Offshore vessel Horizon Star arrives in Newfoundland

Subsea intervention and support vessel to begin work in N.L. oil and gas sector

Published on August 17, 2017

The 102-metre Horizon Star, a state of the art subsea intervention and support vessel owned by St. John’s- and Halifax-based Horizon Maritime, will soon begin a contract with one of the companies operating in the province’s offshore oil and gas sector.

©Submitted photo

Mariners off the province’s east coast have likely spotted a new star on the horizon.

More accurately, they’ve likely spotted the Horizon Star, the latest subsea intervention and offshore support vessel to be operating in the province’s oil and gas sector.

The vessel is owned and operated by St. John’s- and Halifax-based Horizon Maritime, a company formed in 2015 by marine and offshore managers recognizing an opportunity for an Atlantic Canadian company to compete in the offshore sector.

Previously, the company’s mandate had been to equip other support ships with crews. In a statement from the company, “the acquisition of the Horizon Star is the next stage of the company’s progressive growth and expansion plan.”

The company, which has the backing of Clearwater Seafoods founder John Risley’s CFFI Ventures, turned to a Norwegian shipyard for the Horizon Star, which is 100 per cent owned by Atlantic Canadians, because of its reputation for quality.

“The yard that built this vessel is one of the best-quality shipyards for this class of vessel,” said Sean Leet, Horizon Maritime president.

Leet would not divulge how much the company paid for its first ship while speaking with The Chronicle Herald, but he did make it clear the downturn in the oil and gas industry has allowed the company to get a good deal for the Norwegian-built Horizon Star.

“It’s no secret that there is overcapacity in this industry and that allows for good pricing with the assets,” he said. “We’re pleased with this deal.”

Leet also would not disclose any details around which oil and gas company had contracted the vessel’s services, other than to say it is docked in Bay Bulls where it is, “mobilizing for a mission.”

In terms of its specifications, Graham Curren, Horizon Maritime’s vice-president of business development, said it is “the most versatile, capable, modern vessel in the market.”

At 102 metres long, the Horizon Star is one of the biggest of the roughly 30 offshore support ships sailing under the Canadian flag.

The vessel comes with its own helicopter pad and a “moon pool” used for deploying remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), equipment and parts from beneath the vessel during turbulent ocean conditions. It is equipped with a crane that can reach depths of three kilometres, a pair of high-speed rescue vessels, iceberg and emergency towing wing, firefighting equipment and accommodations for 60, although it will only carry a crew of 16.

The Horizon Star is not only sophisticated, it’s also being touted as environmentally friendly with increased fuel efficiency and reduced exhaust emission, in addition to oil spill recovery certification, and high-speed, low-sound, reduced vibration levels.


— With files from SaltWire Network