Offshore Energy 2013: State of the Art Vessels for the Offshore Industry

Ever more complex exploration and production activities in the offshore industry along with increasingly stringent environmental standards call for continuous innovation in shipbuilding and marine engineering to meet changing client demands.

The latest shipbuilding solutions were presented at the State of the Art Vessels for the Offshore Industry session held last week within the framework of Offshore Energy 2013 exhibition and conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The session was chaired by Martijn van Wijngaarden, Certification Manager for the Aegir newbuilding project at Heerema Offshore Services. The speakers were Simon Austin, Senior Business Development Manager at Baker Hughes, Sjoerd Hendriks, Project Manager at GustoMSC, Remko Bouma, Sales Manager from Damen Shipyards and Elias Boletis, Director of R&D Propulsion from Wärtsilä Corporation.

he first example of a cutting-edge design was the Blue Orca stimulation vessel presented by Simon Austin from Baker Hughes. Specially engineered for the North Sea conditions, the vessel incorporates high-tech stimulation technology and unsurpassed treatment capabilities to reduce risk, rig time, and nonproductive time while enhancing production and profits.

The new Blue Orca houses five Baker Hughes Gorilla™ pump units, each one capable of delivering 2,750 HHP. Each pump is rated up to 15,000 psi (1035 bar) MWP and can pump up to 21 bbl/m (3.3 m3/min). There are two fluidend sizes available (5.5 in. or 6 in.) that can be reconfigured quickly and easily to provide maximum flexibility.

It can perform multiple fracturing treatments without having to return to port to resupply. Advanced systems permit smooth, efficient, and reliable blending of high-quality fracturing fluids and eliminate the need for oil-based slurried polymer concentrates.

Speaking from a designer’s perspective Sjoerd Hendriks, Project Manager at GustoMSC provided more details on the execution of a latest generation drillship project, the Ocean Blackhawk (P 10, 000).

According to Hendriks, the design of the future does not necessarily mean bigger vessels, but a more integrated design, i.e., downsizing. In the particular example of Ocean Blackhawk, all design decisions were tailored to the drilling requirements and, as such, the pursuing of a more integrated approach resulted in better operational features.

Remko Bouma presented a vessel concept from Damen Shipyards intended for multiple markets: the Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) 7500. This concept is specifically designed as a smaller heavy transport, offshore and wind farm installation and Ro-Ro platform suitable for several markets. This approach allows for the vessel to be multi-functional and easily adaptable into future offshore roles.

Finally, for the vessels to be more efficient, propulsion technology plays a key role. Elias Boletis from Wärtsilä Corporation spoke about the progress in propulsion technology for offshore applications.

Driven by the need to attain high redundancy, high efficiency, and fuel economy of its propulsion solutions, Boletis talked about keeping drilling vessels safely in place under harsh conditions. As one of the ways of doing that he referred to the new Wärtsilä LMT-3510 thruster.

The Wärtsilä LMT 3510 thruster is the first result of an extensive development program that uses new insights and the latest technical and hydrodynamical knowledge.

The thruster was designed to address the issue of high interaction losses between the thruster and the adjacent hull. The basic idea is to deflect the jet from the steerable thruster sufficiently downwards to avoid interaction. The most efficient way to achieve this deflection is to tilt the complete pod, shaft line, propeller, and nozzle by 8 degrees.

Subsea World News Staff, October 22, 2013

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