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Offshore Oil & Ocean Engineering


October 2014 Issue

Imtech Marine Provides Navigation, Communications
A newbuild ship for Groen (Scheveningen, Netherlands), 7-Oceans, was delivered at Damen Maaskant Shipyards in Stellendam, Netherlands. 7-Oceans is the first in a series of offshore support vessels. Following 7-Oceans will be 7-Waves and 7-Stars, which will both be delivered this year.

Imtech Marine (Rotterdam, Netherlands) provided all navigation and communication equipment under the reintroduced Radio Holland brand. The equipment is largely connected via an IP network and remotely monitored via remote global technical assistance centers.

The system enables spotting possible problems at an early stage and also makes sure that the necessary spare parts are ready and waiting in the next port of destination.

UK Offshore Drilling to Rise in Short Term, Fall in Long Term
From a peak of 396 in 1996, numbers of wells drilled offshore the U.K. fell to 164 in 2013, a low not seen since 1979, according to DouglasWestwood (DW). Development wells were down from 289 in 1998 to 120 in 2013. Exploration and appraisal drilling, on which offshore production ultimately depends, saw numbers fall from 224 in 1990 to 44 last year. Of these, the key driver is exploration wells, down from 157 in 1990 to just 15 last year.

However, drilling activity is now expected to increase over the next few years as government and industry look to maximize U.K. offshore oil and gas recovery.

To meet production forecasts, DW expects that total offshore wells drilled will need to grow from 164 last year to 241 in 2018. While the majority of these would be in shallow water and drilled by jack-ups, deepwater developments in the northern North Sea and west of the Shetland Isles will provide opportunities for semisubmersible drilling rigs.

However, in the longer term drilling activity will again decline if there is no incentivizing longterm investment from operators to drill more wells and fully exploit the remaining hydrocarbons offshore the U.K.

DNV GL Sets Up JIP for Better BOP Maintenance
The maintenance of blowout preventers (BOPs) has significant financial, logistic and safety implications for drilling operators and rig owners. DNV GL (Høvik, Norway) has now established a joint industry project (JIP) to develop a risk-based maintenance methodology with the aim to deliver more effective and cost-efficient BOP maintenance. Several BOP manufacturers, operators, rig owners and shelf state regulators have already joined the JIP, and others may still come on board.

BOPs have traditionally been subject to time-based maintenance, which can create critical challenges, such as unstructured maintenance management, reduced reliability and equipment overhauls, which consequently may lead to increased operational downtime.

“A risk-based maintenance approach aims to mitigate these issues,” says Rui Quadrado, project manager at DNV GL Oil & Gas. “Benefits include increased safety and operability by improving BOP performance, the introduction of lifecycle design input and increased maintainability. Ultimately, this should deliver optimal maintenance planning, thereby reducing costs.”

The JIP is looking to provide a recommended practice or international standard where effective maintenance tasks will be identified and a cost-benefit analysis of these tasks will be evaluated. The work will be conducted by DNV GL and supervised by a steering committee.

ABS Hits Milestone in Mideast With Classification of Liftboat
ABS (Houston, Texas) was selected by Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM), based in Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar, to class the first self- elevating unit ever to be built in Qatar. The project also will be the first offshore newbuild project undertaken by the shipyard. Customized for the Middle East and North Africa region, the LB310S will be a four-legged liftboat capable of field transit and elevated operations in water depths to 65 meters. The liftboat will be built to comply with ABS classification requirements for self-elevating units, including the DPS-0 notation. In addition, lifesaving, fire and gas detection, firefighting, navigation and communication systems will be installed to comply with SOLAS, the IMO MODU Code, ABS and flag-state requirements.

With a regional classed fleet currently undergoing significant expansion, this latest award is another milestone for ABS in the Middle East. ABS has continued to grow its market share there and has maintained offices throughout the region for more than 35 years.

Falcon ROV Checks Integrity Of Floating Turbine Moorings
After Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors closed following the Fukushima disaster, wind is now seen as an important alternative energy source. At the southernmost tip of Japan, the Ministry of the Environment is testing a turbine to determine the viability of floating wind turbines.

Sure-footed anchorage to the seabed is vital in such a vulnerable environment and a Saab Seaeye (Fareham, England) Falcon ROV is being used to check the integrity of the 400 meters of chain to mooring points 100 meters down.

With many turbines to be installed at a depth of 100 meters or more, setting the anchor securely is vital for the safe location of these turbines offshore. Avoiding twists and entanglements of the chain over a long period of time is also essential.

The Falcon, operated by Shibuya Diving (Hiratsuka, Japan), helped monitor the anchor holding test and the analysis of anchor drag, as well as twist and entanglement. Shibuya Diving chose the Falcon because it could be deployed from a small workboat at a low operating cost. It is small and easily manhandled, yet has the power to cope with strong currents around the anchorage while loaded with the hefty high-definition camera needed for the task.

With more offshore turbine installations planned, Shibuya Diving intends to develop a special work vessel from which to operate the Falcon.


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