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Shuttle tankers set to be world's first LNG-fuelled DPSTs in 2019

Two 125,000-dwt tankers to be owned and operated by AET.

Updated on 22 Jun 2017 10:46 GMT

Norwegian energy firm Statoil has awarded a long-term contract to Singapore-headquartered vessel owner AET Tankers - a subsidiary of Malaysia's MISC Berhad - to own and operate two specialist DP2 offshore loading shuttle tankers (OLSTs).

These new vessels are in addition to the two AET DP2 ships currently on charter for Statoil. The two existing DP2 tankers are owned and operated by AET Sea Shuttle AS (AETSS), a joint venture company formed in 2012 that is 95 percent owned by AET and 5 percent by Norway's ADS Shipping.

The two twin-skeg, 125,000-dwt tankers are to be constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for delivery in 2019 and will be contracted to Statoil for operations both in oilfields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and the southern Barents Sea as well as on the UK Continental Shelf.

With a focus on energy efficiency, the shuttle tankers will be built with LNG dual fuel for the main and auxiliary engines and also include an option to be fitted with a volatile organic compounds (VOC) recovery system. Other environmental innovations are to be installed in order to maximize fuel efficiency and minimise emissions.

When in operation from 2019, these two DP shuttle tankers (DPSTs) are expected to be the world's first LNG-fuelled DPSTs and the most energy efficient.

Built to a superior specification with a fatigue life based on 30 years of operations in the North Sea, they will be fully capable of working in the harshest of weather conditions. Each will be equipped with winterisation features, high power thrusters, shaft generators and the latest generation of bow loading system.

Commenting on the new contract, Statoil's Senior Vice President for Asset Management in Marketing, Midstream and Processing, Grete Birgitte Haaland, remarked: "Statoil is pleased to award this contract to AET and their partners and thereby deepen and increase our cooperation within shuttle tanker operations. The agreed newbuild state-of-the-art DP2 shuttle tankers will strengthen Statoil's position for safe, efficient and cost competitive transportation of offshore loaded crude oil production to our customers. The fuel efficiency features built into these vessels, including LNG dual-fuel capabilities, will significantly reduce operational costs and climate emissions. As such this contract is strongly aligned with Statoil's sharpened strategy."

Captain Rajalingam Subramaniam, AETSS Chairman and AET President & CEO, said: "We first forged a partnership with Statoil in 2012 when we were awarded a long-term contract to operate two state-of-the-art shuttle tankers in the North and Barents Sea. I am delighted that Statoil has recognised and endorsed the quality of our operations in this most demanding of environments by giving us a further opportunity to support their business with two additional state-of-the-art DPSTs. We believe, as part of the MISC Group, our strategic partnership and our innovative solutions gave us the edge over other operators in the North Sea.

Bjorn Tore Larsen, chairman of ADS Shipping and OSM Maritime Group, said: "This is a great opportunity for us to extend our successful partnership with AET. We have been operating in this region for many years and extending the joint venture cements our relationship both with AET and Statoil. I firmly believe that the combination of technical, operational and commercial skills delivered through the joint venture will continue to provide Statoil with an ocean transportation solution that is second to none." OSM Maritime Group is to provide the lead technical management, supported by the MISC Group, during the construction of the vessels.

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