Awarded contract for new tank cleaning technology

January 6, 2016 | Last modified July 6, 2016 07:44 CEST

Statoil has long been looking for a way to make tank cleaning on supply vessels safer and more effective.

M-I SWACO has developed a new technological solution and has now been awarded a contract with Statoil that is valued at around NOK 500 million, including options.

Statoil has not used this type of technology on supply vessels before but M-I SWACO has used the technology on its own vessels. This is the first time that the Schlumberger company M-I SWACO has commercialised the technology. 

Photo of tank cleaning module
This is what the M-I SWACO tank cleaning module looks like.
Photo of Jone Stangeland
Jone Stangeland is pleased to have put in place a solution that will make the cleaning of tanks on supply ships safer, as well as a solution that will provide savings through the faster cleaning of tanks. (Photo: Harald Pettersen)



The contract extends over four years with an option to renew for a further four years.


Avoids having to enter the tanks 

The solution comprises an automatic system which means that personnel avoid having to enter the tanks in order to clean them. Wash water and soap are also recycled so that it is only the actual waste washed out of the tank that has to be delivered for further processing.

"The solution increases the safety of our personnel as there is no need to enter the tanks and we reduce both time use and costs," says Jone Stangeland, vice president of logistics and emergency preparedness at Statoil.

The supply vessels transport chemicals in tanks below deck. When the tanks are emptied offshore they must be cleaned before being used for other assignments. 

Less waste 

Tank cleaning is often carried out with the vessels' own tank cleaning plant, although manual tank cleaning has also been necessary on some occasions. 

Manual tank cleaning is carried out by emptying the tanks of residual volume before personnel enter them, erect scaffolding and rinse with water and chemical cleaning agents. 

Manual tank cleaning normally generates a high volume of waste and a typical clean can involve 10–15 cubic metres per assignment. 

"By cleaning the water in the same operation, the volume of waste is reduced significantly," says Stangeland.

The new system will fit onto a lorry, and once the system has replaced manual cleaning, vessels will spend much less unproductive time while docked in connection with tank cleaning. 

Working with green logistics 

Statoil is constantly searching for new areas that can reduce the environmental footprint the company generates. All the supply vessel newbuilds that have entered long-term contracts in the portfolio in the past two years have been modified to use shore power.

They will also be equipped with a marine generator that can be used instead of the main engine, when the vessel is docked. 

"We have also specified strict requirements for NOx emissions and all new vessels are equipped with trip computers so that the crew can monitor fuel consumption, and adjust the speed and log fuel consumption more efficiently," says Stangeland.