Subsea UK News - February 2016 Issue

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IN THIS ISSUE N-Sea: Thriving in the Storm Subsea UK’s Q4 Market Activity Report In-Depth: Examining Atlantas Marine’s Success in Underwater Inspection NSRI on Subsea Mining and Offshore Renewables Subsea News and Events Worldwide

Introducing the Laser Bevel Tool. Improve pipeline fit-up efficiency and increase weld integrity. HALF OPENING





Example of a J-prep bevel is shown here. Tool not limited to J-prep bevels.

Prior to automatic welding, verifying the shape of a bevel is crucial. The new Laser Bevel Tool from OMS eliminates doubt about bevel compliance and provides pipeline engineers with an unrivalled insight into critical pipe bevel geometry.


· · ·

The tool can be deployed immediately after bevelling, prior to pipes being moved into production and performs a complete scan of a pipe end within 16 seconds. This produces a 360 degree measurement profile. The operator receives a simple red or green, go / no-go indication with the option to investigate parameters in greater detail using bespoke software.

Accurate, repeatable results Pipe diameters of 6” to 48” Pipe wall thickness up to 45mm

CONSISTENTLY SAFER PIPELINES. For more information contact OMS on or visit

OMS UK Office Unit 9, M11 Business Link, Parsonage Lane, Stansted, Essex CM24 8GF +44 (0) 1279 656038

OMS US Office 701 N Post Oak, Suite 345, Houston TX 77024 +1 (832) 519 9421

2x winners of the Queens Award for Enterprise : Innovation

Offices also in Brazil and Kazakhstan


Welcome to this Edition of Subsea UK News There is no getting away from the fact that it has been and continues to be a very tough time for everyone in the oil and gas industry, not just in the UK, but across the globe. The cost-cutting has been severe and project delays and cancellations have had a major impact on many subsea companies and their people. It’s true that the cyclical nature of our industry means that we have been here before, but this time there are some differences which raise the question of whether the current price slump is just another in a long history of downward cycles, from which the industry will emerge victoriously, or a sign of more deeply troubled times ahead. Neil Gordon

One thing we have learned from previous oil price declines is that we can’t predict the price of crude and therefore we must prepare for all eventualities.

After the initial fear, panic and rationalisation, 2015 has ultimately been a year of realisation – a wake-up call to the industry that we have to make fundamental changes. If we change our behaviours and our approach now, in time, we will be much better positioned for a sustainable future. But the subsea sector, which has pioneered game-changing technology and innovative thinking over the last 40 years, is up for the challenge of re-inventing itself to deal with the fundamental changes now required to secure our future in a “lower, for longer” oil price environment. The focus must be on collaboration and co-operation in a major drive to improve efficiencies and find better ways of working. Many of you will recall CRINE – Cost Reduction in the New Era – and the initiatives which came out of this to cope at the time with $10 oil. Some good work was done then, some of which is still around today, but we simply went back to our old ways as the oil price crept back up again and forgot about the initiatives. We have an opportunity to define our future by making the marked behavioural change that will transform and sustain our industry in the long-term and achieve the goal of Maximising Economic Recovery in the North Sea. Tackling the cost and efficiency challenge is of paramount importance if we are to secure our industry’s future. It’s no longer enough to talk about collaboration, the whole industry must cooperate and take action in getting operating costs down.

Subsea UK Subsea UK News, produced by Subsea UK, reaches over 15,000 subsea-affiliated subscribers each issue. Subsea UK is the champion for the UK subsea industry. We act for the entire supply chain bringing together operators, contractors, suppliers and people in the industry. With some 53,000 employees, worth almost £8.9 billion in services and products and with over 750 companies, the UK subsea industry sector leads the world in experience, innovation and technology. The UK will maintain a leading technological edge by sustaining and expanding this important business sector. Whether you are a company looking to join and reap the benefits or an individual looking to develop your career in the subsea industry, explore our website or contact us to find out how Subsea UK can help you, your business and your industry. Find out more at

New Members Advanced Forming Research Centre

Maris Subsea

Brimmond Group

Seanamic Group

ENG Resources Falmouth Marine School Flow Subsea Ltd

If we can do this, we will be in a much better shape to thrive in the future, rather than just survive. That’s why the theme for this year’s Subsea Expo is “Time for Transformation”. Leading figures from the regulators, the operators and the supply chain will come together at Subsea Expo 2016 to tackle how we need to change, what we can do simpler and more effectively and where we need to reinvent ourselves. This is our time to demonstrate the UK industry’s pioneering attitude and ingenuity for which we are renowned for across the world.

Stauff UK Subsea Commercial Services Ltd

Inside Industry Careers Ltd Woollard & Henry Engineering Ltd Intervention Rentals James Fisher Subsea Excavation

To view the full Subsea UK members list, visit the Subsea UK Directory at

Forthcoming Events February 2016 AOG: Stand Space with Subsea UK Perth, Australia 24-26 February 2016 March 2016 Fundamentals of Subsea Systems Aberdeen, UK 02 and 03 March 2016 (1 day course)

But collaboration and cooperation must be a two-way street, every part of the supply chain must appreciate and understand the objective of the other and work in a way that is aligned to help achieve those solutions.


June 2016 Subsea UK’s Parliamentary Reception 2016 15 June 2016 London, UK November 2016 Subsea Asia 2016 29 November 02 December 2016 Singapore

Subsea UK in Houston Houston, USA 25 March 2016

These are some of Subsea UK’s events but please visit our website for full details of all forthcoming events

Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK

Subsea UK News is a magazine which invites contributions from the subsea industry, and is published by Subsea UK. The views and opinions expressed herein are not those of Subsea UK News or its owner, Subsea UK. The opinions and views expressed herein are those solely of individual contributors, and do not reflect in any way those of Subsea UK News, Subsea UK or its staff. All materials published in this magazine are published with the consent and authority of the authors. Subsea UK News makes no representations about the suitability of any information and/or services published for any purpose. Subsea UK News is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims, all liability for, any indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages (including damages for loss of business, loss of profits, litigation, or the like) of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information published within this magazine. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information in Subsea UK News, no guarantee is given that the information published is correct, complete, reliable or current, and its publication in this magazine does not constitute an endorsement by Subsea UK News. To contact Subsea UK News, please email editor Dan Fearon at

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Major Industry Boost for Award-winning LIGHTPATH Technology LIGHTPATH, which enhances safety for deep sea divers in the oil and gas industry, has been given a major boost after it was formally adopted by oil and gas giant Shell UK. The award-winning fibre lighting system, LIGHTPATH – which was designed by Scottish research and development company PhotoSynergy Ltd (PSL) - has been included for the first time in Shell’s Diving Operations and Management Guidance document, which aims to ensure compliance with latest legislation and industry best practice. Shell’s recognition of the product follows a series of successful trials of the LIGHTPATH over the last three years in the North Sea with the support of major operators including Bibby Offshore, Boskalis Subsea, Helix Well Ops, Harkand and The Underwater Centre in Fort William. PSL is a spin-out company of the University of St Andrews and offers a technical solution to many sectors where safety of life is paramount. Its suite of products can be used for a wide range of applications from guide path illumination through to the extremes of challenging, hazardous and submerged environments. As such, three of its key units – the SLS2000, the SLS5000 and the SLS7000 - have been developed specifically with the dive community in mind. Winner of the Subsea UK Innovation for Safety Award 2014, LIGHTPATH is a side-emitting flexible fibre that projects a continuous and flexible line of light that carries no electrical power. It combines second-generation, high-performance light emitting diodes (LED) with a life expectancy of 50,000 hours continuous operation. A unique coupling system for the optics to allow more light into the fibre, which is just 5mm in diameter, is used in combination with a new fibre quick release coupling system.

PSL Director Don Walker said:

“The recognition of the increased safety afforded to divers utilising the LIGHTPATH umbilical lighting concept by Shell’s technical diving team marked a significant step for PSL. “We have been trialling the LIGHTPATH in the North Sea for the past three years, and the general consensus among the dive community is that they feel safer using the technology to illuminate saturation diver umbilicals, which enhances safety and productivity for all parties, including the individual diver, colleagues in the water and the bell-man.”


Subsea UK News | February 2016

“It also gives confidence to the ROV pilot as to the location of diver umbilicals, thus minimising the risk of collision and can significantly reduce the incidence of umbilical snagging, with the same advantages afforded to surface air divers also.” The recently developed SLS2000 has now launched. A small, compact unit at just 30mm in diameter and 70mm long, it was designed to provide a light source to saturation divers using an LED attached to the umbilical at the diver’s end. Its development followed requests from industry for a minimal-sized light source which would not impede the diver during his work. Operational sea trials of the unit have been carried out with existing clients following final in-house tests and pressure testing by an external third party.


Apollo Hail Success with KnowHow Integrity Data Tool Apollo is pleased to announce the successful rollout of its new KnowHow tool to manage subsea integrity data, with two clients in the North Sea. The KnowHow tool offers operators and inspection companies an effective framework on which to build a customised data dashboard, interrogating a number of data sources to give a holistic view of integrity critical data.

Douglas Sinclair, Technical Software Business Unit Manager, said: “The

industry is historically data rich and information poor. The KnowHow tool is unique in that it lets the end client view their data how they want it, aligned with their engineering process, outwith the rigid constraints of a traditional software product.

“Our present client base is delighted with the effectiveness and impact on their business that KnowHow has immediately had. We are already working on requests from those companies to enhance the tool whilst in discussions with several more clients over the possibilities of utilising KnowHow for their business. “In this time of increased focus on the cost of doing business, this tool allows clients to efficiently and effectively present and interrogate business critical data to make sound engineering decisions in much faster cycle times.”

Faster and More Cost Effective: Aberdeen Engineers Develop Subsea Power Hub Aberdeen based EC-OG have developed the Subsea Power Hub (SPH). The SPH is an innovative and enabling subsea technology. It will provide electrical power to subsea infrastructure, for a fraction of the cost, and in a fraction of the time of conventional methods. EC-OG Engineering Director Rob Cowman said:

“If you think of efficiency and cost reduction as a jigsaw with many pieces, the SPH will be the four corners, which allow faster puzzle completion.” Using a patented design, the unit extracts nearly 200% the power first thought possible for a given footprint. This high power output, along with the low turbine cut in speed of 0.4m/s, allows power generation in areas previously deemed unproductive. EC-OG state that the unit can generate power with commercial effect, in 85% of UK waters. To overcome the natural fluctuations seen in ocean currents, the unit has an intelligent energy management system. This system uses a microprocessor control system, and the latest battery cell technology. With this system, the unit can provide a stable power output for low power applications, or provide bursts of high power when required. The ocean currents provide the highly predictable energy source. By being able to charge and discharge the battery cells in a controlled manner, the cells can be kept in optimum condition and greatly outperform a battery only solution.

Designed from the ground up for use in the oil & gas and subsea sector, the Subsea Power Hub device is easily installed by a small Construction Support Vessel (CSV), which avoids costly installation. The SPH also features the ‘dropped object’ and ‘overtrawlable protection’ required to integrate it into the subsea landscape. Mobilisation is expected to be less than three months, meaning a well suffering from electrical failure could be back on line years before it would otherwise be, if the fault were to be found and rectified with traditional methods. This buys the operator invaluable up-time, and regains what would be lost production. There are a great many uses for the Subsea Power Hub. Other applications include; well monitoring, corrosion monitoring and protection, fiscal measurement systems for tie in, wireless communication systems. By providing power that can add value way beyond just the pure cost of the electricity means that you really do have a renewable energy that adds up. The unit is undergoing design work for sea trials in August 2016 at The Underwater Centre in Fort William, with full production units being ready in August 2017.

Subsea UK News | February 2016



STATS Group Develop Flangeless Subsea Launcher Current temporary subsea launchers are designed for flanged pipe connection to allow maintenance pigs and isolation plugs to be deployed and recovered for pipeline maintenance or repair operations. However, flanged connections limit the location of attaching the subsea launcher; this led STATS Group to develop a flangeless subsea launcher that can be simply and efficiently lowered to the seabed and introduced to an open pipe end. This innovative design provides greater flexibility in positioning the subsea launcher at any given location and can be deployed in depths up to 2,200 meters, while preventing the need for hyperbaric welding. STATS’ ROV operated launcher is lowered to the seabed at location and introduced to the open pipe end. A manipulator clamp mounted at the front of the launcher is positioned and secured onto the pipe, and retracted towards the launcher pulling the launcher centrally on to the open end of pipe until fully installed. The launcher housing incorporates the lock and seal module which when actuated provides a secure connection to, and seal against, the outside diameter of the pipe using STATS proven lock and seal technology. Once actuated, the locks prevent movement of the pipe during pigging operations and the seal provides a leak tight barrier. STATS have recently supplied a Flangeless Subsea Launcher with a total of six 32” Remote Tecno Plug™ isolation tools for a project in the Black Sea. This equipment will enable pipeline flood prevention and wet buckle recovery solutions during pipe laying operations. This investment from the client provides contingency equipment to isolate the pipeline in the event of a wet buckle. Once the Remote Tecno Plug™ is deployed into the pipeline the Subsea Launcher can be removed from the pipeline and recovered to the surface. STATS can then provide a Pipeline Retrieval Tool (PRT) which grips and seals on

the internal diameter of the pipe and provides a recovery method to pull the pipeline to the surface. Prior to recovery, nitrogen is pumped through the PRT to pig the Remote Tecno Plug™ to the desired set location, which also serves to dewater the pipeline making it lighter and easier to recover to the surface. Once the Remote Tecno Plug™ is set and the double block and bleed isolation is confirmed the pipeline can be safely recovered to the vessel to allow the continuation of pipe laying operations. The Remote Tecno Plug™ will remain in position until laying activities have been completed and recovered to the closest onshore or subsea temporary head.

STATS Group director of EPRS and subsea services, Dale Millward, said: “Demand for this technology

is growing and we have seen global enquiry levels increase in recent months. We are currently designing and manufacturing an ROV compatible launcher as part of an intervention and repair project on a damaged subsea pipeline for a major operator in the South China Sea. “Our client centered approach and extensive engineering capabilities allows us to develop cost-effective solutions to meet their exact requirements and overcome their pipeline integrity issues.”

Flangeless Subsea Launcher


Subsea UK News | February 2016


Oceaneering to Revolutionise Operational Efficiency with Innovative Remote Piloting and Automated Control Technology In late 2015, Oceaneering demonstrated two new technologies in the Gulf of Mexico that will greatly increase remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operational efficiency and reduce costs for its customers. During the demonstration, the NEXXUS ROV on the Oceaneering Olympic Intervention IV vessel was successfully piloted via a satellite link from an Oceaneering onshore base. The innovative data/ video communications technology that enables this capability was originally developed to aid in diagnosing faults offshore by technical support personnel onshore. The technology has now been further developed to include the ability to remotely pilot the ROV. With remote piloting, an infield high bandwidth wireless or satellite link is used so that an ROV can be piloted on an offshore vessel from another remote location. Subject Matter Experts or other pilots can be linked-in in the event of highly complex processes or technical procedures that require special knowledge. Remote Connection Technology allows the use of multiple virtual connection technologies and potentially creates cost savings opportunities such as reduction and/or elimination of second shift crewing for low intensity operations. The demonstration also included an essentially hands-free operation method of piloting, whereby the pilot was able to “fly” the ROV with a command-based system involving automated steps, instead of using the traditional joystick. Using Video Machine Vision Technology, the video processing software analyses video and sends the ROV control system positioning data from the video to control the thrusters and move the ROV. Operators will now be able to use this technology to automate the ROV flight and perform tooling tasks faster and safer, thereby improving productivity and reducing the chance of downtime.

NEXXUS ROV (above) and in action below

While both technologies were used at the same time during the demonstration, either technology can be used independently. However, pre-programmed automated step piloting eliminates latency problems associated with operating over a satellite link.

“Computer-aided piloting is much more efficient than a human pilot can achieve unaided, which in turn reduces the potential damage to tooling, manipulators, and most importantly, the customer’s subsea assets. This new ROV capability revolutionises efficiency in the deployment of tools and navigation from point to point,” said Kevin Kerins, Senior Vice President, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV).

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Reducing Downtime: a Standardised Wellhead System for Increased Fatigue Resistance GE Oil & Gas has introduced its SFX wellhead system, a standardised, full-system solution providing up to 16 times fatigue resistance improvement over GE Oil & Gas’ existing systems, for ultra-reliability in fatigue-critical zones. The product builds on the company’s field-proven MS-700 and MS800 systems. Rather than moving fatigue issues elsewhere in the system, SFX directly addresses them and maintains stiffness in each component. The two-year development process involved in bringing this technology to market included collaboration with global operators to ensure that SFX meets or exceeds real in-field fatigue requirements, enabling more drilling time in harsh conditions with less maintenance and downtime.

Nick Dunn, Global Leader of Subsea Services & Offshore at GE Oil & Gas, said: “Currently, a key challenge facing

operators is the need to improve efficiencies, eliminate non-productive time, and reduce costs. The SFX wellhead system addresses all these areas — starting a new chapter of reliability, affordability, and flexibility for subsea wellhead systems. “Subsea wellheads are a core technology supporting drilling activities, but their lifespan can be affected by a multitude of factors such as vortex-induced vibrations. These loads are transferred through the riser to the wellhead and casing system, causing fatigue at critical connectors and welds.


Subsea UK News | February 2016

“Traditional mitigation techniques led to project-specific customisation, which translates into high engineering costs and long lead times. While no previously configured system delivered extreme fatigue reliability, cost efficiency, or flexibility across many different installations, the SFX wellhead system takes a fundamental step in this direction.” Technology behind the SFX Geometries for the SFX are optimised to reduce stress concentrations in all components. Preload between the high and low pressure housings is achieved through casing weight instead of additional tooling, creating a rigid connection for effective load transfer. For fabrication, lengthened forgings improve thermal effects during welding, tighter pipe tolerances reduce stress, and the weld profile is fatigue-friendly. Advanced non-destructive examination (NDE) techniques ensure material soundness and maximize the probability of detection. The entire manufacturing process for the SFX has been standardised — from raw material specifications, quality control, component design, to system fabrication and installation. Cycle time has also been significantly reduced by standardising global processes, equipment, and procedures involved, including independent third-party inspection of critical processes. This approach, along with adoption of DNVGL-RP-0034, means GE Oil & Gas can stock materials and manufacture SFX components globally. Additionally, SFX maintains all the interfaces, tools, and operating procedures of existing MS-700 and MS-800 products.


Aquatec Launch New Hydrotest Monitoring Instruments Aquatec Group has launched an exciting new product range to demonstrate their capabilities in the pre-commissioning industry.

The new range is designed to speed up and simplify hydrotest monitoring, providing organisations in the sector with an efficient solution for successful monitoring of a hydrotest. The comprehensive offering features innovative subsea displays, precise gauges and an easy to deploy hydrotest monitoring skid. The HYDROskid™ is a new standalone hydrotest monitoring skid, making the monitoring process even simpler for pre-commissioning professionals. The system features the new AQUAdisp™ subsea display, alongside the popular HYDROlog™ 2000PT pressure logger. The system is compact and easy to use, with a single connection point. Data can be downloaded via ROV using the AQUAmodem® Op1 optical modem, and pressure readings monitored numerically or graphically. The system is switched on by the new AQUAswitch™ subsea switch, making sure it is only active when needed. The hydrotest data is recorded on Aquatec’s field proven HYDROlog pressure and temperature logger, which includes a secondary power source for redundancy. A rechargeable battery means quick and easy turnaround between deployments. Aquatec’s revolutionary subsea display, AQUAdisp™, can show up to 16 parameters over 4 screens. Data can also be presented graphically on 16 graphs, which display up to 33 values. The low power technology means there is no need to turn it on or off. Three versions of the display are available, depending on whether it is to be used with Aquatec instrumentation or third party equipment. The HYDROgauge™ digital pressure gauge features a high specification absolute pressure sensor with an exceptional precision of 0.01% of Full Scale. A variety of absolute pressure ranges are available, up to 1000 bar, allowing customers to take precise readings suited to their hydrotest or isolation measurement. The readings are displayed on the new Aquatec display, with clear graphics and low power technology.

The HYDROskid™

Integrity Support Specialist For Subsea Assets • • • • • •

Flexible Risers, Risers & Caissons Subsea Structures & Pipelines Non-Piggable Pipelines Conductor Pipes Ship Hulls & Mooring Lines Other inspection challenges

Inspection & integrity assessment solutions featuring :

• • • • • • •

MEC-Combi inspection tools based on Magnetic Eddy Current (MEC) technique Integrated Ultrasonic sensor array system & other advanced inspection techniques Integrated advanced cleaning system ROV & Installation deployment High corrosion defect detection capabilities Fast scanning in circumferential & axial orientation No coating removal Innospection Ltd, Unit 1, Howemoss Avenue, Kirkhill Industrial Estate, Dyce, AB21 0GP, Aberdeen, UK Tel : +44 (0)1224 724744 Email :

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Roddy James, chief operating officer of N-Sea

As companies gear up for another challenging year, one Subsea UK member is steering a successful course through the turbulent times by sticking to a simple four-point plan. Subsea UK News speaks to Roddy James, chief operating officer of N-Sea, to find out why the business is thriving in the current climate.

Subsea survey, installation, inspection, maintenance and repair company, N-Sea had its best year ever in 2015. “In 2014, we saw the writing on the wall and started work on getting the business in shape to deal with the challenges of operating within a lower oil price environment,” said Mr James. “This involved a four-point plan which we are religiously sticking to.” The first step in the plan was to get costs down. But rather than make knee -jerk redundancies or sweeping cost cuts to deliver the savings customers were looking for, N-Sea opted to take a more long-term, strategic approach. This involved reviewing all the inputs: people, vessels and equipment and then exploring how they could do things more efficiently. Multi-skilling and empowering people was key to driving the initiative forward. This also allowed N-Sea to take on more work in-house, rather than outsourcing.


The third step

“By taking simple steps and investing in training, we have transformed some of the ways we do things which have resulted in major savings that we have passed on to our customers,” said Mr James. The second step in the plan was to commit to improving our planning. With an emphasis on getting the job done right, first time. “With a greater emphasis on planning, we are making sure that we get things right in our projects first time, every time,” explained Mr James.

Subsea UK News | February 2016

was to explore other markets, extending the reach of the business from predominantly North-Sea to West Africa and beyond. With joint ventures in Africa and India now in place and an office about to open in the Middleeast, N-Sea’s global footprint has dramatically increased, along with its opportunities for new business. “This step was also about markets in other sectors. We were able to quickly transfer our maritime heritage, skills


With a commercial diving background Roddy James started his offshore career as a project engineer with Norwegian company, Corrocean, in 2000. He eventually became part of a two man team that led an MBO of that business to form iicorr in 2003. Focused on integrity, inspection and corrosion monitoring, iicorr was then acquired by Stork technical services in 2006. Following the acquisition he worked in various management positions with the last being SVP of the subsea division of Stork.

1932 TO 2016

N-Sea has a long history stretching back to 1932. The N-Sea Aberdeen operations was established in January 2014, following the acquisition of Stork Technical Services’ subsea division.

An integrated subsea infrastructure services provider, N-Sea has its head office in Zierikzee, Holland and further offices in Aberdeen, Norwich and Rotterdam.


and expertise to renewables, which now account for 35% of our business,” Mr James said. Largely providing subsea inspection services to this market, N-Sea now boasts successful projects on windfarms in Germany and the UK. The fourth point in the plan was enhancing and introducing new services and products. “For example we introduced services and expertise being used in the Dutch sector to the rest of the North Sea and vice versa,” explained Mr James. One of N-Sea’s unique products is its TUP (transfer under pressure)




N-Sea has three vessels, 14 ROVS, 140 onshore staff supporting up to 150 offshore personnel

Diving System. This unique closed bell diving system is a safer way of deploying divers to the seabed which can deliver cost-efficiencies of up to 65%.

traditional ways of doing things.”

“Our plan is not rocket science it’s very simple, but crucially, it is focused and we are sticking to it,” said Mr James.

Mr James does admit that they have benefited from some of the regrettable casualties inflicted by the plummeting oil price.

“We knew that, if correctly implemented, this plan would help us not only survive the current challenges but make sure that we thrive and are much better-positioned for when the market eventually picks up. “Communicating the plan has also been key. You must tell your people and your customers what you are doing if you want to bring them with you.” Part of this communication with clients included challenging their brief and their tenders, rather than simply reacting to requests for reductions in costs. “By having a better understanding of what our clients’ problems are, we can provide solutions that deliver greater efficiencies. One of our customers was looking for a 20% reduction in costs on one contract but by pulling two contracts together and running it through one, we have delivered cost-savings which are greater than the sum of the cost-savings they wanted on both projects without compromising on safety or quality. “Unsurprisingly operators are much more receptive to this in the current environment. They are looking for proactivity and alternatives to the

“The market has shrunk and we are picking up work from those who have sadly gone out of business. Equally, we have benefited from the fact that we are focused on IRM and not capex projects which is where the subsea market has suffered most.” N-Sea is looking ahead to Subsea Expo and 2016 with cautious optimism. “In times like these, you have to get your house in order and do it quickly,” said Mr James. “Getting costs in line with the market is vital and those who remain competitive will succeed. Focus on what you do and do it better. Things will improve but the next two or three years are going to be tough. I think Subsea Expo will be interesting and we are hoping to see more opportunities. But collectively we must be much more positive and stop talking ourselves down. We need that can-do, pioneering attitude which gave birth to the subsea sector.”

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Trelleborg Unveils Dedicated Swivel Stack Seal Inspection Facility Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has opened a dedicated climate-controlled swivel stack seal inspection facility for the validation of bespoke seals. The global facility is based in Barendrecht, in the Netherlands, and has been unveiled in a move to help ensure Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) operators achieve the highest possible standards in seal quality. The facility provides a temperature-controlled environment to avoid fluctuations in the dimensions of the seals caused by temperature changes, with specialist storage racks allowing the seals to be acclimatised prior to inspection. A bespoke inspection table has been installed, on which seals up to 3000mm can be measured with special lighting to aid visual inspection.

Trelleborg’s dedicated seal validation facility in Barendrecht

Trelleborg’s FPSO Focus Group, based onsite, is made up of a team of experts trained to inspect the specialist seals.

“The quality of seals for our customers is of the upmost importance and we are continually striving for excellence, which is why we have launched this dedicated seal validation facility.

Henk-Willem Sanders, Technical Manager Oil & Gas and FPSO Focus Group leader at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, said: “Oilfield operators need to be confident about their equipment – if a seal fails during an operation this can lead to lost production revenues amounting to millions of dollars.

“Typical FPSO seals are from 100mm up to 3000mm in large cross sections. The controlled environment in combination with the fact that large diameter seals can be inspected, gives our customers unrivalled reassurance when selecting a seal partner.”


AKOFS Offshore Selects Webtool Emergency Disconnection Tool Allspeeds has supplied Webtool Emergency Disconnection Tools to AKOFS Offshore for its subsea equipment orientation system (SOES) used to install subsea trees. The Webtool cutters are integrated within the SOES providing quick disconnection of the bundles of hydraulic jumpers and electrical flying leads in the event the vessel moves off-station. Deployed on the Skandi Santos subsea equipment support vessel, the SOES enables installation of subsea trees in approximately half the time it takes a conventional rig. In an emergency disconnect situation, the Webtool integrated cutter will cut a bundle of 10,000psi hydraulic jumpers connecting the SOES to a subsea tree stack. The jumpers are cut in a single operation in less than 10 seconds. Allspeeds has supplied four Webtool Emergency Disconnection Tools for the SOES system. The hose bundle is manually loaded into the mouth of the hydraulically operated cutter during installation and remains there throughout the life of the SOES. Designed for deployment for extended periods subsea at 3,000m water depth, the Webtool disconnection cutter can be function tested in situ, ensuring the tool is ready for use in the event of an emergency.

“Webtool’s hydraulic Emergency Disconnection Tool is an important part of intervention contingency planning. Once activated the speed and completeness of the cut ensures companies can respond effectively to any emergency,” said an AKOFS Offshore spokesperson.

Above: Webtool integrated cutter cuts the hydraulic jumpers in less than 10 seconds. Below: Deployed on the Skandi Santos, Webtool Emergency Disconnection Tools provide quick disconnection if the vessel moves off-station.

Subsea UK News | February 2016


Serious about your subsea business? We’re serious about helping you develop your business! AOG: Stand Space with Subsea UK 24-26 February 2016

Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, Australia

Fundamentals of Subsea Systems (1 day course) 02 and 03 March 2016 Subsea UK, Aberdeen, UK

Subsea UK in Houston 25 March 2016

Norris Conference Centre, Houston, USA

Subsea UK’s Parliamentary Reception 2016 15 June 2016 London, UK

Subsea Asia 2016

29 November - 02 December 2016 Singapore

These are some of Subsea UK’s events but please visit our website for full details of all forthcoming events.


Market Forces have Triggered a Step Change in Subsea Supply Chains Bill Hill, Executive Group Vice President – Oil and Gas, GAC Shipping

The role of the subsea supply chain is changing. Those wishing to operate successfully in today’s tough market must be proactive in driving cost control through improved productivity and greater efficiency. The subsea industry, in common with the wider oil and gas industry in the UK, has faced challenging times of late. Low oil prices have triggered layoffs, project pauses and a more conservative development pipeline. For supply chain partners aiming to survive this downturn, adapting to these straitened times and learning how to help customers to realise greater cost efficiencies is essential. While the most forward-thinking suppliers would argue that generating optimum efficiency has always been part and parcel with delivering an excellent service, the general consensus is that the industry as a whole has been slow to wake up to calls for waste and cost reduction. Conventional wisdom suggests that this conservatism is down to traditionally high margins; when oil was $100 a barrel, a comfortable level of profitability was achieved with ease. In contrast, today’s market forces mean the oil and gas industry must respond to the same profit squeeze that many other lower-margin industries faced and adapted to years ago. At the heart of this approach is the need

to work with supply chain partners that possess the expertise, the resources and local industry know-how to deliver increase productivity and efficiency. Your supply chain partners should prove their value in such challenging market conditions as these, and despite the pressures on all parts of the subsea sector, GAC remains optimistic about the future. Having reached a critical mass in its breadth of oil and gas services, plans are now underway to marry GAC’s global coverage with solutions that precisely match the requirements of each oil and gas hub.

For the UK’s subsea industry, this means utilising the expertise and technical know-how to support customers with assets operating in increasingly harsh regimes including deep water, remote areas and environmentally sensitive locations. Furthermore, it means building teams that have a wealth of local knowledge, experience and relationships that can be leveraged to remove bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the supply chain. While cost is understandably the focus of attention for subsea rig owners and operators, it should be understood within the supply chain that quality still equals value and, most importantly, safety. Although the prices offered by the cheapest contractors may be tempting, companies should avoid driving down budgets to a point where any value that the provider can offer is eroded. Ultimately, tough market forces are causing a much-needed overhaul in the subsea oil and gas supply chain. By responding to the efficiency drive that has been triggered by lower oil prices, suppliers will be in a stronger position to ride out the tough times and seize the opportunities that emerge when the market recovers.

Bill Hill, Executive Group Vice President – Oil and Gas, GAC Shipping

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Diversifying the Subsea Landscape Gordon Drummond, project director of NSRI

While oil and gas remains the dominant energy industry in the UK, companies are quickly beginning to realise the vital role that subsea mining and offshore renewables will play in the future energy mix. Harnessing a range of oil and gas and renewable resources is essential if we are to ensure security and longevity of energy supply. This will be a key element in the future strategy to reduce dependency on the cyclical oil and gas industry. In partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI), the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) recently embarked on a trade mission to Japan to explore the opportunities in subsea mining and renewables across East Asia, and to identify how UK companies can help to satisfy the country’s vast energy needs. Following the shutdown of its nuclear reactors in the wake of 2011’s tsunami nuclear crisis, Japan has gone in search of new energy supplies. The government wants to increase its use of renewables from 10 per cent to 24 per cent by 2030, further reducing its reliance on gas, coal and nuclear. In addition Japan has vast reserves of methane hydrates which are located in about 4000 metres seawater. Japan hopes to exploit and commercialise the opportunity by 2028.

This presents a huge opportunity for UK firms to export their wealth of skills, innovation and experience to help Japan meet its future energy targets through effective, technology-led solutions.

There is much to be gained from doing business and investing in Japan - the country offers a stable economy, a reliable tax regime, an internationallyoriented infrastructure and is well known for embracing new technology. By continuing to work closely with SDI we can identify the emerging opportunities and seek to promote partnerships with UK companies in Japan.


In 2016, NSRI will be engaging with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy to accelerate the deployment and commercialisation of offshore renewable energy technologies. The aim will be to enable a vibrant sector driven by research and innovation, collaboration and enhanced knowledge, that generates affordable, low carbon power and considerable UK economic benefit. In turn, it will unlock a huge pool of opportunities for the UK’s subsea supply chain to diversify its offering and capitalise on the opportunities to be had in a wider energy mix.

NSRI has also been working closely with subsea companies across the UK to help identify the challenges associated with unlocking small discoveries, debate how they could be addressed and the technology required to shift them from marginal to economical.

A series of workshop events – known as hackathons - took place in Aberdeen and London to brainstorm new approaches to tackling these hard to reach reserves. The findings revealed that there is a great need for standardisation of subsea components and hardware, to allow for less rigorous specifications in order to meet the shorter design lives of small reservoirs. Near to market technologies for floating productions units and offshore production buoys were identified as areas which need to be further explored. It was also clear that companies must change the way in which they deliver projects in the long term – there must be a willingness to work more collaboratively on multi-field applications to explore and speed up the development of near to market technologies to extend the life of the UKCS and maximise economic recovery.

Stand 20

Leap into the future

The most advanced compact work ROV ever smaller





Market Activity Report Q4 2015

Using the market intelligence tool, SubseaIntel, we have compiled this report covering the latest oil & gas developments worldwide.


Overview The subsea market conditions remain challenging and December 2015 saw global oil prices hit 11-year lows as OPEC increased the production ceiling to 31.5 million barrels per day. As a result many operators have returned their new projects to the drawing board, looking to increase the commerciality of development concepts before making final investment decisions. Regardless of the hard market environment, it is reassuring to see a selection of operators are progressing with large developments across the globe, although the focus is still on reducing spending wherever possible.

Gulf of Mexico Technip to install two subsea production tiebacks on Stones development.

West Africa Total’s Moho 1B Phase Project began producing through 11 subsea wells and the two most powerful subsea multiphase pumps in the world.

North Sea In the UK, BP’s £3 billion Quad 204 project has taken a step forward as the Glen Lyon FPSO left South Korea and set sail towards its new life in the harsh waters 175km west of Shetland. As the project enters the final stages, Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded a £27 million contract to provide hook up and commissioning assistance on the FPSO through until June 2017. Elsewhere in the UK, the Forties field reached its fortieth birthday and was celebrated in style with Apache announcing a trio of exciting near field oil discoveries. The discoveries comprise of Seagull in the Forties area plus K and Corona in the Beryl area. The discoveries now give Apache a substantial inventory of North Sea development locations which make attractive investments across an array of timescales. Also during the quarter, while Statoil increased their position in the UK with the acquisition of First Oil’s interest in the Alfa Sentral project, first production was achieved at EnQuest’s Alma / Galia development and Lundin Petroleum’s Edvard Grieg development in the Norwegian sector.


Subsea UK News | February 2016

Gulf of Mexico In the Gulf of Mexico, Shell have awarded Technip another contract on the Stones deepwater project, following the contract to lay the world’s deepest gas pipeline awarded in 2013. Technip will now install two subsea production tiebacks to the Turritella FPSO in around 2,930 metres of water. Technip also won a contract which will see their Deep Blue vessel complete the installation of 23km of pipe-in-pipe flowlines and associated equipment for Deep Gulf Energy II on their Odd Job development, a subsea tieback to the LLOG Exploration operated Delta House semi-submersible. Technip were not the only SURF contractor to win work in the region during the quarter, as Ocean Installer picked up a three year frame agreement from BP. The contract covers subsea fabrication, transportation and installation of offshore facilities, as well as hook up and commissioning. Mike Newbury, President of Ocean Installer in the US said: “We have successfully executed work for BP in the GoM during the last couple of years, and we are happy to see the relationship manifest itself in such an agreement.”


North Sea Quad 204 project moves forward as the Glen Lyon FPSO sets sail towards its new life in the harsh waters 175km west of Shetland.

Australasia Wood Group announced a third contract on the Browse FLNG project.

North Africa BP to fast track development of Atoll field.

Asia-Pacific Aker Solutions awarded with the Subsea Production System for the Rotan development project.

North Africa In Egypt, Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi met with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to discuss plans for the development of Eni’s massive Zohr discovery. The parties confirmed the joint commitment to accelerate the production start-up of the field. The discussions also covered the possibility of setting up an Eastern Mediterranean Gas Hub which could process production volumes from nearby discoveries in Egypt, Israel and Cyprus. BG has spent $165 million for a 35% stake in Noble Energy’s 2011 Aphrodite discovery which is around 90km from Zohr. Given the energy crisis in Egypt it would be no surprise to see production from Aphrodite exported to Egypt through an Eastern Mediterranean transit hub. North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean will be a region to watch in 2016 as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave final approval for the development of Noble Energy’s Leviathan gas field, and BP promised to fast track development of the Atoll field in Egypt. Also in Egypt expansion work on BP’s West Nile Delta and Pharaonic Petroleum’s East Nile Delta Phase 3 has begun; Subsea 7 has won significant contracts in the fourth quarter on both projects.

West Africa Q4 in West Africa saw a slew of deepwater start-ups, most notably in the Republic of Congo where Total’s Moho 1B Phase Project began producing through 11 subsea wells and the two most powerful subsea multiphase pumps in the world. The system is a tieback to the Moho Bilondo FPU which began production in 2008. Moho 1B is the sister project of the giant Moho Nord project which is expected online in 2016. On the marine border between Republic of Congo and Angola, Chevron began production on their Lianzi development; this is their first in the Congo and the first cross border cooperation between the two nations. Lianzi, discovered in 2004, comprises a subsea production system and a 43km electrically heated flowline system, the first of its kind at this water depth. The system transports the oil from the field to the Benguela Belize–Lobito Tomboco platform in Angola’s Block 14 and utilises a Direct Electrical Heating (DEH) system to ensure fluid flow under a wide range of conditions. ...continued overleaf

Subsea UK News | February 2016



In Nigeria, Shell began production on the Bonga Phase 3 sending an additional 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent to the Bonga FPSO vessel, which has a capacity of 200,000 barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas a day. Elsewhere in the region, Kosmos Energy had more success in Mauritania with its play extending Marsouin-1 exploration well, giving them increased understanding of the potential of this emerging, large-scale petroleum system. In Ghana, work continued apace on Tullow’s TEN Project with FMC Technologies delivering the eighth of 22 subsea trees and Subsea 7’s Seven Borealis vessel on site carrying out installation work, first oil remains on target for mid-2016.

Australasia In Australia, Wood Group announced a third contract on the Browse FLNG project, which entered FEED in June 2015 and is progressing towards a Final Investment Decision in the second half of 2016. INPEX’s Ichthys LNG project took a further step towards completion as Saipem completed work on the offshore section of the gas export pipeline. The 890km is now the longest subsea pipeline in the Southern Hemisphere. However, first production has been delayed and is anticipated for third quarter 2017. In New Zealand, DOF Subsea picked up more work on the Raroa FPSO for OMV on the Maari Field. DOF previously worked on the FPSO in 2013, and they will now “future proof” the vessel with upgrades to the mooring system.

Asia-Pacific In Malaysia, Aker Solutions and Murphy Oil continued their in-country relationship with the award of a Subsea Production System for the Rotan development project. The delivery includes hardware for four subsea wells, a hub manifold, in-line tees, a connection system and production control system. First deliveries are scheduled for the second quarter of 2016. Also in Malaysia, Technip won a contract on Japanese operator JX Nippon’s Layang field for the engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation and commissioning of three flexible pipes totalling 9.9km. The flexible pipes consist of two production risers and flowlines and one gas export riser and flowline, connecting shallow water platforms to a new FPSO.

Conclusion 2015 was a tough year for the whole oil and gas industry with many subsea companies being hit particularly hard. Lay-offs, bankruptcies and vessels sales have been a major theme of the year and unfortunately the difficulties look set to continue into 2016. A key driver in the market will be the oil price, which could fall further if production from Iran is brought into the market and the OPEC nations continue their defiant pursuit of market share. Despite this, 2015 saw many UK companies readjust their cost base significantly and this could lead to the first green shoots of recovery next year. Further Information The information contained in this report was gathered using SubseaIntel. For more details visit


Subsea UK News | February 2016


A Simple Approach to Efficiency Tim O’Sullivan, Development Director at Wood Group Kenny In the subsea sector, projects are becoming increasingly complex; with longer tiebacks, deeper wells and higher pressures and temperatures increasing the intricacy of the engineering decisions which have to be made. However, this doesn’t mean that complex problems necessitate complex solutions, and the ‘lower for longer’ oil price environment is also encouraging the industry down the path of simplification and standardisation to enhance cost efficiency. There is an opportunity for us, as an industry, to re-evaluate how we operate in the subsea sector. A back to basics approach can greatly benefit problem solving capabilities and there is extensive subsea experience which can be distilled to form a standardised and simplified approach to projects. Simplification and standardisation of specifications, designs, and procedures can result in higher efficiency as there is a universal basis to start a project from and any bespoke elements required can be built on. Standard designs for many subsea components can be developed; using previous designs as a starting point for future designs.

competency of subsea engineering personnel and provide standardisation across companies and regions. Wood Group Kenny, having an independent perspective, is also involved in the Subsea UK Subsea Asset Stewardship Work Group, which is a broader collaboration to find innovative industry-wide ways of working to reduce costs and increase production from subsea assets. There can be barriers to standardisation ranging from planning issues to field or regional legacies and preferences. However, a more simplified approach to design and a standardised approach to procedures are instrumental in reducing costs while still meeting customer requirements. The challenging market conditions have set down the gauntlet for the sector to derive new, innovative approaches which meet value-driven priorities.

Standardisation should not be a cyclic initiative; it should be a process embedded within the global business models and organisational structures on a long term basis. Also, it is essential to achieve alignment to company and industry standards, as well as suppliers’ standards, based on functional requirements. There have been cases where over-specification has been a major barrier and has caused proliferation of overly-complex designs and specifications. Simplification of the requirements will need assessment of the risks and value accordingly to understand and mitigate any areas of concern. There is substantial work going on to advance this, especially through joint industry projects. For example, the Subsea Engineering Competency (SECOMP) JIP will develop a consistent framework for assessing the

Tim O’Sullivan, Development Director at Wood Group Kenny

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Bibby Offshore Secures Multimillion Pound Subsea Project with BP Bibby Offshore, a leading subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry, has been awarded a multimillion pound contract by BP to replace subsea infrastructure in the Central North Sea. The work is part of the $1billion Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP) Life Extension Project announced by BP in the summer. ETAP is one of the largest and most complex developments in the North Sea, comprising nine oil and gas reservoirs, six of which are operated by BP. The ETAP Life Extension Project (ELXP) will help secure the future of the fields until 2030 and beyond. The Bibby Offshore ELXP contract involves installing new subsea control system infrastructure to safeguard power and communication links to ETAP’s Machar, Madoes and Mirren fields, some 150 miles East of Aberdeen. From April 2016, Bibby Offshore will provide dive support and construction support vessels from its international fleet to deliver services including; umbilical installation, trenching, structure installation and commissioning through to final survey of the completed workscopes.

Realising Abundant, Affordable Offshore Renewable Energy for the UK With some of the largest targets for offshore renewable energy development in the world, the UK has a huge opportunity to lead in offshore renewable energy technology deployment and know-how. There is potential to create an industry that will not only generate tens of thousands of jobs in engineering, manufacturing, installation, maintenance and operations services, but also contribute many billions of pounds to the UK economy in taxes and exports, possibly of the electricity itself, but particularly of the technologies and engineering know-how that go with it. The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is one of 10 technology and innovation centres established and overseen by Innovate UK, where the best of the UK’s innovative businesses and researchers work together to bring new products and services more quickly to commercialisation. Focusing on areas with great market potential, Catapults will open up global opportunities for the UK and generate economic growth for the future. ORE Catapult is a critical element of a shared vision in which government, industry, academia and the supply chain all have vital roles to play. There is a need to learn commercial lessons from other sectors, such as offshore oil and gas, and deliver consistent, joined up thinking to provide investor confidence and maximise installed offshore renewable energy capacity and the resulting economic, social and environmental benefits.


Subsea UK News | February 2016

Renewable energy is still relatively new, with challenges around costs, and that applies particularly to offshore. However, solving this is achievable by allowing innovation to thrive – focusing on common standards, scale on manufacturing and delivery. At the Catapult, we’re focusing on collaborative programmes which have the greatest impact on industry cost reduction and on derisking the technology required to commercialise offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. We’ve identified a number of specific technology innovation challenges in the offshore renewable energy sector, the resolution of which we believe will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy and have a positive impact on the UK economy. We are now working with the National Subsea Research Initiative to map out the opportunities for subsea technologies in offshore renewables. The Catapult is looking for industry, large and small, to come forward with ideas to address these challenges, and work collaboratively with our own team of technical experts and test and demonstration assets to develop them into market-ready technology. Anyone who feels they have a project or concept that could meet our innovation challenges should visit





Maritime Developments: The Costly Difference between Price and Value The offshore industry thrives on buzzwords. Up until quite recently, the magic word was “innovation”; today, it’s “cost cutting”. At this stage, the situation is far from trivial: thousands of jobs have been lost, projects are stalling, the margins couldn’t get tighter, and the lack of visibility of opportunities is worrying. It is true that we dramatically need to cut costs in the industry but it is also an accepted fact that this push has come too late; as a result, harsh, last-resort decisions are being made, looking at averting the short-term negative effects of the depressed market, rather than planning strategically for the future. Ever since the low oil price began affecting the entire sector, MDL has been experiencing an increased level of enquiries from clients and prospects globally, interested in our “costcutting” suite of equipment. The portable vertical lay system, or PVLS, has been particularly popular with project managers and operations heads, who - once aware of its features understood how this system could be used on various projects, on different vessels, in different parts of the world. However, all too often during the process of trying to reach an agreement, the cost-saving features of the systems drop off the radar, and the discussions come down to cold, hard cash. The only thing that begins to matter is the cost for purchase or rental rate; while the true value of the system to the client and their operations (since it is not based on solid, recurring figures) is not counted in the calculation – and the figures don’t stack up.

purchaser should also include in their calculations the major costs that follow: the idle vessel days in port while mobilising; the downtime between product reel changes, or tensioner pad changeovers, during the campaign; the time it takes to demobilise and turn the vessel around for its next mission. If you consider the price tag on vessel charter, these additional costs become significant; but, conversely, savings from a system that can reduce those costs on every campaign are equally as notable - especially if you use that system repeatedly over its 15-20 year lifespan. We’d like to applaud our clients who had the courage to break the mold, took a step out of the “tried and tested” box, and made the conscious decision to opt for an MDL system. They might have been seen as mavericks by their peers, by having the confidence to bring new equipment to the market – but today, they are already feeling in their pockets the returns from that investment, and are well equipped to face the challenges of 2016 and beyond.

The “cost-cutting” aspect of MDL suite of equipment is that it reduces vessel days at sea. This is not a single cost reduction on the price of a system, but a reoccurring saving that will be felt by the operator on every offshore campaign.

So, where is the change we have all been calling for? The investor who only looks at the simple price of a product or service is missing the big opportunity to cut the costs of offshore operations. When you buy a piece of equipment, that is a one-off transaction; but the

Find us on Stand 27 at Subsea Expo Left: PVLS and 4-track tensioner open Right: Assembly of PVLS at quay

The first job of the PVLS in mid-2015, together with the patented 4-track tensioner and third-generation reel drive system (RDS), has given MDL clients a better understanding of the returns they can achieve through the utilisation of the company’s spread. That’s because this first campaign provided some solid figures to back up the value-adding features of the systems – figures that can be presented to the budget holders and decision makers seeking cost-cutting measures. Our industry needs to be reminded that value is not the same as price. Can you quantify the returns from reduced mission time? That’s the actual price tag on the piece of kit - that’s the value of your investment.

Main Image: MDL third-generation RDS


Subsea UK News | February 2016


The Underwater Centre Provides Students with Deeper Understanding of Working Subsea

Find us on Stand 161 at Subsea Expo

Students from universities across the UK have been expanding their knowledge of subsea operations thanks to new collaborations with one of the world’s leading trainers of ROV pilot technicians and commercial divers, The Underwater Centre. Postgraduate students from both Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Oil and Gas Centre for Doctoral Training (NERC CDT) have been visiting the purpose-built subsea training and trials facility to experience the practical side of subsea operations. The Centre has recently worked with RGU’s School of Engineering to incorporate a commercial diving familiarisation course as part of its recently introduced MSc in Subsea Engineering, a one-year full time course. The students visited the Centre in Fort William to complete the week-long course, ‘Humans in the Ocean’. Each day began with classroom based theoretical training sessions, before visits to the Centre’s surface supplied Nitrox and surface supplied diving sites, as well as the saturation diver training barge. The students also attended sessions on diving physics, diving physiology, gases and diving systems, and diving regulations, using the extensive facilities and subsea equipment. There was also a tour of the Centre’s recompression chamber facility and ROV training spread. The Masters in Subsea Engineering is aimed at engineers who already have some relevant offshore oil and gas experience and high calibre graduates who wish to enhance their employability in the subsea industry.

of data collection. In addition, the industry is going through a challenging time, so making our students more prepared to enter the industry is crucial.” Steve Ham, Commercial Director of The Underwater Centre, said that the practical exposure reinforced the theoretical training making it a unique learning experience for all the students.

“Working with universities and their students is a new development for The Underwater Centre, but one which is proving extremely worthwhile. We are enjoying helping the students gain a greater understanding of the challenges involved in working subsea and we hope to have made a positive contribution to the subsea work they will eventually be doing. “We are keen to increase the links between university education and the more practical training we deliver and we look forward to developing the assistance we can offer higher education institutions across both diving and ROV disciplines.”

Rob Collins, Training and Logistics Co-ordinator at the RGU Oil & Gas Centre, School of Engineering, said: “Working with the Centre has helped bring the world of subsea engineering alive for our MSc students. The feedback that we have had has been really positive and it is great for them to be able to experience the practical side of what we are teaching on the course.” Meanwhile, first year PhD students from NERC CDT attended a two-day introductory course at the Centre. The CDT comprises a number of academic partner universities, including Aberdeen, Durham, Heriot-Watt, Imperial College London, Manchester and Oxford, as well as the British Geological Survey, along with 12 associate academic partners - Birmingham, Cardiff, Dundee, Exeter, Glasgow, Keele, Newcastle, Nottingham, Royal Holloway, Southampton and Strathclyde Universities and the National Oceanography Centre. The students undergo 20 weeks of training from geology and geoscience to environmental science during their four-year PhD. NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow and member of the CDT training committee Dr Kate Gormley said: “I have worked in the environmental side of oil and gas for many years, and I think it is essential for the students to see the practicalities of this industry. “During their PhD some of these students may need to use data collected by ROVs or divers. It is essential that they fully understand the challenges and potential limitations of that type

A picture of the first intake of RGU students along with TUC Commercial Director Steve Ham (far right, back row) and Rob Collin, Training and Logistics Co-ordinator at the RGU Oil & Gas Centre, School of Engineering, (far right, front row)

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Subsea Expo 2016 Energises the Next Generation This Friday morning, pupils from 15 secondary schools across Aberdeen City and Shire will get to explore the world of oil and gas up close and personal as OPITO’s successful Energise Your Future initiative arrives at Subsea Expo 2016. Now in its 8th year, this inspirational school pupils’ career event arranged by the industry skills organisation is making its second visit to the show. Staged in conjunction with Subsea UK, it will see up to 250 young people visiting 20 exhibiting companies here at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to find out more about a future in the oil and gas industry. The pupils, aged between 13 and 17 years, will visit a wide range of firms from across the subsea spectrum including Aker Solutions, DNV GL, IQARUS, Astrimar Ltd, and the National Hyperbaric Centre. “The aim of Energise Your Future has always been to further encourage pupils studying the relevant subjects towards a career in the oil and gas industry,” said John McDonald, OPITO’s managing director in the UK.


Subsea UK News | February 2016


“The promising number of pupils attending this year’s event at Subsea Expo 2016 shows that the enthusiasm from young people wanting a future in the industry hasn’t abated despite the negative headlines and general public awareness over the current situation our sector is facing.” The attendees will be shown around the stands of the companies who have signed up to the initiative and will be able to speak to personnel as well as try out a range of interactive activities designed to highlight the range of dynamic careers the subsea industry offers. Pupils will have the opportunity to try their hand at industry related activities such as flying one of the world’s smallest ROV systems in a display tank, as well as taking part in a CPR challenge. Mr McDonald continued: “The Energise Your Future at Subsea Expo 2016 programme provides stimulating as well as fun practical experiences and information on a huge scope of long term employment opportunities to this potential new generation of oil and gas personnel. “Many young people are still not aware of the diversity this sector offers them in terms of career choices. Visitors will be inspired by those already working in the industry and they’ll see how their subjects can impact on future career choices. “The event will also appeal to those with business, artistic and commercial interests as well as those who are scientifically and technically minded. And it’s not just the pupils who will see the benefit. Energise Your Future will give organisations direct access to the 250 pupils already studying the key science, technology, engineering and maths subjects needed to sustain the future industry workforce.

“As an industry we must continue to do all we can to attract the kind of innovation and creativity that has made the industry the exciting and vibrant place it is today. “We are taking great strides in opening up avenues of communication with young people with the aim of demystifying oil and gas and redressing many of the common misconceptions about the sector but it is vital that we continue to find ways to allow people to engage with our industry more than they ever have before.

“If you talk to any of the employers exhibiting at the show they will tell you that there is no shortage of young people or graduates wanting to enter the world of oil and gas. The fear is that given the severity of the recent challenges in the industry that businesses will cut the numbers of apprenticeships and graduate schemes seeing it as a quick fix solution. Ultimately though, this isn’t a sustainable solution. “Apprenticeships, for example, allow employers to make sure that the on-the-job training is relevant and gives the trainee much needed hands-on experience and a chance to apply their new skillset in a working environment. “It won’t be long before the older generation retire and along with them, their knowledge, experience and skills. “For the most, young people looking for a career in the industry will be inspired by at least one of the following factors – a positive role model who already works in the sector, the potential for a rewarding career which includes travelling the world, or the promise of working at the sharp edge of new technology and pioneering innovation with the potential to improve the industry.”

“Working in partnership with Subsea UK, there are 20 member companies taking part in this event who view it as the perfect opportunity to reach out and speak to the students and widen their appreciation of how vital this source of fresh talent will be,” added Mr McDonald. “These are pupils who are genuinely interested in working in the subsea sector. Only by engaging and enabling them to speak with industry professionals first hand can we alert them to the exciting world of high-tech gadgetry and the wealth of adventurous careers available within the oil and gas marketplace.

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Astrimar Helps Subsea Industry Drive Down Costs with New Inspection Tool Astrimar is helping the subsea industry drive down inspection costs by making better use of historical inspection data with its new risk-based pRIOriti tool. Sparse subsea industry and asset failure data makes the estimation of asset specific equipment failure rates difficult for operators. As a result, failure rates are typically estimated based on industry or operator generic data (e.g. OREDA), or expert judgement. Routine inspection intervals are frequently determined using conservative approaches - these are normally based on operator standard approaches such as an annual or biennial basis related to rules of thumb for different generic risk levels. They do not necessarily take account of the specific asset condition or risk. Significant cost savings can be achieved without compromising asset integrity, by using a data-driven, risk based approach to defining inspection intervals instead of the traditional standardised approach. To do this, though, the actual condition of the asset needs to be reflected in the estimation of failure probability to form an effective basis of the risk based approach. Subsea equipment failures are relatively infrequent, but the industry routinely collects a much larger volume of anomaly data as part of inspection campaigns than is actually used. These inspection results provide valuable data for implementing a risk based approach for determining future optimised inspection intervals. Inspection data relating to equipment for which no anomalies are observed are also important.

Astrimar have developed a practical software tool, pRIOriti, using an innovative state-space technique, to make efficient use of all historical inspection data available for a specific asset. This provides a more rigorous, yet efficient, statistical approach for estimating the probability of equipment items being in a degraded or failed state, and effectively reflects the actual condition of the asset. Repair rates can also be added to support availability predictions. By understanding the potential severity of the consequences of a specific failure mode, agreed risk acceptance criteria are used to determine an acceptable probability of failure. This threshold failure probability is used with the asset-specific failure estimates to predict the time period to reach the threshold value and hence determine optimum risk based inspection intervals.

By making best use of data, the pRIOriti RBI tool provides an efficient, objective and quantified basis for reducing non critical inspection allowing smarter use of resources focused on the most critical assets and subsystems. Low risk equipment can justifiably be inspected less frequently - with evidence and assurance of appropriate risk management. Higher risk equipment, however, can benefit from more focused attention enabling proactive demonstration of condition knowledge and integrity management. The asset specific failure estimates can also be used by operators to update reliability, availability and risk assessments for the asset, for example FMECAs to support Preparedness Response planning and risk-based sparing assessments. The data can also be used to update RAM analysis to forecast production availability.

Astrimar will be launching their risk based inspection optimisation tool pRIOriti at Subsea Expo 2016, showcasing a demonstration of the tool.


Subsea UK News | February 2016

Find us on Stand 69 at Subsea Expo


From Concept to Process: V-IR JIP Shallow Water Trial Commences Viper Subsea Explain the Steps Involved in Bringing the V-IR Joint Industry Project (JIP) to Market The next phase of the V-IR JIP has commenced with a shallow water trial of the system in Portishead, Bristol, close to the headquarters of the developer Viper Subsea. V-IR brings together V-LIM – a topside monitor of insulation resistance, capacitance and electrical integrity of subsea electrical umbilicals - and V-SLIM – the subsea electronics node that measures a range of electrical integrity data and transmits it back to the surface. When integrated, these innovative technologies will create a system that provides a complete subsea distribution system electrical integrity map. V-LIM is already commercially available and seeing a significant uptake. During the three month trial the V-IR technology suite will undergo communications and performance testing in a sea water environment that will include the use of 2km of subsea cable. Although a shallow water trial, the V-SLIM is already rated for 3000m water depth. Neil Douglas, Managing Director of Viper Subsea explains the challenge that is being addressed by the V-IR concept:

“The cost of subsea electrical failures is high in terms of interventions costs, capital spares and deferred production. When failures occur it’s both time consuming and expensive to precisely locate the fault, and in many cases problems can be exacerbated by the fault finding process itself, as previously good electrical connections are disconnected and faults can occur when they are re-mated. V-IR will provide an electrical integrity map for subsea distribution systems which gives the critical information required to execute an efficient maintenance and repair plan.”

degradation (pre-failure) of the network. This means that any repair or replacement effort can be directed straight to the fault location, minimising spares capital expenditure and vessel time. Following the shallow water trial there will be a period of further equipment qualification before the system is fully commercialised. Neil continues: “The purpose of the trial is to deploy the equipment into a subsea environment, connected as a system, with full interface and functional tests being performed. At the end of the trial the subsea located equipment will have a ‘Technology Readiness Level’ rating of TRL5. This is a step towards supplying the technology into an operational field, and we are delighted to continue to receive the support of the JIP sponsors.”

Find us on Stand 29 at Subsea Expo

Neil Douglas Managing Director of Viper Subsea

Developed with the support and backing of BP, Shell, Total, and Chevron, V-IR is set to revolutionise the way the subsea market manages its subsea electrical equipment, reducing significantly the costs of electrical integrity management. Within the V-IR solution the V-SLIM units are installed at strategic subsea locations within the electrical distribution network. This can be through retro-fit of separate V-SLIM units for brownfield applications, or through integration of the technology into the distribution hardware for greenfield usage. The V-LIM unit is installed on the topsides and acts as the gathering module for the subsea data from V-SLIM units. Once connected, the user can access a graphical user interface which can be easily interrogated to identify the location of any electrical faults together with any observed

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Crondall’s Compact “Not Normally Manned” Floating Production Unit Crondall Energy Consultants Ltd is an oil and gas consultancy, providing strategic, technical and commercial consulting services to the offshore upstream oil and gas sectors. The challenge with the development of many new projects in the current oil price environment is that a significant number (particularly smaller fields) will be economically marginal based on the costs of current floating production technologies. Existing FPU technologies have not been able to deliver a sufficiently cost effective solution for these smaller fields, so a new technology is required. The challenge has been to take a completely fresh look at the design and operation of FPUs and the equipment used on them to create a technology which allows for more production from a substantially smaller and more cost effective facility (reduced capex and opex).

Find us on Stand 154 at Subsea Expo

The focus of the development has been to draw together a number of existing innovations, but in such a way as to create a completely new type of floating production unit. Crondall have adopted various elements of compact processing technology in order to create production facilities with lower space and weight (payload). Crondall have then taken an innovative approach to the design of the floater in order to accommodate this reduced topsides payload within a compact low cost single column floating structure. Crondall have used high density pumpable ballast in order to maximise the installed payload of the unit and minimise the cost of construction and installation of the unit. The facility has been designed to be built in a wide range of offshore construction yards around the word, (yards with only moderate quayside water depth), thus opening up widespread competition and an opportunity for maximising local content. The facility is designed to be built in two halves, and joined afloat using a combination of winching and de-ballasting. These innovations lead to cost effective construction and installation operations and the use of high density ballast facilitates these operations whilst still maintaining a very compact geometry. In order to achieve a low opex solution the facility has been designed to be unmanned in normal operations, with maintenance operations carried by regular (3-6 weeks) visits, the frequency depending on the level of process equipment and consumables required for a field specific operations. There are four main areas of design innovation in the Crondall FPU: 1. Process intensification – Adapting compact process technologies to deliver higher production throughput with smaller and lighter process equipment and utilities: (more oil – less equipment); 2. Compact floating facility structure – making the floating structure as compact (and by implication – low cost) as possible consistent with the various demands of providing a stable platform for the process equipment and withstanding site specific metocean loads for e.g. the North Sea.

3. Easy installation Developing a structure which can be constructed and installed cost effectively without the use of expensive construction vessels and which can be constructed at coastal facilities near to the installation site. 4. Low cost operations Developing the use of remote control technologies and high reliability process and utilities, to allow prolonged periods of “not-normallymanned” operations.

Crondall have developed this low cost “not-normallymanned” floating production facility, which fills a gap between subsea developments and full sized floaters, and can be used either as a stand-alone development with subsea wells or in support of longer and more complex subsea tie-backs. The key innovation is in the development of facilities which are both extremely compact and capable of unmanned operations. The technology opens up the prospect of unlocking a significant number of stranded oil and gas assets in all environments.


Subsea UK News | February 2016


Infield Subsea Market Report: Challenges and Innovation Europe’s subsea market is without doubt facing a challenging period with operators taking projects back to the drawing board to mitigate against prevailing low commodity prices. Going forwards, the focus of technological innovation within the subsea market is likely to be on efficiency and enhanced recovery from existing developments. A recent innovation within the subsea market, taking compression technology from topside to the seabed, has been pioneered by Statoil. The operator’s installation of the first two subsea compression facilities at Asgard and Gullfaks during 2015 are aimed at improving the production rates and extending field life at a number of adjacent fields. A compression unit on the seabed has several advantages over a topside compression unit, including greater cost effectiveness through decreasing topside weight, while subsea compression has about half the carbon footprint than the topside equivalent. Subsea compression technology can also be standardised, thus improving cost efficiency going forwards and it is seen by many as the first step towards the realisation of a full subsea factory. While ongoing investment into the development of subsea compression and also subsea separation technologies continues, demand for these technologies over the short-term is likely to remain low, predominantly due to the low field economics of prospects where these technologies are best suited. Indeed, Infield Systems’ latest subsea forecast highlights just six fields located offshore UK and Norway that could require either subsea compression or subsea separation technology over the forthcoming five years, but with the sanction prices for these prospects standing above the current commodity prices, the installation of subsea compression and separation units, which ultimately offer longer-term cost savings, will have to wait for market conditions to improve.

Looking at Europe’s subsea market as a whole, Infield Systems expects the UK and Norway to continue to lead demand over the 2016-2020 timeframe. Key projects are expected to include the completion of Norway’s Aasta Hansteen and its tie-in satellites, while offshore UK BP’s Schiehallion (Quad 204) development is expected to require the highest subsea Capex regionally during 2016. The Enquest operated Kraken development is also likely to see significant subsea expenditure demand over the five year period, whilst outside the North West European Continental Shelf Noble Energy’s Aphrodite project offshore Cyprus could also see subsea Capex towards the end of the decade.

Indeed, despite the current market malaise, the longer term outlook for Europe’s subsea market remains positive, with demand growth expected to increase significantly from 2018 onwards; driven in particular by Norwegian projects.

Netherlands 1% Ireland 1% Italy 2%

Other 1% Cyprus 5%

Europe Subsea Capex (%) 2016-2020 by Country

Norway 46%

UK 44%

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Innovative Solutions for Integrity Assessment of Offshore & Subsea Assets

Innospection is an integrity support specialist providing advanced inspection services and solutions for the lifetime assessment of topside, splash zone and subsea assets in the Oil & Gas industry.

The harsh unforgiving subsea environment, market uncertainties due to falling oil prices and the demand for integrity support inspections have continued to lead Innospection to develop both smart and cost effective technology solutions to support the lifetime assessment of flexible and rigid risers, caissons, conductors, subsea structures and pipelines, non-piggable pipelines, ship hulls and mooring lines. The next generation Magnetic Eddy Current (MEC) technique, which is a further development of the high performance fast corrosion screening SLOFEC technique, is used by Innospection as a key tool for integrity assessments support. Capable of detecting the smallest pitting corrosion, cracks and thinning, the MEC technique also targets the most difficult inspection challenge i.e. the in-situ inspection of flexible risers and pipes of coated, multi-layered wire construction for defects and deformation in the internal layers without the removal of the pipes from the production location.

The range of robust MEC-Combi inspection tools enables the incorporation of multiple inspection techniques such as PEC, high resolution UT, laser and camera system in addition to the MEC technique for reliable qualitative and quantitative data within a single deployment. An advanced marine growth removal system can also be incorporated for a simultaneous cleaning and inspection operation. With self-crawling ability, these MEC-Combi tools target subsea accessibility challenges and are able to relieve the project dependence on the most expensive resources such as divers, workclass ROV systems and support vessels in subsea inspection projects. 2015 had been a buoyant year with outstanding inspection achievements, such as: • External inspection of non-piggable subsea pipelines • Inspection of flexible risers for crack in both armour wire layers with deployment

Multi-Function MEC-Combi Inspection Tools

by an inspection-class ROV as well as accurate wire gap sizing • Fitness-for-service analysis of conductors with a dedicated system able to inspect from the splash zone to the seabed within a short time To further support our clients, progress has been made to the ongoing developments such as: • An extended inspection scope for flexible risers • An automated splash zone inspection system for hull inspection • Subsea corrosion mapping and geometry measurement of structural legs and conductors • Automated defect sizing capability for the MEC technique • Inspection technique and tool for typical field inspection of CRA-clad and heavywalled pipes which are until now noninspectable.

Whatever your inspection challenges and integrity targets are, Innospection could be your solution provider. For more information, please contact or call Aberdeen: +44 (0)1224 724744


Subsea UK News | February 2016


The Four Pillars of Collaborative Success – A Lawyer’s Perspective One of the key findings of Sir Ian Wood’s review stressed the importance of collaboration in addressing the significant challenges faced by the oil & gas sector and the pivotal role played by lawyers in the process. Lawyers occupy a unique position at the heart of any potential project – at the axis where commercial, technical, operational, corporate, contractual, and legal interests intersect in a way which creates a catalyst for companies to come together. My experience as a lawyer has taught me that any effective collaboration must be built from the firm foundation of what I describe as the “Four Pillars for Success”. • Pillar One “Common Objective” – parties must be bound by a common objective. Whether it is operational, commercial, corporate or a hybrid, it will always be an umbrella of understanding which forms the focal point of the relationship. • Pillar Two “Common Drivers” – any collaborative relationship must also be underpinned by common processes and procedures for performing the project. For example, where two or more companies do not have the same management system, it will be imperative to bridge them to create common operational drivers for collaboration. • Pillar Three “Common Benefits” – the commercial benefits, cost savings, efficiencies and other value-added tangibles and intangibles of the relationship. • Pillar Four “Common Ground for Controlling and Managing Risk” – the pinch points in the collaborative relationship must be clearly understood, and careful drafting will be required to create a road map for bridging the barriers and navigating the potential impediments.

As our sector faces its own existential Greg May, Partner in the challenges, perhaps we can turn, in part, Energy & Infrastructure to similar industries to find answers to our team at Brodies LLP most urgent problems. Certain leaders have referred to lessons to be learned from the nuclear and auto industries. Likewise, in a recent article, David Christie, senior lecturer and course leader for the LLM/MSc in Construction Law and Arbitration at Robert Gordon University, suggested that the UK oil & gas industry could learn lessons about collaboration from the experience of the onshore construction industry during a difficult period in the late 90s and early 2000s. Christie points to the growing use of the collaborative standard form New Engineering Contract (NEC), which operates as a manual for projects – rather than the bundle of rights and obligations in a conventional contract. It contains detailed notification provisions which set out systematic and structured information flows over risk assessments and other important events throughout the contract’s life. As long as the parties to the contract ‘buy in’ to the approach; it works – and can minimise disputes. However, whether we look outward or inward for answers, the solution will always start with first principles – or four pillars.

Quick Hydraulics to Broaden Product and Service Offering through Acquisition by Altec The recent acquisition of Quick Hydraulics by the Altec Engineering Group is set to open up new opportunities by building upon the combined expertise of the individual companies. Quick Hydraulics has built up an excellent reputation in the market place for delivering high quality hydraulic systems and solutions, which include hydraulic power units, hydraulic installations, industrial service and City & Guilds accredited hydraulic training. Altec has continued to enhance their capabilities in precision CNC machining through significant investments in state of the art machine tools and a recent extension at their Bowburn site. Altec and Quick have been operating in similar markets for a number of years and share many of the same customers, particularly in the oil and gas sectors. Altec’s expertise within these sectors extends to the manufacture of the precision CNC machined components which are often complex in nature, and their respective coatings used in technologies such as subsea, topside automation, drilling technology, well intervention and the newly developed subsea gas compression technology. Customers can now benefit from the joint relationship between Altec and Quick on build to print projects, taking advantage of this enhanced capability offering. Altec also designs and manufactures special purpose equipment and often incorporates hydraulics within these systems. Having direct access to “in group” expertise from Quick will be a valuable asset, especially at the concept and design stages of a project, where it is essential that the optimum solution is identified. Altec’s extensive 5 axis CNC machining capability will allow the development of new opportunities, such as the design and manufacture of bespoke hydraulic manifolds, further enhancing the services offered by the company and building on Quick’s expertise and solid reputation for excellent customer service.

Quick Hydraulics MD Andrew Esson

Subsea UK News | February 2016



OSBIT Power Reaches Key Helix ITF Project Milestone OSBIT Power has completed work on three new offshore access systems. The systems are to be installed on a trio of new well intervention vessels commissioned by Helix Well Ops U.K. The systems are the first significant milestone in the triple Intervention Tension Frame (ITF) contract awarded to the company in March 2015. This was followed by a second contract win to produce three sets of maintenance towers and moveable decks, for the same vessels. Together, the two projects form the company’s largest order to date.

Each 100 tonne ITF system is over 20 metres high and provides a safer working environment for well intervention work, including coiled tubing and wire line operations. The access systems enhance safer working conditions by removing the need for engineers to use rope access systems between the ITF and maintenance tower. This is a substantial step forward in safe vessel operations. Each access system extends telescopically through a hydraulic operation to a length of 13.5 metres.

We have worked closely with Helix to provide an effective solution that meets the complex operational requirements while significantly reducing cost. This is a major requirement in the current very difficult market conditions resulting from the huge oil price drop over the past 17 months.”

Dr. Tony Trapp, Executive Chairman at OSBIT Power, said: “This is a significant step forward for this project, which is our second order for these vessels and forms the largest combined undertaking in the company’s history.

Two sets of access systems will be delivered for installation on Helix’s Siem Helix 1 and 2 vessels. The third unit will be shipped to Singapore where Helix’s Q7000 vessel is currently under construction in the Jurong Shipyard.

Utilising our experience in delivering walk-to-work access systems, together with our excellent relationships with our suppliers, we have ensured that the overall project remains on time and to budget.

The ITF, maintenance towers and moveable decks are currently in production at two North East based facilities and will be delivered in 2016 for installation.


Subsea UK News | February 2016


New Subsea Matchmaking Service Launched


ENG Resources has officially launched its matchmaking service. The company has been established to help subsea companies find the most suitable engineers for projects in oil and gas and marine renewables at the most competitive rates. Set up by experienced subsea engineer, Mark Cooper, ENG Resources will source and provide the most appropriate engineering consultants to match the specific needs of a client’s project, reducing the risk of costly mistakes due to a lack of understanding of both the technical competences of the engineer and the technical requirements of the project. Mr Cooper said: “I have seen first-hand the costly problems caused by the recruitment process not matching the skills and competences of an engineer to the technical complexities of the project. This is largely due to a lack of engineering knowledge and a misunderstanding of what’s actually involved in the project.


Mark Cooper, ENG Resources

Recently established ENG Resources is currently building a pool of engineering consultants who will be quality controlled and categorised by their skills, experience and competence. These candidates will then be matched to the client’s requirements after a thorough assessment of the project or position.



Focused solely on subsea consultants, ENG Resources is dedicated to ensuring that companies acquire the services of the most technically skilled and experienced people within the sector both onshore and offshore. Mr Cooper added: “At the outset a “wish list” will be created to understand what is required to fill the position. From there we will work on finding the correct person through existing contacts or from searching the market for the suitable candidate. We will offer candidates support and assistance to help them find the next challenge in their career, reviewing objectives and helping meet them.

Stand 40


“ENG Resources is highly specialised and subsea focused. Committed to getting the best result for both the client and the candidate, our goal is to provide people who will excel in the position, resulting in a satisfied client and a fulfilled consultant.”


Seatronics Collaborates with Robotic Systems Manufacturer, Inuktun Seatronics, an Acteon company, and market leaders in the rental and sale of marine electronic equipment, has announced a collaboration with Canadian-based manufacturer, Inuktun Services Ltd. Inuktun has extensive expertise in remote controlled robotic transport and delivery of multi-mission, modular technology used in hazardous environments and confined spaces. Seatronics is working with Inuktun to supply the Inuktun ROV Manipulator as a standardised option for the Seatronics Predator ROV Elite System. The Elite System was established and manufactured by Seatronics as a Bomb Squad Capable Improvised Explosive Device (IED) ROV specifically designed to operate within the military and defence industry. The Inuktun ROV Manipulator is a compact and powerful addition to the Predator Elite System with flexible interchangeable jaw sets and pressure compensated housing. Phil Middleton, group managing director, Seatronics, said: “Seatronics is excited to collaborate with Inuktun on the development of our Predator Elite ROV system. Colin and his team have been hugely supportive throughout our extensive testing, culminating in the recent

successful trials in the US. Seatronics is working closely with Inuktun in developing opportunities to collaborate on future developments.”

Colin Dobell, president and CEO, Inuktun, added:

“We are looking forward to working with Seatronics on new options for their ROV system. The Seatronics team has a great reputation in the industry and, as demonstrated with this latest development, they have the ability to solve problems that others cannot.”

Using Systems Engineering to Improve Operational Efficiency in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) Iain Struthers, Senior Engineer, Frazer-Nash Consultancy

Systems engineering is sometimes viewed as ‘common sense’. However, in the real world, practice can diverge from this ideal, causing errors, delays and affecting production. Engineers resolve problems and put processes in place to learn from them, particularly when safety is at risk. But lessons may need learning in other business areas, including product development and operations support. With safety-critical learning the incentive is clear, but ignoring issues in other areas can lead to hidden inefficiencies and costs. If inefficiencies and costs remain unidentified then they go unaddressed, especially if obscured by high margins. Problems appear when these margins can’t be sustained, forcing companies to take cost-cutting measures. By tackling the problem at source, using structured techniques to resolve fundamental inefficiencies, it is possible to address these cost issues. One approach shown to identify root causes, resolving issues before they impact on business, is systems engineering. This approach focuses directly on system requirements, providing a robust process to verify and validate requirements throughout the product life cycle. Systems engineers pre-empt emergent operational problems in the design phase, and commercial targets from the start, through developing specifications through stakeholder engagement with all parties. This enables assurance of the project’s ultimate goal: continued safe, reliable and profitable operation. The slump in the oil price has impacted badly on the UKCS. The underlying drivers of high production cost are clear: a high taxation environment, workforce factors and ageing infrastructure all play


Subsea UK News | February 2016

their part. The industry has made significant efforts to improve efficiency but key factors lie outside its control – as seen in the latest spending review. Given the impact of external factors on profitability, a systematic approach is vital to design costs out of operations. Many companies in the UKCS need to use operations personnel to deliver new hardware, components and infrastructure into service, resulting in excessive costs, long working hours, disruptions to operation and potential reputational damage. Conversely, applying a systems engineering approach to operations can identify efficiencies, reduce risks and potentially provide significant cost savings. Systems engineering tools are widely used in other high-hazard industries, where the approach adds value with the financial savings gained from avoided harms greatly outweighing implementation costs. It offers an opportunity to review business practices in a structured, comprehensive way, providing clarity to operators, and ensuring that the right equipment, people and processes are in the right place at the right time to get the job done.


Scots Support French Subsea Cable Installation Aberdeenshire energy industry equipment manufacturer and service provider Flowline Specialists recently completed a contract to transpool and deploy subsea cables for the only French marine renewable energy sea trial site connected to the grid. This new site is viewed as crucial to the growth of marine renewable energy in Europe. The Oldmeldrum-based firm undertook work on the SEM-REV marine renewable energy project alongside subsea cable and connector specialist Hydro Group. This was the first time the two Scottish companies had collaborated. Flowline Specialists was selected due to its knowledge, experience and availability of equipment to provide a safe and cost-effective method of deploying the subsea cables.

Led by Ecole Centrale Nantes, the SEM-REV marine renewable energy project is located 16 nautical miles offshore of Le Croisic on the north-west French Atlantic coast. The 1km² experimentation site has been designed as a long-term facility that will allow the simultaneous testing of several marine renewable energy prototypes and is the only one of its type in Europe.

Flowline Specialists designs, engineers and manufacturers a range of equipment that safely handles flexible pipes, umbilicals and cables for the oil and gas, subsea and renewable industries.

Flowline Specialists CEO, Jim Smith, said: “SEM-REV is an important experimental site that will aid the development of marine renewable energy in France and across Europe. This energy source is set to form an important part of Europe’s future energy mix and the facility will assist in the testing and developing of both subsea turbines and floating wind turbines. Flowline Specialists is delighted to have assisted in bringing the project on stream.

The month-long project utilised two of the firm’s 4m diameter reels, along with a shaft drive spooler, tensioner and overboard chute from its equipment range. Flowline Specialists modified the two reels in-house to accommodate the specific requirements of the cables. Six of the firm’s technicians installed and operated the equipment for spooling and deployment of the subsea cable which will bring ashore the generated energy.

“In the last year we have been involved in a number of subsea cable deployment or recovery projects around the world utilising the range of our equipment including reels, spoolers, tensioners and chutes. The experience of our highly competent team of offshore technicians also brings added value to the client.”

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Seanamic Integrated Subsea Intervention Systems With the ongoing need for maintenance and field work, the offshore industry is grappling with the demands of scheduled well intervention and maintenance against a background of tighter budgets. The industry is hungry for solutions that reduce cost. Supply of an integrated umbilical and handling system by the manufacturer designed as a package from the start, reducing cost and risk, is now offered by Seanamic Group. Specialising in integrated surface to seabed systems, the Seanamic Group is headed by CEO, Alasdair MacDonald. “The technical challenges of subsea well intervention are well documented, not least of which are the cost of vessels to undertake this work. With budgets under scrutiny as never before, we anticipate significant market demand for integrated, lightweight portable systems in deepwater fields facing increasingly complex issues. Seanamic provides operators and contractors with these integrated solutions.” Seanamic integrated systems include bespoke umbilical and handling solutions for: • Well Intervention, Workover and BOP (MUX and direct hydraulic) • Saturation Diving and Subsea Habitats • ROV and Submersibles.

Caley Dive Handling System 450

Surface to Seabed

Seanamic Synergies

Integration and Customisation

Seanamic Group comprises Houston-based, Umbilicals International (UI) and Glasgowbased Caley Ocean Systems. Formally HL Technologies, UI designs and manufactures custom dynamic thermoplastic umbilicals and cables. Caley Ocean Systems has over 40 years offshore handling systems experience in oil & gas, renewables, oceanographic, diving and ROV applications. Flexible, modular, high performance handling systems are its trademark.

• Single source supply simplifies supply chain management – enhances project performance and reduces integration risk.

Seanamics’ focus on engineering and integration gives it the edge. “Typically there are two areas that need to be managed. An engineering solution that addresses the need technically, and is cost effective, and managing the integration of the umbilical with the handling system to ensure the system works straight out of the box during deployment.” explains David Henderson.

“As well as new projects coming online, there is a critical mass of maturing subsea wells and architecture in place that is set to drive an increasing demand for well intervention,” notes Gregor McPherson, sales director, Caley. “Systems providing portability, rapid mobilisation and the ability to deploy from lighter intervention vessels have been the focus area of Caley handling systems for a number of years.”

• From the outset, umbilical and handling system are designed as a package. • Broad engineering skillset and experience focused on delivering customised solutions. According to David Henderson, business development manager, Seanamic Group, setting the standard for surface to seabed systems means offering clients a one-stop shop that reduces their risk and cost. “Many companies talk about designing and building an integrated system, however only Seanamic is 100% in-house. Our value lies in the depth of design experience with the umbilical and LARS package – which translates into de-risking the project commercially and technically. Seanamic Group offers a place where customers can go to avoid the inevitable integration issues.”

An example is Seanamic’s IWOCS deployment system, combining Caley’s engineering with UI’s umbilical design to fully optimise the mechanical capability of the deployment system and its performance subsea.

Umbilicals International IWOCS umbilical

To find out more visit and email


Online Electronics’ MEG ARTS® Successfully Completes First Project Online Electronics’ award winning MEG ARTS® subsea analysis and sampling system has successfully completed its first operation during the summer of 2015 in a pipeline project in the UK Continental Shelf. The project recommissioned a gas export line following maintenance. A conditioning pig train was run from the production facility to a sea bed manifold that connected to an operating gas line. Deployed from a construction support vessel, MEG ARTS® was placed next to the manifold and connected by hose to a vent valve. The system operated unattended, monitoring and recording the density, temperature, and pressure of the received fluids. The line fill of water from the pressure test was followed by MEG (mono-ethylene glycol) in the pig train. Samples of MEG were captured according to limits defined for the project. During transit of a pig train there was some mixing of water with MEG. It was important to know that the quality of MEG confirms that the line is sufficiently dry and ready for production. The system was retrieved to the support vessel and the samples were recovered. The data clearly showed the change from sea water and different qualities of MEG as each pig was received. Both the construction company executing the project and the operating company were pleased with the performance of the system and quality of pipeline data that it has not been practical to obtain before the availability of MEG ARTS®. The system is the winner of the Pipeline Industry Guild Technical Awards; Subsea Pipeline Technology Award 2015.

Aberdeen Oil & Gas Services Firm Finalises Agreement with Global Leader An Aberdeen floating production solutions firm has agreed a new venture with a global leader in project management, engineering and construction, to develop marginal fields in the North Sea. Amplus Energy Services, which is headquartered in the city’s Grandholm area, has struck a deal with Technip in the UK to work together to contribute to the development of untapped oil reserves. With much of the remaining reserves inaccessible using existing infrastructure, the two firms have joined forces using their individual expertise to provide an integrated and fit for purpose solution for challenging field developments. There is an estimated 24 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) still to be developed and produced in the UKCS and Sir Ian Wood’s report last year outlined a requirement for collaboration to maximise recovery of the country’s oil and gas resources. The collaboration between Technip in the UK and Amplus is in line with the recommendations of the report and will help streamline costs, allowing companies to safely tap into more challenging reserves. Technip in the UK will bring its extensive project management, engineering and market leading products to the relationship, developing cost efficient subsea infrastructure, while Amplus has developed an innovative dynamically positioned (DP) versatile production unit (VPU). The Amplus VPU utilises proven FSPO (floating, production, storage and offloading) and DP vessel technology. The vessel has been specifically designed to meet the rigorous safety and environmental conditions of the North Sea and is also suitable for projects in other areas of the world such as West Africa, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and South East Asia.

The VPU has evolved from proven DP FPSO technology, from a major oil and gas operator, and the Dis-connectable Turret System (DTS) is field proven in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Australia. It boasts 200,000bbl oil storage capacity and an NOV designed topsides processing system.

Amplus managing director Ian Herd said:

“We have already invested more than $5 million in the development of our VPU and it has been specifically designed for small/medium sized fields or as an early production system on larger fields. Working alongside such a global leader as Technip to support the subsea infrastructure brings immense benefits to Amplus and offers the industry a strong collaboration to get these smaller fields developed. Our VPU design coupled with Technip’s vast worldwide expertise in subsea infrastructure is a winning combination offering a strong, reliable and cost effective option for the industry.” Amplus and Technip in the UK are already jointly evaluating two potential projects in the West of Shetland and the Central North Sea.

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Education on the Rise: University Sees Increase in Demand for Full-time and Distance Learning Subsea Engineering MScs As a University operating at the heart of a major global energy centre, the University of Aberdeen has long been considered as a leading institution in subsea education. Much of this success has been attributed to the links that the University has developed with the oil and gas sector in Aberdeen, and the development of flexible learning programmes providing graduates with the skills required to make an immediate impact in the workplace. One such programme is the University’s MSc in Subsea Engineering, which in addition to full-time study offers a part-time distance learning option to suit those already in employment who are looking to enhance their skills and employability. The programme benefits from input from an Industrial Advisory Board which includes senior industry figures from major companies including Chevron, BP, ITF, Subsea 7, Technip, Aker Solutions, Dana Petroleum, GE, Atkins Global and Wood Group Kenny. It is these close ties with industry that have seen the course go from strength to strength since it was first established in 2008. Professor Ekaterina Pavlovskaia, from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Engineering, was instrumental in the development of the course, which was established in response to demand from the sector. She said: “A number of members of the School’s Industrial Advisory Board are from local subsea companies, and they highlighted a need in industry to have better trained engineers working in the subsea sector.

Professor Ekaterina Pavlovskaia, from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Engineering

“We carried out market research and consulted extensively with local companies, which helped us to bring in sponsorship and expertise from industry, and since launching the MSc it has grown in popularity.”

For more information about the University of Aberdeen’s


Students studing the University’s MSc in Subsea Engineering programme

“Our average intake is around 40 full-time students each year, and this year we have seen a slight rise in the numbers of full-time students on the course. This is possibly down to the numbers of people who have lost their jobs during the downturn, and who have chosen to devote themselves to full-time study as a means of finding a way back into employment.”

“Our average intake is around 40 full-time students each year, and this year we have seen a slight rise in the numbers of full-time students on the course. This is possibly down to the numbers of people who have lost their jobs during the downturn, and who have chosen to devote themselves to full-time study as a means of finding a way back into employment.” Earlier this year Professor Pavlovskaia was appointed Director of the Global Subsea University Alliance, a body that promotes learning and research amongst the world’s leading subsea education institutions.

This appointment reflects the leading role that the University of Aberdeen plays in subsea education, which Professor Pavlovskaia said is exemplified through the MSc programme. “We have created a course that is consistently delivering exactly what companies wanted in terms of its curriculum and high standard, and this is the secret of its success,” she added. “The students have a chance to learn the latest technology from practicing engineers and obtain the fundamental knowledge that prepares them for developing new solutions and innovations. “We also supplement classroom learning with industrial visits that provide the students with a better understanding of the manufacturing processes and first-hand practical experiences of subsea equipment. “Our links with the oil and gas industry ensures that students benefit from lectures held by professionals working in the sector, and many of our graduates are directly employed by the companies that support the programme, including the likes of Chevron, Technip, Subsea 7 and Aker Solutions. “The continued support we have had from the sector has made all the difference in the ongoing success of the programme, which is routinely reviewed in consultation with industry to ensure that it maintains its relevance. “The result is that our graduates are uniquely placed to hit the ground running in the workplace, and this is why so many go on to enjoy successful careers.”

MSc in Subsea Engineering, please visit


Project Management and Engineering Experts bring New Direction to IRM A leading North-east project management & engineering firm is saving its clients millions of pounds by introducing a new philosophy of detailed upfront engineering. SETS, a project management & engineering company which specialises in complex IRM workscopes, has been working with a number of leading operators worldwide using its extensive expertise to engineer out risk and potential costs from workscopes. The firm’s management team has over 250 years of experience, and the company has been and is currently supporting operators in Africa and the North Sea with ageing assets in need of repair or maintenance, by establishing a high level of project management prior to execution. The company is introducing a new philosophy of spending more time on IRM projects before leaving the shore, which has resulted in multimillion pound savings. Chris Tierney, Managing Director, said: “For too long, the industry has reacted to OPEX / IRM workscopes as simply a task which needs to be completed without looking at the overall picture. Reactive OPEX no longer works without stringent processes, which understand the financial requirements behind any potential scope. Clear decision points should be utilised and, most importantly, we must commercially and technically de-risk the overall workscopes. This will lead to scopes being delivered where required, on time, successfully, safely and within budget requirements.” A recent overseas project saw SETS provide full project management, procedures and engineering support for the safe removal of an ageing FSO. A detailed decision support package assessed the project solutions, which resulted in eight figure savings for the operator. Chris said: “With a keen eye on costs, operators need to look closely at the way IRM workscopes have worked in the past and consider a different way. The days of sitting onboard hugely expensive vessels waiting for decisions and even contingency engineering should be over.

“The application of actual project management & engineering processes should be more closely applied to IRM workscopes at this time, inclusive of financial scrutiny, planning and scheduling review, rather than these pieces forming the focus of the cost cutting exercise which we have experienced.

Chris Tierney Managing Director SETS

“Furthermore, with high levels of layoffs, there is a potential for a knowledge gap in the industry. In IRM, experience and knowledge are key. SETS is aiming to recycle exceptional execution engineering into the beginning of the OPEX scope lifecycle, thereby ensuring an educated focus is placed on the commercial and technical risks which are so often missed.

“High level, experienced subsea engineering enables our clients to make more informed decisions. The SETS management team is composed of people who have spent their entire careers working on subsea projects, both within the operators’ and major contractor arena.”

Kongsberg Maritime Appoints Offshore Production Business Manager Global marine technology company, Kongsberg Maritime has appointed a new business manager for the Offshore Production division of its Kongsberg Maritime Ltd base in Aberdeen. David Wilson has over 27 years’ experience in the marine engineering industry, the vast majority of which has been spent with Kongsberg Maritime. He has played an integral role within a number of teams, holding key positions within technical sales and business development, covering offshore support, offshore survey and construction, merchant shipping, marine research and naval markets.

David Wilson, newly appointed business manager of Offshore Production, Kongsberg Maritime Ltd

Since 2012, David has held the position of general manager, Kongsberg Maritime Middle East DMCCO (Dubai) and returns to Aberdeen to manage the company’s offshore production division, focusing on its integrated control and safety systems (ICSS), which allow operators to control complex production facilities, using Kongsberg’s unique “The Full Picture” philosophy.

offshore industry, and there is no doubt that David has the capacity to strengthen Kongsberg’s offering of attractive full-scale integrated asset management solutions and services to our customers.”


Subsea UK News | February 2016

Commenting on David’s appointment, Frank McLean, general manager of Kongsberg Maritime Ltd’s Aberdeen base said: “This is a period of challenge for the


SECC Oil & Gas Appoints US Sales Manager

Fernando Hernandez, US Sales Manager, Secc Oil & Gas

Fernando Hernandez has been appointed US sales manager at connector technology company SECC Oil & Gas.

Hernandez joins SECC with extensive field experience and commercial expertise in the dynamic positioning, ROV tooling, automated controls, subsea and well Intervention sectors. His offshore background gives him a firm understanding of the best practices for outfitting vessels and rigs for offshore operations, enabling topside and subsea equipment to operate in synchronicity with divers and ROVs. At SECC, his role will be to foster existing relationships, while opening new opportunities for the company’s connector technologies in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and Mexico. He will be based in Houston, giving UK-headquartered SECC a permanent presence in the US.

“Fernando is a phenomenally experienced offshore professional, project manager and commercial specialist in the subsea and well intervention markets, which makes him hugely valuable to us and our customers as we expand our presence in the Americas,” says SECC’s managing director Paul Armitage.

SETS Appoint New Project Manager SETS has recently recruited John McKenzie, a project management expert with over 30 years’ experience, as subsea project manager to support the firm’s growing reputation as specialists in all manner of offshore operations.

John McKenzie, newly appointment Project Manager at SETS

Mr McKenzie, 49, who is originally from Lossiemouth, has spent his career developing his expertise in subsea project management, having joined Royal Dutch Shell as a trainee from college. He has extensive on and offshore experience of subsea intervention, IRM and underwater construction with Shell, CNR and other major operators spanning over 30 years.

He said: “As assets age, redevelopment and maintenance projects require a more focused, risk-based approach. The energy sector, particularly in the North Sea, needs to work differently, due to the age of the assets as well as the current oil price. SETS is meeting those challenges by sharing a philosophy for doing things differently, based on experience and knowledge.”

“His considerable technical and commercial know-how and trilingual fluency mean he is ideally-placed to support customers as they equip themselves for offshore operations.

Subsea Innovation Appoints New Non-executive Director and Business Development Manager World leading offshore equipment and engineering solutions provider, Subsea Innovation, has reinforced its senior management team with the appointments of a Non-Executive Director and a Business Development Manager. James Ritchie and Chris Wann have taken up the respective roles which further underpin Subsea Innovation’s strengths and sales capability in the offshore oil & gas and energy sectors and their aims include strengthening relations with existing clients and helping the company grow into new markets globally. James Ritchie joins the board whilst maintaining the position of CEO at Tekmar Energy who specialise in the design and manufacture of cable protection for both offshore wind and oil & gas applications. James has overseen the company grow from inception in 2008 to the most successful cable protection system supplier in the world with over 40 wind farms projects completed to date.

Chris Wann, Business Development Manager, Subsea Innovation

driving forward Subsea Innovation’s commercial and business development for new products and new clients across the globe.

Managing Director at Subsea Innovation, Martin Moon, said: “Appointing James and Chris greatly

strengthens our commercial and sales team and gives us the potential to access new markets where our track record and experience can be demonstrated for clients.”

Chris Wann (pictured) joins from Pipe Coil Technology where he had the role of Business Manager. He will be responsible for further

Subsea UK News | February 2016



In-Depth: Atlantas Marine Expands its Underwater Inspection Service Atlantas Marine is expanding its business following a move to new premises in Yeovil, Somerset. More sales staff and more space have put the company in a better position to boost ROV sales and support services. It is the company’s experience with observation class vehicles that makes it ideal for anyone needing eyes underwater, so Atlantas Marine is now developing its survey and inspection service to serve clients in the marine, offshore and renewable energy industries and it is able to respond quickly and economically to urgent requests for its observation class services. Charlie Foll, Managing Director of Atlantas Marine

Above: A VideoRay is prepared for work by the Atlantas team Left: A VideoRay permits inspectiion of a fish farm enclosure


Atlantas Marine is also the UK distributor of the well-known VideoRay range of very small but capable observation class ROVs. Although barely larger than a shoe box, VideoRays are equipped with cameras and powerful lights for obtaining highdefinition images of the situation beneath a hull or around a subsea structure. The small VideoRay can look inside pipes or tanks and go to places that inaccessible to divers or larger ROVs. In poor visibility enhanced video imagery will improve vision and in extreme cases a compact sonar can produce an acoustic images through the gloom. VideoRays can also be fitted with a simple manipulator grab for recovering items or for positioning instrumentation. A team of freelance ROV pilots spread around the world can undertake local tasks for Atlantas Marine at short notice with their entire deployment package contained within a large suitcase-sized crate and transported as luggage. The ROV can be in the water in less than 15-minutes after arrival and the experienced Atlantas pilots will be able to cope with a wide range of conditions.

Charlie Foll, managing director of Atlantas Marine is quick to point out that for most subsea work it could never replace the professional diver:

“ Divers are essential but there are many occasions when the simple option of being able to take a quick look for oneself is all that is needed. With divers operating in heavily equipped two-man teams, setting them to work is a major commitment. If working abroad, language problems can also be why many clients prefer to see things for themselves,” he said.

“Being reasonably priced and as easy to operate as a radiocontrolled toy car, our company has sold many VideoRays. Unfortunately it can still take time to learn how to use them confidently in any situation and strong currents and underwater navigation can be a real challenge. Returning to something found beneath a big ship or in the labyrinth of a platform jacket quickly and in poor visibility demands a lot of practice. This is why many people are finding it more efficient to employ someone else who already has that expertise and that is what we are now making readily and economically available,” explained Charlie Foll. Although VideoRays are widely admired, when sea conditions or the nature of the task is more challenging Atlantas Marine can also provide an enhanced service by using a larger and more powerful Ocean Modules ROV. With the availability of a wide variety of tool skids the Swedish-made Ocean Modules ROV is able to perform a wider range of tasks than the VideoRay. This electric powered vehicle is unique in that unlike other ROVs that fly suspended from their buoyancy the Ocean Modules vehicle has its buoyancy located around its centre of gravity so that it gains the ability to rotate around it. With eight vectored thrusters, it gains six degrees of freedom and can consequently fly at any angle required. This endows it with the ability to scan up or down and to demonstrate a degree of acrobatic manoeuvrability that other ROVs cannot match. It is also very helpful that Atlantas ROV pilots are all familiar with the wide range of tools and instruments that are available for use on their small ROVs. Potential customers may not be aware of the equipment options that are available to them and this is why Atlantas always likes to discuss their needs and expectations at the outset of any contract. By gaining a detailed understanding of what is required it is often possible for Atlantas personnel to suggest technical solutions that the client had never envisaged. Being based in Somerset, Atlantas Marine is conveniently close to rapid links within the UK and the rest of the world. It was recently designated as the world’s top company for VideoRay sales for which it also provides a comprehensive customer support service. With small ROVs now capable of many of the observation tasks previously assigned to larger vehicles Atlantas Marine believes that it is proving that remote underwater inspection is both practical and economical.

An Atlantas Marine ROV can reveal conditions below a ship


Brimmond Group & Rigrun Europe get Equipped for the Future with New Purpose-built Facility An Aberdeenshire Energy sector service organisation has recently moved to a new purpose built facility to help with growth and high levels of efficiency. The business has moved to a bespoke new facility on 2.5 acres of land in Midmill Business Park, Kintore, which offers extra yard, office and workshp space plus new large capacity overhead cranes. Rigrun Europe Ltd and Brimmond Group plus sister divisions Preffered Marine and Pump Solutions cover the manufacture, rental, test, refurbishment and repair of a wide range of equipment and services including diesel & electric hydraulic power units, umbilical reel & spooling winches, ROV & umbilical services and much more. Established in 1999 and 1996 respectively, Rigrun Europe and Brimmond Group employ 25 highly skilled staff from a number of disciplines and fully support the Scottish modern apprentice scheme, with a number of established employees coming through this method.

the years. This new facility will now open new areas and plans for growth with both current and new potential clients.

“With the current testing conditions in the marketplace, we remain positive that we can now deal confidently with the challenges ahead due to both our new facility and extensive capabilities.”

The new premises has test facilities allowing pressure tests and load tests of up to 1,000 tonnes for Cranes, LARS and winch systems as well as storage facilities for clients to help create a one-stop shop facility for many clients. Alistair Murdoch, Managing Director for the group said: “Moving to this new facility has been the product of hard work by all staff and loyal customers, with this now being our third relocation to larger facilities due to steady growth over

Busy Times and Growing Capabilities Herald Move at DCSL D-Comms (Scotland) Limited (DCSL), one of the North Sea’s oldest and most revered specialist decommissioning consultancies, is experiencing unprecedented demand for its core service offering following the oil price downturn, while also receiving requests for additional related specialisms. Accordingly, this low-profile consultancy has moved into a new business operations centre in Aberdeen, Scotland, servicing the strategic and project requirements of clients across the North Sea oil & gas province and beyond. In addition, its network of Associates has been expanded to include further aspects of late-life acquisition and operations, as well as the more familiar decommissioning issues, planning and execution


Subsea UK News | February 2016

disciplines, for assets including pipelines and subsea infrastructure. One of the new Associates is Paul Brindley formerly Senior Asset Late Life Consultant with BP Norway and Engineering Manager and Project Development Consultant for Shell’s Brent Assets and decommissioning. DCSL prides itself on a track record of outstanding delivery on every aspect of late-life and decommissioning activities from asset acquisition support, through twilight operations planning, to effective decommissioning execution programmes and panproject regulatory compliance. With its proven network of experienced discipline leads and specialist associates it is also able to direct, advise on and co-ordinate interested party dialogue with key regulators, environmental groups, marine users and the supply chain. Jim Rae, Managing Consultant, DCSL


At the Cutting Edge of Subsea Intervention Allspeeds, the sole designer and manufacturer of the Webtool range of ROV hydraulic cutters has taken subsea intervention a step further with the company’s latest developments in integrated emergency cutters. The industry leading Webtool range has been established for over 30 years. Allspeeds have built on this experience and expanded the range to offer emergency disconnection cutters for Intervention Workover Control Systems (IWOCS). These cutters are manufactured from corrosion resistant material and integrated within the subsea deployment frame. Positioned just after the umbilical termination enables electrical flying leads (EFLs), hydraulic flying leads (HFLs) and steel wire tension-member to pass through the mouth of the cutter. In the event of DP failure, the connection is cut in a single operation within seconds, preventing damage to subsea structures and equipment.

Total Reliability

Integrated Cutters & Systems

Webtool meets the needs of users demanding high quality and total reliability when cutting steel wire rope, guide wire, fibre rope, umbilical, electrical cable, hoses and tubing. Once activated, the blade on anvil guillotine action assures completeness of cut.

In addition to the Webtool standard range, Allspeeds offers custom designed cutters. By integrating proven technology into an application, safety and asset protection are assured. Allspeeds design and manufacture complete systems: cutter, hydraulic power source, controls and an activation mechanism. This technology can be optimised and offered to suit any application where a permanently installed, integrated cutter is required.

Technology Leader Allspeeds is a technology leader in hydraulic guillotine cutting both subsea and topside. All work is carried out under the Quality System ISO 9001, at Allspeeds’ production facility in Lancashire.

Webtool Now Available Direct From Allspeeds Webtool will soon be available direct from Allspeeds. This follows the mutually agreed ending of Northfield Hydraulic Services Ltd.’s exclusive UK distributorship on 4th March 2016. For more information on Webtool, contact Allspeeds at


• Setting the standard for Subsea cutters for over 30 years • Our cutters improve safety and protect assets • Work directly with us to optimise your cutting process

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Permanently installed near the subsea umbilical termination. Will cut the flying leads within seconds, in the event of DP failure

Integrated Cutters & Systems Proven technology that can be integrated into any application, ensuring a reliable cut whenever needed

Webtool is designed and manufactured in the UK exclusively by Allspeeds Ltd From 5th March 2016 all UK Webtool enquiries should go direct to Allspeeds:

+44 (0)1254 615 100 • •


The Underwater Centre Develops New Approach to ROV Training and Recruitment One of the world’s leading providers of ROV pilot technician training, The Underwater Centre in Fort William, has implemented a step-change in the training, assessment and, ultimately, recruitment of its candidates. The award-winning Centre’s ROV department has introduced a qualitative model for student assessment to all its ROV courses, offering a more effective and comprehensive way of assessing students during training and making recruiting the right individuals easier and more cost-effective. The new model is focused on, and tailored to, the individual, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, ensuring a realistic, ethical appraisal of candidates. It has been developed in response to feedback from companies which have recruited the Centre’s graduates, as well as individuals who are keen to include the information on their CVs. The new approach accounts for learning throughout training and all aspects of the individual’s contribution, whether team work or practical ability, and provides a description of the student’s (or group’s) point on an evolving trajectory of competence. The framework provides not only a ‘where are we now?’ evaluation, but

describes a ‘where do we need to be and how do we get there?’ element of the overall assessment of a candidate’s potential. The Underwater Centre’s ROV Operations Manager, Steven Cullen, said the new training and assessment would benefit individuals, as well as the companies who go on to recruit them.

“Most traditional models of training and education rely on a quantitative model of measurement of candidate’s performance, and usually takes the form of some kind of written test or other metric,” he said. “This approach provides bespoke training, allowing us to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and then adapt the training accordingly. It’s very developmental, and highlights aspects of improvement for individuals while they are training. It also helps those who are already working to improve their career prospects and can form part of their continuing professional development. “Not only does this new method help individuals identify their strengths and weaknesses, it also helps companies in their recruitment process because they are not reliant on one good but short interview. Feedback we’ve received from individuals and companies is that this more rigorous and thorough assessment method is needed. “We believe this approach offers a more effective way for companies to manage the entry of new recruits into the technical subsea disciplines.”


Subsea UK News | February 2016


MTCS (UK) Ltd to Impress China’s Offshore Engineering Construction Company During the recent state visit to Britain, by China’s President, Xi Jinping, UK based MTCS (UK) Ltd (Maritime Training and Competence Solutions) were on location in Shenzen, delivering important High Voltage training to COOEC personnel; China’s offshore engineering construction company. UK Ministers were expecting more than £30bn of trade and investment deals to be struck during the President’s visit, with the Treasury hoping that within 10 years China will be Britain’s second biggest trading partner. With this in mind, Richard Warburton, Managing Director, MTCS (UK) Ltd said: “We are delighted to be working with COOEC personnel to ensure they are certified in High Voltage safety to meet

Training programme with COOEC Shenzen, China

the requirements of the global market. The intensive training and assessment program took place in Shenzen, China, in the workshop facilities of COOEC using an SMD Quantum work class ROV system. The candidates completed an assessment of knowledge and practical skills, which required them to demonstrate a full Electrical Isolation on the ROV system in accordance with industry guidelines.

“Delivering Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) training courses in China is an exciting new market for us, although we have been training in South East Asia for a few years now. We look forward to a continued excellent working relationship with COOEC.” MTCS ((UK) Ltd are world leaders in the provision of High Voltage Training and assessment for ROV Personnel and are a fully accredited assessment and training centre providing a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training to the global offshore industry. The majority of their courses focus on Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) as used in the oil & gas, nuclear and renewables industry.

Employers from Around the UK Snap Up Marine School Students Business owners from around the UK have praised the skills, knowledge and abilities of the students at Falmouth Marine School, part of The Cornwall College Group, at the annual Industry Day event. 15 businesses attended the fair, held at the National Maritime Museum, to meet and interview students as they prepare for the tourist season in 2016. Paul Currel from Travel Company Mark Warner said: “This is the second year running I have attended this event. It’s great because it is quite specific towards water sports, which as an employer is what you want. The students I have met today are passionate and clearly want to be involved in the industry.”

BTEC Level 3 Water Sports student Becky Hill has been offered a job with Mark Warner: “They were the employer to go to. I am so pleased I have been offered a job. It is an incredible opportunity to see what the industry has to offer.”

The Water Sport students were joined this year by a group studying marine biology at Falmouth Marine School and the adventure sport students from Duchy College Stoke Climsland.

Dave Jury from travel company PGL added:

Marine Biology student Abigail Barker said: “It has been fun learning about what’s out there. It makes everything we learn on the course more real. I moved 300 miles to come and study at FMS and I don’t regret it at all.”

“The students we want aren’t everywhere and this is why we travel so far for events such as this. We will be making job offers in France, Spain and the UK as a result.”

The day was also an opportunity for former students to return to Falmouth, representing the companies they work for now or their own businesses. Nick Tranter graduated with an FdSc in Marine Leisure Management in 2009; he was representing Voyager Adventures, he said: “We have spoken to some great and enthusiastic students looking to be involved in the industry, who we will now be interviewing.” A number of students secured interviews during the event and some received job offers. Industry Day has been running for over 10 years and brings employers together with skilled young people, to help fulfil industry needs and demonstrates Falmouth Marine School’s dedication to making learning work.

Students visiting the annual Industry Day event

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Meet the Subsea UK Board Following their election at the Subsea UK AGM in November 2015, meet the leading industry figures who will lend their expertise and guidance to the Subsea UK board over the coming years.

Matt Corbin

Managing Director, UK Subsea Business, Aker Solutions Matt joined FSSL in 1994 as an undergraduate engineer. Over the next nine years, he performed roles within production, project engineering, account management and concept design, all related to subsea production control systems. Matt then moved to ABB (now part of GE Oil & Gas) in a project management capacity in 2003 and subsequently into a Financial Controller role in 2006. Having returned to Aberdeen, Matt took on the UK Regional General Manager role for GE Oil & Gas in 2008 covering Subsea, Surface and Drilling product lines. In 2012, Matt returned to Aker Solutions as UK Managing Director of the Subsea division, and global product manager for subsea control systems. What do you see as the main challenges and opportunities facing the subsea industry both here in the UK and overseas? It goes without saying that the oil price drives activity and operator spend. However, our local challenge is far greater than oil price. As a global centre of excellence for subsea we need to drive cost and operational efficiency through the value chain to ensure that we are the most competitive basin both in financial terms and cultural mindset. Our opportunity is to collaborate and reduce non-value-added activity that will help regain the global lead. Through contractor-led activities the industry (and especially the UK) needs to move towards a Fit For Purpose solution that generates positive economics for existing and future developments.

Brian K. Green B.Sc.

Managing Director, Lamorna BDM Following his graduation from Aberdeen University as a scientist, Brian Green has 38 years’ experience in the offshore industry. He has been a Director and General Manager of various innovative businesses since 1990, and is currently the owner of Lamorna BDM, offering business development and management consultancy in the subsea markets. Brian is a keen supporter of industry bodies such as the Society for Underwater Technology and has played a key role in various Subsea UK initiatives; he has been co-opted onto the Board for the last two years. He is currently acting as the Board Member for the South West. What should Subsea UK do to help the membership face the current challenges and capitalise on any opportunities? Subsea UK should continue to offer its wide membership support and encouragement. Examples are the great value offered by the Subsea Intel website and the online subsea course with RGU. There’s never been a better time to know what is going on with the market and to train our staff in the principles of subsea engineering. The sponsorship of educational programmes like the MATE ROV competition, the schools and university visits, are all needed to encourage young people to join our industry. The Subsea Channel initiative and the potential of developing an interactive computer game based on the subsea world are very exciting opportunities, which Subsea UK should embrace. Subsea Expo is quite simply the best subsea conference in the world and Subsea UK should continue to keep it free, focused and dynamic.


Subsea UK News | February 2016


Subsea Systems Manager, Chevron Energy Technology Peter is the Subsea Systems Manager for the Chevron Energy Technology Company and Subsea Global Technical Authority, based in the Chevron Technology Centre in Aberdeen with global remit to support the development of subsea systems across Chevron.

Peter has more than 30 years’ of experience working in subsea engineering, focusing on all aspects of subsea systems architecture, design, installation, operation, IRM and technological development of a discipline which has grown in significance and size during that time. His career has taken him from day to day IRM support through design, installation and project engineering to positions taking on more responsibility for organisation, staffing and competence, planning and budgeting and setting the strategic direction for the subsea discipline in Chevron. Peter has worked primarily in Aberdeen other than a short spell in Houston but over the course of his career he has increasingly assumed global responsibility and interfacing with teams working in Angola, Australia, Brazil, Nigeria, and Houston. What pan-industry initiatives should Subsea UK look to develop and facilitate? Subsea UK has been very effective in increasing the profile of the industry. I see it continuing to deliver in three key areas; communication, education and technology. In a downturn it would be easy to reduce activity in all of these but I think this is just the point: we need to increase effort and make sure we are well placed to take advantage of the new opportunities when they arise, which they will. Subsea UK brand awareness is considerable and international, this needs to be sustained. Subsea UK has been highly influential in developing a framework for the development of our subsea talent pool from school to post graduate degree – we need to work to delivering global recognised qualifications. The recent re-birth of NSRI is invigorating external interest in subsea research – which needs to be converted into delivery of qualified products. This all needs to be underpinned by advocacy; Subsea UK needs to make sure the government and regulators realise what a fantastic and important industry we have which needs support to the greater good of us all.

Geoff Lyons

Director, BPP-TECH

Geoff is a co-founder of BPP-TECH. As a Chartered Engineer, he is a Fellow of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and also of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. He has been active in the offshore sector since 1979 previously working with Brown & Root, and as a member of research and academic staff (senior lecturer) at University College London until 2002. Geoff’s experience covers a wide range of complementary activities including in the field offshore as well as in the office, although a significant part of his time is spent abroad supporting his company’s business. Geoff is very familiar with the professional and training needs of the Subsea industry as an ex-academic and currently as a mentor for prospective Chartered and Incorporated Engineers with the various professional engineering institutions. What do you see as the main challenges and opportunities facing the subsea industry both here in the UK and overseas? The challenges we currently face with reduced commodity value are all too obvious. As ever when presented with changes in company structures opportunities arise from companies needing to become leaner and meaner. The trick is in identifying the best synergies and implementing them. An important aspect which Subsea UK is well able to assist members with is facilitating flow of information to react in good time to market needs, using by a wide range of formal and less formal networking opportunities ranging from technical forums to dining. Feedback which I regularly have from members is the wish for this to be more widely spread. I am keen to further promote this along with other committee members throughout the UK.

Cameron Mitchell

Technical Disciplines and Assurance Manager, Shell UK Cameron is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer who has worked for Shell in Aberdeen and internationally for 27 years. He has held positions ranging from an Offshore Supervisor to a Principal Consultant with Shell Global Solutions and since returning to Aberdeen in 2008 he has been the Engineering and Maintenance Manager, Subsea Maintenance and Intervention Team Leader for Europe and the Team Leader for Subsea and Pipelines Surveillance for UK and Ireland. His current role is leading a multi discipline team that includes Subsea and Pipelines, Civil and Offshore Structures, Materials, Corrosion and Inspection, Maintenance and Integrity and Process Engineering. Cameron is the Shell UK and Ireland Representative on Subsea UK’s Subsea Asset Stewardship Group. Cameron is passionate about driving performance improvement through collaboration, development of people and deployment of technology. He is a member of Shell’s Faculty for Leadership Development and provides training and development both internally and, more recently, via the Oil and Gas UK’s Fundamentals of Oil and Gas course. What should Subsea UK do to help the membership face the current challenges and capitalise on any opportunities? Facilitate knowledge sharing in the community of subsea supply chain companies. Distilling key industry information about successful and unsuccessful strategies to grow business and connecting the members to this knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, connecting the members to each other, would accelerate growth and development for the sector. The UK companies who largely deal in shallow water operations need to gain credibility and break into the deep water regions to grow their business outside the UK. Subsea UK should leverage and build on its success to facilitate more access for UK based companies to overseas trade fairs and conferences.

Subsea UK News | February 2016



Mark Richardson

Projects Group Manager, Apache North Sea

Mark is a qualified project manager, holds an MSc in Offshore Engineering with distinction and an MBA, both from the Robert Gordon University. In 2013 he was presented with the SUT Award of Merit, and also won the Oil and Gas UK Business Efficiency Award for his Forties Alpha Satellite Platform Project. In 2015 Mark was awarded the Industry Emerging Leader Award at the P&J Gold Awards. In support of the Industry Mark is leading the Cooperation, Culture and Behaviours work stream for the Efficiency Task Force for Oil and Gas UK, is a member of the ECITB Offshore Project Management Steering Committee and has recently joined the OGA Supply Chain and Exports Board. Mark joined Apache in 2003 as part of the acquisition of the Forties Field, and since the Apache takeover he has been a member of the Apache North Sea Management Team. With the 2011 acquisition of the Exxon Mobil Beryl assets he has taken on the appointment of Projects Group Manager, with responsibilities for all topsides and subsea brownfield project and operations work and all greenfield developments from concept to completion. What do you see as the main challenges and opportunities facing the subsea industry both here in the UK and overseas? The world is a dynamic environment, where the speed of change is increasing. This has led to the development of new tools and techniques creating new opportunities and threats. The oil price decline has made a complex situation more complicated, but a crisis is the best time to change. There are still significant local and global opportunities which are not being denied by technical capability, but by a lack of management innovation. The industry has become comfortable living with a 20th century approach to management, and it is in this space where the opportunities for significant potential lie with potential; cost reductions, quality improvements and faster delivery.

David Sheret

General Manager, Global Business Development, Bibby Offshore David is head of Bibby Offshore’s global business development function. His role consists of overseeing the business development function for new and existing business opportunities throughout all divisions. He also heads the company’s Communications department. David has worked for Bibby Offshore for nine years. Previous to this, he worked for Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. David holds a Law & Management (Hons) degree from RGU. What pan-industry initiatives should Subsea UK look to develop and facilitate? Safety, innovation and retention are the areas I feel are important, currently. Safety has to be at the forefront of everything we do. If we can’t work safely, we threaten the whole industry. The Safety Leadership Forum has been a great success but we have to build on its success and continually improve the processes and practises we adopt. Innovation is hugely important. Innovation can lead to greater efficiencies, improved safety statistics, increased recovery – the list goes on. Subsea UK is perfectly positioned to support this and initiatives such as NSRI are proof that their involvement here is important. Finally, retention. For many years we’ve been focused on attracting people into the industry and this has to remain a prime area of focus. However, with the downturn resulting in a number of companies having to right size, it’s vital that Subsea UK lead the way in ensuring that the talent we’ve invested in over the years is retained within the industry whenever and wherever possible.

Ian Mitchell

Subsea Advisor and Performance Manager, BP Ian has worked in the subsea industry for over 30 years. In the early part of his career he worked for Shell, KD Marine, Global Diving, Underwater Inspection Services, & Seaway Diving. He spent 4 years at Oceaneering International as Subsea Project Engineer and worked in North Sea, Norway, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Ian joined BP in 1985, and spent 10 years on various offshore subsea construction and remedial projects as Client Representative and Subsea Engineer. Moving onshore he supported the development of BP safety cases and helped develop BP’s overall approach to safety management for subsea operations. In 2000, 2005 & 2010 he was responsible for delivering the BP Federal Contracting Strategy for subsea activities across the North Sea. Ian has led the development of internal processes to support cost management, planning and production recovery options, and the interpretation and implementation of the BP EPC system for Subsea Operations. Recently Ian has led the initial response to various riser and pipeline issues that have affected production. What pan-industry initiatives should Subsea UK be facilitating? While the current lower oil price and difficult business environment has and will continue to dominate the discussions, Subsea UK should balance the response to the current situation while maintaining a focus on the future. Right now Subsea UK should encourage the appropriate collaboration across the Subsea Industry to explore what is possible under the current circumstances. Looking to the future, there will be a requirement to encourage young people to consider a career in our type of industry. A lot of experience will be lost over the next few years due to demographics and personnel reduction. We will still need the required personnel and appropriate skills to maintain the infrastructure that is already producing and to support the upturn when it comes. In developing Subsea UK’s educational offers and support material we can as an industry “connect with education”, and make a visible contribution to the development of young people across primary and secondary schooling, apprenticeships, further education and university establishments.


Subsea UK News | February 2016


Commercial Director, Ashtead Technology Tim qualified as a Mechanical Engineer in 1980 from Coventry Technical College having served a Technical apprenticeship in the Automotive Industry. With more than 30 years of experience in the International Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Tim has been a strong supporter of the supply chain and has been responsible for a number of initiatives aimed at creating greater collaboration opportunities, enhanced technical delivery whilst maintaining robust commercial delivery. He has been responsible for opening a number of overseas offices bringing vital local content whilst delivering strong revenues to its parent companies. Tim has during his career held a variety of commercial roles specialising in Subsea engineering, construction and most notably flexible and rigid pipelines. He has held a number of senior roles, including Vice President Commercial for Technip in Houston, Managing Director of Bibby Offshore in the UK, MD of Stolt Offshore (Acergy) Group CEO at Rotech and COO of Reef Subsea. Tim joined Ashtead Technology in 2013. He has been involved with Subsea UK from its inception, finally joining the board in 2007 bringing a diverse knowledge of not only the UK but international Oil & Gas markets. What should Subsea UK do to help the membership face the current challenges and capitalise on any opportunities? Subsea UK has created a number of very valuable platforms from which companies can benefit from, whether it be safety, education, market intelligence or development of subsea technology. Subsea UK is there to support businesses at all levels, I would strongly encourage all members companies and those considering joining to embrace the energy that Subsea UK has and bring their individual issues or concerns to the table to enable the best possible support to be tailored and provide the best opportunity for success. I would like to see some smaller more regular events themed around current issues to enable members not only to network with their customers, peers and competition alike but to have the opportunity to showcase their own businesses.

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