Statoil Charters New Ships for Safer Anchor Handling

Charters worth NOK 1.8 billion, including options, for three anchor handling newbuilds have been placed by Statoil with Norway's Solstad Offshore (SOFF) and Havila Shipping companies.

The group challenged the offshore sector in 2003 to come up with solutions which could reduce manual labor in anchor handling. That move was prompted by Statoil's desire to achieve a stronger focus on safety in order to reduce the number of incidents experienced with such operations.

"This challenge was accepted by the industry," says Terje Overvik, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway.

"The ships we're now chartering incorporate pioneering technology which enhances safe working as well as substantially reducing nitrogen oxide emissions."

These three vessels not only represent a major advance in terms of the working environment and pollution, but also use less fuel.

Their multifunctional design means they can be used additionally for oil-spill clean-up, stand-by and supply services, and as mother ships for simple subsea operations.

The charters awarded to Havila Shipping run for three years, with options for three one-year extensions, and cover two of the company's large anchor handling vessels.

Havila Mars and Havila Mercury are under construction at Havyard Leirvik in western Norway for delivery next March and July respectively.

The company's Havila Force vessel is due to operate for a period from January 1, 2007.

Running for five years with three options for one-year extensions, the SOFF charter covers a ship developed by the owner in close cooperation with Vik-Sandvik.

This Normand Ferking unit is under construction at Flekkefjord Slipp & Maskinfabrikk in southern Norway for delivery in April next year.

The three charters are worth NOK 1 billion for the firm periods.


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