In February 2008, Farstad Shipping took delivery of the Far Seeker, a new supply vessel constructed by Aker Yards. Due to start work for StatoilHydro on a long-term charter contract, the ship will be later joined by a further nine supply vessels of similar design that are currently under construction. The vessel was constructed using finance from a Nkr203m loan facility. Farstad has been successful in securing new contracts for other vessels in the fleet with 86% fleet utilisation in the first half of 2008 and 60% during the latter half of 2008.
The hull was laid in July 2006 at the Aker Yards in Brailsa and the fitting out was carried out by Brevik Construction AS (Aker Yards Brevik). The ship is designed to carry mud, slop, base oil, brine, methanol and xylene to oil and gas platforms as well as cargo and supplies.
The ship has been awarded a notation of 1A1 Supply Vessel OILREC SF LFL* COMF-V(3) E0 DYNPOS-AUTR NAUT-OSV(A) CLEAN DK(+) HL(2.5), which designates its purpose and its green credentials. The vessel is capable of a maximum speed of 16.5kt and will have a service speed of 12kt.
The vessel is 93m long, with a PP length of 80.8m, a beam (moulded) of 21m and a maximum draft of 6.6m. The ship has a deadweight of 4,500t. There are four main generators (C25:33L-6) supplied by Rolls-Royce Marine AS along with one D9 emergency generator supplied by Scania CV AB Industrial and Marine Engines.
The main propulsion systems (main engines 9,465 BHP) on the port and starboard sides are AZP 120 azimuth systems (2 × 2,200 Kw Azipull adjustable pitch) supplied by Rolls-Royce Marine AS and Propulsion Ulsteinvik. In addition, there is a retractable Manoeuvring Azimuth (TCNS 73/50-180) (1 × 1200kW) and various manoeuvring thrusters and tunnel thrusters. Deck dimensions are 60 × 16.3m with a total area of 1,090m² and a maximum loading of 3,500t (deck strength is 10t per square metre). There are also two deck cranes installed with a SWL of 10t at 10m.
ODIM ABCS is an automated bulk-hose connection system (transfer of bulk liquid cargo) that was developed by ODIM in conjunction with StatoilHydro. The system was fitted to four supply vessels in the winter of 2007 and is now fast becoming the industry standard.
The Far Seeker has been fitted with the system and is now fully configured to deliver up to eleven different media if required. The transfer of bulk cargo from supply vessels to offshore installations has always been a hazardous task particularly when the weather is rough. The new system eliminates manual handling completely and hoses can be controlled automatically and also released when required.