Monday, February 18, 2019

Atlantic Tern

Another veteran vessel working the offshore from Halifax is Atlantic Tern. It works in concert with the much newer Atlantic Condor to supply and standby the Encana's Deep Panuke gas field. Production was halted at the field May 2018, but work goes on to decommission the platform and ready it for removal.

Atlantic Tern was built in 1975 as the anchor handling tug supply vessel (AHTS)  Canmar Supplier II by Vito Steel Boat and Barge Construction Ltd of Delta, BC. First owners Dome Petroleum, through their offshore subsidiary Canmar Drilling used the boat in the Beaufort Sea. Amoco took over the debt-ridden Dome and Canmar, and eventually closed down their arctic operations. By that time the boat had been renamed Supplier II but became Canmar Supplier II again (twice) until finally sold in 1998 to the Norwegian company Remoy. They renamed it REM Supporter until selling it to the Faroe Islands operator Thor p/f in 2005.
It then became  Thor Supplier. During this time it was extensively modified with the addition of an aft facing bridge structure and raised forecastle.

In 2012 Atlantic Towing Ltd acquired the boat and renamed it Atlantic Birch II. Initially it worked as a support vessel for seismic work off Greenland, but by 2013 it was back under Canadian flag and registered as Atlantic Tern. Paired with Atlantic Condor the boats are constantly shuttling to and from the Deep Panuke site, about 250 km southeast of Halifax. Atlantic Tern appears to spend more time in the standby role, leaving Condor for the heavier loads.

Atlantic Condor was built in 2010 by Halifax Shipyard for a ten year contract with Encana. Atlantic Tern may be working on similar terms. With the shutdown of the Deep Panuke field and its 175 km long  pipeline to shore, it is expected to take until 2021 to plug the wells, and remove the topsides production structure. The pipeline will be abandoned in place. So it seems there will be work for Atlantic Tern for a few more years.



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