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InterMoor Completes IRIS Installation and Recovery for Apache in Gulf of Mexico, USA

InterMoor, an Acteon company, has completed an installation and recovery project for Apache Deepwater LLC (Apache) in Mississippi Canyon Block 148, Well 5 in the Gulf of Mexico.

The work scope included the overboard, wet transfer, deployment and recovery of a 30-ton interchangeable riserless intervention system (IRIS) owned by Blue Ocean Technologies. InterMoor undertook the work in water approximately 168 meters deep from Cal Dive’s Uncle John semisubmersible vessel.

InterMoor delivered the project using its compensated anchor handler subsea installation system (CASIM) which reduces heave motions relative to vessel motions. CASIM units are pre-charged at the surface to deliver the needed heave compensation for the load at depth. InterMoor’s proprietary CASIM method requires less deck space and demands fewer deck operations than the traditional buoy-based heave-compensated landing system. The company also provided the associated rigging equipment and a technician to help facilitate the subsea compensation.

“Apache selected InterMoor for this project on the basis of our service record, the fact that we had the necessary equipment available and because of our experience in subsea operations of this kind,” said InterMoor project manager Jacob Heikes. “Although we have used CASIM to deploy and recover many types of subsea equipment, this is the first time that we have used CASIM for IRIS deployment and recovery, and the project’s success shows that this proven installation method is suitable for a wide range of subsea equipment.”

Subsea World News – InterMoor Completes IRIS Installation and Recovery for Apache in Gulf of Mexico, USA.

Remote-controlled world record at Åsgard

For the very first time, remote-controlled machines and an underwater welding robot have installed a new tie-in point on a live gas pipeline, without the pipeline being prepared in advance.

Subsea Hot Tap Video Link

These types of operations can save Statoil lots of money in the long run.

The hot tap installation is the first to be carried out in connection with preparations for Åsgard subsea gas compression in the Norwegian Sea, and thus also represents a milestone for the project. The tie-in point was welded on to the Åsgard B production flowline at a water depth of 265 metres.

After ten days on the field, the hot-tap operation team on board the Technip-owned vessel Scandi Arctic could confirm success in the pioneering operation.

Kjell Edvard Apeland, project manager of the remote-controlled hot tap development in Statoil and head of the operation on the Åsgard field. (Photo: Rune Solheim)

“For a subsea engineer, this can be compared with landing on Mars,” says Kjell Edvard Apeland. He is project manager of the remote-controlled hot tap development in Statoil and head of the operation on the Åsgard field.

Simply explained, a remote-controlled hot tap operation consists of a robot welding a T-piece on to the pipe, while gas is flowing through it. When that has been done, a remote-controlled drilling machine will drill holes in the producing pipeline, with no effect on pressure and production.

“When the compressor module and the manifold for Åsgard subsea compression are installed next year, we will connect the pipeline from these to the hot-tap tie-in point,” says Apeland.

The Åsgard subsea compression project will be realised in 2015, as the first of its kind in the world. Compressors will be installed on the seabed, instead of on a platform. This will improve recovery from the Mikkel and Midgard reservoirs by around 280 million barrels of oil equivalents.

Major savings

Hot tap technology is a technological breakthrough, and a door opener for developing marginal fields, as well as extending the lifetime of other fields.

The ability to connect anywhere on a pipeline, without stopping production, yields considerable flexibility and significant savings.

Torstein Vinterstø, portfolio manager for subsea compression projects in Statoil. (Photo: Anette Westgård)

“Since we will be connecting a new compressor station on the seabed to an existing pipeline system on Åsgard, it is very beneficial to use the hot tap technology to avoid disrupting production,” says Torstein Vinterstø, portfolio manager for subsea compression projects in Statoil.

“The savings are measured compared with what it would have cost to perform a similar operation, including shutting down production in the pipeline we were working on. This would also have taken much longer than the ten days we spent now – possibly as long as three months,” he says.

Home-grown technology

The method was developed by Statoil, and there is no comparable technology.

The work to develop the technology started in 1999, and was developed in Statoil’s pipe technology environment at Killingøy outside Haugesund. Statoil’s expertise in tie-in and repair of pipelines is gathered there.

Open and constructive cooperation with our key suppliers has been instrumental in achieving this.

Statoil has already thoroughly tested the hot tap technology, with good results. Remote-controlled hot tap has previously been performed on Tampen Link on the Statfjord field in the North Sea and on the Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea, but then the T-piece had already been installed on the gas pipeline in advance.

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McDermott Bags Offshore Installation Gig in U.S. GOM

McDermott International, Inc. announced today that one of its subsidiaries has been awarded a contract by the Discovery system for offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. The value of this contract is included in McDermott’s second quarter 2012 backlog.

Williams Partners L.P.owns 60 percent of the Discovery system and operates it. DCP Midstream Partners, LP owns the other 40 percent of the Discovery system.

The project is to deliver new junction facilities for Discovery’s Keathley Canyon Connector™ pipeline system with a 3,300-ton, four-leg platform in 350 feet of water. The unmanned platform will provide pipeline junction facilities for incoming deepwater pipelines from the Hadrian South and Lucius fields and for outgoing shallow-water pipelines to shore.

Fabrication is expected to commence this summer at McDermott’s Morgan City facility in Louisiana. Offshore installation is expected to commence during the third quarter of 2013, and is intended to be ready for operational start-up before the end of the year.

McDermott’s deepwater combination heavy lift and pipelay vessel DB50 is expected to perform the installation. The DB50 has recently undergone extensive enhancement to its power and propulsion systems, and has a new deepwater lowering system.

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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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The Netherlands: Norwind Installer and Ulstein Join Forces on New Offshore Wind Foundation Installation Vessel

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Norwegian based NorWind Installer contracted the ULSTEIN Dutch design offices Ulstein Sea of Solutions and Ulstein IDEA Equipment Solutions as their design partners for a new foundation installation vessel for the offshore wind industry. The vessel is a customized version of the Deepwater Enabler design from ULSTEIN.

The DP vessel is designed for world-wide operations with a focus on pre-piling and jacket/tripod/transition piece installation for the offshore wind industry in North Europe. Different deck layouts, based upon NorWind Installer’s installation experience from Alpha Ventus, have been developed for the various installation modes on top of the generic vessel platform provided by ULSTEIN.

The approach for this design has been unique in the sense that NorWind Installer and ULSTEIN started this project by going through the ULSTEIN Accelerated Business Development process. Technical and operational options from both NorWind Installer and ULSTEIN were discussed in a transparent process resulting in the most viable option, which met NorWind Installer’s business model and requirements.

”We are pleased with the concept as it is definitely in line with our vision of combining state-of-the-art technical solutions with the speed and seakeeping capacity of DP vessels. It gives us the opportunity to provide our installation services all-year around in up to 2.5m Hs, as well as meeting our client’s cost targets”, states Thorbjørn Hansen, VP Product Development at NorWind Installer.

The Netherlands: Norwind Installer and Ulstein Join Forces on New Offshore Wind Foundation Installation Vessel

The vessel is designed aiming for maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness and features an 800t heave compensated offshore crane on starboard side, while a pre-piling template can be located on a support structure at the stern. The vessel can carry four jackets, alternatively at least 24 piles or up to 12 transition pieces on the large open aft deck.

To enhance vessel operability, the anti-heeling system has been designed in such a way that the main crane can revolve over 180o with a full load in its main hook within 5 minutes, which is very favorable having a large jacket in the crane hook.

When operating in the pre-piling mode, the pre-piling template is positioned on the seabed by the main crane, in parallell a pile is picked up by a gantry crane, put in the upending frame on starboard side and upended. The main crane has been modified by ULSTEIN in such a way that it can first pick-up the piling hammer with its main hook and then connect to the upended pile with its auxiliary hook. When the hammer is working on driving the pile into the seabed, the next pile is upended by the upending frame and made ready for crane lift out.

The large aft deck and AHC crane provide flexibility for serving alternative subsea and offshore markets in the future, which is further increased by the two large holds suitable for carroussels located below main deck. A deck layout version of the vessel has also been developed for tidal turbine installations.

Voith Schneider propellers of 3,900 kW each will allow for a cruising speed of 13 knots and enhance the DP capabilities of the vessel. To minimize the environmental footprint an NOx reduction system is installed in the exhaust lines.

“After working closely with NorWind Installer in the ABD process, ULSTEIN started developing the integrated concept for mission equipment and vessel. This project shows the combined strength we can offer to support our clients in realizing their visions”, says Edwin van Leeuwen, project manager at ULSTEIN.

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