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INTERNATIONAL FOCUS


Contract Keppel orders spur


staff growth Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) reports that it has secured a pair of integration and upgrading contracts, worth a combined S$160 million (US$117.5 million), from repeat customers. Te first will see the group’s Keppel Shipyard facility fabricate the topsides, riser balcony, spread-mooring gear and umbilical support structures for a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit owned by an undisclosed client. Tis job will also include “installation and integration of associated equipment and all topside modules onto the FPSO”, Keppel says. Work on the vessel will commence in Q3 this year, with delivery earmarked for 2021. Te second contract will see Keppel FELS install new


pontoons, columns, bracings and a wing deck aboard Diamond Offshore’s 99.7m × 96m semisubmersible drilling unit Ocean Onyx. Te rig will be delivered in the second half of the year for deployment offshore Australia. Meanwhile, Keppel Corporation recently announced


that it plans to recruit new personnel this year, to help handle an “anticipated increase in workload from new projects”. Speaking at the group’s Q1 briefing, chief executive Loh Chin Hua commented: “We are increasing our workforce in selected Singapore and overseas yards, with plans to recruit about 1,800 full-time staff over the course of 2019.”


Subsea operations A SWIFT means of well


leak detection A UK-based collaboration between environmental monitoring equipment developer Sentinel Subsea, Heriot-Watt University and the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre is intended to produce a non-toxic, inexpensive means of monitoring the long-term integrity of suspended or decommissioned oil and gas wells in the North Sea. The project aims to develop and perfect an


“environmentally benign tracer compound”, referred to as ‘SWIFT’, which is based on a concept promoted by Sentinel Subsea. Te tracer compound would be pumped


Its development


partners claim the SWIFT compound could prove an “environmentally benign” means of monitoring the integrity of decommissioned North Sea oil and gas wells


4


into an offshore well before the well is sealed. Should the well leak, the tracer compound would react with a ‘detector material’ (or ‘trigger’) at the seabed. Tis tracer- trigger reaction would in turn cause a buoyant beacon to detach, float up to the sea surface and automatically relay a message, via satellite, to the well operator, alerting them to the leak. Te development partners have thus described the concept as being akin to “a smoke alarm for the sea”. Professor David Bucknall of Heriot-Watt University


comments: “Te SWIFT compound cannot be found naturally in the environment, as this would cause a false positive detection.” As well as testing the efficiency of SWIFT, the team is keen to ensure that the compound is non-hazardous in an offshore environment. Aſter the chemical design has been approved, the compound will be subjected to lab and field trials and independent external validation tests, with commercial system production anticipated later this year. “Te industry is striving to reduce decommissioning


expenditure by 35% by 2035,” says Ian Phillips, chief executive, Oil & Gas Innovation Centre. “Tis non-invasive, environmentally friendly monitoring system has the potential to monitor thousands of decommissioned and suspended wells across the UK and further afield, at low cost.”


Dredging vessels Supply boats become


specialist dredgers PaxOcean Shipyard, Singapore is converting three former offshore supply vessels into seagoing water injection dredgers (WIDs) for client Jan De Nul Group. The debut WID, Giovanni Venturi, was delivered in April this year and will be initially deployed in Argentina. PaxOcean is still working on converting vessels two and three, Henri Pitot and Henry Darcy, with delivery of this pair expected later this year. Te three vessels are described as being smaller than


conventional dredgers; each measures approximately 57.9m in length, making it suitable to work in smaller ports and conduct tasks such as levelling the seabed for other installation services or aſter pipelines and cables have been lowered on the seabed. The conversion work at PaxOcean saw the


vessels fitted with power-jetting systems, enabling low-pressure injection of water into sediments. Jan De Nul Group claims: “By doing this, the sediments fluidise and naturally move horizontally, just above the seabed, through natural sediment streams – the process does not impact overlying water layers.” Tis is seen as an environmentally friendlier, cheaper alternative to transporting the sediment via hopper, barge or pipeline, the operator adds. Te vessels are also equipped with DP systems and diesel-electric drives.


Offshore Marine Technology 2nd Quarter 2019


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