Ships and support vessels are a fundamental part of the maritime sector of the Upstream Oil & Gas industry. Their crew, highly specialised seafarers, are the workforce behind these hi-tech sea-going machines. Whether focused on production, support, construction, maintenance or exploration, these seafarers require extensive qualifications to level up their skills, knowledge and rank, in order to match the expertise required by the demanding and ever-changing technology featured on these vessels. The discovery and production of Oil & Gas in areas which oceans would have never allowed otherwise, justifies the reason for this growing technology

What type of vessels assist in helping oil rigs reach the middle of the ocean?

Vessels which mainly deal with anchors for oil rigs are called Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS). Support vessels as such are specifically designed for anchor handling operations. This type of vessel is strictly constructed to efficiently not only handle the anchors for oil rigs, but also tow them to site, anchor them up to the surface and even in few situations provide assistance to help towards an emergency saving. When assisting a rescue the vessel is labelled as an Emergency Rescue and Recovery Vessel (ERRV). Additionally, the Anchor Handling Tug Supply is beneficial for the transporting of various needed supplies or materials to and from offshore drilling rigs.

For the purpose of towing and anchor handling, AHTS vessels are fitted with winches, having an exposed stern to permit the flooring of anchors, and having increased control to intensify the bollard pull. Any manoeuvre and operation from the bridge (or other usually manned location in straight communication with the bridge) also have arrangements for quick and fast anchor release.

I mentioned Bollard Pull earlier and this implies the value that allows the contrast of the pulling force of predominantly tugboats, as well as other watercraft types. As a means to measure the force or pull of a watercraft, a mooring bollard is used.

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