Two standby vessels ordered

April 7, 2006, 11:00 CEST

Letters of intent worth some NOK 1.6 billion, including options, have been awarded by Statoil to the Møkster Safety shipping company for delivery of two standby vessels.

Møkster Safety is a subsidiary of Stavanger company Simon Møkster Shipping.

The agreements cover two identical vessels, both newbuildings. One will be a standby vessel for the Tampen area in the North Sea and is due to be delivered in February 2008. The other, to be delivered in October 2008, will be used as a relief vessel in the Exploration & Production Norway (UPN) pool.

The standby ship which is going to Tampen will replace the two vessels currently used for emergency response, saving the Tampen licences NOK 50 million per year.

"With this ultra-modern vessel, we are strengthening both emergency response and safety," comments Lars Christian Bacher, senior vice president for the Tampen business cluster.

"On Tampen we regard all resource units and licences as one and the same licence. This has been a crucial factor in our decision to take in the new vessel."

The new ships have been designed by consultant Vik & Sandvik. They represent a further development of the Stril Poseidon, which is the standby vessel Statoil uses in the Halten Bank area.

The vessels will be more useable and robust than the boats they are replacing. A particular difference between these and other standby ships is their ability to pull lifeboats directly on board in extreme weather conditions via a special stern slipway. The vessels' man overboard (MOB) boats are normally launched and retrieved through this slipway.

Other facilities include a sick bay and a helideck which makes it possible to secure rapid medical assistance as well as to evacuate people from the vessel if necessary.

Both agreements will run for a 10-year period, with five one-year extension options. The shipyard has not yet disclosed where the vessels will be built, but confirms that it is a Norwegian shipyard that has got the job.