BY PAUL SHRIEVE
North Sea Offshore Operations
Technology is playing an increasingly more important part in the oil & gas industry’s drive to manage costs. The management of masses of data and the use of the resulting information can bring significant gains to the operators and maintainers of oil & gas assets. ONS 2016 will incorporate the ONS Innovation Park, which will have a special focus on the oil and gas industry’s increasing reliance on cutting-edge technology. In this context Bureau Veritas is leading a digital transformation of Asset Integrity Management. The industry is also focusing on standardising and simplifying specifications of equipment, hardware, process and procedures to ensure they are fit for purpose without additional cost imposed by individual company requirements.
Bureau Veritas is engaged with many industry workgroups addressing these critical simplification initiatives.
Come and talk to us at ONS* about how we can help you achieve real operational cost reductions across your assets.
TAKING THE LONG VIEW
Mr Kenneth Walland, CEO,
Østensjø Rederi AS
Haugesund-based Østensjø Rederi AS is proud of its track record in innovation. “We can be innovative because as a family company, we can take the long view and we have a very short chain of command,” says Kenneth Walland, CEO. He can speak with authority for the long view after over twenty years with Østensjø.
Kenneth has built on his background as a master mariner and experience in the Norwegian Coastguard and Petroleum Safety Directorate, to serve Østensjø as a safety manager, fleet manager, chief operating officer and now CEO. Today he runs a mixed fleet of tugs, OSVs, mooring vessels and accommodation vessels, and the fleet is expanding into wind farm service vessels.
“Having a diverse fleet is a source of strength for us in what is a difficult market,” he says. “With low activity and oversupply of vessels in the offshore energy market, we all face a big financial challenge which forces us to idle some vessels and reduce our headcount. But we are complaining less than most as we are in a good financial position, we have very good people and a very good reputation and track record so we can take what opportunities there are even in this market.”
One opportunity is a contract to service the Statoil LNG terminal at Hammerfest, in the far North of Norway. “We are building four mooring vessels and three tugs in Spain for that contract,” explains Kenneth. “Both Østensjø and Statoil were keen to develop a low-emission, fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly solution for the tugs. There is a good supply of LNG as fuel on the quay, so we are happy to be leaders in developing dual-fuel escort tugs. Of course it is more investment to build a dual-fuel tug although the fuel costs are lower, but you need a long horizon to justify that. The environmental benefit is the justification.”
The three dual-fuel escort tugs building in Spain are the RAstar 4000 DF design with an LNG installation provided by Wärtsilä. “We chose Bureau Veritas class for these vessels because they have the experience and a cost-effective package and a good presence in Spain. We did a good Hazop on the LNG and the co-operation is working very well so far. We need a class that will push and challenge us and also help us to find practical solutions. It is not easy to fit a dual-fuel installation into a small tug, so we need to work closely with class to achieve it. They have their rules and requirements and we have our needs, and between us with mutual co-operation we will have good vessels in service next year.”
IMO endorses Bureau Veritas harmonised towing stability regulations
Towing operations entail risks which need to be well understood and managed in order to prevent accidents. Stability is one of the key issues, in particular as tugs have become increasingly powerful and manoeuvrable to meet industry demand for higher bollard pull and greater operational capability.
The Bureau Veritas safety guidelines for design, construction and operation of tugs, which were introduced in 2014 as outcome of the SafeTug Joint Industry Project, have set a new standard in the towing industry. The guidelines include a new-energy balance based-stability criterion to prevent capsizing and expand the regulatory framework for escort tugs, including requirements for the acceptance of escort performance simulations.
The International Maritime Organization has now included these criteria in the planned amendments of the 2008 Intact Stability Code, therewith creating the much needed harmonisation. Although the amendments will enter into force only in 2020, Bureau Veritas will already implement the requirements in its classification rules in 2017.
Offshore Technical Committee
Bureau Veritas’ Offshore Technical Committee gathered in June more than twenty industry representatives including operators, EPCI contractors, shipyards and offshore equipment manufacturers.
The following subjects were discussed: OSV classification services and IMO news, new rules for the classification of diving systems, research projects and services using CFD, Bureau Veritas Marine Renewable Energy activities, including mooring analysis of floating wind turbine and an update on EU directive, decommissioning projects and services.
Uta Scholl - Shutterstock.com
Cutting-edge tool for Arctic offshore industry
The main challenges in design of ice resistant offshore engineering structures are associated with the complexity of ice behaviour and assessment of ice actions. Model basin tests are an essential verification stage of the design procedure, but they require extensive budget, time and experienced personnel. Technip, Bureau Veritas and Cervval have combined their knowledge and experience of offshore, Arctic and IT technologies to develop a cutting-edge ice/structure interaction simulator powered by multi-agent system Ice-MAS (www.ice-mas.com).
The need for an ice simulation tool for offshore platform design is twofold. The first is to simulate the ice failure behaviour and ice flow around a fixed or floating platform structure to ensure there is no excessive pile-up and encroachment on the topside facilities. The second is to predict the loadings on the structure, so they can be minimized by design and to check they are consistent with expected severe Arctic environmental conditions. Given the economic and environmental challenges of Arctic developments, any design optimisation that minimizes cost and enhances safety is crucial.
The program builds on methods widely used for the prediction of ice loads exerted on offshore structures and ice behaviour. The validation of Ice-MAS shows a good agreement with both results of experiments in test basin and published results of in-situ measurements.
R&D work will be continued to improve and extend the application of Ice-MAS simulator. In 2016 the group intends to develop and integrate a new module to cover the interaction of offshore units with icebergs.