ABS classed the first workboats to venture into the Gulf of Mexico in the early days of US offshore exploration and today classes roughly one-third of the world’s offshore support vessels (OSVs). We have decades of experience with specialized vessels including anchor handling, firefighting, dive support, pipelay, heavy lift, well intervention, well stimulation and oil spill recovery units.
As the search for oil and gas moves into deeper, more exacting environments, operators are contracting multipurpose OSVs as a cost-effective tool for carrying out specialized services on platforms, offshore facilities and piping equipment and systems. Today’s OSVs are carrying out inspection, maintenance and repair and are equipped with larger accommodation spaces, heavy lift cranes, helidecks and streamlined bow forms for harsh-environment operations.
At ABS, we recognize that advances in technology are opening new opportunities for the specialized vessel fleet. We anticipate developments in offshore vessel design, equipment and systems and are investing now in updating and expanding our guidance for these vessels so the industry can confidently continue to look to us for leadership.
ABS knows the challenges of harsh operating environments offshore, and our engineers are working every day in our global headquarters in Houston and in our technology centers around the world to find solutions. Research initiatives are targeting jackup operations in ice-infested water, safe transit through the Northern Sea Route, adapting the Polar Code for Arctic drillships, developing a risk-based approach to winterization and nanotechnology research aimed at developing icephobic coatings that will prevent ice buildup on rigs operating in Arctic conditions.
ABS continues to examine the role of ice management in mooring system design, disconnection and reconnection devices, practical guidance on global ice load prediction, corrosion and coatings, environmental regulations and how the industry will train people to work safely in Arctic environments.
In every case, ABS is investing its resources to make sure class is in step with industry needs, helping find solutions that will allow the offshore industry to break down the technology barriers that constrain Arctic operations.