Rolls-Royce and Island Offshore Prep for Heavy Weather with New Ship Design

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Rolls-Royce and Norwegian ship owner Island Offshore have announced today a rather unique new vessel design they’ve been quietly working on, the UT 777.

Designed for top hole drilling, subsea inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR), and well intervention work, this vessel will also be ice-classed and particularly suited for working in really nasty weather.

In a phone call with Håvard Ulstein, CEO of Island Offshore, he notes the 169 x 28 meter vessel will be capable of working everywhere. It features a partially covered main deck and fully covered moonpool and drilling/intervention tower in order to protect workers from the elements.

In addition to the design and engineering package, Rolls-Royce will also supply the major systems, comprising the propulsion system with six generator sets and seven electrically run thrusters, control and automation systems, mooring and anchoring deck machinery and electric systems. Rolls-Royce notes the total contract value with Island Offshore is around £25 million.

The two ROVs on board will be deployed through the moonpool in order to protect the vehicles in rough weather.

When working on a subsea well deep below the ship, vessel motions, particularly heave motions, can limit the operational window of well intervention vessels such as the UT 777.  Ulstein notes that they’ve mitigated this issue by designing a larger ship (169 meters) with an optimized hull form and by locating the moonpool and helipad farther aft, as compared to similar-type vessels.

The vessel is scheduled to be delivered in 2017 from Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan.

John Knudsen, Rolls-Royce, President – Offshore said: “This new design is based on many years of operating experience, especially from the vessel Island Wellserver which we designed in 2005. The UT 777 will be unlike anything seen before, and marks the latest chapter in the story of the Rolls-Royce UT Design vessels which have been pioneering oil and gas exploration for the past 40 years.”

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