Shell has hired the HST Sofia fast crew supplier to support its offshore drilling program in Bulgaria, in what the shipbuilder Damen says is a “paradigm shift” for the oil major.
Namely, the Damen FCS 2710 class vessel, owned by UK-based High Speed Transfers (HST), is usually used to service the offshore renewables industry.
Damen, the designer and the builder of the HSS Sofia, said on Monday that HST and Shell had been in talks over the potential cooperation since mid-2018.
“Damen’s R&D department worked with Shell and the classification societies to provide the necessary technical data, and Shell has been closely monitoring the operations of the first FCS 2710, HST Hudson, since it entered service in July 2018.“
This initial pilot assessment of the benefits of reducing dependency on helicopters and larger OSVs to move personnel working on active drilling operations represents a paradigm shift for the oil major, Damen said.
The HST Sofia is being used for oil & gas crew transfers to support the Noble Globetrotter II drillship used by Shell for exploration drilling programme in the Khan Kubrat block. The drillship operates approximately 70 miles south-east of the Bulgarian port of Varna, where the HST Sofia will be based.
“This represents potentially a major break-out for vessels of this type, given that their development was focused on serving the offshore renewables sector,” says HST’s managing director Tom Nevin. We’re pleased that a leading oil & gas major like Shell has invested time and money to assess the FCS 2710 for the demands of crew changes for active drilling operations, and all credit to Damen for designing a vessel that works equally well for both.”
As for the drilling operations, Shell told Offshore Energy Today back in January that the exploration program off Bulgaria would to take approximately 3 to 4 months to complete.
Also, apart from HST Sofia, Shell has recently struck a deal with Bourbon in Bulgaria, to deliver logistics solution project management, including marine services, logistics base, warehousing, port facilities, cargo carrying units, waste management, customs clearance.
Offshore Energy Today Staff
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