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    Offshore Access System described by Amec

    Equipment & Technology // May 15, 2006

    The first example of the OAS is installed on Smit Kamara.

    Amec in the UK has provided Offshore Shipping Online with a description of the Offshore Access System it is marketing with developer Fabricom in the Netherlands, the first example of which has been fitted on Smit's new vessel Smit Kamara.

    Personnel access to Southern North Sea offshore installations from a supply-type vessel is not a new idea, but until very recently marine access has only been possible from small inflatable craft when weather conditions permitted. However, as Amec noted, improved availability of vessels with reliable dynamic positioning systems combined with an innovative heave-compensated telescopic gangway can now enable safe deployment of an access system and transfer of personnel from a vessel to an installation.
    The Offshore Access System (OAS) is a specialist piece of equipment, developed by Fabricom Oil and Gas. Its purpose is to connect a moving vessel with a rigid offshore installation to allow the safe transfer of personnel in sea states of up to two and a half metre significant wave height. 

    Although the advanced technology of the OAS provides an extendable and stable gangway between the service vessel and the platform, the benefits which this brings to the customer are much more significant. 

    Reducing safety risks, reducing operating costs, and increasing productivity are all central to the OAS solution, said Amec, noting that it believes the OAS has many benefits, including:

    • Safety risk to Normally Unmanned Unit (NUI) crews decreased by 50 per cent.
    • NUI productivity increased by 70-80 per cent.
    • Operating costs associated with helicopters significantly reduced.
    • Multi-location NUI manning is the norm. 2-3 NUI’s per day easily achieved.
    • Accommodation, workshops and transport from the vessel which can also be the standby vessel.
    • ROV work is liquidated at the same time as maintenance, from the same vessel.
    • Helicopter shuttling all but eliminated.
    • Same day operational interventions to NUI’s, with potentially a 1-2 hour response time.
    • Lost time due to fog a thing of the past.
    • Work never has to be sent back to the beach.  Gratings, spools, valves, handrails and structural steel all hot-worked in situ.

    The OAS is designed as a stand-alone system, requiring only an electro- or diesel-hydraulic power supply and a foundation surface preferably on the aft deck of the ship.The position can be adjusted to the specific requirements of the ship or to the connection method to the offshore structure. A landing platform also needs to be installed on the offshore structure, generally at or just above spider deck level – with access to the topsides via the leg ladders or spider deck stairways. 

    AMEC has entered into a worldwide joint agreement with Fabricom Oil and Gas to offer customers the OAS as providing a step change in offshore operations, and a smaller, lightweight unit is already in development for use in more benign waters for installation on crew boats.


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