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Aberdeen-based Helix Well Ops UK, a business unit of international offshore energy company Helix Energy Solutions Group (Helix ESG), is expanding its Europe and Africa well intervention fleet with an investment that will create 60 jobs.
A leading global provider of subsea well intervention, Well Ops will take control of the mono-hull well intervention vessel Skandi Constructor in spring 2013, after agreeing a three-year charter with DOF Subsea.
The move to strengthen Well Ops' regional fleet, which currently includes the 132-m (433-ft) long well enhancer and the 114-m (374-ft) long MSV Seawell, will lead to the creation of approximately 50 jobs offshore and a further 10 onshore over the next nine months. At the moment, the firm employs 70 staff in Aberdeen and a further 300 offshore.
Launched in 2009, Skandi Constructor is a 120-m (393-ft) long Ulstein SX121 DP3 mono-hull well intervention vessel that features the new X-bow design. The 8,500-ton vessel accommodates up to 100 personnel and is capable of working in depths of up to 3,000 m (9,842 ft). It has a deck capacity of 1,470 sq m (15,822 sq ft) and features an 8 m x 8 m (2 7ft x 27 ft) moon-pool, a 150-ton crane, a multi-purpose tower with 140-tonne lift capability and two work class ROVs.
Well Ops will build and test, ready for use, a specially designed version of its subsea intervention lubricator (SIL) to enable subsea well interventions to be undertaken from Skandi Constructor. The SIL is a single trip well intervention system that provides well access, while managing containment when the well is 'live' and under pressure. The SIL is configured to undertake work through all types of subsea Xmas trees. The vessel and SIL will allow Well Ops to provide its regional clients with a solution for deeper water wells and well interventions, which to date has been limited within the mono-hull vessel market.
The need for a third vessel in Well Ops’ fleet has been driven by demand from operators in the North Sea and in other oil and gas producing provinces. The firm recently secured contracts from a number of the North Sea's major operators to provide light well intervention and associated subsea services from its existing vessels between 2013 and 2015.
Internationally, it has also received strong interest from operators, particularly in West Africa. This follows Well Enhancer’s deployment to the region earlier this year, where it completed what was believed to have been the region's first well intervention project from a mono-hull vessel.