Rolls-Royce wins £20m contract for Chinese seismic research vessel

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has won a £20 million order from Chinese conglomerate Sinopec to design and equip a specialist seismic research vessel.  When operational it will carry out detailed surveys of the seabed to identify oil and gas reserves.  The contract includes efficient power and propulsion systems and a range of advanced automated handling systems for seismic equipment.

Rolls-Royce has a growing presence in the subsea and seismic technology markets, and during the last three months, inclusive of this contract, the Group has secured seismic orders totalling more than £50 million.

Cato Fjeldstad, Rolls-Royce, Sales Manager - Special Purpose Vessels, said:
“Rolls-Royce has decades of experience in designing specialist vessels to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry and continues to develop industry leading technology. Our expertise enables our customers to meet their objectives safely and efficiently, while operating in some of the most challenging environments on earth.” 

The vessel, a UT 830 CD, will be able to operate worldwide and will be the first of its type to be equipped with a package of Rolls-Royce handling systems for seismic equipment.

During research missions, the vessel will tow up to 14 cables, or ‘streamers’, each 10 kilometres long. Seismic waves are sent deep into the seabed and the reflected waves are detected by hydrophones spread along the network of streamers. This data is then used to give a detailed 3D profile of the geological features, including the location of oil and gas, often thousands of meters below sea level.

Conducting seismic research requires a powerful and stable vessel, which provides extensive endurance, with enough stores and fuel for 70 days at sea. Seismic surveys involve criss-crossing large sections of the seabed, at low speed, often requiring several weeks of continuous operation. 

Shanghai Shipyard Co will build the vessel for Shanghai Offshore Petroleum Geophysical Corporation (part of the Sinopec organisation), with delivery scheduled for 2013.

  1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,500 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries, with an installed base of 54,000 gas turbines.
  3. Annual underlying revenues were over £10.8 billion in 2010, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £59.2 billion at 31 December 2010, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
  4. Rolls-Royce employs over 39,000 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries.  Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
  5. In 2010, Rolls-Royce invested £923 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
  6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research. 
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.

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