Sebastian AS in Ulsteinvik on the west coast of Norway is to provide DP training to the crew of the new super-rigs belonging to Songa Offshore. The first rig, the Songa Equinox, will arrive in Norway in mid-October, and Sebastian must have its delivery ready before rig operations for Statoil start on the Troll field.
- This training assignment is a strategically important contract for us, says Johannes Kristian Bjøringsøy, CEO of Sebastian. The four so-called super-rigs, or 'CAT-D units', are being built in South Korea for Songa Offshore, a company controlled by Fredrik Mohn. This company is registered in Cyprus but has a large operations organisation in Norway. Songa Offshore started to build the rigs when it won a total of four eight-year contracts with Statoil – two in 2011 and two in 2012. The first two rigs will operate on the Troll field, while the last two will operate further north on the Norwegian continental shelf.
-These are very advanced, sophisticated rigs that are specially designed to tackle the harsh weather in the North Sea. Songa Offshore has cooperated closely with Statoil during the project's design, construction and testing phases. Over the past six months, we've helped the rig owner to find an optimal operating philosophy. We've thus worked closely with Songa Offshore, Statoil, Kongsberg Maritime, Lloyds and DNV GL, says Bjøringsøy, who adds:
- Our task now is to create the content of a training programme for the crew on board. These rigs are so different from other rigs that, although the crews hired by Songa Offshore have a high level of expertise and operational experience of modern rigs, they will require training in how to use the CAT-D rigs. It is naturally the Dynamic Positioning (DP) part that is our responsibility. Here, we can demonstrate the unique cross-expertise we've developed, in which we combine our engineers' theoretical and practical technical knowledge with the operational expertise of the captains employed by Sebastian AS.
Strategically important Because this is Sebastian's first training contract, the agreement with Songa Offshore is strategically important to this Ulsteinvik company, which established a branch office in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in March. This contract now has top priority in Sebastian since the training must be completed before the rig starts to operate in November. That entails a certain time pressure:
-We have to use a lot of our staff for this project in order to make the project deadline. The training is to be provided as e-learning via Songa Offshore's e-learning portal. Our task will be to deliver the content of the training. Our goal is to create a course that is interesting, good and effective, says Bjøringsøy.
The training is module-based and the use of e-learning makes it all more cost-effective for Songa Offshore.
The crews on all four rigs – a total of 12 shifts - will undergo the training.
Quote: - Sebastian AS's combination of technical and operational DP expertise is just what we need in this phase. We've hired a lot of people to man the new CAT-D rigs and we ordered this training package so that we can have safe DP operations from day one of the rigs' operations. Safety is the most important factor for us and we have forged links here with Sebastian AS, as the provider of the DP course content, because this company is particularly skilled in safe DP operations.
Leon Karl Strongman, Operations Manager of Songa Offshore