MARSEILLE, France – Bourbon Offshore’s first new Bourbon Liberty 150 series platform supply vessel (PSV) will operate for Maersk Oil on the Al Shaheen field offshore Qatar.
This is the first of 15 ships that Bourbon has ordered in this new range of DP-2, diesel electric propulsion vessels, which it says is well suited to support drilling operations. Features include a larger deck space of up to 400 sq m (4,305 sq ft), and a larger cargo capacity for liquid mud and bulk.
Aside from this latest vessel, Bourbon has in operation 54 Bourbon Liberty 200 anchor-handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels, 22 Bourbon Liberty 100 PSVs, and eight Bourbon Liberty 300 AHTSs, with more on order.
Characteristics of the Liberty series designs include maneuverability and station keeping via five thrusters and DP-2 dynamic positioning; improved reliability due to equipment redundancy (multiple thrusters and three main generators); up to 30% more cargo capacity than conventional vessels; suitability for deepwater and shallow-water operations; and low fuel consumption due to diesel-electric propulsion.
In a separate development, Bourbon has decided to sell vessels from its fleet worth a total of $2.5 billion, but retain them on bareboat charter for 10 years.
Earlier this month, the company signed terms with Chinese company ICBC Financial Leasing for up to 24 supply vessels in operation and 27 under construction, with delivery scheduled within 14 months, under a deal valued at up to $1.5 billion. Based on market price estimates, Bourbon would realize a capital gain of about 12% of the total value of the vessel sale.
On completion of this operation, and following delivery of the final vessel in mid-2014, the company would operate 230 supply vessels (PSV, AHTS, IMR), including 54 under bareboat charter.
At the end of 2012, the company operated a fleet of 458 vessels, including supply vessels and crewboats.