In the sixties with the increasing need for Oil all over the world, European Countries started looking for Oil reserves other than the Arabian sources.
The North Sea bed was known as a very good area to looking for Oil reserves.
Drilling for Oil at North Sea started as far as I know in the Dutch sector in shallow waters near the coast between Rotterdam and Ijsmuiden, the offshore Business had started.
From that moment drilling spread to the rest of North Sea with great development in the UK sector, Norwegian and in a small amount in Denmark sector, reaching more recently West of Shetland.
The use of supply vessels (PSV) and Anchor handlers (AHTS) had followed the offshore demand in tonnage and technology, from the first vessels with just two propellers and manual maneuvering capabilities, to the modern types with Dynamic Positioning (DP class), fitted with bow and azimuth thrusters, a long way had been “steamed”.
The logistics of the offshore industry became more and more sophisticated and effective, not just PSV and AHTS were needed but also different vessel types started to come to the industry like the pipe laying barges, maintenance barges, rigs, diving ships, ROV ships etc.
The search for Oil reserves in deeper and deeper waters all over the world from Mexican Gulf, Brazilian Campos basin, West Africa and more recently in the Southeast Asia, just for example, forced the companies to look for new ships designs with increasing tonnage and engine power, on the AHTS side the need to deploy anchors at very deep water made the anchor winches and bollard pull increase to figures that just some years ago were unthinkable, nowadays is common to see AHTS winches with 500ton and over and bollard pull above 200ton, the increase in engines power never ends and 20000BHP are not highlights anymore, with the new multipurpose vessels reaching outputs over 30000BHP.
The ships became more environment friendly and crew life quality on board have improved to good levels.
At the moment with the Oil price sky high, the offshore industry is having one of the best moments in history, very good charter rates put the companies in position to order for new tonnage, please see computer generated pictures of two recent vessels that Farstad Shipping order at Norwegian shipyards.
Pict. 1 New PSV (UT 751E
Pict. 2 New DP Class III (UT 761CD)
Length-121.5 m Breath-26 m
Bollard Pull-350 ton
Future activity-Plough duties related with pipe laying
Best nautical regards,
POSTED ONBOARD BY JOSÉ SARAIVA