Application of the Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels (ERRV's) in Egypt Mediterranean and Red Seas

advertiserpaintrockOil and Offshore

Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

65 views

Page
1

of
10


Application of the Emergency Response and Rescue

Vessels
(ERRV's) in
Egypt

Mediterranean and Red Seas


Author:

Captain Eslam Zeid

Lecturer in the Maritime Safety
Programs

Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport


Abstract:


The offshor
e oil and gas industry contains many hazards due to the harsh
working conditions
,

which made it necessary to develop specific safety
standards for those working offshore
,

in order to act correctly in case of
emergency. The Offshore Support Vessels (OSV's)
plays a great role in
responding to the offshore emergency either by helping
in containing

the
emergency or

evacuating the installation.

Many organizations had been established to set and monitor the training
and safety standards for the offshore installat
ions as well as the offshore
workers and operations. One of these organizations is the Emergency
Response and Rescue Vessels Associations (ERRVA), this association
was established to co
-
ordinate the common interests of the Owners and
Operators in the futur
e development of Emergency Response and Rescue
Vessels (ERRV's), and to promote the safety and development of standby
services with the aim of being the world leaders in rescue and recovery
services
(ERRVA, 2009)
.

This paper discusses the function and impor
tance of the ERRV and the
need for implementing such standards in
Egypt

Mediterranean and Red
Page
2

of
10


seas in order to have specialized vessels and trained crews in the rescue
operations and installation emergencies
responding
.

B
ackground:

The offshore oil industr
y started as wooden piers extended into the sea for
about 200 meters long installed on these piers the wooden construction of
the drilling rigs then started to be a standalone construction on piles in the
sea away from the coast, until the first MODU was d
esigned in early
1930's by
Captain
Louis Gilliaso

and she was named after him and she
had the ability to drill in water depth up to 10 feet, and all of the
assistance given to the offshore installations were done by
converted
fishing vessels including the
supply of water, fuel and drilling materials
as well as personnel transfer but the problem was what is there role in
case of emergency? But since there were not much drilling units that
question was never been asked.

In the year
1955
a new breed of assisti
ng vessels
was
introduced to the
offshore

oil and gas industry which is the Offshore Support Vessels
(OSV), before the born of the OSV all offshore oil and gas operations
were done with
converted
fishing vessels, from transferring personnel to
supplying fu
el and drilling materials.

T
he Laborde family from New
Orleans invested 100,000 USD in a new project which was building a
specialized type of vessels to conduct the service operations with the
offshore oil installations but up to this date the offshore oil

industry was a
little bit limited with the available technology, a year did not pass on the
first Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) which was called the "Ebb Tide"
and a second one was under order.


Page
3

of
10


Since the build of the first specialized OSV "Ebb Tide" to w
ork with the
offshore installations in the Gulf of Mexico the
OSV
industry
started to
spread

and
the offshore oil and gas industry started to
demand

OSV's to
conduct specialized tasks like towing, anchor ha
ndling
.

Year after year the OSV's number started
to grow and many companies
worldwide started to order this new and specialized type of vessels
and
the industry started to develop along with the OSV, as the development of
the industry started to demand a more specialized vessels to conduct a
specific tas
ks like the towing of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units
(
MODU's)
or anchor handling or even personnel transfer
and due to the
development of the drilling industry more

subsea wells were constructed

in much deeper waters
and far away from the coast
which made
it
essential for
a new task to be demanded from the OSV's
which is to be
stand by near the installation
in case of

any emergency
occurs
to the
installatio
n
.
(Tide Water Marine, 2006)
.

The growing oil & gas industry in Egypt:

The oil & gas industry started i
n Egypt in the late 19th century; oil was
discovered in Egypt making it the first oil country in the Middle East and
North Africa region. It was followed a few years later by Iran and much
later by Iraq, then Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and 60 years later by
the
UAE
(Robert Mabro, 2006)
.


As shown in the following figure the number of offshore drilling rigs had
increased in the past few years which indicates a growing number of new
explorations
(Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, 2007, 2008 & 2009)

also
the interna
tional reports stated that Egypt has achieved a high rate of
Page
4

of
10


exploration activity which reached 6 times the international rates in the
Mediterranean Sea and 3 times in the other areas.




In May 2007 the number of rigs was 13 offshore drilling rigs in the

Gulf
of Suez and similar number in the Mediterranean and these numbers
decreased during the rest of the year 2007 till it reached the minimum
number of 1
2

rigs in the Gulf of Suez during November 2007 and
11 rigs
in the Mediterranean area during December
2007. However the number
of rigs in the Mediterranean steadied since December 2007 till June 2009,
but the rig count in the Gulf of Suez area increased during the year 2008
till it reached the maximum count of 19 offshore drilling rigs in June
2009.

Each o
ffshore drilling rig has an approximate of 80 persons working
onboard so if we
multiplied

this number of persons by the number of rigs
we will have approximately 1520 persons working onboard drilling rigs
only without counting persons working onboard the f
ixed installations.

There are 4 new oil fields in the Gulf of Suez which are expected to start
production by mid of 2010
(Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, 2007, 2008
Page
5

of
10


& 2009)

which indicates the growing of oil production in this area, also
recently Egypt ha
s

entered a new field of the oil & gas industry as Egypt
had build the largest drilling rigs factory in the middle east which will
increase the number of the Egyptian drilling rigs by the end of this
year
(Egyptian Ministry of External Affairs, 2009)
.


Stan
d by vessel
or ERRV
:

When an emergency occurs onboard an offshore installation immediate
response in needed either
to control

the emergency or
to
rescu
e

personnel
from

the hazardous and harsh environment that is accompanied with the
emergency, most of the
times the offshore personnel doesn't have much
time to evacuate, also there are some emergencies that can occur due to
the normal and daily operations like scaffolding over the side or working
on the Texas deck or even helicopter related emergencies.

The s
tand by vessel has two main tasks the first one is to stand by outside
the 500 meter zone
for any emergency that can happen to the installation
and any assistance required for evacuating personnel or
controlling

the
emergency

and in this case the vessel sh
all be able to reach the
installation within 30 minutes
, the second task is to stand by inside the
500 meter zone which is called "Close Standby" in order to be ready in
case of a Person Over Board occurs due to scaffolding over water work,
also to conduct

her part in an emergency drill done by the installation.

In order to conduct these tasks certain equipment is required to be
onboard the vessel as a minimum equipment to be onboard there must be
an FRC, Pollution combating equipment, Fire Fighting equipme
nt for
Page
6

of
10


fighting the on installation fires

and means for the rescue and retrieval of
persons in the water in bad weather conditions
.

The Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels or ERRV's are
specially
equipped vessels with specially trained crews to conduct e
mergency
response and rescue missions, the
ERRV's are classified by the
ERRVA
into 3 groups as follow:


"
Group A
"

ERRV is for installations manned by particularly large
numbers over 300.


"Group B" ERRV
is for installations manned by numbers of people
betw
een 20 and 30
0.


"Group C" ERRV
is for installations manned by very small
numbers of people (e.g. up to 20 persons).

Most ERRV's fall within Group B, therefore Group B is considered to be
the standard ERRV's and Groups A & C are exceptions.

ERRV length sho
uld be at least 35m registered length except for Group C
which is should be not less than 30m registered length.

The ERRV should
be able to reach a speed of at least 10 knots in calm weather and as a
minimum she should be equipped with one of the following

propulsion
configurations:

A)

A 360 degrees azimuth bow thruster unit and either single screw
propulsion

with reversing gearbox or controllable pitch
propeller. The bow thruster unit should be capable of producing
an ahead speed of at least 4 knots and shoul
d be independent
from the main

engine for its source of power;

Page
7

of
10


B)

Twin screw
propulsion

and bow thruster such that the ERRV is
capable of reaching ahead speed of not less than 4 knots in calm
conditions with one main propulsion units out of action;

C)

Equivalent

main propulsion and maneuvering systems
providing similar levels of redundancy and maneuvering
capabilities.

It should be possible to turn the ERRV without any headway or sternway
and to hold her in a desired position and on a set heading while
carrying
o
ut rescue operations, with sufficient accuracy to avoid hazard to the
ERRV, other units or persons in the water
(ERRVA, 2008)
.

The industry recognizes that a major objective is to prevent incidents
occurring and if

they do occur to control and minimize thei
r effect. The
offshore oil & gas industry operates in some of the most dangerous
environments in the world. Hazards are expected in this setting and must
be controlled. Improvements in technology, workforce involvement,
infrastructure care and rig operatio
ns have led to recent reductions in
injuries and incidents but, it is recognized, more still needs to be done. It
is believed that improved base line safety training is likely to improve the
situation by ensuring that all personnel have the necessary safet
y
awareness and basic skills training to recognize and avoid risk.

That is why the ERRVA had defined the minimum training & experience
required to work onboard an ERRV in addition to the mandatory STCW
training like the OPITO training standards and the MCA

training
requirements.



Page
8

of
10


ERRV in Egypt:

Most of the vessels which are assigned to stand by tasks do not meet the
ERRVA requirements either by the equipment onboard, propulsion
configuration nor the ability to accommodate large numbers of survivors,
howeve
r there are a few vessels which meets these requirements as part
of the charterer contract requirement
but these vessels are conducting the
safety stand by tasks along with the usual supplying, towing or anchor
handling tasks
and not dedicated to safety st
and by task alone

(Egyptian
Ministry of Petroleum, 2008)
.

In
Egypt’s

Mediterranean and Red sea regions there are no specific
vessels to conduct stand by operations as
any

vessel
can be assigned

to
do
it disregarding the equipment onboard or the ability to
receive and treat
survivors except in some areas as
charterer

require
ments

but most of
vessels does not carry Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) nor Daughter Craft
(DC)
(Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, 2008)
, also there is no

specialized
training
requirement
to these
crew members onboard those vessels which
leave us with the fact that there is no specially equipped vessels for
rescue and no specially trained crew as well to conduct this rescue.











Page
9

of
10


Conclusion:

Although there are few accidents which demanded a com
plete evacuation
of a drilling rig or platform in the
Egypt’s
Mediterranean and red sea
areas
and the vessels responded quickly to these emergencies
(UK Oil &
Gas)

but these vessels were not equipped to accommodate the large
numbers of evacuees as in some a
ccidents it took 2 vessels to evacuate 85
persons
(Business Today Egypt, 2004)
.

The ERRV’s are dedicated for the emergency response operation as they
are equipped with all the emergency combating equipment and their
crews are trained for these operations as

we explained before.

Assigning one or more ERRV to an oil field will highly improve the
emergency response during any accident and will minimize the time of
evacuation and maximize the safety of operation as these vessels will not
work as a supply vessels

but their task in addition to emergency response
is limited to the Infield transportation of personnel and cargo when there
isn’t any supply vessel available

and this infield transportations are
conducted with snatch or on DP other than fasting to an inst
allation to
minimize the time of responding to any emergency may rise during this
operations.









Page
10

of
10


References

Business Today Egypt. (2004, September 01). News Focus.
Egypt
Business Today

.

Egyptian Ministry of External Affairs. (2009).
Economic Develop
ment.

Cairo: Egyptian Ministry of External Affairs.

Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum. (2007, 2008 & 2009). Egypt Oil & Gas.
Egypt Oil & Gas

, 28.

Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum. (2008).
Year Book.

Cairo: Egyptian
Ministry of Petroleum.

ERRVA. (2008).
ERRV Su
rvey Guidelines Issue 5.

London: UK Oil & Gas.

ERRVA. (2009, July 13).
ERRVA Aim
. Retrieved from ERRVA:
www.errva.org.uk

petrolum, M. o. (n.d.). Egypt Oil & Gas Newspaper.

Robert Mabro. (2006).
Egypt Oil & Gas: Some Crucial issues.

Cairo:
Egyptian Center f
or Economic Studies.

Tide Water Marine. (2006).
Offshore Oil & Gas History.

New Orleans:
Tide Water Marine.

UK Oil & Gas. (n.d.).
Rig Disasters List
. Retrieved August 03, 2009, from
Oil Rig Disasters: www.oilrigdisasters.co.uk