Local oil and gas upstream service provider DCD Marine Cape Town reports that it is undertaking work on several large local oil and gas projects on the South African coast.
Projects completed by DCD Marine Cape Town during the first quarter of 2014 include maintenance and upgrade works on two semisubmersible drilling rigs; offshore drilling contractor Transocean’s Marianas drilling rig, which arrived in October 2013 at the Port of Cape Town’s repair quay; and Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem’s Scarabeo 7 drilling rig, which arrived at the A-Berth in December 2013.
“The Transocean Marianas project has, as of the end of March this year, registered 373 035 work hours,” says DCD Marine Cape Town GM Gerry Klos.
He explains that the scope of work for the project includes the replacement of about 25 t of steel, extensive pipework in various areas on the rig, mechanical work and hydraulic work.
Meanwhile, Klos says work on the Scarabeo 7 project includes the renewal of about 245 t of steel and repairs to the thrusters, as well as the fabrication, installation and outfitting of a new accommodation module.
He adds that about 4.5 km of pipework has been replaced on the vessel and the project has, as of the end of March this year, involved 565 476 work hours, with 3 620 people working on the project.
DCD Marine Cape Town also worked on geophysical services company Western Geco’s Western Trident seismic vessel, which underwent repairs at the Port of Cape Town’s Sturrock dry dock.
The scope of work for the seismic vessel included repairs to the tail shafts and rudders, upgrades to the lifeboat davits and the installation of a new transom, as well as blasting and coating in various areas of the vessel.
Klos points out that DCD Marine Cape Town’s operations are not limited to the Port of Cape Town.
“In Saldanha Bay, we completed a special periodic survey in March on the semisubmersible Transocean Sedco 702 drilling rig,” he notes.
The scope of work included upgrades to the lifeboats, davits and winches; steel replacement; tank cleaning; and an underwater inspection, instead of a dry-docking survey of the vessel. A total of 376 398 work hours and 2 504 workers were required for the project.
“With these three large gas projects being awarded in the fourth quarter of last year, we started the intense planning and execution of our operations, which are now operating at full capacity,” says Klos.
He highlights that the oil and gas sectors can be highly volatile and cyclical, owing to market valuation fluctuations. This has prompted DCD Marine Cape Town to increase its capacity to allow for flexibility and rapid response times that, in turn, will enable the company to meet industry needs.
“The solid relationships we have built with our clients, such as Transocean and Saipem, also enable us to provide a reliable service, even in challenging cir- cumstances,” Klos emphasises.
Some of DCD Marine Cape Town’s current projects started during the December festive season, which posed several challenges, including labour supply shortages and many suppliers and subcontractors having been closed over this period.
However, Klos says that DCD Marine Cape Town was fortunate, as many of the company’s service providers are aware of the cyclical nature of the business and were, therefore, flexible with regard to the scheduling requirements not only of the company but also of its clients.
Moreover, he points out that the company has a large footprint at the Port of Cape Town, in the Western Cape, with workshops and offices next to the Sturrock dry dock and use of the A-Berth facility.
Engineering company FerroMarine Cape MD Brian Blackbeard tells Engineering News that the company invested R60-million in the works, upgrades and facilities of the A-Berth facility in Cape Town.
“This investment preceded business planning, engineering design, specialist studies and the contracting phase that required about R10-million to complete. In addition, a R35-million base rental guarantee had to be lodged with ports operator Transnet National Ports Authority in terms of the lease conditions,” he adds.
Klos explains that this large investment in the A-Berth facility was undertaken to create a dedi- cated berth for oil and gas projects, which has since resulted in DCD Marine Cape Town reaping the rewards.
Additionally, he notes that, in December last year, DCD Marine Cape Town completed the construction of a new R7.5-million 600 m2 blasting and coating booth at its Ocean road premises, which is currently fully operational.
DCD Marine Cape Town has a permanent workforce of about 200 people, but the company recruits employees on a short-term contract basis for the duration of a certain project.
Klos states that the company’s on-site training centre, which received accreditation from the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority in February 2013, will continue to “train many more artisans to create a meaningful skills pool for the oil and gas industry”.
Further, he adds that DCD Marine Cape Town is looking forward to the successful completion of all its current projects and expects that 2014/15 will be another busy year of servicing the upstream oil and gas sector for the company.
“A key part of our plan for the year is to further our mission to upskill and develop our workforce. Our people are our greatest asset, and the rigorous training and skills development programme we have in place will ensure ongoing excellence in service delivery, no matter how busy we are,” Klos concludes.