Up in the Cromarty Firth, which remains the favourite place in UK waters for laying up semi-submersibles, about a hundred miles north of Aberdeen, there is still the construction yard at Nigg which was last used in anger to build the Hutton TLP, back in 1983 - since removed and bits of it sold. The facility has sort of hung on effectively being used for odd construction jobs, and in this photo it can be seen to be in the hands of the "Global Energy Group" and the FPSO Haewene Brim is in the dry dock being fixed up. 

Photo taken by Alistair Morton back in 2013 and posted here on 15th August 2018.

I read in the newsletter provided by Seabrokers in Aberdeen that the well known Ice-breaking support vessel the Botnica has bee hired by "Baffinland Iron Mines" as an escort icebreaker. The ship was built in 1998 and is one of three icebreaking support vessels built in Finland, the others being the Fennica and the Nordica. The idea was that they would work in the oil business in the summer and break ice for Baltic ports in the winter. They were not a total success, but I think they have, nevertheless, continued to work. Baffinland Iron Mines will apparently ship ore from the island annually for a few months starting in July, and have overcome many obstacles to do so. 

Here is the platform ship Viking Thaumas steaming along in the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil the other day. It is a run of the mill VS 470 MkII designed by Vik Sandvik to take on the UT 755s. It was built for Eidesvik by the Norwegian yard Westcon in 2005, one of many of the ship type distributed now around the world carrying out supply duties. Having said that, what really interests me are the things in the background, probably laying flexibles for the field. What stunning creations they are, and thanks to Jan Plug for capturing them (He is captain of one).

Here's the Troms Lyra on its way north from the port of Aberdeen towards the field it's serving. It is a VARD PSV 08, the unusual bow design reflecting their VARD version of the XBow so that the ship will pierce the waves rather than riding over them. The ship is 85 metres long with 7300 bhp available. Troms is originally a Norwegian company but is owned by Tidewater and the ships are register in the Isle of Man, possibly with Polish crew. In the background you might notice the beaches of Aberdeen and the "multis" at Seaton. In Aberdeen council properties get the best sea views.

I take the opportunity of publishing a picture of a GOM craft working in Brazilian waters. Hornbeck Offshore like many American companies have built whole fleets of identical vessels, this one being a representative of the HOSMAX310 fleet, where 310 is the length in feet. This ship is fitted out for ROV work with a moon pool on the main deck, DPII capability and berths for 72 people. Also, like other OSV operators in the Gulf, the company is facing a continued struggle in a depressed market, where overcapacity will see them all either scrapping ships or operating at a loss.

Copyright © 2018 Ships and Oil. All Right Reserved.