Propulsion Systems Ordered for Shuttle Tankers to be Used for Oil and Natural Gas Operations
Apr. 04, 2013
Tokyo, April 4, 2013 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has received an order for propulsion systems for shuttle tankers to be used in an oilfield development project conducted in the Barents Sea by Statoil ASA, one of the world's leading energy companies in oil and natural gas production based in Norway. The order comes from Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in Korea, and consists of eight azimuth thruster Rexpeller® units and two side thrusters for two shuttle tankers. The delivery is scheduled to take place between December 2013 and January 2014.
Shuttle tankers are used midstream in the petroleum business to transport oil from offshore facilities, where it is produced, stored and loaded, to onshore oil refinery terminals.
The Rexpeller is an azimuth thruster that can rotate 360 degrees to generate thrust in any horizontal direction. It works as a propulsor, rudder and side thruster all in one, and is designed to be retractable during shuttling to reduce underwater drag. A side thruster is a propulsion device that generates thrust sideways for enhanced maneuverability, such as when approaching or leaving the shore. A shuttle tanker needs to maintain the exact same location when loading and unloading, even under strong winds and currents or other severe ocean conditions. The Rexpeller units and side thrusters on each shuttle tanker will operate in tandem with the main propulsion system to ensure optimal positioning of the ship.
Kawasaki has also received an order for 36 Rexpeller units for six drillships to be used in an oilfield development project being pursued by Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., Brazil's state-owned oil company. This order was received from Estaleiro Enseada do Paraguaçu S.A., a Brazilian shipbuilder. Kawasaki is moving steadily ahead to expand its business in propulsion systems for large ships used for petroleum and natural gas operations.
To date, Kawasaki has delivered approximately 750 Rexpeller units and 4,500 side thrusters. These orders are a testimony to Kawasaki's record of successful deliveries backed by superior engineering expertise, as well as its well-established system of after-sales services.
As development of marine resources gains momentum amid growing demand for energy worldwide, Kawasaki will continue to expand its business in marine propulsion systems with a focus on shuttle tankers, drillships and other large ships used in the petroleum and natural gas industries.