Offshore vessel firm Maersk Supply Service is getting ready for the tow of a Singapore-built FSO unit to the North Sea, 145 miles East of Aberdeen.
Maersk Oil – bought by Total in March, and until recently a sister company to Maersk Supply Service – awarded the Ailsa FSO tow contract to Maersk Supply Service back in 2017.
Ailsa FSO, being built by Sembcorp Marine in Singapore is part of the Culzean development in the North Sea. Maersk Supply Service is carrying out a plethora of tasks at the field development, one of which is the FSO tow.
Offshore Energy Today has interviewed Duncan Harris, UK Country Manager and Head of Business Development Integrated Solutions, Maersk Supply Service who shared a detail or two about the Ailsa part of the project.
Long journey from Singapore
Harris said: “This year we’re just preparing to collect the FSO from Singapore, and we’ll have a fleet of four vessels in the tow – three will be involved in the tow as well as one escort vessel throughout the route via Cape of Good Hope and up to the North Sea whereupon we’ll hook up the vessel with the mooring system.”
“We’re waiting for official notification from the Culzean operator. We expect to be in the North Sea by August.”
As reported earlier, Total in March completed the takeover of Maersk Oil, and through that acquisition, it also took over as the operator of the Culzean field.
Maersk Supply Services’ Harris said the FSO tow from Singapore to the final North Sea location would take around 70 days.
The name of the FSO was inspired by the island of Ailsa Craig, a volcanic outcrop 16 kilometers from mainland Scotland and visible from the Culzean Castle, which lends its name to the Culzean field where the FSO will work upon completion.
When completed, the vessel will be 243 meters long which is, according to Maersk, longer than three Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger plane. The vessel’s highest point, at 52 meters, will be taller than Nelson’s Column in London and the vessel will be able to store the equivalent of over 430,000 barrels of oil. The vessel will store and offload gas condensate.
Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine cut first steel for the Ailsa FSO vessel on July 22, 2016. The naming ceremony and maiden voyage will take place in 2018, and the FSO will remain in service until at least 2033.
As for the final destination, the Culzean high-pressure/ high-temperature field will be developed using three bridge-linked platforms: a wellhead platform where drilling and production takes place; a central processing platform where the produced gas and condensate are processed and exported; and utilities and living quarters, providing accommodation, living space, and services for the crew.
Gas will be exported to the CATS pipeline, coming onshore at Teeside, with condensate exported via a short pipeline to the FSO vessel for offloading onto a tanker.
Offshore Energy Today will release the full interview with Maersk Supply’s Duncan Harris on Thursday. Come back tomorrow and read about Maersk Supply’s growth in Aberdeen, fleet activities, Culzean field, Starfish & Stingray program, OSV market outlook, views on Brazil, Total’s acquisition of Maersk Oil, the expected sale of Maersk Supply Service, and more.