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Australia: Heerema Wins Subsea Installation Contract for Ichthys Project

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McDermott Australia (McDermott) has awarded Heerema Marine Contractors Australia Pty Ltd (HMC) a contract to transport and install infield flowlines, subsea structures and moorings for the INPEX Ichthys LNG Project.

McDermott Australia has been appointed the main contractor for the subsea umbilical, riser, flowline (SURF) project by INPEX. McDermott will work with HMC on the complex offshore installation campaign. HMC will carry out the transportation and installation of a portion of the offshore scope, utilizing the heavy lift, J-Lay and Reel-Lay capability of Heerema’s new-build vessel Aegir.

Scope of work

HMC’s scope of work includes the transportation and installation of flowlines, production flowlines, integrated pipeline structures, large subsea structures, a subsea riser support structure, and moorings for future FPSO and CPF facilities.

All pipeline production welding, both onshore and offshore, will be carried out by HMC’s subsidiary Pipeline Technique Ltd.

Aegir’s cutting-edge technology

The project logistics are of an unprecedented scale in HMC’s subsea track record. It involves lowering over 100,000 tonnes of project materials to the seabed in water depths up to 275 meters.

HMC’s Executive Vice President Commercial & Technology Steve Preston says: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us, not only because of the enormous scope of the project, but also because we will be able to demonstrate the groundbreaking capabilities of our new vessel Aegir. We will be able to use its heavy lift, J-Lay and Reel-Lay capabilities all in one project.”

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Ichthys LNG Project

The Ichthys LNG Project is a joint venture between INPEX (76%, the Operator) and Total (24%). Gas from the Ichthys Field, in the Browse Basin approximately 200 kilometers offshore Western Australia, will undergo preliminary processing offshore to remove water and extract condensate. The gas will then be exported to onshore processing facilities in Darwin via an 889-kilometer subsea pipeline. The Ichthys LNG Project is expected to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.

About Heerema Marine Contractors

Heerema Marine Contractors is a world-leading marine contractor for the oil and gas industry. HMC transports, installs, and removes all types of offshore facilities and operates three of the four largest crane vessels in the world. HMC is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Heerema Group.

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Deep-Water Lifting: A Challenge for the Industry

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As oil and gas developments go deeper, the risk related to lifting operations is increasing. “Existing standards and regulations don’t sufficiently meet this challenge and this is why DNV now has initiated a joint industry project to ensure a unified safety approach. Fourteen key international offshore players have joined the project,” says Robert A. Oftedal, DNV’s Business Development Leader, Cranes & Lifting.

The development of subsea cranes and lifting appliances has been driven by constant demand for increased lifting capacity, operations in greater water depths and motion compensating systems. This has introduced several technological challenges related to ensuring the reliable execution of subsea lifting operations so that objects can be safely placed on and removed from the seabed.

Ensuring proper design and correct operation, as well as regular inspection and maintenance, is crucial for not only the reliability of a lifting appliance, but also the safety of the personnel and equipment involved.

According to DNV, subsea lifting standards and regulations have not followed the steep curve of technological progress. “Instead, the required safety level has been defined by clients’ specifications, technological boundaries and manufacturers’ considerations, rather than regulatory documents acknowledged by all the stakeholders involved. Some client specifications may also be based on vessel-to-platform lifting and not subsea lifting. This situation is a challenge when contracting new equipment,” Oftedal explains.

While various measures are undertaken by different parties, implementing standards and regulatory requirements has proven to be one of the most efficient ways of reducing the risks involved in offshore operations.

“This is why DNV has invited the industry to develop a unified approach concerning important aspects of subsea lifting. The aim is to increase efficiency and safety during the equipment’s design, operation and maintenance phases,” he says.

Fourteen key industry players have joined the project and will present their conclusions in a Recommended Practice within a year. The participants are: Statoil, Petrobras, Lundin Norway, Marathon Oil Norge, Technip, Subsea7, SAIPEM, Heerema Marine Contractors, Cargotec, Liebherr Werk Nenzing, TTS Energy, Huse Engineering (incl. Rolls-Royce), SamsonRope and W. Giertsen Services.

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Ichthys: The Largest Subsea Gig for McDermott (Australia)

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McDermott International, Inc. announced today that its Australian subsidiary has received and signed a letter of award for the Ichthys Gas-condensate Field Development subsea umbilical, riser, flowline (“SURF”) project by INPEX. The contract value is in the order of magnitude of US$2 billion and is the largest subsea contract McDermott has been awarded to date.

This project includes engineering, procurement, construction, installation (“EPCI”) and pre-commissioning of production flowline systems, a MEG injection system, plus start-up condensate transfer and fuel gas transfer flowline systems, control systems as well as other associated SURF elements in water depths up to 275 meters. McDermott will also install mooring systems for the Floating Production, Storage and Offtake vessel and Central Processing Facility as well as installation engineering for future flowlines, risers and umbilicals.

McDermott has already begun engineering and procurement work and is expected to start fabrication of more than 16,000 tonnes of subsea equipment, including a subsea Riser Support Structure and installation aids, at its Batam Island, Indonesia fabrication facility beginning in 2013. The complex offshore installation campaign will see McDermott undertake the installation of subsea hardware, moorings, risers, umbilicals and flowlines utilizing its specialty subsea vessels Emerald Sea and North Ocean 102. McDermott is working with Heerema Marine Contractors (“Heerema”) for transportation and installation of a portion of the offshore scope, utilizing the heavy lift, J-Lay and Reel-Lay capability of Heerema’s new-build vessel Aegir.

Stephen M. Johnson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, McDermott said, “McDermott has a long track record working on EPCI projects offshore Australia. This major SURF award firmly endorses McDermott’s core EPCI competencies and our competitive subsea construction vessels, combined with Heerema’s installation strength and the team’s alignment with INPEX. This is a large scale and complex development, and we are firmly behind promoting the success of this LNG project.”

The Ichthys LNG Project is a Joint Venture between INPEX (76%, the Operator) and Total (24%). Gas from the Ichthys Field, in the Browse Basin approximately 200 kilometers offshore Western Australia, will undergo preliminary processing offshore to remove water and extract condensate. The gas will then be exported to onshore processing facilities in Darwin via an 889-kilometer subsea pipeline. The Ichthys LNG Project is expected to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.

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Corpus Christi, TX / Spain: Fairmount Marine Delivers Topside for Castor Project

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Fairmount Marine’s powerful tug Fairmount Expedition has safely delivered a 18,000 ton topside for process, utilities and living quarters for the Castor project offshore Spain. The topside was loaded onto Heerema’s H-541 barge and towed from Corpus Christi towards Spain.

The Castor project is a 1,3 billion cubic meters submarine gas storage project at a depth of 1,800 metres, 12 miles offshore Valencia at the east coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. The topside was build in Corpus Christi, US.

Fairmount Marine was hired for the towage across the North Atlantic by Heerema Marine Contractors. Tug Fairmount Expedition had to mobilize the barge H-541 from Flushing, the Netherlands, to the US first.

Upon arrival of tug and tow in Corpus Christi, the topside was loaded onto the barge, where after the barge was prepared for towage across the North Atlantic. On the morning of October 12th, the Fairmount Expedition crew started with preparations for the towage connection. After the towage connection was established the convoy left Corpus Christi around noon the same day.

In the meanwhile Heerema Marine Contractors crane vessel Thialf was brought into position in the Castor field in order to install the topside which was being delivered by Fairmount Expedition. Fairmount Expedition maintained stand-by in the Castor field. Once the topside was taken of the barge H-541, Fairmount Expedition commenced demobilization of the barge.

The total 12,068 mile voyage (Flushing/the Netherlands – Corpus Christi/US – Tarragona/Spain) took just 50 days, with a just in time delivery of the topside by Fairmount Expedition.

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