23 september 2015
Another large shuttle tanker was moored at the yard quay on September 30. This time not for repairs though. The following year will see Hanne Knutsen being converted to a Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessel for operations on the Martin Linge field.
As announced in December 2013, KNOT FSO 1 AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers AS, has signed a time-charter contract with Total E&P Norge AS for a floating, storage, and offloading unit (FSO). For this project, a KNOT shuttle tanker will be converted into an FSO unit and then chartered by Total E&P Norge AS. The converted FSO will be used to store and offload oil that has been pumped from the Martin Linge field in the Norwegian North Sea. This field is held by a partnership comprising the operator Total E&P Norge, Petoro and Statoil. After delivery, the FSO unit will be chartered to Total E&P Norge for eight years plus up to four optional years.
Signing of this charter agreement was followed by award of the conversion contract to Remontowa. The contract was signed by Remontowa and the Owner on March 10, 2014 and in the fourth quarter of 2016, former shuttle tanker Hanne Knutsen should be ready for sail-away as Martin Linge FSO.
It will be a significant and noteworthy makeover. At peak, expected in January 2016, around 1000 people will be involved in the conversion of Hanne Knutsen. Remontowa together with the Owner's team had commenced necessary preparations long before the ship arrived. Most of the prefabrication was done at that time. In April this year, the celebrative first steel cutting for the prefabricated structures took place, attended by numerous representatives of involved companies.
Svein Berg of Total (FSO Construction Site Representative, Total E&P Norge AS) commenced the first steel cutting by starting up the steel plasma cutting machine. Prefabrication will continue until summer 2016. By the time the ship arrived at the yard, all the major structural construction drawings had been approved.
The FSO to be converted from the shuttle tanker Hanne Knutsen at Remontowa, will feature a remote-controlled system which allows the processing of oil and water to be controlled from a Central Control Room onshore in Norway. The Martin Linge field, including the FSO, will also be powered with electricity from shore through the world's longest high voltage AC subsea cable. This makes the Martin Linge FSO more environmentally friendly with regards to CO2 emissions.
The Martin Linge field is located 180 kilometres west of Bergen in Norway, near the border with the UK sector, in 115 metres of water. The field contains both oil and gas. The Martin Linge development consists of a new fully integrated fixed production platform with a steel jacket and a permanently anchored storage ship for oil (FSO to be converted from a shuttle tanker at Remontowa). The gas will be exported through a new pipeline linking the field to an existing pipeline to St. Fergus in Scotland, while the oil will be shipped from the field using shuttle tankers.