• 1 day Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 2 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 2 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 2 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 2 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 2 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 2 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 2 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 2 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 3 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 3 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 3 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 3 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 3 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 3 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 3 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 4 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 4 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 4 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 4 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 4 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 4 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 5 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 5 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 5 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 5 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 5 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 5 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 5 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 5 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 6 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 6 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects
  • 6 days Aramco To List Shares In Hong Kong ‘For Sure’
  • 6 days BP CEO Sees Venezuela As Oil’s Wildcard
  • 6 days Iran Denies Involvement In Bahrain Oil Pipeline Blast
  • 8 days The Oil Rig Drilling 10 Miles Under The Sea
  • 9 days Baghdad Agrees To Ship Kirkuk Oil To Iran
  • 9 days Another Group Joins Niger Delta Avengers’ Ceasefire Boycott
  • 9 days Italy Looks To Phase Out Coal-Fired Electricity By 2025
Is Peak Permian Only 3 Years Away?

Is Peak Permian Only 3 Years Away?

Texas’ Permian Basin is the…

Oil Survives Bearish Backlash

Oil Survives Bearish Backlash

Crude benchmarks posted steep losses…

James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

Ship Inspired by Sucker Fish Hopes to Revolutionize the Offshore Oil Industry

Ship Inspired by Sucker Fish Hopes to Revolutionize the Offshore Oil Industry

More and more remote offshore oil fields are being developed as new technologies allow oil companies to extract from ever deeper, more inaccessible locations.

The Brazilian offshore fields, being developed by the state-owned oil company Petrobras, are leading the boom in these ever deeper wells.

Many deepwater wells are now too deep and too remote to use conventional platforms and pipelines to deliver pumped oil to onshore facilities. Instead Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessels are becoming more common, allowing much of the processing of the oil to be carried out at sea. Reuters claims that there are around 150 FPSOs in operation around the world, and that of the 48 vessels currently under construction, 21 are destined for Petrobras, for use in the fields off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

A new vessel is now on its way to Brazil, hoping to revolutionise the methods for loading tankers at remote offshore locations. Inspired by the sucker fish, and known as the HiLoad DP (Dynamic Positioning) unit No.1, the vessel was designed and developed in Norway by oil services company Remora. It has been leased on a 10 year commercial trial contract by Petrobras for use in the Campos and Espirito Santo pre-salt basins.

Related article: Junior Time in the Gulf of Mexico Shelf

The HiLoad DP unit No.1
The HiLoad DP unit No.1 (gCaptain)

At 47 metres tall, just 28 metres long, and with an 11 metre keel, the unit is not exactly the sleekest thing on the water, resembling more a partly submerged crane, than a ship.

The HiLoad DP unit is based on the Remora, a sucker fish that attaches itself to larger species, often sharks, via a sucker formed on the mutated dorsal fin behind its head. The Remora fish attaches to the underside of other species and feeds off parasites and leftovers.

The HiLoad DP attaches to larger oil tankers via a sucker positioned below the water line, and several others that attach to the vessel higher up on the hull. Once attached the unit controls the positioning of the tanker via three powerful Dynamic Positioning thruster engines that keep the tanker steady (any size up to a Suezmax class) and a safe distance from the FPSO. A hose can then link from the FPSO and fill the tanker with crude oil, without the need for any extra specialised equipment, offering great savings in cost.

HiLoad DP unit attached to a tanker
HiLoad DP unit attached to a tanker. (Trelleborg)

Related article: Hooking up the Grid: Power Ships and Floating Nuclear Plants

Yngve Kloster, the project manager for delivering the HiLoad DP unit No.1to Petrobras, stated that “Brazil will have to export a lot of its oil - so direct loading onto normal tankers instead of reloading from shuttle tankers will create considerable savings.

We also see it as an alternative in (offshore) Africa where they use offloading buoys you can approach with a normal tanker, but where you will need a tug to assist as well.”

Remora has just signed a contract with BG Brasil to study its second generation Highload DP unit design, which features increased engine power and the ability to manoeuvre larger tankers.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News