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Stimulation Vessels and Barges Help Offshore Fracking Growth

More and more energy companies, are taking their fracking activity from land to the deep waters off the U.S., South American, and African coasts.
 
Why? Because in recent years, advancements in fracking technology have allowed large-scale fracking to be seen as more of a lucrative industry practice.
 
And along with this growth, a survey conducted by Offshore Magazine showed that since 2007, oil service companies have increased their global expedition of fracking ships by 31 percent.
 
And for any of this to become viable, there are many components that must work together in order for offshore fracking to succeed. But stimulation vessels and barges are two components that have contributed to the significant growth of offshore fracking for many oil companies.
 
What is a Stimulation Vessel?
 
To frack some of the world’s biggest offshore wells, roughly 7 million pounds of people and gear, including rock-crushing engines, must be crammed onto a 300 feet ship.
 
And in the past decade, the vessels have seen major improvements in environmental performance, realtime communication monitoring systems, size, storage capacity, and much more. And the more remote an operation is, a vessel must become self-sufficient and work at optimal level in order to maintain efficiency and competitiveness in the industry.
 
What is a Barge?
 
Fracking creates wastewater that needs to be disposed of. Companies have traditionally used tanker trucks to recycle or dump tracking wastewater into disposal or injection wells.
 
However, river shipment by a tanker barge, has grown to become more of a viable option for companies because a tanker barge, which is a flat-bottomed boat, is capable of carrying and transporting up to 10,000 barrels of waste. By comparison, a traditional tanker truck could typically carry around 80 to 150 barrels. And financially speaking, barge transportation costs about 10 percent less than shipping frackwater by truck.
 
But the size of the barge plays to its disadvantage during navigation, as it is difficult to turn and difficult to come to a complete stop quickly.
 

TNphoto Tatsuya Nakagawa
Tatsuya Nakagawa is the VP of Marketing and co-founder of Castagra Products, a storage tank and wastewater coatings manufacturing company that is highly acclaimed for its sustainable coatings, cold weather tank coating applications, and its durable frac tank coatings. Castagra is used by the world’s top oil and gas field services companies.