Shell Oil’s offshore drilling determinations will now be supported by a brand new icebreaking vessel that will soon make its way to the Arctic.The Aiviq was christened over the weekend in Louisiana at Port Fourchon and Shell officials state that the newbuild was specifically constructed by Edison Chouest to work in Alaska’s offshore. As noted in the past month, the oil giant has plans to drill wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. They have already attained the numerous permits necessary, and the Aiviq is another step towards the desired Alaskan Arctic oil exploration.
The ice vessel is 360 feet long and can hold 10,000 barrels of oil. The company shelled out nearly $200 million for the ship, as it was commissioned two years ago. A Shell representative reported that over 2 million labor hours and newfound technology opportunities were put into this project. This is a vessel like no other generally built in the United States.
The Aiviq is also a tug-slash-support ship and its hull is designed to cut through even thick sea ice. The ship is longer, wider and deeper than any other Edison Chouest has constructed. The Aiviq will depart Louisiana in the next few weeks and is expected to arrive on station in Alaska waters by July, when Shell expects to commence its exploratory project.
I am truly jealous of the men who get to command her…WOW, what a ship! $200M for her…amazing!
I hope this impressive vessel is the start of a new trend, and we start to see more high-tech vessels like her built and flagged in the US! Our boys can design and build vessels every bit as advanced as those built in Europe & Asia. It’s time that we show 'em what were made of!
[QUOTE=Azimuth;66245]With regard to building ships in the US; I don’t believe there has ever been a question ability, it has always been about economics and the bottom line is that it can be done cheaper overseas.[/QUOTE]
The Norwegians, the Finns, the French and others build a lot of high tech offshore vessels. These are not low wage countries but they do have the know how and equipment to build them on time and budget. Apparently, so does Chouest.
If this vessel did cost Shell $200M to have built in the US, I would have to wonder what the cost would have been in Norway? Of course, many Norwegian shipbuilders are having the hulls built in Romania or Spain and then towed to Norway for outfitting. $200M seems live a very premium price tag yet perhaps it is due to lots of specialized equipment Shell specified?
If you look in the USCG budget in FY 2010, there is a waiver for 5 years of foreign-built vessels on the North Slope. Why do you think Gary Chouest got Congress to slide that in the budget without anybody caring and is now gearing up to build MORE vessels for the North Slope of Alaska.
As far as I know he is the only one one doing this meaning Chouest will have first call for boat contracts on the North Slope in 2014 as long as they are the only USA company with hulls. That’s why I am glad he is my boss. That man thinks 20 years down the road…
[QUOTE=tengineer;66254]The Norwegians, the Finns, the French and others build a lot of high tech offshore vessels. These are not low wage countries but they do have the know how and equipment to build them on time and budget. Apparently, so does Chouest.[/QUOTE]
I’m sure most of us would agree that there is no doubt we can, [I]and do[/I] design and build some of the most technologically advanced vessels in the world right here in the US…I mean just look at our nuclear aircraft carriers or submarines- arguably the most sophisticated and advanced in the whole world.
We have the workforce and the infrastructure right her on US soil to build every type of vessel required to tackle the most challenging energy projects in ultra-deep water or new Arctic frontiers. The Aiviq is the proof in the pudding. We just need the gov’t to set a deadline for the end of needless waivers, and get our boys here in the US busy building the domestic fleet to replace the foreign flag vessels currently working on the OCS.
I mean, if the gov’t told the Oil Majors that the waivers would be phased out in the next 5-10 years, production is not just going to stop, there is just too much money to be made for the oil companies. The order books at US shipyards would start to fill up with new vessels, and we would rise to the challenge. Once shipyards started ramping up production of these new vessels, the process would become streamlined and eventually costs would come down to a level where they could compete with our friends in Europe. But in the end, I argue that it doesn’t really matter anyway because there is so F-ing much money to be made. Give them an ultimatum: no more waivers starting in 2020. You either operate with a slightly smaller profit margin due to building the ships here in the US, or you stop production and get [B]no profit[/B] at all.
Obviously, I am over-simplifying this argument, but you get the point.