Harvey Discovery gets a deep makeover


With a muscular fleet of ocean tugs to handle towing the big rigs and a growing oil field support and supply fleet, Harvey Gulf International Marine is going subsea. In a joint venture with Bisso Marine, Harvey Gulf will provide vessel support and Bisso will provide diving and subsea services. Both companies are New Orleans based, but the new company, Harvey Bisso Subsea, is based in Houston.

For the joint venture, Harvey Gulf converted the 265-foot Harvey Discovery (Ship of the Year in American Ship Review 2006-2007/PM #100) from a platform supply and well intervention vessel to a DP-2 certified multipurpose support vessel. A 12-man, deepwater dive saturation system was configured onto her 180-by-50-foot aft deck at the Bisso yard in New Orleans over the winter.

Purpose built for well intervention at Eastern Shipbuilding, of Panama City, Fla., in 2006, Discovery came to the joint venture already equipped with a 13-by-13-foot moon pool, and a 65-ton knuckle crane. To ensure precise station holding during a manned dive, Discovery also has a fantail positioning system and a taut-wire positioning system to augment the DP-2 system. Discovery retains her ample tankage and some deck area aft of the subsea equipment.

Crew quarters for the divers and meeting rooms have been installed between the superstructure and the diving equipment and machinery on the aft deck. Painted the banana yellow of Bisso Marine is a dive saturation control unit, a life support chamber, a hyperbaric rescue chamber and a three-man dive bell. The dive crew consists of 12 divers working a three-person rotation.

In April, Harvey Gulf’s crew and Bisso’s divers successfully completed their first saturation dive operation in 350 feet of water at ATP Oil & Gas Corp.’s deepwater platform off of Grande Isle, La., in the Gulf of Mexico.