Maersk Training is among a number of teaching organisations and academies that have installed the latest simulators and opened new facilities. It has opened a new simulation facility in Houston, USA for teaching the latest techniques in marine operations and offshore drilling. The facilities will mostly be used for training and assessing offshore drilling crews after Maersk Training signed a five-year contract to provide services to BP in the USA.
The advanced simulation complex will offer hands-on, scenario-based training that goes beyond traditional classroom training. It allows teams to practise events and joint procedures together as an integrated unit. It will also enable oil and gas companies to test planned operations in a safe simulated environment, to ensure that crews are prepared before they engage in the actual operation. This should increase safety, save time and improve crew handling of unexpected events.
“We want to create a step change in the level of competence in the oil and gas industry as well as in the way competence is developed and improved, by influencing how the industry works in terms of safety and operational performance.” said Maersk Training chief executive Claus Bihl. “Our main focus will be on operational simulation and integrating human factors, including teamwork, procedural discipline, communication, decision-making and situational awareness. All of this will have the aim of safeguarding and improving safety and productivity.”
BP intends to use the facility to enhance the safety and operational performance of its offshore crews on rigs, platforms and vessels, said head of BP’s global wells organisation Gary Jones. “This facility represents an important investment in our people and in our future,” he said. “Our safety and operational performance depend on high-functioning, integrated teams. These programs will continue to develop the talents of our global offshore workforce and the contractors we work with as part of our commitment to safe and reliable operations.”
In France, École Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM) has opened a new maritime simulator facility in Le Havre. This includes a suite of ship bridge and engineroom simulators supplied by Kongsberg Maritime. These will enable instructors to provide advanced training scenarios for students in a realistic environment and to IMO requirements.
Kongsberg supplied four full mission bridge simulators based on its K-Sim Navigation technology. These include a large Class A bridge system that is integrated with a K-Pos dynamic positioning training facility. Another of the bridge trainers is specially designed for tug operations and inland waterway scenarios.
ENSM has also installed a full mission K-Sim Engine simulator system built over two floors. It is able to integrate the bridge and engineroom simulators to conduct interdepartmental team training, which tests interaction and communication skills between the different departments on board ships. “This significant investment in simulation technology will ensure our students are trained to the highest standards,” said ENSM head of research and training development Jean-Pierre Clostermann. “Our requirement was for a total integrated solution with an advanced technology platform that will provide realistic and relevant training in various simulated conditions and environments.”
In The Netherlands, the ROC Kop van Noord-Holland maritime training school has invested in ship bridge and engineroom simulators. It has acquired equipment from VStep for its nautical college in Den Helder to conduct courses that are certified to IMO’s Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW). The school has acquired three Nautis Class B bridge simulators and three Nautis Desktop Pro simulators including instructor stations. It has also purchased from VStep a full engineroom simulator classroom with 15 trainee stations.
The nautical college will be teaching ship handling and engineering courses on these facilities. The Nautis bridge simulators will have three customised scenarios added to the existing simulator library to match specific requirements in The Netherlands. The new environments include the Wadden Islands and the north Netherlands coastline.
In Canada, the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland has opened a simulator complex for offshore vessels. The Hibernia offshore operations simulator will provide advanced, customised training for the supply and support of offshore facilities and production platforms. It is housed in the institute’s Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS) in a new two-storey facility that was added to the campus in the first quarter of this year. The facility includes a six degrees of freedom motion platform that replicates a wide range of sea conditions and vessel movements, a visualisation system to represent offshore operations in real-time, and an instructor station to co-ordinate and oversee training scenarios.
CMS will train new and existing personnel in tasks such as positioning and mooring offshore structures, deepwater anchor handling, supply operations alongside platforms, iceberg management and subsea operations. The simulator will also be used to rehearse operations and develop and evaluate procedures as part of risk assessments. The facility will enable CMS to continue spearheading research in the areas of equipment design, ice navigation, technology transfer, and simulation development with the aim of making offshore operations safer and more efficient.