LARNACA, Cyprus – Two Prosafe accommodation semisubmersibles are undergoing refurbishment prior to starting new contracts with Statoil offshore Norway.
Safe Scandinavia is at the Remontowa yard in Gdansk in Poland for life extension works and a five-year special period survey (SPS). Regalia is at Keppel Verolme in Rotterdam, also for a five-year SPS.
Another Prosafe rig,Bristolia, was working for Elf Exploration in the UK sector until December. Its next contract is due to start in April.
During 2011 and 2012, Prosafe ordered two new Norway-compliant semisubmersible accommodationvessels, Safe Boreas and Safe Zephyrus, from Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.
Safe Boreas will work for Lundin Petroleum offshore Norway for a minimum of six months from 2Q 2015. Safe Zephyrus will work for Statoil in the UK for eight months from spring, with options to extend by up to three years.
Last November, Prosafe agreed to firmturnkey contracts with COSCO (Qidong) Offshore Co. for the engineering, procurement, and construction of two accommodation semis, with options for four more. These, the company claims, will be the most advanced and flexible units of their type for worldwide operations excluding Norway, and will be ready in 2016.
The Gusto MSC Ocean 500-design vessels will be equipped with 500 beds, DP-3 station keeping systems, 10-point chain moorings, and 300-metric ton (330-ton) cranes. Total value of the contracts is more than $400 million.
Prosafe says it continues to receive large numbers of enquiries from clients in the North Sea and elsewhere. However, fewer tenders are taking place compared with this time last year, so the flow of contracts will likely be down this year.
Longer term the picture is more positive. The emergence of new techniques to lift oil recovery from mature fields should sustain demand for maintenance, modifications, and upgrade services.
Additionally, numerous large hook-up and commissioning projects are pending, particularly offshore Norway, although the pace of new developments during 2017-2019 could be slower than in 2014-2016.
With various new semisubmersible accommodation vessels set to come on the market over the next couple of years, Prosafe adds, the supply side will likely almost double in size during the period from 2012-2016.
However, the company cautions that some of the new vessels could be of varying quality, in terms of technical specifications, owners’ operating capabilities and financing structures.