North Sea News

02 Apr 2020

Workers From a BP Gulf of Mexico Platform Test Positive for COVID-19

File photo. BP did not say which platform the COVID-19 cases were associated with or whether production was impacted. (Photo: BP)

Several workers on a BP Plc oil platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico have tested positive for coronavirus, the company said on Wednesday, a day after a worker at BP's operations in Alaska also tested positive.The cases are the first recorded among oil workers in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, and follow a positive test at an Equinor offshore project in the North Sea.A case of the coronavirus was also reported at BP's Whiting, Indiana refinery, according to local media reports.More than 850…

01 Apr 2020

Solstad Offshore, Creditors Agree on Draft Restructuring Plan

(Photo: Solstad Offshore)

Norway's offshore service vessels (OSVs) supplier Solstad Offshore and its creditors have agreed on a draft restructuring plan, which includes converting 10 billion crowns ($962.17 million) of debt into equity, the company said on Tuesday.The large majority of stakeholders, including secured lenders, leasing companies, industrial shareholders and key bondholders plan to sign a binding agreement by the end of April, the Oslo-listed firm added in a statement."We are entering a period…

23 Mar 2020

Gallery: Giant Crane Vessel Sleipnir 'Arrives Home'

Image Credit: Heerema Marine Contractors

Sleipnir, the world's largest semi-submersible crane vessel, has arrived in the Port of Rotterdam for the first time since its delivery from Singapore last year.Heerema Marine Contractors, the Netherlands-based offshore installation company, and the owner of the vessel has informed that vessel "arrived home" on Sunday, March 22,Heerema's newly upgraded tug Kolga joined Sleipnir at sea to guide the vessel into the Caland Canal. "[The vessels] arrived around 14.45, and in line with ongoing guidelines, we decided to greet the vessel and its crew from the sky rather than onshore.

19 Mar 2020

World's Largest Semi-Sub Crane Vessel to Arrive in Port of Rotterdam

Sleipnir - Image Credit: Heerema

Port of Rotterdam is set to welcome Heerema's Sleipnir, the world's largest semi-submersible crane vessel, which is set to arrive at the port on Saturday, March 21, where it will be made ready for a North Sea decommissioning project.Named after the Norse God Odin's eight-legged stallion, the vessel stands at 220 meters long, 102 meters wide, can accommodate 400 employees, and weighs 119,000 tons and is the first such unit powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The semi-submersible vessel has two cranes onboard, each capable of lifting 10,000 metric tons.

18 Mar 2020

Five PSV Charters for Solstad Offshore in UK

Platform Supply Vessel Sea Frost - Credit: Solstad Farstad

Norway-based offshore support vessel operator Solstad Offshore has secured contracts and extensions for five of its platform supply vessels in the UK Sector of the North Sea.The longest term charters of the five have been awarded to Solstad Offshore by its Equnior's UK subsidiary Equinor UK Limited. Equinor has extended contracts for the platform supply vessels Sea Frost and Normand Skipper."Both vessels have been supporting Equinor's operations since July 2017 and January 2019 respectively.

17 Mar 2020

Total Makes 'Encouraging' North Sea Discovery

Noble Sam Hartley jack-up - Credit: Noble Corporation

Total has made a hydrocarbon discovery at the Isabella exploration well in the UK Central North Sea, Neptune Energy, Total's partner in the project has informed.Neptune Energy has described Isabella as "an encouraging hydrocarbon discovery" which encountered hydrocarbons in Upper Jurassic and Triassic sandstone reservoirs, with 64 meters net pay encountered, consisting of lean gas and condensate and high-quality light oil."The results of the well will be analyzed to further evaluate the discovery, determine future appraisal activity and recoverable resources estimates.

12 Mar 2020

UK Limits Travel to Offshore Platforms

(Photo: BP)

Britain's oil and gas sector association OGUK on Thursday banned people from traveling to offshore installations such as platforms if they have traveled to certain countries affected by the coronavirus in the previous 14 days.The ban comes after Equinor reported the oil industry's first coronavirus infection on an offshore installation on Wednesday, highlighting the challenge in preventing contamination for thousands of workers living in the close quarters on rigs and platforms."Industry…

12 Mar 2020

Offshore Oil Rig Infection Exposes Coronavirus Dangers

Martin Linge platform: Image by Jan Arne Wold / Woldcam - Copyright: Equinor

Equinor reported the oil industry's first coronavirus infection on an offshore installation on Wednesday, highlighting the challenge in preventing contamination for thousands of workers living in the close quarters on rigs and platforms.A worker was in isolation on the Norwegian energy firm's Martin Linge oil and gas platform off Norway where production is due to start at the end of this year, the company said. It said it would cut activity at the field, but personnel would remain at installations…

02 Mar 2020

Business and Personnel Considerations in the Age of Autonomous Ships:

Image: videotrinkets/AdobeStock

There is much talk among maritime professionals about how automation and autonomous vessels will make the industry safer. In truth, innovation will be driven by the bottom line and will take time before it is commonplace in the industry. Early examples are likely to be limited to smaller vessels and coastal waters. Autonomous ships are predicted to reduce human error, a major driver of accidents, but crews will still have an important role on board vessels for the foreseeable future.Recent TrialsIn December 2018…

28 Feb 2020

BP Extends Vroon ERRVs Contract

Image: VOS

Maritime offshore-services supplier Vroon Offshore Services (VOS) Ltd has secured a three-year contract extension with BP, worth around £30million.VOS, one of the largest providers of emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRV) in the North Sea, will continue its exclusive provision of four vessels to support BP’s North Sea and West of Shetland assets until 2023.The Dutch-owned company said that the extension was secured for the VOS Discovery, VOS Fairness, VOS Innovator, and…

20 Feb 2020

Green Bunker Demand Jumps at Rotterdam

Image: Port of Rotterdam

Low-sulfur fuel sales rose sharply in Rotterdam in the last quarter leading up to the implementation of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 0.5pc sulfur cap on 1 January.According to Port of Rotterdam, the demand for LNG, bio and low-sulfur bunkers has increased enormously in Rotterdam over the past year. Total sales in this largest European bunker port fell from 9.5 million m3 to 9 million m3.In the last quarter of 2019, sales of low-sulfur bunker oil with a maximum sulfur content of 0.5% – the so-called VLSFO, very low sulfur fuel oil – increased enormously.

19 Feb 2020

First Subsea Guards NnG OWF

Image: First Subsea

First Subsea, part of the First Tech Group based in Aberdeen, has won the inter-array cables protection contract from DEME at the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm (OWF).The cable protection system will be designed to protect the cable during installation and during the operating lifespan of the wind farm.The windfarm has been developed by EDF Renewables and Irish electricity company ESB, which now has a 50% stake in the project.Neart na Gaoithe will consist of 54 turbines and will be located in the North Sea approximately, 15km off the coast of Fife in south-east Scotland.

16 Feb 2020

Chrysaor Backs Mocean Subsea

Image: Mocean Energy

Mocean Energy, global wave energy player, has teamed up with energy major Chrysaor, subsea energy storage experts EC-OG and AUV specialist Modus in a project to look at using renewables for subsea power.The project, funded by the partners together with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), will look to use Mocean Energy’s Blue Star wave energy converter and EC-OG’s HALO subsea energy storage system to power subsea tiebacks or residential AUVs.If industry feedback is positive…

14 Feb 2020

Siemens Hands Over BorWin3 to TenneT

Image: Siemens

The BorWin3 offshore wind grid connection project in the German North Sea has been handed over to the German/Dutch transmission grid operator TenneT, by contractors Siemens and Petrofac.The 900 MW project will convert three-phase electric power generated by the Hohe See and Albatros offshore wind farms into direct current and transmit it 160km back to shore to the German national grid.Siemens was responsible for the grid connection system including an onshore converter station.The grid connections HelWin1 and HelWin2…

12 Feb 2020

OOCL Loses Containers off Dutch Coast

Image: Netherlands Coast Guard

The Dutch registered container ship OOCL Rauma lost at least five containers on Tuesday afternoon, 25 miles north of Ameland off the coast of the Netherlands, said Netherlands Coastguard.1,425 TEU vessel was sailing from the Port of Kotka in Finland to the Port of Rotterdam.According to local media reports, the container ship had some trouble sailing due to the heavy weather conditions, which led to some containers falling into the sea.The authorities said that five containers — containing paper and cardboard…

11 Feb 2020

Upstream Sector Leads O&A M&A in 2019

Graph: GlobalData

A latest research revealed that the upstream sector accounted for the bulk of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the global oil and gas industry in 2019, generating some high-value transactions during the process.According to GlobalData's theme report, ‘M&A in Oil and Gas – 2020’, the acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum by Occidental Petroleum in April 2019 for a purchase consideration of US$57bn was the highlight of oil and gas M&A activity last year, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.Ravindra Puranik…

09 Feb 2020

UK Readies Carbon Storage Road-map

Image: Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC)

Heriot-Watt University researchers are to map out the UK’s best sites for carbon capture by studying the geology of depleted gas fields in the North Sea.The team led by Professor John Underhill will use data from industry regulator the Oil and Gas Authority's (OGA) National Data Repository (NDR), which was opened up to access for the first time in 2019.Professor John Underhill said: “The Southern North Sea faces three of some of the UK’s largest carbon emission areas: the industrial hubs of Teesside…

09 Feb 2020

DSME to Build 2 LNG Tankers for KNOT

Image: Knutsen OAS Shipping

Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers (KNOT), owner and operator of shuttle tanker operator, announced that it has been awarded a contract to build two  liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled Shuttle Tanker.According to the fully integrated industrial shipping company, the two new 124,000 DWT LNG fueled shuttle tankers will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd shipyard in Korea with delivery mid-2022 and the vessels will operate in North Sea under time-charter contract…

07 Feb 2020

Are OSVs Fit for Refit for Offshore Wind?

BEFORE: Island Clipper: Island Offshore of Ulsteinvik, Norway, has had success with conversions.  “before” and “after”.  Photos: Island Offshore

While it is generally agreed that the nascent offshore wind energy market in the U.S. will be a newbuild market, there is a repair and conversion possibility for some stacked OSVs.Though estimates on the pace of the offshore wind energy market in the U.S. vary widely, the direction is clear: offshore wind will be a huge marketplace for construction and support vessels to be deployed in U.S. waters over the next decade. The starting point for estimated vessel demand is the raft of projects along the U.S. East Coast, and to a lesser extent, in the Pacific waters, now in the pipeline.

02 Feb 2020

PGNiG Acquires Duva Field in Norway

Image: PGNiG

PGNiG Upstream Norway, a subsidiary of Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG), has obtained a final administrative consent to purchase additional 10% interests in the PL636 and PL636B licences in the North Sea.Following the transaction, PGNiG Upstream Norway’s (PUN) interests in both licences increased to 30%. As a result, the volume of Duva field gas production attributable to the Company will rise to 0.2 bcm per year.“Acquisition of fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is one of the investment priorities of the PGNiG Group.

29 Jan 2020

Driverless Trucks to Dominate UK Ferry Traffic

Image: British Ports Association

Driver-less heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will be to ship freight between the UK and continental Europe in the future, according to a new white paper published by the British Ports Association (BPA) and the specialist freight transport consultancy MDS Transmodal.Commercial and environmental pressures will encourage freight operators to look at autonomous trucks and they would transform the way the ro-ro market works in Great Britain."Changes anticipated include significant growth…

27 Jan 2020

HST Takes Delivery of 4th FCS

Image: Damen Shipyard

The UK-based High Speed Transfers (HST) has taken delivery of its fourth fast crew supplier (FCS) 2710, eighteen months after receiving its first, the HST 'Hudson'.HST received HST Hudson, in June 2018, which was followed by HST Sofia in March 2019 and HST Harri in October of the same year.The latest addition is named HST Euan and in mid-January 2020 she was loaded on to a heavy lift vessel at Damen Shipyards Antalya in Turkey bound for Rotterdam.The HST Euan replicates the features and layout of her sister ships.

27 Jan 2020

PGNiG: Polish LNG Import Jumps Up

Graph:  PGNiG

LNG imports to Poland via the Świnoujście LNG Terminal  keep rising and stood at 3.4 billion cubic metres in 2019 after regasification, up from 2.7 bcm the year before."The first quarter of 2020 will see peak activity in terms of LNG deliveries. By the end of March this year alone we are to receive ten cargoes coming in from different directions,” said Jerzy Kwieciński, President of the PGNIG S.A. Management Board.The long-term take-or-pay contract with Gazprom via the Yamal pipeline means Russia is still Poland’s dominant supplier.

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