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FEATURE: The Birth Of The MSV Well Enhancer
by Tim O’Neill — Oldcommguy™ Consulting Director, Business Development, YR20

This article documents the commissioning and build out, and especially, the advanced electronics, that will support the MSV Well Enhancer which was built for the Well Ops fleet, a Helix Company. The keel was laid and the vessel was built at the IHC Merwede yard at Krimpen, Rotterdam, in The Netherlands. The vessel, based on the Merwede Type-22 design, is a cost-effective, high performance and efficient vessel. The design was adapted to accommodate the multipurpose tower, an 18-person diving bell saturated diving system with two moonpools and a twin work class Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV) system. A moonpool is an opening in the hull of the ship that permits direct passage for the working deck to the sea. This is used in offshore operations to pass remotely operated vehicles, subsea equipment and such. This durable platform design allows for future upgrades as needed. Most of the photos will be from the eyes of the YR20 Team who were contracted to build out the electrical and electronics of the vessel.

While currently there is much negative news about the economy and its effect on the SATCOM market, this new vessel, equipped with the latest technology is a prime example of several positive facts:
  • Ocean and service vessels require upgraded technology that demands bandwidth and access to technologies such as the control of: real-time logging, real-time voice(VoIP), video (streaming), Internet access, global position monitoring, facsimile and other monitoring solutions.
  • Companies are willing to update and improve their vessels to support the offshore and recreational criteria resulting in advances that include vessel, passenger and crew safety.
  • More offshore vessels, rigs and semi submersibles are being built to meet the demands of the world’s oil and gas needs.
Other positive elements to consider...

At the 11th session of the International Maritime Organization, using the SEAWAYS Database to forecast, it is believed the number of new keels that will be laid the estimate is 540 ships (greater than 100 gross tonnage and having a ballast capacity less than 5,000 cubic meters) will be constructed and have their keels laid in 2009, with each of these needing the latest satellite access, according to information from Hyundai Heavy Industry News, October 2008 edition. These estimates do not include new cruise ships, personal crafts (the big ones), new or updated war ships, nor the demand for updated sea vessels of all other kinds.

The Reason For The MSV Well Enhanced
With an increasing number of aging oil wells and shrinking oil reserves, it becomes increasingly critical to maintain and extract the maximum amount of product from the wells. The requirement was to develop a-state-of- the-art well intervention and diving support vessel (DSV), hence, the MSV Well Enhancer, which is suited for the North Sea as well as worldwide operation. 

The vessel outfitting was conducted at the Huisman shipyard facility at Schiedam Rotterdam under the watchful eyes of Mr. Graeme Alexander of the Helix Corporation. Most of the following pictures of the Merwede Shipyard B.V. are courtesy of the YR20 Team charged with the electronic build out and testing of the MSV Well Enhancer.

The MSV Well Enhancers’ Specs
The MSV Well Enhancer, a 10,000+ ton, 132m long vessel, is a custom designed, dynamically positioned, offshore well intervention and saturation diving vessel. The vessel features an advanced intervention tower with generous deck space supported by the latest proven and durable, state-of-the-art communications technology.

The MSV Well Enhancer is the latest design for a rapid response and very mobile vessel that can handle a wide range of offshore well tasks and testing procedures with its 150 metric ton capable multi purpose tower, 100+ ton crane, 18-man saturated dive team, 900+ foot diving bell, 550+ sq. ft. of moonpools, one observation and one sophisticated work class ROV, two on-board bulk cement units, the latest electronics, stabilized and redundant satellite communications, and positioning systems, variable and powerful propulsion thrusters, three engine rooms with triple redundancy, dive and ship redundant generators. Plus, there is a large open deck for transporting all the supplies necessary to complete even the most difficult intervention tasks, tasks that normally require a very slow and expensive semi submersible and support vessels.

The entire vessel has the most current video monitoring technology and all major functions are monitored and controlled from a central area that overlooks the work deck. The safety and security during intervention work is guaranteed by a gas closure system using overpressure to protect the vessel’s accommodations, crew and divers, and is guided by the most recent navigational systems and controls.

More Technology To Support Operational Success
“The Well Enhancer also has the Optima® suite of tools, to assist with the challenges of drilling and well operations in deepwater, high currents and other environments that pose significant risks to successful operations and enhance overall operational safety. The Optima® suite also assists with on-board riser management with its advanced tools to monitor and plan operations for drilling, completion or workover, and LWI (Light Weight Intervention) risers,” explains Alan Dougan, head of the Structural Monitoring division of Fugro GEOS, which supplies the system in partnership with MCS, the foremost experts in riser analysis software. “The Optima range of technology provides both the operators and drilling crew with significant benefits that can translate into substantial cost savings as well as enhancing safety and integrity.”

Communication Access To Keep Operations Running
Without communications, all operations on the vessel will shut down for safety reasons. All of the above technology becomes moot if communications fail. The MSV Well Enhancer was designed to mitigate such situations by incorporating two KU-band VSAT stabilized systems and antennas (SeaTel 6006) and one TVRO antenna (SeaTel 4006), Iridium L-band for OBM and one Iridium as the emergency voice system for human communications, plus the usual RF technology aboard all sea going vessels.The vessel has four non-VSAT communications systems and two Inmarsat Mini-C systems for IMO/SOLAS compliance. The vessel must have at least two working and live voice communications’ systems operating before divers or the bell can enter the water.

The YR20 team, along with the designers and the Helix team, maintained their cooperative goal of building the highest quality on-board systems that are reliable, safe, meet and exceed all SIL (Safety Integrity Level) requirements and will continue to be reliable and safe in the future. Additionally, the network core must be flexible enough to remain flexible enough to remain valid and sustainable for at least 10 years as well as ccommodates new state-of-the-art products, services, and technologies over the next 20 years.The termination boxes and cabling support, all DNV certified, were provided by Nexans. All the data cabling is CAT7 Marine Grade.

Basic Wiring Stats
The length of CAT7 STP cable run just for the Ethernet LAN and data, CCTV and digital voice is more than 7,000 meters (7Km). This equates to more than 5x the length of the vessel. The length of cable pulled just for the VSAT BDE (Below Deck Equipment)/ADE (Above Deck Equipment) is over 400 meters long, which equates to more than 3x the length of the vessel.

As of this writing, more wiring continues for the deck areas for the skid control systems that will consist of CAT 7 and fiber optic cables. The estimate for the deck control systems is another 3,000 meters (3Km) of cable. That is a serious amount of cabling, with a great deal of terminating work and testing to prepare the MSV Well Enhancer for a its long term of duty on the seas.

The key design of this vessel is one of over all safety, flexibility, reliability, sustainability, and quality. The following photo presentations afford you an inside look at the commissioning and outfitting teams, as well as the Helix team, working to ensure the aforementioned goals are met.

Ensuring SATCOM Success
Mike Hinz, CEO of YR20 says “YR20 with our combination of close customer contact, engineering excellence, sophisticated network testing and analysis background, has provided all the key elements in delivering to the Helix Team a safe, reliable vessel, with all of its modern and proven technology, ready to provide valuable services to the Offshore Energy Industry now, and for many years to come.”

The Helix Team working with YR20 focused on deploying the best and most reliable technology to assure the MSV Well Enhancer would have a long, safe, and successful work life. If you cannot communicate you simply cannot work, viably and safely! Dependable satellite communications are the basis of all offshore and remote areas success!

The following photos are courtesy of the YR20 Team of Consulting Engineers.