Maersk, BP Agree to 5 Year Offshore Rig Training Contract
Maersk has signed a five year contract with BP to provide offshore oil rig training at the virtual reality training center the company is currently building in Houston, the companies announced today. Maersk Training will provide BP with advanced training programs for offshore drilling teams at the new center, located in north Houston, which Maersk says will be operational by the end of 2015. BP will train employees and contractors at the facility, which offers what BP calls an "immersive simulation environment" and is based on the design of the company's Denmark offshore simulation complex…
MMS Moving to Mandate Rig Worker Safety Standards
According to a June 23 report from The New York Times, the worker-safety standards in place for offshore oil rigs before the Deepwater Horizon blast two months ago were voluntary and developed in consultation with the oil industry. The report said Doug Slitor, now the acting chief of offshore regulatory programs at the reorganized MMS, told members of the House Education and Labor Committee that his office is now working to turn the once-recommended worker safety guidelines -- drafted with the American Petroleum Institute -- into a mandatory program. (Source: The New York Times)
Senate Democrats Want Inspection of All Rigs
According to a May 20 report from RTTNews, Senate Democrats are urging President Barack Obama to order inspections of all offshore oil rigs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was joined by Senators Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in sending a letter to Obama asking him to order the inspections. (Source: RTTNews)
Hyundai Heavy Closes Onsan offshore
Hyundai Heavy Industries has temporarily shut one of its two factories making offshore oil rigs - Onsan plant in South Korea - due to downturn in the global oil and gas industry. The closure Onsan underscores the dire state of the country’s big shipbuilders as dearth of orders as the crude price rout forces international oil companies to cut spending. “Our ongoing projects will complete in March. From then we do not have a further order to work on, and the operation will stop until we get a new one,” a company spokesman told local media.
Agenda For DNV-GL Regional Offshore Committee Meet
His Excellency Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World and chairperson of the DNV GL Offshore Technical Committee outlined the key focus areas for the Regional Committee meeting that will be held in Dubai on October 23, 2014. This was discussed at a meeting with DNV representatives Mr. Bijali M.P., Regional Manager – Offshore Class, Middle East & India and Mr. Ralph Becker, Regional Manager – Business Development, Middle East & India. H.E. Buamim discussed the importance of constructive cooperation to push the maritime industry and allied operations in developing economic relations and investment activities in targeted areas and emerging markets.
O3b Networks, Netcom-Africa Provide Connectivity
O3b Networks announced that the company has signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with Netcom Africa, a provider of satellite and wireless broadband solutions to provide low latency, high capacity broadband connectivity to ships and offshore platforms in Nigeria utilizing O3bs Medium Earth Orbit technology. Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil producing nations with most multinational oil and gas corporations operating in the region. Despite the availability of multiple submarine cable networks on the coast of the country, service providers have struggled to meet the unique needs of the oil and gas sector. The bandwidth will be delivered over the city of Lagos, the Niger Delta region as well as the offshore oil rigs that comprise approximately 50 platforms.
Despite Salvage Efforts, Offshore Rig Continues To Plummet
The world's largest offshore oil rig resumed sinking as rough seas impeded efforts to salvage it four days after blasts ripped through the structure, killing 10, the Brazilian owners said on Monday. After stabilizing the 40-story platform for a day and raising hopes it could be saved, the rig sank another 1.3 ft. (0.3 m) Sunday night and keeled over even further, Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras said. "There is still no estimate for how long it will take to stabilize the platform," a Petrobras spokesman said. Three explosions rocked the rig early last Thursday, killing 10 of the 175 men aboard and seriously injuring another. Petrobras, the biggest company in Brazil, was still trying to determine the cause of the explosions.
Drilling Regulator Wants Higher Pay for Inspectors
According to a report from the Associated Press, The head of the U.S. agency responsible for inspecting offshore oil rigs said he wants to raise salaries and hire retired industry engineers to boost the competency of a staff that has been blamed for missing key problems with BP's failed drilling operation in the Gulf. Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Oceans Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, told The Associated Press that the government's reputation for lower wages could make hiring the most talented people more difficult. (Source: The Associated Press)
Offshore Rig Gas Leak Kills Two
Two Brazilian maintenance workers died as a result of a toxic gas leak at an offshore oil rig operated by the state oil firm Petrobras. "The workers died when doing maintenance work on a drainage tank at the B-37 platform on the Marlim block in the Campos basin on Wednesday evening," said a Petrobras spokesman, adding that the workers were employees of Ultratec engineering firm. He said it was yet unclear how the leak had occurred and what gas caused the deaths. There were no other casualties and there was no damage to the platform. "The leak was stopped at the same moment on Wednesday. A Petrobras commission is investigating the case." Campos Basin accounts for nearly 80 percent of Brazil's overall crude oil output.
GMN WebXaccelerator for Ship-to-Shore Comms
Global Marine Networks introduced the GMN webXaccelerator for ship-to-shore and remote communications needs for the commercial fishing, marine transport, cruise ships, offshore oil rigs, and first-response communications coordination markets. The webXaccelerator is a data accelerator and control router that gives users of satellite and other wireless data systems control of their satellite data installations, while providing data speeds up to five times faster than uncompressed rates.
Trico Marine Rated As Strong Buy
Deutsche Banc Alex.Brown said on Thursday that it had started coverage of Trico Marine Services Inc., an energy services provider, with a strong buy rating and a $20-a-share price target. Trico shares closed at $16-1/16 on Wednesday. Deutsche Banc Alex Brown analysts said shares could rise from earnings leverage due to offshore oil rig use in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, expanded deep-water markets of West Africa and Brazil, a projected earnings recovery, and a share price that trades at a discount to its peers. Trico is expected to report a loss of $.63 a share in 2000 and earn a profit of $.67 a share in 2001, Deutsche Banc Alex.Brown said in a research note.
Petrobras Yet Again Delays Details of Sinking
Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras on Friday again postponed, this time until Monday, the much-expected release of details on the causes of last month's sinking of its biggest offshore oil rig. The company said members of its investigation team would now only speak of their probe to the media and reveal some preliminary findings on Monday. Officials said the team of investigators needed more time to consolidate their report. The latest postponement delays the preliminary report on the debacle by three days. The company should on Monday give a new time table for the investigation in addition to presenting a preliminary analysis tragedy. The investigation is making use of Norway's shipping classification agency Der Norske Veritas as independent consultants.
Dubai Drydocks World Eyes Asia Expansion
Dubai Drydocks World, the shipbuilding arm of state investor Dubai World, is eyeing yards in China, India and Vietnam, to expand capacity in the hot business of rig building with oil at records near $100 a barrel. Chief executive Geoff Taylor told Reuters on Thursday that the company was part of a joint venture which is in advanced talks to buy a small unlisted shipyard in China's Jiangsu province along the Yangtze River delta. Taylor said the deal was likely to cost Drydock World a total of $55 million. After the acquisition, likely to be completed in the next few weeks, the company plans to inject more cash to turn the yard into a larger shipbuilding and repair facility, he said.
RSA Invests in Shipbuilding Firm
The Retirement Systems of Alabama has become the largest investor in Signal International, with a $100m purchase of shares in the shipbuilding firm that will move its headquarters from Pascagoula, Miss., to RSA's new skyscraper in Mobile. RSA bought about $100m worth of shares in the $240mcompany, the company said. Signal builds and repairs ships and offshore oil rigs. The firm employs about 3,000 people in Mobile, Pascagoula and in the Texas cities of Houston, Port Arthur and Orange. In the next six to nine months, Signal will move its headquarters from Pascagoula to the 35-story RSA Battle House Tower. The company leased 6,000 square feet of office space. RSA was approached about the purchase by Washington, D.C.-based ACON Investments.
China Contends for Slice of Oil Rig Construction Business
According to Reuters, China is emerging as a strong contender to the traditional offshore oil rig manufacturing powerhouses of Singapore and South Korea as shipyards such as COSCO Corp fight for a bigger market share in a deepwater exploration boom. China started making jack-up rigs for shallow-water drilling and semi-submersibles for deepwater operations about seven years ago. In that short span of time, industry data shows it managed to secure a fifth of the $72 billion orders placed, tempting customers with aggressive pricing. China is able to tempt customers by aggressive pricing, but big customers still favour Korea and Singapore, as Chinese quality and reliable delivery are concerns, says the Reuters report.
Zamakona Launches North Sea Emergency Vessel
The Zamakona Yards Group said it has successfully launched the vessel Ocean Marilin in its installations in Pasajes in Northern Spain on January 31. The vessel is the second which Zamakona Yards has launched of the three vessels contracted with the Norwegian shipping company, Atlantic Offshore A.S. The principal mission of the vessel will be to provide immediate attention in emergency situations to Offshore Oil Rigs and Installations. Being especially adapted to the severe climatic conditions of the North Sea…
DP Offshore Safety Vessel Launched at Zamakona Yard
Zamakona Yards say they have successfully launched the 'Ocean Marilin' for owners Atlantic Offshore A.S. at their shipyard in Pasajes in Northern Spain. The shipbuilder explains that the principal mission of the vessel will be to provide immediate attention in emergency situations to offshore oil rigs and installations. Being especially adapted to the severe climatic conditions of the North Sea, it will commence operations for the Oil Company TOTAL in the second semester of 2014.
Seadrill CFO: Offshore oil rig rates to fall further
Offshore drilling rig rates will continue to fall in the coming period and the rate spread between old and new equipment will continue to widen, Rune Lundetrae, the chief financial officer of offshore driller Seadrill said on Tuesday. "I think we will see day rates also for new equipment coming down in this market," Lundetrae said. "No one is immune. I'm feeling relatively good about this market. But there is headwind and we all have to take that in." Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Joachim Dagenborg
Axis Bank Cancels Great Offshore Oil Rig Funding
In Bangalore, offshore oilfield services firm Great Offshore Ltd has run into fresh trouble after Axis Bank Ltd walked out of a deal to lend Rs350 crore to the Mumbai-based firm for funding the purchase of an oil drilling rig, currently under construction at Bharati Shipyard Ltd. Axis Bank wanted the money back after ONGC cancelled the rig contract and also due to delay in completing the construction of the rig. (Source: livemint.com)
World's Largest Crane Ship Arrives in Rotterdam
Pieter Schelte Heerema, one of the largest ships in the world with a length of more than three football fields, arrives at the port of Rotterdam for the last works before it is operational. Pieter Schelte Heerema, one of the largest ships in the world, which is capable of lifting oil platforms weighing almost five times the weight of the Eiffel Tower, arrived Thursday in Rotterdam for the last work before it goes into service. The nearly 400-metre (440-yard) long crane ship arrived in Europe's largest port from South Korea where it was built at DSME’s Okpo shipyard, ahead of starting work lifting rigs and laying pipelines this summer. The vessel is 124m (407ft) wide and 382m (1,253ft) long – as long as the Empire State Building is high.
Fred. Olsen: Oil Rig Market Soft into 2015
Norwegian offshore oil rig operator Fred. Olsen Energy said that recent market activity is indicating lower rig rates and shorter term contracts, and this market softness could last into 2015. "The most recent market fixtures are indicating some softening of rates and an acceptance of shorter term contracts," it said in it annual report on Wednesday. "The UK and Norwegian markets are expected to experience a more limited impact of the recent slowdown, partly because demand is relatively robust but also because a large proportion of the fleet is contracted on a multi-year basis," it added.
Chinese South China Sea Drilling Illegal Says Vietnam
Vietnam says China's plan to move its first deep-water drilling rig into the disputed South China Sea, one of Asia's most volatile hotspots, is illegal and has called for the rig to be removed from what it says is Vietnam's territorial waters. The $1 billion offshore oil rig called Haiyang Shiyou 981 owned by the China's state-run CNOOC oil company has been drilling south of Hong Kong. Maritime Safety Administration of China (MSAC) on Saturday published an announcement on its…
OSV Scrapping Rates Up 153% YTD
As the severity of the offshore energy downturn has increased and the likelihood of older vessels returning to work begins to diminish, owners have slowly come round to the importance of scrapping these vessels. According to VesselsValue, U.S. owners might be leading the way.According to VesselsValue, an online valuation and market intelligence service for the maritime and offshore sectors, in this current period of downturn, critics of offshore shipowners will say that owners have been guilty of not scrapping older tonnage in order to maintain a young and advanced fleet.