TURNING to the wider subsea intervention scene, other companies continue to make progress, notably Island Offshore, whose latest interventional vessel, the 116m Island Wellserver, is scheduled for deployment with StatoilHydro, starting during the current quarter.
The company holds a long-term contract with the Norwegian major, initiating the work with its pioneering light well intervention vessel, Island Frontier. The Rolls-Royce UT 767 CD class Wellserver will mostly operate in water depths to 600m, working with a riserless system developed by FMC Technologies. A module-handling tower will dominate Wellserver’s main deck, even though a large area was specified so that containerised tanks and equipment can be carried. A crane is installed to give heavy subsea lifting capability and there is a low-freeboard area aft to facilitate lifting equipment over the stern. During deployments, two Oceaneering ROVs will be carried in hangars, one either side of the vessel.
Back on Energy’s home turf, Aberdeen, TS Marine reported at the end of January that construction work had started its second intervention vessel at the Spanish yard, Astilleros Huelva.
This is the second of three MT6040 design vessels being delivered to the Scottish company over the next two years, the first of which, the Loch Torridon, is scheduled to be delivered in December, 2008, while Loch Sunart will follow in mid-2009. The vessels are designed to undertake a large number of subsea decommissioning and intervention operations, including the handling of seabed and well product residue with the installed environmental treatment systems, well decommissioning and intervention. TS Marine has bold ambitions and has attracted finance to match. In 2007, ABN AMRO Bank provided the $260million (£130million) debt facility to finance the ongoing vessel build programme in Spain.
In February this year, the company received a cash injection of $100million (£53million) from private-equity group 3i and ABN AMRO Merchant Banking.
US group Helix is also building intervention tonnage. In this case, its Aberdeen subsidiary, Well Ops UK, is tracking construction of the Well Enhancer, which is apparently still on track for delivery from Merwede, in The Netherlands, in December, 2008.
This will be a multi-service dive support/well intervention vessel that will be capable of working in the North Sea, West of Shetland and Gulf of Mexico. It will be 131.7m in length, possess more than 2,000sq m of main deck space and feature a large moonpool to accommodate a type 160Te Huismann Multi-purpose tower. This will feature active and passive heave compensation systems and water depth capability upgradeable to 600m.
Wellbore access will be provided by a seven-inch, 10,000psi subsea intervention lubricator that has been designed in the Well Ops SEA office in Perth, Western Australia.