The voyage of FPSO Dalia /03 Nov 2006/

During 2006, Ahlers was faced with a major longterm challenge: the project "FPSO Dalia". Upon request of a major oil company, Ahlers was to provide the logistic and maritime services for this project.

An FPSO is a floating oil platform, FPSO stands for "Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading. The FPSO Dalia was built in Korea . It will constitute a second pole of production on Block 17 in Angola and has a production capacity of 240000 barrels per day and a storage capacity of 2 million barrels of oil. Its dimensions are L 300 x B 60 x H 32 meters. It can accommodate 140 persons on board and, if necessary, even up to a 190 people. Its purpose consists partly in the contribution to Angola ’s industrial growth by sharing knowledge and the latest new technologies for oil extraction at sea. This technology enables production beyond the depth constraints of fixed platforms.

Dalia’s journey started on the 1 st of March when she sailed off from Korea towed by 2 tugs at a speed of 3-5 knots. The passage was through the Singapore and Malacca straits, prior crossing the Indian Ocean and rounding the Southern parts of the African continent (using the Mozambique Channel) to her final destination, the Angolan territorial waters.

First Leg: Off Singapore was the first place where the vessel FSPO Dalia started to load cargo, spare parts and discharge garbage containers. These operations started on March 28/29 th. Only a few additional crewmembers (18 persons), mainly technicians, boarded the vessel by helicopter. Ahlers was represented on site by their liaison officers Mr P.Stevens for air operations and Mr Philip Huyghe for sea operations.

Second Leg: Only a few days later, on March 30-31 st the FPSO arrived at Port Kelang, Malaysia where the first major crew change had to be coordinated. With a total of 69 people signing-off and 95 persons signing-on, Ahlers received the welcome help from their local agents. This crew was transported on and off the FPSO by helicopter.

Third Leg: Next stop of the FPSO Dalia were the Comoros Islands . After struggling with bad weather and even local strikes the vessel arrived off Mayotte, one of the French islands of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean . Here the main operations were loading and discharging cargo. Only 1 doctor and 2 other persons embarked on the FPSO.

After Mayotte the vessel was towed direction Pemba were it arrived during the first week of May. At Pemba the operations were mainly focused on the crew change. A crew of 148 persons were transported on and off the FPSO by helicopter. As the maximum distance for the transfer could not exceed 50 minutes due to duty time it would have been impossible for the helicopter to do the job in one day. For this reason there was also a DC9 airplane chartered to get the crew members on and off board safely and on time.

After Pemba the oil company decided to stop the FPSO Dalia at Cape Town South Africa . There were some technical problems with the production/ water & gas injection lines used for the extraction of the oil from the wells located at the bottom of the ocean. It took about 2 months to check on possible damages and to make the necessary repairs.

The FPSO Dalia continued her journey to her final destination in Angola on the 20 th of August, 2006; an amazing journey and interesting experience for all parties involved.

For more information:
Capt. Guy Bultynck, tel +32 35437211

© January 2009 Ahlers.
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