Technip has announced that its long-standing pipelay vessel, the Apache will be completely rejuvenated this year, resulting in a new vessel: the Apache II. The Apache, which has played a major role in delivering the pipelay infrastructure of the North Sea over the last 30 years, is one of Technip's key subsea assets and this regeneration programme is a momentous event for the company.
In August the Apache ceased operations to begin this programme that will involve the complete replacement of the ship. Technip recently purchased the North Ocean 103, which is currently being built at a shipyard in Spain, and will be used for the new Apache II. The Apache's high-performance existing pipelay equipment will be transferred onto the new ship at Technip's construction yard in Pori, Finland, creating an up-to-date version of a proven and well utilised pipelay vessel.
The Apache installed its last pipeline at the end of July for the E-On Babbage project. To mark the occasion, an event was held at Technip's spoolbase in Evanton, United Kingdom. Technip staff, suppliers and vessel personnel turned out to celebrate the vessel's achievements and to say farewell before her transformation.
To date, the Apache, which was built in Galveston, Texas in 1979, has completed over 400 pipelay projects, for the most part involving rigid steel pipe. The vessel, specialized in the reel-lay method, was the first in the world to install rigid pipe-in-pipe for the Esso Australia Bass Strait project. A world record was also achieved in 1998 for the installation of rigid pipe in the Gulf of Mexico.
The rejuvenation of the vessel will guarantee its long term continued service and ensure that Technip's subsea assets remain state-of-the-art.
Ron Cookson, Managing Director of Technip's operation center in Aberdeen, United Kingdom said: "The Apache is a very well respected and hardworking vessel, and we are extremely grateful for the service she has provided. However, we very much look forward to the arrival of the new Apache II, which will provide oil and gas operators with a faster, more modern version of a fantastic vessel that I'm sure will continue to be a 'stalwart' of the industry."