The ships, both newbuildings, will enter service as area emergency response vessels in the North Sea. One of them will operate in the Sleipner/Volve area, replacing the current vessel there, in addition to maintaining upcoming emergency response requirements when the Volve field comes on stream. The other vessel will operate in the Gjoa area.
"With these state-of-the-art, robust craft, we're strengthening our emergency response capabilities and safety in the North Sea," said Terje Breivik, head of maritime operations in Statoil.
The ships will be able to take 370 people each in the event of a major accident. They will also be able to undertake emergency tows of drifting vessels up to tankers and will be equipped with the latest oil spill prevention equipment.
During bad weather the ships can haul in smaller craft, for example man overboard boats (MOBs), via a special stern sluice.
The Esvagt shipping company, 75% owned by A P Moller - the Maersk group, will deliver the vessels in the spring of 2009. The contracts have an eight-year duration with options of three times one year.
The vessels will be delivered with an x-bow, formed like a traditional Viking longship, which cuts the water better.
The emergency response vessels will have an overall length of around 76.5 meters and a beam of 17 meters. They have a crew of 11 and are capable of 17 knots.
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