Subsea UK News - September 2019 Issue

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IN THIS ISSUE BP: All Underwater Inspections Performed by Remotely Operated Systems by 2025 i-Tech 7: The Drones of the Future Wood: Contracting Models Must Catch Up with Digital Deployment TechnipFMC: Newbuild Dedicated to North Sea IMR Market


Image credits to Subsea UK members Viewport3 and Subsea Technologies Limited

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Welcome to Subsea UK News Digitalisation is a term that has been talked about so much recently, whatever industry you are in. The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has driven the rapid pace of digital adoption across many sectors, none more so than in subsea. We know we must transform digitally, increasingly exploring data-driven solutions to improve performance, drive efficiency and reduce costs. But, it’s also important to take a step back and truly understand what we mean by digitalisation and what it can do for our businesses and our industry. The 1980’s saw the introduction of ROVs into oil and gas as the technology, previously used solely by the military, was adopted by the industry, giving us the ability to work in deeper waters and in more Neil Gordon, Chief efficient, safer ways. Executive, Subsea UK Since then we have seen the industry embrace the potential of robotics and what we are seeing now is a subsea sector that has grown exponentially with the evolution of underwater robotics. With technology available now which the early developers of ROVs could only dream of, the possibilities that robotics bring to underwater operations are limitless. The full potential will only be realised if we truly understand the potential of the data we capture and how we turn it into solutions that deliver maximum efficiency. This means that it’s much more than having the technology, it’s about having the digital skills to fully exploit it. OPITO’s Skills Landscape Report 2019 outlines the steps which must be taken by industry to ensure we have the multi-skilled, diverse workforce required to embrace digital across the sector. This is not just about maximising economic recovery and extending the life of the North Sea, but also about creating new opportunities for our supply chain, at home and abroad, and in driving the energy transition. As well as looking at upskilling the current workforce, industry needs to embrace the next generation of workers, those who instinctively and intuitively use digital technology. For example, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), once mainly used by high-tech gaming companies, are now being embraced by the sector and a generation that has been raised interacting with this technology is well equipped to operate and develop it. Making sure the sector has the right people to work with new technology is just one part of the puzzle, companies must take the risk and adapt to new ways of working. There are many operations across the different sectors of subsea which can be carried out more safely and efficiently with the use of digitalisation and the best way to realise this potential is to work collaboratively. One way we are encouraging this is our recent collaboration with the defence sector along with our technology arm, NSRI. This initiative will see us working to help ensure sure that knowledge and experience is shared across the sectors to advance the development of underwater technology. Initiatives such as this, along with brave moves by industry, will ensure that our sector remains at the forefront of digital innovation and continues to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in some of the harshest underwater environments on the planet.

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Forthcoming Events September 2019 Lunch and Learn with Caiman Software Business Management software for growth and efficiency 18 September Aberdeen, UK Underwater Robotics 19 September Aberdeen, UK

Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK


October 2019 Cables 2019 29 - 30 October Aberdeen, UK

Fundamentals of Subsea Systems 5 November Aberdeen, UK Insulation Monitoring Showcase and Technology Day with Bender UK 19 November Aberdeen, UK February 2020 Subsea Expo 2020 11 - 13 February Aberdeen, UK

November 2019 Subsea Springboard (Umbilical-less Subsea Systems) 5 November Aberdeen, 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 | September 2019



JFD Completes Critical Sea Acceptance Trials and Training for Submarine Rescue System Delivered to the Indian Navy JFD has successfully completed sea acceptance trials and training on the second of two advanced submarine rescue systems recently delivered to the Indian Navy. Following on from a similar set of sea trials and training delivered on the first system in Mumbai last year, JFD has now completed the rigorous sea trials process for both systems. Throughout the sea trials process multiple dives of the system’s Deep Search and Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) were conducted to both fixed and angled targets, as well as mating exercises with Indian Navy submarines including the safe transfer of personnel, testing all aspects of the DSRV’s capabilities. As part of the trials and acceptance process, a team of more than 30 experts trialled all aspects of the submarine rescue system including conducting multiple dives of the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to ensure accuracy in locating targets and conducting surveys, Side Scan Sonar exercises to accurately locate and identify targets, and Transfer Under Pressure operations, including mating to the three deck decompression chambers, to prove the capability of the system in conducting the evacuation of personnel at pressure followed by a safe decompression process. The trials programme proved the ability of the DSRV to operate effectively with multiple India Navy submarines maximising the chances of a successful rescue operation.

Giovanni Corbetta, Managing Director, JFD, commented:

“The delivery and sea trials acceptance of these two new third generation fly-away submarine rescue systems ensures the provision of a highly advanced rescue capability, not only to the Indian Navy, but - crucially - to submariners operating all over the world. In undertaking this rigorous and thorough sea trials process, JFD has worked in close partnership with the Indian Navy in testing 4

Subsea UK News | September 2019

and proving the capabilities of the system whilst simultaneously providing the Indian Navy with the knowledge and experience they need to successfully put their skills into practice in the most urgent situations, ensuring they are able to conduct potentially complex rescue operations even in extreme environments.” The DSRVs mark a pioneering step-change in real world submarine rescue capabilities. The vehicles have been designed with a weight that optimises maximum payload whilst safeguarding the vehicles’ transportability, a critical factor in minimising the time required to mobilise the system whilst ensuring that as many submariners as possible can be rescued at one time, maximising the chances of a successful rescue. The DSRVs are capable of operating at greater depths than most submarine rescue vehicles, providing the crew with reassurance there is an effective and robust capability should an incident arise, even in challenging conditions and at great depth. Designed to optimise speed and manoeuvrability - both crucial factors in conducting a successful rescue operation - the vehicles have the capability to mate with any submarine, even those that might be subject to inclination on the seabed, providing reassurance to both the team onboard the submarine and to those supporting on land that there is a rescue capability in place that can bring the stricken submariners to safety.


Expro Enters New Market with Technology Acquisition International oilfield services company Expro has acquired 100% of the equity of technology company Quality Intervention AS (QI). The Norwegian-based company was founded in 2008 and provides a portfolio of innovative products and services - coiled tubing technology (CoilHose), annular integrity technology (Well Spring) and innovative in-situ wellhead remediation tooling (Multi-tool). QI’s key technologies offer differentiation across the well intervention, production optimisation and decommissioning sectors. The company’s proven track record in the North Sea for well intervention, through its proprietary conveyance product CoilHose, offers oil and gas operators a unique system that is rapidly deployed, saving both time and cost compared to the traditional coiled tubing services both onshore and offshore. This acquisition will enable Expro to extend its well intervention capability with proprietary technologies and expand into an over $6.3 billion coiled tubing and pumping service sector. It is planned to capitalise on QI’s core product offering and generate significant growth opportunities through Expro’s strong global platform of award winning products and services. Mike Jardon, Expro CEO, said: “As part of our strategy, we are committed to investing in innovation and developing new technologies to differentiate our offering. This acquisition allows us to enter the coiled tubing market and build on our existing well intervention portfolio, leveraging the expertise from both companies. “Our customers across the world will see added value with improved work practices, significant increases in operational efficiency and cost savings. Well intervention is a key part of Expro’s heritage and through the technologies and expertise QI brings to Expro, it will

Alistair Geddes, Expro Chief Operating Officer, and Ingvar Grannes, QI Executive Vice President

improve and enhance our business. Led by a highly skilled and dedicated management team with extensive experience, we look forward to welcoming the QI team to the Expro family.” Bjarne Langeteig, founder and CEO of QI, said: “We have been partnering with Expro for a year and we are delighted to be entering into this agreement. Since starting the business in 2008, we have been focused on being technology disrupters and challenging conventional practices in the well intervention market.

“We believe that our technology is value enhancing for the coiled tubing market and through our partnership we have seen how well our technology complements Expro’s. We look forward to working together as one team.”

Maris Subsea Returns to its Roots Having recently left the Global Energy Group Maris Subsea has re-launched with a new brand and identity aimed at returning the Subsea Specialist business to its subsea roots. The change in company ownership has allowed for additional focus and investment in Maris which has seen several initiatives and innovations this year, primarily the launch of Maris ASSURE which is an in-house Competence Assurance system which trains Technical personnel to be Competence Assessors/Verifiers and provides clients with live Competence reporting on candidates assigned to them.

Director Steven Dunbar with Recruitment Specialist Cheryl Nicolson

The ASSURE system is also aligned to the IMCA Competence guidelines for ROV and Survey personnel.

Director Steven Dunbar said: “While being part of Global Energy Group provided many benefits and was right for Maris at the time, the recent move to extract Maris from Global Energy has allowed us to put more focussed investment into Maris in the key areas (such as Competence Assurance) that we believe will add to our core services to make Maris a market leader in the field of Subsea Personnel Provision. “Leaving a corporate business like Global Energy also gave us a great opportunity to re-brand and the return to a brand that is instantly more recognisable as subsea-orientated - with the logo based on a water and horizon image - is a welcome change and has been well received by staff and clients alike.”

Subsea UK News | September 2019



Proserv Sells Subsea Communications Business Nautronix to Imenco Leading controls technology company Proserv has today announced the sale of its throughwater digital acoustic communications and positioning systems business, Nautronix, to Imenco, a Norwegian supplier of subsea electronic and mechanical products. in the Aberdeen Innovation Park, Bridge of Don, while one team member, based in the US, will remain in Houston. Alan Buchan, presently general manager of Nautronix, will continue to lead his team and will become general manager, Nautronix Division, at Imenco. Following the deal, Alan Buchan said: “Nautronix has enjoyed almost four years within the Proserv portfolio but this opportunity to link up with Imenco is an exciting one and we look forward to developing our business within Geir’s wider team.”

Imenco CEO and owner Geir Egil Ostebovik said: “For The divested unit will become a division within Imenco, which will continue to be known as Imenco UK Ltd. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ewen MacLean, VP, strategic planning & marketing at Proserv, said: “Following the recent strategic review of our portfolio, providing digital acoustic communication products and positioning services to the subsea industry no longer equated to Proserv’s core offering, so a sale process was activated and it has resulted in this successful conclusion today. “The subsea sector remains a vital market for Proserv and we are utilising our extensive technological capabilities to develop new products to support our customers.” Following the sale agreement, 21 of Nautronix’s employees will move from Proserv’s Westhill, Aberdeen headquarters to Imenco’s facility

Imenco, this acquisition broadens the Imenco subsea electronics portfolio and adds innovative subsea positioning and communication products to our extensive product range, offering an extension of services to existing and new customers in established markets, and emerging areas, such as fish farming and offshore wind.” Ewen MacLean said: “Proserv is committed to focusing exclusively on its core controls technology as we move forwards. But as we conclude this divestment, we wish the team at Nautronix well for the future.”

Underwater Testing Facility in Fort William Hosts Subsea Trials for Key Industry Players The RiserSure consortium, which includes TWI, InnoTecUK and London South Bank Robotics carried out trials of their new flexible riser inspection tool. The trials were carried out in a water depth of 26m utilising Fort William UTC Ltd’s Triton XL WROV to deploy the inspection tool with a Seaeye Falcon providing observation of the test. Aberdeen company Aquasign tested their unique subsea signage and retrofit fixing solutions using spring clips and magnets on the seabed at 100m.

Following the successful completion of the trials, John MacLellan, the site Operations Manager, said:

Fort William UTC Ltd has bought the assets of the former Underwater Centre which went into administration in October 2018. Following fresh investment, the first two trials were carried out in June 2019 at the Loch Linnhe site.


Subsea UK News | September 2019

“This is the start of a very bright future for the Fort William site. We have been hugely encouraged by both the number of companies contacting us and the number of trials that we now have in the diary. “We are in discussions with a range of clients to fully understand their requirements and we will continue to invest in the site’s unique capability.”

BUSINESS Cutting the ribbon for the PLP240

Global Marine Group Launches Unrivalled Subsea Pre-Lay Plough, the PLP240 Global Marine Group (GMG), a leading provider of cable installation and maintenance services to the offshore renewables, oil & gas and telecoms markets, has taken delivery of their new, market-leading pre-lay plough asset, the PLP240. GMG has worked in close collaboration with offshore technology company Osbit and its first confirmed client for the new plough, Vattenfall, to design the tool to meet genuine market demand. The plough is optimised to help deliver reductions in the cost of offshore wind installation and to minimise project risk by combining operations to reduce the time required to install subsea cables. The plough offers unrivalled single pass capability, which enables boulder clearance and pre-trenching up to 1.7m in a single run, leaving a boulder cleared swathe and a ‘backfill-ready’ open trench with segregated spoil. The plough is also fully subsea adjustable and features an extensive surveillance suite for accurate and effective trenching. The plough can be reconfigured into backfill mode, which uses the same control and surveillance suite to monitor the cable and trench profile, enabling reliable backfilling whilst ensuring the safety of the cable at all times. Osbit’s innovative forward skid arrangement and surveillance equipment provide market-leading levels of cable integrity assurance.

Martyn Drye, Director of Engineering at Global Marine Group, said, “Our

new PLP240 will allow us to reduce the time to first power production by shortening the wind farm construction phase, and therefore delivering an earlier return on investment for our

developer clients. Through intelligent engineering alongside the Osbit team, we’ve created a versatile solution which integrates cable route preparation, cable laying and trenching – an industry first. The PLP240 complements our existing fleet of subsea trenchers and ploughs, offering clients a solution that’s right for them no matter in which subsea sector they operate.” Osbit Director Robbie Blakeman said: “We are very proud to have delivered this class-leading subsea plough to Global Marine Group. We are committed to developing globally innovative subsea trenching solutions using our proven modular technology and the delivery of this project reinforces the effectiveness of this approach. “I would like to thank Global Marine Group and Vattenfall for their genuine collaboration, which was key in supporting the project’s smooth execution, as well as our local supply chain, which played a major part in enabling this successful delivery.” Following the contract award, Osbit completed final assembly and sign-off at the company’s Port of Blyth assembly facility at the end of May. The PLP240 will undergo rigorous wet testing before commencing work on Vattenfall’s Danish Kriegers Flak project in 2020.

Subsea UK News | September 2019



Wood: Contracting Models Must Catch Up with Digital Deployment

By Matt Kirk – Senior Vice President, Subsea & Export Systems


Subsea UK News | September 2019



igitalisation across oil and gas, in particular in the subsea sector, is still a much-hyped topic and there is confusion around some of the terms, technologies being employed, and promises being made. Yet we are now seeing value realised; time and cost of engineering design is being optimised using automation, HSE performance is being improved by reducing offshore manning and using simulation to reduce risk, and operating efficiency is being improved using digital twins to streamline access to data and to model production. At Wood, across the diverse industrial sectors we support, we see the need for an approach that integrates assets and systems across the full lifecycle – a connected design, connected build and connected operate model. Traditional contracting for oil & gas projects is segmented by project phases, equipment packages and disciplines. This is a time-tested approach when it comes to the engineering, procurement and construction of physical assets with tangible interfaces, as it enables contractors to individually manage the cost, schedule and quality of their scope and minimise construction risk. Digitalisation and data often span, and require intensive collaboration, across project phases, packages and disciplines. So it is reasonable to question if established contracting models best serve the needs of the industry in a digital world. On a recent major subsea project in the Caspian, our customer had an ambitious goal to capture and hand over all design and construction data to operations in a unified digital twin. With over 40 separate contractors involved, all at different stages in their digital journey, we recognised

that a holistic approach was required to drive collaboration across individual contracts. As a result, a single overall information contract was awarded to Wood. Providing training, support and oversight to all contractors enabled a standardised approach, accelerating project delivery and reducing handover complexity. The approach was highly successful, resulting in over five million pieces of validated design, manufacturing, fabrication and installation data handed over in less than 90 days. On the same project, Wood delivered a production and monitoring advisory system, effectively an ‘online’ process digital twin of the production system. While the solution was well received, the contracting strategy led to separate vendors providing the operator training system (OTS) and engineering simulator - both ‘offline’ process digital twins. Whilst all solutions were delivered successfully against their individual specifications, separating these elements led to significant inefficiencies in cost and schedule, a severe reduction in cross-functionality and increased upkeep during operations. While projects are executed in distinct stages to manage the risks associated with utilising multiple designers and vendors, taking the same approach to the digitalisation of an asset can severely limit potential benefits and value. A holistic method to data management in the design stage allows for increased collaboration and a reduction in interfaces, whilst also enabling a maturity-based approach to both traditional processes and the deployment of digital technologies. In a fast-changing digital world where tools such as machine-learning are becoming common place in the engineer and operator’s toolbox, this holistic approach also adds a

level of future proofing for what may come next. Connectivity of solutions and underlying data in operations further allows us to improve HSE performance, optimise production and reduce OPEX. The industry is currently offering two solutions to digitalisation, but both of these have their limitations. Firstly, OEMs are providing digital solutions as part of equipment delivery by creating a ‘specialist’ system tailored for a specific piece of equipment. An example of this would be a suite of digital twins, addressing the performance, reliability, fault detection and operability of a vendor package. This equipment-led approach can deliver fragmented point-solutions that are often standalone and not connected with other systems. Major technology vendors are taking an alternative tack by offering a broad digital stack that address the requirements of various systems. Compared with the equipment-led approach, these are more holistic and system-wide in their application. However, as they are more ‘generalist’ they may not provide as high fidelity as a specialist OEM solution for a given piece of equipment or be best-in-class. Wood has different ideas when it comes to providing digital solutions. Our specialist digital and technology community, our technology partners and our broad expertise enable us to deliver total asset, full lifecycle connected solutions, a step change from the point solutions or technology-led platforms currently employed. Our vision is one of open platforms underpinned by data standards with interconnectivity built in by default, enabling plug and play connectivity – a jigsaw not a spider’s web, built on partnerships and collaboration.

Maybe the answer is a matrix contracting model, where existing EPC contracts are spanned by specialist contracts addressing information management, digital solutions and system integration. The industry is familiar with ‘main automation contractors’ – why not ‘main information contractors’ or ‘main digital contractors’? This approach would ensure a consistency and drive collaboration across contracts. A more collective culture in the industry will help to move towards modularisation and standardisation, where common data interfaces and protocols enable the plug-andplay vision, and there is a need for industry standards to help define and drive this. We consider there to be two major challenges which the industry needs to address. Firstly, intellectual property, particularly that contained within software systems, can be a major obstacle to integration. Vendors are understandably reluctant to share software modules with potential competitors due to the risk of reverse engineering. The second challenge is that of data sovereignty. Who ultimately owns and has rights to the data, the manufacturer of the equipment that generated the data or the customer? Contracting strategies, subject matter expertise and technology are key if, as an industry, we are going to fully adopt Industry 4.0. However, traditional cultures and behaviours are equally, if not more, important. These are often the most difficult barriers to address, but essential if we are to realise the potential on offer. With a changing workforce and changing competition as tech start-ups enter and disrupt the market, it may be those that embrace collaboration that will truly make this digital revolution possible.

Subsea UK News | September 2019



Crondall Energy Creates Joint Industry Network on Pipelines that Move Floating production & subsea specialist Crondall Energy has created a Joint Industry Network (JIN) to address experiences and challenges relating to the interaction between subsea pipelines and the seabed. BLUW-JIN (Buckling, Lateral or Upheaval & Walking of Pipelines – a Joint Industry Network) is a forum for Oil & Gas Operator members to share and discuss their experiences and learn from other members about challenges in the field of pipeline buckling and walking, including design issues, operational challenges and how these challenges have been overcome. Crondall Energy organise and facilitate two BLUW-JIN meetings each year. The BLUW-JIN Steering Committee, formed by one individual from each member company and coordinated by Crondall Energy, will decide the content for each BLUW JIN meeting.

Image showing pipeline lateral buckling

BLUW-JIN founder and Crondall Energy Director David Bruton said: “Many

important lessons have been learned, including how best to mitigate against unacceptable behaviour. It is time that these lessons were shared with a wider audience, to provide guidance on future projects and improve the integrity of existing pipeline systems. With this aim, BLUWJIN was created with the support of Oil & Gas Operators to share our experiences in lateral buckling, upheaval buckling and pipeline walking.” The first BLUW-JIN meeting was held in earlier in 2019 in London. The next meeting is planned to take place in Houston before Christmas and will be held at the offices of a member operator.

MAATS Cuts Steel for State-of-the-Art Cable Lay Vessel MAATS Tech Ltd has cut steel for a substantial scope for the supply of a ground-breaking deck spread by Nexans. The scope will be installed on state-of-the-art cable lay vessel ‘Nexans Aurora’ scheduled for launch by 2021. The main item is a 10,000te cable carousel, which will be a concentric ‘carousel in a carousel’ design and therefore able to process two cables simultaneously, or alternatively it can store a single length weighing 10,000te. Processing two cables simultaneously enables bundled lay, which can result in a significantly more economical installation process. MAATS also designed the support steelwork (grillage) as part of the local deck length in the carousel area, meaning steel weight and centre of gravity values were minimised. MAATS also undertook the finite element structural analysis of the vessel in this area. Other equipment includes twin load arms mounted on a mezzanine deck, which feed one or two possible firing lines. This first, for single lay, incorporates a 75t power cable holdback capstan, before being overboarded via a 75t laywheel. The second firing line includes two tensioners that can operate in series for single lay, or parallel for twin lay. In twin lay mode, MAATS is supplying a cable bundling machine and also a second overboarding laywheel. Both firing lines are predominantly within a permanent cable operations hanger, and there is ample space for jointing or other operations,


Subsea UK News | September 2019

if needed. All equipment is DNV certified, a process which is managed by MAATS. MAATS is also supplying the control system which integrates the entire lay spread and achieves nearly 100% automation of the cable lay process. All equipment is designed, certified, installed and commissioned on a turnkey basis. The vessel and carousel equipment is directly aimed at the long length power cable installation market, including interconnector power cables and windfarm export cables. The carousel will have the largest capacity on the market to date, allowing the customer to lay more cable without offshore joints between cable lengths. This is particularly important as a greater number of deepwater interconnectors are forecast, and lay routes are a significant distance from the cable factories, resulting in great transit costs for cable replenishment. MAATS has supplied over 50 carousel and deck spreads since 1989, and this track record was a significant reason behind the customers decision to entrust them with such a critical scope.


Innovation Funding Consultancy Sets Sights on Edinburgh Base after Record Growth The Scottish division of tax credit specialists Leyton, currently served by a base in Glasgow, is now the fastest-growing arm of the group’s global portfolio, with research and development claims up by 59% in the last financial year. This compares to a 45% uplift in the rest of the UK, with the group pointing to an enhanced awareness of HMRC innovation funding schemes as a key driver. Leyton, which has 25 offices in 11 countries, will open an Edinburgh office in Lochrin Square as it looks to capitalise on the fintech boom in the capital. The company relocated to a larger office in Glasgow in October, where the team has expanded to 70. Leyton claims a 100% success rate submitting claims to HMRC on behalf of clients, with more than 1,200 of its 2,880 clients in the UK based in Scotland. The group is targeting 6,000 UK clients in the next year. Head of Scotland David Kent, who launched the firm’s Scottish operation, said businesses in Scotland are some of the “most innovative” in the world. He added: “From oil and gas decommissioning in the North Sea, biotech companies tackling diseases in Aberdeen to Edinburgh’s

growing fintech hub, innovative Scottish companies are expanding technical knowledge and creating new solutions to intractable problems.

“The trouble is that these companies have not been financially benefiting from government funding schemes to the same extent as other UK-based companies. The strategic decision to expand our office in Glasgow has paid off and although our experts work across the UK, having people with contacts on the ground and being closer to these businesses really helps.” Leyton are confident of continued expansion.


Subsea UK News | September 2019

Tyne Subsea is part of Tyne Pressure Testing. Look out for more information coming soon.



Motive Offshore Addresses Skills Shortage with Division Launch Motive Offshore Group, specialists in marine equipment fabrication and rental, has announced the launch of Motive Personnel – a division specifically created to provide offshore technicians to its global customer base. With the ability to mobilise up to 50 BOSIET and GWO (Global Wind Organisation)-qualified Motive staff technicians, as well as additional Motive-trained sub-contractors, the new division will be headed up and developed by new appointment, Alan Stewart, who brings over 20 years’ operational experience in the marine industry to the role. The launch of Motive Personnel sees the Banff-headquartered company continue its assertive growth strategy to become a £20million EBITDA business in the next five years, following significant investment from EV Private Equity (EV) earlier this year. Motive Offshore Sales & Operations Director, James Gregg, explains the rationale behind the new division: “Since day one, Motive has been providing clients with qualified offshore personnel, who are clients tell us provide an invaluable service. That’s been a significant part of our success story thus far and the time is now right to create a tangible personnel division, which we know has huge growth potential. “Unusually, our multi-disciplined technicians are not restricted to working on our own equipment; far from it. They are renowned for becoming integral members of our clients’ wider team, wherever they operate.

Motive Technicians at the Boyndie base July 2019

“Our global team comprises both locals and expats, all of whom have been Motive-trained. In fact, many have been with us since their apprenticeship. I believe this truly illustrates our commitment to the continued professional development - and retention - of our talented staff against an industry context of increasing experience and skills shortages.” Motive Personnel plans to expand its global pool of technicians by 20% over the coming 12 months.

KW Designed Solutions Celebrates Record Year Lancashire-based KW Designed Solutions, a leading global designer and manufacturer of special purpose pressure testing vessels, pressure testing equipment and associated pressure control systems, are celebrating a record year. They have gone from strength-to-strength since their formation in 2004, supporting industry & research worldwide in the oil & gas, subsea engineering, materials science, universities, nuclear, pharmaceutical and scientific sectors. KW Design have increased their turnover fivefold in the past year, moving into a new 8.000 sq. ft. building and expanding their team from 13 to 20. They have restructured and rebranded the company; introducing the KW Group to manage KW Designed Solutions and launching a new company called KW Pressure Testing. This has given them a solid platform to build upon, as they enter the new financial year, in line with their ambitious future-growth-plans. This coming Autumn sees the launch of their new state-of-the-art, inhouse, pressure testing facility offering Hyperbaric, Hydrostatic, Gas, Submerged Gas, Environmental, Full Qualification, Type Approval and Factory Acceptance Testing. Using fully automated pressure and temperature control systems ensures compliance with industry standards. The full-turnkey test facility enables OEMs, subsea product designers and material manufacturers to develop innovative new technology far more quickly and easily. KW employ a highly specialised team who, accustomed to solving complicated briefs; designing, manufacturing and installing intelligent solutions that automate, control and simulate environmental conditions. They are currently manufacturing the largest pressure vessel they have produced, for a leading global offshore and subsea products manufacturer. Measuring 2.5m in diameter, with an internal depth of 8m and the ability to operate at pressures of 690 bar / 10,000 psi. Their ambitious plans have also seen the creation of a new internal Controls division, developed to provide the specification and design of


Subsea UK News | September 2019

automated systems and process control equipment. This will open-up their expertise to a wide range of industries including oil and gas, pharmaceutical, food, nuclear and allied industries. KW Design are expanding globally into both new and existing markets, in North and South America, Canada, Norway and a partner company in France.

Mark Henderson, Commercial Director, said:

“We are very pleased to have had such a successful year and have spent a great deal of time and investment into making sure our future vision becomes reality. We would like to take this opportunity to thank both our fantastic team and customers old and new for their support. We hope to continue working with them all as we progress further with our growth.” PVX KWik-Lok


Sheffield Forgemasters Incorporates Offshore Division Engineering specialist Sheffield Forgemasters is integrating its offshore division into the wider company as it looks to future evolution. As part of a broader transformation program for the business, the company will absorb its offshore division, Vulcan SFM, to maximise on Sheffield Forgemasters’ globally renowned brand and create greater flexibility within its operations. All of Vulcan SFM’s services and skills, which include highly technical design solutions for engineering projects and its many years of expertise in offshore oil and gas manufacture, will still be available to customers as part of the wider Sheffield Forgemasters business. Brendan Kendrick, Strategy and Business Development Director at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “It is increasingly important for Sheffield Forgemasters to maximise on the extraordinary skills base that we have across the company. Integrating our separate entities will allow us to capitalise on collaborative engagement across the business.

“Sheffield Forgemasters has for many years operated a number of businesses with different specialisms and these are being consolidated to create a more unified business under the single name of Sheffield Forgemasters. This will provide our customers, employees and stakeholders with more clarity and will simplify the way in which we do business.” “We want to assure customers that this is an internal re-organisation and they can expect not only the same levels of quality and service, but a continuous improvement of the company’s services and delivery.” To help raise awareness of the change, Sheffield Forgemasters will be exhibiting at Offshore Europe in Aberdeen from the 3-6 September on stand 1S23.

Subsea UK News | September 2019




“100% of underwater inspections will be performed by remotely operated systems by 2025” By Eric Primeau, BP Senior Technical Specialist



ubmarine pipelines operate in hostile offshore environments, so the use of underwater vehicles and smart sensor technology efficiently delivering high quality data for integrity assessment is a key component of an inspection and asset integrity management program. With thousands of kilometres of marine pipeline to inspect, data acquisition comprises a significant risk and cost. Expensive Intervention, Repair and Maintenance (IRM) vessels are contracted to conduct inspection programs but frequently have other priority tasks. There is an expectation that inspection operations will be performed in periods of low activity, however,


there is often a conflict of interest as all activities are crunched into weather windows of opportunity. Businesses have modernisation and transformation agendas (technical challenge) and simplification and efficiency agendas (process challenge). These agendas provide the opportunity for reviewing and integrating new technologies. Such an opportunity was realised through the development of a new inspection methodology termed Fast Digital Imaging inspection (FDI). The FDI concept employs integrated High Definition (HD) stereo digital stills cameras, laser systems and non-contact Field Gradient

Subsea UK News | September 2019

Cathodic Protection (CP) systems delivering data acquisition up to 6 times faster than traditional methodology. The progression of FDI is then to host sensor packages onto a suitable Underwater Vehicles (UV), then operate the UV from an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). To move FDI technology into the ‘Robotics’ arena, the development and utilisation of combination USV / UV systems is a component part of the BP vision, stating that 100% of underwater inspections will be performed by remotely operated systems by 2025.

BP VISION PROGRESS In 2017 BP contracted Deep Ocean (employing the Edda Flora and the ‘Superior’ Fast ROV – Figure 1) to undertake the first FDI inspection of our North Sea pipeline assets. The project was a success, completing 478 kilometres of pipeline inspection from 27th November in 94.72 hrs, an average inspection velocity of over 5kmh. Subsequently, in 2018 BP contracted REACH / MMT to undertake our Trinidad & Tobago pipeline inspection employing a reconfigured Work-class ROV (WROV), achieving 432 kilometres pipeline inspection in 193.72 hours at an average inspection velocity of 2.23 kmh. Subsea7 / i-Tech7 performed FDI in the North Sea, operating from a reconfigured WROV, achieving 301 kilometres pipeline inspection in 114.49 hours at an average inspection velocity of 2.63 kmh. 2019 campaigns comprise pipeline inspection in the North Sea and Azerbaijan, including a 70 day jacket inspection in Trinidad & Tobago employing a variation of FDI for vertical inspections. Other operators are now electing for FDI inspections and through the ‘Normalisation and Standardisation’ process, FDI is becoming the ‘New Norm’. Moving the FDI process forward, BP realised that further efficiencies would be gained if the FDI concept was coupled with electric UVs operated from USVs. A Request for Information (RFI) was issued culminating in partnership between BP and two contractors to develop integrated combination USV / UV solutions hosting FDI configurations. Targeted for delivery in 2020 / 2021 the USVs may be partially manned during the early stages, in order to meet both early maintenance and regulatory requirements, but in time should develop toward fully unmanned systems.


TOWARD 2020…AND 2025

USV technology has been the preserve of the military for many years. As the technology develops into the civilian sector it has become of great interest in the Oil & Gas market. But USV technology is not mature, there are few contractors in the market offering ‘Over the Horizon’ operations (such as XOCEAN USV – Figure 2), and even fewer capable of hosting underwater vehicles (example Seakit Hushcraft – Figure 3 or L3ASV – Figure 4). There is also the challenge of regulatory approvals specifically complying with International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), as well as the challenge of acquiring maritime insurance. Maritime UK set up the Maritime Autonomous Systems Working Group who published the Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships UK Code of Practice (v2) in November 2018. This voluntary practice provides guidance for the design, consultation and safe operation of autonomous and semi-autonomous vessels under 24m. It only applies to Marine Autonomous Surface Ships within UK waters, but due to the UK maritime legacy and the lack of international documentation, many nations are adopting UK practice documents. Remote USV operations have both technical and personnel challenges. Line of sight control systems are constrained by range while satellite controlled systems may have limited bandwidth and latency effects that can frustrate a vessel or ROV pilot and may add risk to sensitive operations. But USV / UV combination systems are rapidly gaining the attention of the market as the potential environmental, economic and risk savings are significant. The philosophy of remote operations is also a challenge for companies to change traditional mindsets. Operating from onshore virtual bases will require dedicated local personnel. The Remote Operations Centres (ROCs) will have to provide for the needs of personnel operating 24/7 in a comfortable amenable environment (Figure 5 – Fugro ROC).

There are challenges throughout the process, however, the Oil & Gas industry is becoming more aware of ‘what we don’t know’ and developing technology strategies accordingly. The solution lies in a holistic approach between data acquisition, UV, USV, communications systems, sensor configuration and remote operations of fully integrated systems and ultimately – the primary goal – delivery of fit for purpose integrity data. A key factor in the development of combination systems is the ROC which will be the central control hub for the robotic control and monitoring of systems and operations. Success in managing operations will be attributable to system reliability, communications and the degree of ‘autonomy’ the offshore systems have in decision making processes, such as obstacle avoidance. Engaging with two selected contractors in our journey will facilitate opportunity for all as well as developing the industry as a whole. With project opportunities globally, and very real environmental, risk and economic advantages addressing some of BPs highest targets, this technology is primed for action! Although BP considers we are pioneering utilisation of this technology, key to success is the concept of Normalisation & Standardisation. Adoption of this transformational methodology must deliver data that is fit for purpose. Once this can be demonstrated the additional advantages will become self-evident, however, as ever, Data is King.





Subsea UK News | September 2019




Viewport3 Creates 3D Archaeological Models of Sunken US WWII Submarine Aberdeen-based subsea 3D scanning specialists, Viewport3, have been collaborating with an eminent international explorer, Tim Taylor to process pioneering underwater 3D scans on the bow and stern of a US submarine which was lost in 1942. in virtual and augmented reality outreach, educational programs and applications. Viewport3 specialise in providing underwater photogrammetry services - using ROV or diver mounted cameras to obtain highly accurate point-cloud data, which can then be measured, compared, assessed, exported and in this instance, to educate. Viewport3 worked on the extensive project over a period of four months, processing 25 hours of HD video of varying quality, frame by frame. The total input for the project was a staggering 5.3 trillion pixels. Co-director of Viewport3, Chris Harvey, developed several new methods of using digital imagery in order to transfer the data into 3D geometry, and process it to create 3D outputs that can be studied and shared globally, without the need to be on-site. Bow Fracture Torpedio Tube

Grunion Conn Tower

Grunion Stern View

Viewport3 were contracted by Tim Taylor, CEO of New-York based Tiburon Subsea Services and founder of Ocean Outreach Inc, as part of his ongoing “Lost 52 Project”, which he states, “honours the men, their memory and their mission”. The project is responsible for discovery and mapping of 4 out of 8 of the US WWII submarines located to date. The ‘Lost 52 Project’ thoroughly mapped and filmed the site of the USS Grunion at the end of last year. The team located the missing bow section a quarter of a mile away 300 feet above the main wreckage, off the island of Kiska, Alaska. The discovery completes the mission undertaken by the sons of the submarine’s captain – Mannert L. Abele 12 years ago. As an aid to the understanding the submarine’s last moments, Viewport3 ‘fused’ the 3D data with the high intensity side scan sonar provided by the customer, showing the relative locations of both parts and surprisingly, the slide made by the stern as it slid down the side of an underwater mountain. USS Grunion (SS-216) was a Gato-class submarine commissioned on April 11, 1942. On her way through the Caribbean to her first posting in Pearl Harbour she rescued 16 survivors from USAT Jack, which had been torpedoed by a U-boat. Her first war patrol was, unfortunately, also her last. Sent to the Aleutian Islands in June 1942, she operated off Kiska, Alaska, where she sank two Japanese patrol boats. Ordered back to the naval operating base in Dutch Harbour, Alaska, on July 30th, the submarine was never heard from again. She was declared overdue from patrol and assumed lost with all hands, on October 5th, 1942.

“Using our photogrammetry technology as a digital in-situ preservation technique offers numerous benefits - nondestructive inspection of the site, optimal resource management and an inexpensive capture technique compared to other 3D recording technologies. Mr Harvey said:

“We can capture precise, technical-grade results which produce visually correct outputs, whether we are working in archaeology or with operators and marine contractors in the oil and gas industry. “While this has been an incredibly exciting project to work on, it has also been hugely humbling. The USS Grunion is the final resting place for 70 sailors, and I am proud that we have played a role in commemorating their sacrifice, and in bringing closure for their loved-ones. They, along with the US Navy Heritage Command, have been impressed with our work, which is really gratifying for us.” Tim Taylor said: “We hope this latest data – with its unprecedented accuracy – will help us to explain what happened to the USS Grunion, as well as honour the entombed sailors.”

Viewport3 have been working with Mr. Taylor to process and develop technical-grade 3D data-sets of the USS Grunion’s bow for use

USS Grunion (SS-216)


Subsea UK News | September 2019


Dockstr Raises Capital to Digitalise the Online Equipment Marketplace Dockstr, the Stockholm-headquartered technology company working to digitalise the online buying and selling of equipment and products has announced its second successful capital raise in just under 18 months. Launched under two years ago with the aim of digitalising the trade in secondary equipment within the oilfield and marine sectors, Dockstr has developed a fully functioning online marketplace for new and used equipment & products using innovative digital solutions. Already, a diverse range of companies - from international operators to geographically focused independents, and from global contractors to local service providers - are using Dockstr. And with over USD250 million of equipment listed for sale it is anticipated that the relevance of Dockstr will continue to grow in line with the need for companies to increase their exposure to digital solutions, particularly in the area of commercial and supply chain management activities. At a time when the industry continues to struggle with restricted growth, low pricing and poor quality backlog, Dockstr is pleased to announce the closing of a second successful capital raise in under 18 months. Backed by a combination of senior investors from the energy and technology industries, Dockstr has raised significant capital allowing the company to further develop their online offering and supporting technology such as machine-learning and artificial intelligence. Dockstr CEO and co-founder Slimane Bouabbane said: “As an industry, not only are we emerging from a transformational downturn but we are facing a number of factors which will challenge the historical norms of our business. The rise of alternative energies, a Dockstr CEO, growing environmental lobby and the fact that Slimane Bouabbane discoveries are becoming smaller, often with more complex reservoirs, mean that the industry has to change. Embracing the 4th industrial revolution and adopting a more digitally-focused, standardised and sustainable approach to doing business is one significant area of opportunity.

“Transforming the way in which the industry does business digitally and online is challenging, however we believe that there is a strong appetite for using technology to become more capitalefficient. And for equipment-related investments this means buying right and on- time, reusing, sharing and ultimately repurposing. In response, our team of industry and IT- specialists, backed by the support of our investors, have developed applicable solutions and are working with the supply chain to assist the industry in making the transition to this new digital world and to discover new opportunities, particularly in relation to new or used equipment.�


Bender UK to Demonstrate Electrical Safety and Monitoring at Offshore Europe How can offshore operators ensure that their electrical safety monitoring systems are correctly set up and functioning efficiently? Is there a way to overcome coupling capacitance interference when monitoring parallel subsea cables to identify cable degradation and failure? What is the best way to monitor insulation resistance in vital emergency systems that often sit idle? Those questions will be answered for visitors to the Bender UK Stand 3J05 at SPE Offshore Europe 2019 where the company will be demonstrating how its total capability in electrical safety and monitoring helps oil, gas and subsea operators achieve high production outputs and maintain safe, functioning installations that maximise productivity. Visitors to the stand will learn how offshore and onshore surveys carried out by dedicated Bender personnel ensure monitoring systems are set up and operating correctly. They will see innovative technology designed specifically for advanced monitoring of subsea cables and offline emergency systems. They will also discover the range of Bender products and services proven to safeguard the integrity of oil and gas installations and designed to maximise availability of plant, equipment and processes. Bender insulation monitoring devices (IMDs) control the integrity of topside critical power, communications and subsea distribution networks, delivering monitoring and forewarning of failure so intervention can be planned safely with minimum disruption. The isoHR685 LIM (Line Insulation Monitor) is designed specifically for subsea cable monitoring. It continuously monitors umbilical cables up to 10GΩ, to provide advanced warning of cable degradation and failure. Delivering a huge performance improvement compared to previous variants and can synchronise up to 100 units without cross disturbance. Bender devices have the capability to monitor systems while offline. The ground fault location device EDS440 automatically locates earth faults in ungrounded AC and DC systems while remaining online, without the need to disconnect equipment. It monitors insulation resistance in systems that often sit idle, such as emergency shutdown systems, fire extinguisher pumps, and standby generators.

Effective early warning of insulation degradation in this equipment supports preventive maintenance regimes. Bender portable fault location cases can be used independently or in combination with pre-installed Bender devices. Deployed by engineers, it enables location of earth faults while systems remain online. Supplied with split core clamps the costeffective portable cases enable technicians to effectively trace and identify earth faults across a wide area. To achieve maximum effectiveness Bender technology must be set-up and commissioned correctly. Ineffective systems undermine safety and compromise the integrity of electrical infrastructure. Bender UK delivers a broad range of services from system design, training, site surveys, commissioning and installation to aftersales support for onshore, offshore and subsea applications. Bender’s offshore certified team is available to end-users for technical support and training in the characteristics of ungrounded IT systems to improve overall safety and productivity. With increasing demand for accuracy, plant life extension and improved productivity, Bender can support end-users in the field with any technical issues, maintaining asset integrity and electrical safety. For more information visit Bender at SPE Offshore Europe on Stand 3J05.

IMES Unveils the Next Generation of Subsea Integrity Testing Engineers at IMES International have recently completed the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) on the latest addition to their suite of subsea integrity testing tools. The Fibre Optic TDR has been designed to satisfy the future of subsea cable integrity testing and fault finding. The OPTI-Plus™ was built and tested in advance of any existing fibre optic integrity issues unlike the Subsea Electrical Testing System (SETS™) which wasn’t developed until a need for a safer and less costly method of testing was required. Like SETS™ the OPTI-Plus™ is an ROV deployed system and offers a live feed via the ROVs communications port to a surface control unit on the vessel allowing for flexibility with the pre-determined testing programmes. The FAT was passed with 100% success on all tests performed with the client. With repeatable results, OPTI-Plus™ was able to see fibre optical cable lengths of 73km returning fault location accuracies of 0.03% (22m) over that distance. With the addition of OPTI-Plus™ Imes are able to now test electrical, fibre optic and hybrid umbilicals. OPTI-Plus™ is due for its first subsea deployment in Q4 2019.


Subsea UK News | September 2019


Tritech Announce Launch of Dual Frequency Sonar at DSEI 2019 Tritech International Ltd, a Moog Inc. company, has announced the release of the Gemini 1200ik Dual Frequency sonar at this year’s DSEI: adding another model to the popular Gemini range. The much anticipated Multibeam imaging sonar offers two operational frequencies with the ability to switch between these frequencies dependant on the user’s requirement. The 720 kHz low frequency setting is designed for target identification and obstacle avoidance at long range, whilst the 1200 kHz high frequency setting is ideal for inspection as it offers extremely detailed multibeam images at close range. Switching frequencies can be done manually or can be set to automatically switch over at a specific range. Unlike many competing sonars, the Gemini1200ik maintains its 120° field of view across both frequencies meaning targets remain within view at all times. Significant engineering development has

Gemini 1200ik

resulted in this latest Gemini imaging sonar offering an impressive 2.4mm range resolution as well as an effective angular resolution of only 0.12°.

Tritech’s Sales Director, Scott McLay commented: “With the increase in shallow water operations, especially around offshore renewable energy operations, the need for better ways to “see” in zero visibility conditions have never been higher. The dual frequency Gemini 1200ik can be used not only for navigation but for target identification and classification in these zero visibility conditions which has benefits within both commercial and defence industries.” The 1200ik uses the same housing as Tritech’s Gemini 720ik so is easy to upgrade for existing users and to install on mid-size ROVs to WROVs. Tritech’s Gemini range is used globally in a wide mix of applications from oil and gas operations to search and recovery. The date for release of this product is the 9th of September.

Flexlife’s New Thixotropic Gel Halts Subsea Corrosion of Carbon Steel A recently released gel system from Flexlife is designed to halt corrosion in risers within the critical splash zone location. The system displaces oxygenated seawater, replacing it with a noncorrosive gel. Known as FlexGel, the products can also be injected into flexible riser repair clamps used in subsea locations to form a flexible seal. They can be installed both as a preventive measure for new assets, or as a method to extend the life of ageing assets.

Tests have been performed to illustrate the difference between coupon samples immersed in seawater vs. the same steels immersed in the gel. The samples showed significant corrosion in seawater and no corrosion in the gel.

The system was a winner at the 2019 MP Corrosion Innovation of the Year Awards in March 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

In the field, the company has a client who experienced coating disbondment on two steel risers. One of the risers failed due to corrosion and concerns remained about the safety of an adjacent gaslift riser.

Historically, having pipeline risers pass through the splash zone inside I-tubes provides some protection from the surrounding environment. However, this also creates a situation where the inspection and repair is complex. The gels are non-aqueous and density tuned to float atop the seawater replacing the air-water interface. The product then increases in viscosity and stays static within the tube. It is compatible with steels and polymer materials and can be biocided to add protection against Microbially Induced Corrosion (MIC).

In response, Flexlife installed 5,600L of the gel inside the tube to displace water from the critical area. Two years later, the area showed no subsequent corrosion after installation of the gel. The gel system is approved by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) for use in ocean environments having already been installed in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

The gel can be installed quickly, requiring no divers or vessels, allowing production to continue during installation. It is relatively low cost when compared to existing repair methods.

Subsea UK News | September 2019



Drones of the Future Jim Jamieson Strategy & Technology Development Manager, i-Tech 7 (Subsea 7’s Life of Field business unit)

Autonomous underwater vehicles have the potential to radically transform inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) operations in the subsea environment. For subsea operations, IRM services have traditionally relied on vessel-based, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) or diver deployment to maintain the integrity of subsea production assets. The oil and gas industry is now at a pivotal point in its evolution and on the cusp of a transformation. Organisations across the sector face growing pressure to streamline their operations in order to enhance overall HSSE performance whilst still improving cost efficiency, reducing their carbon footprint and embracing the digitalisation evolution in the delivery of critical data. Autonomous, or semi-autonomous ‘pilot-inthe-loop’ vehicles, can potentially be the resident eyes and ears on the seabed, reducing the need for a field support vessel to execute all IRM activities.


Subsea UK News | September 2019

i-Tech 7 Onshore Control Centre


within this timescale. This includes fitting additional power and communications within the subsea infrastructure, improving the structure and flexibility of the docking station, and ensuring onshore control centre networks are aligned to enable the most efficient use of the vehicles.

“These developments, changes and adaptations are not insurmountable, but they do require careful consideration to ensure the configurations comply with requirements,” said Mr Jamieson.

Adopting automation Autonomous systems allow the industry to carry out work safely and efficiently without the need for costly vessel intervention or putting people at risk offshore. We’ve already seen huge strides in the understanding and acceptance of autonomous equipment and vehicles to transform oil and gas operations.

Realising the potential of subsea drones For almost 20 years, i-Tech 7 has been actively developing its autonomous subsea inspection vehicle capability. Its current Autonomous Inspection Vehicle (AIV) system, is essentially a ‘close-approach’ hovering vehicle.

Jim Jamieson, Strategy & Technology Development Manager at i-Tech 7 said: “Based on our track record in supplying ROV and intervention services and our knowledge of autonomy within subsea vehicles, we worked closely with this Norwegian operator to identify the technology gaps and approach required to deliver IRM field wide services enabled by the deployment of drones.

Similar to a traditional ROV, but without a tether, the AIV can stop, perform its inspection task and then travel to and autonomously dock into a recovery basket. This current capability is an essential step in the company’s roadmap towards field wide IRM services.

“The operator is now utilising findings from the study with the aim of providing permanent subsea inspection and light intervention capability at all production locations in its North Sea field development.”

i-Tech 7 recently delivered a study report to a major Norwegian operator to investigate the concept of subsea intervention drones and their deployment as part of a future North Sea field development.

While the study concluded that there were no technical barriers for a subsea hybrid vehicle to be ready for deployment by 2020, it did identify that certain elements of the development would need to be accelerated to deliver the full service

Subsea drone deployment

“For instance, surface robots now perform routine, repetitive tasks and navigate around complex structures on offshore platforms,” Mr Jamieson added. “This provides personnel the time to focus their efforts on more pressing duties whilst also limiting their exposure to potentially hazardous situations offshore.

“A pilot study of this kind, initiated by a major operator, shows that the industry is taking such innovation seriously. For a sector considered conservative in its approach, this is a major step forward in our quest to deliver safer, sustainable and profitable subsea operations.”

Subsea UK News | September 2019



Electrical Testing (SETS)

Optical Testing (OPTI-Plus)

• Surface controlled via ROV offering live data

• Surface controlled via ROV umbilical offering live data

• Tests - IR, CR, TDR, PI, DAR • TDR max distance 20KM - accuracy ±0.1% • 50V to 5KV in steps, 1TΩ max accuracy 0.07% • Depth rated to 3000m

• Tested to 73km at accuracy of 0.03% • Depth rated to 3000m • Max 8 way Fibre

A Seanamic Group Company


IQ Integrity develop Mobile Application for Inspections Continuing on from IQ Integrity’s industry standard ONE (Asset Integrity Management Software), they are providing ONE Mobile, an Android Application, which is now on beta-test with two operators on North Sea platforms. Chrysaor and TAQA Bratani are evaluating ONE Mobile with a range of inspection activities, to help eliminate the paperwork and rekeying of data normally associated with inspection activities. The application works with the information and workflows already managed within their ONE systems, minimising the setup and training required. ONE Mobile operates on Android devices, online and offline, to resolve any inspection, repair or maintenance activity configured within a client’s ONE system. The mobile application is integrated with ONE modules including Anomalies, Component Asset Registers, Task Management and Inspections to enable significant efficiency gains. There is also potential to consolidate into a single system, such as other disconnected ‘paper converted to tablet’ forms and the requirement for separate mobile apps or devices for each data collection method. Alan Gillespie, Director at IQ Integrity said: “ONE Mobile builds on 10 years of IQ Integrity successfully providing solutions specifically engineered for oil and gas operators, with an extension to the capabilities which our clients already use.

ONE App Tablet

“If an activity task currently exists in ONE, it can be sent to a remote worker to be completed, allowing for the worker to capture and annotate pictures and record short videos all within the App.

“The information stored in all of ONE’s modules is automatically updated with the returned data, enabling rapid analysis and reporting. “Our tests with TAQA and Chrysaor will confirm that ONE Mobile provides connected efficiency advantages over traditional working practices.”

Nylacast Showcase Performance Enhancing Polymers at Offshore Europe Nylacast, an award winning manufacturer of engineered products will be showcasing a range of performance enhancing polymers at Offshore Europe 2019. Operating in the industry for over five decades, Nylacast understands the many challenges presented by the arduous offshore and subsea environment, with a portfolio of materials and solutions custom developed to combat them. Demonstrating a proven track record and applying engineering knowhow, industry knowledge and the custom formulation of engineering polymers, Nylacast are able to deliver increased product efficiency to client projects with zero compromise on performance. Working closely with customers to deliver premier advantages through materials technology, Nylacast offer a full engineering service from initial concept, design and chemistry through to end products. This includes solutions which are low weight, low friction, corrosion resistant, dimensionally stable and with a high resistance to wear and abrasion. The use of Nylacast polymers presents benefits unachievable by traditional materials such as steel, iron or bronze. The efficiency of equipment within the offshore and energy sector can be easily boosted through Nylacast polymers offering cost savings. Lower whole life costs are achieved in addition to increased efficiency through reduced frictional loses and lower power requirements. Maintenance is also reduced through the self-lubrication and corrosion resistance, resulting in less servicing, replacement, coating and overall equipment downtime.

Nylacast Engineered Products

Nylacast will have a team of dedicated industry engineers on stand 1N70 at Offshore Europe who will be available to discuss specific project or product ideas, needs and requirements. SPE Offshore Europe 2019 takes place at its new location P&J Live in Aberdeen between September 3rd and 9th. SPE Offshore Europe is recognised by offshore E&P professionals as Europe’s leading E&P event.

Subsea UK News | September 2019



Online Pipeline Repair Service Cuts Production Downtime Hydratight, an Enerpac brand, has announced new speciality service products for the online repair of corroded or damaged pipelines/pipes and flanges. Now upstream and downstream plant operators have a single source for permanent and temporary pipe and flange repairs, avoiding unscheduled disruption to plant processing. Faced with eliminating the need for unscheduled plant downtime while maintaining increasingly ageing assets, the Online Repair Service Product offering is designed to ensure the plant remains fully operational while necessary repairs are conducted. It includes the Morseal leak sealing clamp, MorSafe Flange Clamp for on-line bolt renewal while under operating pressure, and composite repair solutions.

“While pipeline and flange leaks are inevitable as assets age, the consequential disruption to production isn’t. Our specialty online repair service products are here to ensure it’s business as usual,” said David Tromans, Global Product Manager at Hydratight. “Drawing on many years’ experience of successfully implementing pipeline and pipe repairs, we’re able to offer a range of repair options grounded in the real needs of plant operators for fast and effective solutions.”

Hydratight Online Pipeline Repair - Morseal subsea repair

In addition to providing stocked, standard and custom engineered products, the Hydratight Online Repair Service draws on a dedicated team of skilled professionals to implement online repair solutions from its Hydratight offices globally. Recent Online Repair Service projects have included the rapid response repair of a leaking subsea pipeline in the Lower Congo basin. Working at 85m water depth, Hydratight deployed a Morseal Flange Clamp system to repair the 254mm diameter leaking flange in just 5 weeks. The Morseal clamp wrapped around the flange and adjacent pipe providing a quick, hot-work free, and diver friendly installation. Wellhead bolt failure and integrity loss is a significant risk for aging offshore platforms. Aligned to the standard MorSafe product Hydratight has developed a custom MorSafe cold bolting solution that is proven to be safer, more cost effective, less invasive, and much quicker to execute than conventional methods. Severely corroded clamp connection bolts for Xmas Trees can be replaced within a single 12 hour shift, rather than weeks. The MorSafe wellhead cold bolting solution has now been successfully deployed on 10 platforms as part of a field life extension program. All bolt replacement operations on each platform were completed within 12 hours and without incident.

Increasing Freedom to Work in the Low Carbon Future Oceaneering is committed to providing the advance technological solutions that will enable our customers to efficiently and cost-effectively operate in the low carbon future. With subsea robotic technology developments like the Liberty E-ROV (empowered remotely operated vehicle) proving successful, Oceaneering has continued to push boundaries in developing advanced underwater resident robots and will display its Freedom vehicle at this year’s Offshore Europe conference. Freedom aims to improve overall safety and increase efficiency while reducing operators’ cost and the environmental impact associated with operations. Todd Newell, Vice President of Technology at Oceaneering, said, “We

are well aware that the appetite for autonomous missions and resident vehicles is growing, and we’ve developed solutions that our customers want and the industry needs. Freedom has the potential to transform the way we work by eliminating costly vessels topside, drastically increasing efficiency and reducing carbon footprint.”


Subsea UK News | September 2019

Freedom’s architecture is based upon field-proven and reliable hardware and software that enable increased autonomy, endurance, and varied subsea missions. Based on a plug-and-play operational philosophy, Freedom provides a low-maintenance, field-configurable vehicle optimized via interchangeable payload packages and sensor suites to meet our customers’ diverse work scopes. Freedom not only supports varied, dynamic missions, but has control versatility and intelligent tool changing capabilities. Advanced engineering gives Freedom the capability to support six months of continuous subsea operation while boasting a range of up to 200 km supported by subsea docking and charging. It is advancements like Freedom that enable Oceaneering to pushing the boundaries and transform the industry with solutions to support the low carbon future.


Ultrasound Project Aims to Tackle Multi-million Pound Scale Problem in Oil and Gas Production Its application in medicine is well known, but now scientists at the University of Aberdeen are aiming to use ultrasound technology to solve a multi-million pound problem facing the oil and gas industry. Dr Hossein Hamidi from the University’s School of Engineering has won joint funding to develop technology that will tackle scale formation in downhole production tubing, which hampers fluid flow. The Oil and Gas Authority estimates that around 180 wells in the North Sea have issues with scale formation, which cost the industry approximately £106 million in 2017 alone. Dr Hamidi’s project will use ultrasound to monitor and remove scale through wave-emitting transducers placed on the tubing that will ‘knock’ scale from inside. The project will explore how to achieve the best results based on quantity, power, frequency, placement, and other factors. “There are a variety of conventional methods to prevent and remove scales such as chemical, mechanical or hydraulic,” Dr Hamidi said. “These techniques generally need a wide range of surface production, can cause corrosion and degradation of the pipe, may be expensive to use and may have potential environmental harm. “The proposed ultrasound-based technology is an environmentally friendly, low energy consumption and low operating cost technique that can contribute to the improvement of well productivity and reduction of operation costs by removing the scales.”

“What we hope to achieve in this project is to validate the technology in the laboratory through a series of experiments, before testing the performance of the technology under simulated reservoir temperatures and pressures.” The project is co-funded by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre through its ‘Calls for Ideas’ initiative, which specifically sought ideas for transforming well construction. Throughout the year, the programme seeks innovative ideas and concepts to tackle specific industry challenges identified by members and broader industry. Sarah Kirkwood, Project Engineer at the OGTC, said: “Scale is a notorious challenge in the oilfield, and whilst it has been widely studied, extending ultrasound technology to include scale prevention throughout the production period was an interesting innovation that inspired our review team.

“This concept not only has the potential to make an economic impact, it is an interesting proposition in terms of safeguarding the environment.”

Subsea UK News | September 2019



Market Activity Report Q3 2019

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

UK North Sea Tekmar to Supply Cable Protection for the World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm, Hornsea Two Soliton Resources Announces UK Central North Sea Farmout

Gulf of Mexico Shell Invests in PowerNap Subsea Tie-back in Gulf of Mexico

Summary With continuous innovation in subsea technologies marching onwards, companies are further advancing into previously unexplored prospects, including regions such as the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, reaching new opportunities at greater depths. Despite this increase in productivity, there has been a sharp drop in the oil price, sitting at just under $60 a barrel at the time of writing, with trade tensions renewing concerns surrounding global economic growth. With Europe leading climate change policy on the global stage to limit greenhouse gas emissions, reductions in oil demand are a priority. Europe’s demand for oil has not decreased significantly however.


Subsea UK News | September 2019

UK North Sea Tekmar to Supply Cable Protection for the World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm, Hornsea Two Tekmar have announced that they have signed a contract to provide cable protection systems for the Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, with offshore wind developer, Ørsted. The wind farm, due for completion in 2022, will be the largest in the world. Tekmar’s remit involves supplying 346 cable protection systems to Hornsea Two, ensuring the protection of all subsea cables entering and exiting the underwater foundations. Tekmar are the market leaders in offshore wind cable protection with over 75% of the global market share. In terms of size and cost, Hornsea Two is one of the most significant projects in the renewables sector to date. Soliton Resources Announces UK Central North Sea Farmout Touching on previously unexplored prospects, oil and gas exploration company Soliton Resources, has announced the farmout of UK Central North Sea License P2390 containing the


Norway North Sea Nexans Sets New World Record Water Depth for High Voltage Cable to Create Power Connection Across a Norwegian Fjord

Asia-Pacific Neptune Energy Acquires Interests in Kutei Basin PSCs from Eni

Australia Subsea Compression FEED order for MAN Energy Solutions Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release 2019

Isolde prospect. Isolde was historically overlooked, largely due to the limitations of seismic imaging from legacy 3D data. Equinor will take on 85% of the working interest on P2390, with their first task being to improve the quality of the existing 3D seismic data. The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) facilitated Soliton’s application for Isolde with their new ‘Innovate’ licensing structure, designed for flexibility and greater degrees of data access. Ultimately, probing deeper into the unexplored depths of the North Sea will help reduce the UK’s reliance on imports, furthering the goal of energy transition and a smaller carbon footprint.

This breakthrough accomplishment will make working at greater depths with higher voltages possible, and is an essential step in preparation for creating a subsea power interconnector crossing Fensfjorden in Bergen, Norway. The interconnector, which will form part of Norway’s wider scope to strengthen their electrical grid, is 8km wide and 526 metres at its deepest point. Once complete it will a supply stable and reliable stream of power to over 400,000 residents and businesses in the area.

Gulf of Mexico

Norway North Sea

Shell Invests in PowerNap Subsea Tie-back in Gulf of Mexico

Nexans Sets New World Record Water Depth for High Voltage Cable to Create Power Connection Across a Norwegian Fjord

Shell have invested in the PowerNap deepwater project in the US Gulf of Mexico. PowerNap is a subsea tie-back to Olympus, a production hub operated by Shell.

Advanced cabling systems leader Nexans has qualified its 420 kV XLPE subsea cable at a record depth of 550 metres, breaking their own previous world record of 390 metres.

The project, beginning in late 2021, will produce up to 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) at peak with up to 85 million barrels of oil recoverable.

Subsea UK News | September 2019


MARKET INTELLIGENCE Shell is currently the leading offshore producer of oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Asia-Pacific Neptune Energy Acquires Interests in Kutei Basin PSCs from Eni Neptune Energy will acquire interests from Eni in the Kutei basin Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) in offshore Indonesia. The agreement includes a 20% working interest in the East Sepinggan PSC and a 30% working interest in East Ganal PSC. The acquisitions are of strategic importance to Neptune, who are seeking to strengthen their position in Indonesia. The East Sepinggan PSC includes the low-cost Merakes development, developed as a tie-back to the Jangkrik facility in Maura Bakau PSC, operated by Eni and where Neptune have a 33.3% working interest. The East Ganal PSC is a longer-term development with exploration prospects in the Kutei basin.

field outside of Norway to utilise subsea compression technology. Subsea compressors are used to maintain output as reservoir pressure drops over time. MAN Energy Solutions’ compressors will boost the recovery of the gas with a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional compressor systems, typically installed on platforms above sea-level, with the added benefit of being more cost-effective. As companies strive to reduce their impact on the environment, the demand for greener technologies has increased, allowing for greater efficiencies at lower costs than ever before. Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release 2019 More than 120,000 square km of acreage is to be released by the Australian Government for a single round of work program bidding. It will be the first release under a new ‘streamlined’ system designed to simply bidding, respond quicker to market demand, and offer greater levels of transparency. The areas available for exploration are spread across five basins in the Commonwealth waters off Western Australia, Victoria and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands. Maps on the release and the bidding process are available from the Australian Government’s website,

Australia Subsea Compression FEED order for MAN Energy Solutions In Australia’s Chevron-operated Jansz-Io field, MAN Energy Solutions will supply the FEED study of a subsea compression solution, marking the field as the first gas

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 | September 2019

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Seatronics Invest in Impact Subsea FMD Technology to Complement Global Rental Fleet Seatronics, an Acteon company, have enhanced their global rental fleet with the addition of new Flooded Member Detection systems from Impact Subsea, global provider of innovative underwater products. The Impact Subsea ISFMD system provides the latest in underwater ultrasonic Flooded Member Detection technology. Suitable for Diver or ROV deployment the ISFMD system is an advanced and reliable digital solution. Utilising an ultrasonic probe with a broadband composite transducer together with an advanced digital ultrasonic engine ensures the highest level of accuracy and reliability in readings. The ISFMD system does not use gamma ray or any other radioactive sources. The system is based entirely on the use of ultrasonics. This removes the logistical and health and safety difficulties associated with gamma ray based flooded member detection systems.

The recent investment aligns with the Seatronics core value of Innovation. By exploring, evaluating and investing in new technologies Seatronics continually strengthen their global rental fleet and extensive portfolio of trusted solutions offered to their clients.

Ben Grant, Managing Director, Impact Subsea said: “With

ever increasing utilisation of the ISFMD system we are delighted to work with Seatronics to further support the global rental market. This investment will provide Seatronics’ customers with the very latest in Flooded Member Detection technology.”

Janelle Totah, Vice President – USA, Seatronics, said: “Responding to our customers’ needs with the right equipment from best in class manufacturers is core to Seatronics business. This investment in ISFMD systems from Impact Subsea provides another example of Seatronics’ commitment to provide innovative technologies that add value to our customer’s operations. We are very pleased to have the systems as part of our global rental fleet.”

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Subsea UK News | September 2019


Hydroid and Nortek Unveil One of the Most Compact AUVs Ever Made When scientists and engineers at Hydroid set themselves the task of designing one of the most compact autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) ever produced, they collaborated with Nortek to provide high-quality navigational equipment capable of fitting such a small form factor. Hydroid has built on REMUS AUV technology – first developed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts – to become a leading manufacturer of trusted, field-proven lightweight AUVs for underwater search and survey.

Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) sensors and related equipment to help accurately measure the AUV’s velocity and altitude relative to the seafloor. Here, Hydroid was able to work with Nortek to provide the solution they needed.

Acquired by Norwegian technology firm Kongsberg Maritime in 2008, the company manufactures AUVs suitable for a range of subsea conditions, from those capable of diving as deep as 6000 meters to those that can hover in shallow, hazardous areas where navigation is difficult.

“The ability to customize the design of the Nortek DVL enabled us to get this technology inside the A-size form factor, while being able to support operations down to 300 meters depth,” says Graham Lester, Hydroid’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Hydroid’s latest challenge was to create a compact, portable AUV capable of single-person operation that would open up new possibilities for deployment. The result is the REMUS M3V, an AUV whose dimensions have been kept down to a true “A-size” form factor – it measures just 36” by 4.875” (0.91 m × 0.12 m). The compact size of the M3V makes it ideal for many applications, such as marine life research or underwater assessment around infrastructure such as oil and gas installations, offshore wind turbines and military applications. Hydroid hopes that the REMUS M3V’s size will open up new avenues for deployments beyond mine-countermeasure (MCM) activities where REMUS AUVs are already in use. The A-size form factor also means the REMUS M3V can be launched from the air, on the surface and even submerged below the sea. That makes it useful for applications such as oil spill response. To maintain the A-size form factor, Hydroid needed to use navigation technology that was as compact as possible, while also maintaining the levels of quality and accuracy expected of its products. This entailed miniaturization and the most compact arrangement possible of components within the tube, as well as stripping off appendages such as fins from the outside to provide a hydrodynamic, streamlined form factor. The REMUS M3V includes a powerful thruster, which enables it to cut through strong ocean currents – it can achieve speeds of up to 10 knots or more. Navigational accuracy of onboard equipment is crucial to the operation of AUVs, given they are untethered vehicles that must be able to find their own way to and from their targets. To that end, the REMUS M3V needed to include small-form

The DVL is one of the key pieces that permit autonomous navigation, and Nortek has provided a mechanically tightly integrated DVL for Hydroid’s next-generation REMUS M3V AUV.

“The challenge was to provide a hardware platform that fit into the tight physical constraints of the REMUS M3V while being mindful of optimization for size, weight and power (SWaP),” explains Torstein Pedersen, DVL Product Manager at Nortek. Graham Lester says Hydroid’s reputation rests on the proven reliability and track record of its REMUS AUVs and the software used on them. The company needed to use DVL technology that customers would trust to assess velocity and altitude above the seafloor. That was one of the main considerations when selecting Nortek’s tried-and-tested DVL technology. Hydroid ran comparative “offboard” tests of the Nortek DVL1000 against systems from other manufacturers, attaching them to a rig at sea. Hydroid also brought in Dr. Øyvind Hegrenæs, a Principal Engineer and Navigation Solutions Product Manager from Kongsberg Maritime in Horten, Norway. “After having tested of one of Nortek’s other DVLs, the DVL500, his conclusion was that Nortek’s DVL500 had a comparable or better accuracy than more expensive alternatives, as well as some nice features like outputting figure of merit data,” Lester reports.

Above: Nortek DVL1000 300m Main Image: The Hydroid REMUS M3V being lowered into the water

Subsea UK News | September 2019



James Fisher Offshore Expands Subsea Decommissioning Service with Innovative Abrasive Cutting Technology James Fisher Offshore (JFO), a global provider of specialist equipment and engineering solutions to subsea and topside projects, has further strengthened its offshore decommissioning capabilities with the investment in an ultra-high pressure abrasive water jet cutting system. The new system offers enhanced performance with an innovative method for the internal cutting and removal of subsea tubular structures, ranging from piles and jacket legs through to well casings and well heads. With the system’s higher accuracy and success rate, it will offer a reduced operational footprint and vital cost savings to the oil and gas industry, supporting it to reach its decommissioning cost reduction targets. Real-time cut verification, visual external cut monitoring and increased flexibility are some of the performance benefits offered by this advanced cutting technology, while the unique airflow system negates the need to de-water and reduces the number of processes needed for the operation, creating a 60% reduction in the overall cutting time. Complete operator and customer certainty is ensured with the cut verification system, helping to reduce the risk of stitching and, therefore, reducing the risk of excess costs on projects.

Jack Davidson, managing director at James Fisher Offshore said: “Our

investment in this new technology and skilled personnel demonstrates our commitment to being the integrated back deck equipment provider of choice for full life of field support.

“Globally our decommissioning and demolition expertise continuously increases, as does our ability to deliver more complex projects – further expanding our capabilities to support the global leaders in this area. With the development of our capabilities and continued investments, we’re successfully transitioning from an equipment provider to a solutions-based service provider, adding value to our customers’ operations.” The new system has successfully been deployed in unique deep water cutting operations offshore, with water depth exceeding 180m. There it proved its capability, severing double-plated hull sections greater than 84mm in one pass, leading to a significant reduction in operation time. The addition of this new abrasive cutting technology comes in quick succession to JFO’s cut and lift product, ICLT, that will help streamline decommissioning projects, demonstrating the company’s commitment to investing in new solutions that will save time and costs for offshore operators.

Novel Plugging & Abandonment Technology and Assurance to be Provided through New Collaboration Independent specialist engineering consultancy Astrimar has signed a collaboration agreement with Rawwater Engineering Company Limited at the SPE Aberdeen 9th Well Abandonment Symposium. Rawwater invented the Bismuth Plug and has successfully worked with Astrimar on two Innovate UK projects to qualify advanced bismuth alloys for plugging and abandonment as well as other sealing applications. Building on earlier qualification and deployment activities, a range of novel alloys specifically formulated for plugging and abandonment has been developed by Rawwater, with extensive testing under simulated service pressures and temperatures. The result is a suite of alloys with operating envelopes to cover a variety of typical downhole geothermal conditions and sealing applications. In parallel with the Rawwater testing activities, Astrimar has developed the STEM-flow tool. This predictive well integrity modelling software can be used to forecast long-term plug performance, reflecting the specific downhole well and casing conditions and plug material behaviour obtained from qualification


Subsea UK News | September 2019

Signing of collaboration between Astrimar and Rawwater

tests. In addition to providing reliability and integrity assurance for the Rawwater bismuth plugs, the predictions from Astrimar’s numerical models can be used to support well plugging & abandonment design risk assessments. Through signing a collaboration agreement, Rawwater and Astrimar will provide a combined plug service provision, with well-specific seal performance forecasts.


How Autonomy and Automation Opportunities are Critical and can Advance the ‘Blue Economy’ By Tony Laing, Director of Research and Market Acceleration at NSRI

NSRI is focused on supporting the acceleration and adoption of autonomy and automation across the subsea sector. Identifying industry needs and creating opportunity for commercial business and research throughout the blue economy; serving aquaculture, renewables, defence and oil & gas industries. To meet the low carbon objective offshore and reduce environmental and human exposure, autonomy and automation is already accepted in every-day life and the possibilities for subsea sector are no different; all contributing to a competitive edge and mitigating business risk. Implementing autonomy and automation into a business opens a paradigm shift by opening a whole technology landscape from physical transportation to Artificial Intelligence (AI), where AI is already happening in the medical science sector, with neuro networks; an example of this is within cancer research. The smart element is the convergence of knowledge and deep-learning across industries, shared at an appropriate level of granulation, as the devil is in the detail. This will not only bring focus to industry requirements and a collective research funding opportunity, but enable market acceptance of technology. Sharing learning across industries, will, maximising the opportunity within the blue economy, which is estimated to be £140 bn by 2035 from currently being estimated at 50bn. For gaining most value, the sharing of knowledge is key. A significant amount can be learned from mature industries, such as defence and oil and gas, and the other way round – to see the biggest impact we must treat it as a two-way street. However, it is important to be industry agnostic and impartial. This is not only regarding technology, but how we can bring value in best practices, including health, safety and environmental (HSE). The reality is that one incident is one too many and we must work to reduce damage to marine life has all too often had a huge and often unrecognised impact. NSRI has been working over the last 18 months with the Defence Solution Centre (DSC) in partnership with Subsea UK, with Royal Navy. Together oil and gas operators identified and framed 14 areas of potential common research via workshops and close engagement sessions with industry. The low carbon energy portfolio is growing, notably offshore renewables where the UK has the largest amount of offshore fixed wind farms, compared to any other geographical region, although they are not out with challenge. The challenges include technical, environmental and safe operations, whilst the renewable sector is giving focus to mitigate these, significant value resides with cross sector knowledge sharing and convergence of minds, where the UK can continue to pioneer as with other offshore marine industries.

NSRI, Strathclyde University Offshore Institute and Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) have initiated an agreement for a programme to develop learning within autonomy and automation. This will support and build cross-industry knowledge within the Blue Economy. The initiative will develop research opportunities and cultural improvement. It includes understanding what’s practical and sharing ‘deep-learning’ in offshore systems engineering. Prof Feargal Brannan, Professor and Director of the Offshore Engineering Institute at the University of Strathclyde said:

“The UK Oil & Gas sector has unparalleled expertise in operating and maintaining high-value offshore assets to world leading standards of safety having developed and nurtured a systems culture which embraces everything from human factors through to advanced remote and autonomous monitoring & intervention. A real opportunity exists for Offshore Wind to benefit from this experience and expertise; to set new standards and develop new commercial opportunities in one of the most rapidly growing and exciting global sectors.” Prof David Paterson, Executive Director of MASTS said: “The benefits of experience that can be translated across industries has huge potential to save time, money and, potentially, lives. MASTS will provide a conduit to the research community in Scotland in support of this timely initiative. “

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TechnipFMC Newbuild Dedicated to North Sea IMR Market TechnipFMC’s presence and capabilities have evolved alongside the North Sea’s changing demands. In the 1980s, the company was a founding player in the region’s burgeoning diving services sector, operating a fleet of vessels to support pipelay operations and making its name in executing lump-sum engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contracts. Later, market needs pulled the company into larger scale construction projects.


Subsea UK News | September 2019



ow, with the acquisition of the ultra-modern inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) vessel Deep Discoverer, TechnipFMC continues to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to the North Sea. Purchased from long-time partner VARD in late 2018, the vessel entered service in March 2019 after completing its operational readiness program. “Over time, the number of customers in the North Sea has grown dramatically. While they all have different requirements and needs, a common request is for lower cost, more effective IMR solutions,” says TechnipFMC’s Scott McIntyre, Project Manager. “What makes Deep Discoverer so unique is that we’re bringing to market such a high standard of vessel at a competitive rate, which is key for the regeneration and revitalization of the North Sea.” The company took a forwardlooking approach with Deep Discoverer; the vessel is purpose-built, which means it is flexible in its capabilities and operational scope. Being permanently equipped with IMR equipment, tooling and rigging allows Deep Discoverer to be dynamic and

responsive, which is especially important during the North Sea’s work-intensive summer season. The vessel can work on varied workscopes efficiently and cost-effectively without losing time to mobilization. “We’ve taken a portfolio approach to IMR, where we set the vessel up for a campaign or a season,” explains Richard Harris, TechnipFMC’s Business Development Manager, UK.

“Our flexible approach allows us to complete work for multiple clients while ensuring quickresponse jobs are also fitted into the schedule. It is a very different approach to the traditional IMR model.” Further, high-grade specifications onboard contribute to Deep Discoverer’s ability to nimbly and efficiently respond to work needs. Onboard is an 18-person twin bell SAT system with a built-in air diving spread, a first for TechnipFMC. This allows Deep Discoverer to switch between air and SAT diving works or even execute combined SAT/ air diving operations without losing time to mobilization and sparing companies the cost of integrating those elements on-board.

Additionally, the permanently installed hanger-based ROV system onboard was specifically chosen to be a light workclass vehicle over a basic observation class vehicle to allow for simultaneous ROV and diving operations. The inspection suite, also part of the vessel configuration, can support diving or ROV inspection, as well as simultaneous inspection via AUVs in parallel to planned IMR diving activities. Deep Discoverer is supported by highly experienced personnel, both offshore and onshore. Managed by a multi-discipline project team in TechnipFMC’s Aberdeen office its crew are multiskilled and trained to support all equipment, rigging and tooling operations onboard, to maximize the vessel’s flexibility while minimizing required personnel onboard. Thanks to its DP3 dynamic positioning (DP) system, Deep Discoverer can keep its position and work in adverse North Sea weather conditions. It is equipped with a 250-ton NOV Hydralift active heave compensation subsea crane and a permanently installed hanger-based ROV system, among other features.

“Coupled with the size of the back deck, the cranage, the air diving, and SAT diving capabilities, we believe this is one of the most versatile IMR boats in the market place today,” said Harris.

Subsea UK News | September 2019



ROVOP Appoints New CEO ROVOP, the subsea robotics company, is pleased to announce that David Lamont is assuming the position of CEO with immediate effect. David, who currently serves as the Chairman at ROVOP, has over 30 years experience in the energy services sector and was most recently CEO at Proserv. David said: “I have enjoyed working with the ROVOP team over the past months as Chairman and am thrilled to have the opportunity to work more closely with them to deliver on the many opportunities available to the company in the ever-improving and diversifying market. ROVOP is in a particularly strong position, having grown its fleet from 15 ROVs 18 months ago to over 50 today. At the same time, we have broadened the fleet to cover a number of different classes of ROV: from smaller observation class, to the heavy duty deep water state of the art Work Class vehicles.

compliment to the business we have created that we are able to attract someone of David’s track record and talent.” Senior representatives of the major shareholders, BGF and Blue Water Energy, Mike Sibson and Graeme Sword said jointly: “We want to thank Steven for his valued contribution over the past eight years and for all he has done to position the company for future success. We are very pleased to be working with David and believe this change strengthens the combined leadership team, positioning ROVOP for an even more exciting future.”

“We have made significant investment to ensure that every asset is in a high state of operational readiness and that our operations and support crews are trained to the excellent standard our customers expect of ROVOP. We are seeing an improving market, and especially at this time of the year, growing demand. This is an exciting time to have such tremendous resources available and ready to go to work, making us more prepared than ever to support our customers globally.” Steven Gray is stepping down from the CEO role, after eight years leading the company. Steven was one of the founders of ROVOP in 2011 and has been the principle driving force in taking it from a start-up to be a major player in the subsea robotics field, with over 50 ROVs serving clients worldwide across various energy sectors. Steven will remain a Director and shareholder of the company with a focus on supporting the ROVOP team on future growth. Steven stated: “This change comes at the right time in the life of ROVOP, I am very pleased to hand over to David. Working together allows us to play to our respective strengths and engage the wider ROVOP team to best effect. I look forward to working with, and supporting, David and the whole ROVOP team as we continue the tremendous ROVOP journey. It is a David Lamont, CEO, ROVOP

KD Marine Appoints New Business Development Team Lead KD Marine is pleased to announce that Philip Milne will now lead the business development team. Philip will be based in the Aberdeen office and will work internationally. Philip has previously worked for KD Marine as Commercial Manager before joining Addax Petroleum in Nigeria and now takes on the full-time Business Development Manager role following the recent departure of former BDM, Mark Hamilton. Philip will work closely with MD Hamish Petersen and Marketing Consultant Amy Grant-Simpson forming a dynamic team that will be focused on driving the company forward by building on a long history of previous successes. The new team will be focused on supporting their existing and new client base in surface diving, marine construction, decommissioning and FPSO mooring installations.


Subsea UK News | September 2019

Philip Milne, Business Development Manager


EC-OG Growth Supported by Expanded Leadership Team Subsea power solution experts EC-OG have recently expanded their leadership team, appointing two new directors to help drive their ambitious growth targets. Existing EC-OG employees Paul Slorach and Jonny Moroney have been appointed as Business Development Director and Projects Director respectively. EC-OG have chosen to fulfil these critical roles by promoting from within, recognising the value of retaining company culture and product expertise. EC-OG provide the Subsea Power Hub as a remedial power source for subsea control systems suffering from power supply failures. By installing an energy source near to the well site, the device can restore power to the control system while remedial works are undertaken or can be implemented as a long term replacement power supply. The Subsea Power Hub can equally be used for new subsea developments. As the oil & gas industry adapts to the Energy Transition, alternative power sources and the benefits of subsea energy storage are becoming more high profile. EC-OG aim to leverage this to support ambitious plans for continued growth in the UK and expansion into new markets.

Richard Knox, Managing Director, said: “We recognise the value of the team we have built here at EC-OG and promoting Paul and Jonny onto the board ensures that we have direct access to our customer needs and project operations on the Board.

Company culture is hugely important to ECOG and maintaining employee continuity by appointing from within means we can drive the business forward with a leadership team that fully understands our business model, our products and our clients needs. We’re at a pivotal time in the company development and 2020 is going to be a very exciting year for EC-OG and for the industry.” Paul and Jonny join company co-founders Richard Knox and Robert Cowman on the EC-OG board.


N VISIT US O 5 STAND 1C6 Subsea UK News | September 2019



From Bowtech to OceanTools - New Members join the Team

Bowtech’s new recruits Diane Smith & Brian Hector with Kevin Parker (left)

Aberdeen, Scotland, based OceanTools Ltd are delighted to announce that Brian Hector and Diane Smith, both formerly of Teledyne Bowtech, have joined their team. Between them they have almost 50 years of experience working at the forefront of the design and manufacture of underwater camera and lighting solutions for multiple industries. Their roles are to assist in the development and expansion of the OceanTools camera and lighting range. The company is looking to create a range of industry leading cameras (including IP and GigE) and lights, which will include the development of Ethernet controlled LED lights. Brian is the new Technical Sales Manager and not only will he be very involved in developing the new product range, he will also be working with our customers to ensure the continuous development of our current and new products. Brian said: “I am very excited to be part of the OceanTools team and their very ambitious future plans. I have known OceanTools for many years and have always been impressed with their world leading underwater technologies. Even after 25 years new technologies in this arena still excite me and working for a small technology company again will ensure we can develop these technologies in a timely manner to add real value to our customers.” Diane’s title is Product Line Manager (Camera Systems) and as such, will be responsible for pulling everything together, from the sales & marketing through to the production of the new product range.

Diane said: “It’s great to be involved right at the beginning of the development of the cameras and lighting range. I’ve gained a wealth of experience in this area over my 22 years with Bowtech and I am really looking forward to putting all that knowledge to use to help develop a very successful and innovative product range.”

The continued development of the lights and cameras comes off the back of a recent six-figure order, from a leading British subsea contractor for three bespoke Hydra multi-camera digital video control systems which are to be used for monitoring subsea installations. Each system consists of the Hydra topside unit, a Hypod subsea pod, five Ethernet controlled cameras and five RS485 controlled lights.

Seatronics Appoints New Head of Business Development for Europe & Africa Seatronics, an Acteon company, has strengthened its Senior Management and Business Development Team with the appointment of Brett Laurenson as Head of Business Development for Europe and Africa regions. Brett has extensive knowledge and expertise having worked in sales for over 15 years with several global brands. The experience gained in these customer-centric organisations has been invaluable in his transition into the Oil & Gas and Renewables market in 2010. Scott Gray, UK General Manager, Seatronics, said: “Seatronics welcomes Brett to the company in this new role. Brett has a wealth of experience in developing effective relationships with clients and will be responsible for identifying new business opportunities within Europe and Africa, driving increased awareness of Seatronics trusted, bespoke and innovative products and services.”

Brett Laurenson said: “Seatronics

has always been a company that our industry has held in high regard and it is great to now be part of it. I look forward to enhancing our client interactions and further cementing Seatronics as the global leader in marine electronic subsea solutions.” 38

Subsea UK News | September 2019

Seatronics’ new Head of Business Development Brett Laurenson (left) with General Manager Scott Gray (right)


ROVOP Makes Ongoing Investment in ROVOP Academy With increased confidence and activity returning to the subsea sector, and greater demand for ROV services globally, it’s vitally important that personnel are trained to the highest levels of competency and safety. The momentum of maintaining a highly skilled workforce is key to supporting the growth of the sector. As the metaphorical ball for oil and gas moves forward again, and the requirement for additional recruitment grows, being able to demonstrate a commitment to career development and safety through dedicated training will influence the success of service companies. The ROVOP Academy is the cornerstone to ROVOP’s commitment to personnel and clients, to ensure its people are the most skilled in the ROV industry, catering for all levels. The most experienced ROV professionals can refine their skills and achieve full recognition and reward. For those less experienced, the Academy helps build new skills. Or for personnel on their very first role piloting, the Academy offers all the skills to kick start ROV careers. Training for European staff across all disciplines is key for ROVOP, which is why it has invested over £1million in training facilities and personnel development, benefitting staff across its geographies, including those at its new base in Rotterdam. The various training plans available for all levels within the company, ranging from health and safety, technical, developmental and competence assessment and leadership training, means that the Academy has a tailored training plan ready for all. ROVOP has recently expanded into the Middle East, utilising its combination of technology and highly skilled personnel, increasing the reliability and operational

efficiency of its subsea operations while reducing risk and cost and improving safety and performance. On-the-job training, such as the competence assessment offered by the Academy, is typically undertaken offshore and a significant portion of the financial investment has been devoted to work-class ROV simulators (WROVs). ROVOP operates three WROV simulators, each costing £250thousand - one based in Aberdeen, one in Houston and one that is mobile. ROVOP aims to attract, shape and develop young talent, making sure all new employees undergo a robust recruitment and training programme. A success story of the Academy in Europe is its first ever Modern Apprentice, Douglas Young. While undertaking his mechanical engineering studies, Douglas worked at ROVOP’s Aberdeen base, learning from a highly skilled team and gaining valuable knowledge and hands-on experience of ROVOP’s state-ofthe-art ROV fleet. Personnel development is at the heart of ROVOP’s sustainable business model. With optimism returning to the subsea sector, training and development programmes are certainly being prioritised as services companies plan for the future.

Subsea UK News | September 2019



Western Australia – By Mike Deeks, Government of Western Australia’s European Office

Natural gas is increasingly playing a major role in the world’s energy mix, as more countries commit to reducing greenhouse gases and seek alternatives to coal, diesel and other higher emissions fuels. Western Australia is now a world leader in the delivery of natural gas, supplying 65% of Australia’s LNG exports, with Australia recently overtaking Qatar as the world’s largest exporter of LNG. The State Premier, Hon Mark McGowan MLA, led the formation of a joint industrygovernment Taskforce to maximise local jobs and economic benefits from Western Australia’s LNG industry. The LNG Jobs Taskforce comprises the WA Premier and CEO’s from Woodside Energy, Chevron Australia, Shell Australia, Santos and INPEX Australia, as well as representatives from APPEA and UnionsWA. Premier Mark McGowan said: “Through the LNG Jobs Taskforce, the State Government is working in collaboration with industry to maximise local jobs in WA’s LNG industry.” Our State is now ready to take the next step and create new investment opportunities, to bolster our position as a global energy hub

and create new jobs for Western Australians. Western Australia is ideally positioned to develop and sustain a globally competitive energy hub. To achieve this vision Western Australia is leveraging a number of unique advantages that make WA an ideal place to invest: • Western Australia has abundant resources and is home to a large proportion of the world’s conventional gas reserves; • We have a world-class workforce that possesses the skills and capabilities required by the sector and has a long track record in successfully delivering the world’s largest resource projects; • Western Australia is conveniently located in close proximity to the world’s largest gas customers, including Japan, China, India and South Korea. • Perth is a growing centre for scientific and technical innovation in the oil and gas

World leader in delivery of natural gas


Subsea UK News | September 2019

$10m grant over 10 years

sector. Our universities and TAFEs provide world-leading research and training to meet the current and future needs of the LNG and offshore subsea industry; To enhance and support training, research and development, the Western Australian Government has teamed up with the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the LNG industry to develop a world-first microscale LNG plant, as part of an LNG Futures Facility in Kwinana, south of Perth. The State Government is providing $10 million over 10 years and granting suitable land in the Kwinana industrial precinct to support the development of the LNG Futures Facility.

“The LNG Futures Facility will future-proof WA’s LNG industry and shows the world that Western Australia is a global leader in the development of

Over 300 days of sunshine each year


– Open for Business Prelude FLNG, Shell Australia

LNG technologies” said the Premier, “Western Australia has the local talent and expertise to help shape the LNG jobs and operations of the future, and this facility will only strengthen the State’s unique advantages.” The proposed facility will position WA as a global leader in the development and testing of new technologies and processes, with the potential to create up to 1,400 jobs. The industry-led initiative has been backed by UWA, Chevron, Shell, Hyundai Heavy Industries and National Energy Resources Australia. This, and other initiatives in support of the burgeoning offshore oil and gas industry, are on display at the annual Australasian Oil & Gas (AOG) Exhibition & Conference, staged in Perth, WA, each March. AOG is more than just a trade exhibition. It’s a showcase of the oil and gas industry over three days with Australia’s leading oil and gas Exhibition,

Port of Dampier, Pilbara WA. A major LNG hub.

Woodside’s North Rankin Complex

a free-to-attend Conference program and premium industry networking opportunities. For those with a particular interest in subsea, AOG includes a Subsea Forum which is the largest gathering of subsea professionals in Australia. It is brought together through a partnership between Subsea UK, the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) and Subsea Energy Australia (SEA). There are added advantages when considering growing your subsea business in Western Australia. There is a large Defence presence in WA with all of the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine fleet, a key mine clearance diving unit and the Special Air Services (SAS) all based in and around Perth and all operating in the subsea environment. In addition, several of the five universities in Perth have specialist marine and subsea research centres. Perth is also one of the most liveable cities in the world, with over 300 days of sunshine each year, good schools, hospitals, sporting and cultural facilities and affordable housing. The recently completed Perth Stadium,

capable of holding 60,000 spectators, has been named the “most beautiful stadium in the world” winning the prestigious ‘Prix Versailles’. Perth is connected to the UK by a daily direct non-stop air service to London and is the gateway to Asia, being in a similar time zone to 60% of the world’s population.

If you want to know more about setting up business in Western Australia, contact the Western Australian Government Office in London at

11-13 MAR 2020 Conveniently located to the world’s largest gas customers

Centre for scientific and technical innovation in the oil and gas sector



Proserv goes Outward Bound to Help Young Talent Earlier this year, controls technology company Proserv selected the Outward Bound Trust, a charitable organisation that uses outdoor learning to support and develop young people, as its chosen charity for 2019 across its UK locations. The firm has also partnered with the Hazlehead Academy, a school located close to its Aberdeen head office, to enable pupils to attend the charity’s specialist outdoor challenges and activities. Proserv’s staff have carried out a number of fundraising events, from cake sales to quiz nights, on behalf of Outward Bound, but recently several Proserv team members helped lead and support residential courses in Scotland and England. Chris Carr and Jennifer Hibbert acted as employee ambassadors on a three-day leadership course for Hazlehead Academy’s S6 pupils, in Loch Eil, near Fort William. Emphasis on the course was placed on working as a team and improving communication skills. Activities including climbing, gorge walking and kayaking were used to help achieve the various learning outcomes. Speaking of her experience, Jennifer Hibbert said:

“It was great to see how the Outward Bound Trust operates and even though we were only there for a few days, I saw obvious developments in some of the pupils in my group who became more confident and consequently more communicative.” At Eskdale in the Lake District, Proserv’s Vicki Farquhar helped support a group of the firm’s apprentices and young professionals who undertook a week-long future talent programme. Again, a wide range of challenges was faced, from rafting to crate stacking, to help develop a breadth of skills. Proserv apprentice Matthew Forbes highlighted some of the main learning objectives: “The course was excellent, in that it helped us to strengthen our teamwork, leadership skills and problem-solving, as well as to understand the importance of hazard awareness.” One of the highlights of the trip was the group expedition, which focused on climbing the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike.

Young professional Krisstopher Melvin stated,

“The expedition on Scafell Pike was probably the biggest test we faced, as it represented both a physical and mental challenge. “Ultimately, we succeeded due to Proserv team members, from various different facilities, coming together as a unified group and helping to drive each other forwards.” Some images from Proserv’s recent Outward Bound leadership course


Subsea UK News | September 2019




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