Helix Well Ops expands well intervention fleet for Europe, Africa

Posted on 23 August 2012

Expanding its European and African well intervention fleet, Helix Well Ops UK will take control of the mono-hull well intervention vessel Skandi Constructor for three years, starting in spring 2013.

Helix Well Ops UK, a business unit of Helix Energy Solutions Group, is expanding its European and African well intervention fleet with a three-year charter of the mono-hull well intervention vessel Skandi Constructor, starting in spring 2013. The company’s current fleet is made up of the 132-meter (433-ft) long Well Enhancer and the 114-meter (374-ft) long MSV Seawell. Well Ops will build and test a specially designed version of its 7 ⅜-in. subsea intervention lubricator (SIL) to enable subsea well interventions to be undertaken from the Skandi Constructor.

The SIL is a single-trip well intervention system that provides well access while managing containment when the well is “live” and under pressure. The SIL is configured to undertake work through all types of subsea Christmas trees. The vessel and SIL will allow Helix Well Ops to provide its regional clients with a solution for deeper water wells and well interventions.

Launched in 2009, the Skandi Constructor is a 120-meter (393-ft) long Ulstein SX121 DP3 mono-hull well intervention vessel that features the new X-bow design. The 8,500-tonne vessel accommodates up to 100 personnel and is capable of working in depths of up to 3,000 meters (9,842 ft). It has a deck capacity of 1,470 sq meters (15,822 sq ft) and features an 8m x 8m (27 ft x 27 ft) moonpool, a 150-tonne crane, a multipurpose tower with 140-tonne lift capability and two work-class ROVs.

The need for a third vessel in the company’s fleet has been driven by operator requirements, according to Helix. The firm recently secured contracts from several major North Sea operators to provide light well intervention and associated subsea services from its existing vessels between 2013 and 2015.

Demand also has been strong from West Africa, the company said. The Well Enhancer was deployed to the region earlier this year, where it completed what was believed to have been the region’s first well intervention project from a monohull vessel.

Steve Nairn, regional VP of Europe and Africa for Helix Well Ops, said, “Well Ops is extremely proud to announce the addition of a third vessel to our fleet, and it underlines our commitment to providing well intervention services. Skandi Constructor strengthens our offering internationally and expands our well intervention service capability.”

It’s expected that the company’s investment will lead to the creation of 60 jobs – 50 offshore and 10 onshore – over the next nine months. Helix Well Ops currently employs 70 people in Aberdeen and a further 300 offshore.

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