Making Oil and Gas Logistics Work in the Falklands

Byron Marine has provided offshore logistics support services to the Falkland Islands emerging Oil & Gas industry since 1996. During the initial round of offshore oil exploration in 1998 in the North Falklands Basin, the company provided logistics support services to Lasmo plc, the International Petroleum Corporation and Desire Petroleum plc.

In the succeeding years from 1998 through until the recommencement of offshore drilling in early 2010, Byron Marine was able to secure small, yet important, service contracts from a range of Operators including, Desire Petroleum plc (DES), Rockhopper Exploration plc (RKH), and Borders & Southern Petroleum plc (BOR) which included supporting offshore seismic acquisition programmes, chartering in tonnage to conduct benthos survey work and seabed coring and working in support of multiple specialist sub-contractors.

During 2009 the Company speculatively committed to the construction of an integrated Supply Base (1) facility in anticipation of a resumption of offshore drilling. Designed following a familiarisation visit to Port Fourchon, the 14,500m3 development footprint includes insulated warehouses, laydown, management offices, and hard standing and was constructed in time for the first importation of drilling supplies and equipment in January 2010. Supply Base (1) was utilised for the entirety of the Rockhopper Exploration plc and Desire Petroleum plc drilling campaign ending in December 2012. In addition the Company provided logistics support services under contract to Diamond Drilling in support of its semi-submersible “Ocean Guardian”. In June 2010 Rockhopper Exploration announced the 350MMbbl Sea Lion discovery.

In mid-2010, following expressions of interest, construction of a second integrated Supply Base (2) commenced to support the planned drilling operations of deep-water wells by Borders & Southern Petroleum plc, and subsequently Falklands Oil & Gas plc (FOGL). This facility was fully mobilised in January 2012 and supported a 10-month, four deep-water wells campaign. Additionally the Company provided on-shore logistics services to Ocean Rig in support of its dynamically positioned “Leiv Eiriksson” harsh water environment drilling rig. Borders & Southern Petroleum declared its Darwin well a significant gas condensate discovery.

A Byron Marine and Neil McKay Limited joint venture, Byron McKay Port Services, underpinned the provision of on-shore requirements for the industry from 2010-2012 which included consultancy, vessel agency services and chartering, real-estate (industrial and residential), labour, plant, machinery and equipment throughout that 3-year exploration period.

Currently, Supply Base (2) remains cold stacked awaiting a resumption of deep-water drilling, while Supply Base (1) is being extensively re-developed with increased under-cover and laydown capacities.

The Company is constructing new facilities to support specialist sub-contractors’ requirements for the Premier Oil plc (PMO) Sea Lion Field development.


Shipping Agency & Port Services

Byron Marine offers a professional, reliable and cost-efficient service to all ship owners and/or ship charterers, utilising its full range of shipping agency and port handling services.

The provision of shipping agency services first commenced in 1992, and has included arranging for the disembarkation of personnel from vessels in Falkland Islands waters, liaising with customs and immigration officials, shore-to-ship launch services, sourcing accommodation and onward travel arrangements, provision of fresh produce and other ships stores, arranging for timely supply of bunker orders, on shore craneage, haulage and stevedores for discharge and loading operations.

The Company has provided vessel platforms for the acquisition of benthic survey data for Desire Petroleum plc, Premier Oil plc, Rockhopper Exploration plc, Arcadia Petroleum, and Borders & Southern Petroleum plc. The Company offers a full range of onshore support services, including facilitating import and export of scientific equipment, arranging travel and accommodation requirements for specialist personnel. The Company has secure cargo laydown and warehousing facilities to rent.

Throughout the 2010-2012 exploration drilling campaign Byron Marine was contracted to provide ship agency handling services for not only the Platform Supply, Anchor Handling and Emergency Response vessels, but also the large lo-lo cargo vessels delivering regular oil and gas supplies, casings, tubulars and other exploration equipment from Europe.

Byron Marine has >15 years of experience delivering on-shore support and liaison roles in respect of seismic data acquisition and acoustic monitoring survey programmes. Clients have included Lundin Oil, Rockhopper Exploration plc, Desire Petroleum plc, Lasmo plc, Premier Oil plc, and Borders & Southern Petroleum plc.

The Company reacts to demand and links up as necessary with other professional Falkland Islands service sector providers ensuring a stream-lined and efficient shipping and port agency service is delivered for its Clients.

The Company offers the only Falklands retail outlet for hydrographic charts covering the wider maritime region of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and southern South America.


Pilotage, Marine Superintendency & Shipyard Services

Byron Marine offers a wide range of technical marine support services including pilotage, superintending and surveying within the Falkland Islands. It can also arrange for specialist shipyard services through its association with ASMAR, Chile.

Pilotage for berthing within the Falkland Islands, at the commercial quayside called FIPASS, or the approaches leading into Port Stanley harbour is not compulsory. No harbour tug assistance is available. A commercial pilotage service is available and vessels which regularly utilise this service to aid berthing or manoeuvring at roads’ anchorages, include cargo and fishing vessels, product tankers and refrigerated carriers, small cruise expedition ships and large ocean cruise liners, as well as seismic and survey vessels.

Since 2009, Byron Marine has provided pilotage and marine superintending services under contract to the UK Ministry of Defence for its British Forces, South Atlantic Islands. The range of vessels supported include ro-ro and lo-lo vessels, oil and chemical tankers as well as various Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel types.

The Company’s principal pilot is Captain Stephen Clifton, a UK MCGA certificated master mariner with tanker endorsement and with >35 years experience in operating and trading ships within Falkland Islands waters and to South America. The Company’s superintendent, David Allan, is a UK MCGA certificated Chief Engineer with >40 years marine engineering and superintending experience including vessel inspections, budget preparation, shipyard planning and supervision of ship purchases and modifications. Both officers have extensive experience of dry-docking UK flagged vessels in Punta Arenas, Chile.

The Company is able to provide, in house, damage and survey repair consultation, cargo surveys, drafts and bunker surveys for owners and class towage surveys for Underwriters. The Company holds marine professional negligence insurance cover.

Byron Marine is the Falkland Islands Agent for ASMAR (Astilleros y Maestranzas de la Armada) an extensive ship lift, shipyard repair and vessel layup facility in Punta Arenas, Chile. This ASMAR shipyard and repair facility is the nearest available to vessels (2 days steaming time) operating out of the Falkland Islands. ASMAR has several decades of experience working in support of vessels operating within the Falkland Islands maritime area, and it can offer additional shipyard facilities in Chile at the ports of Talcahuano and Valparaiso.

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