Bond Offshore Helicopters will use two Super Pumas for dedicated 24-hour search and rescue (SAR) in support of BP’s North Sea exploration in UK waters. The Eurocopter Super Puma AS 332L Mk IIs are part of an integrated “Jigsaw” concept that employs regional support vessels, autonomous fast rescue craft, platform radar and personal locator beacons in place of the traditional standby vessel support.
Chevron has awarded a five-year contract to Bristow Helicopters for services in the North Sea and West of Shetland.
The contract is for an initial five-year term starting this month with extension options. It involves the use of a new Eurocopter EC 225, with further provision from Bristow’s pool of AS 332L Tigers (Super Pumas).
With North Sea competition investing in the EC 225, Super Puma Mk 2 and S-92, is there still a role for the Sikorsky S-61N? The workhorse has been providing sterling service for more than 40 years, but the oil majors regard it–as a people-carrier at least–as obsolescent hardware.
It was bound to happen eventually. British International (BI), the company that rose from the ashes of what was once North Sea operator British International Helicopters, is back on the energy-support map. This month it will start flying Shell workers out to an economically promising but politically controversial gas field known as Corrib, 62 miles off the northwestern coast of the county of Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.
The upsurge in oil and gas activity is putting increasing strain on helicopter operators’ ability to serve their offshore customers, and highlighting a potential shortage of aircraft.
With an eye to expanding markets, CHC Helicopter is extending its presence in Brazil, where demand for offshore helicopter support of the oil industry is growing rapidly.
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