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Iran cuts oil exports to six EU countries

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Iran has stopped crude supplies to Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands, reports Iran’s Press TV.

­Tehran has fulfilled its threat to retaliate for the EU’s oil embargo, agreed by the bloc on January 26. The sanctions gave the EU members time till July to find new suppliers.

Officials within Iran immediately called to cork the black gold stream to Europe, targeting economies weakened by the ongoing financial crisis. On Wednesday, these calls became reality.

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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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Technip USA Orders Deepwater Mooring Ropes for Lucius Spar

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Technip USA, Inc. has contracted Lankhorst Ropes to manufacture the polyester mooring ropes for a new spar platform for the US Gulf of Mexico.

The Lucius truss spar hull will be installed in a water depth of 2,165 metres (7,100 feet). The 23,000 ton spar is designed to produce 80,000 bopd of oil and 450 MMcfm/d of gas. First oil from the project is scheduled for 2014.

Lankhorst Ropes’ offshore rope production facility in Portugal will supply a total of 31,400 meters of their GAMA 98® polyester deepwater mooring rope with 1907tf (4200 kips) minimum breaking load. Production starts in January 2012.

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Chris Johnson, sales director, Lankhorst Ropes Offshore Division, said, “We are delighted to be working with Technip again. The Lucius contract is testimony to Lankhorst’s well proven, high quality GAMA 98® product which is already installed on three Gulf of Mexico floating production facilities since 2008”.

This will be the 15th spar platform to be delivered by Technip out of 18 worldwide. Detailed design and fabrication of the new hull will be carried out by Technip’s Pori yard in Finland, where most of the previous Technip Spar projects have been manufactured. Project management for will be carried out by Technip in Houston.

Anadarko operates the Lucius field (35%), and its partners are Plains E&P (23.3%), ExxonMobil (15%), Apache (11.7%), Petrobras (9.6%) and Eni (5.4%).

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The Nethelands: Mario Kerssens Joins Van Aalst’s CargoMaxx Team

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Mario Kerssens has joined the CargoMaxx team at Van Aalst Offshore & Marine, inventors of the multi application tank system CargoMaxx, as Manager Business Development, starting the 1st of January 2012.

After serving the shipping and offshore industry for more than 20 years in senior sales, marketing and business development positions at Dockwise, Fairmount, Sealift and Fairstar, his latest role has been with FG International Holland BV, the Dutch Special Lifting company, that recently teamed up with Linjebygg Offshore from Norway under the new name LBO International.

At Van Aalst his focus will be on the market development of the successfully introduced CargoMaxx handling system for combined liquid and dry bulk on board platform supply vessels, anchor handling vessels, mobile offshore drilling units and fixed platforms.

Supported by orders triggered by oil and gas giants Statoil and Petrobras, this innovative system is, according to Van Aalst, set to revolutionize the logistics involved with amongst others drill cuttings in an environmentally smarter way than the present outdated industry standards.

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Only 6 Countries Have Sound Pension Systems, And America Isn’t On The List

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Andrew Shen and Gus Lubin

Only six national pension systems earned a ‘B’ grade on Mercer’s 2011 global index, which was given to systems with “sound structure” and “room for improvement.”

The best systems are in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the UK.

Every other pension system was rated as unsound, jeopardizing the future of the elderly population. The U.S. earned a C grade, signifying “some major risks and/or shortcomings.”

Click here to see the best and worst national pension systems >

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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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Inauguration of Noble Globetrotter I at Schiendam, the Netherlands

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Noble Corp inaugurated the Noble Globetrotter I ultra-deepwater drillship at Huisman’s new production hall in Schiedam, the Netherlands, on 1 October. The drillship, which was designed around Huisman’s multipurpose tower (MPT), is on schedule to be delivered later this year. It will then mobilize to the US Gulf of Mexico under a 10-year contract with Shell.

The MPT, which is also featured on Noble’s Bully rigs, is a compact box-type drilling tower replacing the conventional derrick. It uses two revolving carousels, each with two pipe rackers, to allow the racking of 35,000 ft of tubulars to support both a drilling side and a construction side, where tubulars can be prepared. This system of hoisting/handling leaves the drill floor open, providing better visibility for the driller and better movement for the crews, according to Noble and Huisman.

Further, the engine room is placed forward, underneath the accommodations, freeing up space in the aft. Riser is stored below deck, and it’s a flat deck essentially from the accommodations to the stern of the ship.

“It’s a much cleaner layout. Walking across the drill floor, there’s nothing overhead. You can reach straight into the center of the rotary with a crane, which is spectacular from a drilling operational perspective,” said David Williams, Noble chairman, president and CEO. “We think it provides a lot of features that will improve safety and operational efficiency.”

The MPT also allows the Globetrotter I to be a smaller-sized vessel (620-ft length) than many other ultra-deepwater drillships, although it can still drill in up to 10,000 ft of water and wells up to 40,000 ft deep. “We’re not giving up any operational capability over much larger vessels,” Mr Williams said, adding that the installation of a heave-compensated crane means there’s a third load path – besides the construction and drilling sides of the MPT – for handling trees or umbilicals.

The Globetrotter I had its hull built by Korea-based STX Offshore & Shipbuilding at its new yard in Dalian, China, then sailed under its own power to Huisman’s quay in the Netherlands, arriving on 19 July this year. Huisman, which was responsible for the design and construction of the drilling equipment as well as the vessel concept design, installed the MPT on the rig on 6 August.

The multipurpose tower on the Noble Globetrotter I uses two revolving carousels to allow 35,000 ft of tubulars to be racked. There is a construction side and a separate drilling side for improved efficiency.

“For us this is a new market. It took us 10 years to find the right combination of people who were willing to take a step-change in technology,” said Joop Roodenburg, Huisman CEO. “We know it’s very difficult to do new things. That’s why it took a long time to get everybody aligned.”

The top section of the MPT can be lifted off with a crane so the vessel can sail through the Panama Canal, Suez Canal and the Bosphorus, Mr Roodenburg explained.

Besides the MPT, the drillship features DP3 stationkeeping capabilities, active heave-compensated dual drum drawworks, 2.4 million lbs of hookload and 2 million lbs of variable deck load. A low elevated drill floor – 5 meters above the main deck – draws the centers of gravity down and reduces sideways motions on the drill floor.

The rig will be equipped with a 18 ¾-in. 15,000-psi six-ram Shaffer NXT BOP system, although Mr Williams and Mr Roodenburg emphasize that the rig has enough deck space to accommodate a backup BOP stack. The decision to build in that redundancy would lie with Shell, however.

“We will continue to explore with Shell what their BOP requirements are going forward. The only rig so far that we have agreed to put second BOPs on are the first of the Hyundai ships,” Mr Williams said, referring to the four ultra-deepwater drillships that Noble has ordered with Hyundai Heavy Industries​ this year. The first of these four drillships is expected to be delivered in 2013 and has a Letter of Intent in place with Shell for a five and a half-year drilling contract.

After its hull was built in Dalian, China, the rig sailed to the Netherlands for installation and commissioning of the topside equipment earlier this year.

A second Globetrotter-class rig is also under construction with STX at its Dalian yard. As with Globetrotter I, the Globetrotter II will then be mobilized to Huisman in the Netherlands for installation and commissioning of the topside equipment. Globetrotter II also has a 10-year contract in place with Shell, and delivery is slated for 2013.

Original Article

Ulstein SOC 5000 Vessel Design Wins Nomination for Prestigious Award in The Netherlands

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Ulstein Sea of Solutions is nominated for the Dutch HME Maritime Innovation Award 2011 for their SOC 5000 vessel design.

The SOC 5000 is a self propelled heavy lift crane vessel design, measuring 180,9 m by 46.4 m with a lifting capacity of 5.000 metric tons. Based on this design two customized versions have been developed which are currently under construction for Subsea Seven and Heerema.

Competitors to heavy offshore design company Ulstein Sea of Solutions for this prestigious Dutch innovation award are IHC Merwede and NewThex Ned BV.

The prize is presented annually to the most innovative maritime supplier of the Netherlands and will be presented at the Maritime Awards Gala that takes place on Thursday 3 November.

Original Article

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