Two towboats "stand by" on Snorre B

13 June 2023

For over a month, FFS Arion and FFS Arion have been on permanent standby at one of Equinor's rigs in the North Sea.

FFS Athos (tv) on alert outside the Snorre B platform. The construction vessel to the left of the platform. (Video: Henrik Amstrup Lauritsen)

Text: Sveinung W. Jensen, Tellus Kommunikasjon

- Our boats operate as so-called "emergency response tugs" in connection with a construction vessel carrying out a maintenance job on the Snorre B oil platform. Should the vessel's engine stop, there could be a major risk of collision. Then our boats will move in and push the vessel away from the rig, says John W. Nilsen, general manager of FFS.

Normally, such an operation goes without the need for assistance. But should the accident happen, the consequences could be catastrophic.

- THAT'S WHY IT IS important that the towboats are in the immediate vicinity, so that they can arrive quickly and at short notice. The tugboats represent an additional insurance for everyone involved in the operation, says Nilsen.

In recent years, FFS has worked purposefully to acquire the equipment and certificates that are necessary to be able to get this type of work.

- THAT FFS NOW is approved as a supplier means a lot to us as a company. These jobs are highly valued, precisely because they are so demanding. In addition to having all formal approvals in order, the boats are carefully inspected by the customer beforehand, says Nilsen.

This time the two tugboats were requisitioned for three weeks with an option for three more.

The maintenance takes place on Snorre B, which is an oil platform in block 34/4 on the Snorre field in the North Sea. The integrated and semi-submersible drilling, production and residential platform is located approximately seven kilometers north of Snorre A.

THE OIL WHICH produced here is transported by pipeline to Statfjord-B for storage and export. Some of the gas is reinjected into the reservoir, while the rest is sent via pipeline to the Statpipe system via Snorre A.

The platform was originally operated by Norsk Hydro, but is now operated by Equinor.


FFS Arion / Tug / 1993


Tugboat / 2014