Aker Maritime, Inc. has formed a new Product Technology and Deepwater R&D group. This group will be headed by Dr. John Halkyard
, formerly technical director of Deep Oil Technology, Inc. and is organized as a division of Aker Engineering - Houston.
The new R&D group will help Aker achieve its goal "to be the source for deepwater solutions." Dr. Halkyard says the group is focusing on products which will "make a quantum improvement in deepwater field economics…that will change the way things are done." Immediate projects of high priority include some concepts initiated by Deep Oil Technology: a unique FPSO with dry trees and drilling capability called an "Oil Box", which can produce and store 2MM BBL or more of oil. The Oil Box has motion characteristics that make it suitable for operation in West Africa, Brazil or the Gulf of Mexico.
Another significant effort is targeted toward installation of large decks on spars and other platforms using efficient floatover methods. This will reduce the cost and commissioning time for many deepwater projects. Other projects on the R&D agenda include composite buoyancy cans for use in Spars, hybrid riser systems, mud line suspension riser systems for spars and new mini-TLP designs for moderately deep waters. There is also a sizeable effort to develop and adapt software for efficient and accurate analysis and design of floating systems.