712s FOR AUSTRALIA
In a radical departure from
the current spate of UT728 and UT722 buildings, International Offshore
Services, a 50/50 venture between P&O Australia and Farstad, have
ordered two UT712s from the Norwegian yard Simek.
Those unfamiliar with the
Rolls Royce Ulstein numbers will find little remarkable in this, however it is a
move which will surprise other ship-owners, and probably some builders,
principally because the 712 first appeared in 1984. At a time when Ulstein
ship types were less prolific than they are now, it followed the UT708,
which followed the UT704 but only two were built. These were the Normand
Jarl and the Normand Drott two vessel still frequently to be seen in
Shortly after the two 712s
came into service the oil industry dived spectacularly into a period of
famine the like of which had not been seen before and which hopefully will
not be seen again and as a result there were very few newbuildings for a
number of years. By the time fortunes were being restored it was evident
that much future development lay in deeper water and so very much larger
vessels were being commissioned. The 712 at a mere 12000 bhp was hardly
worthy of consideration.
One assumes that the
management of IOS have some particular reasons for selecting the 712 and
its a pity we don't know what they are. But no matter, its great to see
the 712 recognised as a worthwhile design.
The Normand Jarl and Normand
Drott can be found on the OSV page.
THE LEITH INTERNATIONAL
year the Leith International Conference took place in Aberdeen
attended by safety professionals from all over the world, although not in
as great numbers as in years gone by.
standby vessel (now ERRV) industry however supplied quite a group of
delegates, led by Jeremy Daniel of the ERRV owners association. They were
there, one assumes, to combat the continuing progress of BPs
Operation Jigsaw towards fulfilment (Those not familiar see previous
were not to be disappointed when they heard a pilot from Bristows
describe his company's involvement in the project and how, "on
successful completion of the trial, the full Jigsaw programme will be
implemented as soon as possible." While protests were obviously made,
the pilot could be forgiven for taking the view he did, since BP seem to
be prepared to go to any lengths to support the project. Afterwards a
spokesman for the company said:
extensive consultation process - involving employees, union reps and the
Health and Safety Executive - would continue throughout and after the
trials before a decision was reached about implementation." and
"The earliest Jigsaw could come in would be 2004 - and that would
only be if everyone is happy about it. We have to prove to the HSE that
this is a better system."
being a free internet magazine without revenue, we can't spend too much on
research, but we did go to the Leith Conference and we heard while there
that BP are currently developing a special FRC, to overcome the problem of
recovery to platforms in adverse weather. These craft are apparently
intended to be launched from the platform, to carry out their rescue work,
and then to depart for the shore at over 40 knots. We don't know if anyone
in BP has watched Jeremy Clarkson on powerboat racing. These fearsome
machines seem to suffer in swells, sometimes diving into the waves and
breaking up, sometimes rocketing skyward to fall back into the sea stern
first, or upside down. No matter, with enough money even those
sorts of problems can be solved. In fact the Lifeboat service seemed
to be showing an interest.
of whether Jigsaw is a success there have already been fruits from BPs
research, in the form of a wristwatch sized locator beacon one of which is
going to be issued to each BP employee on their offshore installations. It
seems to us that this form of watch may become a fashion accessory of the
PHILLIPS AUSTRALIA CHARTER FAR SCOTSMAN
Well so what! you may think. The Far
Scotsman is an early ME202 originally built by Seaforth as the Seaforth
Monarch. It was built in Singapore in 1982. She has a sister ship, the Far
Scotia. Either when constructed, or shortly afterwards these ships were
fitted with large wire mooring systems on the bow, to enable them to tie
up the semi-submersibles in deep water. Of course, these systems were
The particular reason for the inclusion of
the information on these pages is that the Far Scotsman was fitted with a
Marex tank cleaning system back in about 1994 in Peterhead at the
instigation of Phillips UK. Hence the ship could be the first one to enter
Australian waters fitted with a mud tank cleaning system.
We hope that some-one will think of using
FPSO FOR THE WOOLLYBUTT FIELD
No really - the Woollybutt Field! Do you
think that some-one in Australia is having us on? We wonder what sort of
names they are going to come up with next.
However, the point of these words are not
to comment on Australian names but to announce the fact that Vanguard
Floating Production Ltd together with its partners has concluded a
contract with Agip Australia Ltd to provide and FPSO for the above named
Vanguard is providing project management,
engineering, vessel conversion and operations management services together
with the required mooring solution, and will undertake these tasks
together with its sister companies London Offshore Consultants and London
A vessel is to be sourced and will commence
conversion mid 2002. First oil is being projected for January 2003.
If this announcement seems a bit off beam
for us, we have included it because some-one gave us the press release.
This is the first time this has happened despite our extensive worldwide
GETTING IT WRONG
We feel constant distress at the ability of
the media to get wrong anything to do with the marine environment, and it
makes one wonder what else they are getting wrong that we do not know
about, but unfortunately the tendency is not limited to those who cannot
be expected to know.
In the not too distant past Ship and Boat
International, a magazine which has been owned for years by the Institute
of Naval Architects managed to publish a picture of the underside of a tug
upside down and even more recently the Offshore Support Journal published
a picture of a mud tank agitator 90 degrees out so that it looked like a
propeller. There have also been frequent occasions where pictures of ships
have been misnamed in the caption, even though the name of the ship has
been visible in the picture. The message to sub-editors should be
"Take more time!" or to editors who do not have sub-editors,
"Get a sub-editor."
An even more recent, and more entertaining,
editing error appeared in last month's copy of International Tug and
Salvage, in their report on the launching of the Stirling Seacor
anchor-handler "Stirling Jura" at Fergusons, Port Glasgow.
They say "Stirling Jura is therefore a multi-disciplined vessel
designed to deliver supplies to oil and gas production facilities, and
also to be able to lift and manoeuvre the massive anchors which hold the
rigs in position, with the capacity to lift some of the heaviest anchors,
of up to 173 tonnes directly from the seabed."
Wow! Those are heavy anchors!
It sounds as if the shipyard should get
some-one who knows something about support vessels to write their press
releases and that Tug and Salvage should read them properly.
FIRST WELL INTERVENTION SHIP ORDERED
Wellships, the new UK based international
group has ordered the first mono-hull well intervention vessel from Van
der Giessen-de-Noord in Holland.
This is the second shot at this particular
type of ship and has been prompted by a Shell requirement. A few years ago
Shell and others asked for tenders for such a vessel prompting responses
from a number of players with a variety of levels of expertise. The
problem then appeared to be that the people who had existing DP expertise
did not have well intervention or even drilling experience, and those
tendering with drilling experience did not have appropriate marine
At the time Marex provided the majority of
the contestants with quotations for tank cleaning systems, so we were
disappointed when no-one got the job.
Incidentally for those who are wondering
what the hell well intervention is, it is the process of maintaining the
wells so that an acceptable level of production can be kept up. The
requirement for the job to be carried out has been prompted by the
continuing increase in the number of subsea completions, which are wells
with the wellhead on the seabed connected by a flowline to a platform or
FPSO at a distance. The work has traditionally been done by
semi-submersibles since so far they have been to only stable platforms
available, but there are disadvantages in the time taken up mooring them,
and the slow transit times. Also there are risks relating to dropping
things on the subsea templates and there are increasing costs of hiring
So all in all it seems like a good idea to
use a mono-hull, although it remains to be seem whether all the possible
problems have been overcome.
FOR INDEX OF NEWS AND VIEWS CLICK