Edison Chouest Offshore said today it will build more than 40 new vessels to meet growing demand for offshore oil and gas support in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic and Brazil.
The new vessels continue an aggressive build campaign the Galliano-based company launched in 2011. The privately held company, which has vessels under construction at shipyards through the U.S. and in Brazil and Poland, did not disclose the cost of the newest round of builds.
Most of the construction work will be spread among Chouest’s four U.S.-affiliate shipyards — North American Shipbuilding in Larose, LaShip in Houma, Gulf Ship in Gulfport, Miss., and Tampa Ship in Tampa, Fla. — as well as its Brazilian shipyard, Navship.
The largest portion of the new build program will be the construction of 17 diesel-electric platform supply vessels. Chouest intends to market the new vessels, which feature a new hull form designed to carry more weight while lowering hydrodynamic resistance, as a more fuel-efficient option to oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chouest’s plans also include two new ice class vessels designed for service work in the Arctic and four new subsea construction vessels slated for service in the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s fleet of icebreaking vessels, which will total six when the new builds are delivered, has supported Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling activity in Alaska.
Chouest also provided an update about its affiliated port facilities at Port Fourchon. The C-Port 3 facility currently under construction will open in March and feature six covered slips to transfer cargo and provide support for deepwater support vessels. Design has begun on an additional section, C-Port 4, which could have as many as nine covered slips.
The company is also planning to expand its C-Terminal worksite at Fourchon to include outside storage areas, warehouses, cement and barite plants, and fuel, water, mud and drilling fluid sales stations. Chouest purchased the facility earlier this year.
Chouest, founded as Edison Chouest Boat Rental in 1960, operates a fleet of nearly 250 offshore service and support vessels worldwide.