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Maersk Bags Gulf of Mexico Contract for Its Under-Construction Drillship

More than one year prior to delivery Denmark’s Maersk Drilling has signed a contract with a major oil company for the first in a series of four identical ultra deepwater drillships currently under construction.

The contract duration is three years and commencement is expected by end 2013 upon delivery from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and mobilization to the US Gulf of Mexico. The estimated contract value is USD 610 million including mobilization, but excluding cost escalation and performance bonus.

“With the signing of this contract for the first of our four ultra deepwater newbuild drillship we are able to add another USD 610 million to our contract backlog providing a solid basis for our further growth,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group. “The US Gulf of Mexico remains a focus area of Maersk Drilling, and we are pleased to enhance our presence in this attractive market. With permitting activity normalizing after the Macondo incident in 2010 and the lease sales in the region, we believe the fundamental demand for our services in this region is in place”.

Maersk Drilling has performed deepwater operations in the US Gulf of Mexico since 2009 with the ultra deepwater semi-submersible MÆRSK DEVELOPER.

Facts about the four newbuild ultra deepwater drillships

In 2011 Maersk Drilling ordered four ultra deepwater drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. The rigs will be delivered in 2013 and 2014. The total investment was USD 2.6 billion.

The design and capacities of the new drillships include features for high efficiency operation. Featuring dual derrick and large subsea work and storage areas, the design allows for efficient well construction and field development activities through offline activities.

With their advanced positioning control system, the ships automatically maintain a fixed position in severe weather conditions with waves of up to 11 metres and wind speeds of up to 26 metres per second.

Special attention has been given to safety onboard the drillships. Equipped with Multi Machine Control (MMC) on the drill floor, the high degree of automation ensures safe operation and consistent performance. Higher transit speeds and increased capacity will reduce the overall logistics costs for oil companies.

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Subsea Trenching Beast – A Look At The Helix T1200

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Operated by Canyon Offshore, Helix ESG’s subsea robotics unit, the T1200 will be one of the largest and most powerful ROVs in the world. (Photo: Helix ESG)

By John Konrad On April 5, 2012

Need to cut a 30 foot deep trench in the bottom of the ocean floor to run flowlines out to a new production rig?

No problem.  Helix Energy Solutions’ new T1200 subsea trenching behemoth is just what you’re looking for.image

Looking like a mix between a space ship and an Abrams battle tank, the T1200 is a massive piece of equipment weighing in at over 33 tons (30,000kg) and towering to a height of 12.6ft (3.8m).

While not yet in service, construction of the T1200 trenching and burial unit is one step closer to entering service following testing and installation of its two enormous caterpillar tracks.

The vehicle also got wet for the first time in the manufacturer’s test tank in central England. Still undergoing final fitting, the T1200 is expected to be delivered to Helix ESG this summer and will begin work on board another new asset to Helix ESG’s ROV Support Vessel fleet, the Grand Canyon.

The 1,125hp ROV will use high-powered water jets to cut up to 30 feet into the seafloor and lay power cables, or other tubular products like oil and gas pipelines.

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The Grand Canyon is a new build offshore construction vessel that will host a new T1200 jet trencher, two 200HP XLX ROV systems onboard along with two more ROV systems. The Grand Canyon is 125m x 25m and has a 250t crane, monopool, dynamic positioning systems and helideck. Accommodations are for up to 108 personnel and will be deployed for work in Europe’s growing offshore wind farm projects where her ROVs will conduct power cable trenching and burial operations. (Image: Helix ESG)

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Swiber Lands Offshore Construction Job in Gulf of Mexico

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Swiber Holdings Limited, a world class integrated construction and support services provider to the offshore industry, announced that it has secured another sizeable contract through a local collaboration with Dragados Offshore (“Dragados”), totaling approximately US$273 million for offshore construction work in the Gulf of Mexico.

This latest contract win awarded by an oil major from the Gulf of Mexico, entails offshore construction works for the procurement, transportation, and installation of pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico. Work for this project will commence  immediately this year and will carry on into 2013.

Commented Mr. Francis Wong, Group Chief Executive Officer and President of Swiber, “Our strategic collaboration with Dragados enables both companies to provide a consolidated source of expertise and offer turnkey solutions to the offshore oil and gas industry. This puts us in a strong position to bank on the vast opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico region.”

With this third consecutive contract announcement in less than three months of 2012, Swiber’s order backlog continues to strengthen with steady growth.

This has come in quick succession to the recent US$36 million worth of vessel charter contract wins in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Asia. Prior to that, the Group has secured a US$216 million contract early last month, for offshore construction projects and vessel chartering services in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Mr. Wong said, “This is indeed a winning season for us as we continue to secure contracts of larger values, which is a strong reflection of the confidence and trust that major oil companies have on Swiber’s ability in handling complex projects.

“Geographical diversification will remain the cornerstone of our growth path as we further strengthen our foothold in the offshore oil and gas industry in the region. This, coupled with our vessel fleet enhancements carried out in the past few years will enable us to concurrently manage our offshore projects while securing more contract wins.

“We have continued to break into new frontiers – new markets, new customers, new records in terms of size of contracts, revenue and order book. We have a strong order book visibility with offshore projects spread out over the next couple of years. This will clearly give us a solid footing to navigate forward in the exciting offshore oil and gas construction industry.”

Infield Systems has forecasted upstream capex in the Gulf of Mexico to increase by as much as 38% year-on-year in 2012 as operators push forward with development plans and execute offshore projects. Offshore capex is forecasted to increase from $9 billion in 2011 to over $12.5 billion per annum by 2015.

Concluded Mr. Wong, “Tendering activities in the offshore oil and gas industry is gaining traction, with vast opportunities appearing in the Gulf of Mexico. As an internationally recognised, world class company, with proven track record of delivering consistent and superior quality of products and services, Swiber is ready to support the region’s growing offshore exploration and field development market.”

With a slew of new contract wins, key strategies in place, strong order book visibility, and robust opportunities in the Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East and Gulf of Mexico regions, Swiber has firmly entrenched its position in the big league and is set to take on bigger ventures and capture fresh and exciting opportunities in the offshore oil and gas arena.

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McDermott signs agreement for spool base services in Gulf of Mexico

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HOUSTON – McDermott International, Inc. says it has signed a 10-year frame agreement with Helix Subsea Construction, Inc. for spool base services in the Gulf of Mexico.

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“This agreement allows McDermott, when contracting with Helix, to offer full-service, shore-based pipeline stalking and spooling services from Helix’s premier 120-acre Gulf of Mexico spool base at Ingleside, Texas, to pursue deepwater and ultra-deepwater installation projects,” explained Stephen M. Johnson, chairman of the board, president and CEO, McDermott.

“By combining Helix’s established spool base services with McDermott’s state-of-the-art welding technology to support our newest subsea construction vessels and expanding subsea engineering resources, we can further offer full-service engineering, procurement, construction and installation for deepwater and ultra-deepwater subsea projects for Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic customers.”

Through the cooperation agreement, McDermott would fabricate the required mile-long stalks at Ingleside, and employ its own in-house automatic welding equipment, technology and technicians. The company says that these facilities and personnel will enable it to meet the stringent welding criteria required for deepwater subsea pipelines. The spool base is also designed for fabrication of pipeline end terminations, pipeline end manifolds, subsea manifolds and jumpers.

McDermott’s subsea construction vessels North Ocean 102 (“NO102”) and new-build lay vessel North Ocean 105 (“LV105”), due to be completed later this summer, both have reel-lay capabilities. LV105 is designed to lay both flexible and rigid pipe up to 16-in. diameter, with tension and hang-off clamp capacities of 440 tons and 550 tons, respectively. NO102 offers flexible and umbilical installation and is equipped with a 330-ton low squeeze pressure single tensioner and high capacity carousel.

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McDermott says it will employ strict welding procedures, advanced welding technology and technical experts to meet or exceed client welding criteria for deepwater subsea pipelines, from the Ingleside-based spool facility. Photo courtesy of Helix Subsea Construction, Inc.

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Norway: DOF Subsea to Provide Offshore Survey & Construction Services to Statoil

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DOF Subsea Norway AS has been awarded a Frame Agreement for Offshore Survey Services by Statoil.

The 4-year frame agreement with 2 x 1 year options includes services for light construction, ROV survey with MultiBeam Echosounder (MBE), ROV survey w/o MBE, acoustic survey, acoustic survey with ROTV, acoustic survey with AUV and acoustic survey with TowFish.

Statoil has also awarded DOF Subsea Norway the first Call-Off for light construction work on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The minimum 6 month + 6 x 1 month option project will commence 1st March 2012 and will be executed from the survey/IMR vessel Geosund with onshore project support from our office in Bergen.

Modern Vessel

The Geosund is a modern high specification, multipurpose support vessel, capable of undertaking operations worldwide. Ideally suited to  deepwater ROV, construction support, IRM and survey operations, the vessel has 720 m² of free deck and a large 7.1 m x 6 m moonpool. Operating capabilities include a 90 t AHC offshore crane and two in built 4,000 msw depth rated Schilling UHD work class ROVs. Optional equipment includes air and saturation diving systems, as well as additional ROVs, AUV and remote system tooling.

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