New generation shuttle tanker for Canada

Canadian-registered 'Beothuk Spirit' is set to join Teekay’s shuttle tanker fleet (image by courtesy of Teekay Offshore). Canadian-registered 'Beothuk Spirit' is set to join Teekay’s shuttle tanker fleet (image by courtesy of Teekay Offshore).

The first of Teekay Offshore Partners’ new series of Suezmax shuttle tankers is nearing completion in South Korea at Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje Island yard, reports David Tinsley.

With a planned delivery date of 16 October 16, the 155,000dwt Beothuk Spirit leads a trio of Heritage-class newbuilds. They were ordered by the Hamilton, Bermuda-based company on the strength of long-term contracts covering crude oil liftings from the Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose and Hebron fields in the offshore waters of Newfoundland and Labrador, for discharge at coastal terminals.

The transportation services deal spans a 15-year period, plus extension options, and was struck in 2015 with a consortium of oil producers and suppliers including Chevron Canada, Husky Energy, Mosbacher Operating, Murphy Oil, Nalcor Energy, Statoil, and Suncor Energy. It was initiated using one of Teekay Offshore’s existing vessels, the 127,000dwt Navion Hispania, plus two chartered shuttle tankers.

The currently-utilised tonnage will be replaced by the new Samsung-built generation, which has commanded an overall capital cost of approximately US$375m. Beothuk Spirit is scheduled to be followed in the first half of 2018 by second- and third-of-class Norse Spirit and Devon Spirit, respectively. Principal hull dimensions are just under 279 metres in overall length by 49 metres breadth.

High capabilities as regards manoeuvrability and position-holding in adverse sea, current and wind conditions at offshore loading locations are fundamentally important to shuttle tankers. Accordingly, the design specification for the Beothuk Spirit included a DP2 standard of dynamic positioning, using one tunnel thruster and two azimuth thrusters forward, plus a tunnel thruster and azimuthing unit aft, all rated at 2,200kW each.

The main propulsion engine is a six-cylinder, MAN electronically-controlled two-stroke of the G70ME-C  type, specified at a maximum continuous output of 14,600kW. The vessel incorporates winterisation measures as well as cargo heating provisions, and is fitted with a bow loading station as necessitated by an offshore tanker.

The newbuild project involves two of the world’s pre-eminent players in a specialised, capital-intensive sector, whereby Teekay owns and operates nearly 40% of the world fleet of shuttle tankers, while Samsung has a similar market share in the construction of such vessels.

Teekay Offshore has recently augmented its fleet development programme and extended its business relationship with Samsung by entering into a conditional contract for two Suezmax, DP2-class shuttle tankers from the South Korean yard. On anticipated delivery in 2019-2020, the vessels will serve Norwegian energy group Statoil in the North Sea.

Options on the third and fourth newbuilds are appended to the deal, which will realise Teekay’s New Shuttle Spirit design concept, incorporating proven technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. This will feature propulsion systems capable of operating on LNG fuel.

Towards the end of July, it was announced that agreements had been signed for a strategic partnership with Toronto-based Brookfield Business Partners. The Canadian asset management and investment firm will secure a 60% stake in Teekay Offshore, a publicly-traded subsidiary of Teekay Corporation.

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