HHI Delivers World’s Largest Semi-Submersible Rig for Diamond Offshore


#1

looks like quite a beast! Curious if BP can handle (or tame) it when drilling later this year.

According to MarineTraffic the rig left Korea this weekend, but will still have a stopover in Singapore apparently. Tightening the last bolts, I guess.

[B]World’s Largest Semi-Submersible Rig Delivered
[/B]
MarEx - 2016-07-17 02:34:00

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has delivered Ocean GreatWhite, the world’s largest semi-submersible drilling rig, to Diamond Offshore, a Houston-based drilling contractor.

Ocean GreatWhite, measuring 123 meters (402 feet) in length and 78 meters (255 feet) in width, is capable of operating in waters up to three kilometers (10,000 feet) deep and drilling down to a depth of 10 kilometers (6.6 miles) from the sea surface. It has an operating draft of 23 meters (77 feet) and a transit speed of about eight knots.

The rig will be chartered to BP for operation in the Great Australian Bight from October this year.

Diamond Offshore has a fleet of 30 drilling rigs, consists of 21 semi-submersibles, four dynamically positioned drillships and five jack-ups. The Ocean BlackHawk was delivered in mid-2014, and sister rigs, the Ocean BlackHornet, Ocean BlackRhino, were delivered at the end of 2014. The fourth newbuild drillship, the Ocean BlackLion, was delivered in the second quarter of 2015. The company also has two deepwater semi-submersible rigs, named Ocean Apex and Ocean Onyx, which were delivered in 2014.

HHI won the order worth $630 million to build the Ocean GreatWhite in 2013 and has delivered four other drillships to the US-based drilling contractor so far. The delivery installment worth 460 billion won ($395 million) HHI received from the client will help improve HHI’s cash flow.

Korea’s top three shipbuilders, HHI, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries, lost more than $7 billion between them last year and have secured few orders in 2016.

http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/worlds-largest-semi-submersible-rig-delivered


#2

Yes, quite common for rigs, drillships and other large offshore vessel to make a stopover in Singapore to install aditional equipment and do some modifications and/or fine tuning, before heading for their first job.

Apparently it is expensive/difficult to get these things done at the building yards, especially for standard designed units.

PS> Hopefully this big monster will be able to handle the long swells in the Great Bight. The natural frequency of some large semies happen to coincide with the prevailing wave frequency in that area, causing excessive heave.
Well known now, so BP have probably done their homework.


#3

[QUOTE=ombugge;187426]PS> Hopefully this big monster will be able to handle the long swells in the Great Bight. The natural frequency of some large semies happen to coincide with the prevailing wave frequency in that area, causing excessive heave.
Well known now, so BP have probably done their homework.[/QUOTE]

Having a second look I see now the rig is sailing to Singapore without assistance or towing, just on its own propulsion. It might already be a first test to see how ‘seaworthy’ it is and if it can deal with wavy conditions. Can’t imagine they’ll be doing the whole trip to the Bight like this though, way too risky & time-consuming.


#4

[QUOTE=Drill Bill;187444]Having a second look I see now the rig is sailing to Singapore without assistance or towing, just on its own propulsion. It might already be a first test to see how ‘seaworthy’ it is and if it can deal with wavy conditions. Can’t imagine they’ll be doing the whole trip to the Bight like this though, way too risky & time-consuming.[/QUOTE]

All the newer Semis are able to sail long distances under own power. Having 8 thrusters, w/6 Generators in two fully redundant Generator Rooms and 2 Switchboard/Power Management Systems, as required to obtain DP 3 Class. They are a lot safer than any single tug.

Many have sailed from Korea to Europe, or Brasil, via Cape in the winter unassisted. The difference in speed between sailing independent and tug assisted is very little, if any.

The alternative is to load them on a Heavy Lift Vessel, which save fuel and shorten transit time, but limit the possibility to carry out work during the passage. It also involve removing and re-installing the thrusters.

Here is the heaviest Semisub I have been involved in loading on HLV, the Noble Jim Day, (at 42000 m.t.)from Singapore to Curacao, from where she continued to GoM afloat:

The problem in the Great Bight is the long frequency of the swells, not the height of the wind driven waves. Most Semis has a natural frequency that is >18-20 Sec. When the swell gets to the same frequency the heave is amplified.


#5

[QUOTE=ombugge;187446]All the newer Semis are able to sail long distances under own power. Having 8 thrusters, w/6 Generators in two fully redundant Generator Rooms and 2 Switchboard/Power Management Systems, as required to obtain DP 3 Class. They are a lot safer than any single tug.

Many have sailed from Korea to Europe, or Brasil, via Cape in the winter unassisted. The difference in speed between sailing independent and tug assisted is very little, if any.

The alternative is to load them on a Heavy Lift Vessel, which save fuel and shorten transit time, but limit the possibility to carry out work during the passage. It also involve removing and re-installing the thrusters.

…[/QUOTE]

Initially I was going to disagree on the HLV and thruster issue as I had some memory that the biggest one (Dockwise Vanguard) is able to load a semisub and they can leave on the thrusters for the journey. But then checking the footage of the journey of the St Malo platform on that same Heavy Lift in 2013 seems to show the rig but no thrusters to be spotted. Unless they’re retractable ones but guess not.


#6

Jack is a TLP correct? No thrusters at all.


#7

[QUOTE=coldduck;187531]Jack is a TLP correct? No thrusters at all.[/QUOTE]

christ, it is indeed! Totally overlooked that, thanks for pointing it out.


#8

[QUOTE=Drill Bill;187530]Initially I was going to disagree on the HLV and thruster issue as I had some memory that the biggest one (Dockwise Vanguard) is able to load a semisub and they can leave on the thrusters for the journey. But then checking the footage of the journey of the St Malo platform on that same Heavy Lift in 2013 seems to show the rig but no thrusters to be spotted. Unless they’re retractable ones but guess not.[/QUOTE]

Yes both Vanguard an the new COSCO 900000 Dwt HLV: http://coscoht.com/semi-submersible/fleet/guang-hua-kou/
is able to “dive” to 16 m. above deck, which allow most Semis to be floated across the deck with the thrusters installed, but they can only be carried transversely if the distance between thrusters are sufficient to do so. Not ideal.

I have been involved with dry transport of rig and other structures for 40 years, so you should not dispute me on this subject. (Other subjects OK)


#9

[QUOTE=ombugge;187543]Yes both Vanguard an the new COSCO 900000 Dwt HLV: http://coscoht.com/semi-submersible/fleet/guang-hua-kou/
is able to “dive” to 16 m. above deck, which allow most Semis to be floated across the deck with the thrusters installed, but they can only be carried transversely if the distance between thrusters are sufficient to do so. Not ideal.

I have been involved with dry transport of rig and other structures for 40 years, so you should not dispute me on this subject. (Other subjects OK)[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the clarification, mate. 40 years in the business … respect!

And I had/have no intention to start debating on this, I just thought I recalled a certain fact but it proved incorrect)


#10

Does BP actually have permission to drill there yet?


#11

We sailed both a Semi and Drillship from Korea to Brazil for my employer Ventura Petroleo. We were getting about 10 knots with the drillship in good weather and about half that with the semi. Most of the complaints by management were about consumption of fuel during the transit. The Drillship stopped off in Durban for a crew change and fuel up while the Semi stopped over in Mauritius.

Kurt


#12

[QUOTE=powerabout;187776]Does BP actually have permission to drill there yet?[/QUOTE]

apparently not. And things keep being pushed ahead: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/bp-delays-submission-of-great-australian-bight-plan

Doesn’t bode well.


#13

things definitely not going in the good direction for BP

[B]Call to halt Great Australian Bight oil drilling amid faulty equipment fears[/B]

Exclusive: MPs and activists want BP’s exploration licences to be suspended over ‘very critical safety issue’ identified by US regulators

The Guardian - Sunday 11 September 2016 19.00 BST - by Michael Slezak

Oil rigs poised to begin drilling in the Great Australian Bight could use faulty equipment that US regulators say is very likely to cause a “catastrophic incident” like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

With no assurances the faulty equipment can be avoided in the Bight drilling, and safety plans that probably rely on faulty equipment already approved, parliamentarians and conservationists are calling for any approvals of BP’s pending environmental plans to be halted, and its exploration licences to be suspended, until the problem has been solved.

The Great Australian Bight is a virtually pristine unique ecosystem, bounded by the world’s longest southern-facing coastline. Much of it, including the region BP proposes to drill, was included in Australia’s commonwealth marine reserve network. The federal government concluded it was a “globally important seasonal calving habitat for the threatened southern right whale”.

It is also a crucial foraging area for threatened Australian sea lions, threatened white sharks, tuna and migratory sperm whales. A government-commissioned report in 2003 found it was of “international significance for ecologists and conservationists”.

Around the world since 2003 enormous bolts that secure offshore oil equipment to the seafloor have been snapping in half or coming loose, with US regulators describing the problem as a “very critical safety issue” and working with industry to replace more than 10,000 of the bolts in US waters.

But in Australia, where regulators appear set to approve BP’s environmental plan– key parts of which are not available to the public – to drill in the middle of a commonwealth marine reserve, the regulator couldn’t point to any action it had taken to protect against potentially massive underwater oil spills caused by the bolt failures.

BP Australia refused to answer specific questions put to the company about the bolt failures, referring Guardian Australia instead to Diamond Offshore.

Diamond Offshore did not respond to emails or phone messages.

A spokeswoman for the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema), which regulates offshore oil and gas operations in Australia, told the Guardian the only action it had taken in relation to the issue was more than three years ago, when it requested operators to reveal whether they were using a particular batch of bolts from one manufacturer.

That appeared to be the minimum possible course of action Nopsema could take, since those particular bolts produced by GE had been subject to a global recall. But the problem has affected three different types of bolts from three different manufacturers, suggesting the issue was industry-wide or “systemic,” according to US regulators.

Tony Burke, Labor shadow minister for environment and water, was environment minister when the marine reserve in the Great Australian Bight was established. He said: “The more I look at this application, it is fast looking like a project and a process without precedent. It would be extraordinary if there is new and relevant information from the United States, for the Australian government to issue an approval without considering it.”

Nick Xenophon, senator for South Australia and leader of NXT, said he and his team would be pushing for this issue to be examined in a Senate inquiry, and called for the assessment processes to be halted until it had time to examine the issue.

“The environmental plan is obviously predicated on certain safeguards being in place. If there are allegations of systemic problems with the bolts then the whole process must be on hold until the any risks form these bolts are assessed,” Xenophon told the Guardian.

“The problem here is even if the risk is minuscule, the consequences are catastrophic,” he said.

The Greens South Australian senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, said: “The fact that BP won’t rule out the use of these dangerous, substandard bolts is concerning. The entire process has been so secretive and opaque from the beginning that even basic information like this has been impossible to come by.”

“Clearly we need to get to the bottom of what exactly is going on here and whether these questionable bolts will be used,” she said.

The Wilderness Society’s national director, Lyndon Schneiders, said: “It’s now time the Australian Government acts and stops any new offshore oil drilling activities, including using its powers to suspend BP’s exploration permits in the Great Australian Bight.”.

BP has outsourced its drilling in the Great Australian Bight to Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc, which in the US has experienced bolt failures and is working to replace many of them.

In January Brian Salerno, the director of the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), wrote to the American Petroleum Institute, saying: “The fact that these failures involved equipment from the three primary manufacturers of this equipment suggests that this is a systematic industry problem that requires immediate attention.”

The peak body for the oil and gas industry, APPEA, sent the Guardian a statement, suggesting the only action the industry had taken was to respond to Nopsema’s query about the one batch of bolts that were subject to a global recall. “No operators reported using the batch in question,” it said.

Despite the US industry taking considerably more action than is apparent in Australia, the US regulator said even that wasn’t enough. “I am concerned that the industry is not moving quickly enough given the potential for a catastrophic failure,” Salerno said.

While the industry has moved to replace thousands of bolts in the US, Nopsema wasn’t aware of any bolt replacements in Australia.

A spokeswoman for Nopsema told the Guardian that it had a “non-prescriptive” regime, where the regulator relied on the operator to produce a “safety case” that ensured that risks were reduced to a level that was “as low as reasonably practicable”.

It was understood BP’s contractor, Diamond Offshore, had received approval from Nopsema for its safety case, despite nobody knowing what exactly the causes of the bolt failures were or whether any bolts were free of the faults.

Some of the bolt failures have occurred in “blow-out preventers”, the failure of which was responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – the largest oil spill in history, also at a BP well.

In July Salerno wrote about the bolt failures, saying: “That we have not had a major incident so far may be due to luck more than anything else. How long that luck will last is not a question I think any of us is comfortable answering.”

But unable to discover the root cause of the failures, the US regulator has convened a massive interagency group, involving 17 agency partners, including Nasa, to investigate the matter.

In August, Salerno said in an interagency meeting about bolt failures: “We know we have a problem, and suspect it may be a more widespread problem.”

Other officials in the agency have warned a bolt failure could lead to a catastrophe on the scale of BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill, which killed 11 workers and released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP has not released its oil-spill modelling for its operations in the Great Australian Bight, but independent modelling commissioned by the Wilderness Society has shown even a relatively small “low-flow” oil spill from one of BP’s wells in the Bight could impact the entire southern coast of Australia, as well as Tasmania.

That would affect a large fishing and tourism industry in the region, as well the globally significant ecosystems.

BP has already had its environmental plans rejected twice by Nopsema but the documents have not been released, so the reasons for rejection are unknown.

Nopsema usually only allows environmental plans to be resubmitted twice but BP has split its application into two separate proposals, potentially resetting the counter.

Schneiders said the US regulator had made it clear the subsea bolt problem could cause a repeat of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and was working with industry to fix the problem but Nopsema had done nothing.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/12/call-to-halt-great-australian-bight-oil-drilling-amid-faulty-equipment-fears


#14

Around the world since 2003 [U]enormous bolts that secure offshore oil equipment to the seafloor[/U] have been snapping in half or coming loose, with US regulators describing the problem as a “very critical safety issue” and working with industry to replace more than 10,000 of the bolts in US waters.

Which bolts are we talking about?

If certified fault free bolts are available to change out 10000 bolts in the US it should be possible to get a few shipped to Australia for this one rig at least.

PS> OK, I found it: http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-worries-over-subsea-oil-well-gear-1467970202
Sound like an inspection and maintenance problem as much as metallurgy. Possibly from fatigue?

“The problem here is even if the risk is [U]minuscule[/U], the consequences are catastrophic,” he said

What is the definition of minuscule here; 100,000/1, 1 Mill./1, ???/1
Here is Oxford Dictionary’s definition: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/minuscule

If all risk can be reduced to Minuscule, who need insurance?


#15

[QUOTE=ombugge;190212]Which bolts are we talking about?

If certified fault free bolts are available to change out 10000 bolts in the US it should be possible to get a few shipped to Australia for this one rig at least.

PS> OK, I found it: http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-worries-over-subsea-oil-well-gear-1467970202
Sound like an inspection and maintenance problem as much as metallurgy. Possibly from fatigue?

…[/QUOTE]

time will tell whether their brand new rig is (or will be) subject to this ‘critical safety issue’. Given they already seem to have stability issues to sort out (in Singapore now by Keppel), another setback is not helpful for the start of their upcoming drilling program.


#16

Drilling in the Bight: has BP learnt the right lessons from its Gulf of Mexico blowout? - https://theconversation.com/drilling-in-the-bight-has-bp-learnt-the-right-lessons-from-its-gulf-of-mexico-blowout-65471


#17

thrusters going on today


#18

uh, wasn’t that a brand new rig?!

Btw, another delay now for BP. Must be 3rd one now: https://www.nopsema.gov.au/news-and-media/nopsemas-assessment-of-the-great-australian-bight-drilling-program/nopsema-requests-further-information-from-bp-for-stromlo-1-and-whinham-1-drilling-environment-plan/

If this continues they can just keep it in Singapore for another year.


#19

[QUOTE=Drill Bill;190900]uh, wasn’t that a brand new rig?!

Btw, another delay now for BP. Must be 3rd one now: https://www.nopsema.gov.au/news-and-media/nopsemas-assessment-of-the-great-australian-bight-drilling-program/nopsema-requests-further-information-from-bp-for-stromlo-1-and-whinham-1-drilling-environment-plan/

If this continues they can just keep it in Singapore for another year.[/QUOTE]

Thrusters are removed to be able to bring the rig alongside at Keppel FELS Pioneer Yard (or any other yard) This is standard procedure for all Semies and Drill ships with the thrusters sticking down under the hull(s) and a routine operation, made a little more difficult now since Jurong West Anchorage is no longer available. Strong current limits dive time at the other anchorages with sufficient water depth to perform this task.

As to getting their Environmental Plan through NOPSEMA and everything else approved by AMSA and whoever else is involved, is not going to be easy.

I’m sure they will have scraped every barnacle off the hulls before leaving Singapore and will be washing away any bird sh*t that may have landed on the rig before arrival.

Hopefully there aren’t any breading ground for turtles with light sensitivity in the GAB?


#20

[QUOTE=ombugge;190902]Thrusters are removed to be able to bring the rig alongside at Keppel FELS Pioneer Yard (or any other yard) This is standard procedure for all Semies and Drill ships with the thrusters sticking down under the hull(s) and a routine operation, made a little more difficult now since Jurong West Anchorage is no longer available. Strong current limits dive time at the other anchorages with sufficient water depth to perform this task.

…[/QUOTE]

Yes, of course that how it mostly goes. It’s just that in this case I saw that the Diamond rig isn’t really at or alongside a yard; it seems to be drifting (probably anchored) just west off the Sembcorp Marine Tuas yard with some tugs around (at least according to MarineTraffic). Which made think it was maybe already some maintenance (or replacement) of those thrusters.