Evolution of a Fleet

Bourbon took delivery of the third vessel in its planned 10-vessel inspection, maintenance, and repair (IMR) fleet. The vessel, Bourbon Evolution 803, will operate in multi-service vessel (MSV) mode for subsea system service, off Malaysia.

The Evolution 800 vessel series is designed to operate safely in 2500- 3000m water depths and satisfies oil company requirements for operations, risk management, and cost optimization in deepwater theaters.

The design provides multiple configuration options. As a flotel, a vessel can accommodate over 200 people. In wireline mode, a vessel can conduct well intervention operations and well testing. Other functional modes enable fire fighting, rescue, and oil-spill control (storing and deploying floating barriers for hydrocarbon isolation). Primary features of the design include:

  • Redundancy: Vessels have seven diesel-electric generators, two machine rooms, two electric rooms, two VSAT communication systems, two cranes that can work simultaneously, and six propellers: three in the bow and three astern.
  • Maneuverability: Vessels maneuver and maintain station using DP3.
  • Client space: Each vessels’ interior provides a dedicated client deck with communications for monitoring all operational information (surface/subsea maps, ROV video, etc.), Internet connectivity via satellite, and a wide view of operations.
  • Efficiency: Vessels are equipped with diesel-electric propulsion systems (fuel consumption of 12cu m/d, said to be 25-50% less than the market average).

Cranes are one key feature of the new design; a 150tonne active heave-compensated (AHC) crane for installing subsea trees and a 40tonne AHC crane for general use. The cranes can deploy mudmats, flexible or rigid jumpers, and other well tie-in equipment. They can be used to service subsea operations and equipment including: diving operations (riser and spool work), dredging, placing ROV tool baskets, as well as replacing chokes and control pods (OE January 2012).

West Africa

Bourbon has long-term deepwater commitments for its eight vessels operating off West Africa. Most of the vessels operate off Angola (Blocks 15, 17, 18, and 31), with some in support of Nigeria’s Bonga and Akpo fields. Both of the Bourbon Evolution 803’s sister ships, Ungundja, and Bourbon Evolution 802, operate off West Africa.

The Ungundja, the inaugural Evolution-design vessel, entered the fleet in December 2011 and is working off Angola. It has installed numerous jumpers and subsea trees on the Dalia and Pazflor fields. Ten months later in September 2012, the Bourbon Evolution 802 joined the fleet. It operates off Nigeria (OE April 2012).

The company began its IMR-vessel building program in early 2008. The design is from Guido Perla & Associates (GPA), and the vessels are built at the Sinopacific shipyard in China. Deliveries will continue through 2014. OE

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