Scandinavia Review

May 20, 2010

Handling the load
Cargotec is to deliver MacGregor offshore and subsea load-handling systems to a deepsea research vessel on order at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Shimonoseki shipyard in Japan.

‘This contract highlights Cargotec’s capacity and technological expertise in offshore load-handling,’ says Øystein Bondevik, sales director for this sector.

The contract covers some of the major MacGregor products for ultra-deepwater operations and deck handling machinery. An engineering package and customisation for special operations and the distinctive design of the vessel are included.

The company’s recently modernised manufacturing, assembly and testing plant for offshore load handling solutions in Singapore had earlier delivered its first 150t capacity MacGregor offshore active heave-compensated (AHC) knuckle-jib crane for a customer in Asia.

And Cargotec’s manufacturing facility in Kristiansand, Norway, weighed in with an order for a MacGregor 200t subsea AHC knuckle-jib crane (pictured) with a 2000m wire capacity.

It will be delivered in the second half of 2010 to a Toisa vessel operated by UK-based Sealion Shipping.

Knives out for wellhead removal
Decommissioning specialist NCA has signed a frame agreement with Det Norske Oljeselskap for ‘rig chase’ services in relation to their exploration drilling programme.

Under this arrangement, Det Norske will cement their wells with the drilling rig and leave behind the subsea wellhead for later removal by a less expensive vessel.

The contract covers a minimum of eight wells and has a duration of three years plus two years’ options.

The scope of NCA’s work includes project management, engineering and offshore execution of the subsea wellhead removal services and the work will be performed using the company’s patented Subsea Wellhead Picker.

DOF Subsea Norway has the subcontract for vessel and ROV services associated with this contract and will use the Geoholm, Geosund and Skandi Bergen for the work.

The Subsea Wellhead Picker is based on NCA’s proprietory abrasive waterjet cutting technology which allows the cutting and removal operation to be performed with a lower-cost vessel and replace the traditional method using knives and drill pipe from a semisubmersible drilling rig. The well removal operations will be batched in campaigns of 4-10 wells to provide economies of scale, reducing rig time and overall cost per well, says NCA chief executive Carl Lieungh. The subsea wellhead removal campaigns will be open for other operating companies in the North Sea to sign up to.

Survey newbuild in the picture
Fugro’s newbuild survey vessel the Fugro Searcher is to have a ‘Full Picture’ suite of subsea acoustic products from Kongsberg.

Later this year the following products will be commissioned on the vessel: HiPAP 500 high precision SSBL system; EM 302 0.5 x 1° deepwater multibeam system; SBP 300 6° multibeam subbottom profiler; EM 3002 shallow water multibeam system; EA 600 triple frequency single beam system and an MRU five-motion reference unit.

The design of the vessel will permit simultaneous analogue/digital survey operations and AUV operations. Geotechnical and ROVSV duties can also be undertaken. Diesel electric drive, specially designed hull form, resilient engine mounts and rudder propellers will maximise station keeping and navigational control while ensuring acoustically quiet running at survey speeds.

The Fugro Searcher will be operated by Fugro Survey of Aberdeen.

Kirkenes eyes Arctic opportunity
The image of Kirkenes, in the Norwegian far north, as a complete service provider to the Arctic oil industry was brought into sharper focus last fall with the opening of the Coast Center Base-operated Kirkenesbase. The new supply base, with the Bergen Group Kimek yard among its strategic owners, is offering its services to Norwegian, Russian and other operators and oil service companies working in the region.

Office and warehouse facilities are ready and service companies are moving into the base, which has access to some 40 acres of industrial land and is served by a deepwater quay. And the next major development phase is already coming off the drawing board, with the Tschudi Group together with the Kirkenes town and port authorities having commenced planning of another industrial site of about 200 acres in the port area.

Located on Norway’s border with Russia, Kirkenes is considered the most easily accessible place in the region with several direct two-hours flight connections with Oslo and good road, sea and railway connections available. It boasts a large, deepwater, sheltered port and has long-established industrial traditions through the activities of a number of engineering, fabrication and construction companies.

Offshore disposal of untreated oil base mud (OBM) cuttings is not permitted anywhere in the world. In some countries, for example the US, the environmental jurisdiction allows the discharge to the sea of drilling waste with an oil content of up to 6.9%, a limit that can be achieved with standard mechanical separators. In other geographical areas the discharge limit is generally 1% oil on cuttings or less.

According its Norwegian developers, Thermtech TCC is the only industrially proven thermal technology that can meet such strict requirements and operate offshore and is now available in more compact and mobile units. The absence of external heating sources renders Thermtech TCC totally safe and explosion proof, adds the company, which operates fixed and mobile units worldwide.

With this system, thermal separation is achieved by transforming kinetic energy into thermal energy through the friction created in the waste itself. The drilling waste is heated to a temperature sufficiently high for the fluids to evaporate. The base oils used in mixing OBM will typically evaporate at temperatures below 300ºC. By heating the waste above the evaporation temperature of the oil, the fluids, including the water, will vaporise leaving clean mineral solids.

Compact flotation
A new-generation Compact Flotation Unit developed by TS Group subsidiary TS-Technology for produced water treatment is expected to make a significant contribution to the reduction of oil & gas industry emissions.

Designated the TST CFU, this high-performance multi-stage single vessel technology is based on flotation principles whereby small gas bubbles contribute to the separation process. The flotation process is maintained by released dissolved gas or additional gas injected into the water feed. Oil droplets and gas bubbles are co-mixed together and due to the low density of this mixture, the oil and gas separates easily in the vessel. The vessel internals are so designed as to allow this process to be done in multiple stages within the one vessel. The technology can operate from 0.5barg and upwards depending on the pressure in the downstream reject system. Both oil and gas are removed from the incoming water and discharged in a common reject stream, allowing clean water to exit the vessel for disposal or reinjection.

TS Group believes this technology has taken the compact flotation concept to another level, offering better performance, smaller foot print, lower weight and lower cost than traditional produced water treatment technologies and existing types of CFU models. It can handle very high oil in water content (>1000ppm OIW) and achieve below 5ppm OIW within one vessel, says the company, adding: ‘As a polishing vessel it has shown reduction in OIW content from 20-25ppm down to 1ppm and removal of oil droplets down to 1-2 micron in a one-stage CFU vessel.’

The company is targeting several applications with this technology: downstream of inlet separator as a replacement for traditional equipment such as hydrocyclones and degassing vessel, or in parallel with existing equipment to increase the produced water treatment capacity.

Ex-proof connectors
Designed for use in hazardous environments and rated Exd IIc T3, Cavotec Connector Ex-proof connectors are available in max 690V AC, 660 amp in single pole, in multi-pin 18 pin 500V AC or 25 pin 50V AC. The connector uses a bayonet ring to fix the plug and socket and secures the ring with a set-screw. Produced in marine grade aluminum and offering IP66 protection, it uses the same inert configuration as the standard PC2 and is designed for both onshore and offshore application.

Meanwhile, Cavotec’s Smart Push/ Pull PC6, 7.2kV technology is now integrated with FO into a 7.2kV/540A connector and uses expanded beam technology. Highly resistant to dust, debris and vibration, the unit is designed for multimode 50ìm/62.5ìm and single mode fibres. Typical insertion loss is 1.5dB. The removable lens system makes it possible to replace damaged lenses without having to change the insert and their hermaphroditic design reduces the number of spare parts.

Drilling double
Norwegian extended reach drilling technology provider Reelwell has been acknowledged for the second year running as one OTC’s ‘Spotlight on New Technology’ exhibitors, this time for the Reelwell Telemetry System (RTS), a new telemetric and powering system for downhole drilling measurement (MWD) and logging (LWD) tools.

Operable in both gas and liquid drill fluid systems, RTS allows real time, two-way high speed signal communication to MWD/ LWD tools. Along with all the operational benefits, the system should contribute to a significant safety improvement of the drilling operation, says Reelwell’s Ove Hole.

The Reelwell Drilling Method (RDM), which was in the OTC ‘Spotlight’ last year (OE April 2009), improves drilling performance – especially in horizontal wells – by combining an innovative hole cleaning technique with hydraulic traction on the bit. With the RDM’s closed loop reverse circulation system, drill cuttings and return mud are removed from the hole at the bottom of the well and routed to surface through the inner pipe.

The RTS was developed and tested in combination with RDM using the dual drillstring (pipe-in-pipe) simultaneously as an electrical conductor and a two-way high speed real time data communicator. The system can power and read the downhole tools from surface simultaneously.

Composites in depth
Vello Nordic, in co-operation with FMC Kongsberg Subsea, has manufactured a composite cable prototype of 6850m length for use in riserless light well intervention. The cable consists of carbon fibre composite material with electrical conductors in centre, reports Øyvind Tveit, Vello Nordic’s newly appointed business development manager.

Vello Nordic sees the use of composite materials, with their low weight, high stiffness, superior mechanical strength, and unsurpassed corrosion resistance, as a driving force for new technology as the offshore industry moves into deeper waters. In 2006, the company completed its first commercial delivery of high modulus carbon fibre rods. These were used as strengthening members in the Aker Solutions deepwater umbilical deployed in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico for the Independence Hub and Merganser projects.

Last year Vello Nordic again demonstrated its credentials as a leading manufacturer of carbon fibre composites for the offshore sector when delivering carbon fibre rods for the Aker Solutions subsea umbilicals destined for BP’s PSVM ultra-deepwater field development off Angola. This time the umbilicals were produced at the Aker umbilical plant in Moss, Norway.

Making a difference
i-Tec, a Norwegian well solutions company with its focus and expertise in wellbore physics, cites its i-Valve as a good example of how the company positions itself to offer a unique product and punch above its weight on the completion equipment front.

‘In close cooperation with the end users, we invent, design and produce systems that stimulate and amplify the reservoir and wellbore forces,’ explains the company. In the case of the i-Valve, the company says it was able to design, third-party test and fabricate a full set of i-Valves within two-and-a-half months of receiving a customer request for this service. ‘This is obviously not a timeline that the largest suppliers can compete with,’ adds i-Tec. ‘The advantage of this product is that it’s not just an ordinary valve; it can carry out a variety of jobs, and it can also operate with high differential pressure.’

i-Tec, which has over 30 patented drilling, completion, intervention and reservoir management solutions to its credit, established a presence in Aberdeen and Houston last year. The company will be back at OTC in May as one of the Norwegian Pavilion exhibitors.

Following its acquisition of the Eureka pump technology, Norway’s Bjorge group boasts the largest capacity firewater pumps range in the market.

Bjorge Eureka, now one of the few suppliers in the world offering all the various alternatives specified in the NFPA 20 international standard for firewater pumps, recently supplied one of the largest FW pump systems ever purchased for oil & gas industry application to Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

These units are now installed on the BP Skarv FPSO soon to go into service on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

A total of four FW pump units were delivered for Skarv, each comprising a Eureka CD 450 vertical pump rated at 3300m3/h @ 185mlc driven by a submerged electric motor rated [email protected]

The motor is driven by a dedicated, self-contained genset rated 2.5MW.

The Bjorge Eureka firewater pump range includes the diesel driven deepwell pump with angle gear, diesel electric driven pumps, diesel direct driven dry mounted pumps, and diesel hydraulic driven dry mounted pumps.

Well collision detector
The ClampOn DSP well collision detector is designed to provide operators with real time data so that collision risk analysis calculations are not the only factor determining the bit’s proximity to existing wells. Using non-invasive ultrasonic sensor technology in the form of a spectrum analyser, the patent-pending procedure digitises the ultrasound allowing for frequency analysis in real-time.

According to ClampOn, the procedure was its response to a request from a Gulf of Mexico operator concerned about a side-track drilling operation that would require the bit to travel in close proximity to existing wells. The operator believed topside sensors could possibly detect the ultrasonic signal generated by the drillstring and thus help to divert a possible collision with an existing well.

From previous industry experience, ClampOn says it was able to demonstrate that topside sensors could detect downhole events. One example, argued the company, would be ClampOn DSP sensors detecting perforation guns firing at depths of 13-15,000ft.

The process involves ClampOn DSP Well Collision Detectors being installed topside on all existing wells in close proximity to the well being drilled. The drill string’s approach to existing wells will create an increase in the ultrasonic signal being observed topside. When dramatic ultrasonic increases are observed, drilling will be halted and data analysed. After analysis is complete, the drill string can be diverted or drilling can resume with the confidence that a collision has been avoided or that initial calculations were confirmed.

The use of sidetrack drilling is only going to increase as fields mature, says ClampOn, so proper collision avoidance techniques should be considered when preparing for the drilling operation. The DSP Well Collision Detector provides the operator with an advanced real time collision monitoring system with minimal equipment and personnel requirements adds the company.

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