Aberdeen-based Helix Well Ops UK (Well Ops), a business unit of international offshore energy company Helix Energy Solutions Group (Helix ESG), is expanding its Europe and Africa well intervention fleet with an investment that will create 60 jobs.
A leading global provider of subsea well intervention, Well Ops will take control of the mono-hull well intervention vessel Skandi Constructor in spring 2013, after agreeing a three-year charter with DOF Subsea.
The move to strengthen Well Ops’ regional fleet, which currently includes the 132-metre (433ft) long Well Enhancer and the 114-metre (374ft) long MSV Seawell, will lead to the creation of approximately 50 jobs offshore and a further 10 onshore over the next nine months. At the moment the firm employs 70 staff in Aberdeen and a further 300 offshore.
Launched in 2009, Skandi Constructor is a 120-metre (393ft) long Ulstein SX121 DP3 mono-hull well intervention vessel that features the new X-bow design. The 8,500-tonne vessel accommodates up to 100 personnel and is capable of working in depths of up to 3,000 metres (9,842ft). It has a deck capacity of 1,470 square metres (15,822 sq ft) and features an 8m x 8m (27ft x 27ft) moon-pool, a 150-tonne crane, a multi-purpose tower with 140-tonne lift capability and two work class ROVs.
Well Ops will build and test, ready for use, a specially designed version of its 7⅜” subsea intervention lubricator (SIL) to enable subsea well interventions to be undertaken from Skandi Constructor. The SIL is a single trip well intervention system that provides well access, while managing containment when the well is ‘live’ and under pressure. The SIL is configured to undertake work through all types of subsea xmas trees. The vessel and SIL will allow Well Ops to provide its regional clients with a solution for deeper water wells and well interventions, which to date has been limited within the mono-hull vessel market.
Steve Nairn, Well Ops’ regional vice president of Europe and Africa, said: “Well Ops is extremely proud to announce the addition of a third vessel to our fleet and it underlines our commitment to providing well intervention services. Skandi Constructor strengthens our offering internationally and expands our well intervention service capability.”
The need for a third vessel in Well Ops’ fleet has been driven by demand from operators in the North Sea and in other oil and gas producing provinces. The firm recently secured contracts from a number of the North Sea’s major operators to provide light well intervention and associated subsea services from its existing vessels between 2013 and 2015.
Internationally, it has also received strong interest from operators, particularly in West Africa. This follows Well Enhancer’s deployment to the region earlier this year, where it completed what was believed to have been the region’s first well intervention project from a mono-hull vessel.
Mr Nairn added: “This is an exciting time for the company and the demand that we are witnessing is illustrative of the level of service and expertise that we can offer clients. As operators continually seek to make their operations more time and cost efficient, it is encouraging that more are turning to mono-hull vessels to conduct well intervention work.
“Our experience of providing an alternative to rig-based intervention systems has been built up over 25 years. MSV Seawell helped to pioneer light well intervention in the North Sea and we have built on this over recent years with Well Enhancer, which was the first mono-hull vessel capable of delivering coiled tubing intervention.”
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Nautronix’ NASeBOP Control System provides a method of backup control of critical BOP functions in the event of failure of primary communication and control. At the heart of the system is Nautronix’ ADS² (Acoustic Digital Spread Spectrum) signalling technology. The system achieves a highly reliable communications link from a surface vessel to a subsea isolation device, such as a full BOP, or a simple isolation device such as which would be used during surface BOP drilling.
The NASeBOP subsea system consists of two Subsea Control Units (SCU) connected to remote transducers. Each SCU is capable of controlling and monitoring up to eight functions. This includes control of an Emergency Disconnect Sequence (EDS). A 10 meter cable allows remote transducers to be positioned away from the SCUs, thus reducing the risk of shading or multi path effects caused by adjacent structures or subsea objects. Two SCUs provide system redundancy as each can be used independently for control and monitoring.
Mark Patterson, CEO of Nautronix comments: “We have invested more than £1M in Research and Development over the past year with a significant amount in the area of our NASCOM product family supporting acoustic switches for BOPs. We are very pleased to have been awarded these contracts only a few weeks after the NASDrill RS925 orders for these drillships. It is a great testament to the technology, products and the investment Nautronix has made and I am delighted that such a well known and respected company such as Rowan Companies, Inc. have chosen Nautronix ADS² acoustics for their new deepwater drilling rigs. Nautronix continues to build upon our strong track record in the Acoustic BOP control system market.”
The Nautronix system offered is the only system in the world that is fully compliant with API 16D and 17E standards and all test ports are testable to full operating depth (4000msw/5800psi)
The two NASeBOP systems will be delivered in 2013.
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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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McDermott International, Inc. announced that one of its subsidiaries has been awarded a fabrication contract for components of a deepwater platform in the Gulf of Mexico, by Heerema Marine Contractors Nederland BV.
McDermott will construct 16 tendon buoyancy modules (“TBMs”) for the deepwater project, which will be used during offshore installation of the platform, approximately 225 miles south of New Orleans in waters up to 5,185 feet deep.
“McDermott’s high quality fabrication procedures for deepwater projects meet the demanding customer specifications for delivery of structures,” said Stephen M. Johnson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of McDermott. “Additionally, our HSES practices are closely aligned with the stakeholders on the project team,” said Johnson.
McDermott will carry out procurement, fabrication and loadout of the TBM structures from its Morgan City facility in Louisiana. Consisting of an upper and lower module, each TBM is designed to be interchangeable as either an upper or a lower module. Fabrication work is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2012.
A McDermott subsidiary has also been awarded a design engineering and procurement management contract, by VAALCO Gabon Inc., for the Etame platform and a design engineering contract for a potential Southeast Etame / North Tchibala (SEENT) platform, both located offshore Gabon, West Africa.
“McDermott’s Houston-based engineering teams have a track record of designing structures for the West Africa market,” said Johnson. “Our early planning activities and knowledge of the technical issues that may arise during the design scope, coupled with our unique understanding of fabrication and installation constructability requirements, allowed us to develop a robust design proposal for VAALCO,” said Johnson.
The new oil and gas wellhead production platform(s) will be located in the Etame Marin block off the coast of Gabon and will be engineered to produce oil and gas.
VAALCO has requested McDermott’s engineering team to design a safe, reliable and predictable production facility that will minimize operational and maintenance issues. It is anticipated that engineering activities will be supported by a combination of technical and commercial personnel focused on identifying and specifying the materials and services necessary to help ensure project execution excellence.
Detailed engineering is already underway at the McDermott Houston engineering office.
The values of both these contract awards will be included in McDermott’s second quarter 2012 backlog.
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The shipbuilding giant Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. and NLI, a Norwegian total supplier to oil & gas business, announce today the signing of a collaboration agreement, supporting the aim to penetrating the Mobile Drilling Units construction market.
This agreement includes the development of an innovative high quality drilling tower. For NLI the partnership is a milestone. In 1974 they delivered the first derrick to the Norwegian offshore industry. Most recently they have developed a drill tower solution new to the global market. With this Italian-Norwegian partnership NLI sees a great opportunity to reach out with their innovative solutions.
From now on the parties will include each other when approaching the market and present their projects to the various contractors and operators / oil companies.
The agreement follows the recent creation of the new Fincantieri Offshore Business Unit, dedicated to the commercialization and production of high valued offshore vessels such as Drill ships, Semisubmersibles Drilling Rigs, Pipe Layers, Construction Vessels and Non Standard Supply Vessels.
The Fincantieri Offshore value proposition is based on the offer of new generation turn-key vessels, tailor made to meet specific client requirements.
Mr. Sigve Barvik, Marketing Director of NLI commented: “We now have a yard, with financial power and world class know-how, which is prepared to support the potential of our drilling tower. Fincantieri’s European deep-water drilling initiative is unique and will allow to fully develop a drilling tower with superior performance, efficiency, eco friendliness, and safety for the personnel”.
Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Giuseppe Coronella, EVP Fincantieri Offshore Business Unit said: ”We are very motivated to start this joint development process with a company delivering quality drilling and topsides engineering solutions. this will strengthen the capability of the established Fincantieri’s drilling supply chain, the “Polo Offshore”.
Read more about NLI’s innovative “Northern Light” derrick.
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