Swift switch

Published in Oil- and gas on 20/10/16 by Chris van der Deijl

The Swift 10 is well-known in the world of offshore. After six years of drilling on the North Sea, the platform arrived at the joint quay of the United Stevedores Amsterdam (USA) and Dutch Offshore Base (DOB) terminal for demobilisation in September. “With its feet firmly on the ground.” 

The Swift 10 is well-known in the world of offshore. After six years of drilling on the North Sea, the platform arrived at the joint quay of the United Stevedores Amsterdam (USA) and Dutch Offshore Base (DOB) terminal for demobilisation in September. “With its feet firmly on the ground.” 

For Paul Brink, adjunct director at USA, this is a wonderful moment. Before him on the quay is the Swift 10, a high-tech drilling platform that has made a name for itself in tapping smaller oil and gas fields in the southern part of the North Sea. Built by Swift Drilling in 2010 for the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij ( NAM), the Swift 10 has a crew count of between 50 and 60, making it almost half the size of a conventional drilling platform. With a lower headcount but more mechanisation, the platform was cheaper to operate and made the smaller fields profitable. That was then. Now it’s Brink’s turn. “Over the past six years the platform was constantly in use for various projects on the North Sea. Now there is time and opportunity to do some repairs to the platform and prepare it for the tasks ahead.” 

Brink says that the arrival of the Swift 10 marks the start of a new chapter for his terminal. “It is the first time that our quays have accommodated a platform with its ‘feet’ on the ground. The rig is situated 20 metres off the quay, which made it quite a challenge to make a connection to shore with a five-metre-high gangway.”

Third large project
It is good for USA to have a platform moored off the quay and Brink expects remobilising for a new task to be another major project. After all, if new commissions arrive, the platform will have to be made fully operational again. “We are proving that jobs like these can be performed in the port of Amsterdam – at USA/DOB. And that we are properly equipped to realise them.” 

After work on the Solitaire (including replacing a 300-ton crane with an 800-ton one) – already a unique project for Amsterdam and USA/DOB – and the mobilisation of the Conquest MB1 for a large hoisting job in the Mexican Gulf, the Swift 10 is the third large project in which USA and DOB (a joint venture of Ter Haak Group, Dutch Offshore Group and Rotterdam Offshore Group) can showcase their strengths. Brink: “With the space and options we offer for storage and transhipment and the knowledge and experience with these types of projects within the group, we can also be an excellent partner in wind energy projects.”