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Towage and Marine Operations

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    Since I'm no longer involved with this type of operations, this is the best I can do.

    The Aasta Hansteen spar has arrived in Norway and will be discharged from Dockwise Vanguard in the nearest few days (weather permitting).
    Here is an article from TU with video of the Loadout in Korea the discharging in Hoylandsbygd and the intended upending operation in Klosterfjorden:


      Another big operation in progress: Installation of the Mariner deck structure off Shetland:


        A large new field is under development in the Norwegian Sector of the North Sea at the moment.
        Here is the first jacket being launched and placed in position by SSCV Thialf:
        Been there, done that.


          Pioneering Spirit removing the Brent Delta topsides:


            The fore half of FPSO BW Catcher was built in Goseong. S.Korea and transported to Singapore for mating with the aft part, before being towed to the Catcher Field Offshore Norway on completion.
            This video shows:
            - World's heaviest transport by self-propelled modular transport (SPMT), with total 324 axles,
            - Lunching by Floating dock ,
            - Loading and transport from Korea to Singapore on HLV Osprey


            PS> I'm a little surprised they did not show clearly that the transporters set the cargo on blocks in the floating dock and moved off before tow-out and submerging.

            PPS> I don't know much space was available at either side between the transporters and the blocks here, but I was involved in a loadout in Japan and discharging in Saudi Arabia of a 1500 m.t. module where the clearance on either side was 2".

            The SPMT used in Saudi was especially impressive, since it had "balloon tiers" on all 64 axles and was able keep the bed level for roadless desert transport. It was nicknamed "Little Big Ben" and made 1.5 mph at max speed. (That was back in 1976)

            The HLV used was very basic and only 2002 DWT, belonging to West India Line, West Palm Beach, Fl.
            Not this one but a sister ship:

            Last edited by ombugge; March 9th, 2018, 00:06.


            Tow of Aasta Hansteen SPAR has commence.
            It is kind of history in the making:
            • The largest SPAR in the world and the first in Norwegian waters.
            • The deepest field in Norway
            • North of the Arctic Circle. (But not the northernmost field)
            • The first time a SPAR is towed to field with the deck structure installed.
            • The largest tow in Norwegian waters since 1995.
            • A new generation key personnel performing the operation.

            Here is an article from Sysla previewing the operation:

            From Sysla today:
            The Aasta Hansteen SPAR tow is on the way out from Stord:
            Sysla will keep a running commentary with pictures and maybe some video of the towing operation as it progresses:
   They will get to the most critical point in a few hours; passing under the cable fjord crossing at Langenauen

            You can follow the operation also on Marinetraffic:


              In the article quoted above there is a link to previous large tows performed in Norwegian waters, from the 1970's to 1997:
              These are all about tow performed for Norwegian Contractors, the builders of Condeep concrete platforms,

              One major towing operation that is not mentioned is the Ekofisk Barrier which was a Joint Venture between Dutch and Norwegian companies. (PECONOR)The tow and installation was performed by Nortow and Smit together in 1989:

              Smit supplied two Towmasters while Knut Lussand from Solstad and Alf Giske from Farstad was towmasters for Nortow. (I was Project Mariner for the MWS team)

              This was a more complex operation than the Gullfaks C or Troll A in my opinion. We had the same problem with deep draft and narrow fairway for the coastal tow, plus shallow water enroute in the North Sea, but not the problem with overhead cables across the fjords.

              Our main problem was installation around the Ekofisk Centre while at full production, with pipeline going in and out at the subsided bottom and bridges to/from several other platforms.
              The installation tolerance was also a lot more critical, at 7.5 cm. (not 50 m. as for Troll A) We got 3.5 Cm from ideal Zero.

              PS> The picture of Knut Lussand in the "Command Container" at top of the article was actually taken during the Ekofisk Barrier tow, as can be seen from the drawing on the whiteboard.


                They are under the cables now!!!


                  A little delay occurred during the night:
                  But they are moving again now:

                  Estimated to be in open waters this afternoon and changing to 4-1 tow configuration for the rest of the 500 n.mile tow up north.


                  • Seagull
                    Seagull commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I am very much enjoying following this, thanks to your informed and expert commentary.

                  • ombugge
                    ombugge commented
                    Editing a comment
                    They are out in open waters but haven't started reconfiguring or turning north yet:
                    I used to do this for a living you know

                    PS> They appear to do good without both me and Knut Lussand being there though.

                  • ombugge
                    ombugge commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The change of tow configuration took place around 0300 hrs. this morning and resulted in an interesting track line:
                    Now heading for the Gjoa position.

                  Latest on Sysla:

                  Her is the entire operation in animation:


                  Another interesting towing operation along the Norwegian coast will be performed soon:
                  Probably with less publicity though.


                    On the other end of the world Nick Sloan is planning to tow ice bergs to Cape Town to slack the thirst of the population there:


                      Originally posted by ombugge View Post
                      On the other end of the world Nick Sloan is planning to tow ice bergs to Cape Town to slack the thirst of the population there:
                      Pretty amazing turn of events if you think about. We (more like "they") must be in a very desperate situation - and I know they are - to even consider this as their current and perhaps only option.
                      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                      Main page:

                      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


                        Originally posted by ombugge View Post
                        Another interesting towing operation along the Norwegian coast will be performed soon:
                        Probably with less publicity though.
                        They are now just passing Aalesund, but outside Storegga.
                        PS> Being escorted by Boa Odin.


                          A major marine operation is getting under way in Denmark: