Oil and gas will remain the backbone of the world’s energy supplies for a long time to come, and the offshore sector continues to expand in every direction, in particular, toward deeper water and harsher environments.
According to Douglas Westwood’s “World Deepwater Market Report 2011-2015,” the capital expenditure (CAPEX) index forecasts annual growth rates for the deepwater sector of over 20%. All aspects of the deepwater market are contributing to this figure, with a share of about 40% for pipelines, subsea production and processing, and other SURF (Subsea, Umbilical, Riser, Flowline) activities.
About 6 months ago, GustoMSC unveiled the new Constructor class of vessels, which were specifically designed to accommodate present and future requirements of the offshore oil & gas construction and SURF market for large offshore vessels.
SURF vessels have to be able to work in deep water for prolonged periods, have short mobilization times, and also have the potential for future upgrades to operate in specific areas or conditions. The increasing water depth is for instance driving the requirements for crane capacities. The remoteness of operating areas requires vessels to be more self-supporting, have a larger payload and be increasingly efficient. Harsher conditions are one driver for improved power generation. The need for short mobilization times is driving the design of the hull for higher speeds. All future SURF vessels will need to optimally combine these features if they are to be acceptably cost-effective.
Besides the operational requirements, safeguarding and improving health, safety, and the working environment are also essential elements of developmental work. In the offshore sector, comfort is not something to be taken lightly. Offshore vessels often have a large complement of specialists with complicated, intensive tasks to perform. They need a sound reliable platform on which to do their work. Fatigue is always a concern. Noise and vibration, and a lack of amusement over a prolonged period are all elements contributing to fatigue while the increasingly demanding projects require the crew to be superbly fit and show plenty of stamina. And last but not least, in the hard competition for qualified personnel, owners need to be able to offer an attractive working environment for their crews. – GustoMSC InSide
The vessels can be provided with various mission equipment systems, such as pipelay systems (S- or J-lay), reel-lay systems, flex-lay systems or be equipped as deepwater installation and cable lay. Mission equipment can be installed to operate either through a moonpool or over the stern or over the side.
We asked GustoMSC’s Sales Manager, Mattijs Faber, what the most unique feature of these vessels were. His response:
The vessels size and capabilities are most unique and unmatched in the market: 2800sqm of aft deck, 10,000 metric ton payload to play with, capability to install a 600 metric ton subsea crane, as well as sea keeping and dynamic positioning capability in harsh conditions.
He also comments saying that an even larger version, the SURF XL, is currently being developed for operators working in the most demanding regions around the world. This new vessel will combine reel and J-lay capabilities and have a 1,000 ton heave compensated subsea installation crane and a deep water lowering system.
As an option, all of these vessels can be designed with DNV – Ice Class notation. Their main dimensions are 155 x 30 x 13m (Loa x B x D), (DLV3000 version: 170 x 42 x 12m).
Constructor – DLV 3000
Application: Heavy Lift
The largest vessel in the Constructor class is a real workhorse, designed to serve a wide range of roles in the construction market. The deepwater S-lay system with removable stinger and versatile 3,000t main crane with heave compensation makes the vessel suitable for deepwater installation roles. The optional mooring system allows the vessel to perform shallow water operations in close vicinity to platforms. The offset crane position provides the vessel with an unmatched effective outreach over the side and over the stern. The A-deck arrangement provides a flush and unobstructed working deck with sufficient space for modules, jackets, piles and all kinds of (subsea) equipment. An active ballast system will be installed to reduce heeling angles during lifting operations.
Additionally the vessel will be capable of pipelaying by means of a fully covered single joint pipelay factory (Double joint in a lengthened version).
The Constructor – Flex Lay 550
Application: Subsea Umbilicals, Risers, and Flowlines (SURF)
The vessel takes a vast amount of products in its below deck carousels and has been provided with a 550 MT Vertical Lay System positioned over a moon pool in the mid ships. Ample crane capacity will be provided in order to service subsea operations as well as the deck and moon pool area.
The vessel can be provided with various mission equipment systems, such as pipelay systems (S- or J-lay), reel-lay systems, flex-lay systems or be equipped for various other missions, such as deepwater installation and cable lay. Mission equipment can be installed to operate either through a moonpool (option) or over the stern. Ample crane capacity can be provided in order to service subsea operations as well as the deck and moon pool area.
Constructor S-Lay Vessel
The vessel has been provided with a Single joint S-lay pipelay system located under deck, with a fixed (removable) stinger. The vessel provides a stable platform for lifting operations and high crane capacity can be provided in order to service subsea installation operations as well as other construction activities.
GustoMSC HV Power Cable Lay Vessel
Application: For Linking Onshore and Offshore Power Grids
The vessel takes a vast amount of products in its carousels. An A-frame can be provided for launching and retrieving ploughs and trenchers.
In order to provide the necessary flexibility for crossover work into the offshore construction market the vessel allows for ample crane capacity as well as a large open deck area.