Statoil orders three more North Sea shuttle tankers

Jan 27, 1997 01:00 AM

Norway's Statoil has ordered three new shuttle tankers from Spain's Astilleros Espanoles SA (Aesa) to cope with rising crude output on the Norwegian continental shelf. Costing around 1.7 billion crowns ($ 260 mm), the vessels will be 125,000 deadweight tonnes and will have the capacity to load 850,000 barrels of oil. Statoil's Shipping and Maritime Technology (SMT) division already operates a fleet of 18 shuttle tankers transporting crude from 12 fields on the Norwegian and British continental shelves. The new contract brings the number of vessels on order at Asea for Statoil to four. SMT also has chartered a newbuilding due for delivery from Asea in the second half of 1997 to Knutsen OAS of Haugesund, north of Stavanger. Two of the tankers are due for delivery in autumn 1998, with the third following in early 1999. The vessels will be deployed on and around the Haltenbank area off mid-Norway, where oil will be loaded directly from manned production and storage ships. There are already two fields in production in the Norwegian Sea off mid-Norway -- Shell's Draugen and Statoil's Heidrun -- but several prospects -- Aasgard, Norne and Njord -- are planned for or under development. Brit Rugland, head of SMT, said the contract reflected the rising production profile in both the Norwegian and British sectors of the North Sea.
To meet requirements for safety and reliable loading in the rough waters in the area, the new shuttle tankers will have a double hull and will be equipped with a double set of manoeuvring systems -- two main engines, two main propellers, two rudders and several side thrusters.

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