Jumbo Offshore’s Commercial Manager Brian Boutkan talks about the highlights from 2022 and looks forward to the year ahead. “Of course, our vessels are special, but it is the people at Jumbo Offshore that make the difference.”
Jumbo Offshore has had another busy year. Looking back at the numerous successfully completed projects, the company’s Commercial Manager Brian Boutkan says that 2022 has also been “a year of change”. He highlights a number of factors to illustrate his point: “The offshore market has come out of a dip, the balance of supply and demand is shifting, and the levels of investment for oil and gas remain high. The ambitions for offshore wind are big, with a continuing shift beyond Europe.”
A look at Jumbo Offshore’s workload for the previous year demonstrates this balance between the oil and gas and offshore wind industries. “We carried out three hook-ups,” notes Brian. “One FPU on Shell’s Vito field in the USA, one FPSO for TechnipFMC’s Karish project in Israel, and also an FPSO installation for Samsung’s Ruby project in India. We rounded off the installation season by wet storing a riser caisson for TechnipFMC in the North Sea.”
In addition to these oil and gas contracts, Jumbo Offshore worked for the offshore wind industry too. “We continued our work installing TPs [transition pieces] on the Taiwanese Yunlin project. And, closer to home, we worked on Vattenfall’s HKZ [Holland Kust Zuid] offshore wind farm here in the Netherlands. This was installing the secondary steel work on the monopiles.”
Photo 1 Yunlin Project – Photo 2 & 3 Wind Farm Holland Kust Zuid
To anyone not familiar with Jumbo Offshore’s floating assets, the company has two dedicated offshore vessels. Both have all the operational capabilities necessary for the activities mentioned above. “We have the Fairplayer and the Jumbo Javelin – both with the lifting capacity and deck space that our offshore clients require,” he says. “We have been keeping the Jumbo Javelin busy for most of the year on the Taiwanese offshore wind project; that’s where her fly jib – the extension to one of her two 900-tonne cranes – really shows off its extended lifting ability.” The Fairplayer was used to carry out the remainder of the Jumbo Offshore projects this year. “She is unique because of her deep-water capabilities; for example, working in the up to two kilometre deep water of the Brazilian oil fields is her specialty.”
On some projects, using one of these two offshore vessels is not necessary for all activities. “The Vito project, for instance. We used the Fairplayer on the first part of the project: the deep-water mooring pre-installation scope. But for the final tow-out and hook-up, we chartered anchor handling tugs to get the job done.” Such a solution yields multiple benefits for the client. As well as enabling a faster and more flexible project execution, the use of smaller vessels is ultimately significantly more cost-effective.
Jumbo Offshore installs Petrobras torpedo pile mooring system.
A key question
With this year’s projects successfully filed into the company’s portfolio, there is one question that needs to be asked: why do major clients such as Shell, TechnipFMC and Seaway 7 select a relatively small installation company such as Jumbo Offshore to carry out their projects?
“Of course, our vessels are special,” replies Brian. “But it is the people at Jumbo Offshore that make the difference. We have all the skills in-house, including engineering, project management and operations. Moreover, we can offer a combination of logistics and installation; very few companies can do this. This makes us a valuable partner.”
There is also a more ‘human’ reason to Jumbo Offshore winning contracts. “The words that I hear from our clients the most about our own team are ‘pragmatic’, ‘problem solving’ and ‘partnership’. This really reflects who we are; this applies to everyone working here, but especially for the crews on board.”
The ‘problem solving’ feedback is particularly relevant in the arena of offshore installation where conditions can change within the hour. While preparation is important, nothing beats experience, says Brian. “We always have contingency plans in place, but even then, unplanned situations can arise. That is when we are very much focused on solving the problems in a pragmatic way – together with the client and in the best interests of the project. This ‘one team’ approach is where people make the difference.”
TechnipFMC’s Karish project in Israel
As Brian closes the book on 2022 and looks towards the next twelve months, what are his expectations? “To be honest, we are a down-to-earth company; we have a healthy order book, but we do very much follow the market. We see the shift towards more gas projects. And, of course, the growth in renewables too; offshore wind will only become more important for us. To that end, our two vessels are well-equipped to handle the increasing size of offshore wind components. And we are also looking forward to seeing the growth of floating offshore wind.”
Floating offshore wind will represent a notable step for Jumbo Offshore; the company will be able to use its knowledge and experience from floating gas mooring systems to support this emerging energy sector. “In terms of installation, although the details are different, the principles are the same. We will be ready to use our ‘lessons learned’ from gas mooring projects to help clients in the floating offshore wind market when it scales up.”
“We see the shift towards more gas projects. And, of course, the growth in renewables too; offshore wind will only become more important for us.”Brian BoutkanCommercial Manager – Jumbo Offshore
When looking to the future, Brian’s primary focus is to maintain Jumbo Offshore’s flexibility. “What we have learned in the last couple of years is that the world can change very rapidly. Companies must be able to adapt in order to survive. This is something that we are good at; we have a diverse business model and this gives us the capability to cope with change.”