Talisman Chooses Craig Group's Newbuilds for North Sea Operations

Talisman Energy (UK) Limited has chosen The Craig Group's latest newbuild vessels to support operations in its Northern Business Area in the North Sea.

The two IMT 948 designed vessels, currently under construction at the Balenciaga shipyard, will go on long-term charter next year to provide emergency response and rescue services to the Piper B, Saltire, Tartan and Claymore installations.

These latest vessels are part of a £130 million investment program in the group's North Star Shipping fleet which commenced in 2003 and represents the largest investment in North Sea emergency response and rescue vessels by a British company. A total of 54 new jobs will be created as a result of these new contracts.

On delivery next year, they will bring the total number of newbuild vessels in the North Star fleet to twelve. Craig Group division, North Star Shipping, now owns and operates one of the most modern and the largest wholly British-owned fleet of offshore support, ROV survey and emergency response and rescue vessels in the UKCS.

The charters, for five years with five one-year options, are the 12th new contract for North Star since the investment program began.

North Star managing director, Callum Bruce, said, "We are delighted to have won this new contract with Talisman, who already have two identical sister vessels on long term contract.

"We have now secured long-term charters for all our new vessels delivered so far, justifying our confidence in both the market and our customers' appetite for modern, high quality and cost effective tonnage."

The new vessels, still to be named, will be 48 meters long with an 11.8 meter beam and are designed by IMT of Montrose. They will be fitted with all the latest rescue and response technology, and both will be configured for 'Daughter Craft' operations.

This year North Star shipping is also putting more than 60 trainees through its cadet training program, one of the largest maritime cadet schemes in Scotland.

Emergency response and rescue vessels have advanced greatly and today provide frontline cover for thousands of workers in one of the harshest environments in the world and are essential where the mass evacuation of an installation is required. However, they also provide other vital services, such as anti-collision surveillance, pollution control, emergency towage and tanker assist duties.