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Monday, January 22, 2018

North Sea News

North Sea Canal Ports Transhipment Hits Record 100 MT

Photo: Port of Amsterdam

The positive economy led to a 2.5 percent increase in the transhipment of goods at the Port of Amsterdam to 81.3 million tonnes in 2017. Together with the other seaports in the North Sea Canal Area, transhipment rose to a record level of 100.8 million tonnes. In IJmuiden, transhipment was up 7 percent to 18.5 million tonnes. Beverwijk saw transhipment increase to 800,000 tonnes (up 6 percent). Zaanstad booked an increase of 35 percent to 300,000 tonnes. The increase at the Port of Amsterdam was mainly due to higher transhipment of oil products and agribulk.

Shell Announces Plan for Penguins Filed Redevelopment

Photo: Sevan Marine ASA

Shell announced the final investment decision for the Penguins field redevelopment project in the U.K. sector, which includes the construction of a new-build Sevan Marine designed cylindrical floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The Penguins field is in 165 metres of water, approximately 150 miles north east of the Shetland Islands. Discovered in 1974, the field was first developed in 2002 and is a joint venture between Shell (50 percent and operator) and ExxonMobil (50 percent).

Tanker Collided with Oil Rig in North Sea

Image: Essberger

The tanker Elsa Essberger collided with unmanned oil rig Q1 with is no longer in use, at around 1820 UTC Dec 31 in North sea some 20 nm southwest of Den Helder, Netherlands. The platform Q1 Halfway is not in use and according to the Coast Guard there were no people at the time of the collision. The plant built there in 1995 is part of an oil and gas field in the Dutch part of the North Sea off Den Helder. In the collision the bow of the Elsa Essberger was damaged, but the cargo tanks remained completely intact, so there is no danger of outflow or leakage of the cargo.

North Sea Atlantic Joins the Technip fleet

On Saturday July 26, 2014, a ceremony was held in Bergen to officially name the latest new subsea construction vessel to join the Technip fleet, the North Sea Atlantic. More than 200 guests from shipowner North Sea Shipping, ship charterer Technip and supply chain partners, gathered to attend the ceremony held at the NorYards BMV AS shipyard (previously Bergen Group) in Laksevåg, Bergen, Norway. The event was hosted by North Sea Shipping CEO, Hallvard Klepsvik, and his wife, Sigrid Anne Våge, acted as the vessel godmother. Technip announced in 2012 that it had signed a long term charter agreement with North Sea Shipping for an advanced new build construction vessel.

Maersk Supply Service Wins Contract With Quadrant Energy

Photo: Maersk Supply Service

Maersk Master and Maersk Mariner, Maersk Supply Service’s two first Starfish-class anchor handling vessels built in 2017, will be on contract with Quadrant Energy in Western Australia, commencing March 2018. Both vessels will support Quadrant Energy’s Phoenix South and Van Gogh drilling campaign which will initially cover three wells for a duration of 150 to 200 days. The highly modern and efficient vessels will be supporting Transocean’s semi-submersible rig DD1 with supply and anchor handling duties throughout the campaign. “Quadrant Energy is an important customer.

Hutchison Ports Acquires 50% Stake in TMA

Image: Hutchison Ports Holdings

Hong Kong's Hutchison Ports has acquired a 50% shareholding in Amsterdam-headquartered terminal and logistics operator TMA Logistics. TMA has a variety of general cargo terminal operations together with warehousing, shipping, logistics and project cargo activities at three sites in Amsterdam and one in Antwerp as well as at Hutchison Ports Amsterdam (former known as Amsterdam Container Terminal). Commenting on the acquisition, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports…

In Sign of Oil Rebalancing, North Sea Floating Storage Shrinks

The volume of global price benchmark North Sea crude being held in floating storage has declined sharply since mid-August, according to shipping data and trade sources, a sign that a long-awaited market rebalancing is gaining momentum. Two supertankers being used to store North Sea crudes offshore the UK, Desimi and Gener8 Neptune, contain about 4 million barrels of oil, trade sources said. Three weeks ago, the total was closer to 10 million barrels. The clearing of the crude to destinations including China and South Korea has been encouraged by a rise in the price of Brent crude for delivery soon relative to later supplies, trade sources said, a feature known as backwardation. "The whole market is tightening up," said a North Sea trade source.

NSC Connects North Sea Networks

North Sea Communications (NSC), an Oslo, Norway-based independent telecom operator, has made interconnection agreements with both TampNett AS and Central North Sea Fiber Telecommunications Company Ltd. (CNSFTC), to link the companies' fiber-optic networks in the North Sea, says a recent Lightwave report. Telecom traffic is already flowing from TampNett via NSC and CNSFTC to Aberdeen. According to the report, NSC connects the networks through its nodes at Draupner and Ula; the interconnection agreements with the other optical cable owners enables traffic flow among all nodes in the networks. The arrangement allows for direct, low-latency communications among offshore facilities and on-shore offices and operation centers, independent of country.

Subsea North Sea Pipelay Alliance Agreed

Ocean Installer & leading offshore engineering & construction company McDermott establish alliance to meet rigid pipelay needs in the North Sea subsea market. The alliance marks McDermott’s re-entry into the North Sea and establishes Ocean Installer as a tier one North Sea contractor by adding rigid pipelay to the company’s capabilities. McDermott continues to expand its subsea resources including a growing fleet of rigid-pipelay vessels such as the highly advanced Lay Vessel North Ocean 105, its sister ship Lay Vessel 108 (expected to be available mid-2014), and recently announced new-build deepwater combination S-Lay vessel with a 2000-ton crane DLV 2000, (expected to be available in 2015).

CIMC Raffles Starts Norway's Semisub Construction

CIMC Raffles starts Norway semisub

Chinese semi-submersible rig specialist CIMC Raffles has kicked off construction of a deep-water unit destined for operation in Norway’s North Sea and other challenging regions such as the Arctic and Barents Sea.Construction started yesterday. Beacon Atlantic, built for Norway’s rig player North Sea Rigs to the GM4-D design, will be capable of operating in water depths of 500 metres with drilling depth up to 8000 metres. Classed classification society DNV GL, the rig with DP3 system and a drilling package provided by NOV will be built to the Norsok standards…

BP Orders 4 PSVs from HHI for North Sea

The vessels will be deployed to support its West of Shetland (WoS) and Norwegian operations and are be delivered between the winter of 2013 and summer of 2014. The purpose built and highly specified vessels have been designed to provide long term support to BP’s North Sea business and will provide the capabilities BP requires to deliver its strategy more efficiently and safely. The vessels will have oil spill response capability and special tanks to transport fluids required for planned enhanced oil recovery (EOR) schemes. The arrangement is structured such that BP Shipping has contracted Hyundai to build the vessels and then hire them to BP Exploration Operating Company on a 15 year bareboat term charter.

New Oil Field Found in British North Sea

Oil find

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f (licence P1588) and BP operated block 30/1c (licence P363) was flow tested at a maximum rate of 5,350 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The discovery, referred to as ‘Marconi’ by GDF SUEZ and ‘Vorlich’ by BP, is located in the Central North Sea. Ruud Zoon, Managing Director of GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd said: “This is an encouraging…

Rowan Wins North Sea Contract

Rowan Companies won a term drilling contract for use of the Rowan Gorilla VII in the North Sea commencing in August 2005. The contract provides for a one-year term with a minimum work commitment of nine months, and includes an option for a second year. Rowan estimates that contract revenues, based on a one-year term, will be approximately $65 million. As previously reported, Gorilla VII is currently carrying out decommissioning activities on the Ardmore Field in the North Sea which the Company expects to conclude during July.

Tidewater Sells North Sea Boats

Tidewater Inc. will sell its North Sea safety-standby boats to BUE Marine Limited of Edinburgh, Scotland. The $40 million all-cash deal is expected to close by late June. The 28 safety-standby boats were obtained by Tidewater as part of earlier acquisitions. This type of rescue vessel is required for oil and gas entities operating in the North Sea.

BP, Conoco Cutting North Sea Jobs

Oil majors BP and ConocoPhillips will cut over 500 jobs in the North Sea following similar moves by rivals to reduce costs in one of the world's most expensive exploration areas as oil prices tumble. Although the cuts are relatively small for companies with dozens of thousands of employees, they come at a politically sensitive time in Britain as the Scottish independence debate continues and a May parliamentary election looms. BP said the cuts of 200 onshore staff and 100 contractors were part of a previously announced $1 billion reorganisation aimed at simplifying the company's structure after it sold billions of dollars of assets.

Shipbreaking NGOs Attack FPSO North Sea Producer

The North Sea Producer beached in Chittagong – © NGO Shipbreaking Platform

16 August of last year the FPSO North Sea Producer was beached in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The ship was allowed to leave the UK based on the false promise that it would be further operationally used in the Tin Can port in Nigeria. One year on, the battle to hold the owners and cash buyers accountable for the illegal export of the FPSO is not over. The North Sea Producer (ex Dagmar Maersk) was deployed in the McCulloch field in the North Sea, transporting and extracting oil from the UK continental shelf for 17 years…

OSV Ship of the Year 'North Sea Giant'

'North Sea Giant' Photo credit North Sea Shipping

The North Sea Giant is considered to be the largest offshore vessel of this type ever built, with an overall length of 156m, beam of 30m and installed power of more than 22MW. The vessel was given the prize for her innovative features, which include advanced dynamic positioning (DP) capability for DP operations based on a high redundancy level and high propulsion power. North Sea Giant has a capacity for 120 people and its structure is highlighted by its heliport on the bow and a bridge placed up on the sixth deck of the vessel. The vessel boasts a working deck area of close to 3000 sqm .

BP Selects Offshore Automation Contractor of Choice

Emerson will be BP’s preferred supplier of integrated control and safety systems for five offshore fields in the U.K. continental shelf, including the new Clair Ridge platforms and the Quad 204 floating production, storage and offloading vessel. Emerson’s selection as contractor of choice builds on an earlier agreement in which the company was named a Main Automation Contractor for BP projects globally. By standardizing on a single contractor for its North Sea region, BP expects to gain significant benefits including efficient project execution, training, maintenance and support. Emerson will provide a wide range of services for control and safety systems, from front-end engineering and design to installation, testing and support.

Production Cost of North Sea Oil and Gas Doubles

A chronic shortage of rigs and workers has doubled the cost of producing oil and gas in the North Sea, threatening to make the UK’s domestic oil industry uncompetitive, warned UKOOA, the association of North Sea offshore operators, according to Times Online. Signs that costs are crimping investment emerge in the association’s survey of North Sea activity. Further evidence of the dramatic worldwide oil industry cost escalation emerged in a new index showing a 53 per cent increase in project costs over just two years. The Upstream Capital Costs Index, launched by IHC and Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera), climbed 13 per cent in the six months to the end of October because of soaring inflation in hiring rigs, shipyard fabrication and labour.

North Sea Open for Business

More licenses than ever before are being offered to companies to extract oil and gas from the North Sea, UK’s Energy Minister Mike O'Brien announced on Nov. 12, 2008. The announcement will help the UK to make the most of its own home grown supplies of energy. As part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change' s 25th offshore oil and gas licensing round, 171 new licences are being offered to 100 companies covering 257 blocks of the North Sea. "We are now seeing record interest from companies wishing to exploit the UK's considerable oil and gas resources in the North Sea. Whilst there's not an endless supply of North Sea oil and gas, with up to 20 billion barrels, or more, left under the sea we can't overlook its contribution to our security of energy supply as well as to our economy.

Kvaerner Sells Fabrication Yard, Changes North Sea Strategy

Kvaerner is selling its U.K. Teesside fabrication yard and reducing its reliance on North Sea offshore business, a company official said. The decision to sell the 36-acre facility was a result of the company's shifting strategy, as U.K. and European construction yards faced bleak prospects from dwindling North Sea orders, the official said. A handful of workers remain at the yard, which once employed 3,000, to help in the clear-up operations. The sale is expected to take at least three months. Kvaerner, which was badly burned last year after posting a record pre-tax loss, will be looking at subsea technology activities while expanding its business in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Africa.

Tax Doubles for North Sea Energy Companies

The British government, struggling to erase its deficit, is doubling the surtax for North Sea oil and gas companies, a move that surprised an industry expecting an increase half that size, according to a Globe and Mail report. The proposed increase in the supplementary tax for North Sea energy companies is for 20 percent of income from the current 10 percent, with the change expected to cost the industry the equivalent of $13-billion over the next three years. The move affects several Canadian energy companies with North Sea assets, including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Nexen Inc., Petro-Canada and Talisman Energy Inc. According to the report…

Dundee Wants to be a Major Oil and Gas Decommissioning Hub

Photo: Forth Ports Limited

Forth Ports Limited and AF Offshore Decom UK announced the signing of a Heads of Agreement with the intent to establish a new joint venture, AF Dundee, which will lay the foundations of creating a North Sea oil and gas decommissioning hub in the city of Dundee, with its nucleus at the port. AF Offshore Decom UK, a subsidiary of AF Gruppen, is one of the North Sea’s most respected and prominent decommissioning contractors and operates AF VATS Environmental Base in Norway, the North Sea’s most advanced facility for decommissioning offshore installations.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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