DISCOVER Magazine #7

Offshore solutions

Published in category: Offshore Oil & Gas

Edwin Welsink Sales Manager Frames

Combining service expertise with shipbuilding skills

Edwin Welsink
Sales Manager Services

Frames has been offering its services to the international oil and gas market for just over 30 years. Over that time, the company’s product portfolio has evolved considerably to specialise in separation, treatment and control systems.

“By keeping close contact with the industry and listening to our clients’ changing needs, we have developed with the market over the last three decades,” begins Edwin Welsink, Sales Manager at Frames.

This now includes oil, gas, sand and water treatment – with a focus on product handling between the well and the pipeline. Today we act as a knowledge centre to solve problems for our clients.

Dedicated maintenance

The establishment of the company’s service and maintenance department is a pertinent example of this: “In response to client requirements, we established Frames Energy Services about 15 years ago to include an after-sales scope for offshore operators. These service and maintenance operations have typically been accomplished by helicopter flights which however, do not always offer the most appropriate solution. What’s more, an operator has to invest a lot of OPEX in construction and maintenance of a helicopter deck.“ Due to these various factors, and because of the low oil price causing even tougher conditions, the concept of performing maintenance activities with a dedicated vessel was investigated.

This was the trigger for Frames and Damen to team up to create an appropriate solution. While the two companies have previously worked together on the Petrojarl 1 refit project at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (where Frames was responsible for all new topside
equipment skids and modules, and the refurbishment of hydraulic and chemical injection systems) this idea called on Damen’s shipbuilding, rather than ship repair, skills. “Damen excels at the construction and development of vessels – and Frames Services
specialises in servicing offshore installations. If you bring these two facts together, you have the potential to create a maintenance vessel that can be used by operators for offshore maintenance duties.”

It is a cooperation that can offer real benefits to offshore operators.

Crucial industry feedback

How far have Frames and Damen progressed with this idea? “It is still in the development phase,” he says. “We presented the idea at a ‘lunch and learn’ session with all the major players from the oil and gas market. Hearing back from the industry was a real learning moment.” After sharing the concept to key operators, Mr Welsink is enthusiastic about the response. “This is a concept that can save money – there is definite potential for future development. And a number of operators have even enquired about the possibility of a vessel that can stay at sea for longer periods of time, thus enabling maintenance tasks to be carried out at more than one offshore installation. Furthermore, the reaction that we hear from EBN (Energie Beheer Nederland, the company that invests in the gas and oil market on behalf of the Dutch State) is also positive.”

They also see the potential in terms of cost savings and improving safety.

Equipment and personnel supply

Looking forward, Damen and Frames intend to schedule meetings with individual operators to understand more about their detailed requirements and specifications. “With our equipment and personnel, we estimate that we can currently meet about 80 or 90% of their requirements, but we really want to include the remaining 10 or 20% too.” With so much potential, and with a cooperation combining Damen’s shipbuilding knowledge with Frames’ service experience, the oil and gas industry will be watching closely to see how this maintenance vessel idea develops in the future.

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