NOAA has presented to the U.S. Coast Guard a new report that finds that 36 sunken vessels scattered across the U.S. seafloor could pose an oil pollution threat to the nation’s coastal marine resources. Of those, 17 were recommended for further assessment and potential removal of both fuel oil and oil cargo.
The locations of the 17 wrecks NOAA is recommending be considered for in water assessment and pollution recovery if necessary.
The sunken vessels are a legacy of more than a century of U.S. commerce and warfare. They include a barge lost in rough seas in 1936; two motor-powered ships that sank in separate collisions in 1947 and 1952; and a tanker that exploded and sank in 1984. The remaining sites are 13 merchant marine ships lost during World War II, primarily along the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico. To see a list of the ships and their locations, visit: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/protect/ppw/.
The report, part of NOAA’s Remediation of Underwater Legacy Environmental Threats (RULET) project, identifies the location and nature of potential sources of oil pollution from sunken vessels. Knowing where these vessels are helps oil response planning efforts and may help in the investigation of reported mystery spills--sightings of oil where a source is not immediately known or suspected.
“This report is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the potential oil pollution threats from shipwrecks in U.S. waters,” said Lisa Symons, resource protection coordinator for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “Now that we have analyzed this data, the Coast Guard will be able to evaluate NOAA’s recommendations and determine the most appropriate response to potential threats.”
“The Coast Guard is pleased to receive these risk assessments from our partner agency NOAA and looks forward to our continued coordination on the matter of potential pollution associated with sunken vessels in U.S. waters,” said Capt. John Caplis, the Coast Guard’s chief of marine environmental response. “Coast Guard federal on-scene coordinators receiving the risk assessments will carefully review the data and incorporate it into their area contingency plans.”
In 2010, Congress appropriated $1 million for NOAA to develop a list of the most significant potentially polluting wrecks in U.S. waters, including the Great Lakes, specifically addressing ecological and socio-economic resources at risk. Those funds were not intended for oil or vessel removal.
NOAA maintains the internal Resources and UnderSea Threats (RUST) database of approximately 30,000 sites of sunken material, of which 20,000 are shipwrecks. The remaining items are munitions dumpsites, navigational obstructions, underwater archaeological sites, and other underwater resources.
Initial screening of these shipwrecks revealed 573 that could pose substantial pollution risks, based on the vessel’s age, type, and size. This includes vessels built after 1891, when U.S. vessels began using fuel oil; vessels built of steel; vessels over 1,000 gross tons, and any tank vessel.
Additional research about the circumstances of each vessel’s loss narrowed that number to 107 shipwrecks. Of those, some were deemed navigational hazards and demolished, and others were salvaged. Most of the 107 wrecks have not been directly surveyed for pollution potential, and in some cases little is known about their current condition.
To prioritize and determine which vessels are candidates for further evaluation, NOAA used a series of risk factors to assess the likelihood of substantial amounts of oil remaining onboard, and the potential ecological and environmental effects if that oil spills. Risk factors include the total oil volume onboard as cargo or fuel, the type of oil, and the nature of the sinking event. For example, a vessel that was struck by multiple torpedoes would likely contain less oil than a vessel that sank in bad weather.
After this third level of screening, 87 wrecks remained on the list developed for the Coast Guard’s area contingency plans. Among this group, NOAA determined that 36 shipwrecks are candidates for a “Worst Case” discharge event in which the shipwreck’s entire fuel oil and oil cargo would be released simultaneously, and recommended that 17 of these wrecks be considered for further assessment and feasibility of oil removal.
Six wrecks are potential candidates for a “Most Probable” discharge event, where a shipwreck could lose approximately 10 percent of its fuel oil or oil cargo. To date, known oil discharges from shipwrecks are typically in the “Most Probable” category or smaller.
The report, including 87 risk assessments, is not intended to direct Coast Guard activities, but rather provide the Coast Guard with NOAA’s scientific and technical assessment and guidance as a natural resource and cultural heritage trustee.
The Coast Guard, as the federal On-scene Coordinator for mitigating oil spills in the coastal marine environment, the Regional Response Teams, and local Area Committees, as established under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, will review and incorporate the assessments into regional and area marine environmental response contingency plans. The individual risk assessments not only highlight concerns about potential ecological and socio-economic impacts, but also characterize most of the vessels as historically significant and many of them as grave sites, both civilian and military.
Funding for any assessment or recovery operations determined to be necessary is dependent upon the unique circumstances of the wreck. If a wreck still has an identifiable owner, that owner is responsible for the cost of cleanup. Coast Guard officials say that if no responsible party exists, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund would likely be accessed.
To view the report, 2012 Risk Assessment for Potentially Polluting Wrecks in U.S. Waters, visit http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/protect/ppw/.
As America’s maritime first responder, the Coast Guard protects those on the sea, protects our nation from threats delivered by sea, and protects the sea itself. By executing our marine environmental protection responsibilities, the Coast Guard reduces the risk of harm to the marine environment by developing and enforcing regulations to prevent and respond to maritime oil spills and hazardous substance releases.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and Danos President and CEO Hank Danos announced the company will retain its headquarters in Louisiana and that Danos & Curole Marine Contractors LLC has selected a site in Gray, La., for its new $10 million corporate headquarters facility. In addition, Danos announced it is evaluating multiple Louisiana port locations to select where it will build a new $20 million manufacturing and fabrication facility.
A strategic construction and services partner for major oil and gas companies, Danos will create 426 new jobs over the next five years as it leverages new deepwater oil and gas opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico, along with land-based and international energy growth opportunities. LED estimates the Louisiana projects, with their combined $30 million capital investment, will result in an additional 871 new indirect jobs, for a total of nearly 1,300 new jobs in the state. Of the 426 new direct jobs, 326 will be at the headquarters site with salaries averaging $75,000 per year, plus benefits. The remaining 100 new direct jobs will be created at the manufacturing site with salaries averaging $65,000 per year, plus benefits.
The company's expansion project will also retain 400 existing land-based jobs in Louisiana and create 200 construction jobs. Danos will retain fabrication operations at its current headquarters site in Larose, where the company has operated since its 1947 founding in Lafourche Parish.
Gov. Jindal said, "Today's announcement is great news for the Bayou Region and for our entire state. Danos is one of Louisiana's deeply rooted homegrown companies renowned for its technical expertise, performance and, above all, outstanding safety in the oil and gas business. The company has proudly called Louisiana home for decades, and it knows that our state is home to an incomparable workforce, a strong business climate and a tremendous energy infrastructure.
"Despite a challenging federal regulatory environment, Louisiana companies like Danos are rising to new heights in business performance and leading the way in solving our nation's energy challenges. This growth by Danos in south Louisiana will continue bringing great new career opportunities to Louisianians for generations to come."
Danos ultimately selected a Terrebonne Parish site for its new headquarters after an exhaustive search of potential locations along the Gulf Coast. Extensive site selection by Danos eliminated Alabama, Mississippi and Texas from consideration.
Construction of the headquarters facility will begin by late summer, with the manufacturing site to be selected within three months and construction of that facility to begin before the end of 2013. Both new facilities will be complete by the end of 2014. Hiring for positions at the new headquarters will begin later this year, with new manufacturing positions being filled beginning in 2014.
With 1,100 employees based in Louisiana or working in offshore Gulf of Mexico operations linked with the company's Louisiana base, Danos is one of the major economic drivers in Louisiana's Bayou Region and a key contributor to global energy solutions, with 1,600 employees worldwide.
Launching a modest crew boat company 66 years ago, Danos attracted Gulf Oil (now Chevron) in its first year of existence and still retains the company as a customer today. Danos has evolved into one of the largest oilfield service companies in the Gulf of Mexico region with a continual focus on safety and execution. The company works with all major energy producers in the Gulf today, aligning its services with operators from the pre-commissioning phase of major developments through the construction and operation phases.
"The Danos family business has deep roots in South Louisiana: The heritage and culture of this area are important to who we are as a company," company CEO Hank Danos said. "We appreciate the commitment of our state's leadership. The Governor and the Secretary of Economic Development are shaping an environment that is beneficial to attracting and retaining companies who are creating good jobs in our state and region. We are thankful that our employees, customers and the state recognize the importance of our dedication to excellence in safety and job execution."
LED's Business Expansion and Retention Group, or BERG, worked with Danos to identify growth opportunities within Louisiana. To secure the headquarters and manufacturing project, the state offered Danos a customized incentives package that includes a performance-based, $1.5 million Economic Development Award Program grant to provide infrastructure improvements for the new manufacturing location. The state will also provide the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart ®, the nation's No. 1 state workforce development training program. In addition, Danos is expected to utilize Louisiana's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
"We are honored that Danos has chosen Terrebonne Parish for their new facility," Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet said. "Terrebonne Parish is truly fortunate to receive this vote of confidence by one of the most respected and admired companies in Louisiana. We welcome Danos to Terrebonne Parish as we continue to build a community that is attractive to such great companies."
"The Danos family, now in its third generation of service to our community and region, has not only survived both the natural and manmade challenges of the world, it has been doggedly defiant in its resiliency to prosper and grow," said President and CEO Vic Lafont of the South Louisiana Economic Council.
"We're very excited anytime a major announcement comes to our region," said Steve Vassallo, CEO of the Terrebonne Economic Development Authority. "It's just a further indication of how our economy is improving dramatically and continues to stay strong. Creating new jobs just makes it that much easier when we're recruiting the next company that we're going after."
Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announces a natural gas discovery at the Karish prospect offshore Israel. The discovery well was drilled to a total depth of 15,783 feet and encountered 184 feet of net natural gas pay in high-quality lower Miocene sands. The Karish well, located in the Alon C license approximately 20 miles northeast of the Tamar field, is in 5,700 feet of water. Discovered gross resources, combined with the de-risked resources in an adjacent fault block on the license, are estimated to range(1) between 1.6 and 2.0 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with a gross mean of 1.8 Tcf.
The Karish discovery is the fifth discovered field with an estimated gross mean resource size over 1 Tcf. It is also the seventh consecutive field discovery for Noble Energy and its partners in the Levant Basin. With the addition of Karish and the recent increase in resource estimates at Tamar and Leviathan, total discovered gross mean resources in the Levant Basin are now estimated to be approximately 38 Tcf.
The Ensco 5006 rig drilled the Karish well and will relocate to Cyprus where it is scheduled to spud an appraisal well at the Cyprus A discovery next month.
Noble Energy is the operator of the Alon C license with a 47.06 percent interest. Co-owners are Avner Oil and Delek Drilling each with a 26.47 percent interest.
Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) will deliver operations & maintenance services to Hess Corporation's Baldpate production platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, under a new five-year contract.
WGPSN will also provide these services to Hess for the Tubular Bells and Stampede deepwater facilities in the Mississippi Canyon and Green Canyon regions of the Gulf of Mexico when they come on stream in the future. The contract will lead to the creation of up to 100 new jobs in the region.
WGPSN will develop a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to track the maintenance and repair of rotating equipment and maintenance parts. They will also manage the inventory of engineering parts.
Derek Blackwood , WGPSN Americas president, said: "Hess is a valued customer to WGPSN. Since 1999, we have maintained contracts with Hess in the U.K. and in Equatorial Guinea, and we are pleased to have extended this relationship to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. We will recruit new employees to service this contract and are committed to developing a skilled and talented local workforce."
WGPSN employs over 5,000 people in the US, working both offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore servicing the conventional oil & gas sector and shale plays.
Baldpate is located in 1,650ft of water, in Garden Banks (GB) block 260, 120 miles off the Louisiana coast. Installed in 1998, it was the first freestanding offshore compliant tower and is one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world.
UTEC Geomarine has announced the successful completion of its first ever geoROVTM CPT survey campaign in North America.
The geotechnical survey in the Gulf of Mexico was in support of a major pipeline construction project and work comprised of situ testing, interpretation and production of the final reports.
The technology was perfectly suited to geotechnical survey operations in the Gulf of Mexico, where challenging and variable seabed conditions required precise geotechnical data for pipeline design purposes.
The geoROVTM system is the innovative ROV-conveyed geotechnical testing and sampling system developed in-house by UTEC Geomarine to address industry requirements. It is a quick and cost-effective way of gathering high precision geotechnical data which has an established track record in the North Sea and Asia-Pacific regions.
Following the acquisition of UK headquartered Geomarine by UTEC in 2012, UTEC Geomarine now provides a range of advanced geotechnical services from UTEC’s international office network.
Commenting on the project, UTEC Geomarine’s Dr. Peter Allan said: “A key factor in the selection of geoROV™ for this project was the ability to work close in to existing infrastructure and to very precisely investigate the geotechnical properties of features on the seabed.”
UTEC CEO Martin O’Carroll added: “Following our successful entry into the North American market we are actively pursuing additional opportunities for the technology.”
UTEC is one of the world’s largest independent offshore survey companies providing a wide range of services including offshore positioning, construction support, geophysical (conventional, towed and AUV) surveys, measurement technology (dimensional control including laser scanning and modeling), metocean surveys and geotechnical (consultancy & sampling) services. UTEC has offices located around the world including: Australia, Brasil, Canada, Italy, Singapore, UAE, UK and USA.
Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) and Total are pleased to announce the signing of a framework of Agreement whereby QPI will participate in Total E&P Congo through its subscription to a 15% share capital increase of this company. This participation reinforces Qatar’s commitment to invest in Africa and illustrates Congo’s willingness to welcome Qatar as a new partner. Furthermore, thanks to its subscription to the capital of Total E&P Congo, QPI will contribute to the company’s significant investment programmed in Congo, specifically the Moho North project.
His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman of QPI, stated that this agreement is a further milestone in the implementation of QPI’s strategy to develop actively its presence abroad and especially in Africa. He also welcomed the opportunity to reinforce relationships between Qatar and Congo and support Total E&P Congo in its development programmed.
Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO of Total, expressed his satisfaction with this agreement which is a new step in the implementation of the MOU for a strategic cooperation in Africa entered between QPI and Total on 25 March 2010. It will further build-on the well-established partnership with QPI and will strengthen Total’s commitment to proceed with the development of the Congolese Petroleum Industry.
H.E. Jean-Jacques Bouya, Minister to the Presidency in charge of development and infrastructures of the Republic of Congo, attending the Doha 13th Forum and mandated by H.E. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, expressed his satisfaction with QPI’s partnering with Total in the Republic of Congo which will bring added value to the development of Congo’s petroleum resources. This new partnership is a clear milestone that will open a new era of cooperation between the Republic of Congo and the state of Qatar.
Large Diameter Drilling (LDD) announced the launch of LM Handling, a new business unit which has been established as a joint venture co-operation between Acteon companies LDD and MENCK. LM Handling offers global coverage in the field of offshore lifting and handling equipment and services on a sales and rental basis; will operate out of existing LDD and MENCK bases; and will use the new Acteon operations base in Singapore scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2013.
Already equipped with a portfolio of standard lifting and handling products for rental and sale, including the industry-leading Pile Guide Frame (“StabFrame”), operations will also focus on providing turnkey solutions to customers’ lifting and handling offshore challenges. LM Handling will pursue a collaborative approach with current and potential customers.
“Our aim is to identify customer needs, gain the clearest possible understanding of the challenges they face and find opportunities to improve their operations,” said LM Handling general manager Robin van der Bij. “This closer collaboration between MENCK and LDD will bring together specialist engineers, project managers and equipment for critical tasks such as jacket and monopile installation along with the myriad of subsea and offshore construction work.”
“This move will build on the synergies between Acteon companies and enhance the group’s subsea service offering to its customers,” said Acteon Group Ltd. vice president Paul Alcock. “The venture combines LDD’s rapid and tailor-made approach to offshore solutions with MENCK’s outstanding expertise and track record in piling operations. The new business unit will have the full support of the sales and engineering teams at both LDD and MENCK.”
Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Energy Advisor
Mexican state oil company Pemex has filed a lawsuit in New York seeking to recover nearly $160 million from Germany's Siemens and South Korea's SK Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. in a global bribery case, a law firm representing Pemex said Wednesday.
Attorneys at Miami-based Diaz Reus filed an amended lawsuit in a U.S. District Court last week claiming Siemens and SKEC submitted an "unrealistically low bid" in 1996 to win a public contract for modernizing a Pemex refinery in Cadereyta, Mexico. Michael Diaz, Jr., the firm's global managing partner, alleged Siemens and SKEC then paid bribes to several officials at Pemex in exchange for processing fraudulent "cost overrun" invoices. Those invoices were apparently intended to fill the shortfall from the original underbid, according to Diaz.
In 2008, Siemens pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and agreed to pay a $1.6 billion penalty to U.S. and European authorities to settle charges that it routinely used bribes and slush funds to secure massive public works contracts around the world, including refinery modernization projects in Mexico.
César Nava, the former chairman of Mexico's conservative National Action Party and Pemex's legal director at the time of the alleged fraud is named in the suit, EFE reported this week citing a report in Mexico's Reforma newspaper. Nava allegedly intervened to stop the company from collecting $102.8 million from Siemens and SKEC to compensate for contract violations in the overhaul of the Cadereyta refinery, the report states.
Wireless communications in the subsea environment continue to deliver value to the oil and gas industry. The Subsea Wireless Group (SWiG) is an international industry initiative established to promote interoperability for subsea wireless communications within the areas of radio frequency, acoustic and free space optic technologies. The group was initiated as a result of the growing interest and application of these solutions within the sector.
The group was established in May 2011 at OTC and continues its mission to raise industry awareness and acceptance of through water communications as viable solutions for the industry.
“Our membership has grown rapidly over the past 24 months and we now have 18 companies participating within the group,” stated Jessica Rouse who manages the network on behalf of OTM Consulting. “Our members include ABS, BP, Cameron, Chevron, EvoLogics, GE, HIMA, JPL, MCS Kenny, Nautronix, OCTIO, Saab Seaeye, Statoil, Subsea 7, Technip, Teledyne Marine Systems, WFS Technologies and Yokogawa. The group is continuing to grow as more companies start to understand the benefits that wireless can provide. We are keen to hear from companies with an interest in this field and would welcome their participation at one of our upcoming meetings”.
Since 2011, SWiG has been working on defining and understanding current subsea technology needs where wireless technologies can provide a solution. This work has fed into the 2 member established Working Groups that focus on the technical capabilities of these technologies as well as developing recommended practises for the industry.
The Technology Capabilities Working Group is specifically evaluating the capabilities, performance, Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), and target applications of wireless. The group is producing an archive of case studies to demonstrate how wireless is already being used within the industry and this will be made available to all members.
The Standards Working Group is focused on developing a recommended practice for radio frequency communications which will later be used as a template for acoustic, optical and hybrid systems. The focus of the Standards Working Group is to build on existing open standards with the objective to develop new standards that support full interoperability between hardwired and wireless systems subsea.
The image above shows raw data collected by the Sonic 2024 UHR system of the Margaret Smith shipwreck in Southampton
The Sonic 2020 is the most compact high performance wideband shallow water multi-beam echo sounder providing over 20x selectable operating frequencies to choose from within the 200 to 400 kHz band. In addition to selectable operating frequencies, the Sonic 2020 provides variable swath coverage selections from 10° to 130° as well as ability to rotate the swath port or starboard in real-time. The Sonic 2020 frequency agility, productive swath coverage and narrow focused 2° beam widths provide hydrographic professionals with quality data output for shallow water survey operations.
The Sonic 2024 can be upgraded to provide extremely narrow beam widths (0.3° x 0.6°) at 700kHz operation making this option invaluable for detailed offshore site surveys such as pipeline inspections, cable laying operations or other micro bathymetry applications. The raw data acquired from this option over the Margaret River Wreck in Southampton can be seen in the above picture.
With these recent purchases Swathe Services rental pool now includes a large number of R2SONIC multi-beam echo sounders including ultra high resolution and 3000m depth rated options, as well as an iXBlue HYDRINS and iXBlue ROVINS.
Robertson Completes First Phase of Innovative MERLIN+ Source and Reservoir Facies Prediction Project
CGG announces that Robertson, a CGG company specializing in geology, geophysics and reservoir engineering, has completed the first phase of its MERLIN+ source and reservoir facies prediction project initiated in April 2012. Global subscribers can now gain a genuine commercial advantage from the project’s deliverables which are designed to improve exploration success in underexplored and frontier basins.
MERLIN+ provides a unique and proven means of reducing exploration risk by combining industry-leading plate tectonic reconstructions (Plate WizardTM), global databases and detailed palaeogeographic mapping with Earth systems modeling to predict key elements of the petroleum system.
MERLIN+ builds on the data and methodologies brought together by Robertson within the original MERLIN project launched in 2007 that have enabled the prediction of source facies globally. Comparison of predictions to known source rock data shows greater than 80% accuracy, giving confidence to the prediction of source facies for both conventional and unconventional plays.
MERLIN+ will be completed in a number of phases over an initial four-year period and global subscribers are invited to guide and participate in its continued improvements. MERLIN+ incorporates the results of the Earth systems modeling into an innovative predictive methodology to deliver valuable source facies and clastic sediment flux predictions.
Sophie Zurquiyah, Senior Executive Vice President, Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir, CGG, said: “As it becomes increasingly difficult to identify viable new exploration opportunities, innovative solutions such as MERLIN+ are essential to maintain a competitive edge. The addition of its unique predictive capabilities to Robertson’s broad portfolio of global and regional multi-client geological products opens the door to addressing the key challenges of frontier exploration and, combined with CGG’s other products and services, helps to position us as the partner of choice for delivering the key geoscience solutions required by the industry today.”
Gulfstream Services Inc Successfully Complete Two Six Figure Contracts with Major Oil and Gas Companies
Gulfstream Services Inc (GSI), provider of cutting edge equipment to the international oil and gas industry, has successfully completed two six figure decommissioning contracts with major oil and gas service companies, Helix Well Ops UK and Dof Subsea.
The Helix contract was part of the BP North West Hutton decommissioning project where GSI tools were used to remove 10” and 20” pipelines from the seabed. GSI’s Hydraulic Shear was an effective engineering solution in the situation due to the quick boat to boat times.
Photo: Martin Blake, operator/workshop technician, GSI, working on GSI product
GSI equipment was used by Dof Subsea for the cutting and recovering of items on a North Sea platform including a 6” pipeline, concrete mattresses, clump weights and various small steel structures. After the assignment it was reported that the performance of GSI equipment and personnel were above expectations and caused no downtime.
Both projects were carried out in the North Sea over a three and two week period respectively.
Caroline Grant, operations manager GSI, said: “It has been a busy few months for GSI. We are delighted to be involved in such high profile projects with Helix and Dof Subsea. The efficient delivery of the projects are a testament to the effectiveness and quality of our products and staff. This is further proof that we are at the forefront of the decommissioning market.
“Since we established the GSI hydraulic shear division in 2006 we have performed over 8000 cuts in worldwide locations using our specialised decommissioning equipment. Looking ahead, we will continue to endeavour to provide first class service to all our customers.”
GSI was established in the US in 1978 and now has four bases across the states. Gulfstream Services UK was set up in January 2010 in Aberdeen to serve the international oil and gas industry and growing demand from customers in UK, Norway, Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Around 6300 subsurface cuts have been carried out and 2000 land based cuts. The deepest cut completed by the firm was 3019ft, for major oil and gas projects in the Gulf of Mexico.
GSI aims to provide innovative and cost efficient solutions to industry challenges and all of its products have evolved in line with customer requirements.
Currently the GSI global hydraulic tooling fleet consists of 26 workable shears and grapples, which are used for numerous applications within the oil and gas industry including platform and pipeline removal, slot recovery, chain cutting, wire rope cutting, salvage work and well blow out intervention.
GSI recently increased its staff numbers in response to business growth – the company currently has 12 members of staff and plans to expand this by a further three in the coming months.
Okeanus Science and Technology, LLC (Okeanus) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Jacob Marcell as President as of 1 May 2013. Based out of Houma, Louisiana, Okeanus is an international provider of oceanographic and marine scientific research equipment. Mr. Marcell was appointed president due to his extensive experience and long track record in the U.S. subsea industry. Prior to joining Okeanus, Marcell was president of Mako Technologies, and he has extensive senior experience, including ROV services and tooling and topside and subsea rental equipment and services.
Okeanus was recently established to cater to the Science and Technology rental and integration of equipment market. Okeanus provides the latest technology as well as tried-and-true industry standards to all the regions of the globe to support and accomplish clients' goals.
Aker Solutions has laid the foundation stone of a new plant in Paraná that will double the company's subsea production capacity in Brazil.
The plant in the city of São José dos Pinhais in the Paraná state in Brazil will be operational in 2015. It will replace Aker Solutions' current subsea manufacturing facility in Curitiba and double production capacity in the country.
Aker Solutions' Executive Chairman Øyvind Eriksen and Luis Araujo, president and country manager of the company's Brazilian operations, took part in a ceremony laying the foundation stone at the new site.
Luis Carlos Setim, the mayor of São José dos Pinhais, attended together with other local government officials.
"Brazil is a very important market for Aker Solutions and this new plant will strengthen our subsea offering," says Araujo.
The new facility will have about 1,200 employees and generate work for an additional 5,000 people at suppliers. The plant will be built on a plot of land totaling 168,220 square meters.
Aker Solutions is expanding its manufacturing capacity after winning a contract in April to deliver subsea equipment to the Brazilian oil company Petrobras. The contract, worth NOK 4.6 billion (USD 800 million), is for 60 well-sets with vertical subsea trees, subsea control systems, tools and spares to be used at Petrobras' deepwater pre-salt field developments in Brazil.
"The forecasts for the Brazilian oil and gas industry are very promising and we are committed to developing our manufacturing capabilities and local content," says Araujo.
Aker Solutions last year started building a new multi-purpose service site for its drilling equipment business in Macaé, 180 kilometers northeast of Rio de Janeiro. The facility, set to open in 2014, will expand the company's capacity to serve the fast-growing drilling market in Brazil. Aker Solutions is also located in Rio de Janeiro and Rio das Ostras in Brazil.
Aker Solutions, established in Brazil since 1978, currently employs 1,400 people in the country. The company is a leading provider of subsea equipment and services in Brazil's offshore pre-salt market. It also delivers downstream and topside process technology, offshore mooring and loading systems, deepwater drilling systems and subsea intervention services.
Gibdock has completed a refit of the seismic vessel WG Cook(photo) for WesternGeco, reflecting the yard’s growing ability to attract return customers in the specialised offshore vessel market.
WG Cook is one of six 12-streamer 3D seismic ships delivered to the owner in 2010. The 19-day project was completed on time and with no serious QHSE incidents in preparation for WG Cook’s deployment offshore Canada for a seismic survey.
“The project was awarded on a competitive tender basis, while the location of the yard is also favourable for this project,” says Mick Richardson, WesternGeco Fleet Technical Manager. “However, our return to Gibdock also reflects our preference for teamwork based on forward planning and our requirement for a strong commitment to QHSE. We were also pleased with Gibdock’s preparation and pre-fabrication work.”
Richard Beards, Gibdock Managing Director, says that the WG Cook project falls firmly in line with Gibdock’s strategy to work in long-term relationships with ‘best in class’ clients. “As well as delivering high quality work on a high-value vessel, this kind of project relies on transparency at the planning stage. This means final costs match estimates provided.”
Mr Beards says the close coordination between Gibdock’s commercial and production departments proved pivotal to the project’s successful execution, citing the key roles played in the Gibdock team by Estimator Carlos Anastacio and WG Cook Project Manager Filip Tsankov.
Gibdock allocated its largest drydock to the project, allowing a variety of yard equipment to be deployed simultaneously. The dock’s heavy lifting capability was also a factor, with one of its three cranes being occupied continuously by a 5m exhaust extension and main mast modifications. Docking repairs also included the replacement of the ship’s thruster z-drives, box cooler removal, sea chest modification, hull blasting and painting.
Particularly demanding was upgrade and modification of WG Cook’s hydraulic pipes on two decks, and modification of hydraulic lines after equipment relocation. The WG Cook project included work on hydraulics, so skills available in this trade were a particular focus, with close co-ordination between the ship's owner, the yard and the yard’s subcontractors.
“Around 300 personnel from the yard and the owner were onboard the vessel during the project’s peak period,” says Mr Beards. “Co-ordinating work so that completing one job did not interfere with another was a critical factor in redelivering WG Cook on schedule and with no serious QHSE incidents.”