Newbuild vessels are long-term strategy for ACO’s growing offshore fleet

March 1, 2008
Operating a fleet of modern offshore vessels designed to carry personnel and a wide variety of cargo to offshore installations, Abdon Callais Offshore LLC (ACO) of Golden Meadow, Louisiana, continues to grow by adding newbuild vessels to its fleet.

Operating a fleet of modern offshore vessels designed to carry personnel and a wide variety of cargo to offshore installations, Abdon Callais Offshore LLC (ACO) of Golden Meadow, Louisiana, continues to grow by adding newbuild vessels to its fleet.

In addition, the company plans to take delivery of six additional newbuild vessels this year, and possibly exercise options to order several more vessels throughout the year.

Sister ‘mini’ supply vessels delivered from the shipyard to ACO during 2007. Both theM/V St. Ignatius Loyola (foreground) and the M/V Manersa , are 150-ft (46-m), DP-1 offshore supply vessels.
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According to Bill Foret, president, the vessels delivered in 2007 included four 150-ft (46-m) DP-1 “mini“ supply vessels and three 205-ft (62-m) Class, DP-1 offshore supply vessels (OSV).

The most recent delivery of 2008 is the 205-ft (62-m) ClassM/V Danielle Callais . “The delivery of this vessel gives us a total of six 205-ft (62-m) Class vessels and adds to our growing fleet of shallow-draft, high-capacity OSVs,” says Foret. He adds that each 205-ft Class vessel is equipped with two Caterpillar 3512 B main propulsion engines, two Caterpillar C18 550-kw generator sets, one Cat C9 250-kw auxiliary generator, Twin-Disc 5600 MG gears, and three 450-hp electric thrusters with ZF/Mahters controls.

In May of 2008 a 205-ft Class, ABS certified, DP-2 OSV will be christened, theM/V Arthur A. Foret . This vessel will be equipped with a state-of-the-art Kongsberg DP-2 system, two Caterpillar 3512B main engines, three Caterpillar C18 550-kw computerized auto synchronization generator sets, Twin-Disc 5600 MGX slip gears, three 450-hp electric thrusters and Twin-Disc propulsion controls.

ACO was founded by Abdon Callais after World War II, when the offshore oil and gas industry was in its pioneering days, says Foret. “Today,” he adds, “we are one of the fastest-growing transportation companies in the country, with the oldest existing vessel in our growing fleet having been built in 1997.”

Leading-edge equipment, quality, safety

In addition to modern shipbuilding design and equipment acquisition, ACO incorporates as much leading-edge technology for its vessels as possible, says Foret. This includes vessels with Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA), a device that identifies other vessels in the working area. The ARPA quickly calculates the other vessel’s course and speed so the ACO vessel captain can avoid a potential boarding or collision.

In 2007, ACO upgraded its communication by installing Advanced Logistics’ Satellite Assisted Marine Management (SAMM) on all vessels. SAMM is a Web enabled database system that provides near real-time secure vessel management information. SAMM allows each vessel email and telephone capabilities along with the ability to electronically send detailed daily master logs, morning reports, fuel and lube summaries, passenger reports, safety reports, and other reports and documents.

On the shore side, SAMM offers position history mapping, utilization reporting, sales and contract status, vessel contract planning, crew management, safety management reporting, master log reports, engine hour reports, and many other options -- all via the Internet. One of the biggest advantages of SAMM is its ability to process billing logs quicker and get invoicing out to customers sooner, says Foret.

Advanced Logistics also offers SAMM Premier for oil and gas companies, he notes. “This allows customers to view position history mapping, morning reports, vessel activities, fuel and lube summaries, passenger reports, etc. along with the ability to do manifesting, cost allocations, KPI reporting, and assessment optimization on vessels equipped with SAMM.”

Quality, HSE programs

Additionally, the company operates an ABS-accredited Quality Safety Management System designed to guide daily operations efficiently, keeping quality, health, safety, and environmental issues at the forefront of all operations. Foret says the company spends more than $1 million a year to improve safety and quality control. “What’s more,” he adds, “we have safety specialists on staff who train and monitor shoreside employees as well as marine personnel working offshore on a daily basis.

“In addition, every employee has the right and obligation to use ‘stop work authority.’ This allows them to shut down any unsafe operation taking place aboard any of our vessels. This occurs practically every day, both at shoreside and at sea.”

As a result, ACO has been successful in making the distinguished list ofInc. magazine’s “Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” for four years in a row and in 2007 ranked 30th in Inc. ’s 5000 top 100 transportation companies in America, he says.