For professionals in the oil and gas sector, the choice of an offshore container is not just a matter of logistics, but a pivotal strategic decision that significantly impacts the success and safety of maritime operations.
This guide delves into the critical aspects of selecting an offshore container, underscoring its importance in meeting the rigorous demands of safety, functionality, and efficiency inherent in the industry. Our focus is to equip you with the essential knowledge to ensure that your choice aligns perfectly with your specific operational requirements while contributing positively to the efficiency and safety of your offshore endeavours.
What is an Offshore Container?
Offshore containers are more than just storage units; they’re engineered for resilience in the unforgiving marine environment. Unlike standard containers, they are built to endure extreme weather, heavy loads, and rough seas.
These containers come in various forms, including but not limited to, cargo containers for general goods, specialised containers for hazardous materials, and custom-designed units for specific equipment. Understanding these types is the first step to identifying what aligns best with your operational needs.
What are the Types of Specialised Offshore Containers in the Oil and Gas Industry
The oil and gas industry often operates in challenging and demanding environments, particularly in offshore settings. To meet these demands, a variety of specialised offshore containers are used, each designed for specific purposes and to comply with strict safety and regulatory standards. Here are some of the main types:
- Offshore Baskets: Used for transporting pipes, tools, and other long or bulky items. These baskets are designed for easy loading and unloading, often featuring an open-top structure.
- Mud Skips: Specifically designed for safely transporting waste and drilling mud. They are typically sealed to prevent spillage and contamination.
- Half-Height Containers: Ideal for transporting goods that need to be loaded by crane or forklift, these containers are shorter in height, allowing for easier top-loading.
- Bottle Racks: Used for safely transporting gas cylinders and similar items. These racks secure the cylinders in place, preventing movement and potential damage during transit.
- Workshop Containers: These are essentially mobile workshops that can be used on offshore platforms. They come equipped with workbenches, tools, and equipment necessary for various operations.
- Offshore Tanks: Designed for transporting and storing liquids like chemicals, fuel, or potable water. These tanks are robust and often equipped with features to prevent spillage.
- Refrigerated Containers: Used for transporting or storing perishable goods that require a controlled temperature.
- Accommodation Containers: These are modified for providing living quarters to personnel working offshore. They include necessary amenities and safety features.
- Tool Boxes: Smaller containers used for transporting and storing tools and smaller equipment safely and securely.
- Chemical Tanks: Specifically designed for safe transport and storage of chemicals, these tanks are made with materials resistant to corrosion and chemical damage.
Adhering to Safety and Compliance Standards
In offshore operations, adhering to safety and compliance standards is critical. Let’s delve into three key standards: DNV 2.7-1, EN 12079, and the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC).
- DNV 2.7-1: This standard is pivotal for offshore containers, encompassing transport-related requirements for design, manufacture, testing, certification, marking, and periodic inspection. Developed by DNV (Det Norske Veritas), a global quality assurance and risk management company, DNV 2.7-1 sets the benchmark for ensuring that offshore containers can withstand the harsh conditions of maritime environments. Compliance with this standard means that the containers are robust, durable, and safe for transporting goods and equipment offshore.
- EN 12079: Initiated by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), EN 12079 was developed specifically for offshore containers and their lifting sets. First issued in 1999 and later revised in 2006, this standard aligns closely with DNV 2.7-1. It comprises three parts and covers the design, testing, and production requirements for offshore containers. Containers certified to comply with DNV 2.7-1 also fully comply with parts 1 and 2 of EN 12079. This standard ensures that containers used in European waters meet rigorous safety and quality criteria.
- CSC (Convention for Safe Containers): Established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations, the CSC is a global convention ensuring the safety of containers used in international transport. It involves specific criteria and testing for certification. The CSC plate, which is a permanent, non-corrosive, fireproof plate fixed to the container, indicates compliance and contains vital information like the country of approval and reference number. While DNV 2.7-1 certified containers are not required to be CSC plated, containers designed for ocean voyages are generally designed to ISO standards and require CSC certification. This ensures the highest level of safety in transportation and facilitates international container transport. Each of these standards plays a crucial role in the offshore container industry, ensuring that containers not only meet the operational demands but also adhere to international safety and quality standards.
How Do You Assess Your Specific Container Needs?
When selecting an offshore container, a detailed assessment of your requirements is essential.
- Purpose of the Container:
- Storage Needs: If the container is for storage, what kind of materials will be stored? Consider if you need climate control or special accommodations for hazardous materials.
- Transportation: For transportation, assess the nature of the cargo. Is it heavy, oversized, or requires special handling?
- Equipment Housing: If the container is to house equipment, consider the size and installation requirements, as well as any need for modifications like ventilation or power supply.
- Size and Capacity:
- Volume Requirements: Estimate the volume of goods or equipment to determine the internal space needed.
- Weight Considerations: Evaluate the weight of the contents. This is crucial for ensuring the structural integrity of the container and for transport logistics.
- Expandability: Consider if you need a container that can be modified or expanded in the future.
- Environmental Considerations:
- Weather Resistance: Assess the typical weather conditions the container will face, such as extreme cold, heat, humidity, or saltwater exposure.
- Corrosion Resistance: For marine environments, corrosion resistance is key. Materials like Corten steel or specific coatings might be required.
- UV Protection: If the container will be exposed to intense sunlight, UV protection may be necessary to prevent material degradation.
Material and Construction Considerations
The material of your offshore container is a critical determinant of its performance. High-grade steel containers offer unmatched strength and durability, making them ideal for heavy-duty applications. Aluminium containers, on the other hand, provide a lightweight alternative with excellent corrosion resistance, suitable for specific environments and weight-sensitive applications. Beyond material choice, the construction quality—welding integrity, door mechanisms, and corrosion protection—plays a vital role in ensuring the container’s longevity and reliability.
Customisation and Additional Features for Offshore Containers
Every offshore operation is unique, and often, off-the-shelf containers may not suffice. Customisation becomes key in enhancing a container’s functionality. This can range from internal modifications like shelving and insulation to external adaptations such as specific door configurations, reinforced frames, and advanced locking mechanisms. These additional features can significantly impact the container’s usability, security, and efficiency in meeting your specific operational requirements.
Practical Logistics and Handling
An offshore container should be more than just sturdy; it needs to be practical. Consider its handling and logistics – how will it be transported, loaded, and unloaded? An efficiently designed container minimizes labour and time, particularly under challenging offshore conditions. Features such as forklift pockets, lifting eyes, and stackability play a critical role in the container’s mobility and ease of handling.
Evaluating Cost Effectiveness
While cost is an important consideration, focusing solely on upfront expenses can be short-sighted. Quality offshore containers, though initially more expensive, offer greater durability and require less maintenance, translating to cost savings in the long run. When evaluating cost, consider the container’s life span, maintenance needs, and the potential for operational downtime if a less robust container were to fail.
How Green Box Containers Provide Tailored Solutions
At Green Box Containers, we specialize in manufacturing top-quality offshore containers tailored to your specific requirements. Our containers are designed with safety, durability, and functionality in mind, adhering to all necessary compliance standards. We offer customization to suit your unique operational needs, ensuring our containers enhance your maritime activities.
With Green Box Containers, you get not only a product but a partnership that includes comprehensive after-sales support and advice from our experienced team. Trust us to provide the best offshore container solutions that cater to your maritime needs.
Selecting the right offshore container is a nuanced decision that requires careful consideration of several factors. By focusing on your specific needs, safety standards, material quality, and supplier reputation, you can find a container that not only meets but exceeds your operational requirements.
How do offshore containers differ from ISO containers?
Offshore containers and ISO containers vary significantly due to their different uses:
- Design and Construction: Offshore containers are tailored for harsh marine environments with robust materials and structures. ISO containers, meant for international transport, have standard sizes for ease of transfer.
- Safety and Certification: Offshore containers must meet rigorous safety standards like DNV 2.7-1, focusing on marine safety. ISO containers follow ISO standards for dimensions and capacity, suitable for global logistics.
- Usage: Offshore containers, often with specialised features, are used in the oil and gas industry for transporting equipment and supplies. ISO containers are flexible, used broadly for general cargo.
- Handling and Transport: Offshore containers are designed for marine lifting, needing durable design and specific points for cranes or helicopters. ISO containers have standardised fittings for straightforward handling in ports.
- Modifications and Customisations: Offshore containers are frequently customised for specific needs, while ISO containers are more uniform with limited customisation options.
Why do offshore containers require the DNV Standard for Certification no. 2.7-1?
Offshore containers require the DNV Standard for Certification no. 2.7-1 because this standard ensures that the containers are designed and constructed to withstand the harsh and potentially hazardous environments often encountered in offshore settings, such as oil rigs and ships. It covers aspects like strength, durability, and safety, which are crucial for containers used in such environments.
Does the DNV 2.7-1 standard include portable offices and control rooms?
Yes, the DNV 2.7-1 standard can include portable offices and control rooms used in offshore environments. These structures, when used offshore, need to meet the same safety and durability requirements as other offshore containers to ensure they can withstand the environmental conditions.
Is it possible to conduct testing on our offshore containers upon installation?
Yes, it is possible to conduct testing on offshore containers upon installation. This is often a critical step to ensure that the container meets all safety and functional requirements specific to its application and environment.
Is it possible for you to customise offshore containers according to our specifications?
Many manufacturers and suppliers of offshore containers offer customization services. Green Box Containers can help you modify containers according to specific requirements, whether it’s size, material, strength, or additional features like shelving, insulation, or specialised fittings.
Is it feasible to incorporate additional items into offshore containers to optimise their functionality for our specific application?
Yes, it is feasible to incorporate additional items into offshore containers. This includes modifications for storage, equipment housing, or specific operational functions, provided these alterations adhere to the safety and structural standards outlined in DNV 2.7-1.
Are you able to provide drawings for the offshore container?
Manufacturers and suppliers of offshore containers usually can provide detailed drawings of the containers. These drawings are essential for understanding the design, specifications, and any customisations made to the container. Green Box has experts who can help you understand the design and customise the offshore container as per your needs.
Is it possible for you to install electrical components in my offshore container?
Yes, it is possible for suppliers or specialised service providers to install electrical components in offshore containers. These installations must comply with safety standards and possibly additional certifications depending on the intended use and location of the container.
Can you provide the necessary certification for the containers?
Reliable suppliers of offshore containers should be able to provide the necessary certification, such as DNV 2.7-1 or other relevant standards, to ensure that the containers meet all required safety and quality criteria. Green Box can get you the necessary certifications required for your containers.
What does type approval mean concerning DNV 2.7-1?
Type approval in the context of DNV 2.7-1 means that a particular design of an offshore container has been assessed and approved by DNV (Det Norske Veritas), indicating that the design meets all the requirements of the DNV 2.7-1 standard. This approval is typically required before containers can be used in offshore environments.