Category Archives: RLWI

Riserless Light Well Intervention (RLWI) enables the petroleum operators to increase the oil and gas recovery rate from subsea oil wells. The operation is performed through smaller dynamic positioned monohull vessels instead of larger mobile installations like traditional semisubmersible drilling rigs or drillships.

The RLWI enable subsea well intervention without having to use a drilling riser package connected to the subsea stack (blowout preventer system).

The technology is based on wireline well maintenance, where the cable is routed via a subsea lubricator system.[1] into the subsea well.[2] Traditional activities are wireline operations for well logging, perforation and installing or pulling equipment like plugs and downhole safety valve inserts. The operational envelope can be extended by use of tractors in horizontal wells.

The recovery rate has traditionally been considerably lower on a subsea well than for a surface platform well due more complicated well intervention and maintenance issues. RLWI enables the operators to perform intervention to increase the recovery rate at reduced time and cost.[3]

There is a positive safety aspect by employing RLWI services as no hydrocarbons are transported to the vessel, but flushed back into the well through the lubricator system during normal operations. However, RLWI is a complex operation requiring special expertise and control in all phases of the preparation and implementation.[

Island Performer getting ready to perform in Gulf of Mexico

A naming ceremony was held for the subsea vessel ‘Island Performer’ in Norway on Friday, June 27, 2014.

The Island Performer, owned by Island Offshore, is getting ready its her work for FTO in the Gulf of Mexico.

The vessel is equipped with a large intervention tower over the main moon pool, a 250-tonne AHC Offshore Crane and two deep-sea work ROVs.

With a length overall of 130m, and width of 25m, the vessel can accommodate 130 people.

The Island Performer is particularly developed to suit the scope in the FTO contract in which Riser-less Light Well Intervention and Inspection, Maintenance, Repair are main tasks.

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MacGregor Provides Subsea Crane for ‘Island Intervention’

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has won a contract to deliver a 250-tonne SWL active heave-compensated (AHC) subsea crane for the 120m construction vessel, Island Intervention. The crane was ordered by Marine Procurement Ltd, part of the US company Edison Chouest Offshore.

An existing vessel operated by the US/Norwegian partnership between Edison Chouest Offshore and Island Offshore requires greater lifting capability; a MacGregor 250-tonne SWL AHC subsea crane fulfils the upgrade requirements. Island Intervention is currently operating in the North Sea for the US/Norwegian partnership between Edison Chouest Offshore and Island Offshore. The vessel works in the offshore construction market and was delivered by Norwegian yard Ulstein Verft in 2011; its current lifting capacity is 140 tonnes.

“The vessel simply needs a bigger crane for the jobs that it undertakes,” says Frode Grøvan, Director, Sales and Marketing for Advanced Load Handling. “The order confirms the trend that we see of subsea modules getting larger and heavier, therefore requiring operators to equip their vessels with ever more capable cranes.”

“At MacGregor, we have the expertise necessary to ensure that retrofit projects like this run smoothly and successfully, with downtime kept to a minimum.”

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Ulstein Presents Benefits of Its SX121 Design

Advancement in technology is permitting the offshore oil and gas industry to move into progressively deeper and colder waters in remote locations. ULSTEIN supports this development by providing products and solutions that contribute to safer, smarter and greener operations.

A case in point is the versatile and flexible OCV/subsea vessel design SX121, which ULSTEIN is currently building customized versions of for GC Rieber Shipping and Island Offshore. The design can be tailored for a multitude of offshore construction and subsea operations in deep and ultra-deep waters both below and above the Arctic Circle.

Deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects occur outside of the continental shelf at water depths between 400 and 1,500 metres and depths greater than 1,500 metres respectively. Deep waters mean remote locations, harsh weather conditions and sensitive ecosystems. This type of environment requires vessels that are reliable and safe, cost-efficient and environmentally sound.

“We aim to develop ships that can operate reliably, safely and efficiently in harsh conditions with as small an environmental footprint as possible. The robust configuration, system integration and X-BOW® hull line of the SX121 ensure safety and comfort for the crew, an increased operational window and significantly reduced environmental impact,” says sales manager in Ulstein Design & Solutions, Lars Ståle Skoge.

Currently, there are four sailing SX121 vessels designed and built by ULSTEIN. The vessels, which operate in different segments such as offshore construction, riserless well intervention and inspection/maintenance/repair, have received very good feedback.

Gordon L. Wilkinson in Veolia ES said the following about ‘Viking Poseidon’’s work in the Gulf of Mexico: “She is the Queen of the Gulf.”

At the end of 2012 shipowner Island Offshore, together with their American partner Edison Chouest Offshore, ordered another SX121 vessel from ULSTEIN currently under construction at Ulstein Verft. “We’ve received very good feedback on our two operating vessels of this design, ‘Island Constructor’ and ‘Island Intervention’,” says Technical Manager in Island Offshore, Trond Hauge. “I’m confident that this type of vessel is a safe and comfortable platform for the performance of advanced work in the years to come.”

Optimized for heavier installations

“The SX121 is a compact vessel that can perform deepwater and ultra-deepwater operations for which currently larger vessels are frequently used, thus providing the customer with a more cost-efficient solution,” says Håvard Stave, Sales Manager in Ulstein Verft.

“The typical SX121 vessel operates at depths down to 3,000 metres, which comprises most current oil & gas activities. The need to deploy heavier equipment in deep waters such as offshore Brazil and Africa and in the Gulf of Mexico, has spurred market interest in OCV vessels with a 400-tonne crane, which we’ve now incorporated in the SX121 design.”

ULSTEIN has drawn on experiences from its latest SX121 projects, and optimized the utilization of the hull with regards to work from deck as well as crane construction work, resulting in an even more versatile OCV/subsea vessel.

The robust platform is optimized for efficient operations in deep waters with a crane capacity of up to 400 tonnes and a substantial remaining deck loading capacity, and it can be configured for a variety of mission equipment. There is a large deck area of 1,750 m2, and the area around the main moon pool is reinforced in order to sustain a VLS or module handling system. The ROV installation is designed and chosen for operations in significant wave heights of 4.5 metres or more. Two heavy-duty work ROVs are situated in the enclosed hangar, one to be deployed from the starboard side, the other through a dedicated moon pool.

Extended redundancy

A reliable vessel is key for cost-efficiency, as down-time and aborting on-going operations are costly affairs, particularly when operating far from shore.

The SX121 vessel meets the highest standard for position keeping, DYNPOS-AUTRO, with redundancy on all major components. Featuring the ‘Operation+’ concept, an increase in redundancy in AUTR operations if a single major failure occurs, the vessel will still maintain system redundancy throughout the most critical areas. The typical configuration is diesel electric propulsion powered by six identical medium speed main generator sets. The switchboard system, propellers and diesel motors can be configured in groups of two, three or four. If a major failure occurs, the vessel will only lose one third of its power and propulsion. The combination of system architecture and power stations, three side thrusters and three main thrusters, ensures that the operation can be safely completed using two thirds of its capacity.

Smart and safe

In order to optimize capacities and performance of the vessel, the freeboard has been increased by one metre compared with the previously built vessels of this design. This increase also improves safety and ensures a dry work deck. In addition, the helideck has been moved further back in order to increase the weather window for helicopter landings.

The vessel’s X-BOW provides good motion characteristics for safe operations. It also reduces the vessel’s environmental footprint through lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. With optimized resolution of the power generation plant, the vessel will have high fuel efficiency in all operational modes.

The vessel accommodates a crew of 130 and complies with all international requirements for comfort and safety.

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BP Extends LWI Contract with Island Offshore

Island Offshore, a leading name in global Light Well Intervention (“LWI”) activities, has been awarded a major contract extension with BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd.

The two-year contract extension, covering 2014 and 2015, has been awarded to Island Offshore and the North Sea RLWI Alliance, which operates three monohull vessels specially designed for well intervention tasks. Island Offshore’s Island Constructor – a 120m long, 8,200 ton, state-of-the-art Ulstein built X-Bow vessel – will perform the scope of work for the client.

Commenting on the award, Robert Friedberg, Managing Director of Island Offshore Subsea, says: “We are delighted to continue our successful operations for BP. This is an important extension of a contract that has now been in place for 5 years.”

“It demonstrates the strength of the relationship we have built with BP and the excellent standard of service that Island Offshore, and its partners in the North Sea RLWI Alliance, have delivered.”

He continues: “We have acquired some unique experience working with the BP team in the harsh environments West of the Shetland, and we look forward to building on that in the future.”

The value of the new contract is approximately NOK 0.5 billion (USD 86.5 million) and includes options for NOK 0.75 billion (USD 129.8 million).

The North Sea Alliance was formed in 2004 to provide integrated wireline services to the growing subsea intervention market. The Alliance performs between 60-70 well interventions each year, providing services such as scale milling, gauging and logging operations, plug setting and re-perforating requirements. Island Offshore and the North Sea RLWI Alliance are currently the world leading riser-less wireline intervention,(“RLWI”), provider. To date the partners have performed close to 250 well interventions.

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USA: Helix Marks Strong Market Demand for Deepwater Well Intervention Services

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. announced that it has been awarded its initial customer contractual commitments for the Helix 534. The Helix 534 was acquired in August from Transocean and is undergoing modifications and upgrades necessary for conversion into a well intervention vessel at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

The Helix 534 is scheduled to sail from Singapore during the first quarter of 2013 and after transit to the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to be placed into service in late second quarter 2013. Backlog for the Helix 534 involves work in the Gulf of Mexico and extends into 2016.

Meanwhile, the Q4000 has extended its strong contractual backlog through 2014, with strong customer interest into 2016.

Helix also announced that the Skandi Constructor has also received its initial contractual awards. The Skandi Constructor is a chartered vessel and is expected to enter the Helix well intervention fleet in the spring of 2013. Its initial contract involves work in the North Sea and follows with a project off the eastern Canadian coast.

Helix’s two existing North Sea based well intervention vessels, the Seawell and the Well Enhancer, have been awarded customer contracts into the fourth quarter of 2013.

Owen Kratz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helix, stated, “The recent contract awards for our two new additions to the well intervention fleet, the Helix 534 and the Skandi Constructor, as well as the growing backlog for our existing fleet, reflects the strong market demand for deepwater well intervention services as well as Helix’s market leadership for these services. Furthermore, customer interest for our newbuild semisubmersible well intervention vessel, the Q5000, remains high. The Q5000 is currently under construction at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore and is scheduled to enter the fleet in early 2015.”

Subsea World News – USA: Helix Marks Strong Market Demand for Deepwater Well Intervention Services.

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