Yet another icebreaker ordered for the Sakhalin oil fields


#1

This was a good morning for Arctech Helsinki Shipyard:

[B]Arctech to Build an Icebreaking Supply Vessel for Sovcomflot[/B]

Arctech Helsinki Shipyard has been awarded a contract to build an icebreaking supply vessel for the Russia´s largest shipping company Sovcomflot. The new vessel will be built for the North East Sakhalin Offshore region oil and gas field where she will be used as a platform supply vessel for Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. (SEIC). The total value of the order is about EUR 100 million.

The project will start immediately and the vessel will be delivered to the client in June 2016. The vessel brings together the very latest innovations in arctic shipbuilding science and technology and is a further developed version of the two multifunctional icebreaking supply vessels Vitus Bering and Aleksey Chirikov delivered for Sovcomflot in 2012 and 2013. The new icebreaking supply vessel measures 100 m in length and 21 m in breadth. The six main diesel generator sets have the total power of about 20 000 kW and the propulsion power of 13 000 kW.

“This order is an excellent continuation for the series of icebreaking multipurpose vessels, that Arctech has built in past few years. With this order Arctech confirms its position as leading builder of arctic offshore vessels”, says Esko Mustamäki, Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

The vessel is designed for extreme environmental conditions in the Sakhalin area. The main duty of the vessel is to supply between land bases and the offshore drilling and production sites. The vessel will be able to safely convey and transfer cargo on deck and bulk cargo underdeck in all seasons. The vessel will also be operating in thick drifting ice for ice management and icebreaking duties in temperatures as cold as minus 35 C°. [U]The icebreaking capability of the vessel is extremely high, the vessel is able to proceed independently in 1.5 meter thick ice[/U]. The vessel will be outfitted for emergency evacuation, rescue and fire fighting operations, oil spill response and platform overboard working and helicopter operations. The vessel can also act as diving support vessel including a moon pool feature.

Here’s a picture of the vessel that the newbuilding is based on:

In terms of technology, the ship will be fairly conventional with twin Azipod propulsion (2 x 6.5 MW). However, I’m surprised about the increase in the number of main diesel generators - instead of four, this vessel will have six for increased flexibility. I’d suspect the make and type are Wärtsilä 6L32, rated at 580 kW per cylinder. I wonder where they’re going to fit them now that they have a moon pool as well. The hull form will likely be the same as that of Vitus Bering and Aleksey Chirikov, which in turn used the hull form developed by Aker Arctic for Fesco (today SCF) Sakhalin.

http://www.akerarctic.fi/publications/pdf/aker%20arc%20101.pdf


#2

[QUOTE=Tups;136091]This was a good morning for Arctech Helsinki Shipyard:

Here’s a picture of the vessel that the newbuilding is based on:

In terms of technology, the ship will be fairly conventional with twin Azipod propulsion (2 x 6.5 MW). However, I’m surprised about the increase in the number of main diesel generators - instead of four, this vessel will have six for increased flexibility. I’d suspect the make and type are Wärtsilä 6L32, rated at 580 kW per cylinder. I wonder where they’re going to fit them now that they have a moon pool as well. The hull form will likely be the same as that of Vitus Bering and Aleksey Chirikov, which in turn used the hull form developed by Aker Arctic for Fesco (today SCF) Sakhalin.

http://www.akerarctic.fi/publications/pdf/aker%20arc%20101.pdf[/QUOTE]

Is this what Shell should be building for Alaska? Build at Aker Philadelphia?

Instead of building more Aiviqs down in the bayou?


#3

[QUOTE=tugsailor;136149]Is this what Shell should be building for Alaska? Build at Aker Philadelphia?

Instead of building more Aiviqs down in the bayou?[/QUOTE]

It really depends on what they need up there.

I believe the environmental conditions in Alaska are somewhat different from Sakhalin, so perhaps the design (particularly the icebreaker bow) should be slightly altered to cope with harsh weather. After all, the vessel can break ice astern as well, so in theory you could fit it even with an X-bow or at least a moderate ice bow to reduce slamming. Furthermore, these vessels have open pulling-type propellers and may lack the bollard pull required to tow rigs or handle anchors, and you can’t really fit nozzles to increase it without destroying the icegoing capacility. That means you’d either need more vessels during (de)mobilization or charter a good ice-strengthened tugboat. They are also relatively narrow for escort duties, but with two vessels you could easily escort a drillship or a towed rig through ice. I was there when Fennica and Nordica were breaking ice side-by-side, followed by Aiviq towing Kulluk…

Still, in terms of icegoing performance these vessels (SCF Sakhalin, Vitus Bering and Aleksey Chirikov) are superior to every other offshore vessel out there. I believe it would be rather easy to adapt the design for service in Alaska.


#4

[QUOTE=Tups;136159]It really depends on what they need up there.

I believe the environmental conditions in Alaska are somewhat different from Sakhalin, so perhaps the design (particularly the icebreaker bow) should be slightly altered to cope with harsh weather. After all, the vessel can break ice astern as well, so in theory you could fit it even with an X-bow or at least a moderate ice bow to reduce slamming. Furthermore, these vessels have open pulling-type propellers and may lack the bollard pull required to tow rigs or handle anchors, and you can’t really fit nozzles to increase it without destroying the icegoing capacility. That means you’d either need more vessels during (de)mobilization or charter a good ice-strengthened tugboat. They are also relatively narrow for escort duties, but with two vessels you could easily escort a drillship or a towed rig through ice. I was there when Fennica and Nordica were breaking ice side-by-side, followed by Aiviq towing Kulluk…

Still, in terms of icegoing performance these vessels (SCF Sakhalin, Vitus Bering and Aleksey Chirikov) are superior to every other offshore vessel out there. I believe it would be rather easy to adapt the design for service in Alaska.[/QUOTE]

I certainly don’t know what they need, or what they may think they might need in the Chukchi. My guess would be mostly ice management and supply. The typical drilling season sea and ice conditions in the Chukchi are probably much milder than at Sakhalin.

A rig is probably only going to be anchored once or twice per drilling season ---- assuming they use anchored rigs. I do not understand why a DP rig could not be used. Conoco Phillips had proposed to use a high spec new jackup to drill in shallower water not far from Shell.

More than 17,000 hp with open propellers is plenty of power to run anchors in only 400 feet of water. A pair of these boats would certainly have more bollard pull for rig towing than Aiviq alone. Other tugs and OSVs are available to tow rigs and run anchors.

At $139 million this new Aker design icebreaker OSV for Sakhlin is a lot cheaper than Aiviq at $200 million. It would be interesting to see what one of these boats would cost to build at Aker Philadelphia.


#5

One of the major differences between Alaska and Sakhalin is that in the US they are only carrying out exploration drilling during the open water season while in Russia they are already producing oil year-round regardless of ice conditions. Of course, it could be a good idea to build vessels that could later be used to supply of the production platforms (GBS?) through the ice season, but perhaps the production phase is so far in the future (if it ever comes) that they wouldn’t want to invest in the supply fleet just yet.

As for DP, I can foresee two issues: shallow water and ice. Perhaps with aggressive ice management you could operate an ice-capable DP drillship like Stena IceMax in Alaska, but otherwise you’d need a very specialized vessel, practically an icebreaking drillship, that could maintain position and turn in drifting ice. Also, ice-capable DP systems are still under development.

I don’t really know much about the power/bollard pull requirements for anchor handling operations, but thanks for the clarification.

I’m afraid the price of the vessel if built in the US could easily be twice as much as what Sovcomflot paid for their newest order. One of the reasons is the complex hull form (mostly double curvature plating) which is expensive to produce on American shipyards and due to Jones Act requirements cannot be purchased abroad. Also, some equipment such as the propulsion units would have to be shipped from the other side of the world.


#6

[QUOTE=Tups;136163]I’m afraid the price of the vessel if built in the US could easily be twice as much as what Sovcomflot paid for their newest order. One of the reasons is the complex hull form (mostly double curvature plating) which is expensive to produce on American shipyards and due to Jones Act requirements cannot be purchased abroad. Also, some equipment such as the propulsion units would have to be shipped from the other side of the world.[/QUOTE]

You build the world’s most advanced warships, but double curvature plating is complex? It’s difficult to understand USA some times :slight_smile:


#7

Yes and those warships cost billions, plural, a piece.


#8

As far as I know, one of the main problems is that quite many commercial shipyards in the US do not have the tools required to produce double curvature plating economically and efficiently. As most of you have probably noticed, US-built hulls are typically quite simple and the operators are generally happy with that, meaning that there has been no need to invest to manufacturing equipment. However, these limitations (single-curvature plating, chines, simplified geometry) cause difficulties when designing icebreaking vessels. Sure, you can compensate the added resistance by increasing power, but that in turn increases the costs.


#9

[QUOTE=Kraken;136166]You build the world’s most advanced warships, but double curvature plating is complex? It’s difficult to understand USA some times :)[/QUOTE]

The US built most ships with double curvature plating up until the 1960s. Look at tugs, fishing boats and ships from the WW II era. We have this time tested technology.

They bayou boat builders pioneered that massive building of barge shaped boats with hard chines for simple reasons: they needed the shallowest possible draft, they had primitive yards (essentially building outside on the bank of the bayou), and it is cheaper to build a single chine hull.

Given that most of the cost of a vessel is the machinery and gear that goes inside, the extra cost of rolling plate for a moulded hull over a hard chine hull should not be that great of a factor. Especially in an icebreaker.


#10

[QUOTE=tugsailor;136191]The US built most ships with double curvature plating up until the 1960s. Look at tugs, fishing boats and ships from the WW II era. We have this time tested technology.

They bayou boat builders pioneered that massive building of barge shaped boats with hard chines for simple reasons: they needed the shallowest possible draft, they had primitive yards (essentially building outside on the bank of the bayou), and it is cheaper to build a single chine hull.

Given that most of the cost of a vessel is the machinery and gear that goes inside, the extra cost of rolling plate for a moulded hull over a hard chine hull should not be that great of a factor. Especially in an icebreaker.[/QUOTE]

I would think that the fuel savings alone by a hydrodynamic efficient hull shape would save in the cost in machinery. Especially for large companies that can utilize mass production in the shipyards they own.


#11

The U.S. GoM companies don’t care about fuel savings. Fuel and often lube oil is paid by the charterer so ECO, HGIM et al have no reason to fork out the extra dough for anything more complex than a bathtub with a house on it.


#12

Sovcomflot is on the road of becoming the biggest operator of high-performance icebreaking offshore vessels…

http://gcaptain.com/sovcomflot-extends-order-icebreaking-standby-vessels/

Building on a similar order in April, SCF Group (Sovcomflot) and Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. announced today the newbuild order for [B]three additional Vitus Bering series of multi-functional icebreaking standby vessels[/B] (IBSVs) from United Shipbuilding Corporation’s Vyborg Shipyard. Once built, these vessels will support operations at the Sakhalin-2 offshore production platform in the Sea of Okhotsk for at least a 20-year period, according to Sovcomflot.

When completed, the [B]new vessels will increase Sovcomflot’s IBSV fleet to eight ships[/B].

Sovcomflot notes the ice class has been enhanced from Ice10 to Ice15, which will ensure the safe navigation of the vessel in [B]one year solid ice of up to 1.5 meters thick, at a speed of 3.0 knots[/B], and to keep working independently without becoming trapped in ice ridges of up to 4 meters thick.


#13

Yesterday, the shipyard confirmed the news that had already leaked to the press a month ago: three more icebreaking offshore vessels for Sovcomflot, each capable of operating independently in 5 ft ice:

http://gcaptain.com/arctech-helsinki-deliver-sovcomflot-icebreaker-trio/

How many ice-capable vessels the American shipyards were building again?


#14

It has begun!

The production of the icebreaking multipurpose supply vessel for Sovcomflot was started with steel cutting on 26 November 2014. The ceremony took place at Vyborg Shipyard, where the blocks of the vessel are produced. The production start was attended by representatives from Sovcomflot, United Shipbuilding Corporation, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, Vyborg Shipyard and Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

The design, hull assembly, outfitting and commissioning of the vessel will be done by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. The main purpose of the vessel is to serve Sakhalin-2 region energy production sites by transporting supplies and people between land bases and the production platforms in the harsh climatic areas of the Sea of Okhotsk. The operator of the oil and gas field is Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.

The vessel will be able to safely convey and transfer cargo on deck, bulk cargo underdeck and platform crew as passengers in all seasons, regardless of weather and ice conditions. The vessel will be outfitted for emergency evacuation, rescue and fire fighting operations, oil spill response and the platform support activities. The new icebreaking offshore vessel measures 100 m in length and 21 m in breadth. The six main diesel generator sets have the total power of 21 000 kW and the propulsion power of 13 000 kW. The delivery of the vessel is scheduled for June 2016.

So, about one and a half years from start of production to delivery.


#15

Two $250 million icebreakers for Russia:

[B]German and Russian shipyards compete for Gazprom order[/B]

Vyborg Shipyard, one of Russia’s largest shipbuilders, is said to be conducting talks with Gazprom Neft, an oil arm of Gazprom and one of Russia’s largest oil producers, about a contract to build two icebreakers, writes Eugene Gerden.

The contract is estimated to be worth RUB 16 billion (US$500 million), and the ships would be delivered in 2017/2018.

According to analysts of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, in addition to Vyborg Shipyard, foreign yards are among other bidders, in particular Nordic Yards, which recently signed a contract with Rosmorport, (an enterprise that coordinates Russian marine transport infrastructure development) to build a deck superstructure for a diesel-electric icebreaker. However, due to recent deterioraton of relations between Russia and Western countries, there is a possibility that the Vyborg Shipyard wil be the preferred bidder.

At the same there is a possibility that, in addition to domestic shipyards, some contracts for building offshore and other vessels for Russian oil and gas companies may be placed with South Korean and Chinese yards, many of which have expressed an increased interest to Russian projects in recent months.

I wonder what they get with that kind of money, considering that you can break 1.5-metre ice with a $100 million icebreaker…


#16

The first two of a series of icebreaking supply and standby vessels delivered to Sovcomflot: http://www.osjonline.com/news/view,iceship-specialist-delivers-first-two-units-for-sakhalin-ii_49027.htm


#17

Swire had a JV with Sovcomflot, three 23,000 hp icebreaking PSVs.

Delivery to Sakhalin was by the short route. Aker built.

http://www.swire.com.sg/GetSpecification.aspx?id=57