Leading the way

Celebrating its seventh year in operation in 2015, Aberdeen based First Marine Solutions (FMS) has grown year-on-year since its inception thanks to its strong capability in delivering mooring solutions to clients across the globe. A provider of expertise, technology, techniques and support, FMS listens and responds to market demand to ensure drilling units are moored in the most safe, time-efficient and costeffective manner possible.

“First Marine Solutions was founded in July 2008 by Ian Suttie, a well-known name in the North East of Scotland as he owns a number of companies including First Oil, First Integrated and First Subsea. Originally FMS focused on operations overseas, such as the Far East, the Middle East, Egypt, Morocco and the Black Sea. However, now under new management, since December 2014, we have developed more traction in the UK,” begins General Manager Brian Reid.

Since becoming General Manager, Brian has not only focused on developing a stronger presence in the UK, but has also strived to develop a one-stop-shop solution for clients; a service that complements the company’s £35 million pounds of the most modern mooring equipment, which is available to clients in the UK. “We initially focused on mooring rigs, but I decided that we need to do all of the services as one package. For example, you can call First Marineand request a rig to be moved from the Orkneys to Great Yarmouth. We will then put three vessels on the rig and tow it down the North Sea and position it into the point it needs to be, before we moor the whole rig up, making the whole process in-house,” explains Brian.

As a single source provider, of rig move and mooring solutions, services include rig moving, the rental and sales of mooring equipment, marine and technical consultancy, AHV vessel selection and audits, survey and positioning services and mooring lines inspection. On top of this, FMS can offer intervention services as its highly skilled site teams have considerable experience in the deployment and recovery of mooring systems in the most complicated and deep seas across the globe. Indeed, the company’s competent and dedicated team can be called out to provide specialist vessels, replacement components, experienced site teams for recovery, change-out and deployment procedures.

To make the one-stop-shop service possible, FMS made the strategic decision to set up a ground-breaking joint venture through an exclusive deal with Siem Offshore, a renowned AHT owner, in July 2015. With both companies working together, organisations will be offered three high-specification vessels for six days at a set fee, with a further four days added free of charge in case of delays or other issues. This premise is not only offered for a client’s rig move when it goes on location, but also when it moves off location months later.

“We were introduced to Siem Offshore by Seabrokers and with this contract now in place we can provide the client with three anchor handling vessels to move their asset at a fixed price at any time of year. The price doesn’t depend on the spot market, so if the rates of an anchor handler went up to £40,000 a day, we would still supply this to our client for £13,200 a vessel.” This joint venture will provide the most cost-effective solution for FMS’s customers. In line with this major development, the company has also created a strong working relationship with a pool of 20 freelance Tow Masters.

The strengths and benefits of working with FMS have not gone unnoticed in the oil and gas industry, with many blue-chip organisations included in its long client portfolio. As Brian notes: “We recently provided three-point mooring systems in three different locations for Total in Angola in 1100 metres water depth. We also completed a double pre-lay in the Black Sea for Transocean and recently successfully recovered the first pre-lay mooring system that was deployed in July 2014. Both projects were successful and went very smoothly.”

When not providing the optimum in mooring solutions for its customers, FMS is investing in the future with new innovations that will enhance operations and minimise disruption. One such innovation is a unique ‘plug and play’ system for FPSOs, which is being provided by using industry proven technology from its sister company First Subsea and is anticipated that this will be launched in the first-quarter of 2016.

“First Subsea developed these ball grab type connectors (see pics left) that have been used in the Gulf of Mexico at a depth of 2500 metres and are a proven, safe mooring connector. We now want to introduce this technology into the MODU and FPSO market as a plug and play system so the ball grab connector is put in at both ends with one single line so there are no connections to fail in-between. We would then set a programme of annual or bi-annual preventative line maintenance/inspection by unplugging the connectors and installing a new one,” explains Brian.

In addition to this innovation, FMS is also looking to develop a quick release system for MODU and FPSOs, which would allow the FPSO to drop all moorings and escape danger in an emergency situation such as an iceberg before sailing back to the moorings and hooking up once again. “Over the next 12 months we will be focusing on the FPSO market and setting up these new initiatives. Ultimately, we are an ambitious company that is looking to grow; by providing a first class, innovative service,” concludes Brian.

First Marine Solutions

Specialists in providing services for rig moves and mooring

Offers a one-stop-shop solution

Joint venture established with Siem Offshore