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    Wellships orders first ship-shaped intervention vessel

    Vessel & ROV News // September 7, 2001
    The Wellships Group has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with van der Giessen-de Noord shipyard in Holland for the construction of a purpose-built well intervention vessel - the first monohull unit of its type and designed to meet new classification for such ships.

    The agreement with the yard represents a milestone in Wellships' $100 million project and more than two years' development work on the concept. Detailed design began on 01 September.

    The dynamically positioned vessel will be the first of its kind built to the new Det Norske Veritas classification for ship-shaped well intervention units.

    It will incorporate state-of-the art control systems to enable safe and cost-effective support for working downhole on subsea wellheads. With its highly developed and integrated well intervention package, the dedicated vessel will comply with the most stringent regional requirements for well maintenance operations.

    Bringing together a team with considerable industry experience, Wellships Contracting Limited, Aberdeen, will operate the 116m long vessel when it becomes available in Spring, 2003.

    The recently formed Wellships Group is owned by British, Swiss and Norwegian interests, and is concentrating exclusively on the rapidly growing subsea downhole maintenance market.

    Graham Robson, Wellships' Commercial Manager, said: "Our agreement to build this innovative vessel is already attracting a high level of interest in the industry, at a time when the number of subsea well completions is set to double in the North Sea andworldwide over the next five years".

    "This vessel will meet the industry's requirements in the North Sea and internationally for the safest, most efficient and cost-effective solution to maintaining these wells and help to enhance hydrocarbon production and recovery."

    A key objective in the Group's mission is to reduce the costs of subsea well maintenance. It aims to do this by providing effective and efficient operations management of downhole services through long term contracts with dedicated specialist contractors; reducing non-productive time during mobilisation/demobilisation by having the vessel fully-equipped on a permanent basis for well intervention, including deployment of coiled tubing from the outset; and reducing transit times through the selection of the faster monohull form in preference to a semi-submersible design.

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