VIKING lifts safety to new heights at OTC

A record-breaking offshore evacuation system is one of several highlights to be presented at the stand of leading marine and fire safety equipment and service provider VIKING Life-Saving Equipment at OTC 2015 in Houston, Texas.

Chuting for the top

With rig sizes increasing, and evacuation heights exceeding what is possible with enclosed davits and lifeboats, chute-based evacuation solutions have become even more important

To meet these next-level requirements, VIKING has developed a new evacuation chute system, recently tested in the North Sea aboard a Maersk Oil rig but destined for a super-sized Noble Drilling jack-up rig being constructed in Singapore. The latter calls for evacuation from an installation height of over 80 meters – and the chute developed to meet this need is 81 meters long, exceeding the previous record of 64m for such equipment.

VIKING Life-Saving Equipment vice president Benny Carlsen is justifiably proud of the achievement: “Until we developed the new chute, 64 meters was considered to be the limit. The task hasn’t simply required us to extend an existing chute, but to revisit much of the design to accommodate new structural challenges. We are now focused on using the lessons to provide fresh input for re- developing our evacuation systems, combining internal R&D with customer experiences, and examining weight, footprint, structural strength and capacity.”

Offshore safety servicing success

VIKING’s innovative Offshore Safety Agreements have uncovered a significant need in the marketplace, with offshore asset owners and operators embracing the new agreements, which were initially developed for the maritime market. The fixed-price agreements offer a centralized safety equipment contract and single-source servicing for multi-brand safety equipment aboard support vessels, larger floating assets and rigs.

Recent wins have been chalked up at ENI’s Goliat project, whose harsh polar environment has made full use of VIKING’s proven offshore equipment and know-how, at Sweden-based Floatel International, and at Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil. And there’s plenty of evidence that the approach is right on target. For example, with the ink still relatively fresh on the multi-year, 36- platform servicing contract with Statoil, the company is currently negotiating to expand its agreement for a further five years.

Next steps in servicing

Alexander Gundersen, who manages Global Offshore Sales at VIKING, says: “Oil and gas operators around the world are facing major cost challenges, with renewed focus on cost-efficiency. Therefore, they have to reduce the overall costs of internally managing their safety servicing requirements too. Our 2020 business plan includes an even greater global orientation than today, and the offshore industry can expect our support with more services and products all around the globe.”

“Additionally, we are now cross-training our personnel to perform more services when on board – instead of taking the traditional approach of bringing in a range of companies to do the various service tasks. This is a focal point for us, because we know transportation and accommodation costs are high. The goal is to have more done by the same people in the same service window. And VIKING has the ability to not only service our own equipment but also other products and brands – our people are trained and certified to do it all.”

Obviously better

Visitors to VIKING’s stand at OTC can also view a range of High Visibility Yellow immersion suits, including the VIKING PS5002 polar suit, which is designed to be worn without a lifejacket, and the new VIKING PS4170 constant wear polar suit. First introduced in the company’s liferaft range, High Visibility Yellow materials are now raising the likelihood of personnel being spotted during rescue operations at sea. Appearing at the stand, too, are VIKING’s PS5040 ETSO- and SOLAS-approved aviation suits – the latest in advanced PPE clothing for transferring personnel to and from offshore platforms – as well as a newly launched range of lifejackets. The PS5040 is available under a fully integrated leasing service where VIKING provides and services each suit, ensuring sufficient numbers are available whenever and wherever needed.

Ready with the answers

A number of offshore specialists will be at the company’s stand (#1601) with extensive North Sea experience, including Mark McLeman and Alexander Gundersen, both veterans of the offshore industry and based at VIKING’s Norwegian offshore business unit.