Chinese Seismic Exploration Require New OBC Vessels

Tuesday, November 22, 2005
MAN B&W Diesel has added two new reference plants to the fourstroke order book. Complete twin-screw medium speed propulsion packages have been ordered for a twin set of 65 m offshore research vessels. The twins will each be specified and equipped for their very specific operational tasks, i.e. seismic sourcing and seismic recording. The vessels are designated as an OBC Source Vessel and an OBC Recorder Vessel, respectively.

The OBC abbreviation refers to ‘Ocean Bottom Cable’ and the actual seismic exploration equipment applied. The design consulting company for this project is Dalian Shipbuilding Technology Research Center Co. Ltd., located in Dalian, China. Both vessels will be built by Liao Nan Shipyard, also located in Dalian, and the delivery of the first vessel is scheduled to the end of next year. Operator and owner is BGP/CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation), with its fleet mainly based in Tanggu, Tianjin. The operation areas for these two vessels are not limited to Chinese offshore, but include also overseas exploration. MAN B&W Diesel’s Four-stroke Propulsion Sales Manager, Jorgen Vinde, explains: “Very low levels of vibration and noise from propellers, engines and propulsion systems are key issues for these installations. A very soft resilient seating arrangement of baseframe and sandwich mountings has been applied for the dampening of structure-borne vibrations by up 97%. Additionally, the ducted propellers have been specially designed and shaped with high priority to low levels of cavitation and noise emission. From an underwater point of view, an absolute decisive factor for the customer is a very silent ship, with minimal noise emission and disturbance in relation to the seismic exploration equipment.”


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