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Stena Icemax Drillship Gets Assistance from Fairmount (South Africa)

Fairmount Marine’s multipurpose support vessel Fairmount Fuji has assisted drill ship Stena Icemax while making a stop-over at Cape Town. On request of the owner of Stena Icemax the Fairmount Fuji carried out several cargo runs from the port of Cape Town to the anchorage.

Stena Icemax was under way from the Far East to French Guiana and required to make a stop-over at Cape Town for crew change and replenishment. Stena Icemax is a 228 meters long new build drill ship designed for deep water operations in harsh environments.

Fairmount Fuji is a multipurpose support vessel with a spacious aft deck of 280 square meters and with towing capabilities. Directly after assisting Stena Icemax the Fairmount Fuji was prepared for her next assignment in West Africa region, where she will act as a accommodation and general support vessel for an offshore operator.

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WASACE Seeks Cable System Supplier for Atlantic Basin Project

 

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WASACE Cable Company announced that it has begun the procurement process to select a cable system supplier for the construction of its undersea fiber optic cable system, which will create new and unique communication routes to support the communities around the Atlantic Basin.

WASACE will develop, operate and build a new network connecting Africa to the U.S., and connecting the 2 BRICS economies in the Southern Hemisphere, Brazil and South Africa, for the first time. WASACE’s new- submarine cable network will also connect the two largest economies in America, USA and Brazil, and will provide a full diverse route to the aging transatlantic cable systems between USA and Europe.

WASACE will deploy the latest “100G” technology to connect four continents comprising “WASACE Americas” – connecting Brazil (Santos, Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza) to the U.S. (Florida). WASACE Americas will also provide optional and on demand connectivity to Colombia, Panama and South Carolina; “WASACE Africa” – connecting Nigeria and South Africa to the USA. WASACE Africa also provides optional and on demand connectivity to Niger-Delta Oil and Gas region at Bonny Island and to Angola; “WASACE Europe” – connecting Florida to Virginia Beach and across the North Atlantic to San Sebastian in Spain.

WASACE has engaged the services of premier international telecommunications consultants, David Ross Group to administer the procurement process and lead the development of the project. The comprehensive Invitation to Tender has been released to four of the major undersea telecommunications cable system suppliers and WASACE expects to select the cable system suppliers for its network in July 2012. In addition, WASACE has retained two financial services companies including Aterios Capital as financial advisors to source funding for the project.

The Company’s plan is to develop the network in phases, beginning with the WASACE Americas and WASACE Africa cable systems, which are scheduled to be in service by the first quarter of 2014.

“The commencement of the selection process for the cable system supplier(s) for our network is a critical milestone in our plan to enable new, critical routes focused on enhancing connectivity for the populations in the Atlantic Basin,” Ramón Gil-Roldán y Sansón, Chairman and CEO of WASACE Cable Company stated.

“The David Ross Group is pleased to take part in the development of this unique undersea cable system which will add critical new routes to the global telecommunications network,” David Ross, President of the David Ross Group said.

“We believe this project is timely and provides a unique opportunity for freeflow of information and data between the two largest economies in the Americas (USA & Brazil), Africa’s largest economy (South Africa) and Africa’s fastest growing economy (Nigeria) as well as with the rest of the world. It ties in with our focus on infrastructure development in sub-Saharan Africa and we are proud to be associated with it,” Olabode Abikoye, CEO of Aterios Capital added.

WASACE Cable Company was formed to meet the rapidly-evolving needs of developing markets in the Southern Hemisphere.

The David Ross Group Inc. has supported undersea telecommunications projects resulting in 80,000 Km of deployed fiber optic cable and over $2 billion in investments in more than 40 different countries. Most recent projects include undersea networks in the Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Caribbean Sea, China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.

Aterios Capital is strategically focused on infrastructure development in sub-Saharan Africa and provides advisory services to prominent organizations and financial sponsors in various infrastructure sectors such as power, telecommunication, public transportation, financial institutions, agriculture, health, education, municipal waste management and real estate.

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STX Finland Delivers Research Vessel to South Africa

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STX Finland Rauma Shipyard delivered a polar supply and research vessel to the South African government’s Department of Environmental Affairs on April 4th.

The vessel named S.A. Agulhas II is a multipurpose vessel, and can operate as a supply, research and passenger vessel, as well as an icebreaker.

The flag-changing ceremony was witnessed by many, among which were the representatives from the client, the South African Government’s Department of Environmental Affairs, as well as the Embassy of South-Africa in Finland, The South African Maritime Authority, classification society Det Norske Veritas, STX Finland and the press.

Toivo Ilvonen, the Director of STX Rauma Shipyard, said:”We are proud to deliver this multipurpose vessel to the client. The project has offered valuable experience and expertise in the design and building of demanding polar research and supply vessels to the personnel of STX Rauma shipyard and all our partners involved in the project”.

The ice-strengthened vessel can accommodate a crew of 45 and about 100 passengers. It is approximately 134 metres long, capable of carrying out marine and geological sea floor research, and keeps continuous record of meteorological data for weather services.

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US reveals Iran petro penalty hit list

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The Iranian crude oil supertanker "Delvar" (Reuters / Tim Chong)

The US State Department has revealed the list of 12 countries which may be subjected to American financial sanctions for failing to cut oil imports from Iran.

The number of countries was mentioned earlier on Tuesday, as Washington announced a penalty waiver for Japan and 10 EU counties which complied with American demands and reduced their purchases. However, the names of the countries were not given.

Four of the countries on America’s anger list are among top 100 buyers of Iranian crude. They are China, India, South Korea and South Africa, with the first two being the two largest buyers.

Also targeted by possible financial sanctions are Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Turkey.

US President Barack Obama may order banks based in those countries and involved in oil trade with Iran to be cut off America’s financial system. On the other hand, he may exempt some of them from sanctions, if US national security demands it. So America’s allies like South Korea or Pakistan may dodge repercussions.

The US is campaigning to cripple Iranian oil export as part of pressuring it into stopping uranium enrichment. In January the EU joined the sanctions with a six-month grace period, while Japan adopted a policy to reduce imports from Iran. Western countries say the Islamic Republic may be trying to build a nuclear weapon under the guise of its civilian nuclear program.

Tehran rejects the allegations. Some counties including UN Security Council members Russia and China say no evidence of such intension is available and oppose economic sanctions against Iran, saying they fail to resolve the problem.

The uncertainty of the situation over Iran has resulted in world oil price gradually climbing over the months. The IMF warned this week that if the flow of crude from the country is abruptly cut, the resulting price shock would deal a serious blow to the global economy.

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U.A.E: Unique Maritime Group Introduces Light Weight Taut Wire MK 15 B

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Unique Maritime Group, one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solution providers, announced today the introduction of the Light Weight Taut Wire MK 15 B to their rental pool inventory.

The Light Weight Taut Wire Mk 15B is a position-reference system used extensively with Dynamic Positioning of vessels, which is designed to provide accurate data of a surface vessel’s movement with respect to the position of a depressor weight on the sea floor.

Harry Gandhi, CEO of Unique Maritime Group commented on the addition “We are happy to introduce this Cost-effective, Well-proven and reliable technology to our customers with an operational water depth up to 300 m”.

The Light Weight Taut Wire Mk 15B is a position reference system designed for use in deck-mounted port or starboard position on surface vessels. A wire is maintained at a constant tension by means of a depressor weight on the sea-bed and a pneumatic and electric servo-assisted “mooring” system. Any movement of the vessel will cause the tensioned wire to deviate from its initial inclination. This movement activates potentiometers mounted in the gimbal (sensor) head and produces changes of analogue signals directly proportional to the deviation in inclination, which is interfaced to the Dynamic Positioning of the vessel.

About Unique Maritime Group

Founded in 1993, Unique Maritime Group is one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solution providers. Through its expanding network of companies, UMG is a specialist in the provision of services, and the sale and rental of equipment for the marine, diving, hydrographic, oceanographic, and NDT market sectors. The group has an established manufacturing capability for the delivery of customized engineering projects worldwide. UMG has local presence in USA, UK, South Africa, India, Middle East, Russia and Singapore and employs over 500 people worldwide.

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Deepsea Metro II Drillship Arrives in South Africa

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Last week (4. January), Odfjell’s Deepsea Metro II drillship arrived at DCD-Dorbyl Marine shipyard in Cape Town, South Africa. The purpose of the yard stay is to carry out planned modifications for Petrobras in Brazil.

The contract with Petrobras has a firm duration of 3 years and the value, including part of potential bonus and mobilization fee, is approximately USD 531 million.

The modification project in Cape Town is managed by Odfjell Drilling, a privately-owned international drilling, well service and engineering company with nearly 40 years experience of international drilling operations.

“Working conditions at the shipyard here in Cape Town are impeccable, and the crew and project management team which will carry out the project activities are very motivated to complete the project with good quality and within time frame. We look forward to a successful stay in South Africa,” states EVP MODU in Odfjell Drilling Mr. Erik Askvik.

According to the data on Odfjell Drilling’s website the vessel, delivered by Hyundai Heavy Industries in November 2011,  is a highly efficient, state-of-the-art 6th generation ultra deepwater drillship equipped with the latest technology and with focus on zero discharge and other green rig features.

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Draft U.N. climate accord emerges, debate turns ugly

Kyoto Protocol participation map 2005 Iraq

By Jon Herskovitz and Nina Chestney

DURBAN | Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:11pm EST

(Reuters) – The chairwoman of U.N. climate talks urged delegates to approve a compromise deal on fighting global warming in the interests of the planet, but an accord remained elusive on Sunday and rich and poor states traded barbs over the limited scope of the package.

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the four separate texts represented a good outcome after two weeks of sometimes angry debates in the port city of Durban.

“I think we all realize they are not perfect. But we should not let the perfect become the enemy of the good and the possible,” she told the conference.

Much of the discussion has focused on an EU plan designed to push major polluters — from developed and fast-growing emerging economies like China and India — to accept legally binding cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.

EU negotiators had accepted “legal instrument” in one draft as a phrase implying a more binding commitment. But the latest version spoke of a “protocol, another legal instrument or a legal outcome,” the sort of weak phrasing that almost collapsed the talks on Friday.

Asked if the latest language was acceptable, Karl Hood, who represents an alliance of 43 small island states, said: “No it’s not. Never was and never will be. It’s too broad a statement.”

His alliance colleague MJ Mace, added: “You need a legally binding instrument. You have legal outcomes all the time. A decision is an outcome. You need something treaty like.”

“BLACKMAIL”

The discussions took an increasingly bitter turn as they headed into Sunday, a second extra day that made the negotiations the longest in two decades of U.N. climate talks.

Venezuela’s climate envoy Claudia Salerno said she had received threats because of her objections to the draft texts.

“In the corridor, I have received two threats. One, that if Venezuela do not adopt the text, they will not give us the second commitment period,” she said, referring to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, the only global pact enforcing carbon cuts.

“The most pathetic and the most lowest threat… we are not going to have the Green Climate Fund,” which is designed to help poor nations tackle global warming and nudge them towards a new global effort to fight climate change.

She did not say who had made the threat and delegates heard her allegation in silence.

Among the sticking points holding up a deal were an extension of the Kyoto Protocol. The draft text says the second Kyoto phase should end in 2017, but that clashes with the EU’s own binding goal to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

U.S. VS CHINA AND INDIA

But behind the back and forth over language and technical details, the talks have boiled down to a tussle between the United States, which wants all polluters to be held to the same legal standard on emissions cuts, and China and India who want to ensure their fast growing economies are not shackled.

The fractious late night exchanges punctured the earlier mood of cautious optimism which had suggested agreement on the four separate accord in the package was possible.

Should the talks collapse on Sunday, that would represent a major setback for host South Africa and raise the prospect that the Kyoto Protocol could expire at the end of 2012 with no successor treaty in place.

Scientists warn that time is running out to close the gap between current pledges on cutting greenhouse gases and avoiding a catastrophic rise in average global temperatures.

U.N. reports released in the last month warned delays on a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions will make it harder to keep the average temperature rise to within 2 Celsius over the next century.

A warming planet has already intensified droughts and floods, increased crop failures and sea levels could rise to levels that would submerge several small island nations, who are holding out for more ambitious targets in emissions cuts.

(Reporting by Nina Chestney, Barbara Lewis, Agnieszka Flak, Andrew Allan, Michael Szabo and Stian Reklev; editing by Jon Boyle)

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USA: Busy December Ahead of Pacific Drilling’s Drillships

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Pacific Drilling S.A. today provided an update on the status of its ultra-deepwater drillships.  The Pacific Bora commenced its three year contract with a wholly owned Chevron subsidiary on August 26, 2011, and continues to operate in the Agbami Field in Nigeria. The rig has reached performance levels in line with industry expectations.

In addition, following previously announced repairs and upgrades, the Pacific Scirocco is mobilizing from quayside in Port Ngqura, South Africa, to Nigeria, where it is expected to commence a one year contract with Total E&P Nigeria Limited in December 2011.

The Pacific Santa Ana will complete upgrades prior to expected delivery in December 2011, before mobilizing to the US Gulf of Mexico for a five year contract with Chevron as the world’s first dual gradient drilling rig.

The Pacific Mistral arrived in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2011. The rig will now undergo regulatory approvals and acceptance testing with its client, Petrobras, prior to beginning operations, which are expected to start in December 2011.

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