Ulstein delivers powerful X-Bow seismic research vessel

‘Oceanic Vega’ undergoing sea trails ‘Oceanic Vega’ undergoing sea trails

The Oceanic Vega, one of the most advanced seismic research vessels in the world, was delivered by Ulstein Verft in Ulsteinvik, Norway, to a joint venture between Norwegian shipowner, Eidesvik Offshore ASA, and the Paris-based geophysical company, CGGVeritas.

With a length of 106.5m, a beam of 28m and a design draught of 7m, the newbuilding is the first of two seismic research vessels of the SX120 type designed by Ulstein Design & Solutions. With a towing force of 140 tonnes during seismic operations, the vessel is suited to large 3D, 4D or high-resolution projects, using a current streamer configuration of up to 16 streamers separated by 100m or more. The vessel’s 20 streamer winches are each capable of spooling 9 km of streamers.

Carrying an ICE-C classification, the 12,550gt Oceanic Vega is able to operate in cold waters. She is designed to stay permanently at sea, with five years’ docking intervals and refuelling carried out by dedicated support vessels, and complies with the redundant propulsion notation from DNV. With six gensets, the vessel is able to carry out engine room maintenance at sea.

The Wärtsilä diesel electric power plant comprises four 12V26 gensets each of 3,745 kWe at 900 rpm and two 6L26 each of 1,870 kWe at 900 rpm.The vessel is equipped with straight shaft lines to the two 6,000kW, 4,200mm diameter CP propellers in nozzles with a speed of 40-135 rpm, each driven by two 3,000 ekW frequency converter-driven variable speed electric motors in tandem configuration. This provides smooth speed control of around five knots during seismic acquisition, a maximum transit speed of 18.2 knots and a bollard pull of 190 tonnes.

Manoeuvrability is enhanced with the installation of a 1,200kW CP bow thruster and an 830kW CP stern thruster. For improved comfort, the vessel is fitted with two roll reduction tanks while the X-Bow results in lower added resistance and smoother bow immergence which leads to reduced operational disruption and involuntary speed reduction.

Oceanic Vega complies with the Clean Design demands from DNV, and with the SPS (Special Purpose Ship) requirements for up to 60 persons and a green passport complying with IMO ship recycling recommendations. The seismic instrument room is located far aft on the top deck overlooking the seismic area and providing a clear view of the streamer deck.


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