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PGS goes to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for next-generation Ramforms

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ramformmicroSeismic survey specialist Petroleum Geo-Services ASA is going to a Japanese shipbuilder for its next generation of Ramform vessels. It has signed a Letter of Award with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. for the delivery of two Ramform W-class vessels, with the option for another two ships. The vessels are the first in the new, fifth generation Ramform series. Planned deliveries of the two first vessels are in 2013.

PGS President and CEO, Jon Erik Reinhardsen states in a comment: “The new generation Ramforms will strengthen PGS’ unique position in the seismic industry. Our decision to renew and expand our fleet comes at a time when we expect growth in seismic demand.”


The Letter of Award is a part of the program to renew and expand PGS’ industry leading fleet of seismic vessels by building two fifth generation Ramform vessels, with an option for another two vessels. The new generation Ramforms’ total cost will be approximately $250 million each, including construction follow-up, commissioning and a comprehensive seismic package. The agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd includes the option for delivery of a further two identical vessels that must be declared within one year of signing the final contract for the first two vessels.

The first vessel will be delivered in the first half of 2013 and the second in the second half of 2013. If options are exercised, the third vessel will follow in the first half of 2015 and the fourth in the second half of 2015.

The Ramform vessels have a unique Delta form hull with a wide stern. The first large Ramform ship was the Norwegian Navy surveillance ship Marjata, commissioned in the early 1990s. PGS engineers saw that Marjata’s wide stern made her perfect for seismic acquisition where it is desired to have as little noise as possible from the vessel itself during data acquisition. Roar Ramde, the naval architect who owned the design, was contacted and PGS obtained exclusive rights to use the Ramform design for seismic acquisition.

PGS says these fifth generation Ramform vessels will further enhance its position as a leader in 3D seismic acquisition productivity and efficiency.

The vessels are designed to utilize and extract the full potential from the flagship GeoStreamer technology. PGS expects that all of its 3D fleet will be equipped with GeoStreamer by end 2013.

The vessel design is based on the demonstrated strengths of the current Ramform fleet, while improving capabilities along a number of key parameters.

The new vessels will include a significantly upgraded GeoStreamer based seismic package and are designed to take the full benefits of the GeoStreame towing efficiency. PGS says the vessels will further strengthen itsleading position in the fast growing High Density segment of the market, where large spreads, long streamers and towing efficiency are the key success factors.

The High Density segments are driven by deep water exploration and production in geologically complex areas such as Brazil, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico. PGS says the GeoStreamer technology is also opening up new markets in mature basins, such as the North Sea, where the higher fidelity data can reveal new geological plays.

The agreement with Mitsubishi is conditional of final approval of the final specifications, and other conditions.

Ramform W-class main specifications
Name : Ramform W-Class
Owner : Petroleum Geo Services
Flag : Bahamas
Vessel classification : DNV +1A1, SPS, ICE C, E0, HELDK, RP, CLEAN DESIGN, TMON, BIS, NAUT-AW, VIBR, COMF-C(3) V(3)
Length : 104.2 m
Breadth : 70 m
Draft : 6.4 m
Fuel capacity : 6 000 m3
Endurance (production/transit) : 150 days
Transit speed : 16 knots
Main propulsion system : Diesel electric
Propulsion type : Triple CP propeller plant with nozzle and propeller shaft, total 18MW
Engine plant : 6 x 3840 kW
Accommodation (single berths) : 60 single and 10 double cabins
Helideck : 26m 15 t Super Puma/EH-101
Work boats : 2 x 30 ft in stern cradle launching
Streamer winches : 26 x 12 000 m capacity

February 16, 2011

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