Ultra Deep Water Oil-Gas Fields & the Need for Fast Supply Vessels (FSVs)

By June 6, 2015 Article, Technology No Comments

Digging Deeper
Despite the recent fall in prices of oil, markets expect it to pick up soon. This is because of the strength of the five fundamental drivers of oil demand viz. population rise, economic growth, consumption patterns, supply, and efficiency of current technology. The same is broadly true for the larger energy resource market.

Since the dawn of the industrial age, we have shifted to increasingly energy intensive lifestyles. This creates the need for tapping fresh energy resources as the existing ones get exhausted. Oil is the single largest energy supplier resource – 31.4 of the primary energy in 2012 came from oil.

BP estimates the total global energy demand to rise by 37% between 2015 and 2035 as global population hits 8.7billion and China and India continue cruising along faster growth trajectories. The use of renewables will expand from 3% to 8%. Natural gas will be the fastest growing fossil fuel as environmental constraints limit the use of coal.

Now, the era of easy oil is over and the oil-gas industry is venturing into progressively deeper waters as older fields dry up. Recently, explorers have discovered ultra-deep-water fields off the coasts of Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa. The problem is, these fields are located nautical miles from the nearest ports.

Conventional Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs) trudging at around 13knots take 15-24 hours each way to transport supplies, crew, and other equipment. The duration is unacceptable in many cases. This has created the need for Fast Supply Vessels (FSVs) capable of cruising at 25-40knots.

BS Camburi FSV & Thrustmaster DOEN DJ290 Waterjets
In December 2014, Arpoador Engenharia delivered the BS Camburi FSV to Brasil Supply. Incat Crowther designed the FSV. Powered by three CAT C32 ACERT Diesel Engines coupled to three Thrustmaster DOEN DJ290 waterjets, the FSV clocks a maximum speed of 25 knots. And it sails at 17knot service speed when fully loaded at 50 tons. It can transport deck, fuel, and freshwater cargo.

BS Camburi (Source: http://www.incatcrowther.com/product-details/36m-monohull-fast-supply-vessel/ICA1226/nprod-0#pphoto[pp_gal]/1/)

BS Camburi
(Source: http://www.incatcrowther.com/product-details/36m-monohull-fast-supply-vessel/ICA1226/nprod-0#pphoto[pp_gal]/1/)

Thrustmaster waterjets are a popular with FSVs as they cater to the speed and dynamic positioning (DP) requirements of FSVs. For durability, the waterjets are made of marine grade aluminum and come equipped with 316 stainless steel pump section assemblies fitted with 737mm single stage, high volume axial flow impellers.

Covering a power range from 100kW to 6,400kW, Thrustmaster waterjets come with reverse buckets of double cheek design. These buckets combine with the steering nozzle to provide a large envelope of jet direction angles enabling the high level vector control necessary for dynamic positioning.

BS Camburi Technical Data

BS Camburi Technical Data

These waterjets provide top efficiency at high speeds and excellent cavitation margins that enable the application of full power at:

  •  all load conditions
  • zero speed for highest possible thrust during station keeping maneuvers at sea and during docking

Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) is the minimum pressure required at the suction port to prevent cavitation. Cavitation is the creation of vapor bubbles in flowing liquids when suction pressure drops below vapor pressure. The liquid evaporates and creates vapor bubbles that collapse. Liquid from the surrounding then rushes in to create high-pressure waves that damage equipment and pipelines.

Vapor Pressure is the pressure required to evaporate a liquid at a given temperature. It is the amount of minimum pressure required to be exerted on the surface of a liquid to prevent its evaporation. Vapor pressure increases with the temperature of the liquid.

Thrustmaster DOEN DJ290 waterjets come with:

  • simple installation and highest vessel integrity with pre-fabricated aluminum intake duct installation
  • exceptional steering and reverse control through fully integrated hydraulic system for each thruster
  • total inboard mounting of all hydraulic equipment
  • gearbox PTOs directly drive hydraulic pumps

Thrustmaster CAN BUS Control System controls the propulsion of BS Camburi. Designed for triple engine twin station, the system combines waterjet steering and reverse operations with the control of primary engine and gear command, monitoring, alarm, and back-up systems.

BS Camburi (Source: http://www.incatcrowther.com/product-details/36m-monohull-fast-supply-vessel/ICA1226/nprod-0#pphoto[pp_gal]/1/)

BS Camburi
(Source: http://www.incatcrowther.com/product-details/36m-monohull-fast-supply-vessel/ICA1226/nprod-0#pphoto[pp_gal]/1/)

Fitted on the rear-facing, second station is DOEN eDOCK joystick control system that provides single, joystick lever control that concurrently activates and controls waterjets and engines for accurate and instinctive low-speed maneuvering control.

While the global shipping industry is increasingly seeking cleaner solutions to lower the polluting impact of ships, some of these vessels will be employed for exploring not-so-clean energy resources. And there is the environmental impact of deep-sea drilling. How well we manage this contradiction will determine how green our future is.

Featrued Image Exploration & Drilling Platforms (Source: http://therionorteline.com/2011/02/05/the-day-deepwater-died/)