Stone Oil charters new ATB amid prolonged oil slump
During the recent oil boom that now seems like ancient history, John W. Stone Oil Distributor built one of the largest fuel storage tanks in the offshore hub of Port Fourchon, La. The company also ordered a new articulated tug-barge (ATB) to serve that 100,000-barrel facility and the company’s other terminals around Louisiana.
The 5,150-hp tug Gulf Venture and 80,000-bbl barge Gulf Carrier were ordered years ago, when oil traded for nearly double current prices. Stone’s plans changed when the bottom fell out of the oil market.
“We have secured a charter with Harley Marine who we have a bareboat charter with,” said Stone Oil Vice President Tony Odak. “They will be operating it exclusively for their customer.”
Conrad Shipyard built Gulf Venture and Gulf Carrier at its yards around Morgan City, La. Bristol Harbor Group of Bristol, R.I., designed the ATB unit. Gulf Venture, at 120 feet long by 40 feet wide, is the first of a potential new class of ATB tugs.
Cory Wood, vice president and principal naval architect at Bristol Harbor, said the double-hulled tug is perhaps most significant for what it doesn’t have. Gulf Venture was built without a ballast water treatment system, reducing the build cost and maintenance costs down the road.
The ATB can get by without this typically crucial system because the tandem likely will travel relatively short distances, minimizing differences in the tug’s draft from fuel burn. The tug and barge were designed with a 34-inch Intercon C-Series coupler that lets the vessels mate without the use of ballast.
Bristol Harbor used computational methods to deliver maximum hull efficiency and to optimize structural design.
Gulf Venture is powered by two Caterpillar 3516C main engines producing 2,575 hp each at 1,600 rpm, with a Reintjes WAF 1173 gearbox at a 7.046:1 ratio. The tug has 104-inch Nautican propellers and Nautican nozzles and rudders.
The Nautican system offers “high, high, high maneuverability,” said Greg Beers, president of Bristol Harbor Group. “There are actually three rudders behind each wheel. It is all integrated and it makes the tug extremely maneuverable.”
Electrical power comes from three John Deere 6068AFM85 generators, each producing 150 kW.
On deck, the vessel has a Smatco 55 DADT side-by-side towing and anchor winch rated for 170,000 pounds of line pull.
The 399-by-74-foot Gulf Carrier has two John Deere generators producing 99 kW each and a 750-hp Thrustmaster retractable azimuthing thruster. The barge is capable of transporting a wide range of fuels and petroleum products.
Conrad delivered the vessels in spring 2016, although they later returned to the yard for modifications to meet Harley’s needs, Odak said.
“The cargo tanks have been coated and the cargo line had been modified with double block valves to enable the loading and discharge of multiple cargoes,” he said.
The tug and barge are ABS classed and SOLAS certified, and the tug has an ABCU rating allowing for an unmanned engine room.
Leigh Ann Moran
Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding delivered a new ATB unit for Moran Towing Corp. in October 2015, and the Sturgeon Bay, Wis., shipyard is building Moran a smaller unit set for delivery this spring.
The 6,000-hp tug Leigh Ann Moran was designed by Robert Hill of Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering. The tug is paired with the 160,000-bbl fuel barge Mississippi. The SOLAS-rated ATB is primarily working in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Eastern Seaboard transporting petroleum products.
Leigh Ann is Moran’s ninth ATB tug and the first built by Bay Shipbuilding following a string of successful barge projects. The 121-by-36-foot tug is powered by two EMD 12-710 Tier 3 engines, with Lufkin 4.458:1 reduction gears and a propeller supplied by HS Props. Ship service power comes from two 200-kW John Deere generators. A third John Deere generator rated for 99 kW provides emergency power.
A 15-hp Markey CEW-60 winch is installed on the bow while the stern has a 40-hp Markey CEWP-90 winch.
Leigh Ann is married to Mississippi with a 34-inch Intercon C-Series coupler.
“Everything is working out well so far,” said Sean Perreault, vice president of engineering services for Moran, which is based in New Canaan, Conn. “Everyone is pleased.”
Bay Shipbuilding is scheduled to deliver Moran’s 10th ATB tug, Barbara Carol Ann Moran, by June. The 6,000-hp tug will be paired with the 122,000-bbl barge Louisiana.
Nancy Peterkin and Tina Pyne
Kirby Offshore Marine has expanded its fleet of ATBs with the addition of two new 10,000-hp tugs paired with 185,000-bbl oceangoing tank barges.
Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, Wash., built the tugs Nancy Peterkin and Tina Pyne using a design from Guarino & Cox of Covington, La. Gunderson Marine of Portland, Ore., constructed the 578-foot barges Kirby 185-01 and Kirby 185-02.
The 136-by-44-foot Nancy and Tina are powered by two EMD 20-710 G7C Tier 3 diesel mains. The ATB units are linked with an Intercon Series 50 coupler. The tugs also have Nautican propulsion equipment and cranes by Techcrane.
Nancy and Tina are rated for 165 tons of bollard pull and have a running speed of 16 knots, according to Nichols Brothers.
The vessels are ABS classed and SOLAS certified. Since delivery, Nancy Peterkin has been working on West Coast routes. Kirby Offshore Marine, a subsidiary of Houston-based Kirby Corp., has not said where Tina Pyne will work.