The Netherlands: Fugro Names WaveWalker 1

The innovative large walking jack-up barge, WaveWalker 1, was named at the Neptune Shipyard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands on 21 September 2012. The naming ceremony was performed by Sonja Jonkman, wife of André Jonkman, Chief Financial Officer & Member of the Board of Management of Fugro NV.

The WaveWalker 1 is being developed by Fugro and Van Oord to move and operate offshore, in surf zones and other intertidal locations. On 4 April 2012 the keel was laid and the jack-up will be operational end 2012 on drilling and blasting works for the Brazilian Suape Outer Channel, a contract awarded to Van Oord.

The platform can be operated in conventional 4-legged mode, or as an 8-legged self-contained walking jack-up platform, capable of safely operating and bi-directional movement whilst elevated. Undertaking geotechnical site investigations, drilling and other underwater activity from a stable platform with the added benefit of relocation without floating will reduce the impact of sea conditions on the operational hours in harsh coastal zones.

Work method

WaveWalker 1 uses four of its eight side mounted jacking legs which can be conventionally raised or lowered, allowing the platform to jack-up and down. Its other four raised legs are moved in the required direction by sliding them alongside the barge in the required direction of travel. The two diagonal pairs are then lowered and pre-loaded to ensure continued stability. The other four ‘standing’ legs are then retracted and the entire platform, supported on its newly preloaded legs, slides forward through the side frames. The raised legs are then jacked down again, preloaded to re-take the weight, in order for the walking cycle to be repeated.

Main features

Name: WaveWalker 1

Type: Self elevating pontoon

Hull dimensions – 32m x 32m x 4.5m

Max. displacement – 2,400t (includes payload)

Payload (8 leg walking mode) – 400t

Payload (4 leg conventional jack up) – 850t

Jacking system – FSCL gripper system

Press Release, September 24, 2012;  Image: Fugro

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UTC 2017

The subsea industry has, as all other parts of the oil & gas industry, been seriously rattled by the most severe downturn in the hydrocarbon energy era. However, the realization of what hit us and actions to be taken to sustain a healthy and profitable future is still on-going – unfortunately with thousands of colleagues paying the price by losing their job as one of the most severe consequences. At this time, there are signs that we have reached bottom in terms of most industry indicators, but few experts expect a sharp recovery. Many seem to believe that a slow recovery is what the industry needs in order to avoid an unsustainable capacity build-up, as seen in the period after the financial crisis. Considering the uncertainty of what the future will bring, this year’s UTC Program Committee have decided to challenge all of us to present ideas, experiences, technological innovations, business models and execution models for how to shape our subsea future and explain how and why subsea is the future.
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