Subsea UK News - September 2016 Issue

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IN THIS ISSUE Converging Futures in the North Sea Bringing Science to Life in the Classroom Q3 Market Activity Report Subsea News and Events


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Welcome to this Edition of Subsea UK News Delving deeper into overseas markets has never been so important. Sustaining and growing our sector depends increasingly on our ability to capitalise on opportunities abroad. It was therefore satisfying to see that, in the findings from our recent snapshot survey, over 80% of our members are focused on overseas sales in Asia, the Middle-east, North America and Africa. Other countries of interest were Australia, China, Brazil and Norway.

Neil Gordon, Chief Executive, Subsea UK

This edition of Subsea UK News is themed around new markets and diversification: which regions present the best opportunities, how companies can tap into them and what Subsea UK is doing to help you win new international business.

At the beginning of the summer, we took our internationalisation message to Westminster. At our annual Parliamentary reception, we emphasised subsea’s £4billion contribution to the balance of trade by way of export revenues. We pointed out that the erosion of our supply chain, as a result of the downturn, not only presents a risk to maximising economic recovery from the North Sea, but also to UK plc by way of export receipts.

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 Archer Knight Ltd CSL

Those politicians who attended were left in no doubt that investing in and supporting the oil and gas sector is therefore not just about increasing production from and prolonging the life of the North Sea. It is about protecting our supply chain and its ability to drive exports from the UK, well beyond the day when North Sea oil dries up. Subsea plays a vital role in maximising economic recovery from the UKCS but our enduring success is that over half of the revenues generated come from overseas sales. We became world-leaders in subsea because we developed, tested and implemented technology, systems and processes in the North Sea before anyone else. These have evolved and been refined over the years and exported to other maturing oil and gas provinces around the world. However, we need to invest in the next wave of technologies and applications not only to maximise economic recovery from the UKCS but also to ensure that our supply chain is able to maintain and grow exports, securing our world-leading position, safe-guarding and creating jobs. Our ask of government is very clear: we urgently need support and funding for R&D, greater incentives that will stimulate exploration in the North Sea (including models for exploiting the smaller, currently uneconomical pockets of hydrocarbons) and increased, focused support for maintaining and increasing our export potential. There’s going to be a period of uncertainty following the Brexit vote and recent political turmoil. Changes at Westminster have seen the scrapping of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the departure of yet another energy minister, with no replacement. Subsea UK will be fostering close links with Greg Clark and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In the meantime, we continue to benefit from the support of government bodies such as UKTI and SDI in our efforts to help members target new markets confidently with the right market intelligence and support. Our trade mission to Mexico in September, high level participation and presence at Rio Oil & Gas in October and Subsea Asia in November offer solid, valuable opportunities for members to test, explore and make contacts in these high potential markets. I look forward to seeing you at home and abroad, and working with you to ensure that the UK subsea sector continues to lead the way around the world.

Subsea UK

Oil & Gas Innovation UAE Ltd

Helipebs Controls Ltd

Rovco Ltd

Dalriada Management Services Ltd

VAYCO Oil Tools Ltd

Swan Hunter

Infinity Oilfield Services Ltd Yokogawa Ltd

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

Forthcoming Events September 2016 Subsea Springboard: Focus on Reducing Operational Costs 15 September 2016 Aberdeen, UK

October 2016 Subsea UK Networking Event at the National Composites Centre 12 October 2016 Bristol, UK

NSRI: Developer’s Day 15 September 2016 Aberdeen, UK

November 2016 Subsea UK at EIC Connect – Oil & Gas 2016 22-23 November 2016 Manchester, UK

Fundamentals of Subsea Systems 20 September 2016 Aberdeen, UK Subsea South-East Networking Event 22 September 2016 London, UK Underwater Vehicles Conference 27 September 2016 Aberdeen, UK

Subsea Asia 2016 29 November 02 December 2016 Singapore February 2017 Subsea Expo 2017 01-03 February 2017 Aberdeen, UK

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 | September 2016



Swan Hunter Start Flex / Cable Lay Equipment Rental Services for Oil & Gas and Offshore Wind Markets Former Tyneside Shipbuilding and Engineering company Swan Hunter, which has over 130 years of shipbuilding tradition is to move into the subsea, oil & gas and renewables sectors, providing specialist offshore installation equipment for the installation of power cables, umbilicals, and flexible pipelines. Swan Hunter will provide a full suite of rental lay equipment for major subsea contractors to utilise in field developments, and are currently working on tenders for projects starting in the first quarter of 2017.

enhancing its suitability for smaller offshore wind installation vessels. The design allows for a single combined lift of the base grillage, turntable, hub and drive system.

The company is currently undergoing a large internal investment phase primarily focusing on the fabrication of a fully modular basket / reel carousel, offered with outer diameters ranging from 18m to 28m, resulting in storage capacities from 2000Te – 7000Te respectively. The modular design of the flagship carousel which includes a low profile circular grillage, optimises vessel deck space

The carousel can also be lifted with 1500Te of product pre-loaded in the basket in the 18m OD configuration. Swan Hunter expects that these unique features will significantly reduce vessel and quayside mobilisation time, offering more efficient offshore construction in this competitive market. Procurement of supplementary equipment is also underway including the design and fabrication of a dedicated loading tower combined with spooling tensioner, and other lay equipment including reel drive systems, deck tensioners and overboarding chutes.

Aquatec Announce New Representative Agreement Aquatec Group has welcomed Seascape Subsea Technology as a representative for the distribution of their established underwater instrumentation for oceanographic, environmental and coastal applications in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg. Seascape will provide sales support for Aquatec’s innovative AQUAscat acoustic suspended sediment profilers, AQUAlogger temperature and depth loggers, AQUAlogger 210TY turbidity logger and AQUAmodem Op1L optical modem. Seascape was founded in 1992 by the current managing director and offers an extensive range of subsea products, including their own ‘Novasub’ product line. Managing Director of Aquatec Group, Andy Smerdon, said: “We have been designing instrumentation for oceanographic and environmental monitoring for over 25 years, and are continuously enhancing and developing our product ranges to meet our customers’ needs. We look forward to working closely with Seascape to provide customers with the very best service and innovative technologies.”


Subsea UK News | September 2016


Andy Buchan, MD, Hiretech Limited

North East Firm Demonstrates Buoyancy During Energy Downturn Hiretech, a leading independent equipment rental, sales, service and maintenance company offering pumping spreads, powered umbilical reels, hydraulic power packs and supporting equipment, credits extensive past experience of its management team coupled with longstanding values for its ability to survive during testing times. Andy Buchan, Managing Director of Hiretech, has over 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry and despite witnessing previous market downturns, admits none have been as prolonged or extreme as the present.

He commented: “The current climate has presented both challenges and opportunities for Hiretech during a period which has seen dramatic changes to the supply chain, with many personnel removed from long standing roles and some companies disappearing entirely. Such vast changes have forced us to reflect on our company values and ways of working to ensure our survival in a climate where others have not been so successful.�

implemented a range of additional service offerings to further assist their clients, including maintenance and testing of client equipment and enhanced personnel training. These efforts ensure the delivery of effective, efficient and reliable project solutions during a period when equipment dependency and cost savings are more prevalent than ever before. With continued high levels of enquiries and a positive outlook, Hiretech credits these measures for its survival to date, providing hope of not only surviving the current plight, but allowing the company to remain as a strong contender in the marketplace for the future.

The Hiretech team at work

Hiretech is positioning itself as a solutions provider of choice by encouraging its clients to engage with the firm from the outset of their projects. This allows the Hiretech team to apply extensive expertise at an early stage through the provision of advice and guidance over and above the supply of equipment for a variety of project work scopes. The management team has also identified and

Subsea UK News | September 2016


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British Antarctic Survey Select the ISA500 Impact Subsea is pleased to announce the delivery of ISA500 units to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The ISA500 units have been selected to monitor the position of an ice boring tool in the Antarctic hundreds of metres below the surface. During deployment of the ice boring tool, the ISA500 units measure the distance at multiple points from the tool to the outer bore wall. This allows the bore diameter to be monitored and regulated during the deployment of the tool. Chosen for this application due to the ISA500’s small form factor, high accuracy and ability to repeatedly resolve distance measurement to the nearest millimetre. This enables a very high accuracy positioning solution of the boring tool to be provided.

heading, pitch and roll. Typically used on underwater vehicles for altitude measurement, the ISA500 also has uses in the dredging, magnetometer, survey and asset monitoring applications.

The ISA500 is an underwater Altimeter/ Range measurement device which utilises sonar techniques to derive distance measurement. The unit provides a 120 metre range measurement capability with millimetre accuracy. The ISA500 can optionally be provided with an integrated attitude & heading reference system, providing

BAS ISA500 Units

Tritech Gemini 620PD Systems for Unique Group Tritech International Ltd, has gained further success with its Gemini 620pd multibeam profiling sonar through a sale to Unique Group. With an increased industry focus on reducing costs, without compromising on quality, Unique has purchased four Gemini 620pd sonars to enhance the company’s expanding rental pool. The systems include two Tritech Gemini Hubs, to enable an accurate time stamp of data during data acquisition. Initially, the systems will support sub-marine cable installation work where the Gemini 620pd sonars will run in a dual-head configuration, to provide a wide swathe of high-resolution bathymetry data. The systems will also be used by Unique’s customers to perform high-quality subsea construction and inspection operations.

Scott McLay, Sales Director, Tritech International Ltd commented: “Unique is the latest company to realise the benefits of our Gemini 620pd multibeam profiling sonar, which offers its customers a lowcost, high-resolution survey solution. The purchase will initially assist a subsea contractor with the installation of a telecoms cable, verifying the sonar’s credentials outside of the traditional oil and gas energy market.”

The Gemini 620pd is a high-resolution multibeam echosounder with an effective angular resolution of 0.5 deg offering a fast update rate of up to 50 Hz. Operating at 620 kHz and capable of providing a sharp 10mm range resolution, Gemini 620pd offers standard features including automated bottom tracking, variable gate setting and gate tilting as well as roll compensation.

Andy Doggett, Survey Divisional Director, Unique Group, commented: “We have invested in

Tritech’s Gemini 620pd systems to strengthen our already extensive fleet, ensuring that we had the latest Tritech multibeam profiling technology to meet customer demand.”

Unique Dual Head G620pd

Subsea UK News | September 2016



OMS Completes Key Phase of Laggan and Tormore Project Inspection and measurement technology specialist, Optical Metrology Services (OMS), has completed the weld inspection phase of the Total-operated Laggan and Tormore project, which is located 125 kilometres north west of the Shetland Islands in Scotland. The £3.5 billion development, which began in February 2016, is reported to be the largest UK construction project since the 2012 Olympic games in London. Comprising around one fifth of the UK’s remaining oil reserves, the project is expected to supply enough energy to power two million homes (around 8% of the national requirement). OMS was commissioned by Murphy Group to carry out laser and visual inspections of 200 welded joints. Assessing the HiLo and root profile of the welds, OMS played an essential part in ensuring that the project met strict alignment specifications. Due to the location and the environmentally-sensitive nature of the project, the Laggan and Tormore site presented a number of additional challenges to the OMS team. Situated at water depths of up to 600 metres, installation of the project had to respect the existing watercourses and ecological habitats surrounding the site, presenting a very specific set of technical challenges to the team.

Denise Smiles, CEO at OMS, commented: “The

Laggan and Tormore project was particularly testing as it presented an array of challenges for the engineers operating onsite. Thanks to our expertise and market-leading inspection technology, it was possible to complete weld inspection activities within strict time and budget parameters. The end result was a successful project for the Murphy Group and, ultimately, Total.”

The weld inspection services provided were an important part of ensuring the quality and durability of the double joint welds.

Major Structural Pipeline Repair Clamp Order for Subsea Innovation Subsea Innovation, one of the world leading subsea equipment suppliers, has announced the securing of a multi-million pound order from engineering, construction and service experts Subsea 7 i-Tech Services. The order, which is one of the largest of its type in the world, is to provide five ROV installed Structural Pipeline Repair Clamps which will form part of an Emergency Pipeline Repair Systems (EPRS) supporting pipelines off the North and Northwest coasts of Australia. The systems will act as contingency in the event that the main trunk lines transporting the gas need to be repaired. The five systems cover pipes across a range of diameters between: 20” and 44”. The project is a significant award for the company and follows on from a successful 2015 which delivered a record turnover of over £11m. The designs will be tested


Subsea UK News | September 2016

to DNV pipeline tolerances at up to 328 bar.g and are suitable for operating temperatures ranging from 0 - 75°C. The design and build process will be monitored and certified to the exacting standards of the internationally recognised body DNV. In addition to clamps Subsea Innovation also offer a full range of structural pipeline connectors suitable for EPRS amongst other offshore tie in operations and have earlier this year delivered a pair of 16” Connectors to RasGas in Qatar as part of another significant order. Past projects have seen these products successfully deployed off the coasts of the Middle East, USA, Europe and also in Trinidad.


Investment for Cutting-Edge Aberdeen Engineering Firm Aberdeen firm EC-OG (East Coast Oil and Gas Engineering Ltd.) have secured over £1 million of external investment from Castle View Ventures and the Scottish Investment Bank. This long-term strategic investment follows the announcement of a considerable £1.2 million research and development grant from the High Growth Start-Up Unit in December 2015. Innovative in the face of a challenging period in the oil and gas market, EC-OG has seized the opportunity to develop a state-of-theart subsea power generation system known as the Subsea Power Hub (SPH). The SPH provides localised electrical power directly to remote subsea locations, converting ocean currents into renewable power to reduce operating costs. This substantial investment will be used to accelerate company growth by focusing on SPH commercialisation. The SPH brings new opportunities to oil and gas companies who want to make day-to-day operational efficiencies to meet the cost challenges in the industry. With the SPH, clients can reconfigure their electrical supply systems to make them significantly more efficient. EC-OG also looks to continue to provide the best possible client experience by leveraging the extensive Aberdeen talent pool, projecting the creation of 14 new jobs. Richard Knox, Managing Director of EC-OG Ltd said: “It is with great pleasure that we can announce this substantial seven figure funding boost from Castle View Ventures and the Scottish Investment Bank. This investment forms part of the continued support from Scottish Enterprise, where the High Growth team in particular has delivered personalised support to promote domestic and international growth here at EC-OG. The investments from Castle View Ventures and the Scottish Investment Bank are concrete votes of confidence in the strategy of EC-OG and will allow our rapid growth to continue.

Subsea Power Hub

Martin Bell from Castle View Ventures stated: “We are thrilled to add the EC-OG SPH project to our portfolio and to be part of an exciting period of growth at EC-OG.” Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise and chair of the Energy Jobs Taskforce, said: “As the oil and gas sector continues to face considerable challenges, this forward thinking, innovative company is creating new jobs and building optimism in the sector and I warmly congratulate them on their success.”

“We’re building a future where power supply and distribution costs are substantially reduced. Our Subsea Power Hub is at the heart of this next generation of subsea systems which we will shortly deliver.”

Richard Knox MD and Robert Cowman Engineering Director

Subsea UK News | September 2016



Subsea UK Adapting to Lead a Changed Industry Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean were the movies of the year and the oil price averaged $35 when the creation of a new industry body was announced at Offshore Europe in 2003. Formed out of the Scottish Subsea Technology Group (SSTG), Subsea UK was set up to harness and promote the underwater oil and gas expertise and technology that had been honed in the North Sea in the eighties.




12,000+ 300


The first challenge of the new body was to gain recognition for this fast growing sector in which the UK led the world. With the word subsea, not subsea or Sub Sea, finally an established industry term and in the dictionary and a tagline of “NASA on the seabed”, the country, the media and politicians were wakening up to the potential of subsea and its place as an industry sector in its own right.




Subsea UK has come a long way since its early days. Now 300 members strong from across the UK, it is an established authoritative body, with a flagship annual Subsea Expo and global recognition of the sector’s world-class supply chain. However, in the last 18 months, the industry has been hit by the worst global downturn in living memory. It has been tough for every part of the

supply chain and tragic for those who have gone out of business and those who have lost their jobs. But at times like these, the industry must demonstrate its resilience, its pioneering spirit and determination to survive and eventually thrive again by pulling together as an industry.

Kit on display at Subsea Expo ›


Subsea UK News | September 2016

FEATURE ARTICLE ‹ Subsea UK’s parliamentary reception event enables members to network with decision makers from government

abroad, helping the sector to grow. But the tools and initiatives we develop and offer to members have evolved to meet today’s needs. It’s more important than ever that we deliver added-value to all our members from the niche technology companies to the multi-nationals.”

Subsea UK’s CEO Neil Gordon has reiterated his commitment to listen carefully to the membership, in order to respond effectively to its collective needs in these turbulent times.

“When I was appointed chief executive of Subsea UK in 2011, the industry was on a high, oil was around the $110/bbl and one of our main priorities was to help attract more people into the sector to meet the skills shortage,” Neil said. “Fast forward five years and the focus has shifted quite dramatically. And with that, so has Subsea UK’s approach. “Overall, our priorities have not changed. We exist to harness and promote the UK’s subsea expertise, experience and technology at home and


Working closely with the entire supply chain bringing together operators, contractors, suppliers and people in the industry, Subsea UK has been running a number of focus groups and workshops to ensure that everything it does is in direct response to the immediate and long-term needs of the sector. In addition to facilitating a number of trade missions every year to help companies establish a presence in even the most difficult markets, Subsea UK has established global business hubs across Europe, North and South America and Asia Pacific to help expose British companies to detailed market insights and connect them with the key players in the industry.

“For members to break into new frontiers we had to make it easier to search, track and monitor global subsea discoveries and projects. This is why we launched SubseaIntel; a unique database providing sought-after subsea market Neil said:

intelligence all in one place, allowing our members to delve into over 1,200 projects across the globe and identify potential opportunities, saving valuable time and expense on in-house research. “But helping members pinpoint the opportunities available to them is only useful if we also guide them through the steps required to successfully conquer new markets. “This is where Global Business comes into play - an exclusive online tool which provides regularly updated details on export opportunities in more than 20 countries. A starting platform for companies looking to expand into international markets, the portal allows users to access intensively-researched industry reports, market data, related news and events to help them pinpoint exactly where the hot spots are outwith the UK.” These services are available to members through the Subsea UK website, which has evolved to become a valuable portal for the subsea sector attracting over 12,000 unique visitors a month looking for information.

Continues next page >



‹ Global Business portal on the Subsea UK website

Subsea UK News | September 2016


FEATURE ARTICLE Aerial shot of Subsea Expo ›

Operations Manager Trish Banks said: “Our events programme has been enhanced to include lunch and learns on topics which are of relevance to the industry in the current climate. Most recently, we partnered with Scottish Enterprise to encourage companies to seek out real and profitable opportunities in the renewables sector. The event explored the opportunities in offshore wind, as well as offering practical help and advice on market entry.

“Diversification into new markets is just one focus among the many events we host, and through access to Subsea UK’s well-established networks our members can equip themselves with the information and contacts they need to help their business. “In addition, Subsea UK supports conferences and exhibitions at home and abroad, covering the UK, Australia, Brazil, Asia, the USA and Norway.”

Boosting efficiencies and reducing costs were a major concern well before the oil price collapse but, over the past 12 months, there has been an industry wide realisation that transformational change is needed to secure the long-term future. Last year, Subsea UK launched a taskforce to find innovative industrywide ways of working to reduce costs and increase production from subsea assets. The Subsea Asset Stewardship Work Group brings subsea engineering and construction companies and equipment manufacturers together with operators to deliver change that will help secure the long-term future of the North Sea industry. The taskforce takes an industry-wide approach to addressing fundamental issues such as asset integrity, best practice and simplification, as well as life extension engineering. There has been a shift in the way the industry responds to new technology and collaboration. However, there is still a hesitancy to share information across the sector. Subsea UK’s Safety Leadership Forum is demonstrating that collaboration can lead to efficiencies and help safety performance; comprised of director level vessel owners and operators, the forum meets regularly to discuss and share views and methodologies on issues relating to safety within the sector. While the UK maintains a strong position globally, this can only be maintained if

Above: A joint event between Subsea UK and Scottish Enterprise on Diversification

the industry builds on the existing talent pool and develops the right skills and technology for the future. The Subsea UK Strategic HR Group made up of member company HR directors and managers has helped the organisation work closely with the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, OPITO and Skills Development Scotland, Subsea UK has pioneered a number of initiatives to attract and develop new entrants who will go on to deliver the next generation of subsea services and technology: Subsea Channel’s science teaching resource for primary schools; the apprenticeship support programme; and the RGU Introduction to Subsea Engineering online course to name but a few. Neil concludes: “All this only scratches the surface of our work in supporting the industry through today’s challenges. There is a lot more hard work to be done by Subsea UK and others and by our supply chain.

“The eye of the storm may be behind us, but we’re still on a journey with some difficult waters to navigate. But we have every confidence in the resilience of our sector and you can have every confidence that Subsea UK will help you steer the right course.”

Left: RGU’s ROV MATE Competition, Supported by Subsea UK

Right: Subsea Team Lead at etpm Natasha Ross, studying for Subsea UK’s Introduction to Subsea Engineering course

The voice of the UK subsea industry


SEA Installs New Technology for Biscay Marine Energy Park SEA has utilised its advanced power connection technology to successfully install a 13.2kV cable connection in support of the Oceantec wave energy device located at the Biscay Marine Energy Park (Bimep) test site in Northern Spain. Bimep tests prototype devices for generating wave energy in advance of commercial production to ensure economic and technological readiness and that they are reliable and safe for commercial deployment. Once the devices have been verified, they can be considered as ready for mass production and operational use. A team of engineers and technicians from SEA’s Subsea Engineering division terminated the device cable connection onshore and travelled offshore to connect the two halves at the wave site. The device is now fully operational and generating wave power back to shore. The Bimep connections are a new variant of the nine 33kV connections first installed by SEA in 2009 at the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) test centre for marine renewable energy. The connections supplied by SEA were a world-first in wave and tidal energy distribution. They have provided 100% availability for power generation, status monitoring, and device control, allowing developers at Bimep and EMEC to test and generate power to the grid. In addition, SEA has delivered several other engineering projects to provide renewables developers with reliable shore connections to export power and maintain control and monitoring of their devices. Managing Director Steve Hill said that SEA is driving towards the goal of standard economical connections, but is able to deliver a variety of bespoke solutions while the industry continues to adapt and develop power generation technologies. Steve said: “The power connection technology developed by SEA is readily transferrable from oil and gas into marine renewables and we are proud to have led the way on this work in Scotland and internationally.”

Above: The completed SEA connection fully tested on deck ready for deploymenting offshore to join the installation vessel. Left: The SEA team heading offshore to join the installation vessel.

Infinity Oilfield Services Expands Team by 10 Infinity, a leading Subsea Design and Project Engineering provider, has been awarded a number of new projects; as a result the team has grown by 10 new additions across project management, flow assurance, structural, umbilicals, operations and designer disciplines. Recent awards have included a structural design engineering project for a subsea contractor, a mobilisation engineering scope for a service company and two production assurance projects for an Aberdeen based operator on their North Sea assets. Infinity attribute a large portion of their success to the feedback sessions they have been carrying out with existing and new clients. This knowledge gaining initiative is being utilised in the company’s tendering and project execution strategy. This is proving to be a key factor in unlocking new projects and creating jobs.

Andy MacGill, Engineering Director said: “We are delighted to be working on a range of challenging and complex projects with a number of our highly respected clients. To be able to build our team in such a challenging market is testament to the approach we employ. Our goal is to continue to grow the company’s reputation and headcount, and where possible create jobs and put talented engineers who are available in the market back to work. We know there is still a lot of hard work to be done but these recent successes show our strategy is working.”

Subsea UK News | September 2016



Brazil Could Lead Next Stage of Deepwater Oil and Gas By Ed Hernandez, Vice President of Operations, io oil & gas consulting The world’s eyes turned to Brazil in August with the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which brought rare positive publicity to a country that has faced political uncertainty as well as issues facing its national oil company, Petrobras. For the oil industry, though, changes are afoot that suggest the future for Brazil might be very bright indeed. Driven by the country’s new Energy Minister, Eduardo Braga, reforms are currently being put in place to make the country more attractive to investors and allow foreign oil and gas firms to access Brazil’s major offshore oil deposits without needing to work in partnership with Petrobras, as is currently the case. Specialists estimate that the pre-salt offshore area in Brazil may contain 56 billion barrels of oil. These fields do, however, present a significant technical challenge. There are difficulties around ultra-deepwater, deep carbonate reservoirs, the high gas-oil ratio of areas, CO2 content, high pressure and low temperature, thick salt layers (more than 2,000 metres in places) as well long distances from the cost and often turbulent oceanic conditions. The specific geology of the area also means that petroleum is extremely hot, which can cause precipitation in extraction lines that are in contact with sea water.

However, such difficulties are not insurmountable, and there are significant returns to be made for operators who can meet these technical challenges. Additionally, by liberalising Brazil’s oil and gas industry, the country’s government has made it more attractive for IOCs to commit R&D resources to the province, accelerating the rate at which these technical problems can be solved. Importantly, recent discoveries in shallow waters have also surprised the market with estimates reaching three billion barrels of oil in a single well. The new big discoveries in this region could make Brazil the sixth largest oil and gas producer in the world in future years. The Brazilian oil industry has the opportunity to show the world the possibilities that remain in the region. As a result, the industry needs to look ahead with the end goal in mind, and put money into development for the next stage of exploration even if it does not seem like it is in the immediate future.

Efficient subsea completions to optimise the performance of your well Expro’s subsea safety systems are specifically designed to minimise risk and maximise efficiency in completion, intervention, well clean-up and abandonment operations.


KKI’s Aftermarket Team Supports Critical North Sea & Norwegian Upgrades The KOSO Kent Introl (KKI) Aftermarket team have successfully supported numerous challenging upgrades at facilities located in the North Sea and Norwegian waters. For a number of years KKI’s subsea clients have been requesting assistance with upgrades for subsea products originally supplied by other manufacturers. Typically, the original manufacturers of the subsea valves are either not in a position to provide the urgent support required, or their solution is too cost prohibitive considering current market conditions. KKI has a reputation for cost effective, fast track solutions, and can step in to engineer the technically advanced enhancements required. An integral part of the KKI upgrade process is the review of all existing designs and current process conditions, getting to the root of the issue and upgrading valves for a long-term solution. The expert KKI engineers and Aftermarket team propose design enhancements and material upgrades to the main trim components, ensuring accordance with the most recent international standards. Kent Introl looks to reduce both costs and delivery timescales for clients, also working closely with the end-user (international oil company) to better understand overall requirements. This approach has seen a number of innovative cost reduction solutions, whilst improving the overall design and quality of the subsea products.

Subsea chokes after refurbishment / upgrade by KKI

Cost reductions of over 30% have been achieved historically for KKI clients by working in this way. As some chokes have been subsea for over 10 years it is necessary to prove that the choke lifting facilities are suitable, from a health and safety perspective, to withstand the current offshore lifting requirements. The KKI proof load factor and API 6A’s stringent amplification factor are used to ascertain the required load that the choke insert should be tested to. Refurbished subsea choke inserts can weigh over 800KG. Once complete, the choke inserts are proof load tested with their accompanying test bodies on KKI’s

The KKI tensile / compressive load testing rig

new in-house tensile / compressive 10 tonnes load testing rig. By providing in-house test facilities, as opposed to subcontracting the process, Kent Introl can further reduce costs and timescales. KKI’s advanced combination of diagnostic review, upgrades, and testing capabilities ensures solutions that benefit not only the valve but the efficiency of the whole installation, providing long-term uninterrupted service following the valve reinstallation.


Unique Group Continues Global Expansion Plans with Purchase of Singaporean Company Oceanvision PTE Recently Unique Group, the leading integrated subsea and offshore solution provider, through its subsidiary Unique Maritime Group (SEA) PTE Ltd, completed the acquisition of Oceanvision PTE Ltd and Oceanvision Equipment Services PTE Ltd. Oceanvision will now be part of the Unique Group of Companies and is the third acquisition that Unique has made in the last 11 months. Oceanvision Pte Ltd specialises in manufacturing and supplying imaging and intervention products for sub-ocean, marine, offshore and petrochemical industries for use in hazardous areas and harsh environments. 12 months ago the founder, chairman and CEO of Unique Group, Harry Gandhi, outlined his plan to grow his business in line with customer requirements and market opportunities and this latest acquisition is a further execution of that growth strategy. “Opening an office in Singapore is an important milestone for the business,” said Harry. “The team at Oceanvision provides us an immediate presence in the area and, with this company’s strong reputation and history, their fit within Unique Group is excellent. We will invest significantly (circa £5million) and quickly so that we can give our customers access to the full offering across our group divisions and companies. In particular, we will strengthen our

engineering base to provide our full on-site engineering services to the region as well providing Capex for our diving and survey divisions to enhance their stock in the area. We also plan to recruit key personnel in the area, however the day-to-day running of the business will be continued by the current team at Oceanvision led by founder, Ian Johnson.

Svein Gunderson, engineering manager, said:

“This is an exciting time for Oceanvision as we become part of the globally respected Unique Group. I, and the team, look forward to working with our new colleagues at Unique.”

Infinity Appoint Engineering Director Andy MacGill has been appointed Engineering Director of Infinity Oilfield Services. Andy has a proven track record in project execution and management across all phases of subsea developments, from conceptual and detail design to installation, commissioning and operations. In his role with Infinity, Andy has overall responsibility for the engineering division which is focused on delivering cost effective solutions for subsea design and project engineering to a range of clients.

He said: “Infinity are proving that there is still opportunity within a challenging market. Our team are working extremely hard to deliver a simple yet measured approach to engineering for our clients. We look forward to building the company and further enhancing the reputation in the coming months and years.”

Geeta Thakorlal Appointed President of INTECSEA Geeta Thakorial has been appointed to the position of president for INTECSEA, effective immediately. Geeta succeeds Neil Mackintosh, who will take on the role of executive vice president of global sales and marketing for Advisian. Geeta Thakorlal has over 30 years of management and professional services experience, the last 25 years of which have been in the international oil and gas sector, predominantly in upstream for greenfield and brownfield offshore and onshore projects.


Subsea UK News | September 2016

She previously served as global head of INTECSEA’s Offshore Select business and senior vice president for the INTECSEA Australia/New Zealand region. Geeta has in-depth knowledge of leading businesses in a variety of roles and situations, spanning technical, commercial, and operational experience.

Dennis Finn, Advisian CEO said: “We are thrilled to have Geeta serve in the role of president. Geeta has been a formidable and influential industry presence during her time at WorleyParsons and will undoubtedly lead with distinction and continue to drive INTECSEA and the wider business forward.”


Oil & Gas Innovation UAE Launched to Boost Trading Links Winner of three times Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: International Trade, Brian Gribble, has formed his third company; Oil & Gas Innovation UAE Ltd (O&G). The primary goal of the new venture is to help Scottish companies get into and gain a greater share of UAE custom and boost trading links between the two regions. Mr Gribble, Managing Director at Aberdeen company Online Valves and Director and previous owner of business Online Electronics Group has opened headquarters in Aberdeen city centre and an office in Dubai for O&G. O&G will offer a variety of services to a client base both in the UAE and Scotland, including technology development and transfer, business establishment and development, and specific project assignment.

“The primary goal of the new venture is to help Scottish companies get into and gain greater share of UAE custom. The company has been established at a time when there is a call for innovation and collaboration across the industry at a time of big challenges. Scotland has a reputation for its innovation; years of experience in the North Sea has enabled Scottish companies to develop groundbreaking technologies that are of benefit to the industry worldwide. O&G aims to promote and deliver collaboration between Scotland and the UAE to add value to the economies of both regions.” Mr Gribble said:

O&G is committed to providing a unique and productive service to clients through extensive knowledge and experience of conducting international business in the oil and gas sector.


When failing subsea choke valves on a major North Sea field needed urgent upgrade work, Kent Introl’s reputation for high quality, fast-track aftermarket solutions proved peerless. With the OEM unable to help, Kent Introl stepped in to return the valves to the field – fully refurbished, upgraded and tested – in record time.

See more case studies online at:

For unparalleled expertise in subsea and topside valve upgrades, call the experts today.

T: +44 (0)1484 710311


Market Activity Report Q3 2016

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


Overview The subsea industry has continued to endure the struggle of low oil prices for Q3 of 2016. During this time, there has been many delays and cancellations of drilling projects on a global scale. Operators are looking to lower the operating cost per barrel of oil through restructuring their organisation and their outlook on business. In these difficult times, both operators and service companies are looking to diversify into other possible avenues, such as renewables, that can be beneficial to their business. The growth of offshore wind farms has provided the industry with further employment and given suppliers a new direction to promote their products and services.

Gulf of Mexico Proserv awarded contracts for both Phoenix and Conger fields. Production commenced at Noble Energy’s Gunflint location.

West Africa TEN project produced first oil on time and within budget. Panoro Energy fully commission Front Puffin FPSO.

North Sea Maersk Drilling has announced that its Maersk Highlander jack-up drilling rig has set off to the Culzean gas field, which is located in the UK sector of the North Sea, 250 kilometres east of Aberdeen. The formerly suspended rig, Scarabeo 5, has been taken back on hire by Statoil to perform well plugging and complete workover work in both the Kristin field and Snorre field located in the Norwegian and North Sea respectively. The Semi-submersible rig will start its work in the Kristin field to permanently plug a well before moving onto the Snorre field to complete a workover on a disused well, with the aim to bring the well back into production. Construction work has been completed at the BP-owned Clair Ridge development off the West Coast of Shetland in the UK North Sea. Completion of the construction has taken then project one step closer to its first production. Clair Ridge is the second phase of development at Clair. Production was originally meant to start last year, however due to delays in construction of the DP modules for Block 206/8 project, this pushed back production by over a year.


Subsea UK News | September 2016

Dutch contractor Boskalis were awarded the balance of the plant contract from operator Vattenfall to complete the construction of the Aberdeen Offshore Windfarm (European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre). The Aberdeen Offshore Windfarm is located 3km off the east coast of Aberdeen and consists of 11 wind turbines with a capacity of 92.4 MW. The contract is thought to be worth in excess of well over EUR100 million to Boskalis which will include all different elements of the offshore wind farm, excluding the wind turbine supply.

Gulf of Mexico Noble Enrergy, Inc. has confirmed that production had recently commenced at the company’s Gunflint Oil Development located at Mississippi, Canyon Block 948, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The project which is based over two wells, is expected to reach a minimum gross production of 20 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d), with oil being approximately 75 percent of the total volumes produced. Noble Energy expect that from this production, there would be


North Sea Maersk Highlander jack-up rig set off to Culzean gas field. Construction completed at BP Clair Ridge Development.

Middle East Four engineering contracts awarded by Saudi Aramco to build Fadhili Gas Processing Project.

Australasia Greater Enfield Development approved by Woodside and Mitsui E&P joint venture. DOF secure vessel contract with Shell Australia on five year deal.

at least five MBoe/d. There is potential for additional volumes, which is dependent on the available capacity at third party host facilities. The Gunflint Oil Development is a subsea tie-back to the Gulfstar One facility owned by Williams Partners L.P. and Marubeni Corporation. First Subsea, a mooring specialist was awarded a contract from Shell for work on the operators Appomattox development in the deep-water US Gulf of Mexico. First Subea confirmed that the contract will include the supply the project with its Ballgrab subsea mooring line connectors. Proserv, an energy services company has been awarded two contract wins in the Gulf of Mexico. The two contracts were awarded from Talos Energy and Hess Corporation. These contracts will enable Proserv to carry out work at the operators’ respective Phoenix and Conger field expansion developments. Proserv will utilise their global team of subsea controls and communications experts from Great Yarmouth, UK; while Trondheim, Norway and Houston, USA are to successfully deliver their scope of work. This will include providing subsea communications and controls solutions to support the Brownfield upgrade of the Phoenix field for Talos Energy and to provide a Subsea Control Module (SCM) and tree mounted equipment for the development of the Conger field.

One of the biggest deepwater fields in the Gulf of Mexico, BP’s Thunder Horse Platform, started up a major water injection project which will help to extend the production life of the project. The water injection project will boost the recovery of oil and natural gas from one of the three main reservoirs. The project, establishes BP’s continued investment into its Gulf of Mexico deepwater hubs.

West Africa The TEN Project in West Ghana, operated by Tullow Oil produced first oil on time and within budget. The net capex expenditure in the first half of 2016 was circa $400m and forecasted to be circa $200m for the second half of 2016 when Tullow can expect drilling completions to continue into the third quarter along with decommissioning of equipment and vessels. Tullow Oil estimates that the TEN project average annualised production for 2016 will be approximately 23,000 bopd gross (net: 11,000 bopd) with the operator looking to escalate its oil production towards the FPSO’s capacity of 80,000 bopd towards the end of 2016.

Subsea UK News | September 2016



The Front Puffin FPSO has now been fully commissioned by Panoro Energy. Due to mechanical issues and Nigerian regulatory approvals, the targeted production rates are yet to be stabilised. These issues should be resolved by Q4 2016 resulting in production being maintained at approximately 7,000-8,000 barrels of oil per day.

Australasia DOF Subsea was awarded a five-year contract with Shell Australia with an option for two x two further year options for both the hire of a multi-purpose supply vessel and underwater services for the Prelude FLNG facility located on Western Australia. DOF Subsea will provide project management, engineering and integrated services under the IRM contract as well as the project dedicated vessel and options for other vessels.

Middle East Saudi Aramco awarded four engineering contracts to build its Fadhili Gas Processing Project. The project is estimated to be completed by 2019 and will be worth more than 50 billion Saudi Riyals (over ÂŁ10 billion). The Fadhili Gas Processing Project will be the first in the kingdom to treat gas from both onshore and offshore gas fields. The four contracts were awarded to Saudi Electricity Company, Engie, Larsen & Toubro and local companies. The aim of the Fadhili Gas Processing Project is to boost capacity to more than 17 billion standard cubic feet per day by 2020.

Development of the Greater Enfield project by the joint venture of Woodside and Mitsui E&P Australia have been approved. With a total investment of approximately US$1.9 billion, the project is targeting reserves of 69 million barrels of oil (MMBoe) with first oil expected in Q2 2019.

Further Information The information contained in this report was gathered using SubseaIntel. For more details visit


Subsea UK News | September 2016

Redefining Flexible Riser Integrity Management Integrating FLEXAS™ and MEC-FIT™ for Flexible Riser Integrity

INTECSEA and Innospection are pleased to announce a Strategic Alliance of industry leading inspection and analysis tools in the arena of flexible riser integrity.

• Integrity Management planning • Visual and MEC-FIT™ inspection • Assessment with FLEXAS™ and intervention planning and construction management for execution • Life of field riser model updates and analysis • Future inspection planning guidance




Converging Futures in the North Sea By James Young, Chief Technology Officer at JDR Cable Systems

New ways of looking at technology are enabling closer collaboration between the renewables and the oil and gas sectors, and also addressing the cost pressures faced by both, as James Young explains.

Apart from their obvious differences, the major factor that separates oil and gas and renewables is the attitude towards cost. When the oil prices are high, the oil and gas sector has usually adopted a high-spend approach to exploration, development and extraction. But, that is a luxury that the renewables sector hasn’t been able to enjoy. As more of a challenger industry, striving to enhance its competitiveness and in anticipation of the end of subsidy regimes, its focus has been on reducing costs. So it’s perhaps not surprising that, with a prolonged slump in the oil price, oil

and gas operators are looking at the renewables sector for potential cost savings. Equally, in its search for costeffective innovation, the renewables sector has been eyeing up solutions from its oil and gas counterparts. The idea that there could be some technology-driven convergence between oil and gas on one hand, and renewables on the other, is not as outlandish as it may have seemed only a few years ago. Nowhere is this convergence more obvious than in offshore energy generation, where technologies used by the North Sea oil and gas


Subsea power cable 33/36kV

community are being considered by offshore wind operators, and innovations developed for wind and tidal generation are being considered by oil and gas operators.

Higher voltage, lower costs The first area of interest is high-voltage cabling developed for offshore wind generation that can also be used in the oil and gas sector as a cost-competitive solution for driving large amounts of power across the seabed. For example, new so-called ‘wet design’ 66kV cabling significantly steps up the voltage from the 33kV inter-array standard cable capacity and is being adopted by a number of new wind development projects. The advantages of this type of cabling is that it enables power to be transmitted to and from larger turbines that are installed further offshore – essential as the industry starts to look beyond shallower waters. The cable was initially developed to support expansion of offshore wind turbine capacity to higher power generation, enabling developers to exploit more offshore wind resources. But those high-power, deeper-water characteristics also make it a suitable technology for offshore oil and gas applications.

Dynamic opportunities In return, the possibilities offered by deep-water operations give the offshore wind industry plenty of opportunity to consider the

technologies residing in the oil and gas sector. There is a drive towards floating structures for offshore wind to reduce construction costs associated with building an offshore windfarm in harsh environments and to create more efficient maintenance operations. With the Continental Shelf dropping away, floating systems are going to be a very interesting development in the North Sea. When Statoil presented its view of offshore wind up to 2030, it claimed that approximately 105 GWh of installed capacity – or about 20 to 25 per cent of the total – would be floating offshore wind. Naturally, managing floating structures is something that the oil and gas sector has been doing for decades. And with savings in capital and operational expenditure on offer, the offshore wind industry is looking to replicate its success – in particular, by deploying more dynamic power cables that can be hooked onto floating structures. This type of cable is being considered in the deployment of renewable technology to help power the subsea needs of oil and gas operators. Projects such as the DNV-GL led WIN WIN joint-industry project are already looking at the feasibility of using a floating offshore wind turbine with battery storage and other equipment to pump water into an oil and gas well.

Collaboration and convergence Once again, many of the underlying differences come down to cost. Static cables for current offshore windfarms tend to be a highly cost-efficient design, optimised for a range of subsea locations and often protected by additional cable protection conduits. In contrast, cables for dynamic systems are a highly engineered, bespoke product and can sometimes be fine-tuned to suit the specific conditions. We are at an interesting point in the industry where technology, across the offshore energy sector, is enabling the collaboration that market forces demand. We have already seen plenty of opportunities for renewables and oil and gas to learn from the other. And the collaborative future goes beyond essential support technologies like cabling. Engineers are looking at the possibility of reusing oil and gas infrastructure for offshore wind projects. In the near future, the conversation and the innovation will simply be about offshore energy – and reducing the offshore costs for the benefit of developers and operators alike.


C-Vision NANO On-board with Wessex Archaeology! The C-Tecnics ‘C-Vision NANO’ is a welcomed addition to the tools available to Wessex Archaeology helping them to provide their customers with a market leading service. Since 2004, Wessex Archaeology has owned and operated one of C-Tecnics earliest models of colour video system, named the ‘Colourwatch’. 2016 saw a change for the diving team as their video system was upgraded to the latest offering from the C-Vision range, The C-Vision NANO. C-Vision Nano

The new acquired piece of C-Tecnics equipment serves as a portable video-capture system designed specifically for use with a laptop. The C-Vision is being used for underwater diving operations, this distinctively developed unit combined with its easy-to-use video monitoring and recording software, is ideal for a number of diving operations. Install the software, plug in and it’s ready to go.

Graham Scott, Diving Superintendent at Wessex Archaeology said: “Wessex Archaeology has

Retrieving dropdown camera. Crown © taken by Wessex Archaeology


Subsea UK News | September 2016

always prided itself on providing innovative technological solutions to archaeological problems. The acquisition of this new C-Tecnics camera and Nano digital recording system provides us with a step change in our archaeological inspection capabilities that also retains our cost-effective edge. By combining it with our other digital recording and positioning systems and archaeological expertise, this system helps us to provide our clients with a sector leading service.”


“Into the Deep” with TSC’s ACFM® for Swivel Joint Inspection

ACFM scanner working on the pipeline at 1100m depth

Swivel joints are an integral part of subsea pipelines and water injection systems, installed as part of the extraction infrastructure in subsea oil fields. Swivel and pipeline welds are made of a corrosion resistant alloy, to avoid excessive corrosion. However, within the scope of TSC’s recent project, some of these joints had been identified as “leaking”, causing a reduction in productivity of the well. Information and data on the exact nature of the failures were needed in order to schedule a repair and maintenance programme. TSC’s ACFM® inspection technology has been developed to detect and size fatigue cracks in metal structures, with great accuracy, producing instant repeatable and auditable measurement data. The ACFM® NDT method is tolerant of lift-off and misalignment, and as such is suitable for the deployment by ROV techniques in an underwater environment. For this reason ACFM® was chosen and used to inspect the identified swivel joints to determine if there were fatigue defects present, as the detected leakage could be a result of cracking. ACFM® was able to accurately size the known defects but was also deployed to determine if there was further cracking in the other swivels that could lead to failure in the short term. Automated UT testing provided by Sonomatic was also used to check the inside surface of the pipe for corrosion.

TSC’s ACFM® equipment is rated for deepwater work up to 2,000m depth. A scanner was designed and built in-house by the TSC engineering team, to work around the specified swivel joint geometry at the required depths. The scanning system also operated to cover the full circumferential weld of the pipe/swivel joints. The scanner maintains contact on the pipe by magnets and moves around the pipe guided by wheels travelling on the pipe surface. The ACFM® probe is sprung to maintain contact with the weld being inspected and to minimise lift-off for optimum sensitivity. As the ACFM® inspection technique works through coatings, the epoxy surface preparation did not hinder the inspection. Overall this deep-sea inspection campaign was completed successfully and it was confirmed that no further fatigue cracks were present. However there were corroded areas identified on the inner surface of the pipeline. Clamps were fitted to seal the leaking sections and to improve productivity of the well. Further IRM activities are now being scheduled.

Allspeeds Announces Largest Webtool Fibre Rope Cutter Yet Hydraulic cutting systems specialist, Allspeeds, announces its largest standard Webtool fibre rope cutter so far. The Webtool SL165 softline ROV tool is capable of cutting soft and fibre ropes up to 165mm diameter. It can be deployed either on the manipulator arm of a work class ROV or integrated within a maritime handling system, in both cases the cutter operates at any water depth. Fibre rope is widely used in subsea anchoring, equipment deployment and construction, as an alternative to steel wire. The need to handle higher loads has prompted the use of larger diameter ropes. In the event the rope needs to be cut, the Webtool guillotine cutting action offers a quick and efficient solution, cutting the softline within a few seconds. Made from lightweight aluminium, the Webtool SL165 weighs 49.8Kg in air (33.5Kg in water) and uses 690 bar maximum input pressure. An optional hydraulic intensifier is available.

Colin Schroder, managing director, Allspeeds Ltd said:

“We’ve developed the SL165 to meet the ever increasing requirement of our customers to cut larger softlines. Using our expertise in cutting blade design, the blade is fully optimised for cutting fibre rope, ensuring a speedy cut.” The SL 165’s corrosion resistant aluminium body and cylinder and long blade and anvil life ensures tool maintenance is kept to a minimum. In addition to the standard tool design, the softline cutter is available in bespoke and custom designs to suit special applications, with the possibility of cutting softlines up to 350mm and more.

Allspeeds’ largest and smallest softline cutters

Subsea UK News | September 2016



Trelleborg’s Seal Materials Tested for Optimum Performance Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has carried out a series of tests to show the importance of fluid type and seal material choice in “ensuring optimum seal performance and service life”. The world leader in engineered polymer solutions, which has been making highly developed seals for over 30 years, worked with fluid producer MacDermid to test the effect of water glycol fluids on common seal materials. Together the engineers for both companies tested seven seal materials which were immersed in water glycol fluids at a range of elevated temperatures up to +200°C / +392°F. The results have been published in a white paper on the subject. Each seal and fluid combination was tested for hardness change, tensile strength change, strain change and volume change. All physical changes were documented using before and after photos.

David Brown, Global Lead Group Director, Oil & Gas, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, says: “The testing reveals

the importance of fluid type and seal material choice in ensuring optimum seal performance and service life. Traditional sealing materials, such as FKM, often inert in most fluids, are exhibiting disadvantageous behaviour in HFC fluids.

“Offshore operators are free to add extra additives to suit their particular application, but these could lead to seal material incompatibilities and cause dramatic adverse effects on sealing materials. “We recommend each application must be reviewed uniquely to optimise the seal materials with the HFC fluid to ensure seal performance and life.” The series of tests were developed by Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in 2015. The company decided to investigate the effects of high-temperature exposure of sealing materials within water-based hydraulic fluids because until now, the two materials have never been thoroughly tested together at high temperatures before. Water-based hydraulic fluids are widely used in oil and gas, mining, hot-rolling mills, and similar applications where the potential for fire could cause catastrophic consequences. They are also replacing traditional oil-based HLP fluids in applications where environmental regulations must be observed. As a result, they have become more prevalent in many applications within offshore energy production as a means of protecting people, the environment and resources. The International Standards Organization (ISO) classifies fireresistant, water-based hydraulic fluids into four categories which include HFAE, HFAS, HFB and HFC. HFC fluids are the most common hydrous, fire-resistant hydraulic fluids because they have the best fire resistance and hydraulic properties. They are also used wherever hydraulic fluid escaping under high pressure can ignite on contact with hot materials.

Left: Engineers tested seven seal materials which were immersed in water glycol fluids at a range of elevated temperatures. Right: Trelleborg worked with fluid producer MacDermid to test the effect of water glycol fluids on common seal materials.

The fire resistant and environmentally friendly qualities of HFC fluids make them ideal for use in offshore installations. The fire-resistant properties mean greater fire safety, offering more time to initiate fire-fighting measures and bring people to safety in the event of an accident.

Testing revealed the importance of fluid type and material choice in ensuring optimum seal performance and service life


Subsea UK News | September 2016







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Caley Linear Cable Engine for Telecoms Cable Lay Caley Ocean Systems, part of the Seanamic Group, has developed a high speed linear cable engine (LCE) for telecoms cable laying. Operating at speeds up to 10 knots, the fully containerised Caley LCE provides complete control of deployment of telecoms cable and repeaters. Caley offers a range of linear cable engines optimised for laying and recovering a wide variety of cable types. The engine is assembled within a customised and fully CSC certified 20ft ISO container, with curtain access to the sides and doors at either end to allow easy cable throughput. The LCE includes a built-in hydraulic power pack and Caley designed touch screen controls. It can be used on either a standalone basis or in series to handle the extra loads when deploying cable in deepwater. With cable pay-out speeds up to 10 knots (5m/sec), the Caley LCE can handle cable diameters from 16mm to 50mm and repeaters up to 450mm. Designed for deployment offshore for extended periods, the Caley LCE is a robust construction with low maintenance requirements.

Seatronics Successfully Participate in Coastal Trident with Predator Elite ROV

Caley Linear Cable Engine

“The Caley LCE is an extremely efficient way of deploying small diameter cable at speed,”

says Gregor McPherson, sales director, Caley Ocean Systems. “We’ve fine-tuned the LCE’s control

system and choice of pneumatic tyre to maximise the pay-out for both cable and the much larger receivers.”

The Seatronics Predator ROV performed exceptionally well throughout the Coastal Trident trials in June 2016. Coastal Trident is an annual education and field experimentation exercise taking place throughout Southern California. The exercise is conducted to support evaluation of capabilities and identify areas for improvement for Counter-IED technology. The Predator ROV faced a number of scenario based activities throughout the trial but successfully completed all challenges without issue. Attendees expressed great feedback about the system and explained how impressed they were with the capabilities of the Predator Elite ROV. Observers were also pleased to see that the suggested improvements and adaptations identified at previous law enforcement trials had been implemented, establishing the Elite system as a worthy solution for Public Safety “Bomb Squad UROV” operations in port and offshore environment. Predator ROV features such as the systems power, enhanced station keeping ability provided by SeeByte, ease of use and portability secure the Elite System as an efficient and effective ROV for IED projects.


Subsea UK News | September 2016

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Subsea Centre Introduces New Hydraulics Training Course Subsea training facility, The Underwater Centre, has introduced a new hydraulics course which will provide candidates from a wide range of industries an introduction to fluid power systems. Hydraulics are an essential component of many industrial applications in manual and automated plant, from forestry, agriculture and marine engineering, to complex robotic and mechatronic systems. The Underwater Centre has developed the course to give candidates an introduction to the principles of fluid mechanics and provide hands-on experience using the Centre’s new training equipment. The course deals with the concepts and practical application of oil-powered hydraulics within industry, typically encountered by technicians. Using a range of instructional techniques, candidates will gain experience of closed-loop and open-loop systems. Throughout the three-day course, students will learn about core concepts including: fluid principles, hydraulic symbols and notation, pressure, flow and directional control, energy storage, basic electrical theory, hose management, pressure testing and fittings and fault-finding Steve Ham, The Underwater Centre’s Commercial Director, said: “Our own research and experience has demonstrated that in order to maintain and enhance, through further training, the position of Scottish and UK-wide industries into the 21st century, hydraulics will play a vital role in the training portfolio of an adaptable, flexible and innovative workforce. “Hydraulics Level 1 is a three-day course which is delivered in a contextual environment with hands-on practical exercises using our state-of-the-art training equipment.


Subsea UK News | September 2016

“Our candidates will come away from this course with a solid grounding in hydraulics with experience which can be utilised across all industries.” BSW Timber, which is based just outside of Fort William, sent three maintenance technicians to take part in the inaugural Hydraulics Level 1 course, helping to reduce the costs and time which would have previously been spent on a course south of the border.

“The feedback from the candidates we put on the course was very positive. The course was well run by knowledgeable instructors, using very up to date equipment. It’s great to be able to get good quality technical training on your doorstep and we plan to use The Underwater Centre in the future for our hydraulic training requirements.” Ewen Smith, Engineering Manager at BSW said:

With accommodation and additional classrooms based at the landward end of the pier, The Underwater Centre is set up to provide its students with the skills and experience to succeed in their new careers, and continue providing the subsea industry with the workforce that it needs. Photo of the team from BSW Timber at The Underwater Centre From left to right: Iain MacTavish, Robert Wojcik and Colin MacKinnon





Diving System FMECA Awareness by Sandy Harper, Managing Director, Namaka Subsea Diving operations require organisation to ensure the safety of the divers and support personnel, which includes, ensuring plant and equipment is fit for purpose, adequately maintained and operated as it was designed. This can be achieved by design, risk assessment, planned maintenance, inspection and testing, which can be captured during the process defined as Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA). The FMECA of a diving system shall assess the effects on different failure modes on the diving system operating equipment and where required the support vessel interfaces. The resultant quantification may highlight deficiencies in design, lack of redundancy and failure to maintain the recommended critical spares to ensure safe and efficient diving operations, with the emphasis being on diver’s/personnel safety. Diving System Assurance Audits carried out by Namaka Subsea, have identified a growing concern with the content of Diving System FMECA assessments. The reason being that FMECA assessments are not being carried out following best industry practice. The Way Forward IMCA have assembled a work group to review and update IMCA D039 FMEA Guide for Diving Systems, to provide a more user friendly guidance document that can be understood by all personnel involved in diving operations. To ensure FMECA assessments are carried out correctly, Namaka Subsea has developed a team of experienced technical/ operational personnel, to carry out FMECA assessments on both new and old systems.


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Namaka Subsea has taken the current IMCA D039 methodology and process and developed it further. This ensures the emphasis of the assessment is on diver’s/personnel safety. The results have been very positive with issues being uncovered on systems which had previously gone undetected. The assessment considers the failure modes of the systems both technically and operationally which provides a diving system technical safety assessment. To provide the industry with a better understanding of the FMECA process and methodology, Namaka Subsea has developed a one day FMECA Awareness Training Course. The course is designed to provide awareness of the methodology and process of completing a diving system FMECA as well as guidance on how best to review current diving system FMECAs.

A number of courses have now been facilitated at Namaka Subsea’s headquarters and were well attended by key individuals from the diving industry. The feedback from the courses was very positive and all who attended agreed that the information provided would assist the industry to understand the process better. Further dates for the course will be scheduled throughout the year and Namaka Subsea are offering a free download of the FMECA Awareness Course Notes on their website.


Subsea UK News | September 2016



National Hyperbaric Centre Partners with Subtech to Deliver Courses in South Africa National Hyperbaric Centre has announced that they will be scheduling regular courses in South Africa following an agreement with Subtech Group. Aberdeen-based National Hyperbaric Centre, a part of JFD, successfully delivers a timetable of subsea related courses in the UK and Singapore and is pleased to announce South Africa as an additional location.

NHC is delighted to have developed a closer partnership with Subtech Group and believes their facility is the ideal location to run their courses. Mark Cooper, NHC Training Manger said: “We have strong links with Subtech

Group who are owned by the same parent company as JFD. They are a well-established Marine Services Company based in Durban and Cape Town who also have an extensive history within the diving and subsea industry. This is an excellent opportunity for National Hyperbaric Centre and Subtech Group to position themselves at the forefront of subsea and diver training and safety in Africa.”

NHC ran regular courses in South Africa during 2013/14, these were well attended and welcomed by the industry so the company is positive this success will continue. “The courses have been launched in the new location to meet continued demand from clients. We regularly have delegates at our Aberdeen facility from around the globe and the development of these training courses in foreign locations greatly reduces the financial impact on our candidates as it brings down their travelling costs.” It is anticipated that the client representative, dive system auditing and ROV system auditing courses will prove to be the most popular with candidates in South Africa and a timetable for the second half of 2016 is currently being developed.

One of the NHC’s early courses from 2013 in South Africa

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FEATURE ARTICLE Technology Hardware (ROV)

Bringing Science to Life in the Classroom Marine Life


Primary Pupils Delve Deep into the Underwater World Primary pupils from across Scotland are benefiting from a new teaching resource thanks to industry body, Subsea UK. Diver developed in Launched in November last year, Subsea Channel was response to industry wanting more young people to take an interest Surveying the Seabed in science. It was designed to help teachers deliver the science curriculum with images and examples that engage pupils’ interest and imagination, to make the subject relevant and accessible to more young people. Subsea UK has been working closely with education bodies and teachers to further develop the resource and capture the interest and imagination of primary pupils in science subjects. Aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence, Subsea Channel, provides teachers with a resource which shows real-life applications of the scientific principles they teach.

Subsea Channel is up of five topics;

ROVs and Robotics


Surveying the Seabed


Marine Biology

Each topic “pack” contains a specific film on the subject; together with a lesson plan and teaching notes with supplementary information for teacher reference to help plan their lessons. The resource is free, easy to use and available to all schools throughout Scotland. Teachers can register online via a dedicated page on the Subsea UK website. They will be regularly informed of any updates or new materials and will be able to provide feedback. Subsea UK’s development team for the resource included teachers and science support staff alongside industry representatives. Together they produced a resource for use with 8-12 year olds (P 6/7) which supports the Curriculum for Excellence in a way that makes the science relevant and exciting. The resource is designed to support the teachers prepare and deliver their lessons and show the application of science in the real world and at work. Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “The industry’s continued success to a large extent is dependent on having the scientists and engineers who will meet the ongoing and future technological needs of the UK subsea sector.

“In order to inspire the next generation, we believe we must start that learning journey as early as possible. “Research shows that primary school is the best place to start nurturing an interest in science and technology, so we have to capture the imaginations of young people before they make those important subject choices. On a practical level, resources need to be aligned to the education curriculum and flexible enough to be incorporated easily into classroom work.

“At Subsea UK, we understand that we have an important role to fulfil in supporting education and this initiative demonstrates what can be achieved by businesses working closely with schools.” When developing the resources, teachers were asked what would help them to deliver the science curriculum more effectively. Their feedback included: resources which would put science into context and show how it can help solve real problems, and lessons which are flexible and will capture the children’s imagination. Subsea UK ensured that Subsea Channel met all of these requirements and liaised with science advisers and practicing teachers from Aberdeen to develop classroom activities and worksheets to the appropriate level.

“Both pupils and teachers benefit from using Subsea Channel as it is a combination of technical knowledge from industry professionals and the educational objectives of teaching professionals. Neil added:

“The lesson plans, coupled with a series of short films and information sheets provide primary teachers with everything they need to deliver good quality lessons, which are presented in a non-technical manner to ensure it’s easy for both pupils and teachers to understand.” Looking ahead, Subsea UK hopes to expand the programme and also work with teachers across Britain to develop the lesson plans and teaching support aligned to the National Curriculum in England and Wales, further strengthening the partnership between industry and education.

For more information about Subsea Channel, visit the Subsea UK Learning Resources page at


New DP Reference Systems Familiarisation Course from Kongsberg Maritime Kongsberg Maritime Ltd has announced the launch of a new training course at its training centre in Westhill, Aberdeen. The new course – DP Reference Systems Familiarisation – specifically targets DP Operators and Navigators and offers delegates technical and operational training. Kongsberg manufactures and supports several different positionreference systems depending on the type of operation and application, they include DPS, DARPS, HiPAP, RADius, Artemis and SpotTrack. This five day course covers the basic principles, features and benefits of these systems and delegates will also learn how Aberdeen Training Centre

to operate them through practical exercises. Utilising its position as manufacturers of the technology, the training centre features the latest equipment and courses are taught by instructors with extensive, real experience of using the equipment.

Euan Duncan, Training Manager at Kongsberg Maritime Ltd, said: “This new course will allow new users of

the systems to be trained how to use the systems most effectively, while educating existing users on the latest features, benefits and applications of the technology.” This course adds to the portfolio of courses offered at the training centre in Westhill which is already a leading provider of Dynamic Positioning, Acoustic Positioning and Automation Systems courses. This new course launches late September 2016.

Quick Hydraulics Receives Prestigious Training Approval Quick Hydraulics, which provides hydraulic training to customers in Aberdeen, North East England, Yorkshire and Great Yarmouth, has received official endorsement from the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) for its training programmes. After rigorous inspection, the BPFA officially approved the courses on 30 June, positioning Quick Hydraulics as the sector leader in hydraulic training. Quick Hydraulics, part of the Altec Engineering Group, already has 20 years of experience running its hydraulics training programmes, which are also have a unique City & Guilds accreditation.

and circuits, familiarisation with common hydraulic components and an introduction to filtration and cleanliness. The most advanced course offers design of hydraulic systems, advanced troubleshooting and closed loop proportional hydraulic control systems.

Andrew Esson, Managing Director of Quick Hydraulics, said: “Receiving approval from the British Fluid

Power Association is an important development for Quick Hydraulics, where we’ve been supporting businesses to manage and develop hydraulic capacity since the early 1980s.” Quick Hydraulics, which was founded on Tyneside more than 35 years ago, provides hydraulic service, repair and training to clients including British Engines, Siemens Energy, Technip, Baker Hughes and GE Oil & Gas. The hydraulic training programmes have a unique City & Guilds accreditation. The range of practical, three-day courses start at an entry-level introduction, giving a basic grounding in hydraulic symbols


Subsea UK News | September 2016

Andrew Esson Managing Director (left) and Alan Egglestone Engineering Director (Right)

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Total Receives 2016 Energy Intelligence Award for Leadership in New Energy Energy Intelligence has announced that Total S.A. is the winner of its 2016 Award for Leadership in New Energy. The award recognises a company that is at the forefront of the energy transition from traditional fossil fuels to a lower-carbon energy system. Total has emerged as a leader among oil majors in adapting its business model to the climate challenge. The company has made significant investments in alternative energy, placed an increasing emphasis on natural gas and, more broadly, integrated climate change into its strategy. The award will be presented to Total during the 37th Annual Oil & Money conference in London in October.

“Total stands out from its peers, due to its commitment to a cleaner energy future,” said Lauren Craft, editor of EI New Energy. “It has gone far beyond words, by making substantial investments, setting ambitious targets, and placing climate at the heart of its corporate strategy.” Total recently created a new integrated gas, renewables and power segment as part of its bid to “become the responsible energy

major”. In 2011, Total became a global leader in solar energy with its purchase of a majority stake in SunPower, the vertically integrated US solar company. Total acquired in 2016 French battery-maker Saft, which should allow for in-house production of batteries for intermittent solar photovoltaic units, positioning its solar business to become even more integrated. In July, Total bought Belgian gas distribution and renewable power provider Lampiris. The venture capital arm of Total has made a range of other investments in areas such as energy storage, biofuels, fuel cells, off-grid solar and wind. Total, whose ambition is to remain among the top three profitable major oil and gas companies, is diversifying its hydrocarbon business and aims to produce over 60% natural gas by 2035. The company also aims to have low-carbon business make up 20% of its portfolio within the same timeframe. As a producer and provider of electricity, Total envisions being an industrial player in the electricity market, which Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanné calls “the energy of the 21st century”. It has pledged to use the International Energy Agency’s 2°C scenario as its “handbook”.

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NSRI: Subsea Storage and Technology Developers’ Day The Roadmap to Subsea Storage NSRI has issued a report on the outcomes of its recent subsea storage workshop which aimed to identify ways to stimulate investment in and encourage the development of emerging technologies which will speed up the shift from costly surface platforms to new lower cost standalone facilities. Technology developers and the wider industry addressed the challenges and discussed the different routes to commercialising new subsea storage technology and ways to progress concepts through to infield implementation. The ideas generated from the workshop have allowed NSRI to create technology roadmaps – clearly documenting the challenges and potential solutions for subsea storage, for both processed and unprocessed fluids. Categorised into four groups – adopt, adapt, develop and collaborate – the roadmaps set out the short, medium and long term activities which will help progress the development of subsea storage facilities for widespread commercial use. The roadmaps aim to encourage the uptake of technologies which will deliver immediate efficiencies, establish best working practices in the long term and see the industry working together to overcome barriers. To download the full report, visit the NSRI website.

Reduce OPEX and Increase Innovation

NSRI will host its second ‘Developers Day’ event on 15th September to help connect UK subsea technology developers with end-users and funding sources in a bid to get new subsea technology off the ground. The session will focus on a number of themes including patent protection, financing, collaborative agreements, investment and product qualification. Speakers will take to the stage to outline available resources and support organisations which can provide assistance with research and development, tax, funding and patenting. Subsea UK and NSRI will also be running their first Subsea Springboard on the same day. The event will look at ways in which the industry can work together to reduce operational costs. A number of selected supply chain companies will each be allocated a seven minute slot to provide an ‘elevator pitch’ to a panel of operators and Tier 1 contractors including Apache, Chevron, Total, EnQuest, Nexen and Subsea 7. Each pitch will focus on the technology, processes and procedures which have the potential to improve business outcomes. The panels will take place every three months and will focus on a range of industry topics.

Subsea Springboard & NSRI’s Developers’ Day Village Hotel, Prime Four, Kingswells, Aberdeen.


Sept 2016

For more information, visit the events page on the Subsea UK website The NSRI is the technology arm of Subsea UK.