VESSEL MANAGEMENT - OMSA

Vessel Management - OMSA

Client: Chevron Australia Pty Ltd and Kellogg Joint Venture - Gorgon

Project/Location: The Gorgon Project, Barrow Island Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant

Facility Name: Various tugs and barges

Duration of Project: 29 April 2009 - 31 March 2016

 

Project Description

Programmed Marine (PM), through the merger with the SKILLED Group Limited’s wholly owned subsidiary Offshore Marine Services Pty Limited, was a major shareholder in the Offshore Marine Services Alliance Joint Venture (“OMSA JV”).

OMSA was engaged by Chevron Australia Pty Ltd and Kellogg Joint Venture – Gorgon to provide:

  • Stevedoring services for loadout of project cargo in tandem with the provision of tugs and barges at the Australian Maritime Complex (AMC) in Perth (Henderson).
  • Transportation services between Henderson and Barrow Island for the purpose of the construction phase of the Gorgon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant on Barrow Island.
  • Tug and barge services for the construction phase of the Gorgon project LNG plant on Barrow Island (transporting materials and equipment to the island, which were required to build the LNG plant).

Other vessels OMSA employed in the service of the project, at Chevron’s direction, were crew transfer vessels, shallow water pusher tugs, grounded semi-submersible barges (utilised as berths, including one of the largest such vessels in the world, the Gavea Lifter), landing craft tanks, Platform Supply Vessels (PSV), runabout vessels and accommodation vessels.

At peak contract, OMSA provided more than 40 vessels, associated crew and all necessary support services to our customer. The OMSA JV was managed from our offices in Perth, a waterside facility in Henderson and facilities in both Dampier and on Barrow Island. Directly employed staff numbers peaked at approximately 100 people. The personnel and vessel crew, employed through the JV partner, peaked at approximately 400 people.

 

Project Solution

Within the contract requirement for tugs and barge services, OMSA provided numerous innovative solutions which included Australian firsts, such as:

  • Double tows for massively improved efficiencies
  • Barge Emergency Anchor Release Systems (BEARS) to remotely control anchors and prevent any loss of control of the barges.

Other innovative solutions provided by OMSA during the project included the use of grounded semi-submersible barges as a novel, economical and environmentally friendly solution to the problem of insufficient berths. The planning and building of permanent berthing structures are long and hugely expensive processes. OMSA grounded the following barges for the project:

  • The Gavea Lifter, at AMC Henderson, and used it to berth barges for loadout.
  • The Teras 002 semi-submersible barge on Barrow Island, as an offload berth for tetrapods.
  • The Winbuild 1401 barge on Barrow Island, as a standard berth.

At end of project, all three vessels were refloated and demobilised.

Towards the end of the project, it was determined that PSVs would be a useful addition to the fleet and the needs of the project, and as such OMSA very successfully operated two PSVs on the route between Barrow Island and Henderson.

 

Project Outcome

OMSA’s performance and multiple contract extensions (beyond the initial contract end date in 2012), saw the company finish with contract revenues greater than $1.5b.

OMSA safely transported in excess of one million tonnes of cargo almost 900 nautical miles each way, between Henderson and Barrow Island, through high seas along the Western Australian coast.

OMSA’s genuine, ongoing and dedicated efforts during the project resulted in a praiseworthy safety record, with no fatalities and few serious injuries. During the project hardware incidents did occur, including collisions, allisions and a grounding incident. However, all were successfully recovered and through successful implementation of lessons learned, reoccurrence was avoided.

OMSA’s accomplishments in relation to Indigenous training and employment were the first of their kind in the Australian maritime industry. OMSA piloted their Indigenous training and employment program in 2011 and followed up with another program 18 months later. OMSA won the Australian Mines and Metals (AMMA) Indigenous Employment and Retention Award in both 2012 and 2014, in recognition of its efforts in working closely with the community and government, to create real and enduring career opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

With a relatively small team of key staff and the right JV partners, OMSA successfully carried out the required scope of work, and time and again rose to new challenges and opportunities that helped move the project forward, until the first Gorgon LNG cargo was finally exported from Barrow Island at the end of March 2016.

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