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Category Archives: Offshore

No One Knows Where This Came FromTrump Bans Offshore Drilling – Mother Jones

Posted: September 18, 2020 at 1:06 am

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Something weird happened at a Trump campaign appearance in Jupiter, Florida, on Tuesday. President Trumplong-time antagonist of environmental regulationsand big-timeproponent of oil and gas developmentannounceda decade-long ban on offshore drilling off the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. This protects your beautiful Gulf and your beautiful ocean, and it will for a long time to come, Trump said in a speech in Jupiter touting his environmental record. He signed a presidential memorandum extendinga moratoriumon leasing drilling rights off Floridas Gulf Coast and expanded that ban to a portion of the Atlantic Ocean that stretches between Florida and South Carolina. (The area has not been leased out to oil companies yet.)

The decision caught environmentalists and oil industry lobbyists off guard. Its a complete ambush, one industry officialtold Politico. Nobody knows where this came from.

So, what gives? The president has been consistent in his support of offshore drilling pretty much since his first year in office. He made no secret of his intention to reversea memorandum signedby President Barack Obama in 2016 to protect the Arctic and Atlantic seas from drilling. In 2017,Trump directed the Department of the Interior,which oversees offshore drilling leases, to assess new sales of drilling rights in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. The following year, the Interior Departmentcame out with a draft plan that would have paved the way for offshore drilling leases in 90 percent of US coastal waterways.

That proposal faced pushback from states whose economies rely on tourism and fishing. Floridas Republican governor at the time, Rick Scott, said heopposed the plan. So did the governors of other states likeNew Jersey,Washington, andCalifornia. The Trump administrationlet Florida opt out of the plan, handing Scott a win as he prepared todo battleagainst Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson for a Senate seat that year. (Scott won by a narrow margin.) The other states werent granted a reprieve.

It doesnt take a genius to connect the dots between what happened in 2018 in Florida and Trumps surprise announcement on Tuesday. Trumps new moratorium on offshore drilling appears to solely apply to states led by Republicans.

Whats more, Florida and Georgia arekey swing statesin the upcoming general election. Trump and Joe Biden areneck and neckin Florida in recent polls. Whichever candidate wins that state gets its large stack of 29 electoral votes. South Carolinaisnt as tight of a race, but one of its Republican senators, Lindsey Graham, is close with Trump andreportedly helped craft the new moratorium.

States with Democratic governors werent as lucky. North Carolina and Virginia, which also have significant resources buried off their coasts,werent included in Trumps moratorium. Trumprecently accusedNorth Carolinas governor, Democrat Roy Cooper, of using the coronavirus pandemic to hurt his reelection effort.

Trumps memorandum could be challenged in court, but theres reason to believe it will stand the test of time. Despite the Trump administrations efforts to undo Obamas 2016 offshore drilling ban in the Arctic, federal courts haveupheld Obamas memorandum so far.

Still, green groups arent convinced that Trump is acting in good faith. If this was more than an election year ploy for Trump, wed have seen a permanent ban on offshore drilling in his first four years, the League of Conservation Voters said in a statement. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is also suspicious. Just months ago, Donald Trump was planning to allow oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida, the former vice president said in atweet. Now, with 56 days until the election, he conveniently says that he changed his mind. Unbelievable.

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Premier Remaining Tight-Lipped About Offshore Negotiations – VOCM

Posted: at 1:06 am

Premier Andrew Furey is expecting some kind of an update on the provinces beleaguered offshore industry from federal officials in the coming days.

Furey is saying little about what the oil producers are asking of the provincial government in order to ensure continued exploration in the offshore.

The industry represents billions of dollars in revenue to the province through royalties, taxes, and employment.

Indications are that Husky was seeking over $2-billion from the provincial government for an equity stake in the West White Rose Project.

Premier Furey would not confirm the numbers but says what the company was seeking was out of the provinces reach.

He says the province does not have the fiscal capacity to take a gigantic equity stake in an oil and gas project at this time. He assures, however, that they are continuing to look for options.

In the meantime, Furey says federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus ORegan is working diligently on options available.

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US Offshore Wind Projects Face Make-or-Break Moment – Union of Concerned Scientists

Posted: July 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

Offshore wind is at a key juncture right now. And your voice can help take it to the next level.

You might have noticed that certain colleagues and I have often blogged excitedly about the brand new (to the US) renewable energy option poised to rise up off our shores. Offshore wind has been a long time in coming, and there is so much enthusiasm in so many quarters.

And no wonder, when you think about all it has to offer. Large amounts of pollution-free and carbon-free electricity generation, close to where its needed. A great complement to solar and land-based wind, and a strong winter resource. Savings for electricity customers, and great economic and jobs potential.

Given all that, a bunch of states have been making it clear that they want to see offshore wind as a substantial part of their electricity supplyand to see the offshore wind industry powering their economies and job growth. And a bunch of project proposals are answering the call.

Several of those projects are slated to be in waters south of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. When Massachusetts issued its first solicitation for offshore wind projects, the winner (with a stunningly low price) was Vineyard Wind, an 800-megawatt projectmeaning enough capacity to provide energy for more than 400,000 Massachusetts homes.

Vineyard Wind had already begun its permitting process, and last summer a federal approval for the project seemed imminentuntil the Trump administration unexpectedly announced that it was going to do another step: a supplement to the draft environmental impact statement to look at cumulative impacts of Vineyard Wind and a bunch other offshore wind projects.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the US Department of the Interior agency in charge of permitting offshore wind and other energy projects off our coasts, recently published that supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for public comment. The SEIS analyzes reasonably foreseeable effects from an expanded cumulative activities scenario for offshore wind development The expanded cumulative scenario includes Vineyard Wind and six other projects that have each gotten to certain stages in their development, for a total of more than 5,000 megawatts. And the SEIS looks at a range of alternatives to the project as proposed.

So why is this moment so important? It matters to the proponents of Vineyard Wind, as a key step toward getting federal approval by the end of this year and getting construction underway soon after. That timing matters to electricity customers, because important federal tax incentives are on the line.

And this moment matters to a lot more people because, given the pandemic, the economic crisis, and the long-standing inequities in our energy systems, we need the savings, the clean air, and the clean electrons that offshore wind can bring. And we need this new industry to be part of the economic rebuilding and job creation in the nearer term.

Getting this process right, right now, matters to all of us who want to see offshore wind happen. Because this step is about the facts of the matter, the findings of the extensive EIS process, including this supplement. But its also about the integrity of the process, about the importance of preserving a central role for science, and about ensuring that BOEM can do what it was made to do, under an administration that hasnt always valued science.

The BOEM SEIS catalogs their findings on possible impacts or benefits in an extensive collection of categories, from habitats and resources (terrestrial, coastal, benthic) to fauna (fish, invertebrates, marine mammals, sea turtles) to people (employment, economics, environmental justice, cultural and historical resources, tourism, fishing, navigation) and more.

BOEM projected major impacts in only a few categories, several of which have already been addressed by changes to the project since their original submission. In all other areas, BOEM deemed the impacts to be moderate, negligible, or even beneficial.

One issue for offshore wind is how we balance competing interests in the marine environment. One answer is to ensure compatibility, to the extent possible.

Vineyard Wind and the four other developers holding offshore wind leases in the Northeast have offered to do that by agreeing to a compromise for the layout of their projects: Instead of optimizing the spacing and location of each turbine, the developers agreed to 1 nautical mile (nm) by 1 nm spacing between turbines, and a fixed grid pattern, east-west and north-south.

Offshore wind lease areas in the Northeast, showing what a standardized 11 east-west/north-south layout might look like. (Turbine locations are illustrative only.) The Vineyard Wind project is in OCS-A 0501.

Putting the turbines that far apart will cut out a lot of clean energy generation (Vineyard Winds own estimate puts that loss at 30%), and thats not something to be taken lightly. It will, though, create more space for boat traffic, including fishing, to make offshore wind turbines better neighbors. And it will offer hundreds of possible routes through the combined projects for traveling east-west, north-south, or diagonally.

The US Coast Guard, in its own analysis of options for safe navigation through offshore wind farms in the area, concluded that a standard and uniform grid pattern with at least three lines of orientation and standard spacing, with 1 nm between turbines, would be appropriate to accommodate vessel transits, traditional fishing operations, and [search and rescue] operations in the area.

One option added to the SEIS for consideration before these recent developments explored adding extra multi-miles-wide transit lanes that would cut through the designated offshore wind areas in several places. The Coast Guards findings and the developers unified commitment to that standard should make it clear that that option, known as Alternative F in the SEIS, is unnecessary. And putting substantially more area off limits to clean energy generation unnecessarily seems like the exact wrong way to go given our need for clean energy.

A sample transit lane through one of the lease areas (Vineyard Winds), showing one of the areas that would be off-limits to turbines under the SEISs Alternative F.

Lucky for us, this comment period is a chance to communicate important considerations like that to BOEM, and to reinforce the importance of both offshore wind and science-based decision making. You can easily and quickly weigh in with written comments to BOEM.

Nows a crucial time, because the comment period ends on July 27. And because US offshore wind has been a long time in coming, and we need it, like, yesterday.

Heres how I put it in my comments to BOEM during one of the virtual hearings on the SEIS earlier this month:

In my almost three decades of working in the power sector, I have never seen an opportunity like were seeing now with offshore wind. The lengthy process to date, and now a strongly supportive SEIS, provide a strong basis for moving forward, with appropriate attention to mitigation. What comes of this process isnt about just one project; its about every project in the queue behind it, and about fidelity to science, and facts, and good decision making.

After years of consideration of offshore wind in these parts, its time for us to act, and to begin to realize the tremendous benefits of offshore wind.

This is your chance to help make it happen.

Photo: Erika Spanger-Siegfried/UCS

Photo: Andy Dingle/Wikimedia Commons

Bureau of Energy Management

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Posted in: Energy Tags: Offshore wind

Support from UCS members make work like this possible. Will you join us? Help UCS advance independent science for a healthy environment and a safer world.

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France Opens Public Consultation on Floating Wind Offshore Brittany – Offshore WIND

Posted: at 11:59 am

Frances National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP) has launched a public consultation on future floating wind projects offshore southern Brittany.

The countrys Multiannual Energy Programme (Programmation pluriannuelle de lnergie (PPE)) calls for 8.75 GW of offshore wind capacity to be put out to tender between 2020 and 2028, and for the development of up to 6.2 GW of operating capacity throughout the same period.

Two of those tenders will be for a 250 MW floating wind project off Brittany in 2021, and for a wind farm with the capacity of up to 500 MW from 2024 onward. The projects are planned to have a shared connection to the grid.

The public consultation will run from 20 July to 30 November and is expected to help the Ministry of Ecological Transition decide on the potential site of the projects. The wind farms are expected to be built in an area covering around 600 km2.

The consultations carried out in Brittany over the last several years have already identified areas suitable for the establishment of new offshore wind farms.

Additional topics of the consultation will include the methods for the projects integration into the grid, the maintenance of the wind farms, as well as issues related to the environmental impact of the projects.

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SSE plans to build offshore wind farm in Ireland by 2025 – The Irish Times

Posted: at 11:59 am

Scottish utility group SSE has said it hopes to build an offshore wind farm in Ireland by 2025.

The companys Arklow Bank project of at least 520 megawatts was recently added alongside a list of projects to be fast-tracked by the Irish government.

SSE is also eyeing the growing area of floating offshore wind farms that could allow development in vast new areas of the world, such as Japan, Korea and the US West Coast where the seabed is too deep for traditional, fixed installations.

Its inevitable floating wind will come to the fore, Jim Smith managing director of SSE Renewables said.

SSE is planning an expansion of its renewable power business to compete globally for the growing market for massive wind farms. Id like to see us become a global supermajor, Mr Smith said. Who wouldnt if they were running our business?

While its become one of the biggest developers in the UK, the largest market for offshore wind farms, SSE has been slow to branch out of its home territory. With construction set to begin on a number of developments, the company is eyeing growth in a space where seasoned competitors like Denmarks Orsted and Spains Iberdrola are already duking it out for market share.

SSE plans to expand its wind business into two more markets within the next five years, Mr Smith said. Its looking at opportunities in northern Europe, the US and Japan, he added.

With a record-low bid last year to build a giant wind farm off the coast of England, the company has shown that it knows how to win competitive government auctions to build the green power plants at sea.

For offshore wind, SSE would look to partner with a local developer in whatever market they move into to work on a project at an early stage. For wind farms onshore, the company is looking to acquire a developer with a pipeline of projects at various stages of progress and about 1 to 2 gigawatts of capacity, Mr Smith said.

We are continuing to look at a few markets and when the right opportunity comes along we will make a move.

For now, the company is focused on delivering on a huge pipeline of projects. Last year, SSE and Norwegian energy company Equinor won a joint bid to build the worlds biggest wind farm at sea, the 3.6-gigawatt Dogger Bank.

The company also recently made final investment decisions on two other massive wind projects: a 443-megawatt wind farm on the Shetland Islands in Scotland, and the 1.1-gigawatt Seagreen installation off the Scottish coast.

All told, SSE plans to invest 7.5 billion (8.3 billion) by 2025 in projects that will cut greenhouse gas emissions. The utility has said that its balance sheet and divestments can support this growth, and that capital and investment spending on less strategic or less advanced projects will be deprioritised or deferred.

Weve got a lot on our plate to deliver, Smith said. - Bloomberg

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Norway’s offshore oil and gas activity accelerating in 2H 2020 – WorldOil

Posted: at 11:59 am

7/17/2020

OSLO - In the first half of 2020, activity on the Norwegian shelf has been characterized by the coronavirus situation with restrictions on activity, a drop in demand and a declining oil price.

This spring, based on the extraordinary situation in the oil market, the Norwegian government decided to cut oil production as of June and through the rest of the year to contribute toward more rapid stabilization of the oil market than what the market mechanism alone would have ensured.

"There is still a basis for high, long-term value creation on the Norwegian shelf. The political decisions have helped stabilize an extraordinary and demanding situation. The temporary change will contribute to a continued high activity level, on par with what we forecasted before the pandemic and the drop in the oil price," Director General Ingrid Slvberg says.

Following a clarification of the temporary change in the Petroleum Tax Act, two plans for development and operation have been submitted to the authorities for approval. These are the partial electrification of Sleipner and Hod re-development. It is also encouraging that the partners in the Krafla/Askja area have agreed on plans to develop the resources here.

"At the same time, we have noted that exploration activity has declined and will be lower this year than we presumed in January. However, we are experiencing that the companies are not cancelling exploration wells, but rather postponing them until next year," says Slvberg.

Production

At the end of April, the authorities decided to cut Norwegian oil production by 250,000 barrels per day in June and by 134,000 barrels per day in the second half of the year. This was done to help stabilize the oil market faster, which is important out of consideration for sound resource management and the Norwegian economy.

The NPD has assisted the MPE in its work on regulating production. Production from gas and condensate fields, transboundary fields with short remaining production lifetimes and mature fields will not be cut.

Total petroleum production in the first half of 2020 amounted to 115.2 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of oil equivalents (o.e.). This was distributed across around 49.1 million Sm3 of oil, 56.7 billion Sm3 of gas and 9.4 million Sm3 of NGL and condensate.

In spite of the consequences of Covid 19 and the production regulation, oil production was around 11 million Sm3 higher than in the first half of 2019. This was primarily caused by the first phase of Johan Sverdrup starting full production this spring. The field has proven to deliver beyond initial forecasts.

Gas sales for the first half of 2020 are 4.6 billion Sm3 lower than the corresponding period last year. Gas prices have been low recently, and production is adapted to such market fluctuations.

84 new development wells have been drilled so far this year; this is close to the same level as last year. Drilling wells is the single most important measure toward increasing recovery, which means that it is crucial to drill more wells.

"The companies are doing good work to create value on the fields. This work must continue, fields must be operated efficiently the companies also have to develop, test and utilize new technology to improve recovery and cut emissions", says the NPD's Director for Development and operations, Kalmar Ildstad.

As of 30 June, 88 fields were in production; 66 in the North Sea, 20 in the Norwegian Sea and two in the Barents Sea. Two new fields have come on stream so far this year, Skogul in the North Sea and rfugl in the Norwegian Sea. Both are subsea developments tied into existing fields. Skogul is tied into the Alvheim production and storage vessel via the Vilje field. rfugl, which is being developed in two phases, is tied in to the Skarv production and storage vessel (FPSO). Both fields are operated by Aker BP.

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Peninsula Makes A $21M Meal In Offshore Bow; Unhinged Debuts In Germany; China Ups Ante On 2nd Day Back To Cinemas International Box Office -…

Posted: at 11:59 am

EXCLUSIVE: Lots of movement on the international box office front this past weekend, and into the beginning of the week. Korean zombie sequel Peninsula, as we reported Sunday, made a meal of five overseas markets with a $21M Wednesday-Sunday frame. Thats the best start weve seen since March when Onward opened to $28M in 47 markets just as coronavirus fears were spiking and most countries closed cinemas.

On Monday, China got back to business, reaching $500K roughly from about 9K screenings in low-risk areas. Today, the Middle Kingdom surpassed that with $677K as of 10PM local and mostly off of reissues in the mix, led by Christmas hit Sheep Without A Shepherd.

There is still no confirmed date for Beijing movie theaters to open, though we are hearing it could be within a week. That would be even better news as Hollywood titles that were sidelined by COVID are set to roll out in the Middle Kingdom beginning Friday with Dolittle and Bloodshot, followed by 1917 and Sonic The Hedgehog on July 31.

Related StoryUK Cinema Chains Expected To Delay Re-Openings If 'Tenet' Shifts Again

With Warner Bros undating Tenet, and saying it will give the Christopher Nolan movie a non-traditional rollout, its likely some overseas markets will see the film before domestic. Such majors as Korea and France would certainly seem viable hubs with 100% of cinemas open in each and strong grosses all things considered in the past few weeks. If China continues on an upward curve, that would appear another key possibility. There will be concerns about piracy, to be sure, but international industry executives Ive spoken with are eager to get the buiness rolling again offshore.

In the meantime during this entirely fluid situation, heres a snapshot at what went down in various markets this weekend (for reference, heres last weeks report).

KOREA An $11.2M Thursday-Sunday frame (which does not include Peninsulas 2020 record-setting Wednesday) was good for a 439% increase across the Top 10 titles versus last session. It also helped the market to be just 46% off last years comparable session. Peninsula was one of the most anticipated movies of the year in Korea and its performance is even more impressive given that research indicates audiences there are particularly cautious about health concerns, and also very cost-conscious the movie did $365K on 18 IMAX screens (it also took $310K from 10 Taiwan IMAX screens where the total gross was $4.7M; in Singapore its overall gross was $795K to best Train To Busans 2016 start, including an IMAX component). Behind Peninsula in Korea was last weeks champ #Alive which has now cumed over $13M and is another hit from this market that has such a strong local industry. Its possible that Korea moves up the annual charts this year; it has traditionally been the No. 4 offshore market behind China, Japan and the UK.

FRANCE Also demonstrating desire for fresh films, France gave SNDs Divorce Club the top spot this frame with 194K tickets sold from Wednesday-Sunday. Overall, there were about 600K admissions, a 15% jump on last weekend and a gross from the Top 10 of over $4M. Last weeks new entries, local pic Tout Simplement Noir and WBs Scoob! landed at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. The King Of Staten Island will be new tomorrow. Masks are now mandatory in closed spaces in France, with distancing one seat between customers at movie theaters.

GERMANY Russell Crowe-starrer Unhinged got its first release here this past session, coming in at an estimated $255K from about 380 screens. This was perhaps lower than expected, given good weather and lingering virus fears. Still, it was a No. 1 opening again, audiences want new fodder. There are about 500 locations open in Germany which accounts for just 46% of the total estate, so all numbers are still to be taken with a grain of salt. Reopenings are gradual and rural cinemas are still closing mid-week with limited opening hours on weekends. Overall, across the Top 10, Germany was at $1.24M, a 10% slide from the last session.

AUSTRALIA Universal released The King Of Staten Island for the first time in Oz this weekend, grossing $253K from about 160 sites. Also new was Studiocanals Follow Me in 3rd with $157K at 150 (including sneaks). The Top 10 was about even with last weekend at $1.03M. There are currently about 185 locations open (46%) with Melbourne still in lockdown.

NETHERLANDS Scoob! held the top dog slot again, adding $243K for an $878K cume so far. Follow Me was new, landing at No. 2 with $132K and was followed by the 3rd frame of local family pic Pirates Down The Street which has now grossed $643K. The Top 10 also included WBs German version of Lassie Come Home and war pic The Last Full Measure. Overall, there was a 20% drop across the Top 10 to $943K.

SPAIN Barcelona cinemas were shut down again this weekend as there is also talk of closing the borders amid new clusters of coronavirus. In total, there are just about 250 locations open (37%). Nevertheless, the Top 10 jumped 100% to $878K. Play was led by the first week of local comedy Superagente Makey from director Alfonso Sanchez at $305K from 250 sites. It was followed by the bow of Scoob! with $466K, also at 250. The Wretched and The Peanut Butter Falcon were also new, helping boost overall box office.

MALAYSIA The market got a big boost from Peninsula with $955K from the frame at 140 locations. That was followed by last weeks 1 & 2 films, Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna and My Hero Academia, both from Japan. The Top 10 was filled out by reissues and accumulated $861K for a 318% hike on last session.

NEW ZEALAND Yet another hike across the Top 10 in the COVID-free market, with $749K (+36%). Trolls World Tour continues to be the top draw, now with a cume of $1.28M after three sessions. The Personal History Of David Copperfield came in new at No. 2 with $151K from about 100 sites while The King Of Staten Island was also new at No. 4 with $59K from about 60. Follow Me opens Thursday.

SAUDI ARABIA The Kingdom makes its first appearance on out international chart this week thanks to strong starts for Universal/Blumhouses The Hunt ($147K/13 sites) as well as Mel Gibson-starrer Force Of Nature ($129K/15) and Bruce Willis pic Trauma Center ($99K/15). The full weekend was worth $555K across the Top 10 titles. Masks, gloves and two-meter distancing are obligatory here.

JAPAN Japan had no new offerings this week, but was led again by Universal/Blumhouses The Invisible Man, adding $211K from 176 locations for a two-week cume of $1M. Dolittle and Little Women, Sonic and other Hollywood re-releases still populate the Top 10 which was good for $522K. This is a steep 45% drop from last session. COVID-19 cases have been rising in key cities, notably Tokyo, to impact box office performance.

UK The market was about even with last session, grossing $253K from the Top 10 titles as just 15% of cinemas are open. Onward and The Empire Strikes Back switched places this weekend with the Disney/Pixar movie traveling back to No. 1 ($62K/120 sites) for a $7M cume. There was nothing new in the market save German animation Dreambuilders which came in at No. 7. Stage Mother will be new this week.

ITALY A 9% increase from the Top 10 equated to $142K for the weekend. Play was led by the re-release of local title The Best Years from Gabriele Muccino at $56K from 95 locations (there are just about 95 cinemas operating for 13% of the estate). The cume is approaching $6M after an earlier sortie in February. Largely the chart is a host of reissues including Joker, Parasite, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Jojo Rabbit. Local pic Bad Tales, new five sessions ago, has cumed $101K. Onward will open for the first time in the market tomorrow.

Elsewhere, the UAE had a $176K weekend from the Top 10, while Mexico (at 17% of the market operating) did $72K, Russia (66 sites open) scored $39K, and Brazil (with 5 locations open) did $31K.

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Why sea fastening is critical to safe and efficient offshore wind installation – Windpower Engineering

Posted: at 11:59 am

By Mark Goalen, Offshore Engineering Director, Houlder Ltd

The offshore wind market is maturing rapidly as the world transitions to cleaner energy. Indeed, the BP Energy Outlook 2019 anticipates significant growth of the sector, suggesting that the percentage of generated wind energy in the renewable market will be more than double by 2040. Meeting this rapid growth in demand presents huge challenges in design, technology and engineering. To make the transition economical, wind farm developers and operators are prioritizing efficiencies in cost and performance across all aspects of the operation.

Sea fastening is the routine practice of fastening cargos to the ship for transport, either to the site of installation or transit from port to port. As component sizes increase, the challenge of transportation becomes more acute. Executed properly, sea fastening enables the safe and efficient transportation of project equipment, minimizing the number of trips required to install the wind farm equipment. This critical stage of the installation process must not be underestimated not least in terms of the value it has the potential to deliver.

Over the last 30 years, the blade diameters of offshore wind turbines have more than quadrupled. Indeed some of the newest blade designs are double the length of a Boeing 747, and it is anticipated that this growth will continue. As experience is gained, and the technology develops, the turbines get larger to generate more power.

As the components increase in size and at a significant rate, the industry is pondering the optimum design for the next generation of installation vessel.In the meantime, however, the existing fleet is being pushed to the limit.Particularly as there is commercial pressure to maximize the amount of equipment on the vessel per trip to help decrease the overall cost of offshore wind farm installation. This significantly increases the project risks associated with transportation and installation.

The importance of sea fastening in this context is often undervalued this is not as simple as a standard offshore container sitting on a deck well within the allowable variable deck load. For todays wind farm installations, the components do not only differentiate in size and weight, but also shape. The blades need to be transported in racks, the monopiles in cradles, and the towers on grillages; all of which must be designed to fit. This is sea fastening, but not as we knew it.

When particularly large equipment is secured to a vessel, the loading conditions must be checked to ensure the vessel remains stable and within the operationally compliant restraints of draught and trim.

Additionally, the weight and height of these components adjusts the vessels motion characteristics. Therefore, bespoke vessel motion must be derived to determine the forces the equipment will impart into the hull as the vessel rolls and pitches while at sea. The length of the blades and sometimes monopiles means that they can overhang the edges of the hull, meaning additional green water analysis may be required.

The structural analysis, design and engineering work follows confirmation of stability and the determination of vessel motions. It is essential that the structural interface for each piece of equipment is designed to transmit the loads into the vessel structure without overstressing and damaging the hull or the connecting interface.

For jack up vessels, it is also important to check hull strength in the jacked-up condition, and that the forces pushing down on each of the legs does not exceed the allowable seabed limitations. The leg forces can vary significantly when the vessel crane lifts the wind farm components, and so several scenarios must be considered.

Experienced, practical analysis is essential to ensure proper securing and sea fastening of high-value cargoes to guarantee a projects success. Developing an offshore wind farm involves specific and expert engineering, from concept design to installation, into operation and finally decommissioning. Every element is closely interlinked and therefore decisions must not be taken in isolation the wider picture must always be considered.

This is why analytical capability alone is insufficient; structural analysis is just one piece of the puzzle. There is a seamless chronology between understanding stability and vessel motions before then delivering on design. For example, what are the practicable options when an allowable vessel limit is exceeded or is so-close to exceedance that further calculation is required to prove it is acceptable? Every decision has a knock on effect, which is why throughout the entire process considerable experience is needed across each and every element to engineer reliable solutions which facilitate safe, timely, and cost-efficient delivery.

Progress necessitates change in the swiftly advancing offshore wind space, particularly as global societal pressure increases the move to cleaner energy sources, while development costs continue to be driven down. To safeguard investment, protect assets and maximize efficiencies, integrated design and engineering remains critical in navigating the evolving challenges of this swiftly emerging sector.

Houlder has completed multiple fixed bottom offshore wind sea fastening projects for various clients. During the course of these projects it has designed the structural interfaces between all of the primary offshore wind components and the vessel tower grillages, blade racks, substructures, TP grillages, monopile cradles as well as various ancillary equipment that goes along with the mobilization. Each project is different and presents its own unique challenges.

When designing the primary support structure for any of the main components, the main interface is usually a straight forward process.The challenge is transferring the loads into the vessel to avoid underdecks strengthening or fatigue issues while working within fixed vessel parameters such as crane reach and height, loading condition ballast limits, and avoiding clashes with areas that require access or walkways for safe operations, etc. Careful consideration to each limitation, and a multidisciplinary team that can work effectively together and in parallel is the key to a successful outcome within the planned timeframe.

There are always additional requirements that present themselves where an efficient engineering team can add real value to the project. Houlder has designed lifting arrangements (including spreader beam) to improve mobilization times of blade rack substructures that were not originally designed to be lifted in one unit. It has also added and repositioned boat landing platforms, and relocated crane boom rests, for example. In addition to back deck equipment, Houlder has relocated life rafts and FRCs to avoid project equipment and is familiar with the requirements for class approval of safety-related equipment.

Houlder has also provided quick responses to queries during mobilization. Wrong bolt grades being delivered, slings that are shorter, and a lower SWL than requested, uneven decks, are all things that have arisen and been resolved quickly without holding up the mobilization.

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Why sea fastening is critical to safe and efficient offshore wind installation - Windpower Engineering

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Probe utilitys offshore accounts The Manila Times – The Manila Times

Posted: at 11:59 am

A lawyer from Iloilo City has vowed to seek an investigation of the findings of an international group of journalists that the Panay Electric Co. (PECO) and its owners, the Cacho family led by its patriarch Luis Miguel Cacho, opened three offshore companies in the Bahamas with the help of a Singapore-based in vestment firm.

PECO used to distribute electricity in Iloilo City.

The offshore accounts owned by PECO and the Cacho family were discovered in an international investigation of two databases that had been fed for nearly 30 years by two companies: Singapore-based Portcullis TrustNet and British Virgin Islands (BVI)-based Commonwealth Trust Ltd.

Lawyer Zafiro Lauron said he would ask the Anti-Money Laundering Council to open an investigation of the offshore bank accounts of the Cacho family and PECO.

I will pursue this case on behalf of Ilonggos who suffered from paying electricity bills almost double of those being paid by people in Metro Manila, he added.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) listed PECO as one of the owners of two companies while Luis Miguel Cacho owned one investment company, all registered in the BVI, a tax haven favored by wealthy families.

The ICIJ, a global network of more than 190 investigative journalists in more than 65 countries, came out with batches of documents of secret registration of paper companies in tax havens all around the world.

According to the consortium, among the documents found in the data leaked to the group called the Offshore Leaks Papers were thousands of documents listing the paper companies that were registered in the BVI by Portcullis TrustNet Fund Services Ltd., a company owned by Singapore-based Portcullis Services Pte. Ltd.

The ICIJ found that PECO and members of the Cacho family registered at least three companies in the BVI at a period when Iloilo City officials and Ilonggos demanded that PECO account for the high levels of profits that it had declared for its shareholders.

The ICIJ web page showed that the late Luis Miguel Cacho registered a company called the Costa Group Investments Ltd. on April 11, 2000, with an address listed as Portcullis Trustnet Chambers, PO Box 3444 Road Town Tortola, BVI.

Listed as members of its board of directors were Luis Miguel Ayesa Cacho, also corporate secretary, Jose Maria Cacho and William Michael Valtos Jr.

Luis Miguel was also the president and chief operating officer of PECO, while his son Marcelo is PECOs head of public engagement and government affairs.

According to the ICIJ, PECO also set up two other companies in the BVI.

The utility firm lost its franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City early this year.

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Probe utilitys offshore accounts The Manila Times - The Manila Times

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Vattenfall Reports Lower Q2 Wind Figures, Announces Resignation of CEO – Offshore WIND

Posted: at 11:59 am

Vattenfalls results for the second quarter of the year show a decrease in net sales and underlying operating profit of its wind business, compered to the same period in 2019.

The company posted the Q2 results on 21 July, stating that the decrease is due to lower wind speeds, lower electricity prices and lower availability, mainly in offshore wind.

Vattenfalls wind unit had a net sales of SEK 2.2 billion (approximaterly EUR 215 million) in Q2, while in the same period last year this stood at SEK 2.76 billion (approx. EUR 270 million). Second quarters underlying operating profit was SEK -144 million (approx. EUR -14 million); in Q2 2019 it was SEK 365 million (apprpx. EUR 35 million).

Looking at the first six months of the year, net sales and underlying operating profit for the wind energy unit increased as a result of new capacity and higher production from strong winds early in the year. The new capacity that contributed to higher first half figures is mainly attributed to the Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm in Denmark. The H1 results were also partly offset by lower electricity prices.

On the same day it reported its financial results, Vattenfall also announced its President and CEO Magnus Hall decided to leave the company.

Hall, who has held the position for the past six years, will resign no later than 31 January 2021.

The Board will now start the recruitment process for a new President and CEO with the goal to make a smooth succession. Vattenfalls existing strategy and financial targets remain unchanged, said Lars G Nordstrm, Vattenfalls Chairman of the Board of Directors.

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