Bourbon and CGG: Partners in Innovation

Posted by Eric Haun
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Photo: Bourbon

In 2011, Bourbon entered a five-year charter agreement with CGG for a series of six new seismic support vessels, an industry first. Two years later, the Bourbon Petrel and the Bourbon Fulmar are already in service in the Black Sea and Northern Europe, and a third vessel, the Bourbon Gannet, will also be operational in the near future. The Grandweld Shipyard in Dubai is building the vessels and delivery of the remaining sister ships is scheduled for 2014.

Customized solutions to meet CGG’s specific operational requirements
These custom-built vessels were designed to provide fuel, equipment and crew supply to the CGG seismic vessels, in addition to ensuring operational safety. With environmental protection and cost optimization being of paramount importance, the series was fitted with a hybrid propulsion system, to provide optimized fuel consumption: diesel-electric is preferred for escort operations while mechanical propulsion is used in transit and during operations, so as to have maximum power available.

The Bourbon Petrel has been supporting the CGG Symphony seismic vessel in the Black Sea since July 2013. The seismic support vessel has carried out many refueling operations, including inline bunkering, in addition to towing exercises and operations and crew rotation operations. The Bourbon Fulmar is currently assisting the Viking Vanquish, a seismic vessel operating in Northern Europe.

“The success of these first seismic support vessels attests to Bourbon’s capacity to assist clients on demanding projects by providing them with quality services in constantly evolving environments and markets,” said Rodolphe Bouchet, Vice President Business Management – Marine Services, Bourbon. “The partnership with CGG is entirely consistent with Bourbon’s development strategy, based on a modern, standardized, high-performance fleet and perfectly trained crews, in accordance with our operational excellence goal.”

Yves Rastoin, Maritime Director, CGG, commented, “Along with our efforts to streamline our fleet of seismic vessels and reduce the number of shipmanagers, CGG has launched a dedicated program for its chartered fleet of support vessels. The series of six specially designed vessels under a long-term charter agreement with Bourbon is the first of its kind for our industry. Given the successful operations already carried out by the Bourbon Petrel and the Bourbon Fulmar, we feel confident about having made the right choice of partner and customized support vessel design for our seismic operations. We selected Bourbon for their experience in vessel series management, and for their capacity to optimize their availability, and deliver their high operating standards.”

Vessels operating under the flag of excellence
The Bourbon and CGG teams worked together, both on shore and off:

  • The captains of the Bourbon vessels receive training on CGG’s seismic operations simulators, to complement their high level of competence;
  • Drills and training exercises focusing on operational quality are held on a regular basis, to prepare Bourbon and CGG crews together and to share best practices;
  • A single contact person at Bourbon is responsible for vessel contract administration - this person is the key client contact on a daily basis.


A comprehensive support and assistance service

Designed to meet CGG’s requirements for seismic operations support, this series of vessels boasts features that meet all of this client’s service requirements:

  • Personnel transportation for crew rotations
  • Equipment transportation
  • Bunkering operations
  • Supply of water and provisions
  • Sewage and sludge transfer
  • Operational protection assistance (anti-collision, clearing transit routes...)
  • Emergency towing capacity to ensure the continuity of seismic operations
  • Maritime assistance and support during maintenance operations
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