OEEC 2018: Offshore Energy to Remain Strong Part of Market

Offshore Transport, Installation and Removal is one of the two thematic sessions wrapping up the Day-1 of the OEEC 2018 action-packed program set up at Amsterdam RAI.

It was a full room as the session attracted major players in the offshore execution arena, including Allseas, Bourbon, Boskalis, Van Oord and Jumbo.

The oil & gas and offshore wind markets offer room for a range of dedicated vessels, carrying out activities from installation of oil and gas infrastructure, offshore wind foundations, turbines and substations through to decommissioning of topsides, jackets and subsea structure.

This session looks at the latest additions to the global fleet, from purpose-built to multi-purpose vessels, from vessels able to operate in shallow water and in deep water, nearshore and far offshore.

Hubert Schaafsma from Blue sea marketing led the session.

Edward Heerema, President of Allseas (Swiss-based offshore contractor specialising in pipelay, heavy lift and subsea construction), highlighted the company’s pride and joy – the world’s largest construction vessel “Pioneering Spirit”.

With the single-lift removal of Shell’s 24,000-t Brent Delta topsides in 2017 the vessel re-defined heavy lifting, as well as in June this year with the installation of Equinor’s 22,000-t Johan Sverdrup drilling platform topsides.

“Nobody ever talked about the Pioneering Spirit seriously until 2010 when we signed a contract to build it”

Jack Spaan, Expert Heavy Lift within the Marine Heavy Lift group of the Boskalis Offshore Energy division.

In the next decades, the offshore energy market will play a key role in the ever diversifying global energy mix.

“Energy market and energy need is expanding and also services for these markets are expanding,” Spaan said.

The cutting-edge investments in (heavy-lift) installation capacity while remaining cost-efficient and reducing overall environmental footprint at the same time was idea of Wout Janssens, Director Operations and Engineering at Jumbo Offshore.

“The energy mix will be more diversified than ever and offshore will remain a very important part of that mix,” Janssens said.

Yvan Leyni, Engineering and Projects Director at Bourbon and Clement Mochet, Commercial Director, Vryhof focused on floating offshore wind. Using a project case scenario, the two speakers, as mooring solutions provider and installation contractor, will expanded on the future of this new market. Discussion focused on potential synergies with existing relevant industries (Oil & Gas and Wind Offshore), as well as specific challenges which must be considered and addressed.

“We are still in early stages of development. To move forward we need to be cost-competitive…and we are not there yet,” said Mochet about the floating wing projects going commercial.

Kevin van de Leur, Lead Engineer at Van Oord, closed the session, talking about foundation installation project at Walney Extension offshore wind farm.

More than half of the foundations were located in areas with soft soil, where jacking up during installation was not feasible. The use of a jack up vessel for floating installation was an innovation that required thorough preparations, analyses and equipment modifications.

New technologies – digital twins, virtual reality and high performance computing – were embraced to generate cost-effective solutions to optimize usage of existing assets.

“We are continuously looking for limits and trying to push them.”