Subsea/Surface Systems

Sonsub's multi-purpose DP support vessel (DSV), Bar Protector, will enter the Gulf of Mexico this month. The 367-ft DSV has an advanced, double-bottomed monohull design with dynamic positioning, enabling the vessel to perform diving, construction, plowing, and intervention work.

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Sonsub's Bar Protector DSV enters the GOM

Sonsub's multi-purpose DP support vessel (DSV), Bar Protector, will enter the Gulf of Mexico this month. The 367-ft DSV has an advanced, double-bottomed monohull design with dynamic positioning, enabling the vessel to perform diving, construction, plowing, and intervention work.

To support construction activities, the Bar Protector has extensive workshop facilities, 800 cu m of open deck space, a 100-ton main crane, a 15-ton auxiliary crane, and a 5-ton bow crane. To support diving operations, the vessel contains a saturation diving system consisting of four deck decompression chambers, a three-man, 6.3 cu m bell, and a hyperbaric lifeboat. The system can support split-level saturation diving to 180 m seawater and air diving to a depth of 50 m seawater.

The Bar Protector has a helideck to accommodate single main rotor helicopters up to and including the Sikorsky S61N type and accommodations for up to 109 personnel in 52 cabins along with a number of services and recreation facilities.

CALM buoys ordered for offshore Ecuador

FMC Technologies Inc. received an order from Ramseyer & Miller International Inc., an affiliate of Techint International Construction Corporation, for two Sofectrademark catenary anchor leg mooring (CALM) buoy marine export terminals for installation offshore Ecuador, South America.

FMC Sofec Floating Systems is the designer of the buoys. One of the buoys will be delivered new from inventory. The second, which is basically identical, will be constructed for the project. Each buoy will be equipped for mooring and loading various size export tankers with heavy crude oil received from a new, 300-mile pipeline being constructed by Techint. Installation of the buoys is scheduled for early 2003.

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FMC's CALM Buoy at Balao Terminal in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
Click here to enlarge image

The pipeline, which is planned to extend from the interior oil fields of Ecuador to the northern port city of Esmeraldas, is a project of the Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados Ecuador S.A. international consortium, which includes Techint. The pipeline is planned to be capable of transporting up to 450,000 b/d.

Jumbo develops fly-jib system

Dutch heavy lift specialist Jumbo has developed a modular crane extension system that will enable its two J-1600 newbuilds to offer heavy-lift transport, with installation capability. The J-1600s will be the world's largest and most powerful heavy lift transport vessels in their class when delivered next year.

Each of the J-1600s is outfitted with two rotating mast cranes. These offer 1,600 tonnes (1,764 tons) maximum combined lift capacity. That will extend Jumbo's total transport capability in a variety of markets. For example, floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels represent a strong growth market, particularly following approval for FPSO deployment in the Gulf of Mexico. This development will accelerate interest in offshore projects involving floating systems and, consequently, boost heavy-lift transport demand.

With requests set to rise for long-haul voyages and shipyard assistance during FPSO conversions or newbuildings, Jumbo will be in an ideal position. The J-1600s offer transport and installation capabilities and small port access. These vessels are designed for shallow-water operations (draught of just 6.5 m). This allows them to access small ports and the outfitting facilities of most shipyards. In addition, the new fly-jib system will enable the J-1600s to discharge heavy modules and internal turret systems directly onto FPSO hulls. The ships' versatility eliminates requirements for sheer-legs and crane barges.

The J-1600 fly-jib modular system is derived from a land-based design. It dramatically extends the vessels' lifting height and can be configured for specific lift/outreach requirements. In standard configuration, the fly-jib system offers a lifting height of up to 70 m and combined lift capacity of up to 1,100 tons safe working load (SWL), up to 40 m radius. Lift capacity can be boosted to 1,515 tons SWL, up to a radius of 22 m by shortening the jibs to their minimum length of 16 m. For projects where outreach or lifting height is the critical requirement, the radius can be extended to a maximum of 82 m by configuring 46 m jibs.

Jumbo also announced its MV Fairmast, with a 1,100-ton lift capacity, recently delivered two gas absorbers for the Malaysia LNG complex near Bintulu. The modules, each 64-m long and weighing 809 tons, were loaded at the fabricator's yard in Japan.

FMC signs GoM sourcing agreement with BP

FMC Energy Systems business has signed a three-year strategic sourcing agreement with BP to supply Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) units for BP's deepwater developments in the Gulf of Mexico.

The first orders under the agreement have been received for BP's Holstein and Thunder Horse fields. LACT units provide unattended metering and transfer of oil or gas from the well to the pipeline. FMC Measurement Solutions is supplying these units and anticipates metering system orders for additional BP projects in the area.

Bayou Flow Technologies

The Bayou Companies LLC, Perma-Pipe Inc., and Cuming Insulation Corp. formed Bayou Flow Technologies to address flow assurance solutions for the offshore oil and gas market.

The new company is a combination of the three parents with extensive experience and a long track record in anti-corrosion coatings, thermal insulation, flow assurance, and pipeline fabrication. BFT offers single point contact for the provision of thermal insulation systems of flowlines, risers, and subsea assemblies.

The new company operates out of New Iberia, Louisiana. BFT will increase the array of products and services beyond those currently being offered by the tree companies as independent sources. Services will include insulation and flow assurance, corrosion protection and related services, welding and fabrication, syntactic foam buoyancy engineering, and testing services.

Statoil acquires holding in Atlantis

Statoil acquired a 12% holding in Atlantis, a Norwegian company with a patented technology for deepwater drilling and production of oil and gas. The solution installs an artificial seabed to reduce the distance between a floating installation and the bottom of the sea.

A steel tank held at 300 m water depth provides a subsea platform for installing drilling and production equipment. That makes it possible to use known technology even when producing oil and gas located several kilometers beneath the surface of the sea.

"This technology is being considered for a number of deepwater areas, both off Norway and internationally," said Martin Sigmundstad, Vice President for industrial development in Statoil.

The Atlantis approach allows rig operations to be carried out quickly and safely in deep water. This is partly because installation and operation of critical equipment are raised to a typical depth of 300 m, with virtually unlimited access to qualified technology.

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