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    Rolls-Royce: environment and safety are key market drivers

    Vessel & ROV News // June 29, 2007

    Island Offshore is building a UT767 CD for well intervention work.

    Offshore service vessel design and equipment has made great strides forward in the past few years, says Rolls-Royce.

    The move to recovering offshore oil and gas from ever-deeper waters has required more powerful anchor handling vessels, ways have been developed of carrying out well intervention from support vessels instead of rigs or platforms, and subsea installations are taking over from platforms to a greater extent.

    To meet these emerging needs, Rolls-Royce has developed new generations of supply vessels and anchor handlers, and new solutions for well intervention, subsea construction and other multi-functional vessels.

    Along with improved functionality, Rolls-Royce and its leading customers have been setting new standards in reducing the environmental impact of offshore support vessels, and in making the crew’s working and living environment safer and more comfortable.

    Many of the vessels are specified with Ice class and de-icing, enabling them to work in inhospitable climates.

    For PSVs, typified by the new generation UT 776 CD, improved functionality has come from an increase in deck area and deadweight, roll reduction, and increased DP capability.

    A new low resistance hull form and the greater efficiency of Azipull thruster propulsion cut fuel consumption, while diesel electric propulsion minimises the fuel burn under different operating modes.

    The Automatic Sea Fastening Arrangement is a major step forward in securing deck cargo, and makes deck work safer for the crew.

    LNG has so far had limited application as a fuel for offshore service vessels, but if it does become more popular Rolls-Royce has UT-Designs ready that take full advantage, offering reduced carbon dioxide, greatly reduced NOx emissions and negligible sulphur.

    Many of the Rolls-Royce improvements in supply boats are also applied to AHTS. Designs cover the full spectrum of requirements.

    Deeper water generally means heavier anchors and mooorings to be set out, and UT types with bollard pulls in excess of 300 tonnes with beamy hulls to give the requisite stability are on order.

    First into service with the newly developed Safer Deck Operations system was the UT 722L Olympic Octopus, which has twin travelling cranes equipped with manipulators that enable many previously high risk operations with highly loaded wires and chains to be remote controlled from a safe location without manual intervention. Today more than 30 Safer Deck Operations system are on order.

    Multifunction vessels are increasingly attractive to charterers because of the range of tasks that can be tackled by a single vessel.

    A good example is the UT 761 CD on order for Farstad Shipping. It will be able to carry out heavy ploughing operations for pipeline burial, sub sea installation work in ultra-deep water, ROV operation, towing and much else.

    A hybrid diesel electric/mechanical power plant allows the machinery to be run with minimum emissions over the full range of operating modes from full utilisation of the 380 tonnes of bollard pull to dynamic positioning.

    The 500th vessel of UT-Design has now entered service, the UT 787 CD Island Vanguard. It can place anchors with precision in any water depth, tow, carry all required supplies and position equipment on the sea bed in 2,000m depth of water.

    An unusual feature is the A-frame mounted amidships at the area of least motion, working over the moonpool.

    The same company, Island Offshore, is also building a UT767 CD for a well intervention long term contract. This 116m long vessel will meet the Ship Shaped Well Intervention Unit class rules and will be able to carry out many down-hole operations on live wells; the sort of work that earlier involved fixed platforms or expensive to mobilise drilling rigs.

    A high level of comfort has been specified for 95 people on board, together with clean Design notation.

    The Rolls-Royce order book for offshore vessels currently stands at its highest ever level of 100, providing work for shipyards around the world, and the total number of vessels ordered, under construction or in service since the the UT-Design concept was first developed more than 30 years ago is 570.


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