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USA: ABS to Class Unique Arctic Containment System

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The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has announced it will class the first-of-its-kind Arctic Containment System (ACS), which will serve all exploration activities in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas offshore Alaska. The ACS will be deployed in June 2012.

ABS explains that a modular oil containment system will be installed on the deck of the non self-propelled ice-strengthened barge following its conversion to a floating offshore installation  The dedicated barge will remain unmanned and on standby until deployed. Then, assisted by a tugboat, its trained crew will be able to respond to an oil spill incident in the exploration areas in a matter of days.

Shell has plans to drill up to six exploration wells off the coast of Alaska, later this year and has contracted with Superior Energy, the operator of the ACS, for the containment system to be available during the summer drilling season. The containment system would be able to mitigate spillage in the time it takes to drill an intervention well.

The oil giant’s Arctic drilling plans have been facing strong opposition from environmental activists. Today, twenty Greenpeace activists boarded two icebreakers leased by Shell from Finland’s Arctia Offshore. Shell has leased the vessels to support its upcoming drilling operations offshore Alaska.

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Germany: SAL’s MV Lone Becomes DP Class II Vessel

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The MV “Lone” has completed her upgrade from DP class I to DP Class II. The Heavy Lift vessel, which is part of the SAL fleet, was upgraded during the month of December in the dry-dock of the German shipyard Norderwerft (Sietas Group) in Hamburg.

With this configuration, her unrivalled service speed of 20 knots and her service capability the MV “Lone” is equipped to undertake ambitious projects within the oil and gas industry as well as offshore wind farms.

SAL, which belongs to the Japanese “K”-Line Group and is one of the leading international carriers specialising in the transportation of heavy lift cargos, owns the MV “Lone” and her twin MV “Svenja” which has a DP class I capability. These two vessels, each with a combined crane capacity of 2000 MT, can claim to possess the largest lifting capability for this type of vessel in the world and both feature a high transit speed of up 20 knots.

Dynamic Positioning (DP) is the automatic control of the vessel in its three axes of freedom (surge, sway and yaw). A DP class II certification, which the MV lone now holds, means that as a result of the equipment specification of the vessel a loss of position will not occur in the event of a failure of any single piece of critical equipment. During offshore installations where workers on platforms and other ships are involved this fact, guaranteed under all but exceptional circumstances, ensures maximum safety for personnel and equipment.

“The MV ‘Lone’ stands for SAL’s future strategy: the specialization on ships with high crane capacity and state-of-the-art technology ,” says Lars Rolner, CEO of SAL. “The installation of the DP2 system ensures an optimal capability within the highly complex area of oil, gas and wind offshore projects.”

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