Press Release: Geo and NCT Offshore launch new multipurpose drill ship
At the beginning of 2017, Geo and NCT Offshore launch the drill ship Freja. The launch of the new drill ship is the beginning of a new strategic Danish collaboration between the engineering consultancy company Geo and the shipping company NCT Offshore. Freja is a S-Class ROV Support DP2 vessel, and is the only drill ship of its calibre and type in the Nordic countries after the rebuild.
The drilling setup aboard Freja is based on a unique system designed to provide optimised heave compensated drilling conditions. Department Director in Geo’s Marine Survey, Jens Brink Clausen, explains the design. “The system is built up around a specially designed active heave compensated working platform (HCP). The principle of the system is that the entire drilling floor, including drill rig and drillers, is heave compensated to move with the movement of the ship. This means that the working deck is stationary, while the vessel follows the movements of the waves. Being able to work offshore from a stationary deck means that we are able to apply drilling techniques usually limited to onshore drilling. On conventional vessels, only the drill string itself is usually heave compensated”.
Geo’s setup is designed and optimised to operate on water depths for offshore wind projects (approximately 15-60 m water), and is optimised for geotechnical- and high quality core drilling (GeoBor-S). The drilling methods ensure much higher sample quality than the quality usually attainable with traditional drill ship solutions, which apply the so called ‘piggy back’ approach.
The quality of a geotechnical investigation, including the samples and cores collected from the seabed, is crucial for the following design and optimisation of the foundation for the planned offshore wind farm. The chosen foundation solution has influence on the total construction price, and ultimately on the final price for the produced power.
One of the biggest features of the heave compensated setup on the vessel Freja is a flexible solution, which can undertake a range of technical services ranging from high quality geotechnical drilling in soil and rock using the Geobor-S system to a range of CPT (Cone Penetration Tests) and Vibrocore rigs. Additionally, the vessel is optimised for a geophysical spread including side scan sonar, sub bottom profiler, magnetometer and hull mounted multi-beam echo sounder. “Geo expects that this multi-purpose vessel will provide a cost effective flexible setup, which can be individualised to each project. We expect that Freja will deliver a top level performance at station keeping, which will ensure large working slots, due to the powerful DP2 arrangement”, Brink Clausen elaborates.
The idea behind Freja as a multi-purpose vessel is that she has the flexibility to take on a wide range of different projects. The scopes can range from large offshore drilling campaigns with core drilling or sampling, handled on the vessel’s on-board laboratory, to projects that only require shallow CPT and Vibrocore. The cost structure is set up in such a way that it reflects the technical solution required. Therefore, utilisation of the vessel determines the costs, contrary to being a fixed cost.
In NCT Offshore they look forward to the new partnership with Geo. CEO at NCT Offshore, Paw Cortes, views the alliance with Geo with positivity and high expectations for the future. “NCT Offshore looks forward to our new partnership with Geo. We have many of the same core values, for example in regards to HSE. Furthermore, Geo is market leading in their field and we are proud to be Geo’s chosen partner.”
Department Director in Geo’s Marine Survey, Jens Brink Clausen, also views the new partnership as a strong match: “The newly established alliance between Geo and NCT Offshore will strengthen both parties, as the companies’ services complement each other well. Geo has one of the industry’s longest track records in relation to geotechnical site investigations for offshore wind projects. NCT Offshore on the other hand has the right DP2 vessel to operate as platform for Geo’s geotechnical drilling and seabed equipment,” Jens Brink Clausen states.
The geotechnical multipurpose vessel Freja will be mobilised and ready for operation at the beginning of 2017.