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Norway: Expro’s AX-S System Installed on Havyard’s Havila Phoenix Vessel

There are great things happening aboard the vessel “Havila Phoenix” nowadays. During the last two years there have been installations and tests of a whole new system likely to revolutionise the offshore light well intervention market.

The vessel, a Havyard 858 design, is designed and constructed by the ship technology group, Havyard Group AS, and owned by Havila Shipping, both located in Fosnavåg at the west coast of Norway. The offshore construction vessel was delivered from Havyard Ship Technology in Leirvik, Norway in 2009.

The vessel has over the last year-and-a-half been working on a contract for Fugro-Salt Subsea, part of the massive Fugro group, which is a Dutch-based corporation with more than 14.000 employees spread across 60 countries. Fugro-Salt Subsea cooperates with Expro in terms of developing the new “AX-S”-system aboard Havila`s advanced construction vessel.

So far the development of this new system has been running for seven years and cost NOK 1.2 billion in research and investments in ground-breaking new technology. The breakthrough appeared around a month ago when tests in the Norwegian Onarheim fjord proved very successful.

AX-S” is a brand new system for well intervention involving remote-controlled subsea tools. The new system is, according to both the Havila management and the management of Fugro-Salt Subsea, a revolutionary system using solutions so far never utilised in subsea operations from a construction vessel. This involves employing extremely advanced remote-controlled subsea tools during well intervention that can handle up to eight different tools within the same operation, as well as using a light fibre rope instead of heavy steel wires. These are the main elements of the recent innovation. Should the system also win approval in a business sense, it could have a major impact on the offshore light well intervention market.

STABLE HAVYARD VESSEL

In the last year-and-a-half the 110 metre long vessel, a ship now docked in the port of Montrose between Dundee and Aberdeen, Scotland, has looked more like a research station than an offshore vessel. Havila Phoenix has been outfitted with a 35 metre tall tower and several modules on deck with a combined weight of over 500 tonnes. And there is no coincidence that the Scottish group has chosen a Havyard 858 design for this unique project.

- We needed a big, solid and modern vessel, and Havila Phoenix has lived up to all our expectations. If we fully succeed with this project we will likely be looking to acquire vessels of a similar design, but we will then need to be part of the planning straight from the start and get more of the system directly integrated below deck, says Operation Manager Darren Bown of AX-S.

The captain of Havila Phoenix, Leif Magne Lynge from Gursken, Norway, confirms that the vessel still remains impressively stable despite the enormous added weight.

- Yes, things have been working really well and the vessel also performs really well for its purpose. Facilities are also excellent, says Lynge who`s been captain aboard the vessel since the initial delivery. Captain and crew are definitely looking forward to heading out to the North Sea in order to start using this exciting new system.

UNIQUE REMOTE-CONTROLLED TOOLS

Michael Earlam of Fugro-Salt Subsea informs that there are several factors making the AX-S system a world sensation. In addition to the utilization of fibre ropes instead of wires for AX-S deployment, Earlam emphasizes the remote-controlled handling and deployment of the subsea packages with the ability to deploy 8 subsea tools is each time is unique.

- By using traditional well intervention equipment you can only perform one task at a time before the equipment needs to be raised to the surface in order to swap tools and then perform a subsequent operation. The equipment used in the AX-S system manages to handle eight various tools while on the seabed, without having to be raised to the surface to swap over any tools. This makes the operation much more effective and cost-efficient, Michael Earlam informs.

And after seven years of preparation the system is nearing its baptism of fire. In September, Havila Phoenix with 500 tonnes of “subsea factory” on deck will be heading out to work in the British sector of the North Sea.

- Yes, following the successful commissioning of the AX-S system on NUTEC’s “cold well” in Onharheimsfjord, south of Bergen, during April and May be performing operations in the North Sea, the Operations Manager for AX-S, Darren Bown of Expro, confirms.

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Norway: Kleven Maritime Receives Contract for Rem Fortune Renovation

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Kleven Maritime will carry out an extensive remodeling of the offshore vessel Rem Fortune, from the platform service vessel into the multi-purpose support vessel.

The vessel is currently placed at Myklebust Yard in Gursken, where it should be mounted with a 100-ton offshore crane. Reconstruction also includes installation of the helideck, opening of the moon-pool, installation of the 8-ton auxiliary crane, anti-heeling system and the ROV equipment. The vessel will be ready for delivery in mid-March.

Myklebust Yard is a combination yard that rates on both a new construction and repair and service operations, and the activity at the yard is very high these days, with five boats at the dock. Kleven Maritime has invested 70 million in new dock coming to Myklebust Yard in the spring. This is a strategically important initiative that sets the yard in a position to take on even greater after-market work for the offshore industry. The dock can take vessels up to 170 meters in length and 28.5 meters in width and has a lifting capacity of 15 000 tons, which is about double the current capacity of Myklebust Yard.

There is an agreement for the sale of Rem Fortune from Rem Offshore ASA to Marine Platforms Limited.

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