Huisman, specialist in lifting, drilling and subsea solutions, has announced its plans to build a new production facility in Brazil and recently initiated the land fill works. The new facility will be located alongside the river Itajai-Açu in the city of Navegantes in Santa Catarina state, a state in the southern part of Brazil bordering the Atlantic Ocean. This facility will be used for the manufacturing of construction equipment for the Brazilian offshore market.
The first investment phase includes over 15,000 square meter of production facilities. The next investment phase will include a 200m long quay side with an artificial bay to protect vessels from the seasonal river’s high currents. With the quayside in place, the Huisman do Brasil facility will be easily accessible for seagoing vessels, allowing for fast installation, commissioning and testing of the Huisman designed and built offshore construction equipment onboard. The new Huisman production facility is planned to be operational in the second half of 2013.
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.
- Norway: Ulstein Gets Order for Four PSVs from Blue Ship Invest (worldmaritimenews.com)
- Norway: Captain Praises Ulstein-built ‘Blue Fighter’ Supply Vessel (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Ulstein Launches Blue Prosper PSV (mb50.wordpress.com)
- GC Rieber Shipping Orders Subsea Vessel from Ulstein (Norway) (mb50.wordpress.com)
Two Pre-Season Storms Eyed in Atlantic, Pacific oceans, Could Cause Damages to Gas, Oil Projects in Gulf of Mexico
Storms that enter the Gulf of Mexico could damage and halt both operations and production of natural gas and oil development projects in the area. Just this March, according to a one-year progress report on the Obama administration’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Policy, it said that the Gulf of Mexico is safely back to strong production after the much celebrated 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, otherwise known as the BP oil disaster or the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Of the two pre-season storms spotted by the National Hurricane Center, the stronger one was found in the Pacific about 550 miles or 885 kilometers south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. In a weather bulletin, the center said it has a 50 per cent chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next day or two.
The one in the Atlantic, meanwhile, was 460 miles west-southwest of the Azores, with a 20 per cent probability of becoming a sub-tropical storm in the next two days.
The eastern Pacific and Atlantic hurricane seasons officially start on May 15 and June 1, respectively.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico flowed for three months in 2010. It is recorded as the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. The spill, which stemmed from a sea-floor oil that resulted from the explosion of Deepwater Horizon, killed 11 men and injured 17 others, including massive damage to marine and wildlife habitats and to the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries.
- Pacific Santa Ana Drillship Arrives in U.S. Gulf of Mexico to Work for Chevron (mb50.wordpress.com)
- 1st tropical depression of Pacific season forms (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- First tropical depression forms off the coast of Mexico ahead of official start of hurricane season (mega949.com)
- First tropical depression forms off the coast of Mexico ahead of official start of hurricane season (640whlo.com)
MIAMI, Florida — Just two weeks before the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, NOAA‘s National Huricane Center in Miami, Florida has issued a Special Tropical Weather Outlook due to a non-tropical low pressure system that has formed in the Atlantic Ocean 400 miles southwest of the Southern Azores Island.
The low has developed thunderstorm activity near the center during the past 24 hours. NOAA says that there is some potential for additional development as the system moves little during the next couple of days.
The low has a medium chance (40%) of becoming a subtropical or tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours.
9:55 a.m. Sunday UPDATE:
FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC…CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO…
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH A NON-TROPICAL LOW ABOUT
460 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN AZORES ISLANDS HAS
DIMINISHED SINCE YESTERDAY. THE POTENTIAL FOR DEVELOPMENT HAS
DECREASED…AND THE SYSTEM NOW HAS A LOW CHANCE…20 PERCENT…
OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT
48 HOURS. ADDITIONAL SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS WILL BE
ISSUED ON THIS SYSTEM LATER TODAY OR MONDAY…IF NECESSARY.
ABNT20 KNHC 141730
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
130 PM EDT MON MAY 14 2012
FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC…CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO…
SHOWER ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH A NON-TROPICAL LOW ABOUT
450 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN AZORES ISLANDS REMAINS
MINIMAL. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE NOT CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT…AND THE SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE…NEAR 0 PERCENT…OF
BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS. NO ADDITIONAL SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS ON THIS
SYSTEM ARE ANTICIPATED. ROUTINE ISSUANCE OF THE ATLANTIC TROPICAL
WEATHER OUTLOOK WILL BEGIN ON 1 JUNE 2012.
ELSEWHERE…TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
- Pre-season tropical storm forming? (news4jax.com)
- Atlantic disturbance pops up 2 weeks before start of hurricane season (tcpalm.com)
- Azores storm 92L unlikely to develop; East Pacific hurricane season beginning (wunderground.com)
- May could see a named storm (local10.com)
- Hurricane center to develop six- and seven-day forecasts (bostonherald.com)
- First tropical storm system of the season forms in the Eastern Pacific (theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com)
- First Pacific tropical storm of 2012 forms southwest of Mexico (reuters.com)
- First tropical depression forms off the coast of Mexico ahead of official start of hurricane season (640whlo.com)
Seadrill, one of the world’s largest drilling contractors, has ordered a new harsh environment semi-submersible drilling rig from Hyundai Samho Shipyard in South Korea. The company explained the move by the current strong demand for high specification drilling units and Seadrill’s wish to benefit from such market conditions.
It will be of a Moss CS60 design, N class compliant and will be able to meet the harsh and demanding weather conditions in the North Atlantic areas. In addition, the new rig will have premium ultra deepwater capabilities including water depth of up to 10,000 feet. The rig is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter 2014.
Total estimated project costs is less than US$650 million including a turn key yard contract with a back-end loaded payment structure. In addition, Seadrill has agreed a fixed price option for one further unit from the yard. Seadrill has already received charter interest in the firm unit. With the strong demand Seadrill feels it is likely that the option will be exercised. However, a final decision will not be taken before August 2012.
Seadrill’s construction program now totals 18 units, including 6 drillships, 2 harsh environment semi-submersibles, 5 tender rigs and 5 jack ups. In addition to the rigs under construction, Seadrill also controls several fixed price options at various yards.
Alf C Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer in Seadrill Management AS says in a comment: “Based on the enquiries we receive from the major oil and gas companies and the current high oil prices, we are comfortable that the aggregate demand for modern floaters will exceed the supply of available units for several years to come. We are pleased that the good relationships Seadrill and the Fredriksen group have with the top quality yards have allowed us to get access to attractive delivery slots at competitive terms. With an expected strong cash flow from our solid contract backlog we are well positioned to secure attractive financing for our new building program. As a result we remain positive to the prospects of continuing to show higher growth and deliver better operational and financial performance than our peers in an industry that looks very attractive for the years to come.”
- Strong Demand for UDW Drillships Spurs Seadrill to Order One More from SHI (South Korea) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: Seadrill Confirms Samsung Drillships Contracts (mb50.wordpress.com)
The contract follows front end engineering and design services and exercises ExxonMobil’s option to subsequently award detailed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services. The Hebron Field is an oil and gas development in the Atlantic Ocean located 350 kilometers offshore from St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
WorleyParsons estimates its portion, including engineering and project management, of the services revenue under the EPC contract to be US$360 million over five years. WorleyParsons, working with Fluor, will provide overall project management of the contract with subcontracts to be awarded to multiple third parties, with a special emphasis on performing work in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Commenting, WorleyParsons’ Chief Executive Officer John Grill said: “WorleyParsons is excited to have been contracted for this next phase by ExxonMobil Canada Properties for the complex Hebron project which will utilize our proven expertise in sub-Arctic floatover topsides”.
- Global search launched for Hebron work (cbc.ca)
- Scramble on to keep $100M Hebron contract in N.L. (cbc.ca)
- ExxonMobil Awards Technip GoM Subsea Contract (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Exxon, Conoco and BP Plan Alaska LNG Exports (mb50.wordpress.com)
- ExxonMobil, Petrom Strike Gas in Black Sea (mb50.wordpress.com)
As reported by the Associated Press, the potential of the project, aimed at developing wind turbines in the U.S., situated off the Virginia cost and encompassing circa 113,000 acres in the Atlantic Ocean, has been recognized by numerous investors including European ones.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, in charge of supervising offshore wind development, published the names of companies that submitted the necessary documentation in order to be eligible for project implementation, those being:
Arcadia Offshore Virginia LLC, New Jersey based branch of Arcadia Windpower, Cirrus Wind Energy Inc., based in Nevada; enXco Development Corp., based in California; Fishermen’s Energy LLC, based in New Jersey; Iberdrola Renewables Inc., an American subsidiary of a Spanish company with offices on the West and East coasts; Orisol Energy US Inc., another Spanish offshoot with American offices in Michigan; Apex Virginia; and Dominion Resources.
The paperwork will be scrutinized by the government regulators, in order to determine what company meets the technical and economic prerequisites in order to be able to push forward with the project implementation.
On March 27, Virginia regulators gave their consent to what might be the first offshore wind turbine built in the United States. Even though the prototype turbine still awaits approval of the U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers, it is said that it will be located in Chesapeake Bay and be able to meet the power needs of 1,250 households. The capacity of the wind turbine will equal to 5 megawatts of electricity and it should be ready for production by the end of 2013.
- Virginia Offshore Wind Turbine (jeceblog.com)
- Virginia Offshore Wind Turbine Positioned to be First in U.S. (renewableenergyworld.com)
- Virginia Approves First Offshore Wind-Energy Turbine For US Waters (hardware.slashdot.org)
- Dominion interested in Va offshore wind generation (mysanantonio.com)
The Obama administration’s announcement that it may allow seismic studies potentially paving the way for offshore drilling along the East Coast is political posturing designed to distract voters concerned about high gasoline prices, oil industry leaders and Republican lawmakers said today.
The administration’s move “continues the president’s election-year political ploy of giving speeches and talking about drilling after having spent the first three years in office blocking, delaying and driving up the cost of producing energy in America,” said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash. “The president is focused on trying to talk his way out of what he’s done, rather than taking real steps to boost American energy production.”
At issue is Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s announcement in Norfolk, Va., this morning that the government is assessing the environmental effects of allowing seismic surveys along the mid- and south-Atlantic that could help locate hidden pockets of oil and gas. If ultimately approved, the studies by private geological research companies also could help guide decisions about where to place renewable energy projects off the coast.
The Interior Department is issuing a draft environmental impact statement that assesses the consequences of seismic research on marine life in the area. The Obama administration had planned to release a similar document in 2010, before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
If the draft environmental assessment is finalized after public comments and hearings, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management could give companies permits to conduct the studies off the coasts of eight East Coast states.
Salazar said that if the geological research turned up promising results, that could open the door to offshore drilling in the area within five years, even though the administration currently has ruled out that kind of exploration before 2017. A government plan for selling offshore drilling leases from 2012 to 2017 does not include any auctions of Atlantic territory.
“If the information that is developed allows us to move forward in a quicker time frame, we can always come in with an amendment,” Salazar said. “We’re not prejudging that at this point in time. My view is … we need to develop information so we can make those wise decisions.”
Industry officials noted that under federal laws, it could take years for the government to revise the 2012-2017 leasing plan, even if federal officials decided to pursue Atlantic drilling.
Erik Milito, upstream director for the American Petroleum Institute, said the administration is repackaging old news and old plans to make it appear it is making real progress to encourage more domestic energy development.
“This is political rhetoric to make it appear the administration is doing something on gas prices, but in reality it is little more than an empty gesture,” Milito said.
Randall Luthi, the president of the National Ocean Industries Association, likened the administration’s announcement to giving the industry “a canoe with no oars, since there are no lease sales planned anywhere off the East Coast.”
If allowed to conduct seismic surveys, geological research firms would ultimately give the resulting information to the government and sell it to companies eager to analyze the data.
But Milito questioned whether seismic companies would pursue the work, given that some of their best customers — oil companies — wouldn’t be able to use it to plan offshore drilling for years, if at all.
“Without an Atlantic coast lease sale in their five-year plan, the administration’s wishful thinking on seismic research has no ultimate purpose,” Milito said. “The White House has banned lease sales in the Atlantic for at least the next five years, discouraging the investment and job creation, and ultimately production, which would make seismic exploration valuable.”
Still, at least six companies already have told the government they want to conduct seismic research along the East Coast.
“We have gotten significant expressions of interest from companies in contracting for these seismic surveys,” said Tommy Beaudreau, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. “I am confident that, assuming the process continues on the track we anticipate, that there will be significant interest next year in conducting these surveys.”
Geological research uses seismic waves to map what lies underground or beneath the ocean floor. The shock waves — which some environmental advocates say may harm marine life — map the density of subterranean material and can gives clues about possible oil and gas.
Seismic studies also help identify geologic hazards and archaeological resources in the seabed — information useful in determining the placement of renewable energy infrastructure as well as oil and gas equipment.
The existing seismic surveys of the Atlantic coast are decades old, and in the years since, “there have been enormous technological advances,” Salazar noted.
“We do need to have seismic moving forward so we can really understand what the resource potential is,” Salazar added.
- Obama administration advances plan for seismic research along Atlantic coast (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Obama officials rip into GOP gasoline bills (mb50.wordpress.com)