"Construction vessels are expensive to hire and increase project risks, making many marginal field developments unviable. Calm Oceans is offering to lease our MCP unit," he explained. "Oil companies chartering the MCP do not have to be concerned with high capex associated with jacket and jacket installation."
The multi-purpose prototype platform, which features a square deck, has a maximum space of 4,225 sq m (45,478 sq ft), which the company says is almost 60% more than the deck offerings of conventional jackup rigs. This deck can be left bare for storage space, or it can also be customized with a number of individual or a combination of modular facilities. These modules – which include accommodation, a multi-purpose facility, drilling and/or production, and production support – allow the MCP to transition from storage space to work space.
It is this flexible, modular customization that will enable the MCP to bring fields into production quicker and suffer from minimal downtime, the company believes. COPL says that once oil is recovered, customers using the jacket-less MCP can skip immediately to first oil: No jacket front-end engineering and design stage, no subsequent fabrication, mobilization, and installation.
Topsides equipment can be switched out over its 25-year design life. "Depending on complexity of the topside modules, we may be able to uninstall/install modules offshore or send the rig back to the yard for modifications," Chang said.
It is also scaleable. The prototype can be made to client specifications, or multiple MCPs can be deployed to one project, configured for different activities or to scale up variable deck load capacity.
Chang, founder of Yantai Raffles (now CIMC Raffles) and Promet (now PPL Shipyard), has acquired more than 40 years' industry experience in a career that began with jackup construction pioneers FELS (now KFELS). Nimmo, his partner on the design, spent his early career with Bethlehem Steel Corp. and Baker Marine Engineers Inc. before providing engineering services for companies such as Transocean Offshore and Noble-Denton, as it was known then.
Calm Ocean 101 is being built on speculation under ABS' mobile offshore unit class in China, and Chang explained that he expected to keep construction in the current yard unless there are local content requirements from the contract.
"Construction is relatively straight forward and we expect the majority of the yards to be capable of constructing the MCP. We can supply a kit, which includes the license, basic design, jacking system and leg materials," he said. In February, a successful jacking test was completed.
Announced at Houston's Offshore Technology Conference 2014, the unit is scheduled for a 2Q 2015 delivery. At its OTC 2014 unveiling, it was said to be the first in a series of MCPs.
Editor's note: additional reporting by Robin Dupre