Crowley Marine Services' Energy and Marine Services business unit has successfully moved the 312-ft. square concrete island drilling structure Orlan from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Sovietskaya Gavan in the Russian Far East for Sakhalin I Project operator, Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)
. The Orlan (ex Glomar Beaufort Sea I) Concrete Island Drilling System (CIDS) was purchased from Global Marine Drilling Company and will be used for oil production as part of the Sakhalin 1 project, offshore Russia. It was moved from its stack site near Northstar Island, off Prudhoe Bay using two Crowley Sea Victory Class 7,200 bhp twin screw oceangoing tugs with more than 110 tons bollard pull each. Arctic ice management was handled by Crowley with a third tug contracted for the job, the 23,200 bhp Arctic Kalvik. The certified Ice Class Lloyds +100 A1 Arctic Class 4 tug offered high bollard pull, ice-breaking ability and was well suited with tow gear for arctic and ocean towing.
"The Orlan has a 34-ft. draft and consists of four basic components - a steel mud base, a concrete brick caisson, and two steel deck barges on which the drilling rig, support equipment, and quarters are mounted," said Craig Tornga, General Manger, Alaska Services
for Crowley Marine Services.
For the Orlan move Crowley and The Glosten Associates, Inc. developed a risk assessment and readiness review for a table top exercise prior to initiating the job; implemented a Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) plan, and executed an HSE and Quality Assurance interface program to ensure that the sub-contracted tug was fully compliant with Crowley's Environmental, Safety and Quality Assurance (ESQA) management system.
ENL contracted with The Glosten Associates, Inc. for overall management of the project and with Crowley Alaska, Inc. for the towing. Energy and Marine Services' Jim Macaulay, Director of Marine Operations, was Project Manager for the operation, and Al Anderson, Manager of International Operations, was the tow master. The Crowley team and tugs arrived at Point Barrow in early August to commence the tow, with Crowley making daily flights in the area to monitor ice melt until suitable passage out of Alaska was possible August 31.
"We flew the ice for 25 days until we felt it had melted sufficiently to permit safe passage from Prudhoe Bay to Barrow," said Anderson. "On August 31 the Sea Victory and her sister tug the Sea Venture departed Prudhoe Bay with the Orlan in tow, and the ice breaker tug Arctic Kalvik working ahead to make way through the ice as needed."
When the tow arrived off Barrow, Alaska on September 4th the Crowley team set up the Arctic Kalvik with the Sea Victory and Sea Venture for the ocean tow from Barrow to Russia. Because of the large size of the tow, the tugs were refueled along the way by a Russian tanker. A little over a month later, on October 14th, Crowley delivered the Orlan to Russia, cleared the structure through customs and began arrangements to put the Orlan down in the Sovetskaya Gavan harbor.
Circle 19 on Reader Service Card
Diamond Taps Keppel for Ocean Rover Work
Keppel FELS Limited (KFELS) has earned a cash bonus and another contract from Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. to upgrade the sister rig, Ocean Rover. The $60 million project on Ocean Baroness took 17 months and was delivered ahead of schedule and on budget. While work was still in progress in November 2001, the owner, Diamond Offshore was so satisfied with the job that they awarded KFELS with the contract on Ocean Rover.
Mr Lawrence Dickerson, President and CEO of Diamond Offshore said, "The upgrading of the Ocean Baroness was an outstanding workmanship by Keppel FELS. The timely delivery of this rig will bring substantial benefits to us. The Ocean Baroness will be the choice tool in the next phase of deepwater drilling."
KFELS, the offshore arm of Keppel Corporation, provided the detailed design and engineering to enhance this Victory-class semi-submersible with fifth generation capabilities suited for ultra deepwater drilling. Mr Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director of KFELS said, "There is a growing market for rig enhancement projects, especially in life extension and upgrading.
"Rig owners are finding this option attractive due to the faster turnaround time and the significant cost advantage if these projects are carried out successfully.
The Ocean Baroness is capable of operating in water depths of 6,500 ft. with approximately 5,500 tons operating variable deck load, 15,000 psi blowout preventers and riser with a multiplex control system. Other features include high capacity deck cranes, an enlarged cellar deck area and a 25 feet by 90 feet moon pool that will provide enhanced subsea completion and development capabilities.
First built in 1973, the Ocean Baroness will be deployed in Sarawak, East Malaysia, for Murphy Oil (MUR)
. Work on Ocean Rover has commenced in KFELS Pioneer Yard and is expected to be complete by May 2003.
Seabulk Reports Loss
Seabulk International, Inc. reported a net loss of $6.3 million or $0.60 per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2001. Included in the loss for the quarter is a writedown of $1.4 million or $0.13 per diluted share on the planned disposal of the company's inland barge and shipyard operation, part of an ongoing program to refocus the company on its core business. In the year-earlier period, the Seabulk had a net loss of $9.6 million or $0.96 per diluted share. Revenues of $84.2 million in the current quarter were up 5 percent from $80.0 million a year ago. Operating income, including the $1.4 million writedown mentioned above, fell to $7.3 million from $8.1 million in the year-earlier period. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2001, the company had a net loss of $7.9 million on revenues of $346.7 million.
"The fourth quarter saw a falloff from our strong second and third quarter results as drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico -- and hence the demand for vessels -- fell sharply on the heels of lower natural gas prices and reduced energy demand," said President and CEO Gerhard E. Kurz. "We also had an unusually large number of scheduled drydockings in the quarter, including three of our double-hull tankers, which underwent their first inspections since being placed into service three years ago. This reduced their earnings capacity in the fourth quarter. The good news is that some of our idle equipment is going back to work in the Gulf, and we look for a rebound in exploration and production activity as the year progresses. In the meantime, the international offshore market -- and particularly West Africa, where we are the second largest operator -- continues to expand as this is primarily an oil-driven, deepwater business. In addition, our fleet of 10 U.S.-flag Jones Act tankers will reap the benefits of higher time charter rates, beginning this quarter, as three of our vessels entered into new contracts in January. As a result, we expect earnings from this sector to be significantly higher in 2002," Kurz concluded.
Offshore Revenue Up
Revenues from Seabulk Offshore, the company's largest business with a fleet of 140 offshore energy support vessels, rose 14 percent in the quarter to $46.4 million from $40.6 million in the year-earlier period and accounted for 55 percent of total company revenues. The company's offshore revenues are split approximately 60 percent /40 percent between its international and domestic segments. Operating income from Seabulk Offshore totaled $6.6 million, up 37 percent from the $4.8 million earned in last year's fourth quarter. For the full year, Seabulk Offshore had revenues of $191.2 million and operating income of $39.2 million, up 26 percent and 277 percent, respectively, from $151.4 million and $10.4 million in 2000. Supply boat day rates in the Gulf of Mexico, where the company has the industry's third-largest fleet, eased somewhat from the previous quarter but remained well ahead of the year-earlier period.
Utilization, however, fell in the fourth quarter to 63 percent from 83 percent in the third quarter as the number of working rigs declined. In West Africa, where Seabulk Offshore has the industry's second largest fleet, average day rates rose across all vessel classes and utilization remained strong as this market continues to expand. The company is mobilizing two of its Gulf of Mexico-based supply boats for redeployment to West Africa during the first quarter of 2002.
Tanker Business Down
Revenues from Seabulk Tankers, the company's domestic marine transportation business totaled $29.3 million, or 35 percent of total company revenues, versus $31.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.
For all of 2001, Seabulk Tankers had revenues of $122.1 million and operating income of $21 million, compared with revenues of $136 million and operating income of $23.9 million in 2000, when the company operated an additional tanker. Early in 2002 the company signed a 10-year bareboat charter with a major oil company for one of its double-hull tankers, which will be repositioned to Alaska. With a fleet of 10 vessels, including five double-hulls, Seabulk Tankers is the largest independent owner of U.S.-flag, Jones Act tankers.
Seabulk Towing, which operates a fleet of 31 tugs in seven southeastern ports and the offshore Gulf of Mexico, had revenues of $8.5 million, representing 10 percent of total company revenues for the quarter, and up 5 percent from $8.1 million a year ago.