Edge: Fast Offshore

The Edge: Fast Offshore Services

The Fast Offshore Edge



Offshore oil extraction makes up nearly a quarter of worldwide petroleum production, with more than 20,000 platforms of all sizes and designs, found in five main areas: the Gulf of Mexico, the Persian Gulf, West Africa and the North Sea and the recent discoveries off Brazil. source :“Black Tides”.


Each day, approximately 30,000 workers worldwide need to be transported to and from these rigs. Historically, these transfers have been accomplished by one of two means: cheap but slow boats (10-15mph) or fast (100-120mph) but expensive helicopters. This need gave rise to the modern offshore service company.

Unfortunately, the transfer of crews to and from platforms via these methods has historically been dangerous with injuries and loss of life occurring every year (as can be seen in the YouTube videos on the right).

In response, many provisions have been adopted to insure safer conditions in this market, many of which in the US, for example, have resulted in serious restrictions on helicopter usage at night and in fog.

Seaphantoms offer a much safer solution by implementing cranes found on every platform. Seaphantom’s modular design allows for safe and easy attachment to the rig’s crane. Once securely attached, the crane hoists the vessel and its passengers safely to a special deck on the rig itself where the passengers load/unload unaffected by the elements.

Spill Containment

As history has shown, the greatest danger facing the oil industry comes from explosions such as 2010′s Deep Water Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. Besides the tragic loss of life, the environmental damage done due to the slow response of containment efforts only served to magnify the coastal devastation.

In the aftermath of the Deep Water Horizon catastrophe, governments and oil companies have created organizations such as the Marine Spill Response Corporation and the Global Response Network which maintain pre-staged fleets and materials ready to roll into action.

Unfortunately, all of these vessels have operating speed below 13 knots (15mph/24kph). With deep water platforms generally 200 miles or more from shore, time to target would be 13 hours under the best of circumstances.

The chart at right illustrates dispersion rates with average ocean currents of 2-5 knots. The containment area expands exponentially until, at Hour 60, the contaminated area will have grown between 15,000 and 92,000 sq.mi (238,279 and 38,850 sq.km). Environmentally speaking, lack of speed kills.

With Seaphantom’s higher speed and extreme maneuverability, an array of our vessels could be loaded with pre-staged booms, reaching a deep water spill located 200 miles away within 2 hours as opposed to the 13 hours of the current solution.

Intracoastal Offshore Service Network

By creating an Intracoastal Offshore Service Network, SPI provides a solution that offers both speed and flexibility for personnel transfer as well as fast response for spill containment. Offering more choices in departure points and times can save time and money for both the operators and their employees.

Capital/Operating Costs

On deep water rigs, the number of workers/rig is commonly 150, with the average worker’s wage at $31/hr for a typical total of $4,760/hr. Given this hourly expense and the slowness of the typical “transfer” boat, most crews are transported by helicopter.

Meanwhile, both the capital and operating costs of helicopters continue to rise. When the Deep Water Horizon tragedy occurred, BP was leasing 7 helicopters (3 large and 4 medium) at a cost of $3.5 million per month, with the larger choppers each running $850,000/mo. These expenses are then passed on to the consumer, including the transportation sector, in the form of higher energy costs.

Seaphantoms have capital and operating costs that run at a fraction of the cost for both large and medium helicopter. Once fueled for distant rigs, large choppers carry 12 passengers compared to Seaphantom SP54s with 20 and SP72s with 49 leading to further savings.

In addition, Seaphantoms will be often be able to run in conditions (fog, darkness, etc.) when legal restrictions mean helicopters cannot, producing still further savings.

Lastly, due to the Seaphantom’s lower risk factor, it could be assumed that insurance will be substantially less as well.

Offshore Crane

MSRC Fleet

Spill Size

Current Buster Deployment

roposed Ports: Gulf Coast Network

Port #
ID #
108G-001Fort MyersFL
109G-002Port CharlotteFL
111G-004St. PetersburgFL
115G-008Crystal RiverFL
116G-009Cedar KeyFL
118G-011Horseshoe BeachFL
120G-013St MarksFL
124G-017Port St JoeFL
125G-018Panama CityFL
128G-021Gulf ShoresAL
134G-027New OrleansLA
135G-028Morgan CityLA
136G-029Lake CharlesLA
137G-030Port ArthurTX
142G-035Port LavacaTX
143G-036Corpus ChristiTX

Spill Size