Lotos Petrobaltic has sold the Bazalt vessel - MarinePoland.com
Lotos Petrobaltic has sold the Bazalt vessel
Date of publication: 20.03.2023

After 42 years of hard work, the distinguished Lotos Petrobaltic S.A. On March 16, the multi-purpose tugboat Bazalt left the wharf in Gdańsk for the last time. She ended her service to the offshore oil miners and was handed over to a new owner.

Bazalt was built in 1981 for the then Wspólna Organizacja Poszukiwań Naftowych "Petrobaltic" (Joint Oil Exploration Organization „Petrobaltic”). It is an AHTS type vessel (Anchor Handling Tug Supply, i.e. a multi-purpose tugboat) which, in addition to deliveries and towing offshore facilities, is equipped with lifts for handling anchors of vessels and facilities operating on offshore installations. These tasks carried out on the high seas require high precision, and Bazalt only had the option of manual control.

After the liquidation of WOPN in 1990, as a result of the division of assets, the ship was taken over together with the base and quay in Gdańsk, the platform and the twin tugboat Granit by a state-owned enterprise established on the basis of the Polish part of the assets of an international company - it took the name Przedsiębiorstwo Poszukiwań i Eksploatacji Złópy i Gazu Petrobaltic (now Lotos Petrobaltic). This is how the history of Bazalt began in the only Polish company extracting oil from the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

Bazalt was built by Stocznia Szczecińska as a supply tug to service the platforms. It is less than 65 meters long and is equipped with two diesel engines, each with a power of 3,500 hp. With a stern drum winch and deck cranes, it is a kind of offshore pickup truck capable of delivering supplies, equipment and people to the rigs. It also takes part in maritime operations, works on underwater infrastructure installations. Using two water-foam cannons, Bazalt can also conduct firefighting operations at sea, and thanks to the use of a special floating trawl, it can also neutralize oil spills on the sea surface.

The series of vessels to which Bazalt belonged was considered an exceptionally successful design. This was also confirmed by the successes of the twin Granit, which worked for many years, among others in in the operation of drilling and exploitation platforms in the North Sea, as well as the effects of the hard work of Bazalt himself in the Baltic Sea.

– During 42 years of operation and exploration in the Baltic Sea, including 33 years for the Polish Petrobaltic, no sea operation was carried out without the participation of our ship – says Bazalt's captain Andrzej Janicki.

The everyday life of the tugboat was servicing offshore oil mines in the Baltic B3 and B8 deposits. It also performed many tasks, such as reloading goods on board the rig. During 42 years of work for Petrobaltic, Bazalt participated in the construction of underwater infrastructure in the B3 and B8 oil fields, construction and repairs of the unmanned PG-1 platform on B3, dozens of platform towing operations, laying of the gas pipeline from B3 to Energobaltic in Władysławowo, as well as numerous transshipment operations oil on the high seas between tankers (ship-to-ship, STS).

One of Bazalt's most spectacular tasks was towing the luxury passenger ship Rotterdam from Gdańsk to the shipyard in Wilhelmshaven in 2006. During several decades of work at sea, the last 10 years have been particularly hard-working and demanding for the vessel. During this time, the tug made 665 voyages, covering approximately 94,850 nautical miles. In those years, it participated in 22 platform towings, transported nearly 21,250 people, including platform and service workers. The ship's crew at that time consisted of 24 officers and sailors, and it included a total of 85 sailors and 16 cadets taking their first steps at sea.

– Both the ship and its crew have always shown great seaworthiness, versatility and great skills. Despite the complex tasks faced by the ship and the crew on numerous occasions, no serious accidents or incidents have been recorded, emphasized Captain Janicki.

Other works performed by tugboat Bazalt include:
- transport of provisions, cargo, water, fuel, loose materials, non-standard structures;
- service and periodic replacement of underwater pipelines and CALM/SBM buoys;
- installation on anchors and maintenance of a CALM/SBM type buoy used both for mooring on tankers' deposits and for transferring oil from the deposits to the tanker;
- rescue supervision in the area of the B3, B8, B101 deposits;
- securing helicopter flights;
- outboard work on platforms;
- annual anti-spill exercises in cooperation with the Maritime Office;
- support for deep-water dives during work on the PG-1 platform, legs of other platforms, inspections and reviews of transfer buoys, including saturation dives from the AF-2 complex installed on board;
- installation inspection using ROVs and NDT non-destructive testing;
- search and recovery operations for lost anchors and chains of foreign ships;
- deliveries of water and cargo to foreign ships in the Gulf of Gdańsk.

The vessel was replaced in the Lotos Petrobaltic fleet by its successor Bazalt II, equipped with a dynamic positioning system. New Bazalt was purchased in 2022 and arrived in Gdańsk on April 25 from Ivory Coast, covering 4,580 nautical miles on the way. The new ship of the Lotos Petrobaltic capital group was brought by Bazalts captain Andrzej Janicki and senior mechanic Stanisław Selewent. Crew members of the previous vessel will continue their work on its successor.

Lotos Petrobaltic is successively rejuvenating its fleet, which is related to the company's development plans related to the exploration and production of hydrocarbons and the operation of platforms and planned investments in the field of offshore wind energy.

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