of walk-to-work offerings Despite the downturn in the oil and gas sector, the market for offshore access systems or ‘walk-towork’ motion compensated gangways shows no signs of slowing down, with new technology and new concepts being brought to market

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arely a month has gone by in the last couple of years without a manufacturer unveiling a new offshore access system or bringing an enhanced version of existing equipment to the offshore oil and gas and offshore wind markets. That trend continued into Q3 2017, when a newly formed Dutch company, Lift2Work, confirmed that is building the first six examples of a new type of unit, the offshore personnel transfer system or OPTS, and Barge Master and Bosch Rexroth installed another new walk-to-work system on Vroon Offshore’s vessel VOS Start. Another well known manufacturer, Uptime in Norway, unveiled a new, larger motion compensated gangway not long after Ampelmann mobilised its first N-type Icemann access system. Rotterdam-based Lift2Work will build, service, sell and rent the OPTS, which it describes as “an innovative way to transfer people and/or tools and equipment offshore.” Unlike the other walk-to-work systems highlighted above, the OPTS is not a gangway but is fully motion compensated. It was designed to provide access to offshore oil and gas platforms, offshore wind structures and other vessels and structures. It has the ability to move freely through 360 degrees and has a reach of 24m horizontally and more than 20m vertically above deck level. It can also drop to 6m below the level of the deck, for example, for rescue purposes. Originally developed by Offshore Cooperation (OFFCO) in the Netherlands, it is based on a lifting platform rather than a conventional walk-to-work motion compensated gangway. It uses a platform basket that is fully compensated and controlled by an operator. With an arm length of 10m and a basic footprint of 2,440mm x 2,440mm, it was also

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The OPTS is based on a lifting platform rather than a motion compensated gangway and uses a ‘platform basket’ that is fully compensated

designed to be easy to integrate onto a deck. “Installation is very easy,” said the company. “The OPTS weighs approximately 15 tonnes and is easy to transport in an ISO container. It is easy to operate after introductory training and provides accurate and stable lifting of loads.” The company says it can transfer up to six people at an outreach of 18m or four people at a 24m outreach. As highlighted above, another new motion compensated gangway has been developed by Barge Master and Bosch Rexroth. It has been installed on Vroon’s offshore support vessel VOS Startand where it will be used to transport personnel and cargo to offshore windfarms but is equally suited to applications in the offshore oil and gas sector. The Netherlands-based companies worked closely to create the motion

compensated gangway. Launching the gangway on 21 June at Boxtel, the Netherlands, Barge Master chief executive Martijn Koppert explained that the gangway will be mounted on a pedestal that holds an integrated elevator, used to transport both people and pallet trolleys from ship deck and levels below to the level of the gangway. It “can be literally any height”, he said. Bosch Rexroth sales manager offshore projects Boy Biermans described the gangway’s telescopic sections, which allow its length to be adjusted to the situation offshore by an electric winch system. “This next-generation gangway is equipped with extremely fast sensors and control technology,” he said. “Because of this, the system is able to compensate for wave heights of up to 3m, resulting in an

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


16 | OFFSHORE ACCESS/WALK-TO-WORK

operating window that can be up to four times higher than other available systems in the market, making it truly unique.” Uptime’s new, larger offshore access system, the Uptime 30m active motion compensated gangway, has what the company says is “a totally new design” that the company believes will be a “game changer” in the offshore oil and gas and offshore wind industries. The walk-to-work system is being offered with several different setups: on a fixed pedestal, on an adjustable pedestal, with elevator tower amidships or in the centre of the vessel, as an add-on system on existing elevator towers and on a skid. “This gives optimal, customised workability for different projects,” said Uptime. The gangway will be operated from the wheelhouse wing or from the gangway itself. “Our Uptime 23.4m will still be offered and may of course still be the best option for some projects and setups,” the company concluded. Ampelmann and Uptime International have both recently won contracts for their walk-to-work solutions in the offshore oil and gas and renewables markets. Ampelmann secured a contract in Venezuela that will spread the use of its gangway technology into the Caribbean. The Cardon IV group ordered an A-type system for its operations on the Perla field

off Venezuela. The walk-to-work system was deployed on Bumi Armada’s 2010-built offshore support vessel Armada Tuah 85 to provide access for the workforce to the Perla platform. The A-type system is a full active motion compensated access gangway, designed to transfer personnel safely and efficiently to offshore structures. Cardon IV has chosen Ampelmann as its partner in this long-term project for the next two years, said Ampelmann business development manager for Latin America Andres Garcia. Uptime International has won a contract from Cemre Marin to deliver one of its walk-to-work systems to a service operation vessel that is being built at the Cemre Shipyard in Turkey. The vessel is being built for French vessel owner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs for delivery in 2018. The vessel will provide service support for four offshore windfarms off the German coast. These are the Borkum Riffgrund 1 and 2 and Gode Wind 1 and 2 windfarms operated by Dong Energy. The Uptime system will be an active motion compensated gangway and an adjustable pedestal integrated with an elevator tower. The vessel was designed by Salt Ship Design for personnel and cargo transfer to these offshore windfarms Van Oord’s installation vessel Aeolus

Van Oord’s installation vessel Aeolus has been fitted with a telescopic access bridge from SMST

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

has been fitted with a telescopic access bridge (TAB) by the Netherlands-based SMST. The TAB-M includes a flat rack and pedestal elevator system and will be used for work at the Walney Extension offshore windfarm in the UK. After training by SMST, the crew of Aeolus completed the first connection on 24 June in significant wave heights of 1m and wind speeds of 20m/s. The Walney Extension project requires the transition pieces to be installed in DP2 mode so needs a compensated gangway. The telescopic pedestal will assist with the high tide differences, enabling height compensation of up to 6m.

Walk-to-work offers owners better rates than subsea market The subsea vessel market is showing signs of recovery, but a number of owners have long been securing work for subsea vessels above water, rather than below, by fitting them with walk-to-work systems. Broker Fearnley Offshore Supply AS (FOSAS) said there has been significant subsea vessel activity above the surface and noted that active heave compensated gangways have had an important impact on the subsea vessel market as a whole. In a July 2017 report, FOSAS said high-end subsea vessels such as Boa Sub C, Polar Queen, Normand Jarl, Normand Jarstein, Acergy Viking, Edda Fauna and Stril Server have been supporting topside work, either in the offshore wind market or in the offshore oil and gas segment. “The trend is almost, if not quite without exception, that most operators are securing modern vessels, in part due to Special Purpose Ship regulations and requirements but also because vessel owners are attracted to walk-to-work campaigns because they typically offer longer charter periods and slightly better margins than the current subsea market,” said FOSAS. “This trend has a positive impact on the supply overhang for this segment albeit a moderate one that, at best, is only part of a solution. For short-term and spot subsea scopes, however, the competition is fiercer and the income potential is lower while the vessel options are numerous. Rates reflect this.” OSJ

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SIMULATION &TRAINING | 19

MARINE CONSULTANT LAUNCHES TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR 500M ZONE AN ABERDEEN, UK-BASED MARITIME SPECIALIST HAS LAUNCHED 500M ZONE MANAGEMENT TRAINING COURSES TO ADDRESS CONCERNS RAISED AROUND OFFSHORE INSTALLATION SAFETY ZONES

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eacroft Marine Consultants, which provides advice and assistance to offshore operators in all aspects of offshore marine operations, is aiming to raise awareness of the need to control marine operations inside the 500m zone as the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) highlights concerns around the control and monitoring of vessels attending installations. With 97% of collisions occurring within the 500m zone involving vessels there on legitimate business, the company can offer guidance, recommendations and training courses on how to improve existing practices and safety. Michael Cowlam, technical director at Seacroft Marine Consultants, said “Vessels colliding with a platform have long been considered a major risk for offshore oil and gas installations, and there has of course always been a focus on having procedures in place to address this and try to avoid it occurring. “While collisions are relatively rare occurrences, there have been a number of incidents in recent years that

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have led to increasing concern from the UK Health & Safety Executive and other industry organisations about the potential risks involved. “Seacroft is able to advise on the responsibilities of an offshore installation’s operator and provide training to improve safety levels and best practice. The industry has also recently published more robust guidance, which would also make a difference to all stakeholders and oil companies to give assurance against the risk of a major catastrophic incident, loss of production and costly damage to their facilities.” The safety zone is the area extending 500m from any part of an offshore oil and gas installation and is established automatically around all installations that project above the sea at any state of the tide. Subsea installations may also have safety zones to protect them, which are created by statutory instrument. They exist to protect both the safety of the people working on or in the vicinity of the installation and the installation itself. Mr Cowlam added “The completion of 500m zone pre-entry check lists is only

Michael Cowlam: “vessels colliding with a platform have long been considered a major risk for offshore oil and gas installations”

the starting point and not the solution to preventing incidents. It is crucial to consider monitoring and auditing how installations are managing their 500m zones and marine operations. “As well as this, planning and communication is

essential, along with awareness of both good and bad practices by vessels. This is where we can help, and we would urge any company looking into this aspect of their operations to get in touch with us and find out more.” With a team of 15 staff and more than 80 consultants, the company has built its reputation in the marine assurance and consultancy sphere. Its expertise includes marine assurance packages, inspections, dynamic positioning (DP) assurance, rig move services, International Safety Management audits, safety audits and incident investigation as well as simulator training in ship handling and bridge team management and specialist recovery and rescue consultancy services. The company also recently appointed a new marine engineering and DP manager as it looks to develop more specialised offshore marine projects. Richard Pearce has 16 years’ experience in engineering and technical disciplines of the marine and offshore industry, including spells at some of the sector’s most prominent names. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


20 | SIMULATION & TRAINING

Training centre sees increased interest in bespoke courses Well known for offering bespoke training in commercial diving and remotely operated vehicle operations to a range of clients worldwide, The Underwater Centre is winning business from an increasingly diverse client base

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hen Haifa University in Israel acquired a Seaeye Leopard remotely operated vehicle (ROV) recently, it realised that it needed more knowledge in maintaining and operating the system and sent four candidates to attend The Underwater Centre’s ROV pilot technician course. Part of the course was delivered at the training company’s Fort William, Scotland, base and part on site in Israel. However, Haifa University isn’t the only academic client to have undertaken ROV training with The Underwater Centre in recent months. Staff from the National Institute of Ocean Technology in India came to The Underwater Centre in early 2017 for a two-week bespoke ROV operations course in order to gain practical operational experience of flying a workclass ROV, which will be used in their research work. Limerick University in the Republic of Ireland also asked The Underwater Centre to create and deliver a tailored ROV operations course to equip their academic team with the skills they need to operate and maintain their recently purchased Comanche and smaller observation-class ROV. The bespoke training

NIOT ROV operators training at The Underwater Centre in Fort William

focused on specific operational experience of using the launch and recovery system and tether management system on the work-class ROV training vessel at the centre’s Fort William site and incorporated use of the centre’s simulator. As Steve Ham, commercial director at The Underwater Centre, explained, the content and duration of courses it offers aren’t limited in any way. Clients can also choose to have training delivered at a home base if their facilities are suitable. This ensures that the training is even more specifically targeted to their needs and equipment. Personnel from The Underwater Centre recently travelled to New Zealand for a second time

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

to deliver the three-week ROV pilot technician course to candidates from the Royal New Zealand Navy. As the instructor was on hand at their site, he was also able to provide expert advice on the ongoing maintenance of their Seaeye Falcon system. Mr Ham said that, with the wide range of organisations now investing in ROV systems, the centre has been attracting an increasingly diverse client base. Singapore’s SSE Training Centre Pte Ltd recently became the first partner in another of The Underwater Centre’s area of expertise, diving, when the UK centre announced its new International Training Establishment (ITE)

partnership scheme. The scheme will allow training centres around the world to deliver internationally recognised commercial diving courses, accredited by ADAS. This is the first time divers have been able to train to a top-calibre international standard outside the standards body’s home country. “There are huge opportunities in commercial diving around the world, but also risks – which is a dangerous combination,” said Mr Ham. “Too many divers are dying because of insufficient training. Partly this is down to cost, but another important barrier is the fact that divers are unable to get the best possible instruction because of where they are in the world. With the ITE scheme, we are removing that barrier. “The oil and gas industry is just picking up from the bottom of its cycle, and more projects are coming online. The offshore wind industry is taking off, and decommissioning will need a lot of divers too. There are busier times ahead for the sector, and the ITE scheme will help divers around the world be part of that while maintaining the highest standards of safety.” The ITE partnership scheme works by allowing existing diver training establishments to partner with The Underwater Centre, Tasmania, which has a unique agreement in place with ADAS allowing it to deliver accredited training outside Australia. OSJ

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LIFTING & HANDLING | 23

LIFTING SEMINAR HIGHLIGHTS ADVANTAGES – AND CHALLENGES – WITH FIBRE ROPES RECENT YEARS HAVE SEEN FIBRE ROPE STEADILY DISPLACE STEEL WIRE FOR OFFSHORE LIFTS, BUT THERE IS A NEED FOR GREATER STANDARDISATION, HARMONISED TESTING AND CERTIFICATION AND IN-DEPTH UNDERSTANDING OF REUSE AND RETIREMENT

Ever greater use is being made of fibre rope, such as here on the Hywind project, but there are technical issues that need to be addressed

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ighty-five members and guests attended the International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA’s) lifting and rigging seminar, an event that, like earlier workshops, focused on defining the issues related to high-value subsea construction ropes and on the performance slings and grommets used for subsea construction. The title – ‘Slings and rigging – the soft revolution’ – indicated strongly the steady move over the last four to five years from wire to high-performance fibre-based rigging. After a welcome and introduction from the seminar chairman, there followed a number of presentations and

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workshops designed to review the status and issues surrounding the use of fibre rope technology. Seaway Heavy Lifting’s principal engineer Dirk-Jan Mattaar provided a presentation on the company’s experience in moving from steel to synthetic fibre slings. “Why do we use them?” he asked. “Because manual operation with fibre rope slings is safer, faster and requires fewer riggers. It only takes a few seconds to attach. It saves an awful lot of time when it comes to connecting slings to hooks,” he explained. However, the company hasn’t stopped using steel slings altogether, primarily because of damage

on fibre slings, even though they are highly cut-resistant. “Proper sling protection is essential,” he said, noting that the cost for fibre was still higher than steel. Another concern about fibre ropes is high-temperature operations. When used in high temperatures in some parts of the world, strength loss due to high temperatures need to be borne in mind, he said. Over time, in high temperatures, the safety factor of fibre rope can reduce. Other issues that need to be addressed include the fact that certification of fibre ropes has not yet been standardised, guidance on inspection and when to discard is not clear cut and

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


24 | LIFTING & HANDLING

connection of steel slings to fibre slings should not be undertaken due to internal torques and twists. IMCA Lifting and Rigging Committee member Caspar Berends, who works for TechnipFMC, gave a presentation on engineering with fibre slings and the challenges this can bring. This included bending effects over crane hooks (especially DIN hooks, which could damage both fibre and wire slings), reuse of slings, load test requirements and how to determine correct skew factors. Reuse of fibre slings had been undertaken, he explained. However, the company thought it wise to involve the manufacturer for inspection before reuse, especially after reconfiguration or resplicing. Damage to protective jackets can easily happen. This leads to questions about whether it is possible or advisable to undertake repairs on a vessel. “Clients could be concerned with damage to protective jackets. We needed guidance on how to deal with this,” he said. Mr Berends said fibre slings can be beneficial for deck handling. Technically, they are fit for purpose, but if they pick up a lot of sand and grit when ashore at a storage yard, damage could occur and fibre rope could be deemed too high risk to use. “We really want to use them, but this is a challenge,” he said. Jumbo’s project engineer Sita Verburg and senior port engineer Dries Stommen gave a presentation on issues involved with complex rigging work during the lifting and transportation of two 1,000 tonne pile clusters. This required an asymmetrical

lift under different lifting configurations. Another difficulty was that the single hook became completely filled with rope. It was important to ensure that the ropes did not become crossed whilst on the hook. Saipem UK’s chief operating officer Vince McCarthy gave a presentation on the use of fibre rope on Statoil’s Hywind floating offshore wind project. This involved lifting the upper structure of a wind turbine (complete with blades attached) and mounting it on a floating spar-type foundation. The upper structures were lifted from the bottom, so the lift was potentially very unstable. He explained that contractor Franklin Offshore had to manufacture the slings to particularly tight tolerances, and the slings were pre-stretched to bed in splices against the actual load that they would see. This was to ensure that the variation in the lifting slings was acceptable. This was important because, when the turbine was lowered onto the spar, it would sink by approximately 11m. Samson’s application engineering manager Justin Smoak noted that standards for steel wire had evolved over many years. Fibre rope has only been around and in regular use for a few years. Fibre ropes behave in the same way as steel, but there are significant differences between fibre ropes due to the use of differing materials and weave. Under IMCA guidelines, manufacturers are required to guarantee the maximum breaking load (MBL) of a sling, but Samson believes that the whole rope needs to be broken, not just strands. Mr Smoak discussed retirement considerations and demonstrated Samson’s visual retirement

guide, which has been developed as a result of many tests. Data-driven strength models for fibre rope are important, he said, and can provide assurance that they can be used at the designed factor of safety and satisfy enduser risk tolerance requirements. Cortland’s business unit leader Luis Padilla said it was important that the industry works together to create standards to help the end user. He noted that industry recertification guidelines were weak. “Nothing beats a well informed customer,” he told delegates. “There is a need to build trust with the customers, and customers need to know what to ask for and define. Standardisation can help with this,” Mr Padilla said. Lankhorst’s project manager Rui Pedro Faria said realistic load testing that looked at each part of a subsea lift was important. Realistic testing could help justify the use of lower safety factors, he said, noting that the company is working with DNV GL on technology qualification for both new and used slings. Bridon-Bekaert’s fibre technology manager Tim Hunter said that, for use and reuse of fibre slings, it was important to get the original specification right. “Knowing the retirement point is critical,” he said, “[but] some users give it a lot of attention in the specification, others very little.” The lack of standardisation described by other speakers is apparent in testing, which means that interpretation of results is being performed in different ways – even down to MBL and how it is defined. “The biggest challenge in the industry is certification,” he said. “Standardisation is not a set of laws, it’s about consensus in the industry,” he concluded.

Rolls-Royce to deliver world’s first hybrid subsea crane Rolls-Royce has been contracted by Brazilian shipowner CBO to equip a platform supply vessel with the first example of its patented dual draglink subsea crane. The crane will be the first subsea crane designed to use either fibre or steel wire rope. The hybrid dual draglink crane will be installed on CBO Manoella, which is currently being modified from a platform supply vessel (PSV) to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) support vessel. The active heave compensated crane is designed for continuous operation in a tough and corrosive offshore environment with a focus on efficient and safe load handling. The crane to be installed on CBO Manoella is a hybrid dual draglink crane with a lifting capacity of up to 50 tonnes and an operating depth of up to 3,000m. It will be equipped with wire rope when it embarks on its first subsea assignment off the coast of Brazil. However, the possibility of changing to fibre rope provides

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

flexibility in a challenging market. Because of the low weight of the fibre rope, the vessel’s deck load capacity can be increased by approximately 100 tonnes. Another benefit of using a low-weight fibre rope instead of steel wire is increased lifting capacity at large depths. The cable traction control unit (CTCU) forms the crane winch and is located at the main boom. This solution saves space compared to a solution where the CTCU is mounted below deck and also makes it a better choice for retrofits. The horizontal elbow derrick movements provide active heave compensation. This significantly reduces wear and build-up of heat in the lifting line compared to when the active heave compensation system is part of the winch. Delivery of the crane was due to take place in Q3 this year. The scope of supply includes a complete dual draglink crane system including the CTCU, cabin and control system. OSJ

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26 | WELL INTERVENTION VESSELS

WELL INTERVENTION

– A BAD NAME FOR A GOOD ACTIVITY? WHETHER A RIG OR A VESSEL IS USED, COULD WELL INTERVENTION DO A LOT MORE TO MAXIMISE ECONOMIC RECOVERY ASKS ANDREW PATERSON, MANAGING PARTNER, OFS PARTNERS

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f you’re intervening, generally something’s wrong and it’s only going to get worse unless you do something about it. Is there something in the very name and nature of well intervention that is undermining its true potential in the North Sea and the wider global market? Let’s explore why interventions typically take place, what is done and what could be done differently. If we look at a list of specific triggers for well intervention activity,

they are almost all associated with remedial action. Something noticeable has happened or is happening, and this forces the expenditure decision. Leading activities at present include mechanical repair (such as valve repair, choke change-out or seal failure) and relatively little in the way of true proactive well servicing, be it data acquisition or performance-related wireline or coiled tubing interventions (zone isolation, scale squeeze and stimulations). Instead, if we were to think creatively about all of the proactive production enhancement measures that could be undertaken on a field-wide basis, we might be able to find reasons to justify a different set of activities at different times in the life of the field. Here, the decision would be to invest and grow to improve and achieve excellence rather than spend money only to solve a problem – stimulated by the pressure of being branded reckless for doing nothing. We are currently a little too focused on ‘catastrophe aversion’ instead of thinking in terms of ‘proactive production enhancement’, that is, reaction, rather than action. For a well known global operator, the average lifting cost per

Those who want the full well control capability might want a rig, for others, monohulls can be a less expensive, nimbler solution

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

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WELL INTERVENTION VESSELS | 27

New offerings have come to market, such as Halliburton, Trendsetter and C-Innovation’s plan to use Island Venture to provide intervention services

barrel across the portfolio sits at around US$30. When there is already enough evidence to suggest incremental barrels brought on stream as a result of well intervention activity sit at around US$5 or less, the argument should be compelling to undertake well servicing and proactive performance measures more frequently. The reasons for not doing this are numerous and partly due to a shareholder emphasis on new fields and discoveries above and beyond what could be dismissed as less than newsworthy tinkering on older well stock. However, as the British cycling team proved, a lot of small tinkering can sum up to great gains overall. Can we apply the same ‘marginal gains’ logic across a field and portfolio of producing assets? The result would then be an emphasis on overall performance improvement rather than star results of individual fields or new discoveries boosting production. There is a dated argument that says any given intervention on a specific well is no more than 50% likely to succeed. While it is certainly true that not all given intervention activities are guaranteed to succeed, conditions downhole being so complex and variable, it still isn’t fair to judge the merit of interventions on a well-by-well basis. Building the business case for a given campaign is often based on a remediation, as already described. However, if we expand the picture to a whole field basis, it becomes possible to design and justify a proactive programme across multiple wells over a longer timeframe that dramatically increases the chances of a favourable return. Where given actions on specific wells don’t succeed, a capable contractor can use the well access to log, survey and sample such that the programme is dynamic and adapted accordingly based on the new information coming out of the experience. Put simply, if at first you don’t succeed, use the data acquired to perfect the action and location, ever increasing success rates, and try, try again. Fundamentally, the opportunity for supply chain companies is there. However, this opportunity will not be realised if development is undertaken in isolation. The reactive approach so often seen in the past is not fit for purpose in the current climate. To turn talk into RFQs, any investment or development needs to be anchored to the specific needs of a given operator or range of operators. There needs to be a very careful assessment of operator needs against company capability, and when that’s done, the decision of who to invest in a relationship with for both parties becomes easier. There is no ‘slam dunk’ technique or technology or even light or heavy vessel solution for well intervention out there. Winners and losers will be separated based on the strength of the relationships that can be established, the level of understanding of the situation

www.osjonline.com

and evidence base for the solution as well as the quality of support that can be given to drive the business case within the operator, on behalf of the direct contact. There are plenty of ideas as well as plenty of early stage but proven techniques that make the efficiency and effectiveness of well intervention operations all the greater. Some methods – and vessel solutions – are somewhat predicated on a highly active drilling market, meaning using a heavy drilling asset (a full capability semi-sub or jack-up) is so expensive that it creates an incentive to explore a lighter alternative (a monohull dedicated well intervention vessel). While that incentive may have been reduced in this lower-forlonger oil price environment, there are still benefits to be found in using nimbler alternatives. For those who will always want the full well control capability of a rig, the technology is there to enable interventions cheaper than ever. In the current market, general cash constraints make the case for doing anything a big challenge, so the main focus needs to be proving the case for doing anything at all, by any means, according to alignment with the operators’ needs and preferences. Across the whole oil field services value chain, there are many repeating principles that work in terms of winning work. One is hassle reduction and reducing interfaces. Another is security of supply – offering something no one else has at a given moment in time. Finally, perhaps the most compelling of them all is offering a net saving proposition. Somehow, what you are doing saves measurably more money elsewhere – thus creating a very happy client and reducing the focus and scrutiny on your own margin. For well intervention, some of these dynamics apply – bringing together multiple services would be of perceived value and proving the case for doing the work in the first place against not doing it or waiting (the net saving angle) would be the leading principles. So in summary, this intervention is twofold: firstly, to raise the profile and perceived value for proactive programmes of well interventions such that there is as much pull from operators to consider these as there is push from the supply chain to offer them, and secondly, to realise the benefits of actually doing the work, bringing the incremental barrels on stream and conducting late-life operations in the most efficient way possible. When we can see proactive diagnostic interventions directly driving actual well performance improvement work on an industrywide basis, we will know the market is finally coming to maturity and the efforts of all to intervene have been successful. OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


Asian Offshore Support Journal conference

20-21 September 2017, Singapore

Planning for both short-term challenges and then recovery in the Asian OSV market Asian Offshore Support Journal Conference is the region’s largest and most influential event focused on the offshore support industry. It is the must-attend annual get-together for shipowners, shipbuilders, charterers and suppliers. This year, its focus will be on the prospects for a market recovery, the financial outlook, industry restructuring, vessel reactivation, improving efficiency to reduce costs and ensuring that crew remain ready for the next upturn in demand. As the market recovers Asian owners are beginning to exploit new opportunities and expand into new regions. Companies such as Vallianz are doing especially well in the Middle East, where long-term contracts are helping them to win business and make a profit. Pacific Radiance says utilisation is increasing; newcomers such as Tasik Subsea have secured long-term contracts; and Singapore’s government continues to provide help to the industry. To find out how you can find new business, and where the opportunities are, attend the Asian Offshore Support Journal Conference, 20-21 September 2017, Singapore.

2017 key topics:

• Responding to oil companies’ requirements in a post downturn world: what will the oil companies want from OSV owners in 2018-19? • Is the Asian model of owning and building vessels still valid? • Improving efficiency and reducing costs: what works and what doesn’t? • Monitoring the condition of laid up vessels and how to minimise the cost of layups • When to reactivate a vessel from layup, the methodology and costs • The south east Asian market by country: how do the requirements of each country/oil major differ? • Global opportunities for Asian owners, where to invest in marketing and which regions offer the best prospects • Singapore’s government support package: what does it mean to the OSV industry? – How can it be accessed and who can apply? • Financial re-profiling and improving liquidity: what are the available options? • Should owners divest shipbuilding/repair facilities or are they beneficial in a downturn?

Book now!

Book your place online today or by contacting Kym Tan on +65 6809 3098 or at kym.tan@rivieramm.com

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INNOVATIONS | 31

Digital platform connects charterers directly with owners OSVfinder, a web application that enables vessels to be located and chartered without the use of intermediaries, took an important step forward early in 2017 when Saipem began using it

D

eveloped by former broker Rémy Ausset, OSVfinder combines the ability to locate ships anywhere in the world with an advanced search engine and internal communications system that, Mr Ausset believes, will make chartering simpler, faster and less expensive. Speaking to OSJ in early August, Mr Ausset said the new company already has more than 70 shipowners registered to use it and a database of more than 110,000 vessels. Mr Ausset says many leading vessel owners in the offshore support vessel market – including Bourbon, Tidewater, Solstad, Boskalis, Seacor, Swire and Smit Lamnalco – are registered with OSVfinder. “The concept behind OSVfinder is quite simple, but revolutionary too,” Mr Ausset said. “We provide charterers with the location of a vessel and its particulars. They can see the location of a suitable vessel in a region and can send an enquiry through OSVfinder direct to the owner. Shipowners can track the position of the vessels and indicate availability. Once they have established contact through the platform, an owner can send an offer through it. The application also generates market reports with statistics based on customer activity.”

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The service provided by OSVfinder is accessible anywhere in the world. It only requires an internet connection to be able to connect and use the application. OSVfinder’s goal is to modernise the offshore oil and gas industry by offering a digital service that creates a new working environment that saves time and reduces charterers’ and shipowners’ costs. Rather than a system of fees of the type that companies are used to paying, Mr Ausset’s company is subscription based. There is no commission involved. Mr Ausset said that, although Saipem already had its own platform that it used when contracting support vessels, it recognised the

advantages of OSVfinder. It started trialling the system in February to find out if it really could meet its needs and invited the owners with whom it already worked to register. Since then, it has been sending out tenders through OSVfinder. “Leading players in the market have been responding to the tenders they have issued through OSVfinder, and we are now talking to Saipem about how many licences they might need,” said Mr Ausset. Other engineering, procurement, contracting and installation (EPCI) companies have also been following the progress of the system. Mr Ausset says he recognises that the way that charterers work may differ a little from company

OSVfinder puts charterers and vessel owners in touch with one another directly, saving time and reducing costs

to company and that it would be possible, to an extent, to customise the web application to meet their needs. As the platform has developed, so new features have and will be added. These include flag state and local contents requirements and the compliance requirements of EPCI companies, national oil companies and independent oil companies. It is also possible to add important data such as when a vessel last went through an OVID (Offshore Vessel Inspection Database) inspection, and where a cabotage regime applies, the system can tell a charterer whether a vessel is compliant, such as with the requirements of the Jones Act in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr Ausset said the company also plans to add market reports to OSVfinder so that charterers can track day rates in a region. In due course, he says, OSVfinder might be able to provide charterers with the ability to share assets and further reduce costs. “What I would say to charterers is that using OSVfinder will be less expensive than using your own system,” Mr Ausset concluded. “There will be no commission payable to brokers, and charterers will have a much greater level of control over the offers they receive and how they receive them.” OSJ

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


32 | IMCA NEWS

IMCA ACTIVELY CONTRIBUTING

TO DEBATE AT IMO

T

he International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has long had consultative status as an active non-governmental organisation at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It attends the plenary sessions and participates in various committee meetings, as the following update demonstrates, and uses the combined expertise of IMCA members to contribute to IMO’s work. “We actively participated in the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Emissions from Ships, which met in July to issue a report in relation to the elements set out in IMO’s Roadmap for developing a comprehensive strategy on GHG emission reduction from ships,” Allen Leatt, IMCA’s chief executive, explained. “An initial IMO GHG strategy is set to be adopted at MEPC 72 (the 72nd meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee) in spring 2018, including a list of short-term, mid-term and long-term further measures and timeframes. IMCA concurred with the joint proposal by four other international trade associations (Bimco, Intercargo, the International Chamber of Shipping and Intertanko) concerning ambitious CO2 reductions by the international shipping sector. “In July 2017, MEPC 71 continued the solid work the IMO has undertaken to address GHG emissions from international shipping, aligning

Allen Leatt: “IMCA is involved in several aspects of the IMO’s work programme”

the sector’s response to the 2015 Paris Agreement’s call for ambitious contributions to combat climate change. IMCA believes it is important for IMO to send a clear, unambiguous signal to the global community that shipping’s regulators have reached consensus on objectives for reducing the sector’s CO2 emissions, just as land-based activity is covered by government commitments under the Paris Agreement. “During MEPC 71 sessions, the majority of industry stakeholders (including IMCA) expressed their view that IMO remain in control of additional measures to address CO2 reduction by international shipping and develop a global solution rather than risk the danger of market-distorting measures at national or regional level.” IMO secretary general Kitack Lim expressed his views on the climate change challenge in an interview that appears in IMCA’s Making Waves. “You could say that the greatest challenge is to reach consensus on major

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

issues, such as climate change. Balancing the needs of all member states, while also uniting them behind the common goals, is a theme which really underlines my concept of a voyage together.”* Energy efficiency design index (EEDI) standards for new ships and associated operational energy efficiency measures for existing ships became mandatory in 2013, with the entry into force of relevant amendments to MARPOL Annex VI. The committee was informed that nearly 2,500 new ocean-going ships have been certified as complying with the standards. Minimum propulsion power to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions, EEDI correction factors for ice-class ships and EEDI reduction factors for existing ships that have undergone major conversions were among the relevant technical proposals considered by MEPC 71. MARPOL amendments adopted at MEPC 70 at IMO to make the data collection

system mandatory for fuel oil consumption of ships are expected to enter into force on 1 March 2018, requiring data collection to start from calendar year 2019. MEPC 71 considered draft guidelines on administration data verification procedures and on the development and management of the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database, developed by a correspondence group, as well as technical and security issues related to the establishment of the database. “IMCA invited the committee to examine the challenges of attempting to define ‘transport work’ proxies for offshore and marine construction vessels, which are required at the stage of data analysis,” Mr Leatt explained. “IMCA’s submission provided information on the difficulty of defining relevant and appropriate proxies for ‘transport work’ for offshore and marine construction vessels and recommended the development of the proxies for such vessels should be put into abeyance. “An overwhelming number of delegations recognised the technical challenges the proxies posed. Others expressed the view that special attention should be paid during the data analysis stage since misleading conclusions may be drawn in the absence of appropriate energy efficiency indicators.” *The full interview is available at www.imca-int. com/news/2017/06/19/makingwaves-83-june-2017/ OSJ

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BEST OF THE WEB | 35

BEST OF THE WEB

osjonline.com

New credit helps Hornbeck but search for long-term solution continues Hornbeck Offshore’s financial situation remains challenging in the medium-term despite it having secured a new credit facility. Announcing its Q2 results, Hornbeck said that although it has sufficient cash to continue operations through 2019 it remains unable to make payments on its Senior Notes that are due in 2020 and 2021 respectively. The company first highlighted the issue several months ago. The company projects that, even with the currently depressed operating levels, cash generated from operations together with cash on hand and availability under the new credit facility should be sufficient to fund its operations and commitments at least until 31 December 2019. “However,” said Hornbeck, “absent a

significant recovery of market conditions such that cash flow from operations were to increase materially from projected levels and/or further management of its funded debt obligations, the company does not currently expect to have sufficient liquidity to repay the full amount of its 5.875% Senior Notes and 5.000% Senior Notes as they mature in fiscal years 2020 and 2021.” Hornbeck described the new credit facility as the “first step” in addressing the maturities of its unsecured notes, but said it remains “fully cognizant” of the challenges currently facing the offshore oil and gas industry and continues to review its capital structure and assess its strategic options. http://bit.ly/2v2iXr8

Dragon deal sees Topaz backlog exceed US$1.5Bn Offshore support vessel company Topaz Energy & Marine has been awarded a US$100M contract by Dragon Oil that has boosted its backlog to what it claims is an industry leading level. Under the terms of the contract, Topaz will supply Dragon Oil Turkmenistan with six vessels, including five anchor handlers and an emergency recovery and response vessel. The contract has already commenced, with vessel mobilisation and operation under way. The contract has a five-year term with a two-year option and brings Topaz’s backlog to more than US$1.5Bn. http://bit.ly/OSJTopaz To view more whitepapers visit the Knowledge Bank at www.osjonline.com

www.osjonline.com/s/knowledgebank

Editor’s selection: Environmental pile driving with the Blue Hammer Noise mitigation during pile driving has long been an issue in the offshore wind industry, as has the growing size of monopiles. The Blue Hammer departs from convention and could provide a solution.

www.osjonline.com

To upload a whitepaper to the Knowledge Bank, please email Steve Edwards at steve.edwards@rivieramm.com

Editor’s comment: Rather than hammering a monopile into the ground, the Blue Hammer concept developed by Fistuca uses acceleration of a water column by a gas mixture to provide the driving force – a mechanism that can deliver a large amount of energy without exciting undue vibration in a monopile. The concept is also much quieter than conventional pile driving technology.

Boskalis said to be stalking Bibby Offshore assets Industry sources say Boskalis in the Netherlands is ‘negotiating directly’ with the Bibby Offshore’s bondholders to acquire certain assets of the company. Boskalis’ proposal is said to value UK-based Bibby Offshore at around £52M, a sum for which it would acquire the dive support vessels (DSVs) Bibby Sapphire and Bibby Polaris and intellectual property. Other companies who might have a potential interest in Bibby Offshore include McDermott in the US and DeepOcean in Norway. Private equity houses are also understood to have been looking at a deal and have held discussions with bondholders. http://bit.ly/2fvfzBj

Tidewater emerges from bankruptcy with growth in mind Tidewater and its affiliated Chapter 11 debtors have emerged from bankruptcy proceedings after successfully completing a reorganisation process. The reorganisation was completed pursuant to the second amended joint pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganisation of Tidewater and its affiliated debtors. The plan was confirmed on 17 July 2017 by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Tidewater has eliminated approximately US$1.6Bn in principal outstanding debt, and is considering the rejection of certain sale-leaseback agreements, it estimates that interest and operating lease expenses will be reduced by approximately US$73M annually. http://bit.ly/2vdqjKO

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


36 | 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: JUNE 2017

DEPARTURES: Vessels that have recently left or are due to leave the North Sea spot market

CATEGORY

AVERAGE RATE JUNE 2017

AVERAGE RATE JUNE 2016

% CHANGE

Alp Forward

supply duties PSVs <900m2

£5,452

£10,051

-46%

supply duties PSVs >900m2

£5,684

£11,365

-50%

supply duties AHTS <18,000 bhp

£8,036

£21,150

-62%

supply duties AHTS >18,000 bhp

£14,237

£23,088

-38%

Central America

Normand Skude

Russia

Olympic Orion

Russia

Olympic Zeus

Russia

Pacific Leader

West Africa

Pacific Legend

West Africa

Sayan Princess

Russia

Vestland Artemis

Russia

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

Ex Canada

Maersk Lifter

Ex Canada

Pacific Duchess

Ex West Africa

Skandi Saigon

Ex Mediterranean

Union Lynx

Ex West Africa

NORTH SEA SPOT AVERAGE UTILISATION: JUNE 2017 MONTH

MED LARGE PSV PSV

NORTH SEA AVERAGE RATES: JUNE 2017

MED AHTS

LARGE AHTS

Jun 2017

69%

77%

49%

61%

May 2017

67%

75%

50%

47%

Apr 2017

67%

86%

54%

65%

Mar 2017

69%

87%

65%

78%

Feb 2017

78%

82%

30%

53%

Jan 2017

73%

77%

22%

59%

CATEGORY

MINIMUM

MAXIMUM

supply duties PSVs <900m2

£3,500

£13,425

supply duties PSVs >900m2

£3,694

£13,500

supply duties AHTS <18,000 bhp

£5,500

£12,500

supply duties AHTS >18,000 bhp

£6,000

£46,185

OSVs RECENTLY DELIVERED VESSEL Alp Defender Bram Force Stepan Makarov

DESIGN

OWNER/MANAGER

COMMITMENT

Ulstein SX-157 AHT

Alp Maritime Services

TBC

220T BP AHTS

Bram Offshore/Edison Chouest Offshore

South America

Icebreaking ERRV

Sovcomflot

Russia

60M ERRV

Vroon

North Sea

VOS Grace

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

www.osjonline.com


MARKET DATA | 37

LEFT: anchor handler availability fell steeply in mid June but rose again afterwards

DAILY AVAILABILITY: JUNE 2017 PSV 2017

24

PSV 2016

AHTS 2017

AHTS 2016

BELOW LEFT: the oil price remained in the US$50/barrel price range for much of June and July

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

OIL PRICE VERSUS RIG UTILISATION $60

100% 90% $54.07

80% 70% 60%

75.1%

77.6% 74.3%

$48.48 $45.07 66.3%

78.4%

74.8%

$46.14

$46.19

$49.73

30%

$51.97 76.0%

74.4%

75.6%

74.3%

$53.06

$50

$50.87 74.2%

73.3%

$46.44

73.5%

$47.65

36.0%

$45 $40

57.4%

57.7%

50% 36.8%

$55

$55.49

64.6% 60.5%

40%

76.8%

$54.89

35.1%

35.4%

35.2%

55.0%

35.1%

51.6%

52.3%

53.3%

33.4%

32.8%

33.4%

53.0%

31.7%

51.5%

52.7%

33.9%

54.6%

35.1%

$35 $30

30.6%

Jun16 Jul16 Aug16 Sep16 Oct16 Nov16 Dec16 Jan17 Feb17 Mar17 Apr17 May17 Jun17 average Brent Crude US$/Bbl

Northwest Europe rig utilisation

South America rig utilisation

US Gulf rig utilisation

$25

NORTH SEA AVERAGE ANNUAL SPOT RATES: JUNE 2017 £25,000

2017 2016

£22,688

£20,000 £19,734 £17,939

£15,000

£16,000

£10,000

£5,000

£0

www.osjonline.com

£5,998

£6,627

PSVs <900m2

£5,397

£6,404

PSVs >900m2

AHTS <22,000 bhp

AHTS >22,000 bhp

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


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MARKET DATA | 39

Offshore vessel values

July 2017 The table on page 40 shows the monthly percentage change in value for offshore support vessels, by year of build, from 1 July to 31 July 2017. Values have remained stable in the anchor-handling tug supply/anchor-handling tug and platform supply vessel sector this month.

PSVs

Values remained stable. There were no PSV sales this month.

AHTS

AHTS and AHT values remained stable 10 AHTS/AHTS sales were concluded in July. Stril Commander and Stril Challenger (16,300 bhp, January/June 2009, Havyard Leirvik) were acquired by Siem Offshore for US$8.25 million each compared with VesselsValue’s value of US$8.57 million and US$8.94 million respectively. Armada Tuah 20 and Armada Tuah 22 (5,000 bhp, September 2004/ July 2005, Nam Cheong) were sold to an unspecified US buyer.

Armada Tuah Satu (5,200 bhp, December 2006, Nam Cheong) was sold by Bumi Armada Berhad to an undisclosed buyer. Selat Hope (4,960 bhp, July 2003, Nam Cheong) and Swissco Opal (3,200 bhp, November 2013, Xin Yue Feng) were sold as part of a larger en bloc deal to Selat Marine Services from Swissco. Asso Ventitre (16,800 bhp, November 2000, Orskov) were sold by Augusta Offshore to World Carrier. Shergar (5,150 bhp, August 2009, Jiangsu Zhenjiang) was sold to an unnamed UK buyer by Global Offshore Services DJM Fortune (4,750 bhp, May 2004, Yuexin Shipbuilding Co) was bought by a Vietnamese buyer from MMA Offshore.

Source: VesselsValue.com

TOTAL VALUE OF SECONDHAND SALES IN JULY 2017 VS 2016 July 2017

S&P US$M

July 2016

Bulker Tanker Cont ainer Gas OSV 0

US$470 US$400 US$220 US$1,098 US$193 US$38 US$35 US$72 US$17 US$15

200

400

600

800

1,000

1,200

• Tanker transaction values are 5 times lower this July 2017 compared to last July 2016. • Value of Containers sales are considerably higher in July 2017 compared to July 2016 with Panamax and Sub Panamax containers being the most sold vessels. • Only 1 Gas vessel sale price was disclosed. • 10 OSV sales took place, with only two prices disclosed.

Value (US$M)

www.osjonline.com

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017


40 | MARKET DATA

OFFSHORE VALUES PERCENTAGE CHANGE/1,000s OF DOLLARS: JULY 2017 BUILT

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

LARGE PSV

MEDIUM PSV

SMALL PSV

SUPER AHTS

MEDIUM AHTS

SMALL AHTS

2.9%

4.1%

5.5%

1.0%

3.4%

3.7%

5.2k

3.6k

1.7k

24k

8.2k

5.5k

2.7%

3.9%

5.0%

0.9%

2.9%

3.4%

5.2k

3.6k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

2.4%

3.5%

4.9%

0.9%

2.5%

3.0%

5.2k

3.6k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

2.0%

3.3%

4.4%

0.9%

2.1%

2.3%

5.2k

3.4k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

1.6%

2.8%

3.7%

0.8%

1.5%

2.0%

5.1k

3.3k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

1.2%

2.3%

3.3%

0.9%

1.2%

1.9%

4.8k

3.3k

1.7k

24k

8k

5.2k

0.8%

1.7%

2.8%

0.8%

0.8%

1.5%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.2k

0.4%

1.5%

2.5%

0.9%

1.1%

1.4%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

0.2%

1.2%

2.4%

0.9%

0.8%

1.0%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

0.2%

1.4%

2.4%

1.0%

1.1%

1.4%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

0.4%

1.4%

2.7%

1.0%

0.0%

2.0%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

0.7%

1.8%

2.6%

0.9%

2.1%

0.0%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5.1k

1.3%

2.4%

3.0%

0.9%

2.9%

0.0%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5k

2.2%

3.1%

4.3%

0.8%

3.9%

0.0%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5k

3.0%

4.0%

5.0%

0.9%

5.0%

0.0%

4.8k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5k

4.2%

5.2%

5.9%

0.8%

6.3%

8.3%

4.7k

3.3k

1.6k

24k

8k

5k

Offshore Support Journal | September 2017

www.osjonline.com


Francois Marine is the specialist in marine and offshore supplies to drilling rigs, offshore platforms, deep-sea vessels, tankers and bulk carriers, since 1988. Our division, Francois Offshore Catering is dedicated to provide premier offshore catering and facilities management in worldwide locations.

www.francoismarine.com

Contact us at marketing@francoismarine.com

Marine & Offshore Supplies

Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Offshore Catering & Facilities Management

Sales & Rental of BSL Offshore Containers (certified to DNV 2.7-1)

Established in 1986, Austen Maritime has been the one-stop ship service provider offering an extensive range of ship agency services, payroll services, project management, and in-country support for expatriate clients in the marine and offshore industry.

www.austen.com.sg

Contact us at marketing@austen.com.sg

Ship Agency

Payroll Services

Project Management

• Relocated to our 126,000 sq ft design-and-build office complex and warehouse since July 2017 • Modern warehouse facility to hold stock inventory, manage and consolidate ship stores, logistics supply chain and freight forwarding • New cold storage and chiller facilities

Address: 30 Pandan Road, Singapore 609277 SERVING YOU WORLDWIDE


the Platform That Delivers.

Austalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s range of Offshore Express Large Crew Transfer Vessels (LCTVs) provides a safe, versatile and economical platform to deliver your crew and cargo. Featuring class leading, high performance designs by Incat Crowther and the latest in Walk to Work technology from Ampelmann, Austal develops integrated solutions that replace traditional crew boats or expensive aviation alternatives.

AUSTAL.COM/offshORE

RELENTLESS DETERMINATION

Offshore Support Journal September 2017  

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