Kotug International has acquired an anchor-handling tug to provide offshore towage support to a new deepwater tanker loading terminal
The Netherlands-headquartered marine services and towage company purchased the vessel after securing a long-term contract to support tankers loading crude oil from a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel on the Liza field in Guyana.
It gained the contract from oil major ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production and acquired DP-2 azimuth anchor-handling tug BB Power from Buksér og Berging. This 2015-built vessel, renamed SD Power, has 130 tonnes of bollard pull and a top speed of 15 knots.
It was built by Vard Braila in Romania with two Anglo-Belgium Corp (ABC) 6DZC main engines and two ABC 8DZC engines, with combined power of 6,664 kW.
Kotug said this is its first operation in South America. “Being part of the growing offshore oil and gas activities in Guyana and working together with ExxonMobil for us is an important milestone and in line with our long-term strategy to grow our business in the FPSO support market,” said Kotug chief executive Ard-Jan Kooren.
ExxonMobil started oil production from the Liza Destiny FPSO in December 2019 and expects to ramp up output to a peak of 120,000 barrels per day (b/d).
Construction has already started on the second phase of the project, which will involve a network of subsea systems tied into a second FPSO, Liza Unity, from the middle of 2022. Kotug will also be supporting tanker loading operations from this FPSO.
The Liza field is in the Stabroek Block, where ExxonMobil has discovered an estimated 8Bn barrels of oil and associated hydrocarbons.
After Liza Unity is deployed, ExxonMobil plans to develop the Payara oil field with another FPSO, to be named Prosperity, in 2024.
The oil major anticipates having at least five FPSOs in operation with combined oil production of 750,000 b/d by 2026. Its partners in the Stabroek Block include Hess Exploration and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
Edison Chouest Offshore has also secured contracts to assist tankers loading crude from FPSOs in the Stabroek Block. To service offshore terminals, Edison Chouest Offshore will build at least two support vessels with hybrid propulsion.
Damen Shipyards Group has been awarded a contract to provide a design for these new offshore terminal tugs. These azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs will be built at Edison Chouest’s shipyard in Louisiana, US to an ASD Tug 5016 design with a 50-m length and 16-m beam.
Damen has designed this tug to provide escort, hold-back, hose-handling and maintenance duties offshore Guyana. It will also provide emergency response duties with a fire-fighting system on board to FiFi1 class and oil spill recovery equipment.
Damen said these tugs will each have 120 tonnes of static bollard pull delivered by twin C-280 engines and azimuth thrusters installed on the stern.
When these tugs are waiting for work, their power will come from a hybrid propulsion system installed in the engineroom. To facilitate the hose maintenance, these vessels will have a 27-m aft deck with hose-flushing equipment and a full-width sump.
Future requirements for offshore support vessels will be presented and discussed during Riviera’s Offshore Support Journal Middle East virtual conference on 9-10 November - use this link to access more details and to register for this event