With more than 200 years experience the Fincantieri Group has also successfully operated in the oil and gas offshore world market for the last 30 years, having delivered more than 300 units.
The offshore division specialises in state-of-the- art offshore solutions from drillships and semi-submersible drilling rigs to pipe-laying and construction vessels, as well as production platforms and innovative gas carriers. However, as Giuseppe Coronella explains, the company has had to refocus its offering to the market in light of challenging oil price pressures aiming to target the cutting edge market branch: “We are starting to take a more holistic approach to integrate all competences required to provide the market innovative solutions.”
As such, Fincantieri looks to deploy its skills as the most diversified ship builder in the world to design and present to market a number of highly innovative turn-key solutions designed to drive cost and production efficiencies throughout the industry. To do this the company is supported by Polo Offshore, a Fincantieri-founded cluster of 11 associated companies within the segment, designed to encourage collaboration and streamline the supply chain. “During our time in the offshore industry we have noticed that there are a lot of developing technologies in the market and very often you need to integrate and correlate these technologies into systems, said integration is at the base of our way to innovate,” highlights Giuseppe. “So over the last few years we have launched a number of patented solutions and are now presenting these in production-viable products that provide a number of solutions.”
Amongst others these patented innovations include: retractable thrusters – unique underwater mountable thrusters, which do not use a typical canister allowing for maintenance operations to be carried out in a dry environment without the need to dry dock. Secondly, a riser handling system, which uses simple reliable technology to make the rise joints handling process fully automated, thus improving the speed and safety of operations. And thirdly a new drill floor arrangement designed for the drillship Proxima which paves the way for a new fruition standard of a drillship’s most critical operational area.
The first concept to be developed and announced two years ago was the Overdrill vessel, which by designing the ship around the integrated drilling systems is the first drillship capable of reaching 50,000 feet of total drilling depth in a maximum of 12,000 feet deep water, 10,000 feet deeper than is presently possible. “This configuration lowers the ship’s centre of gravity, increases its stability and reduces its size,” notes Giuseppe. “It integrates new solutions and innovation for the automation improvement outside the derrick, simplifying maintenance and increasing safety. To introduce this to the market we didn’t want to take a big jump with a standard product, so we are actively granting customers the freedom to customise the ship through its evolution. This is particularly important when considering the growing trend to drill much deeper.”
Continuing this trend for system-vessel integration is the Proxima ship developed in 2014, which incorporates an innovative drilling system into a highly efficient and reliable drillship. Showcasing two cylindrical shaped telescopic towers and the largest open drillfloor on the market, the Proxima’s configuration significantly increases the speed of the drilling process, improves operational ergonomics, resulting in higher efficiency and improved safety. Reduced power demands have been achieved through an innovative hull design and the lifting winch’s re-generation system. The ship is available in both conventional and dual fuel (LNG) power configurations.
In September 2015, Fincantieri Offshore visited Offshore Europe in Aberdeen to present two new products to the market: its visionary CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) vessel, which offers a solution to transferring natural gas without the need to liquefy it first. Consisting of 5000 vertical pipes, the innovative design provides a safe and monitored process of transporting 32,000 cubic metres of compressed gas, thus reducing operational costs for the operator. The second product is the Sea Flower, which utilises a unique marine concrete design to produce a floating, semisubmersible platform supporting wind turbine. Using a six-line mooring system, which can anchor the unit in waters up to 200 metres deep, the offering presents a cost effective solution for installing wind farms in harsh, deep-sea conditions.
“The offshore market has been volatile recently and in order to continue operating successfully the industry needs to ride the longterm wave and combine resources in order to develop good solutions for the future,” says Giuseppe. “With the instability currently present, companies across the industry are looking at how they can restructure. However, being spread across all markets we are in a unique position to use our strength in order to provide the solutions for the industry’s future success.”
However, Giuseppe understand that despite Fincantieri’s size it also needs to make changes as it moves forward to collaborate with the market better and secure future success. Over the coming years the company will be focusing on interacting more with its clients to better understand their needs and to find solutions; continuing its programme of innovation and integration; and extending its portfolio into offering additional vessel components and equipment.
Services: Offshore division of world leading ship building Fincantieri Group