Category Archives: PSV

A Platform supply vessel (often abbreviated as PSV) is a ship specially designed to supply offshore oil platforms. These ships range from 20 to 100 meters in length and accomplish a variety of tasks. The primary function for most of these vessels is transportation of goods and personnel to and from offshore oil platforms and other offshore structures.

In the recent years a new generation of Platform Supply Vessel entered the market, usually equipped with Class 1 or Class 2 Dynamic Positioning System Dynamic positioning.

Blue Ship Orders Four Platform Supply Vessels from Ulstein (Norway)

Market trends and very good feedback from the first ship in operation triggers Blue Ship Invest to contract another four platform supply vessels (PSVs) of the PX121 design from ULSTEIN. All four are scheduled for delivery in 2013.

The investment company Blue Ship Invest received its first vessel, ‘Blue Fighter’, from Ulstein Verft in January this year, and will receive the second vessel in Q3. “’Blue Fighter’ has been working for the oil company Apache for several months, and we have received very good feedback from Remøy Shipping, who manages the vessel on our behalf. The feedback, combined with developments in the PSV market, leads us to contract a series of another four PSVs of the same design,” says CEO Gunvor Ulstein in Ulstein Group.

Gunvor Ulstein adds that while ULSTEIN’s expertise is in design, system solutions and ship construction, ship management is not a part of the company’s business scope. “We will make arrangements for the management of the vessels, but I emphasize that all six vessels are for sale,” she says.

Captain Inge Gjelsten gives ‘Blue Fighter’ the following assessment: “I have worked on board several newbuilds, but ’Blue Fighter’ is the best of them by far. A vessel of this type is my preferred choice for the North Sea. ‘Blue Fighter’ is remarkably efficient and comfortable in all weather conditions. Wind and seas have little impact on the vessel’s performance compared to conventional PSVs. We can compare performance directly when steaming on the same tracks to the oil fields: With the same weather conditions and 3-5 metres head sea within 30 degrees of the bow, our ship can easily and comfortably maintain a speed of 12-13 knots, while the other vessels have to reduce their speed to 7-8 knots. The higher speed is a result of the ‘X-BOW® effect’. Also, due to the position of the stabilisation tanks on board, ‘Blue Fighter’ operates extremely well when wind and seas approach from the side.”

PX121 is a medium-sized platform supply vessel, with a length of 83.4 metres and a beam of 18 metres. It has a cargo deck of 875 square metres and a load capacity of 4200 tonnes (dwt). It has a maximum speed of approximately 15 knots and modern accommodation for 24 persons.

Efficiency and flexibility has been the focus in the development of this design. The ship is adapted to the requirements for longer and deeper boreholes and activities further from shore. In addition to tanks for oil, water and drilling fluids, the vessel has four stainless steel tanks for flammable liquids. The vessel is equipped with a dynamic positioning system Class II and meets the requirements of DNV’s Clean Design and ICE-C notations. The ship is also equipped with catalysts for all four main engines.

The X-BOW® hull line design offers efficiency over a wide draught range, which is important for PSVs as they frequently operate with varying loads. Moreover, the X-BOW has unique, advantageous qualities in terms of motion and propulsion efficiency in moderate and heavy seas. Both the hull and choice of propulsion system make the vessel particularly suited for North Sea and North Atlantic conditions.

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Norway: Captain Praises Ulstein-built ‘Blue Fighter’ Supply Vessel

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In recent years, Inge Gjelsten has been Captain on board several newbuilds: “’Blue Fighter’ is the best of them by far,” he states. He is soon to retire, and concludes: “If I were a newly-educated captain planning for a career on a supply vessel in the North Sea, a vessel of this type would be my preferred choice.”

The medium-sized platform supply vessel ‘Blue Fighter’ of PX121 design from ULSTEIN was ordered based on trends in the North Sea market. After only days of operation in the spot market, ‘Blue Fighter’ entered a one-year contract, with an option for an additional year, with the American oil company Apache for work in the North Sea.

Remøy Shipping has technical and commercial management of the vessel and feedback on her seakeeping abilities is invariably positive.

Captain Gjelsten continues:

“All on board agree that this is a remarkably efficient and comfortable vessel in all weather conditions. Wind and seas have little impact on the vessel’s performance compared to conventional PSV s. We can compare performance directly when steaming on the same tracks to the oil fields: With the same weather conditions and 3-5 metres head sea within 30 degrees of the bow, our ship can easily and comfortably maintain a speed of 12-13 knots, while the other vessels have to reduce their speed to 7-8 knots. The higher speed is a result of the ‘X-BOW® effect’. Also, due to the position of the stabilisation tanks on board, ‘Blue Fighter’ operates extremely well when wind and seas approach from the side.”

Ulstein Verft delivered the vessel to Blue Ship Invest in January this year.

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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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