Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for two vessels capable of three-dimensional (3D) seismic data acquisition for sea bottom resource exploration from Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS), a leading company in marine seismic and reservoir data acquisition, processing and analysis/interpretation services in Norway. The contract was signed on April 25 in Tokyo. The order for the two vessels was placed upon exercise by PGS of the option right that was provided when two same type vessels were ordered to MHI in April 2011. The two newly ordered vessels are scheduled for delivery in the first and second half, respectively, of 2015. With this latest order, MHI will build a total of four vessels to support PGS's highly efficient deep water natural prospecting services.
The vessels ordered are the "Ramform Titan-class," the newest generation in the Ramform series featuring today's most advanced 3D seismic data acquisition/analysis capability. The 104 meter (m) long vessel has a very wide breadth of 70m. For quiet operation, the vessel adopts diesel electric for the main propulsion system. The vessel is capable for receiving supply at sea to enable a long-term exploration over an expansive area.
The Ramform vessel tows multiple streamer cables from the vessel's stern. The cables contain sensors which detect echoes of sound waves emitted from sound sources and bounced back from the sea bottom and stratum boundaries. The detected echoes are used for 3D seismic analysis. The Ramform Titan-class vessels ordered by PGS have a wider stern compared with existing vessels; this feature permits deployment of a greater number of streamer cables—up to 24 lines—enabling exploration of a wider area at one time.
MHI is currently building two previously ordered Ramform vessels at its Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works. The capability of these vessels to tow a large number of long streamer cables, further strengthens PGS' to accommodate exploration needs, including geologically complex ocean areas.
MHI has a track record in building exploration vessels for deep earth, sea bottom and ocean applications. The company also instituted a policy to expand its business in high-value-added vessels and marine structures as part of a new strategy for its Shipbuilding & Ocean Development business segment. By further refining its capability to build specialized vessels through construction of the vessels for 3D seismic data acquisition for sea bottom resource exploration for PGS, going forward MHI intends to further strengthen its aggressive activities to attract demand for special ships in Japan and other countries.