Oceaneering International Taps BAE Systems for New Jones Act Subsea Support Vessel

Illustration courtesy Oceaneering International
Illustration courtesy Oceaneering International

Houston-based oilfield provider Oceaneering International (NYSE:OII) has commissioned the construction of a Jones Act-qualified subsea support vessel at BAE Systems’ Mobile, Alabama shipyard.

The vessel will be built to Marin Teknikk of Norway’s popular MT6022 design, with an overall length of 353 feet, a Class 2 dynamic positioning system, accommodations for 110 personnel, a helideck, a 250-ton active heave compensated crane, and a working moonpool. It will be powered by GE tier IVi-emission compliant engines, and by energy efficient and environmentally compliant power and propulsion systems.

In addition the vessel will be outfitted with two 13,000 foot-rated Oceaneering work class remotely operated vehicles and will also be equipped with a satellite communications system capable of transmitting streaming video for real-time work observation by shore personnel.

This vessel will be U.S. flagged and documented with a coastwise endorsement by the U.S. Coast Guard. Delivery is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2016.

Oceaneering says the vessel will be used to expand the company’s ability to provide subsea intervention services in the ultra-deep waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. These services are required to perform inspection, maintenance, and repair (IMR) projects and hardware installations. IMR projects are expected to include chemical well stimulation and hydrate remediation. Hardware installations are expected to include flowline jumpers, flying leads, and subsea trees, pumps, and separators.

Kevin McEvoy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceaneering, commented: “We are pleased to announce the construction of a vessel that will allow us to maintain our competitive position to meet what we believe will be growing demand and more rigorous technical requirements for our ultra- deepwater Subsea Projects services in the GOM. Additionally, by being Jones Act compliant this vessel will minimize the need for and risks of vessel-to-vessel hardware transfers.

“Deepwater drilling rig use in the GOM is currently at a historically high level of 40 rigs, and recent industry market reports have forecast that it may grow to as many as 60 rigs by the end of 2015. Our vessel will be equipped to perform increasingly complex deepwater field development installation work and life-of-field IMR projects resulting from the increased drilling activity. In particular, this vessel will have a crane that is capable of handling lifts 100-tons greater than any of the vessels we currently operate. This will increase our capability to meet our customers’ demand to safely handle heavier subsea payloads in deeper water depths.”

BAE Systems says the contract is the latest shipbuilding contract in support of the offshore energy market as the company looks to grows its U.S. commercial shipbuilding operations.

“This contract reinforces our commitment to new construction in the commercial market and strengthens BAE Systems’ position as a highly competitive and financially stable builder of deepwater support vessels,” said Richard McCreary, vice president of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards. “We continue to grow our backlog of projects and build our commercial shipbuilding workforce.”

Projects currently under construction at BAE Systems’ Mobile and Jacksonville, Florida, shipyards include two dump scows and six platform supply vessels. The company employs more than 1,300 people at the two sites and expects to hire an additional 250 workers by mid-2014.