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SUMMARIES OF MAJOR  ACCIDENT REPORTS
(In event order)

THE KULLUK INCIDENT
December 2012
THE COSTA CONCORDIA
January 2012
THE TRINITY II
September 2011
THE DEEPWATER HORIZON
April 2010
THE BOURBON DOLPHIN
April 2007
THE STEVNS POWER
October 2003
THE OCEAN RANGER
February 1982
THE OCEAN EXPRESS
April 1976

PICTURE OF THE DAY
PIC OF THE DAY ARCHIVES
2007 - 77 Photographs
2008 - 101 Photographs
2009 - 124 Photographs
2010 - 118 Photographs
2011 - 100 Photographs
2012 - 97 Photographs

 

 

         

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THE BILBAO OSV CONFERENCE 2009

Spanish shipyards have not really been acknowledged as centres for the construction of offshore support vessels, but on 23rd April 2009, the yards themselves made an effort to change this by holding a conference on OSVs in the Bilbao Exhibition Centre. It may be worth saying at this point that Bilbao is a historic coastal city in the North of Spain, surrounded by dramatic countryside and seascapes. Like the rest of the population centres on the North coast it is subject to the vagarities pf the Bay of Biscay weather. 

The conference was held in the Bilbao Exhibition Centre at the same time as the SINAVAL exhibition which is directly mainly at fishing vessels. The location itself was stunning. The exhibition centre is enormous, and the central atrium, which is actually nothing more than a passage way, is so large that people walking up down it appear to be miniatures. The conference was held on the fifth floor, which might have been in what looked like a multi-story building stuck on a post above the main hall. It was difficult to tell from the inside. The organisers had provided a simultaneous translation service, which was extremely effective. 

The conference consisted of a number of papers presented by senior executives from the Spanish yards and a number by Norwegian designers, equipment suppliers and operators.  

It was evident at the outset that the Spanish yards have been engaged mainly in the construction of vessels other than the basic offshore support vessels. They have built seismic ships, ROV vessels and standby ships. The Director General of La Naval Bilbao’s own yard, José Ignacio Irasuegui, described their venture into the OSV market. Having already constructed the largest dredgers in the world they are venturing into the offshore market with the construction of a deep water rock dumper the “Simon Stevin” which is capable of delivering rocks to a depth of 1700 metres. They have also recently gained a contract for the construction of DP III multi-purpose vessel with Voith Schneider propulsion and a 400 tonne crane.  

When it comes to basic offshore vessels, Spanish yards seem to have only constructed two platform ships, and a couple of UT722s for the Spanish emergency services. One of the platform ships was built for North Star and the other for Edda. The second, the new Edda Fram, was built at Astilleros Gondan SA, part of the PYMAR group. A third vessel is a sister ship being built at the same yard. Never-the-less the speakers identified that the “non-cargo carrying sector” including the offshore industry, accounts for more than 50% of the total construction of Spanish yards. 

The Norwegian speakers included Roy Norum CEO of the PG Marine Group, the internationally known supplier of offshore bulk handling equipment, and it may be worth briefly describing these systems for those who are not totally familiar with offshore vessels. Most carry a range of bulk cargoes for offshore installations. These include fuel, fresh water, drill water, oil based mud, brine, base oil and a range of bulk powders including cement, baryte and bentonite. Some ships also have tanks for methanol and other special products. Amazingly most of these products have their own individual piping and delivery systems. PG Marine have developed what they call PG-MACS, “multi-application cargo solutions” which is intended to overcome many of the difficulties inherent in the carriage of bulk cargoes offshore, and in addition can deal with the carriage of drill cuttings to the shore. The first of these systems is installed in the new Edda Fram.

A typical PG-MACS installation in a PX105. The rectangular hoppers can be used for a number of different cargoes. The major developments have been in the pumping systems, particularly the means of discharging bulk powders and drill cuttings.

 

 Another Norwegian speaker was  Håvard Stave, Deputy Managing Director of Ulstein Designs AS, the Norwegian company which may now be best known for the development of the X-bow. It is worth mentioning that their first foray into the offshore industry after selling the UT brand to Rolls-Royce was the  Ulstein A101 in 2002, still possibly the most effective anchor-handler in the business. Håvard Stave is good value as a conference speaker. He offers the delegates ideas which Ulstein Designs are considering but which may be generally available to anyone. Two items which he put forward at this conference were the possibility of the routing of main engine exhausts to a point just above the sea, which will of course result in 360 degree visibility from the wheelhouse, and the Movable Deck Extender (MODEX).

A graphic of an Ulstein Design 360 degree visibility pilot house. This is made possible by routing the exhausts to a position just above the sea. The essential part of the process is to cool the gases to prevent them rising. This system is already being used in Norwegian Naval vessels.

 

The Modex is the latest shot at increasing the carrying capacity of platform ships, this time by the installation of a movable deck which is fitted on top of the cargo rail – or deck sides – and which can be loaded with cargo, and moved forward to aft, or aft to forward in order to expose the cargo beneath. This effectively increases the deck area of a 1000 m2 vessel to 1400 m2 . He also spent some time discussing the changes likely to ship designs due to the Bourbon Dolphin accident, particularly in terms of stability, and the information to be included in the Stability Booklet.

A graphic of the Ocean Hotels 400 berth design. The gangway is positioned at the stern. The company discounts concerns about transit speed, due to the barge type hull. They hope they will not spend much time in transit.

A developing area of the offshore market is the provision of mono-hull accommodation vessels, and Mr Ola Dønnem from Ocean Hotels described their current newbuildings each with a capacity of 400 personnel, which are being built in Canada. Vessels with this end use are also being built in Spain. There are many advantages to the use of mono-hulls for this purpose, as opposed to semi-submersibles or jack-ups, both of which of course have transit problems. Their use has of course been made possible due to the increasing reliability and effectiveness of DP systems.

Jorge Dahl the District Manager for DNV gave a presentation about the class rules which are applicable to offshore support vessels, making particular emphasis of the requirements for “Special Purpose Ships” (SPS). He also discussed the class notation “Naut OSV” which deals with the design of OSV bridges and navigation panels. It is probable that he was faced with the most difficult question from the audience, one of whom asked whether the necessary skills and training of the personnel who would be operating the “Naut OSV” bridge were in any way reviewed by DNV. The answer was that this question would have to be dealt with by another conference.

Victor Gibson. April 2009.  

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FEATURES

THE DEEPWATER HORIZON
Deepwater Horizon -The President's Report
Deepwater Horizon - The Progess of the Event

OTHER ACCIDENTS
The KULLUK Grounding
The Costa Concordia Report
The Costa Concordia Grounding
The Elgin Gas Leak
The Loss of the Normand Rough
The Bourbon Dolphin Accident
The Loss of the Stevns Power
Another Marine Disaster
Something About the P36
The Cormorant Alpha Accident
The Ocean Ranger Disaster
The Loss of the Ocean Express

OPERATIONS
The Life of the Oil Mariner
Offshore Technology and the Kursk
The Sovereign Explorer and the Black Marlin

SAFETY
Safety Case and SEMS
Practical Safety Case Development
Preventing Fires and Explosions Offshore
The ALARP Demonstration
PFEER, DCR and Verification
PFEER and the Dacon Scoop
Human Error and Heavy Weather Damage
Lifeboats & Offshore Installations
More about PFEER
The Offshore Safety Regime - Fit for the Next Decade
The Safety Case and its Future
Jigsaw
Collision Risk Management
Shuttle Tanker Collisions
A Good Prospect of Recovery

TECHNICAL
The History of the UT 704
The Peterhead Connection
Goodbye Kiss
Uses for New Ships
Supporting Deepwater Drilling
Jack-up Moving - An Overview
Seismic Surveying
Breaking the Ice
Tank Cleaning and the Environment
More about Mud Tank Cleaning
Datatrac
Tank Cleaning in 2004
Glossary of Terms

CREATIVE WRITING
An Unusual Investigation
Gaia and Oil Pollution
The True Price of Oil
Icebergs and Anchor-Handlers
Atlantic SOS
The Greatest Influence
How It Used to Be
Homemade Pizza
Goodbye Far Turbot
The Ship Manager
Running Aground
A Cook's Tale
Navigating the Channel
The Captain's Letter

GENERAL INTEREST
The Sealaunch Project
Ghost Ships of Hartlepool
Beam Him Up Scotty
Q790
The Bilbao OSV Conference