Subsea UK News - May 2018 Issue (v2)

Page 1


IN THIS ISSUE Subsea Opportunities Around the World Brazil: Still Key to Export Targets Q1 Market Intelligence Report


An Integrated Landscape? The Future of Subsea Contracting


Serious about your subsea business? We’re serious about helping you develop your business! The voice of the subsea industry. Working for its Members | Supporting and Promoting Providing Leadership | Driving Collaboration | Influencing | Internationalising | Adding Value

Lunch and Learn with Wood 23 May 2018 Aberdeen, UK

Life of Field Conference 10 July 2018 Bristol, UK

Subsea UK Golf Day - Challenge Cup

Underwater Vehicles Conference

24 August 2018 Peterculter, UK

11 September 2018 Aberdeen, UK

Subsea UK Networking Dinner

Back to the Future of Subsea

18 September 2018 London, UK

22 November 2018 Woking, UK

Subsea Expo 2019

Fundamentals of Subsea Systems

6 - 8 February 2019 Aberdeen, UK

Dates available in June, August and November Aberdeen, UK

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


Welcome to Subsea UK News Over the past few years the industry has been forced to look at ways to get more out of existing assets, moving from greenfield developments to subsea tieback projects. Huge pressures on cost have seen expensive offshore developments shelved and subsea tiebacks take-off, offering a much needed a lifeline to many subsea companies during the downturn.

Neil Gordon, Chief Executive, Subsea UK

It’s no secret that many of the world’s largest and most lucrative offshore oil and gas basins are reaching maturity and as a result, declining in profitability. Most new discoveries tend to be smaller and don’t deliver the same returns as larger fields.

So what’s the solution? We must do more to breathe new life into mature assets, while making much better decisions about projects. Reduced installation activity is expected to continue in the short-term due to limited project sanctioning, however the long-term fundamentals of the subsea hardware industry are strong and will remain a critical option for future developments. Deepwater reserves will be a cost competitive source of world-class hydrocarbon reserves for years to come, but they will require long-distance tiebacks to get the most out of them, leveraging existing infrastructure. While many deepwater projects have been delayed due to the low oil price, some have received the greenlight by opting for subsea tiebacks, and as the market recovers, I think we will see demand increase significantly. Breakthroughs in technology have also accelerated the development of previously stranded resources. From a supply-chain perspective, the market presents a huge opportunity to bring forward new approaches and technology to maximise economic recovery. The technologies, methodologies and experience gained in unlocking these hydrocarbons will be highly exportable. The world is changing, and the UK subsea industry is in pole position to leverage lower input costs to maintain or improve existing facilities.

Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK

Important note affecting Subsea UK News magazine subscribers: On May 25 new laws about how companies store data come into power; if you haven’t already subscribed to receiving communications from Subsea UK, your free magazine subscription may be cancelled. Subscribe to continue receiving the magazine online at: or scan the QR code

Subsea UK Subsea UK News, produced by Subsea UK, reaches over 28,000 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. The UK subsea industry 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 A.E.D Consultants

McLachlan Marine

Acteon FLS

Modus Seabed Intervention Ltd

Advanced Lubricant Solutions AMS Technical Projects

MontOsc Engineering Projects Ltd

Draeger Safety UK Ltd


APH Hydraulic Engineering Parkburn Precision Handling Systems Ltd Ltd Probe Oil Tools CONSUB Ltd GreySellsGlobal JB Valves Limited Lubitec Ltd

ROVX Ltd RUD Chains Ltd Tenzor Geo Ltd

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

Forthcoming Events May 2018 Lunch and Learn with Wood 23 May - Aberdeen, UK Sub-Saharan Africa - Lunch and Learn 29 May - Aberdeen, UK June 2018 Subsea Forum in Rio 2018 5 - 7 Jun - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Scottish Enterprise Lunch and Learn Subsea Opportunities 5 Jun - Aberdeen, UK

Fundamentals of Subsea Systems 14 Jun - Aberdeen, UK Subsea Springboard 26 Jun - Aberdeen, UK July 2018 Life of Field Conference 10 Jul - Bristol, UK August 2018 Fundamentals of Subsea Systems 16 Aug - Aberdeen, UK Subsea UK Golf Day - Challenge Cup 24 Aug - Peterculter, UK

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

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 | May 2018



N-Sea Reinforces UXO Expertise with ScottishPower Renewables Campaign UK and Netherlands-based subsea provider N-Sea is part-way through a multi-million-pound unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance campaign for ScottishPower Renewables. Gary Thinkettle, Commercial Director at N-SEA The contract for unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance works commenced in December 2017 and includes UXO inspection, identification and clearance on the array area and export cable route of the East Anglia ONE Offshore Windfarm, located in the southern North Sea approximately 45km southeast of Lowestoft. The workscope, which will be completed later in Spring 2018 requires a flexible multi-vessel approach in order to ensure completion in line with the timescale of windfarm construction. The Noordhoek Pathfinder, Neptunus, Siem N-Sea and Siem Barracuda have each been utilised to date, using ROVs to de-bury, inspect and identify items on a ‘master target list’ identified from previous survey works. Additional ROV and dive vessels will be brought into the campaign as the work progresses. A number of confirmed WW11 UXOs have already been identified during the project for later detonation on site. In addition, many items of debris and boulders have been identified for clearance.

Commercial Director Gary Thirkettle said: “The offshore renewables market has become an integral part of our business model, providing huge growth for N-Sea as part of our long-term strategic plans. We have undertaken numerous UXO projects within the sector and are proud of our involvement in this recent campaign for ScottishPower Renewables.” N-Sea specialises in subsea services for the renewable, oil and gas, and telecom/utility industries, as well as for civil contracting communities. With a focus on safe and efficient operations, N-Sea provides near shore, offshore and survey services to asset operators and tier 1 contractors.

Thinking Small: Archer Knight Finds Success in Granular Market Intelligence Archer Knight, founded by Mike Watson and David Sheret, started up during one of the worst downturns in recent memory, and have succeeded despite the challenges. Some may attribute this to good fortune, however they believe it’s because they think small. Granular market intelligence in the oil & gas subsea industry is a scarce commodity. However, the Aberdeen-based data solutions consultants, are changing this. Established in 2016, they deliver an operationally focused service, combining disciplined consultancy with targeted market intelligence. In less than two years of trading they have amassed 22 clients over five countries and built an enviable track record working with operators, contractors, financial services and public sector companies. At the spine of the business is RAK 4, a subscription based, real-time market intelligence software they believe will change the way subsea companies use granular data.

“With 30 years combined in the industry, we believed there was a gap in the intelligence market and a change in the way companies analysis and apply data. RAK 4, together with our knowledge and contacts, will provide companies with a flexible, adaptable intelligence platform. This will augment their own strategies whilst highlighting short-term tactical prospects and opportunities.”

Although the industry is heading towards recovery, supply still outstrips demand in many areas, meaning rates remain low. Mike Watson said: “Our aim is to help clients remain laser focused on the areas they can grow their services and profits, not only in the oil and gas market but also in renewables, aquaculture and all subsea related engineering activities. “The fundamentals are the same. We need to address each sector separately then combine the individual parts. Smaller thinking, bigger results.”

Dave Sheret said:


Subsea UK News | May 2018

Dave Sheret

Mike Watson


SMD Signs Contract to Supply Atom Mk1 ROV System to China Southern Power Grid World leading subsea equipment design and manufacturer Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) is pleased to announce the signature of a contract to supply its Atom Mk1 1000m 100hp Work Class Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system to Chinese power specialist China Southern Power Extra High Voltage Power Transmission Company (EHV), a subsidiary of the state-owned China Southern Power Grid (CSG). The ROV will be used for inspection of the 31km physical power cable connections in the Qiongzhou Strait between Hainan Island and mainland China. The Qiongzhou strait often experiences high currents so it was essential that CSG chose a compact and powerful ROV to cope with the harsh conditions. The Atom system is SMD’s lightest work class ROV suitable for offshore power applications, survey and light construction duties, and can be mobilised on vessels with limited deck space. For this contract, SMD will integrate a TSS350 cable tracking system and other survey tools to perform cable inspection.

Mark Collins, SMD business development director, said:

“Our Atom system has a proven track record working in challenging operational environments, varying from shallow waters and high currents to scorching temperatures, all of which can cause significant problems for standard work class ROVs. For this order, Atom will showcase its ability to operate in high currents and will call upon its market-leading dynamic positioning system to ensure survey data is of the highest quality.”

Scheduled for delivery at the end of 2018, the ROV will be equipped with SMD’s proven and reliable range of Curvetech® components, DVECSII control system and 20ft control cabin which will be mobilised on board CSG’s new cable installation vessel. As part of the contract, SMD Services is also providing bespoke training courses to ensure CSG’s operational team are prepared with the necessary operating skills. SMD Services will utilise CRRC SMD Shanghai’s facilities to support mobilisation of the ROV on board CSG’s new vessel. They will also lead on the sea trials ensuring the ROV operates at maximum capacity with support from the SMD Services offshore team, who will be on hand to provide assistance for any on deck ROV support.

Hainan Island, China

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Proserv Secures Multi-million Repsol Contract Energy services company Proserv has secured a contract worth over $5.5million (45million Norwegian Kroner) with Repsol to upgrade and build new subsea production control equipment for the Yme field redevelopment in the Norwegian North Sea. The award scope initially covers the refurbishment and upgrade of the existing subsea control system. Using Proserv’s unique technology and expertise, the life of the existing equipment will be extended significantly beyond its original design life, with no compromise on functionality. The entire subsea control system will be upgraded to provide state of the art functionality including high speed data management and transmission capability with sufficient capacity for future field expansion or increased data capture. Henrik Johnson, region president for Scandinavia at Proserv, said: “We are starting to see strong uptake for our Augmented Control Technologies (ACT) approach which helps clients optimise their subsea production in a more cost-effective way. Working in close cooperation with our clients enables us to use the most appropriate technology together with our dedicated engineering and service teams to optimise the performance of a producing asset over its entire life.

Tore Erntsen, vice president for subsea controls at Proserv, said: “In these austere times, it is

fundamental to change the way we act and respond to a challenge. Just as there’s never been a greater need for collaboration, we must think smarter about technology and how we can use what already exists in different ways together. “The revitalisation of the Yme field, with Repsol bringing forward a revised plan for development and operation, is a prime example of how Proserv’s approach can add value by improving existing equipment reliability and maximising field life.” The recoverable oil reserves for the field are estimated at approximately 65 million barrels at 10 years’ total production with first oil planned for the first half of 2020. Proserv’s award-winning A2G subsea electronics module

“We don’t see such an award as a one-off discrete project, but rather the start of a life of field relationship where our role is to provide the best technical and service support whilst maximising our clients’ returns over the entire asset life. Just as our engagement doesn’t end, we also maintain a continual focus on developing new technology that embraces our core philosophy of ‘ingenious simplicity’.” As part of the workscope, Proserv will engineer, manufacture and supply all associated topside and subsea equipment. The refurbishment and servicing of the subsea control modules and the manufacturing of the subsea electronics modules and master control station will be delivered by the company’s subsea controls experts in Trondheim and Stavanger, Norway. Each control module will include Proserv’s award-winning Artemis 2G (A2G) subsea electronics modules which are designed to be compatible with existing infrastructure to avoid costly system replacements and protect against obsolescence.


Subsea UK News | May 2018

This latest award builds on the success of the subsea controls brownfield upgrade project completed by Proserv for Statoil’s Visund Field. The project will be delivered over a two year period in line with key project milestones.


UAE Divisions of Scottish Firms Sign Partnership Agreement The Middle East divisions of two Scottish energy equipment manufacturers and service providers have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see them collaborate on a number of projects in the region. Flowline Specialists FZE and Motive FZC, the United Arab Emirates arms of Oldmeldrum-based Flowline Specialists and Banffheadquartered Motive Offshore Group, have agreed to join forces on specific projects in order to offer added value to clients in the Middle East and North Africa. Establishing the MOU formalises a working partnership that has existed between the UAE divisions of the two firms. The move will see Flowline Specialists FZE and Motive FZC jointly bid on projects in the region, providing a more cost-effective and streamlined procurement process for clients through a single point of contact. Both companies offer a range of complementary modular back deck equipment operated by their own personnel – including spoolers, tensioners, reel drive systems, winches and shears. By working in partnership the firms aim to strengthen their service offering and broaden their project capabilities. A wide range of opportunities exist in the Middle East for the firms, with significant investment continuing to be made by oil and gas operators across the region. A recent report by Siemens also highlighted an expected growth in renewable energy, which reflects the plans of national governments in the Middle East to increase energy production from renewable sources in the coming decades.

UAE MOU (L to R) Dave Acton and Eddie Moore of Motive FZC with Graeme Chalmers of Flowline Specialists FZE

The agreement was signed at the Energy Industry Council’s Connect Oil, Gas & Beyond event in Abu Dhabi, at which Flowline Specialists FZE was exhibiting. The one-day event provided an opportunity for British companies involved in the energy industry to showcase their products and services to major operators and contractors based in the region. Flowline Specialists designs, engineers and manufactures a range of cable and pipe handling and deployment equipment for use in the global energy industry. Established in 2001, the firm has grown its business internationally, which resulted in a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2016. The previous year it launched its Middle East division, Flowline Specialists FZE, under the leadership of group operations manager Graeme Chalmers, who is based in Dubai. Motive FZC is part of Motive Offshore Group, which also comprises Motive Engineering, Motive Rentals, Motive Renewables, Motive Fabrication and Motive Spooling and Inspection. The group specialises in the manufacture and rental of high capacity winches, umbilical deployment equipment and specialised subsea equipment.

New Facility for KW Designed Solutions After Record Order Book KW Designed Solutions has recently invested in a new 8000sq/ft facility in the North West of England after record forecasted growth and recent project awards. In addition to the new facility, KW Design Solutions will also be opening a dedicated onsite testing facility. KW Designed Solutions took the decision during the recent downturn to invest in their sales and marketing activities which included improving website and social media platforms, implementing a CRM system and exhibiting at both Offshore Europe 2017 & Oceanology International 2018. In addition to this they also employed a dedicated commercial lead to the business in summer 2017. All this investment has resulted in new orders from a range of new clients providing KW Designed Solutions a record order book that will see revenue rise four fold over the next couple of years. KW Designed Solutions continues to expand into global markets, recently being awarded a contract to supply a dedicated pressure testing system to a Houston based OEM specialising in downhole equipment used for artificial gas lift technology. KW Designed Solutions are starting to seek out and develop partnerships with overseas companies to help them promote their products and services within key overseas markets.

Mark Henderson, Global Business Development Manager and Michael Kay, Managing Director of KW Designed Solutions outside the new facility

Mark Henderson, KW Designed Solutions Global Business Development Manager, said: “KW Designed Solutions have been designing and building innovative pressure testing systems for major OEMs within the oil and gas sector for over 10 years with a high level of repeat business.

“We have not shouted about our track record loudly enough and advised other companies about the level of expertise that we have within the business.” KW Designed Solutions design, manufacture, install and commission pressure testing systems for equipment and material manufacturers within the oil and gas, chemical, petrochemical and research industries.

Subsea UK News | May 2018



This year’s Subsea Forum Rio 2018, taking place from 5-7 June, is set to tackle the challenge of a future digital economy under the theme of ‘Underwater for longer: Subsea 4.0’.


Subsea UK News | May 2018


Subsea Forum Rio 2018 Windsor Florida Hotel, Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

5-7 June 2018

In its fourth edition, the forum, organised by IBP and SPE and held every two years, provides an opportunity for delegates from Brazil and around the world to share experiences and promote new initiatives that can bring benefits to the subsea sector. Subsea UK chief executive, Neil Gordon, has helped shape the conference as part of the event’s technical committee. As well as being the only international member on the committee, he will present on the opportunities for the global subsea market on the opening day of the conference. Focused on subsea production systems, the event will address new technologies and experiences. The sessions will also explore the development of new fields and revitalisation of production systems as well as the competitiveness of the Brazilian industry. Mr Gordon said: “Brazil is the largest energy market in South America and has the second largest oil reserves in Latin America. Brazil, although not without its political challenges, is a major opportunity for UK companies - especially given that Petrobras plans to invest more than £50 billion over the next four years.”

Several industries have already adopted big data to increase capabilities. The subsea industry, not only in Brazil but globally, must change its mindset to be competitive and realise the potential of realtime decisions which can increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Earlier this year, Mr Gordon led the subsea section at the sixth edition of the UK Energy in Brazil trade mission. Organised through the Department of International Trade (DIT) in association with Subsea UK, the Rio de Janeiro visit showcased UK capability in the energy industry, enabling companies to share expertise and consolidate strategic partnerships for the Brazil Energy sector. As part of the programme, UK companies in the delegations had the opportunity to present their capability to major Brazilian contractors. The UK Government’s strategy is aiming to help double British exports by 2020. Subsea UK is seeking to strengthen trade partnerships across the globe, exporting the country’s sought after subsea expertise to increase the sector’s international capabilities and reputation. Mr Gordon added said: “This mission provided delegates with an opportunity to engage with key decision makers and discuss business potential in the country, build a local network of contacts and visit the most important energy hubs in Brazil.

At Subsea UK we work hard to support companies in fast-tracking their international growth by exploring new business prospects around the world. By continuing to work with the Department for International Trade, we can further strengthen these ties and help UK firms break into the markets which hold the most potential and who are actively seeking what we can offer.

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Well-Safe Announces Five P&A Clubs to Tackle Late Life Activity Challenge Well-Safe Solutions has now set up five different Plug & Abandonment (P&A) clubs to reduce the cost of well P&A, following significant interest in this innovative approach by operators in the North Sea. The P&A club concept, launched recently by the Aberdeen-based well abandonment specialist, introduces a new commercial model that tackles costly and complex late-life activity. By becoming a member of Well-Safe’s P&A club and adding their well stock into the club, operators can spread the risk and cost of plugging and abandoning wells with others in the Club and use economies of scale to safely remove hundreds of wells rather than focusing on individual wells, or a smaller numbers of wells. The club approach is designed to reduce costs by 35% or more by leveraging campaign-based savings, not only for small well counts, but also by spreading spend. It offers flexibility to phase abandonment expenditure through the club’s programme of work to maximise knowledge capture and management from a multi-operator well campaign approach. It also offers cost certainty, while minimising risk and non-productive time. The positive reception from North Sea operators to this approach convinced Well-Safe to set up five clubs focusing on the following onshore wells using a land rig and offshore wells using jack-ups, semisubmersibles, well intervention vessels (category 1 and 2 wells) and a deep water asset. Having the five different clubs, designed around the asset types, gives Well-Safe the ability to deliver P&A operations on all well types. Well-Safe founder and executive director, Mark Patterson, explained: “We’ve hit on a way to help operators meet the challenges and regulatory imperatives around the plug and abandonment of wells that is simple, smart and cost-effective. Using the P&A Club model, whereby multiple operators will subscribe to the club and their well inventory will be pooled, the P&A operations will be delivered through a campaign-based approach. This means that operators will have cost certainty because we will be able to agree a fixed target cost per well. This will be based on well specifics rather than generic well categories and will be delivered by our dedicated P&A assets facilitated using standard terms and conditions across multiple well operations. If the well P&A work comes in under budget, then the savings will be redistributed among members of the club and various suppliers and contractors.” Decommissioning is often seen as the end of the road, but it is just a part of the on-going lifecycle and by reducing liabilities and direct costs when shutting down uneconomic wells, there is more money to invest in exploiting other fields, says Well-Safe. Phil Milton, chief executive of Well-Safe, added: “We’re incredibly excited about the potential for our P&A Clubs, which could not only stimulate the decommissioning sector but also give a big boost to companies who want to invest more money on development and production growth opportunities. This investment could also be assisted by Operators using the cost certainty that the P&A club offers to review liabilities being held on company balance sheets.” Under long-term multi-year contracts, delivered by WellSafe’s bespoke P&A assets, with agreed inflationary linked increases, subscribers to the Club will be guaranteed long term fixed rates over a 10 to 15 year period, the best-inclass well engineering team and


Subsea UK News | May 2018

project management, total transparency and shared knowledge management leading to continuous improvement.

“As we get more effective, through retaining and sharing knowledge, we will adjust the cost of the well P&A operations based on greater productivity and faster results,” added Mr Milton. “In addition, the Club can introduce insurance cover to subscribers through tailor-made insurance schemes to cover cost over-runs, perpetuity and liability of field once complete, and project funding is also available and can be linked to decommissioning tax relief payments.” Well-Safe has already created 30 new jobs in its Aberdeen headquarters and is currently recruiting for additional personnel. They have secured their 40,000sq ft marine and logistics base in Dundee and have short listed a number of marine assets. They are currently working closely with a number of operators on their commercial model.

Phil Milton, Chief Executive, Well-Safe

BUSINESS In March 2018, Oceaneering acquired Ecosse Subsea Limited, expanding service line capabilities to the growing renewable energy market

Oceaneering Expands Renewable Energy Capabilities via Ecosse Subsea Limited Acquisition Oceaneering International recently announced that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has acquired Ecosse Subsea, a provider of offshore engineering, seabed preparation, route clearance and trenching services to the renewable energy and oil and gas industries, for approximately 50 million pounds sterling. Headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, Ecosse builds and operates seabed preparation, route clearance and trenching tools for submarine cables and pipelines on an integrated basis that includes vessels, ROVs and survey services. Enabling technologies acquired in the transaction include Ecosse’s modular SCAR Seabed System, capable of completing the entire trenching work scope (route preparation, boulder clearance, trenching and backfill), and its newly developed SCARJet trenching system. The SCARJet is an evolutionary trenching system designed for use with standard work class ROVs and adds state of the art jetting and post-lay trenching capabilities to the existing pre-cut methods offered by the SCAR plowing tools. Roderick A. Larson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceaneering, said: “We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Ecosse, which we believe offers Oceaneering the opportunity to expand our service line capabilities and grow our market position within the offshore renewable energy market, and provide our customers with proven tools to optimise installation projects. The addition of Ecosse reflects our commitment to expand into the adjacent renewable energy market to more comprehensively serve the offshore energy industry. We expect the acquisition to be accretive to Oceaneering’s 2018 cash flow and earnings.”

Mike Wilson, former Chairman of Ecosse, said: “This is a strategic opportunity for our customers and our employees. Oceaneering has outstanding people, a global presence, innovative technologies and diversified services and products. Together we can establish a stronger platform to take on even larger and higher profile projects in the renewables and oil and gas industries.” Mark Gillespie, Director, Global Renewables and Subsea Projects of Ecosse, said: “We are excited to become part of Oceaneering. With Oceaneering’s global strength, we expect to be better positioned to further penetrate the growing and emerging renewables and cable markets in Europe and the United States.” Larson concluded: “We are looking forward to the contributions that Ecosse will make to our operations and growth, and we welcome its employees to the Oceaneering team.”

Subsea UK News | May 2018



d the World roun sA itie un

Subs ea Op po rt


The Department for International Trade (DIT) is an international economic department, responsible for securing UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade. DIT comprises of three pillars:


International Trade and Investment, responsible for finding and creating demand for UK goods and services, and supporting British businesses to export;


Trade Policy Group, tasked with delivering an independent UK trade policy as we leave the EU;


UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency, which ensures that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance.

As part this offer, the Oil and Gas team (OGT) helps supply chain companies win business by prioritising high value campaigns (HVCs) where there appears to be scale, fit with UK capability and capacity, and where UK Government can do most to help companies. Current HVCs focus on subsea opportunities in: Azerbaijan, India, Senegal/Mauritania, Nigeria, Mozambique, Mexico and Brazil and non-subsea opportunities in Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq and East Africa. OGT, together with the wider DIT overseas and regional network, UKEF and trade associations (including Subsea UK) provide specific, bespoke programmes of activity including market awareness support, technology roadshows and partnership programmes which include market visits for targeted UK companies.



In Azerbaijan, OGT has prioritised the $45bn phase-2 expansion of Shah Deniz II gas field, future development of the ACG field (based on BP’s recent PSA extension) and investment opportunities in the Absheron gas field. In 2015, DIT, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic and BP established the UK/Azerbaijan Partnership Programme to increase UK/Azerbaijani supply chain partnerships and local capacity. As part of the programme, targeted UK companies are taken on market visits to Baku with outcomes including new partnerships and business (following a recent visit, companies reported business wins worth £600m over the next three years). The programme is anticipated to continue for the next four years with another visit planned for late June 2018.

Nigeria offers £34bn worth of contract opportunities in deep offshore, onshore, swamp and shallow water expansion projects. Contracts accessible to the UK supply chain are worth £4bn through to 2019. By building a partnership with Nigeria’s authority for local content development (NCDMB), DIT is targeting major investment projects and assisting UK companies to access these ahead of competitors. This is further achieved by facilitating partnerships with appropriate local companies to comply with local content laws. Existing opportunities include: exploration and appraisal of assets; revamp, upgrade and maintenance of producing assets; major deep-water development, subsea and FPSO related services and equipment; gas infrastructure, component supply and specialist services; and training and education. In total, 58 partnerships have been formed to date.

Senegal and Mauritania


The BP and Kosmos deep-water Tortue development straddles Senegal and Mauritania and is thought to contain 100 TCF of gas. With Subsea and FPSO development this also provides an excellent fit with UK capability. The SNE field development is the first phase of development in the Rufisque, Sangomar and Songomar deep offshore areas in Senegal. Woodside Energy will lead the development phase and the first phase is expected to include a world class subsea development of over 20 wells, associated infrastructure, installation and an FPSO (contracted separately)

In Mozambique, major deep-water gas discoveries by Anadarko (and onshore) could potentially make Mozambique one of the largest liquefied natural gas exporters in the world. £30bn will be spent with Shell already planning a gas-toliquids project. These opportunities offer an excellent fit for UK capability, with UK EPC’s and Tier 1 contractors already awarded contracts.





Mexico’s energy reform of 2013 opened the oil and gas market to foreign players and over 40 international companies now operate in Mexico including BP, Shell, Premier Oil, Ophir Energy, Wood, Petrofac and Gardline. Opportunities exist across the whole value chain including midstream and downstream natural gas pipeline and refinery modernisation programmes. DIT is engaging PEMEX and prime contractors; ensuring comprehensive evaluation of opportunities; showcasing UK capability and identifying supply chain gaps; inviting Mexican energy companies for UK site visits; and engaging UKEF to support UK suppliers and international buyers. Specific opportunities identified include Cantarell field life extension, the Santa Cruz refinery; the natural gas pipeline, pipeline technology, environmental assessment, process equipment, corrosion control, pigging services, subsea front-end engineering and design, and subsea infrastructure.

India’s subsea industry offers opportunities on the west and east coast, particularly the KrishnaGodavari basin. DIT is currently exploring and defining these opportunities, particularly around exploration and production, and enhanced oil recovery work. Working with Subsea UK, DIT are developing a relationship with Reliance Industries and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), and DIT recently took a delegation to India to showcase UK expertise around managing geological and reservoir uncertainty, drilling technologies, Improving capital efficiency and optimisation measures and standardisation. A further mission to India is planned for June 2018.

Brazil Petrobras’ pre-salt oil fields off Brazil’s south-east coast offer further opportunities for UK companies. DIT is working closely with Petrobras and Brazilian prime contractors to identify these and facilitate introductions. The main contractors in Brazil are keen to develop relationships with experienced UK suppliers to supply offshore construction, engineering, maintenance and subsea equipment and services to the oil and gas shipbuilding sectors. Opportunities include: offshore engineering, offshore, subsea services, and the marine sector - for example, drill ships and FPSOs, and consultancy and training.

Indian delegation from ONGC/Reliance Industries on the DIT stand at Offshore Europe 2017

Following introductions by DIT, EM&I won contracts in Brazil worth over £6.6m. Danny Constantinis, CEO, EM&I said:

DIT’s advice and unparalleled network of contacts has accelerated our expansion in Brazil. DIT first helped us plan our approach to potential clients and then put us in a position to meet senior people in the industry and government regulators. On our own that would not have been possible. Nigerian-based Marine Platforms Limited (MPL) provide subsea solutions and services, comprising a wide spectrum of assets which include specialised tooling for oil well clean up, ROVs for underwater survey and drill support and vessels providing inspection, repair, maintenance, and construction support offshore. In 2017, the company partnered with Forum Energy Technologies (FET), and with UKEF help MPL financed a deal worth £18.92m with FET to purchase four ROVs to support their operations and increase local capacity. DIT played a key role in introducing MPL to FET and facilitating this transaction by securing UKEF support for the deal.

Launched in 2016, the platform helps to connect UK businesses with international buyers and has recently seen its 3 millionth visitor. DIT also has a network of regional offices and international trade advisers on hand to advise on opportunities for your business. Local office contact details can be found on


Subsea Hot Tapping and Plugging Allows Pipeline Abandonment in Gulf of Mexico STATS Group was contracted to assist with the isolation and abandonment of a 10” oil pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico, at a water depth of approximately 25 metres. The project requirement was to supply personnel and equipment to complete subsea hot tapping and plugging at two locations to facilitate the removal of a short section of pipework as part of a decommissioning project. Once the pipeline was successfully isolated, purged and cut, a mechanical connector with a blind flange was installed to terminate one end of the pipeline and the other end was fitted with a full bore valve and blind flange. STATS patented BISEP® which is deployed through a mechanical hot tap clamp and slab valve was selected as it provides leaktight isolation of pressurised pipelines through a single fitting. The BISEP offers significant safety advantages over traditional line stop technology as the hydraulically activated dual seals provide fully proven and monitored isolation of the pipeline inventory throughout the entire project. A key project requirement was to flush the isolated section and ensure all the oil was removed prior to cutting the pipeline and recovering it to the vessel. STATS utilised the integrated port on the BISEP launcher to attach a downline from the vessel to each BISEP launcher (upstream and downstream) allowing the pipe section to be flushed with seawater. This feature exclusive to the design of the BISEP, prevented additional hot tapping and reduced the number of fittings installed on the pipeline which saved the client time, money and reduced risk to the project.

Once the section of pipe to be removed was successfully cleaned and purged, the pipe was then cut behind each BISEP and safely recovered to the vessel. End connectors were then installed on both ends of the pipe and two new sections of pipe were installed consisting of two flushing ports, a barred flange and a 10” ball valve. Following installation of the new pipe sections and with the BISEPs continuing to isolate the pipeline, a leak-test was conducted against the rear of the BISEP. Once the new section of piping was proven, both BISEP’s were unset, retracted and recovered to the surface. Completion plugs were installed in both mechanical hot tap clamps and the slab valves were removed and recovered to the vessel. The pipeline was then flushed through the ports on the new section of pipe to verify that all the oil had been removed. Once the pipeline had been verified clean, the flushing hoses were recovered and the new section of pipe was removed. A blind flange was installed on one end of the connector effectively abandoning the section of pipeline running to the land-based facility. Another blind flange was installed on the 10” ball valve securing that section of pipeline and allowing for future tie-ins. Scott McNae, General Manager, USA for STATS Group, said: “Aside from weather delays the project was delivered according to plan and without incident. Major benefits achieved by the client from using the BISEP over traditional line-stop technology included requiring less fittings and hot tapping on the pipeline and the ability to flush between both isolation barriers prior to breaking containment thus avoiding any release of oil to the environment. Additionally, the design of the BISEP provides the ability to pressure test the newly installed pipework prior to introducing inventory back into the pipeline.

“This project marks a significant milestone as it is the first subsea deployment of the BISEP in the Gulf of Mexico and follows on from a previous successful subsea deployment of an Inline Weld Test Tool during 2016 for testing a critical weld in its ‘live’ position. We hope this successful project will be the catalyst to drive further hot tapping and isolation work in the Gulf of Mexico where we can offer a high integrity double block and bleed isolation alternative over traditional linestop technology.”

Subsea Hot Tapping and Plugging, Gulf of Mexico

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Unique Group Invests in New Equipment for Subsea Rental Pool Aberdeen-based Unique Group - a leading subsea rental equipment provider - has recently invested in five cutting-edge pieces of subsea equipment, building on the company’s comprehensive range of available products offered to clients with expert project deployment knowledge. The significant equipment investment includes: the Newton Labs underwater laser scanner, Sonardyne’s third generation SPRINT, the Sensys SEARACK for, area survey or UXO pin pointing and cable and pipe tracking; the Nortek Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) 1000 for navigation and positioning and two 110VAC Teledyne HydroPACT 660 pipe tracking systems. “We are collaborating with Newton Labs on a precise subsea laser scanner,” said Andy Doggett, Unique Group’s Survey Equipment Divisional Director.

“Subsea laser scanners have become an indispensable tool for subsea and marine applications and with these new products we are able to meet rising customer demand for the latest underwater technology.”

HydroPACT 660

John Bramblet, President and CEO of Newton Labs said: “We are pleased to offer to the rental market our underwater laser scanners through Unique Group, a market leader in the equipment rental sector.” Unique Group was also one of the first rental companies to own Sonardyne’s third generation SPRINT – an acoustically aided Inertial Navigation System (INS) for subsea vehicles. Popular for navigating ROV’s and AUV’s, the system extends the operating limits of UltraShort BaseLine (USBL) and can improve the operational efficiency of Long BaseLine (LBL). Further investments include the Sensys SEARACK ROV frame with the capacity to hold up to four FGM3D UW sensors - and two Teledyne HydroPACT 660 Pipe Trackers, designed to operate to 3,000 metres on smaller classes of ROV. Adding to the extensive range, the Nortek Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) 1000 has exceptional performance with long-term position drift errors of 0.02%, maintaining bottom lock from 0.2 metres to 20 metres above the seabed. “Frequently used for ROV and AUV operations, the Nortek DVLs are capable of achieving a very high level of accuracy,” said Alan Cameron, General Manager of Unique System UK. “They are the smallest and lightest available on the market and have very low power consumption.” Founded in 1993 Unique Group is a market leader in the delivery of engineering expertise, sales and rental equipment and the latest technology for the marine, diving, pipeline and subsea market sectors. Unique Group has multi-site divisions in Survey Equipment; Marine & Subsea; Diving & Life Support; Buoyancy & Ballast; On-Site Engineering; Specialised Boats and Medical Technology.

Newton Labs scanner

KD Marine Investing in the Future Aberdeen based KD Marine has made an investment in their future with the purchase of assets from Global Energy company Vertech. The sale, for an undisclosed amount, includes a nitrox diving system and a daughter craft system. It is KD Marine’s intention to retain these assets and add them to their existing fleet, increasing their air diving capabilities. The Nitrox Dive System comprises of three offshore containers which can be mobilised for offshore Diving operations onto a suitable vessel or clients asset. The Daughter Craft system has been designed to be stable in significant wave height with its own single davit launch and recovery system making mobilisations efficient and cost effective. It is also the first Daughter Craft to have had its hull designed and built specifically for diving operations.

KD Marine’s Managing Director Hamish Petersen said:

“The addition of these assets to our existing fleet means that we will be able to provide an even greater service to our existing client base. We are encouraged by the continuing signs of market recovery and feel that the time is right to increase our capabilities.” KD Marine has a long history of air diving services in the North Sea and is continually adapting to market conditions to allow for further success and a sustainable future.


Subsea UK News | May 2018


LAW Acquires HR and Employment Law Specialists, Empire HR Aberdeen-based HR and employment law firm, Empire, has been acquired by Law At Work (LAW), creating Scotland’s leading consultancy in employment law, HR, health and safety. The combined firm brings Empire’s market-leading position particularly its strength in the subsea and oil & gas industries across the North-East together with LAW’s strong Central Belt client presence to become Scotland’s leading consultancy, within the top five in the UK. This transaction, which follows LAW’s acquisition of Square Circle HR in 2016, will see the new firm boast close to 1,000 clients UKwide, with a projected combined turnover of £5.5m. Empire and LAW have been pioneers in bringing fixed fee services to businesses facing legal and regulatory challenges for more than a decade. Clients of the newly combined firm will benefit from added knowledge and experience in existing sectors coupled with expertise in new areas. The new firm will have 70 staff across offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness providing nationwide coverage. The new firm has plans to grow the business in both the North East and Central Belt regions. Under the deal, Empire founder and chief executive officer Steve Cook, and current managing director PJ Chalmers, remain with the business, joining the LAW board as directors and shareholders in LAW.

New Group MD, Steve Cook from Empire, said:

“We are two businesses which have known each other well for many years. We share the same aims and objectives: allowing clients to get on with growing their business, while we take their legal and compliance worries away. We are both already best in class but, through a combined offering, are now better placed than ever to set the standard others can only aspire to.” Magnus Swanson from LAW, Chairman of the new group, added: “It is a great opportunity for us to provide the best support for UK businesses to meet the rising challenges of legal compliance while having the certainty and transparency of fixed fees. From GDPR to tribunals and health & safety compliance, pressure on busy employers has never been greater. “The combination of the two businesses will enable both LAW and Empire clients to access new enhanced services. Businesses want advisors they can trust and this deal brings together two trusted advisers in their distinct markets to form the strongest consultancy in our field in Scotland.”

Magnus Swanson from LAW and Steve Cook from Empire

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Rotech Subsea Opens Asia Office after Demand for its Controlled Flow Excavation Capabilities Rotech Subsea’s recent successful free-span correction project in the Yangon field, has led to such a stream of enquiries that they have established a local company, Rotech Subsea Asia Sdn Bhd, and opened an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to meet demand. Basing a brand new spread of their ground breaking RS excavator range there, and taking on several local employees, demonstrates Rotech’s commitment to and expectations of the Asian market. The project, which Rotech was contracted in by Pathfinder with MOGE as the end client, saw a TRS2 spread deployed from the UK to the Yangon field, Myanmar, for a two-to-three week freespan correction project on a live 24 inch pipeline, the largest export pipeline into Yangon. With accuracy critical due to the free-span’s range from just 0.1m up to 0.7m, the client chose to import Rotech’s TRS2 tool due to its unrivalled power and controlled flow. Rotech Subsea Asia will be headed up by new Business Development Manager, Edmond Kumar, who joins respected excavation specialist and Asia Team Leader, Stephen Sin in the KL office. Supported by its parent company Rotech Subsea Ltd, the new entity brings decades of cable trenching and pipeline burial/deburial experience to the region. The local presence now means that Rotech’s RS range of excavators, which boast higher performance capabilities than other tools on the market, are now available for quick mobilisation for IRM works in the region as far afield as China, Indonesia, Australia and India. Speaking about the Asian expansion, Stephen Cochrane, Rotech’s Director of Subsea said: “On the back of the Myanmar project for MOGE, our Asia team has been inundated with enquiries - including at the recent OTC and AOG trade shows. “The MOGE project was significant because the client chose to import the Rotech team and our TRS2 CFE spread despite there being other competing equipment available in country. It is a prime example of Rotech Subsea establishing itself as the partner of choice in the region not just for IRM scopes - where Rotech has earned a reputation as having the most effective remedial tools on the market

From L to R: Recent Asia team meeting with Stephen Sin, Edmond Kumar, Jamie Ross (Subsea Manager) and Stephen Cochrane (Director of Subsea)

- but for entire scopes of work where the Rotech Subsea team manages the survey, vessel & tool operations in-house, bringing greater efficiencies to clients.

“Now word is spreading that we have a base in the region with an experienced team and our new range of RS spreads, we have been taken aback by the interest and look forward to growing our presence in Asia.”

Rotaflow in Demand for Swivel Joints Rotaflow have supplied custom designed multi-passage swivel joints for use on umbilical reelers off the coast of the USA. Also known as rotary unions, swivel joints enable high pressure without leakage and allow vital movement to the reeler. “High pressure rotation without leakage is a common problem in this field, especially when this comes with additional complications,” said Ian Watt, Managing Director at Rotaflow. “We had to consider multipassage rotation along a common axis, optimum seal life, minimum deck space and a variety of fluid types.” Rotaflow have over 30 years’ experience specialising in designing bespoke swivel joint solutions that work in both splash zone and the harsh subsea environment.

“A more standard design for us has four passages to the swivel,” Ian said. “However we can and have designed and manufactured in excess of this, with a current design having eight passages and a working pressure of 15,000psi.” 18

Subsea UK News | May 2018

The complex design had to be so compact between the drum and control panel that a high strength, corrosion-resistant material was required. “Carbon steels weren’t a viable option; eight control lines require a high level of cleanliness,” Ian said. “With so many ports and a skeletal structure, a marine based paint specification was going to be a difficult and time-consuming option. 316L stainless steel or duplex wouldn’t have a high enough yield strength to handle the force from the pressure, so we used hardened 420 stainless steel for its highly loaded components with super duplex fittings.” Rotaflow design and manufacture to design standards including PED, API 6A, API 17D, ASME and DNV OS E101, E201, ABS CDS. The company have attained ISO certification ISO 9001:2008 and PED module H.


Simulating Towards Certainty: Making Informed Decisions with Data By Steve Howell, simulation consultant

The NSRI Simulation and Modelling community is adding value with data. The use of simulation is increasing within the subsea sector, as the potential benefits are more widely understood: improved insight and better understanding when compared to simpler methods, which should lead to safer, more robust, cost effective design. However, many quarters of our industry remain sceptical about the use of simulation. How reliable are the simulation predictions? Are they repeatable if undertaken by a different analyst or company, or if an alternative simulation software is used?

The question of confidence has been around ever since the emergence of the first simulation tools. Some industries have made significant progress in this regard and the use of simulation methods has become an accepted part of the engineering tool kit for those industries. However, this is not (yet) the case for the subsea sector. But now a new initiative by NSRI has brought together a collaboration of UK companies and universities that are active users and developers of simulation and associated software. The purpose of this simulation community is three fold: consistency, cost effectiveness and competence.

Consistency For many routine simulation applications in the subsea industry, there is no detailed methodology to prescribe how to use simulation for that application. Whilst there might be a general high level indication of approach, the devil is in the detail. If a detailed approach is not openly or adequately prescribed, alternative simulation engineers will inevitably devise different approaches that will lead to different simulation predictions. The simulation user base is growing so, if left unchecked, the methods devised by individual companies and analysts will continue to diverge in future. This inconsistency is bad for the credibility of simulation in our industry. If an end client receives different predictions depending upon which company (or even which analyst within a company) has completed the work then how can they have any confidence in the underlying simulation approach?

Cost effectiveness Many in the simulation industry claim that one of the advantages of using simulation

is that it provides a cost effective approach when compared to equivalent experimental testing. There are many examples from other industries where this assertion has been proven, and there are some successes in the subsea sector too. However, it probably remains premature to claim this more generally across our industry.

Competence How can a client have confidence in the competence of the simulation analyst? In engineering, competence may be demonstrated through qualifications or by becoming chartered, but is there anything specific for simulation users? The aim of the NSRI group is to improve the simulation community within the UK subsea sector, through collaborations with other relevant organisations and/or leading specific initiatives identified within the group, to address issues relating to consistency, cost effectiveness and competence. The scope of what is meant by simulation within the NSRI community is broad, extending from visualisation and the simulation of operations using CAD tools, to advanced methods such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA). This is driven by participation within the group, so if you’re a simulation user, there’s no better time to engage!

Collaboration The NSRI simulation community is about engagement and collaboration. Within the community simulation users, software companies and universities can engage to improve the collective simulation offering of the community. The issue of consistency, for example, cannot be addressed by any single member of the group. It requires

collaboration of the whole community to reach consensus and develop consistent approaches, and NSRI is well positioned to facilitate this. The NSRI community can collectively engage with other parties to provide better industry focus. There are organisations that already exist to provide best practice, practical guidance for simulation users. NAFEMS, for example, is an international organisation providing practical guidance across many industries for the CFD and FEA community (computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis respectively). Similarly, ERCOFTAC provides best practice guidance for the CFD community and provides an online database of experimental benchmarks for the purpose CFD validation. And there are others. However, these organisations typically focus upon particular methodologies that are employed across many industry sectors, rather than focussing upon the requirements of a specific industry. Hence the emergence of the NSRI simulation community, which has a focus on the UK subsea industry. There will be overlap between the activities of the NSRI group and other organisations, but through appropriate collaboration the involvement of the NSRI community can help to ensure there is an industry focus. NAFEMS, for example, has already recognised the issue of inconsistency within industry and has established an oil and gas focus group which is developing practical guidance for CFD users, specifically in the areas of technical safety, flow assurance and subsea hydrodynamics. Through NSRI NAFEMS collaboration the NSRI community can help to shape and influence the emerging NAFEMS guidance and ensure that it is relevant for the requirements of industry.

Subsea UK News | May 2018



The Changing Shape of Subsea Scanning Viewport3 Ltd, providers of simplified subsea scanning services have recently added several new clients to their books, as their reactive subsea scanning methods prove attractive to operators and marine contractors. The system is based on subsea images, often captured by the existing offshore imaging equipment. Intelligent software uses feature matching technology to recreate the shapes covered by the footage and delivers the data in 3D. During a bespoke or planned campaign, the system can replicate geometry with sub-millimetre accuracy, but the company are often found working with legacy footage.

“We’ve had a fantastic start to 2018, and are buoyed by the interest in our services,” said Richard. “We don’t see the point cloud as the end of the project. We see it as a half-way point, where onward analysis, reverse engineering and comparison of the data is used to reach the project goal – namely, to answer the question the client asked us in the first place.”

Richard Drennan, co-founder at Viewport3 said: “We

listen to our customers and build our business around their needs. Old ROV videos aren’t an optimal input but they do provide an ability to look into the past, which other scanning methods can’t match. We can scan subsea hardware today, and we find that it’s very different from the item we deployed - but our clients want to know when the change began, and the rate of change evident from the legacy scans.” By collating the various footage and images taken of an item over the years, image-based scanning helps engineers and analysts to understand the timeline of that change, often using the information to predict failure, or plan corrective maintenance actions. The process is known as ‘deviation mapping’ where the scan in question is compared to the scan or CAD information which preceded it, building up the time-line.

Geometry timeline following video to 3d conversion

Exceptional Safety in Subsea Lifting: RUD Launches New ROV Hook Subsea construction often requires specialised and expensive equipment to be safely lowered to the seabed and accurately positioned for installation in a reliable and cost effective way. Over the years there have been many incidents involving hooks in the offshore industry. The two most common incidents are snagging of hooks and unintentional release of the rigging from the hooks, also known as shedding. The new RUD ROV Hook has been designed to offer a product that not only meets the operational safety standards but also the speed of use requirements the industry faces, thus reducing time penalties and increased costs. The RUD ROV Hook is a completely new design that has never been seen across the industry. It features an innovative outwards opening safety latch and a patented mechanism with only two moving parts. The design has been tried and tested on real life subsea operations and offers a greatly enhanced degree of load security compared to traditional ‘Snap Hooks’. During testing it became clear that the RUD ROV Hook can be easily operated by a single manipulator, which significantly speeds up operations. The RUD ROV Hook offers a safe, versatile and robust hook for subsea use. The hook is currently available as a 10 tonne working load limit capacity hook and offers a safety factor of 4:1. It is 100% crack tested and can withstand a dynamic loading of more than 20,000 load cycles according to European Standard EN 1677.


Subsea UK News | May 2018


Tritech Introduce World’s Smallest Multibeam Sonar Underwater imaging specialists, Tritech International, recently unveiled their latest product – the Gemini 720im. This latest addition to the already popular Gemini range, brings multibeam technology to situations not previously possible. Weighing less than 500g and measuring only 63mm wide, the new unit is significantly smaller than other comparable sonars available. Utilising state-of-the-art microelectronics and proven sonar technology, it delivers superior quality sonar imaging from an ultracompact unit. Tritech already has to its record, one of the smallest mechanical sonars in the world – the MicronSonar. When launched, this ground-breaking sonar was considered a game changer in the industry. It utilises Digital Sonar Technology (DST) and despite its miniature size, delivers sonar imagery of clarity and resolution normally associated with larger and more expensive models. The Gemini 720im extends that innovative technology into the multibeam arena. In addition, its compact size and weight removes payload issues encountered on ROVs. Tritech’s sonar technology has been deployed worldwide in a broad range of applications ranging from the subsea oil and gas industry through to diverse uses such as shark detection.

Tritech Gemini 720im

Delmar and MDL Join Forces to Launch LiveWire Delmar Systems and Maritime Developments (MDL) have formed a joint partnership to launch LiveWire, an innovative solution for wire rope inspection and change-out services. LiveWire will revolutionise wire rope handling, maintenance and inspection by cutting time and operational expenditure for any client with a large diameter wire rope. LiveWire will be based at Delmar’s Port Fourchon, Louisiana facility and will support the Gulf of Mexico’s offshore crane and winch market including floating production platforms, drilling rigs and construction vessels. The system will be suitable for both onshore and offshore operations depending on customer requirements. Mark Williamson, MDL Americas President, said: ”We are excited to be working with Delmar Systems’ on LiveWire, the second phase of our partnership which already features a flex-lay base in Fourchon. “By combining MDL’s 20+ years of experience of developing backdeck solutions and Delmar’s 50+ years of handling and installing mooring systems, we were able to develop LiveWire and re-define the traditional solution for handling large diameter wire ropes. “At MDL we are constantly looking at ways to evolve our product range and LiveWire is another example of our ingenious instinct leading to a superior product offering.”

Matt Smith, Delmar’s VP of Operations, said: “The industry’s need for proper material handling in an efficient and cost-effective manner led us to the solution at hand. “Delmar working with MDL to provide a technically superior product and overall service will undoubtedly change the asset owner’s perspective on deep water crane maintenance and operations. “Delmar’s implementation and support service for large diameter long wire rope inspection, installation and service is a natural extension of our mooring methodologies and core business.”

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Market Activity Report Q1 2018

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

Gulf of Mexico CNOOC Limited’s Stampede Field Comes on Stream TechnipFMC Awarded Integrated EPCI (iEPCI™) Contract for LLOG Exploration in the Gulf of Mexico

South America Aker Solutions Wins Services Contract from Petrobras in Brazil

The oil price continues to improve, from being a little over $60 a barrel by the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 to $65 a barrel towards the end of March 2018, and reaching $70 a barrel at the end of April. The immediate focus is on smaller subsea tie-backs which can be brought on stream quickly and see a quicker return, but the deepwater market is also beginning to be re-addressed. Multi-billion investments are lined up, including a recent string of approvals of both small and large projects in the Norwegian sector, which will create spin-offs. The renewables industry also continues to expand with construction commencing on Hornsea Project One in the UK, which will become the world’s biggest wind farm. With oil and gas companies continuing to embrace and diversify into renewables and other developing markets, companies are seeking to adapt their brands to reflect this, with DONG Energy becoming Orsted and Statoil to become Equinor.


Subsea UK News | May 2018

North Sea Statoil Signs Letters of Intent for Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 with Aibel and Aker SolutionsKvaerner Joint Venture On behalf of the Johan Sverdrup partners, Statoil signed a letter of intent with Aibel for Phase 2 of the Johan Sverdrup project which involves the engineering, procurement and construction of the processing platform topside. A letter of intent was also issued to the Aker Solutions and Kvaerner joint venture for field centre modifications. The total value is estimated at more than NOK 11 billion (£990.6m). The Phase 1 development is ongoing with a planned start-up in late 2019. The Johan Sverdrup partnership is issuing letters of intent for the development of Phase 2 to encourage collaborations, continuity and the overall development of the project. The contracts will be awarded later in 2018, with a planned start in 2022 for phase 2 production. The work included in the contract to be awarded to Aibel will extend production capacity on the field by 50%, from 440,000 to


North Sea Statoil Signs Letters of Intent for Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 with Aibel and Aker Solutions-Kvaerner Joint Venture Orsted Begins Offshore Construction for Hornsea Project One Offshore Wind Farm

Middle East Energean Oil & Gas Signs Contract with Stena Drilling for the Development of the Karish Field

West Africa Successful Completion of First Production Well at Tortue, Offshore Gabon

660,000 barrels of oil per day once start-up commences in 2022. The approximate value of the contract is NOK 8 billion (£720m).

Gulf of Mexico

The Aker Solutions-Kvaerner joint venture contract will include the engineering, procurement and construction of a utility module for the riser platform, field centre modifications, and installation and hook-up activities in conjunction with the phase 2 development. The contract is valued at an estimated NOK 3.4 billion (£308.6m).

CNOOC Limited’s Stampede Field Comes on Stream

Orsted Begins Offshore Construction for Hornsea Project One Offshore Wind Farm GeoSea’s vessel, Innovation is carrying out the installation and will also assist with installing the transition pieces for the project. Innovation can carry up to four monopiles, out of a total of 174 monopiles required for the project, at one time. Located 120 kilometres off the UK east coast, Hornsea Project One will become the world’s biggest wind farm, and when operational in 2020, it will produce enough power to over one million homes. Orsted, formerly DONG Energy, is the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer with the UK being its largest market.

Located in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, approximately 185 kilometres off the coast of Louisiana, positioned in approximately 1,066 metres of water, with a reservoir depth of 9,100 metres, the Stampede Field facility is designed for a gross topsides processing capacity of approximately 80,000 barrels of oil per day, 40 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day, and 100,000 barrels of water injection capacity per day. There will be six subsea production wells and four water injection wells within the production facilities which will be tied back to a Tension Leg Platform. Currently three production wells have been completed, and production is expected to continue to increase through 2018. Hess Corporation is the operator of the field with a 25% working interest, while Nexen Petroleum Offshore U.S.A. Inc. (a wholly owned affiliate of CNOOC Limited), the Union Oil Company of California (a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation) and Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC each also have a 25% working interest in the Stampede Field.

Subsea UK News | May 2018


MARKET INTELLIGENCE TechnipFMC Awarded Integrated EPCI (iEPCI™) Contract for LLOG Exploration in the Gulf of Mexico

West Africa

LLOG Exploration awarded a contract to TechnipFMC for the integrated Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation for the Who Dat field in the Gulf of Mexico. The contract includes the delivery and installation of a Multiphase Pumping System, including a manifold and topside control equipment, further demonstrating the exceptional range that TechnipFMC’s iEPCITM has to offer. The 2MW 10ksi Multiphase Pump Station is optimised for the high gas content in the field. This contract further cements the strong relationship between LLOG Exploration and TechnipFMC which has existed for more than a decade.

Successful Completion of First Production Well at Tortue, Offshore Gabon

Located in the Mississippi Canyon blocks of the Gulf of Mexico, the Who Dat field is in 945 metres of water. First production of the field was achieved in December 2011.

The drilling of the DTM-2H oil production well, located in the BP-operated Tortue field, offshore Gabon, began in January 2018. Successfully drilled and completed with no safety-related incidents, on schedule and within budget, the results indicate that the well is fully consistent with the pre-drill predictions and objectives. Drilled and completed as a horizontal production well in the Dentale D6 reservoir, DTM-2H encountered a long horizontal section of oil saturated Dentale D6 sandstone. The well is now on hold until the FPSO arrives for hook up in the second half 2018.

South America

Middle East

Aker Solutions Wins Services Contract from Petrobras in Brazil Further enhancing its presence in a significant international market, Aker Solutions won a contract to provide maintenance and modifications services for three platforms in oil and gas fields offshore Brazil which are operated by Petrobras. The four-year contract which also has an option for a one-year extension, is valued at about NOK 800 million (£72.6m). It covers the renovation, repair and upgrading of the floating production storage and offloading platforms at the Albacora Leste, Barracuda and Caratinga fields in the Campos Basin. The contract also involves the management of the yard where replacement parts and other equipment will be fabricated. Aker Solutions will be executing the work in Rio de Janeiro, having acquired 70% of the Brazilian company C.S.E. Mecânica e Instrumentação Ltda back in December 2016. The work commenced in March 2018, with final deliveries planned for the first quarter of 2022.

Energean Oil & Gas Signs Contract with Stena Drilling for the Development of the Karish Field In accordance with Energean’s contract, Stena Drilling will deploy the Stena Forth drillship (or any other suitable vessel that may be agreed upon by the parties) to drill three development wells in Q1 2019 (with an agreement for further options), subject to Energean’s Final Investment Decision regarding the Karish and Tanin fields, offshore Israel. The Stena Forth, one of the DrillMAX Fleet vessels, is a DP Class 3 ultra-deepwater drillship with a successful reputation in global operations, ranging from work in the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico. The Stena Forth is currently located in Las Palmas, Spain, where she will be mobilised. The Karish development programme is expected to produce first gas in 2021.

Further Information This market intelligence tool is free to Subsea UK members The information contained in this report was gathered using SubseaIntel For more details visit


Subsea UK News | May 2018

TECHNOLOGY By controlling the temperature and flow of the molten alloy, Rawwater can even make its alloys ‘float’ on water.

Astrimar and Rawwater Awarded Innovate UK Funding Astrimar and Rawwater have been awarded Innovate UK funding for the qualification of bismuth plugs for well abandonment. Building on their previous experience applying bismuth alloy plugs to seal onshore wells, Rawwater is currently developing a range of bismuth alloys for onshore, offshore and subsea use. These are intended as a cost-effective alternative for sealing well abandonments and resealing failed abandonments that were previously plugged using cement. The application includes both casing plugs and plugs/seals in undefined and/or rough walled geometries (e.g. cap rock) that are difficult to seal with existing technologies such as cement. Innovate UK is providing funding over 18 months to enable Rawwater to further develop and qualify advanced bismuth alloys for high pressure and high temperature applications. These will be for casting downhole to provide high integrity, cost-effective well sealing and meet industry life requirements. The funding also includes qualification testing to support demonstration of a plug life expectancy of at least 3000 years. Rawwater has been involved in the development of bismuth plug technologies since the company was established in 2000, with the world’s first bismuth metal abandonments delivered in Canada ten years later. Although suitable for low temperature wells, the common bismuth-tin eutectic is insufficient for the rigors of offshore deep well abandonments. Therefore, in order to meet plug life of the specified industry minimum of at least 3000 years, Rawwater is actively developing new alloys to meet this challenge. Astrimar has been working with operators and technology developers, including Rawwater, for a number of years, developing and implementing industry best practice in reliability and technology qualification. This includes development of advanced reliability prediction models to support technology qualification and asset integrity management.

As part of the initiative, Astrimar is developing predictive well integrity modelling software to forecast future plug performance, reflecting the specific downhole well and casing conditions and plug material behaviour. These predictions will support well risk assessments and provision of plug reliability assurance. In addition, Astrimar will be supporting the definition and analysis of Rawwater’s qualification testing activities. The work will be 70% funded by Innovate UK; Rawwater and Astrimar will fund the remaining 30%. Innovate UK is the UK Government’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to identify and drive forward the technology that will help grow the UK economy.

John Strutt, Astrimar Technical Director, said “We believe bismuth plugs

have the potential to deliver a step change in well abandonment technology. The aim is to improve both the long term plug integrity and its assurance, as well as reducing the installation costs for offshore applications.”

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Capitalising on Cables: Market Demand for Subsea Cables Grows

Subsea cable market activity is set to grow globally, but there remain issues around reliability and despite achievements in cost reduction to date, offshore wind cable installation could still be improved. All of these issues – and the solutions to them – were discussed recently at Subsea UK’s first Subsea Cables conference in Aberdeen.


he subsea cable market demand for Europe alone, out to 2026, could amount to some 27,521km of cable, Chris Anderson, CEO of market intelligence firm 4C Offshore, told the event. A little less than half of this would be driven by offshore interconnector projects, he says. These include a new connection between the UK and France, a connection between Denmark and the UK, the Celtic Interconnector project and many more. In total, 4C Offshore estimates demand for 14,600km of interconnector cable by 2026, totalling £23 billion in capex, of which 13,575km will be HVDC cable. Helix Canyon Offshore, which presented at the Subsea UK Subsea Cables event, is due to be working on the Blyth (UK) to Norway North Sea Link interconnector, which, at 905km-long, to be laid over four years, is a significant piece of work, says Davies. Helix Canyon Offshore is also providing trenching work on the 195km-long HVDC power cable from onshore Norway to Statoil’s Johan Sverdrup development in the Norwegian North Sea. Subsea cables are also being used in the build-out of offshore wind, i.e. inter array and export cables. There is 17.4GW of offshore wind fully commissioned, dominated by the UK, followed by Germany and China, which


Subsea UK News | May 2018

replaced Denmark and Belgium in second and third place in the rankings in 2017. Anderson said 9.5GW of wind was currently under construction, dominated by China. Helix Canyon Offshore is also working on the Beatrice Offshore wind farm, off Scotland, providing trenching operations on the array cables, under a contract to Siem Offshore (recently acquired by Subsea 7). “Looking forward, over a 10-year period, we have identified 57GW of likely (offshore wind) construction,” Anderson said. “Not every project will go ahead, but others will come into the frame and other countries will come in to play, such as Poland, which was written off (as an offshore wind play) and is now talking about 8GW. A lot of this will be in deeper waters, which brings into play other cable lay options, such as J-lay and S-lay, Peter Cherneski, Business Development Manager SURF & Commercial / Operations Manager at Boskalis Subsea Solutions told the Subsea UK conference. Indeed, Boskalis is investing in its fleet to meet demand as monopiles and jackets get bigger and lifting operations get more onerous with larger turbines, he says. By 2023, Anderson expects 15GW of offshore wind to be generating in the UK. However, “there’s no clarity from government

at the moment,” he says. “There is the 2019 auction round, but the CFD (contracts for difference) mechanism is being looked at, (and) there are going to be changes proposed.” There was also a £100/MWhr goal set for 2020, but that was “smashed” last year, which also changes the landscape. Robbie Blakeman, director at Osbit, told the event that while costs have been reduced dramatically in offshore wind, more could be achieved. But, this means treating offshore wind as still immature and for companies to be more open-minded to looking at alternative approaches to engineering, he says. Blakeman gave examples of projects Osbit had worked on, which helped save time and money, including a project which helped to increase the number of cables DeepOcean could install in a day, and another with Van Oord, which resulted in a tool which could do three activities in one (survey, cleaning, anode cage installation). Keith Anderson, subsea export systems manager at Wood, told the Subsea Cables event that applying advanced finite element analysis (FEA) to cable entry and span design could also reduce conservatism and therefore cost. Cable installation and burial remains challenging for the industry, including burial depth, using the right tool for the


Image courtesy of Helix Canyon Offshore and show the Grand Canyon working on the Galloper offshore wind farm.

job, and taking into consideration how burial will impact the life and health of the cable. John Dix, head of the geology and geophysics research group at the University of Southampton, told the event he had been looking at the impact of the depth and media cables are buried can have on their life expectancy, taking into consideration such things as thermal insulation. However, Kevin Black, director at Partrac, told the audience that more could be done around understanding seabed mobility, when it comes to cable burial. He is in discussions with the Carbon Trust over setting up a workshop to discuss and ultimately draw up new guidance. A variety of solutions were also presented at the Subsea Cables conference. Daniel Bate, sales manager renewables, at Trelleborg Offshore, presented a new product, the NjordGuard CPS, which uses oil and gas technology to protect cables during pull-in to monopiles, including direct pull-in and pull-in via J-tubes. It uses a polymer-based dual bend stiffener system, says Bate. It can also be installed and removed without diver intervention, he says. Omnisens sales VP Baz Matvichuk suggests using fibre optic embedded cables to enable both greater lifetime monitoring of strain on cables, data which could then be used

to feed empirical models used for analysis during engineering design.


Monitoring insulation resistance in umbilicals and DC and AC power cables with technology from Bender would give wind farm operators advanced warning of when a cable might fail, says Mumtaz Farooqi, technical manager at Bender UK, which can be crucial when lead times on umbilicals can be two years, he adds. Bender has a new 10GΩ subsea cable line insulation monitor, the isoHR685. It is designed for use on AC, AC/DC and DC main circuits and detects ground faults up to 10GΩ to provides advanced warning of developing insulation failure.

Estimated cable demand in Europe by 2023

Synaptec, meanwhile, has developed an automated fault response and condition monitoring system using distributed sensing in fibre optic cables. Saul Matthews, business development at Synaptec, a University of Strathclyde spin-out, says the firm’s product, Refase, uses the fibres already embedded within all the cables which link together all the turbines to their substations, and those substations back to the mainland. Learn more about these companies on the Subsea UK directory at

15GW Of offshore wind to be generating in the UK by 2023

£100/MWhr Target goal broken in 2017

57GW Of offshore wind construction identified in next 10 years

905km (UK) to Norway North Sea Link interconnector

Subsea UK News | May 2018



SEA and EC-OG Complete New SCM Power Trials at Aberdeen Facility SEA and engineering technology provider EC-OG have completed dry integration trials at SEA’s Aberdeen facility linking a Subsea Control Module (SCM) to an uprated power source. EC-OG has developed a vertical turbine underwater power source that is designed to significantly expand the operating envelope of SCMs. This Subsea Power Hub technology is a hybrid energy conversion and storage solution which has an integrated charger and energy storage capabilities. The unit successfully completed its sea trial in November 2017. In the integration trials at SEA’s Aberdeen facilities, the SEA SCM operated and interacted with EC-OG’s Subsea Power Hub. SEA’s latest SCM is a COTS product that is significantly less costly than traditional SCMs and can be produced in a fraction of the time. During the integration trials, which were overseen by classification body Det Norske Veritas, the Subsea Power Hub successfully powered the SCM in both battery and turbine charge modes. This demonstrated the stability of the output to the SCM during both charge and discharge of the internal batteries. In an operational environment, the Subsea Power Hub would be installed on the sea bed and convert energy through vertical axis turbines that take advantage of natural ocean current flows. The next stage in this collaborative project will be a series of subsea trials that are due to take place in the near future.

“These trials are another significant achievement in the ongoing development of the SCM for use in novel applications in this challenging and changing market. Power and hydraulic cables within umbilicals deteriorate over a period of time, If we can demonstrate that SCMs can use alternative power generated locally their effectiveness in the offshore sector will increase significantly.” said SEA Business Development Manager Lewis Sim.

Richard Knox, Managing Director, EC-OG said: “This is a real milestone for EC-OG and we were impressed by the support from SEA and the number of operators who expressed an interest in viewing the integration. We worked closely with SEA to demonstrate to operators that our Subsea Power Hub system is capable of integrating with external equipment.”


Fugro’s Ultra Deepwater Surveys Support Seabed Mining Exploration Fugro is commencing its first project supporting deep sea polymetallic nodule mining under a contract awarded by seafloor mineral exploration company Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI), a subsidiary of DeepGreen Metals Inc. In the deep waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, its specialist marine geoscience team will perform detailed site characterisation surveys. The project, which began on 19th April, will advance NORI’s polymetallic nodule project. Polymetallic nodules are potato-sized concretions enriched in nickel, copper and cobalt. These nodules also contain metals and non-metals important to ‘green-tech’ enterprises, such as electric vehicles and wind energy production. The site characterisation surveys will involve acquisition of highresolution imagery and geophysical data, and sampling of minerals from the seafloor. Fugro will also measure geotechnical properties, catalogue the mineral resource and help NORI to determine optimal mining areas. The data acquisition and sampling will take place in water depths of up to 4,500 metres over a 400-square-kilometrearea between the Clarion and Clipperton fracture zones. The field work will be accomplished using the company’s Echo Surveyor VII autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and specialised seafloor sampling equipment.

Fugro will deploy its Echo Surveyor VII AUV and specialised seafloor sampling equipment in the project to support NORIís deep sea polymetallic nodule mining.

“Fugro’s sector leading technology, technical capabilities and track record of success make it the perfect partner to assist DeepGreen and Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. to begin producing metals for our future,” said Gerard Barron, CEO of DeepGreen Metals Inc. Dan McConnell, Fugro’s global product manager for gas hydrates and marine minerals said: “Fugro has much to offer in terms of specialised ultra-deepwater survey, resource assessment and oceanographic and environmental studies. We look forward to working with NORI and DeepGreen Metals Inc. and demonstrating value through this, our first ever project to support deep sea polymetallic nodule mining.”

New Company Develops World-first Method to Support Diving Clients with Seabed Survey, Inspection and Positioning Services KG Energy Construction and Technology Services Limited (KG) have introduced an innovative method - the first in the world - to track and position commercial divers and diving vessels. divers of their positioning, advising them of any surrounding hazards. This innovative diver tracking method will reduce operation time and potential risks for projects. KG’s unique data driven approach aims to reduce project operation cost and time by providing accurate information on assets, with the ability to predict future performance. By combining an innovative approach and technology with their expertise, KG can execute onshore and offshore operations and avoid critical situations.

Diver shown on-screen in real time as he navigates the seabed

With this method, a diving supervisor is shown a diver on-screen in real-time as a 3D image, complete with surrounding subsea structures and seabed digital terrain models, giving a clear understanding of how the diver is positioned and facing. The supervisor can navigate divers in low visibility water, and caution

With KG’s niche pool of experts, whose focus will be on one project at any given time, KG ensures undivided attention to client needs and project requirements. KG’s team are able to understand and respond to project requirements quickly and efficiently, as all company personnel hail from very strong technical backgrounds. KG are a newly formed company based in Aberdeenshire, supporting clients with seabed survey, inspection and positioning for pipelines, cables, structures, GVI, subsea & topside 3D laser scanning, and photogrammetry.

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Dräger Detection Technology Protecting People On-board Subsea Vessels Marine and offshore safety equipment specialist Dräger Safety UK has successfully deployed its portable gas detection and breathing apparatus to keep people safe in hydrogen sulphide (H2S) risk areas on board subsea vessels. Subsea pipelay and construction vessels are some of the most advanced ships in the world, working across oil and gas and marine industries where safety is the number one priority. Dräger Safety has successfully established its world-class gas detection and protection services in the subsea market, opening further opportunities for growth. Mobilising from Malta, Dräger’s most recent deployment was to a major field offshore Libya, where an 18-month subsea installation campaign was due to begin. Support was required on several large vessels with a combined crew of 300 to protect against the effects of sour gas in the event of an escape. Wireless gas detection technologies and personal protection equipment were provided in a rental package for the duration of the project, while all personnel were fully trained on the use of breathing apparatus (BA) in case of emergency.

Alex Duthie, Dräger Safety UK’s sales and marketing director, said: “Operator and supply chain

customers are aware that every minute counts when it comes to deploying technologies which preserve life. “Our systems have been engineered to meet specific H2S requirements on board vessels as well as fixed assets, where fast alert times are absolutely vital to give personnel the chance to act, and escape in the event of an incident.

Dräger’s Cascade Breathing Air System was supplied as part of the BA package, allowing a continuous supply of breathing air for use with all respirators. Support technicians with expertise in H2S systems completed installation and testing before operations began.

“We have supported installation campaigns and recovery works, where oil and gas infrastructure lifted from the seabed contains an H2S risk. Each scenario is treated individually as hazards can vary, but our baseline advice is always the same, that this is one of the most dangerous exposures in the industry. Invisible gases, which are poisonous and flammable can be fatal, particularly on remote sites where external rescue could take a long time.

Area monitors were positioned fore and aft of each vessel, with units also located in the wheelhouse. In the event of an emergency, alarms would sound to warn personnel to follow muster procedures. A zonal monitor, the Dräger X-zone® 5500, was also used to cover large highrisk areas.

“Deployment can be made using our full-suite of products, services and training. Experienced Dräger technicians fit these world-class systems in strategic positions around an asset and supply wearables for personnel. They also ensure all relevant training is completed accurately and to our client’s project timeline.”

Similar gas detection systems are proven in oil and gas processing facilities, increasing plant safety and operations, and have been installed widely in public buildings such as hospitals and schools.

Dräger has committed to leading the way on safety technology and prides itself on consistency of service from any location. Its manufacturing facilities in Lübeck, Germany and Blyth, UK are internationally renowned centres of excellence. The Dräger North Sea group provides products and services from Aberdeen, UK, and also locations in Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.


Subsea UK News | May 2018


AgileTek Expands Range of Services with Launch of New Division Award-winning subsea engineering analysis consultancy, AgileTek, has announced the launch of AgileDat, a new business division focused on using data to make decisions in the energy sector. Revealed at Oceanology International in London, AgileDat has been developed to service the renewables and oil and gas sectors, and is dedicated to software development, cloud architecture, data science, monitoring and The Internet of Things. The division was created in response to the acceleration of digital change, led by the slump in the oil price. As the energy sector recognises the benefits that technological investment can bring, such as maximising economic recovery, providing safer ways of working and reducing costs, the importance of collecting and using data has grown exponentially. AgileTek has already successfully used its proprietary AEL Cloud platform on a number of projects for European windfarms and it will now form a large part of AgileDat’s offering, as the shift towards operating in harsher and more remotely operated oil and gas fields also requires a move towards using modern, cloud-based enterprise applications.

Steve Rossiter, AgileTek Managing Director

AgileTek Managing Director, Steve Rossiter said: “AgileDat opens up an exciting range of new possibilities, allowing us to enhance our digital offering and offer unrivalled multidisciplinary expertise. We have experienced significant growth and success in this area within AgileTek and for us, the launch of this new division is a natural step from client and industry demand.

“Software advances now allow offshore energy companies to make faster and more accurate decisions, improve project timelines and predict potential risks. Through merging our knowledge of the offshore environment with the latest in distributed systems, our developers use the latest technologies to provide responsive and cost-effective solutions.”

Advanced Splash Zone & Subsea Inspection by Effective Robotic Systems • • • •

Risers, Caissons & Conductors Flexible Risers Subsea Pipelines & Flowlines Mooring Lines

Advanced inspection solutions with MEC – UT Combi Scanners offering added values & benefits: • • • • •

Comprehensive & high resolution inspection data within single deployment Combined inspection & cleaning systems for time & cost effective operations Provision of external & internal wall loss details Inspecting above, within & below splash zone Inspecting through coating & clad


To be, or not to be, integrated? By guest writer Elaine Maslin, industry journalist Subsea alliances and integrated contracting models have become all the rage in the subsea contracting industry, amid an ever-shrinking contractor landscape. But are they for the best? One size might not fit all.


rack subsea projects in 2017 and 2018 and it’s a mixed picture. Out of 14 projects over last year and up to early April this year, seven are integrated (i.e. subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines and subsea production systems engineering through to installation packages), led by one firm (TechnipFMC) or an alliance, according to Norwegian consultancy Rystad.

Mad Dog II

OneSubsea and Subsea 7’s Subsea Integration Alliance






Subsea Integration Alliance

White Rose West


Valhall West Flank

Aker Solutions and Subsea 7

Tortue West

BHGE (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) and McDermott

Information from Rystad


It appears to be a recipe for success, so much so that TechnipFMC has three of those seven integrated awards and the Subsea Integration Alliance (formed in 2015) has two and is now set to become a formal joint venture. Meanwhile, CB&I is set to shore up McDermott’s engineering offering (after the latter rebuffed repeated approaches from Subsea 7).

Subsea UK News | May 2018

“This world of integrated subsea has taken off,” Karim Jan, sales leader at OneSubsea and Subsea 7’s Subsea Integration Alliance, told the MCE Deepwater Development conference in Milan in April. The changing shape of the contractor landscape has been at least partly forced by the oil price crash, mid2014, but it started in 2013, when Schlumberger and Cameron formed the OneSubsea alliance. Various alliances have come and gone since, some becoming formal joint ventures and even new companies, such as Technip FMC, while others have fizzled out. A project billed as proving the benefits of the integrated approach is BP’s Mad Dog II. When it was first put forward as a project, Mad Dog II had a US$20 billion price tag. By 2016, on project sanction, the bill had been cut to $9 billion,


One of the biggest reduction in costs was been in materials, welding and non-destructive testing, however, added Boyle. This was by being more supplier led, instead of bespoke.

with the Subsea Integration Alliance providing the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) for the subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and subsea production system (SPS) packages. Mad Dog 2 will include a new floating production platform with the capacity to produce up to 140,000 gross barrels of crude oil per day from up to 14 production wells. Oil production is expected to begin in late 2021. BP is taking a different approach, John Boyle, subsea project manager at BP told the Milan event. In the past, wanting to get oil online fast was the driver. It was “go big, go fast,” with little cost discipline, bespoke company specifications, single source suppliers and fragmented scope. “We needed a whole new mindset,” Boyle said. Subsea costs were reduced 45%, driven by competition and deflation (22%) and collaborative contracting (22%), according to benchmarking work BP has done. This included interface reduction, leading to all reeled pipe installation and common vessel strategies. “We aligned installation activities under a single contract and moved away from BP procurement first,” said Boyle.

“There’s still several years of execute ahead (on Mad Dog II), but we are excited about this model and what it could mean for us in the future.” It’s also not a one size fits all strategy, however. “Every project has its own drivers and needs,” Boyle said. “Each project needs to decide what’s best for it.” Alan Beere, VP subsea and export systems, at Wood, agreed. Key influences on projects vary; from highpressure, high-temperature, deepwater, or subsea processing to simple rapid subsea tiebacks. “It seems unlikely that one contracting strategy will work in all cases,” he told the Milan event. The benefits of different strategies, from separate contracts to full integrated engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), vary, offering greater or lesser control and flexibility, ability to exercise market leverage, reduced or increased interfaces, and potentially higher costs as the market picks up. Could an EPC front end engineering competition could result in paying twice for the same design and could early access to an award reduce access to new technology, he asked. Do you sacrifice early flexibility for ease of delivery? “There’s an attraction to a fixed price,” he adds. “But you could have the potential to fall back into a variation order environment.” Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE) is making alliances on a project by project basis. “We have to accept we cannot all do everything,” Phil Ashley, Global Projects Leader, Subsea Production Systems, BHGE, said at the Milan event. “We have to make sure we have the right partners to do the right work.” On BP’s Tortue development, BHGE is working with McDermott, while it’s working with Ocean Installer for Siccar Point and on other projects it’s working with Subsea 7.

“Contracting strategies, etc. only go so far,” however, said David Saul, Subsea Engineering Technical Authority for BP’s Global Project Organization, who gave a presentation at the Milan event on behalf of the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT). Technology is also part of the picture, but It’s not always easy to introduce. This is for four main reasons, said Saul: delivery concerns, reliability, cost of failure, and “do we really need it.” To succeed, new technology has to reduce cost or enable, for example, enable deeper, hotter wells, longer step-outs, and handle more aggressive hydrocarbons. Introducing new technology also means selling it right and bringing people along with it. “Be clear it’s a step forward sometimes that’s not clear,” said Saul. “Why is it better than other people do it already? Make it easy to understand. Make sure it is not a surprise so they (operators) know what’s coming down the line. Really understand concerns around risk.”

Think about the bigger picture too, he suggests. “If you reduce the cost of a tree by 20%, if that’s all it does, that’s all it does. If 75% of your cost is in drilling, is it worth the risk if it’s something new? On the other hand, if you reduce weight of the tree by 20%, it might reduce the cost a bit, but it means access to smaller installation vessels and you start seeing a holistic saving.” In other words, see the integrated picture.

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Astrimar Offers Technology Qualification Training to Support Subsea Innovation Astrimar believe that continued success in the challenging subsea oil & gas climate is dependent on innovation and technology development. Pressures on costs have provided the necessary catalyst for a vast array of new technologies, innovations and new ideas to rise up from the shadows over the past couple of years. Many organisations find it difficult to know how to qualify these new technologies efficiently and effectively so that they can demonstrate the necessary levels of technology assurance and risk management, which can be a huge barrier to successful technology adoption and deployment. Astrimar’s consultants have been instrumental in the development and application of industry best practices including the first adoption of TRLs in API RP 17N in 2009 and the updated version published in 2017, as well as the extended guidance being provided in the new recommended practice API RP 17Q on Subsea Equipment Qualification to be published imminently this year. Astrimar have been busy working alongside technology developers of all shapes and sizes to help them implement these best practices. This includes understanding the current and required TRL of the technology and its subsystems, and all TRL ladders can be accommodated. Astrimar can help companies determine what qualification activities are required, including identifying appropriate tests and/or analysis, determining the number of repetitions and

samples to establish appropriate levels of confidence, prioritising these activities so that the best value can be achieved for the available technology development budgets.

“We have supported companies developing a wide range of technologies, from control systems to repair methods, new materials, new valves, new well plugging methods and new BOP systems. Rather than focus on the third-party certification, we help companies achieve best value in their qualification process and efficiently support them at each step,” said Dr Caroline Roberts-Haritonov, Director of Astrimar.

Drawing on this depth and breadth of experience, Astrimar will be running their popular 2-day training course on Technology Qualification in Cranfield (Bedfordshire, UK) on 19th & 20th June.

Namaka Subsea Provide Diving Industry Awareness Course for Ukrainian Diving Contractor Namaka Subsea, a diving subject matter expert, has recently completed a Diving Industry Awareness Course for Ukrainian diving contractor Professional Subsea Service (PSS). PSS specialise in performing various subsea technical, design and investigational activities on oil platforms, pipelines, vessels, power and heavy industry facilities throughout the world. The three-day course was developed to give a better understanding of the offshore diving industry legislation, guidance and best practice. It is essential that any diving contractor is not only aware of any legislation, guidance and best practices associated within their global area of operations, but also ensure they are fully conversant with the content of such documentation.

Sandy Harper, Director of Namaka Subsea, said: “PSS are currently in the process of applying for IMCA offshore diving contractor membership with the assistance of Namaka Subsea. IMCA membership is essential for them as they try to position themselves as the only IMCA member offshore diving contractor within Ukraine. The course was designed to give them a better understanding of the offshore diving industry organisations and their associated legislation, guidance and best practice for diving operations and diving equipment maintenance.”

Russian-language Commercial Diver Training in Scotland The Underwater Centre recently delivered an Experience and Competency Assessment (ECA) - HSE Surface Supplied & Top-Up Course entirely in Russian language to Ukraine-based company, Professional Subsea Service (PSS). The group of experienced and extremely professional surface supplied air divers from PSS, who complete jobs that include surveys, inspection and underwater works were welcomed to the Fort William subsea training and testing centre for a 3-week residential ECA Course to gain the globally-recognised HSE air diving certificates. The PSS personnel completed their training to a high standard and gained certificates in HSE SCUBA, HSE Surface Supplied & Top-Up as well as First Aid at Work. The group of Russian-speaking divers were accompanied by a translator for the duration of the course and all of the training material


Subsea UK News | May 2018

Commercial Director of The Underwater Centre, Steve Ham (left), with PSS’ divers

and paperwork was translated from English to Russian, providing an improved learning experience for the divers. The Underwater Centre are looking forward to welcoming their divers back to Fort William in the future as they continue their training programme, which will include a Diver Medic Technician course.


Aberdeen Recruitment Firm Raises £5,000 for Good Causes After 30th Anniversary Drive An Aberdeen firm’s celebrations to mark its 30th year in business have continued with a special prizegiving ceremony at a city centre primary school. Staff from Strategic Resources, based on North Silver Street, chose to mark the landmark anniversary by giving back to three local charities, engaging with clients, contractors and suppliers and supporting the next generation of youngsters.

“We’ve involved our entire team – several of whom have been with the company for many years – clients, contractors, suppliers and different partner organisations, such as charities and the school, to help strengthen relationships in the wider community.

As part of this campaign, a total of £5,050 has been raised through a special prize lottery and split evenly between Archway, Children 1st and JDRF. The funds will allow each charity to continue to provide vital services to vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the northeast.

“We remain strong in the market and I can think of no better way to celebrate our anniversary than by having a prizegiving ceremony at the school as we prepare for the next 30 years, whatever they may hold for the north-east and beyond.”

In addition, children from neighbouring Gilcomstoun School, Skene Street were invited to take part in an art competition, entitled ‘When I grow up I want to be…’ where they were tasked with drawing or creating a picture that represented their chosen career or profession. More than 100 primary 4 to 7 pupils submitted entries – including drawings of a pilot, a Formula 1 driver and the owner of an origami shop. The first, second and third-placed prize winners from each class were selected by judges from Strategic Resources and each of the three charities. The results of the competition were announced at a school assembly with each of the winners receiving vouchers and a framed picture of their artwork, whilst all second and third-placed pupils received a certificate. The school also received a cheque for £250 from Strategic Resources.

Suzanne Carson, head teacher at Gilcomstoun School, commented: “I would like to pay tribute to everyone connected to Strategic Resources for their commitment and enthusiasm in organising a children’s art competition with Gilcomstoun School. It has been a rewarding partnership. “Thank you also to all staff and children who supported this competition and took part. Initiatives, like this, play a vital role in giving pupils the skills they will need for the remainder of their academic career and for eventually entering the world of work.” Established in 1987, Strategic Resources provides contract and permanent personnel, contractor management services, executive search and outsourced payroll services to companies of all sizes, from oil and gas operators to family-run businesses. Its experienced team works closely with clients and contractors operating in sectors ranging from oil, gas and manufacturing to precision engineering and material handling.

Shonah Raffan, managing director at Strategic Resources, said: “At one point or another, we’re

all guilty of not taking the time to reflect on and properly celebrate company and individual achievements. Over the past few months we’ve made a concerted effort to recognise the various high points we have experienced as a company over the past three decades, as well as challenges such as the downturn in the oil and gas industry.

Subsea UK News | May 2018



David Pridden Fund Dedicated to National Marine Aquarium Support funds bequeathed by industry veteran and the first chief executive officer of Subsea UK, David Pridden, who sadly died in 2017, have been dedicated to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. David’s friends and colleagues will be aware that, in addition to his obvious interest in the subsea engineering and renewables worlds (which led him to his five-year role at Subsea UK from 2004 - 2009), he loved high-powered motor cars. Less well known, though, was his long involvement with the National Marine Aquarium where he served as chairman from 2005 until his passing last November. David was particularly interested in the educational activities of NMA directed towards primary school children.

“David was passionate about offering discovery and learning opportunities for youngsters to get to know more about the marine environment,” according to Roger Maslin, the chief executive officer of NMA who David assisted in recruiting.

In order to help facilitate NMA’s educational work, David left NMA a ‘significant’ bequest with the only stipulation being that the aquarium raised matching funds from industry, companies and individuals. Part of NMA’s current educational initiative is to roll out on a national basis its current Schools Outreach programme in Plymouth. This was kicked off during British Science Week in March when 800


Subsea UK News | May 2018

schoolchildren were involved in activities at NMA, all of whom got the opportunity to test out the new virtual reality video programme using new headsets. The cost of the equipment to enable a class of around 30 children to use the VR programme – headsets with supporting computer equipment – is £10,000. The national roll-out has begun with trialling of two pilot schemes each with its own ‘ocean ambassador’ – in Newcastle and Cardiff. The cost of each pilot with one employee is £50,000 and this has already been funded by David in full, to get the scheme started. The NMA needs a second person for each office with plans for additional bases around the country and eventually into Scotland as well with Aberdeen likely to be the location of the first office there. For every £25k raised, the NMA can match against David’s bequest and recruit the next “Ocean Ambassador”. Part of the initiative, according to Maslin, is ‘to tweak the original model’ based in Plymouth to see how it can work elsewhere without the backup of the ‘mothership’ aquarium. The aim is to have regional VR equipment packages offered for use to a network of 100 plus local primary schools in each outreach hub around the country. Companies, industry bodies and individuals who would like to support the NMA national schools outreach initiative can contact Roger Maslin ( in Plymouth.


RGU Engineering Students Win IMechE Award


A group of engineering students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have won a project award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which allowed them the opportunity to present research at a major industry conference. The £1,400 grant meant the students were able to attend the European Conference on Nanofilms (ECNF2018) where they delivered their paper on additive manufacturing and surface engineering technology found commonly in the aerospace industry. The team, which included Jordan Davidson, Adam White, Alexander Muir and Christopher Pegg worked on their project with RGU School of Engineering staff members Dr Nadimul Faisal and Dr Sheikh Islam. Jordan, who delivered the presentation ‘Multiscale modelling of thermally sprayed particle impact and coating formation’ on behalf of the group, said: “Our project was on the computational modelling of the coating formation via the cold spray process.

“We employed advanced computer simulations in the form of molecular dynamics and smoothed-particle hydrodynamics to study everything from bonding mechanics and surface alloying at the atomic scale through to stresses and strains at the micro- and macroscale.


“We came to refer to the project as ‘from atom to aero…’ and our aim was to gain an insight into aspects of coating formation that cannot easily be studied experimentally, due to the time and length scales involved, with the hopes of optimising process parameters. “This was our first experience at an international academic conference and we were graciously funded by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), through the Group Project Award. “We all found the experience extremely rewarding - not only did we see cutting-edge research in thin film coatings, but we fielded some challenging questions related to our presentation that led to a few last-minute refinements in our final thesis. We have now submitted our final thesis and plan on writing a manuscript for submission to academic journals in the summer.”

Subsea UK News | May 2018



Bibby Offshore Continues to Take the Lead in Diving Safety Bibby Offshore has become the first to deploy a pioneering diving safety system in the North Sea. The company, a leading subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry, provided its divers with the innovative Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus (COBRA), during a recent contract with BP North Sea. Working at depths of up to 110 metres, the Bibby divers used the COBRA system to deliver electrical umbilical installation, subsea control module (SCM) change-out, and production and controls system integrity testing, deisolation and commissioning services. COBRA, developed by JFD, is a simple, highly reliable bailout system which offers divers up to 45 minutes of fully independent breathing gas in an emergency situation. Bibby Offshore’s deployment of the system is a first for the North Sea since its introduction to market last year, with the company playing a key part in testing during 2017.

Howard Woodcock, chief executive at Bibby Offshore, said: “The safety of our

personnel is paramount at all times. COBRA significantly enhances the time our saturation divers have to return to the diving bell in an emergency situation - a step-change in improving subsea safety and one we will adopt in the future across our fleet. “As leaders in diving safety, it is imperative that our divers are equipped with the best equipment and leading technology. Having the full support of the client for the introduction of the COBRA rebreathers during operations on its offshore assets, clearly demonstrates the alignment between the client and Bibby Offshore in an ongoing commitment to advancements in industry safety.”

Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus (COBRA)


Subsea UK News | May 2018


NSRI Addresses the Subsea ‘Blue Economy’ Demands and Strengthens its Board The National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) role is to enable and facilitate in industry led research, innovation and technology development and deployment.






“Industry is continually pushing the boundaries to support the sector’s demands, advances in technology must keep up with business needs. It’s vital that the UK supply chain is aware of the opportunities, and in turn develops suitable and cost-effective solutions to remain at the forefront of global competitiveness.









The focal point for subsea research and development in the UK



NSRI has strengthened its Board to ensure representation across the wider subsea industries. Simon Cheeseman, ORE Catapult and Claus Hjoerringgaard,

The NSRI Chairman, Peter Blake said: “The new board members bring a wealth of knowledge of the renewable energy sector and will help NSRI foster stronger links with the diverse UK supply chain, innovation and technology landscape and academia to widen the understanding of the technology needs of the current and future subsea industry.


NSRI recognises the global opportunity for the blue economy, not only within the UK, but internationally. Scottish Enterprise, with input from NSRI, have performed an economic mapping exercise across the subsea sectors. This clearly presents the global opportunity for the subsea industry to become an even greater contributor to economic growth and build a sustainable high value industrial sector.

Mr Hjoerringgaard, currently managing director of Wood Clean Energy brings many years of experience, having been involved in all aspects of commercial, technical and legal issues within the energy sector. Prior to joining Wood Clean Energy, he held several senior roles at Mott MacDonald, heading up its renewable and power distribution divisions.

“With our new board in place, our main focus for 2018 is to ensure that we continue to help companies and developers overcome the barriers of diversification to make their mark in the wider offshore subsea sector, also known as the blue economy. While oil and gas is likely to hold strong and dominate the global energy supply for years to come, subsea companies have great opportunities to balance their business portfolio, drawing upon their strengths and expanding their experienced skills.” F SHOR

An excellent example is the NSRI research performed assessing the challenges and opportunities within the Wave and Tidal subsea sectors in conjunction with the Offshore Renewable Catapult (ORE), Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) and industry.

A former marine engineer, Mr Cheeseman joined the ORE Catapult in February 2014. He is responsible for managing the organisation’s marine renewables strategy, identifying the wave and tidal technology innovation needs. Previously, he worked with the Energy Technologies Institute, where he was Marine Programme Manager for a range of high profile wave and tidal development projects.

“NSRI operates across various levels of technology readiness, from proof of concept through to commercial implementation. As an industry-led and industry-driven organisation, our research and development activities are focused on solving real global challenges, identified by industry to overcome present and future technological challenges.


Tony said: “It is amazing the common core engineering themes, challenges and opportunities across the wider subsea and marine sectors. There is much to gain from building common research and innovation initiatives; including testing and qualification. Building upon the vast knowledge and capability within the oil and gas subsea industry, there is a real potential to accelerate market led needs and support economic growth by harnessing industry targets. NSRI has a pivotal role to play in this exciting opportunity, to represent the industry focus, across industry and government; as an impartial and independent body.”

Wood Clean Energy have joined to support the organisation’s plans to support UK companies break into multiple energy markets.


In the first three years of NSRI existence this focused on the Oil and Gas sector particularly Small Pools and UK MER with some activity in renewables and mining. A strategic review undertaken by Tony Laing, the new Director of Research who took over at the turn of the year, for the next three-year period clearly indicated that NSRI has a lot to offer the whole ‘Blue Economy’ (Oil & Gas, Renewables, Mining, Defence and Aquaculture and niche areas with in Nuclear Decommissioning).

For more information visit


Subsea UK News | May 2018