Category Archives: United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain).

UK: Helix Well Ops Charters Skandi Constructor from DOF Subsea

Aberdeen-based Helix Well Ops UK (Well Ops), a business unit of international offshore energy company Helix Energy Solutions Group (Helix ESG), is expanding its Europe and Africa well intervention fleet with an investment that will create 60 jobs.

A leading global provider of subsea well intervention, Well Ops will take control of the mono-hull well intervention vessel Skandi Constructor in spring 2013, after agreeing a three-year charter with DOF Subsea.

The move to strengthen Well Ops’ regional fleet, which currently includes the 132-metre (433ft) long Well Enhancer and the 114-metre (374ft) long MSV Seawell, will lead to the creation of approximately 50 jobs offshore and a further 10 onshore over the next nine months. At the moment the firm employs 70 staff in Aberdeen and a further 300 offshore.

Launched in 2009, Skandi Constructor is a 120-metre (393ft) long Ulstein SX121 DP3 mono-hull well intervention vessel that features the new X-bow design. The 8,500-tonne vessel accommodates up to 100 personnel and is capable of working in depths of up to 3,000 metres (9,842ft). It has a deck capacity of 1,470 square metres (15,822 sq ft) and features an 8m x 8m (27ft x 27ft) moon-pool, a 150-tonne crane, a multi-purpose tower with 140-tonne lift capability and two work class ROVs.

Well Ops will build and test, ready for use, a specially designed version of its 7⅜” subsea intervention lubricator (SIL) to enable subsea well interventions to be undertaken from Skandi Constructor. The SIL is a single trip well intervention system that provides well access, while managing containment when the well is ‘live’ and under pressure. The SIL is configured to undertake work through all types of subsea xmas trees. The vessel and SIL will allow Well Ops to provide its regional clients with a solution for deeper water wells and well interventions, which to date has been limited within the mono-hull vessel market.

Steve Nairn, Well Ops’ regional vice president of Europe and Africa, said: “Well Ops is extremely proud to announce the addition of a third vessel to our fleet and it underlines our commitment to providing well intervention services. Skandi Constructor strengthens our offering internationally and expands our well intervention service capability.”

The need for a third vessel in Well Ops’ fleet has been driven by demand from operators in the North Sea and in other oil and gas producing provinces. The firm recently secured contracts from a number of the North Sea’s major operators to provide light well intervention and associated subsea services from its existing vessels between 2013 and 2015.

Internationally, it has also received strong interest from operators, particularly in West Africa. This follows Well Enhancer’s deployment to the region earlier this year, where it completed what was believed to have been the region’s first well intervention project from a mono-hull vessel.

Mr Nairn added: “This is an exciting time for the company and the demand that we are witnessing is illustrative of the level of service and expertise that we can offer clients. As operators continually seek to make their operations more time and cost efficient, it is encouraging that more are turning to mono-hull vessels to conduct well intervention work.

“Our experience of providing an alternative to rig-based intervention systems has been built up over 25 years. MSV Seawell helped to pioneer light well intervention in the North Sea and we have built on this over recent years with Well Enhancer, which was the first mono-hull vessel capable of delivering coiled tubing intervention.”

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UK: Cove Encourages Shareholders to Accept Shell’s Takeover Bid

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Cove Energy, a UK oil and gas company with primary assets in East Africa, yesterday urged its shareholders to accept the $1.8 billion takeover bid from Shell before May 23, the first closing date for the offer from Shell.

The board of Cove, having already endorsed the offer, has said it continues to believe that it is in the best interests of Cove shareholders to accept the offer.

Despite also receiving a similar offer from Thailand’s PTTEP, and the rumors that a consortium from India is preparing a $2 billion offer, the board of Cove has said that, to date, Shell Bidco is the only firm bidder and has strongly recommended its shareholders to accept the offer as soon as possible.

To support the recommendation, the board has highlighted the fact that Shell has already secured the consent of the Government of Mozambique to the indirect acquisition of Cove’s interest in Rovuma Offshore Area 1 which would arise on the takeover of the company.

An 8.5% interest in Mozambique Rovuma Offshore Area 1 is Cove Energy’s primary asset. Anadarko, the operator of the area, last week announced it had made another major discovery in the field. The discovery well, named Golfinho, encountered more than 193 net feet (59 net meters) of natural gas pay. The well was drilled using the Belford Dolphin drillship.

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UK: Subsea 7 Orders OCTOPUS for Seven Borealis

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London-based Subsea 7, the seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services contractor to the offshore energy industry, has ordered the OCTOPUS suite of products for the recently delivered Pipelay/Heavy Lift vessel Seven Borealis.

This latest addition to the Subsea 7 fleet is a state-of-the-art vessel that shall be involved in ultra-deep and deepwater projects in the world’s deepest and harshest environments.

Amarcon is appointed to deliver a motion monitoring and ship response forecast system, known in the industry as OCTOPUS-Onboard. The order for Subsea 7 is a very extensive one. One of the functionalities is a crane monitoring system. The motions of the heave compensated 5,000t crane are monitored and displayed real-time within OCTOPUS-Onboard. In addition to the onboard motion monitoring & forecast functionality, the Seven Borealis shall also be equipped with a DP Capability Forecast. This enables the production of DP (Dynamic Positioning) -plots based on forecast thruster utilization. As a result of that, a forecast is given within OCTOPUS-Onboard if the vessel is capable of maintaining her position and heading in changing environmental and weather conditions, hours and days ahead. By using OCTOPUS-Online all the collected motions and accelerations from the Seven Borealis are sent to a central database server so authorized users at the Subsea 7 office can view and analyze the recorded motion and acceleration data. Subsea 7 also ordered Amarcon’s hydrodynamic analysis software OCTOPUS-Office for calculations of sea keeping characteristics of the Seven Borealis prior to new pipe lay projects.

In 2011 Seaway Heavy Lifting ordered OCTOPUS-Onboard for her Oleg Strashnov, which is operated under a Joint Venture together with Subsea 7.

Amarcon’s Managing Director Leon Adegeest shows his appreciation: “It is great to see that these unique vessels, involved in very complex and sophisticated offshore projects, have chosen OCTOPUS-Onboard to assist them in their everyday operations.”

OCTOPUS can be installed on newbuild vessels and on ships already in operation.

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UK: BP Places Order for 4 Platform Supply Vessels

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BP announced today it has ordered four new platform support vessels (PSV) to help deliver its long term business strategy in the North Sea. The vessels will be deployed to support its West of Shetland (WoS) and Norwegian operations and be delivered between the winter of 2013 and summer of 2014.

The purpose built and highly specified vessels have been designed to provide long term support to BP’s North Sea business and will provide the capabilities BP requires to deliver its strategy more efficiently and safely. The vessels will have oil spill response capability and special tanks to transport fluids required for planned enhanced oil recovery (EOR) schemes.

Performance and safety will also be further improved by having dedicated crews on long term hire, minimising turnover and enhancing familiarity with BP’s processes.

Trevor Garlick, Regional President for BP North Sea, said, “Our long term commitment to the North Sea gives us the confidence to make major investments in vital support services. These new vessels will provide BP with a number of safety and commercial benefits, as well as allow for the greater deployment of technology. Improving our capability to recover more oil from our reservoirs is crucial to the future of the North Sea.”

The announcement is also positive news for the local economies in Scotland and Norway, as nearly 80% of the total project and operating costs will be spent there. The operating and maintenance work will be locally supplied and officers and crew will be UK and Norwegian qualified mariners. The vessels’ operators will support seafarer’s development by sponsoring personnel through their professional qualifications, including an Officer Cadet training scheme.

Mark Hardie, UK Logistics Manager for BP’s North Sea Region, said: “This is a significant investment in BP’s North Sea marine capability and will bring a number of business and local benefits from late 2013 onwards. The UK dedicated vessels will be based and maintained in Aberdeen.”

The arrangement is structured such that BP Shipping has contracted Hyundai to build the vessels and then hire them to BP Exploration Operating Company on a 15 year bareboat term charter. This project is consistent with BP’s strategy for marine offshore supply vessels that promotes vessel ownership where long term ‘life of field’ can be demonstrated.

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Gulf Keystone Silences Twitter Fantasist Behind Share Collapse

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by  Dow Jones Newswires
James Herron
Thursday, May 17, 2012

LONDON – U.K.-listed oil explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum PLC obtained assurances Thursday that an individual who spread damaging rumors about the company on message-distribution system Twitter, which were later admitted to be fantasies, would cease to comment publicly on the company’s activities.

According to court documents, 28-year-old Spencer Freeman posted numerous messages on Twitter about Gulf Keystone between June 2011 and May 2012, culminating in a claim May 9 that the company was preparing to raise cash by issuing shares at a price of 160 pence, a 22% discount to its closing share price the previous day.

Shares in Gulf Keystone plunged by as much as 9% that day and remained down until the company refuted the claims in a regulatory filing May 10.

Gulf Keystone was seeking to prevent Freeman “posting untrue and damaging allegations” that prompted a collapse in its share price and took up substantial management time “dealing with disgruntled investors and press inquiries,” according to court documents.

Freeman will voluntarily abide by Gulf Keystone’s demands, in an agreement that will have the same legal force as a court injunction, said Justice David Bean, the presiding judge in the case. Gulf Keystone will take no further proceedings against Freeman, but he could face contempt of court charges if he breaches his undertakings, said Bean.

Freeman and a spokeswoman for Gulf Keystone declined to comment on the hearing.

Gulf Keystone’s main assets are large oil discoveries in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Its shares have been highly volatile, rising and falling almost twofold as unfounded rumors swirled that it would be subject to a takeover bid from U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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UK: Nautronix to Supply Acoustic Positioning System for Noble’s New Drillship

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Nautronix have secured another order for the supply of their NASDrill RS925 deepwater acoustic positioning system for Noble Corporation’s fourth new ultra-deepwater drillship. In 2011, Nautronix was awarded the contracts for supplying their NASDrill RS925 system for Noble’s first three new drill ships.

All new vessels will be constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, Korea and will be based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 design. The rigs will have DP-3 station keeping abilities and the capacity to handle two complete BOP systems allowing for operation in water depths of up to 12,000 feet.

Mark Patterson, Nautronix CEO, commented “This order further strengthens our relationship with Noble Corporation and I believe that it demonstrates their confidence in our NASDrill RS925 system”.

NASDrill RS925 has been designed specifically to meet the requirements for a reliable, stable DP and position reference system for demanding offshore operations, in particular deepwater drilling vessels.

The system combines the two most accurate deepwater acoustic positioning technologies – Short Baseline (SBL) and Long Baseline (LBL) – to calculate multiple independent position solutions providing reliable, repeatable input to the vessel DP system; with SBL mode providing accuracies of 0.15% slant range and LBL mode providing accuracies up to 1m RMS independent of water depth.

The NASDrill RS925 system is supplied with all external interfacing to the Dynamic Positioning System for automatic station keeping and can be used as part of an integrated acoustically-aided INS positioning solution.

The system is also fully upgradable to use NASeBOP and NASNet® (Nautronix unique underwater GPS).

As with all Nautronix leading commercial acoustic systems, NASDrill RS925 utilises Nautronix proprietary ADS² (Acoustic Digital Spread Spectrum) broadband signalling technology which has been proven, with over ten years of successful subsea operations, to provide superior accuracy, repeatability and reliability for dynamic positioning of vessels during deepwater drilling operations.

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UK: Rolls-Royce Equipment for Iceman AHTS

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Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has been awarded a £15 million contract by STX OSV to supply an extensive deck equipment package for an advanced anchor handling vessel to be operated by Iceman AS.

The package, which is designed to improve operational safety, will include a new anchor handling frame (AHF) and a hydraulic anchor winch, which is capable of pulling 500 tonnes. It will also feature anchor handling cranes and systems to ensure controlled management of wires and chains when pulling heavy loads.

Arne Tande, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President – Offshore Deck Machinery said: “This latest contract cements Rolls-Royce’s position as the market leader in anchor handling equipment. We supply world leading technology which enables safer and more efficient operations in deep water oil fields.”

As the exploration and production for oil and gas moves towards deeper waters, mooring lines become heavier, more difficult and more hazardous to handle. The new AHF is designed to reduce the handling forces and wire tension during anchor deployment and retrieval operations, while also minimizing the human exposure to hazardous operating conditions. The AHF is mounted at the stern of the vessel to ease the deployment and recovery of anchors. It makes it simpler to deck the anchor with correct orientation and without repeated efforts or assistance from other vessels.

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T1200 Trenching Unit Nearing Completion in the UK

Helix Currents

Left: Seen here is the outer shell of the T1200 ROV Trenching and Burial Unit which is set for delivery to Canyon Offshore, Helix ESG’s subsea robotics unit, by summer 2012. Right: A computer animation of a completed T1200.

Helix ESG’s latest seabed trenching unit, the T1200, is in the final stages of construction at a Perry Slingsby Systems Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) plant in the UK.

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