SUBSEA UK NEWS THE MAGAZINE FROM SUBSEA UK WWW.SUBSEAUK.COM JANUARY 2020
IN THIS ISSUE Viewport3 Maps WW2 US Submarine with 3D Scanning Software Accelerating Development of Advanced Underwater Tech with UK Defence Solutions Centre TechnipFMC’s Unique Approach to Subsea Developments Coexistence: A Different Perspective on Subsea Controls Technology Q4’s Subsea Market Intelligence Report
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Welcome to Subsea UK News
About Subsea UK Subsea UK News, produced by Subsea UK, reaches over 26,000 subsea-affiliated subscribers each issue. Subsea UK is the champion for the UK subsea industry. We act for the entire supply chain bringing together operators, contractors, suppliers and people in the industry.
The industry’s commitment to carrying out operations in an environmentally responsible way has come under intense scrutiny in the past 12 months. This has resulted in a seismic shift across the industry with organisations changing tack from predominantly focusing on traditional carbon fuels to strengthening their ambitions to develop reliable, sustainable, green energy sources. While it won’t happen overnight, at the heart of this energy transition are the critical strategic decisions which must be made to ensure the solutions and support are in place as we move towards net zero targets and operating in a more environmentally conscious way. The subsea industry is an integral part of this evolution. Underwater Neil Gordon, Chief technology and expertise are vital for the success of offshore energy Executive, Subsea UK projects the world over. To ensure companies stay relevant, they must act now by seizing existing opportunities in a way that will help define new ones. Perceptions must be changed internally as well as externally, looking beyond oil and gas and into new sectors where our years of underwater excellence can be put to use. Our biggest collective resource is our people and their skills - and these are not just pertinent to oil and gas. We are the experts in carrying out projects underwater and can use this expertise across every area of the blue economy. Our supply chain has the knowledge and experience required to put infrastructure into the seabed, and this puts us in pole position for a net zero carbon future. Our competencies, innovative techniques and equipment will support the successes in new projects in the offshore wind, floating wind, offshore power generation, carbon capture and storage, wave and tidal industries. While we have numerous member companies already successfully operating in offshore wind, many of these projects are still led by European countries. The UK sector must continue to evolve if we are to maximise the opportunities ahead and continue to be the world leader in subsea technology. Working in partnership with all our vertical markets, sharing the knowledge and technology which already exists from the more developed sectors is the only way to achieve long-term, sustainable growth. At the same time, we must not forget our oil and gas heritage. It is after all the reason we have a talented, world renowned workforce with leading engineering know-how and applications. As much as oil and gas will continue to play a key role in providing the required energy demand for the foreseeable future, we must transfer this know-how and technology to exploit opportunities across our vertical markets. We will be exploring these themes during this year’s Subsea Expo which takes place from 11 – 13th February at P&J Live. We look forward to seeing you there and joining in the debate around “New Perspectives”.
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Join Subsea UK Membership with Subsea UK grants your company access to a huge range of benefits designed to encourage and support your involvement in the subsea sector. Business development support. We help you forge and maintain your business relationships, introducing you to potential clients, sharing business market knowledge and providing access to business opportunities. Individual development support. With a range of initiatives, we are committed to the support and development of subsea talent of the future and can offer you the support structure to invest in your people. Unique networking opportunities. We bring companies together, providing the platforms for you to do business, hosting various events and exhibitions such as the world’s largest annual subsea exhibition and conference, Subsea Expo. Promotion. Membership gives you free access to post your press releases to the front page and news feed of our website, as well as this magazine, which you’ll see in circulation at every major subsea event. Members’ Centre. Access not-publicly-available resources such as SubseaIntel, our subsea market intelligence database, edit your company profile in the online subsea directory, search presentations from all our events and utilise a range of materials, services and perks available to Subsea UK members only. Find out more at www.subseauk.com
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Oil and Gas Alliance Launch Transformative Technology
Cortez Subsea and AFGlobal have strengthened their strategic partnership to bring new technology to the market which will reduce cost and risk to pipelay. The Stinger Deployed Diverless Connector (SDDC) has been developed to conduct pipeline tie-ins using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and, when coupled with other installation techniques, can offer cost savings of up to 30 per cent. The technology will be deployed offshore Malaysia where Cortez Subsea won a contract with Vestigo Petroleum for pipeline installation in the Berantai field. Managing Director of Cortez Subsea, Alasdair Cowie, said: “We pride ourselves in creative collaboration to provide the best possible service and utilise and develop state-of-the-art technologies for quicker, safer and cleaner solutions. “We take each operational challenge and consult our collective technology toolbox to apply proven technology into new applications and frontiers in a drive towards greater efficiency and lower-carbon operations.
“Imagine shallow-water pipelay without welding, but with stronger joints, and pipeline connections without the need for divers, reducing the reliance on large vessels and crew.”
Stinger Deployed Diverless Connector
“This is a perfect example of taking a proven technology and customising it for a new application for operational efficiencies. Investment in research and development (R&D) is key in driving the sector forward but it’s also important that existing technology from both inside and outside the industry is optimised. “Solutions, such as the SDDC, are being created and tested in response to the needs of the industry. This along with smart application is of absolute importance as we move into a new era of oil and gas exploration and production and to prolong the legacy of success of the energy sector.”
The solution is driven by the AFGlobal Retlock® clamp technology. Managing Director of AFGlobal UK, Martyn Conroy, explained how this existing technology was transferred into a new application: “Our Retlock® clamp is a two-bolt clamp which has the ability to connect mono and multi-bore. It is suitable for vertical and horizontal applications and has been proven effective in more than 1,600 offshore applications. A compact, lightweight design with continual leak-monitoring system, it was the ideal basis for the SDDC system.
Martyn Conroy AFGlobal and Alasdair Cowie Cortez Subsea
Impact Continues to Expand with New Office in Aberdeenshire
in the new office, with the original company premises now utilised entirely for production of the company’s range of ROV & AUV Sonar, Altitude, Depth, AHRS and Flooded Member Detection Systems.
Ben Grant, Managing Director, Impact Subsea, said: Impact Subsea new office in Aberdeenshire UK
Impact Subsea has announced the expansion of operations with the opening of a new office in Aberdeenshire, UK. The new office more than doubles the company’s space for product development, sales and marketing functions. The additional space enables the expansion of these functions to support continued business growth. All sales, marketing and product development staff will be located
Subsea UK News | January 2020
“Following significant growth in our core business, we are delighted to enhance our facilities with the new office. The further working space will greatly assist our continued growth while providing an excellent working environment for the team.” Impact Subsea specialises in the design and manufacture of innovative underwater Sonar, Altimeter, Depth, Heading & Motion sensors for the ROV and AUV markets.
EC-OG Invest in Battery Manufacturing
Clean energy specialists EC-OG have completed a six-figure capital investment in its battery manufacturing capabilities, to support development of its innovative HALO subsea energy storage technology. The bulk of the investment, in CNC battery cell welding equipment and automated battery module test systems, will be used to simplify the manufacturing process of EC-OG’s proprietary subsea energy storage systems. This state-of-the-art battery manufacturing plant has been installed at EC-OG’s research and development hub located on the Nevis Business Park, near it’s Bridge of Don headquarters. In addition to supporting manufacturing of EC-OG’s HALO and Subsea Power Hub products, the new battery manufacturing facilities will allow EC-OG to rapid prototype new battery module designs, as well as create custom battery products to suit client requirements. This creates a new service offering for EC-OG, building on the company’s existing in-house battery and subsea engineering expertise. Jonny Moroney, Projects Director, said: “Having the facilities to manufacture our battery systems in-house will allow us to maintain control of our supply chain and substantially reduce the overall build time of our HALO and Subsea Power Hub systems. Safety is critical, so automating the build and test process allows EC-OG to offer a higher quality product using fully repeatable manufacturing and test processes.”
“Not only will this investment allow us to improve on the high-quality standards that our clients demand, it’ll open up new opportunities for the company,” added Paul Slorach, Business Development Director.
“Electrification of subsea systems and the use of renewable energy technologies will mean big changes to the offshore oil & gas industry in the coming years. The industry needs to embrace clean energy and we see a number of opportunities for batteries and alternative energy storage systems within subsea oil & gas production. ECOG is committed to being at the forefront of the industries decarbonisation process.” EC-OG currently employs 25 people and are fully accredited to ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 quality standards.
HALO Subsea Energy Storage System
Subsea UK News | January 2020
ROVOP Celebrates Successful First Year in Middle East with Recruitment Boost
ROVOP, the subsea robotics specialist, is set to add to its ranks at its Middle East base due to a rise in demand for its services following a successful first year in the region. ROVOP provides the highest quality services to clients across the Middle East subsea oil and gas sector, underpinned by operational excellence and a diverse fleet of ROVs, all managed and operated in-region. David Lamont, CEO at ROVOP, said: “We are in a strong position in the Middle East. After a successful first year in the region, we are ready to expand and build upon our services offering by adding to our team.
Michael O’Donnell and Doug Middleton from ROVOP
The company is looking for experienced ROV personnel to work from its Middle East Operational Centre in Dubai, delivering services including drilling support, inspection repair and maintenance and construction across subsea operations. The new hires will have access to the company’s extensive ROVOP Academy career development programme, which caters for all levels of expertise. The Academy is the cornerstone to ROVOP’s commitment to personnel and clients to ensure that its personnel are the most skilled in the ROV industry. The Programme is also tailored to client requirements to ensure maximum efficiency is achieved in all offshore operations.
“The Middle East is an important market for us. We have been providing our clients with ROV services in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, amongst others, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our presence in the Middle East by bolstering our personnel.” ROVOP’s total focus is subsea robotics, its technological advancement and application. The company has years of specialist experience and is independent, which allows the combined innovation and commercial agility required in today’s challenging market environment. ROVOP’s unique offering enables customers to improve the reliability and operational efficiency of their subsea operations, reducing risk and cost while improving safety and performance. With headquarters in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and South East Asia, its global scope encompasses the oil and gas, offshore wind, telecoms and power transmission industries.
Infinity Delivers Impressive Results Following Best Small Company Award
Independent subsea engineering company Infinity delivered its best year to date following their Subsea UK Best Small Company Award in 2019. Significant growth was realised within Infinity’s Field Development Division which worked on a total of 15 subsea field developments across the UKCS, Norway, West Africa, and Brazil. The projects ranged in size from a brownfield single well tie-back to a large greenfield development with 12 wells. The subsea developments included development engineering and field architecture, subsea pipeline and structural design, flow assurance, subsea equipment and package management engineering. Infinity also saw substantial growth in Subsea Operations awards following the appointment of Richard Horne. Richard’s team executed various proactive subsea IRM scopes and won two longer term support contracts which will run through 2020.
Infinity’s Business Development Director, Mark Banks said:
“2019 has been an incredible year for Infinity starting with the Subsea UK award and ending with being selected to work with Business Gateway on their accelerated growth scheme. The increase in in multidiscipline field development work and the growth of our subsea operation capability has been a real highlight.”
Infinity have also announced they have been chosen to join the Business Gateway Growth Pipeline which recognises and supports companies with the potential for accelerated growth.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
TechnipFMC leading the way with integrated subsea offering With a clear drive to increase client project value, and ultimately expedite delivery time to first production, TechnipFMC’s unique approach to subsea developments is gathering significant industry momentum amongst key clients and partners.
Encouraged by the acceptance and approval of this fully integrated model, significant growth is already underway. The value of TechnipFMC integrated project awards in 2019 increased by more than 90% from previously recorded levels in 2018.
As the only subsea provider with the capability to fully integrate and de-risk subsea production systems (SPS) with subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) scopes, TechnipFMC has created a proven portfolio of fully integrated subsea solutions that begins with concept and extends through the life-of-field. The end-toend offering includes integrated FEED (iFEED®) studies, integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (iEPCI™) project execution and integrated life-of-field (iLoF®) services.
Chris Struth, UK Director Front End/System Engineering Management, TechnipFMC, explains: “Our innovative business model is unlocking previously restricted opportunities for our clients; by working together we can fully understand the challenges, opportunities and drivers of a development, including operational and process constraints and brownfield modifications. Benefits include significant cost reductions, a shared and reduced position on risk, lower presanction capital expenditure commitments, and much earlier cost certainty, which in turn enables clearer sanction and approval requirements, ultimately leading to more projects moving forward into execution which is a great step forward for the industry.”
iFEED® allows TechnipFMC the greatest opportunity to lower project costs and maximize recovery. The company emphasises early engagement with the operator to understand specific project needs from a holistic system perspective as well as anticipate any future needs. iEPCI™ streamlines processes, reduces risk, and aligns complementary technologies to simplify field architecture and accelerate time to first production. iLOF® boosts efficiency, lowers opex, and extends field life through proactive monitoring and other services.
Credit Neptune Energy
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Teams in London and Aberdeen - both centers of excellence for TechnipFMC’s Front-End and System Engineering Management – provide engineering management and project support from the iFEED® phase through to project execution / life of field to ensure consistency in approach and system solution, reducing the re-engineering that was commonplace in the traditional development life cycle.
TechnipFMC’s unique offering As the oil and gas industry continues to transition, the ability to respond to client challenges is where TechnipFMC can add value, particularly in support of key drivers such as the Maximise Economic Recovery (MER) initiative in the UK. Ross McAlpine, UK Director Sales and Business Development, added: “By working as one team, in a transparent and collaborative manner, significant success can be achieved both for well-defined prospects but also for prospects that, if not approached in this way, may never achieve a positive outcome. Our iEPCI™ model addresses areas such as criticality of technical concept and interfaces, commercial management and delivery as well as planning of offshore activities. Ultimately, we believe the most cost and risk effective method for developing project solutions is through the creation of a long-term partnership alliance. We have a number of studies underway at the moment where clients are interested to see the benefits of the iEPCITM model, which is particularly exciting for us.”
Greater transparency leads to success The success of this approach is based on a greater level of transparency and trust between operator and service provider than has been traditional in the UKCS. A key principle of the partnership alliance is to work as an integrated team and proactively challenge “the norms” to ensure the most optimised, commercially attractive project solution is defined and executed.
Alan Muirhead, Director of Projects & Engineering UK, Neptune Energy explains: “We recognise the benefits of taking a collaborative approach and acknowledging the core skills of our partners and vendors, as has been the case with the work on our Seagull project with TechnipFMC. Their ability to integrate multiple technical and service scopes for the project, coupled with the flexibility to create inventive solutions, has added exceptional value.”
To find out more about TechnipFMC and in particular our iEPCI™ integrated offering, visit www.technipfmc.com/en/what-we-do/subsea/iEPCI-subsea
Subsea UK News | January 2020
BUSINESS L-R Chris Oliver, CFO, Jeanette Forbes, CEO, Chika Uduma, VP Sales and Marketing
Pioneering Penguins March Forward for 2020 Blue Gentoo, an emerging Aberdeen technology company serving the oil and gas sector, is starting 2020 on the crest of a wave after a year of progression which led to company growth and a greater global presence. The year’s activities culminated when Blue Gentoo made a significant investment in its future with the acquisition of the OMMICA division of Edinburgh-based LUX Assure. The OMMICA technology enables customers to accurately determine the concentration of monoethylene glycol (MEG) and methanol concentrations in produced oil and water. The technology also helps process facilities and onshore plants reduce costs and incidents with waste water treatment. Test kits detect unwanted methanol in the oil and water, leading to better management of the exported oil to allow blending and dilution which helps bring methanol levels within spec thus avoiding a penalty at the refinery, which can potentially save $3-$4 of value per barrel. Blue Gentoo has taken on three new members of staff for its OMMICA subsidiary and will open its Edinburgh office and laboratory in the first quarter of the year. The acquisition is a good strategic fit with Blue Gentoo’s own Intelligent Hydrate Platform (iHP) technology which monitors, detects and manages gas hydrate risk in pipelines using real-time well-flow data powered by machine learning. Blue Gentoo has also signed a 15-year exclusive global distributorship agreement with Hydrafact. The agreement covers two Hydrafact sensors. HydraCHEK® confirms the adequacy of chemical inhibition in pipeline systems and can be used for optimisation of chemical use. HydraSENS®, which tracks changes in the composition of the gas phase, provides early detection and warning of hydrates formation. Blue Gentoo is currently in discussion with operators in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East interested in trialling the
Subsea UK News | January 2020
sensors and the iHP technology. The prospect of having better protection against downtime caused by hydrate blockages is of particular interest with reduced chemical usage and reduced production costs on a substantial scale, being added benefits. Jeanette Forbes, who was appointed CEO of Blue Gentoo in June, said: “Our strategic goals for 2020 are taking shape and we have some extremely exciting objectives to deliver.
“Blue Gentoo’s iHP is a perfect fit for the call for operators to be “bold and brave” in adopting new initiatives, which will deliver significant improvement in production and we expect increased operator interest in our technology. It also supports Net Zero 2035 compliancy, enabling the drive towards natural gas by reducing risk of hydrate blockage and dramatically reducing chemical usage, saving production costs.” Blue Gentoo was one of four new technology companies exhibiting at Subsea Expo 2019 with support from Subsea UK. It was also one of the emerging technology companies selected to exhibit on the OGTC TechX Pioneer stand at Offshore Europe.
Tracerco Secure Seven Subsea Inspection Projects in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico and West Africa
Tracerco, part of Johnson Matthey Plc, has recently been awarded seven subsea inspection projects to provide critical flow assurance and asset integrity data on a variety of pipelines, flowlines and risers in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico (GoM) and Offshore West Africa. Through the use of DiscoveryTM, Tracerco’s Subsea CT Scanner, each operator will obtain full tomographic images of pipe wall thickness and contents to gain an enhanced understanding of their pipeline condition and the process fluid. As CT scanning provides a non-intrusive inspection method, all assets will remain operational throughout each project, limiting the potential of any (further) deferment of production. The first of the two inspection projects awarded in the North Sea will focus on an integrity assessment following potential damage to an export pipeline. The pipeline coating had been noticeably damaged. DiscoveryTM will be used to determine whether the damage extended to the pipeline itself. The second project will be a repeat inspection of another export pipeline to assess whether there has been any further degradation to the pipe wall thickness since the initial inspection in 2015. This data will be used as part of an ongoing pipeline life time assessment programme.
obtain initial critical baseline integrity data on a new pipeline system. DiscoveryTM will then be deployed annually to reinspect the new pipeline system to identify potential corrosion / determine corrosion growth rates. The final three projects, awarded in West Africa, will be the first subsea inspection projects in the region for Tracerco. DiscoveryTM will be used to inspect a number of flowlines to determine whether they can be extended past their original design life by gathering real time data on a variety of integrity issues including pipeline corrosion, pitting and wall thinning. With over 3000 scans completed on over 70 pipelines since its launch, DiscoveryTM, has been at the forefront of subsea pipeline inspection, obtaining accurate measurements of pipe wall thickness through any type of protective coating whilst simultaneously diagnosing and characterising flow abnormalities without interruption to normal pipeline operations.
In the GoM, DiscoveryTM will be used to inspect the flowline and riser of a gas line for potential integrity issues and to look for potential condensate hold-up. DiscoveryTM will also be used in the GoM to
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Stand 127 01342 330 470 email@example.com www.rhopointenergy.com Subsea UK News | January 2020
Acquisition to Deliver Advanced Digital Solutions to Global Market In October, Subsea 7 announced the acquisition of 4Subsea, a leading provider of technology and services to oil & gas and offshore wind operators worldwide. 4Subsea will be primarily engaged with i-Tech 7, Subsea 7’s life of field business unit. 4Subsea will support the company in delivering advanced digital solutions to its customers within life of field and field development contracts and be a key contributor to the ongoing digital transformation. 4Subsea has an industry leading suite of subsea digital services, including advanced sensor technology, and has built and sold digital twins for flexible riser systems and drilling operations support. With the use of condition monitoring, advanced algorithms and AI, 4Subsea is delivering key insights and decision support to optimise operations in the North Sea. Stuart Fitzgerald, Executive VP - Alliances and Strategy, Subsea 7 said: “The digitalisation and development of an asset integrity management (AIM) business is a key strategic priority for i-Tech 7. 4Subsea will help provide the technical know-how, expertise and services upon which we build our digital AIM services across the oil & gas and renewables value chain. “These solutions will be offered on a global basis by leveraging i-Tech 7’s client network, geographical footprint, company infrastructure, and investment capabilities, and provide an opportunity for us to
offer differentiated services including extending current inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) contracts.” An early priority project will be a joint effort between towards monitoring of key operational data on Subsea 7 vessels, contributing to the digitalisation of its marine operations. With the use of advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence, 4Subsea will deliver key insights and decision support with digital twins, in order to optimise these activities.
Mr Fitzgerald added: “4Subsea’s expertise can also accelerate some of the ongoing asset integrity management developments within i-Tech 7, augmenting our internal digitalisation programme. This is an exciting opportunity for our business, and we look forward to working together to jointly deliver enhanced value to our customers.”
Pharos Offshore Adds Q1000 to Fleet of Subsea Trenching Vehicles The latest addition to Pharos Offshore’s subsea equipment fleet is the SMD built trenching vehicle, Q1000. The Q1000 jet trenching ROV embraces the latest technologies in jet trenching and ROV design. to its modular design, the Q1000 can be mobilised into vessels of opportunity as a cost effective, efficient and responsive solution. Operationally rated to 2,000 metres, the Q1000 is a proven design that is highly flexible and easily configured for use with either tracks or skids. Its state-of-the-art control and measurement system results in precision burial at high speeds, thus saving time during the course of the project.
Phil Walker, Pharos Offshore Group CEO added: “The
The Q1000 is an industry – leading Jet trenching ROV with 1000hp (750kw) of installed power coupled to high – pressure water pumps, capable of up to 3 metre trench depth. The trencher can be optimised for different soil conditions, from clays to sands and has a jetting pressure of up to 15Bar and a flow rate of 12502/hr. Due
Subsea UK News | January 2020
acquisition of Q1000 strengthens Pharos’ position within the offshore cable and pipeline installation sector, along with the TROV UTV400 which has undertaken a full refurbishment by modernising the equipment and doubling the burial capabilities.” Q1000 is currently located within the quayside workshop at Port of Blyth and is immediately available for hire.
Maersk Supply Service Reduces Fuel Consumption by 9%
Stand 138 & 140
The importance of energy efficiency is rising in the offshore industry, including Maersk Supply Service. The results of setting up a dedicated function to reduce the company’s environmental footprint have exceeded expectations for 2019. “We are a trusted vessel operator with obligations to our customers and the environment. We must be proactive,” says Energy Efficiency Manager Eirini Arvanitaki. Maersk Supply Service’s initial target was to reduce fuel consumption across its fleet by 5% in one year. By the end of 2019, a 9% reduction had been achieved, corresponding to more than 2,000 tonnes of fuel and 6,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved. Maersk Supply Service aims to continue reducing its fuel consumption during the coming year. “Energy efficiency is not just about vessels – it is just as much about people. Our fleet is diverse in age, capabilities, and technical specifications. We are focused on initiatives that increase efficiency irrespective of these factors,” continues Arvanitaki. Together with Maersk Training, the company created a dedicated energy efficiency training programme for officers and onshore colleagues. 135 personnel have now completed it, and results are starting to show. Saving fuel through operational changes During September, Maersk Lancer achieved impressive fuel savings while in transit from the North Sea to West Africa where Maersk Supply Service was carrying out an integrated FPSO mooring installation and replacement solution.
“We sailed on one engine with the other propeller shaft spinning free to reduce drag, as well as with an inner engine running in combinator mode. In the end we achieved fuel savings of 17.5%, staying below 2018 baseline consumption at all times,” says Chief Engineer Rene Krogh Isaksen.
Next steps on the digital journey Proof of concept testing onboard two vessels for an Energy Advisory System was successfully completed in October 2019. The electronic performance system automatically collects data from vessel flow meters and other sensors to identify savings opportunities and optimise operations in real time. “The initial system has been well received by our customers for its transparency and flexibility. They will soon have full access to the system and be able to create their own reports,” says Energy Efficiency Manager Eirini Arvanitaki. The first stage of rolling out the Energy Advisory System across the Maersk Supply Service fleet begins in early 2020. The system will continue to be further developed to provide advice based on machine learning and advanced analytics.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
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Tritech Customers Benefit from CT Obsolescence
In light of the unexpected obsolescence of the Teledyne CT sensor, Tritech International Ltd, a Moog company, introduced a solution for customers in possession of the now retired SeaKing 704 Bathy, in order to continue supporting this legacy product. The ‘Product Rework Option’ involves utilising elements of the customer supplied SeaKing 704 Bathy in the factory build of a new Super SeaKing 704 Bathy. The new Super SeaKing 704 Bathy utilises the RBR CT sensor, offering improved reliability and increased performance. When customers opt for this solution they receive a significant discount on the list price of the new Super SeaKing 704 Bathy by utilising the returned Bathy’s pressure sensor. The Bathy will then be supplied fully calibrated with a one year warranty on all new parts used to build the replacement Bathy. The offer applies to Tritech supplied Bathy’s that are less than five years old and where the obsolete CT sensor has failed. The offer also covers Bathy’s that are older than 5 years old as long as the CT sensor was replaced by Tritech within the last 5 years.
Sales Director, Scott McLay stated: “When,
at short notice, we were advised that a key component used in our legacy SeaKing 704 Bathy would no longer be
supported we had to ensure this issue for Tritech was not an issue for our customers. We worked on a solution and our customers can now actually benefit from this unexpected problem.” The new Bathy was launched by Tritech International in April of 2019 at Ocean Business in Southampton and has proved popular across the Subsea industry globally.
Rotech Subsea Completes Major North Sea Sand-wave Clearance Scope Ahead of Schedule
Rotech Subsea Ltd has competed a major sand-wave clearance for Van Oord at the Norther Offshore Wind Farm in the Belgian North Sea. Aberdeen-based subsea excavation pioneer, Rotech, deployed its state-of-the-art TRS2 Controlled Flow Excavation tool to carry out the scope of work. The TRS2, part of Rotech’s fleet of 2nd generation non-contact excavation tools, was selected by Van Oord due to its unique performance characteristics. The result was that instead of the two campaigns originally programmed to clear the route, the entire scope was completed in a single campaign, bring-ing the client’s schedule of works forward. TRS2 on vessel
“The capabilities of the TRS2’s Controlled Flow Technology and its ability to pre-sweep a wide cor-ridor extremely quickly and effectively resulted in increased productivity and a reduction on the pro-ject’s total costs,” said Rotech Subsea Director, Stephen Cochrane.
“Sand-waves up to 2.5m in height were excavated successfully in water depths of up to 35m. The project was a huge success, allowing for the Norther IAC to be accessed for burial. Soil conditions were described as Very Dense Silty Sand to Clay, and the TRS2 achieved an excellent average excavation rate of 3m/min.” With the sand-wave scope successfully completed ahead of schedule, Rotech’s recently developed RSG cable grab tool has been deployed on a cable recovery scope until February 2020.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
3D Scanning Specialists Viewport3 Map WW2 US Submarine Lost in 1942 In a pioneering joint venture, Aberdeen-based subsea 3D scanning specialists, Viewport3, have been collaborating with international explorer, Tim Taylor to process underwater 3D scans on the bow and stern of a US submarine which was lost in 1942. allowing the discovery team to freely view the entire submarine for the first time. To aid understanding of the submarine’s last moments, Viewport3 also ‘fused’ the 3D data with the high intensity sonar information provided by the customer, showing the relative locations of both parts and surprisingly, the mark made in the seabed by the stern as it slid down the underwater volcano.
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USS Grunion bow section
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’. The project mapped and filmed the site of the USS Grunion, locating the missing bow section a quarter of a mile away and 300 feet above the main wreckage, off the island of Kiska, Alaska. 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
Subsea UK News | January 2020
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. Prior to Viewport3’s involvement, ROVs could only see, and therefore photograph, small sections of the wreckage at any given time due to poor water clarity and lack of lighting. However, Viewport3’s use of leading-edge photogrammetry technology enabled them to produce an unprecedented, 3D, holistic perspective of the whole of the wreckage,
Viewport3 worked with Tiburon to process and develop technical-grade 3D data-sets of the USS Grunion’s bow for use in virtual and augmented reality outreach educational programs and applications. Viewport3 processed 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. Mr Harvey said: “Using
our photogrammetry technology as a digital in-situ preservation technique offers numerous benefits - non-destructive inspection of the site, optimal
USS Grunion stern view
resource management and an inexpensive capture technique compared to other 3D recording technologies. We can capture precise, technical-grade results which produce visually correct outputs, whether we are working in archaeology or as usual with operators and marine contractors in the oil and gas industry. “In the case of the USS Grunion, our work was very timely as a number of tremors subsequently threatened to dislodge the wreckage. Fortunately, we were able to complete the project and preserve a record of the site for posterity.
USS Grunion conn tower
“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 added: “Viewport3’s proprietary scientific approach extracts geometric information from equipment that is already integrated in most modern underwater remote filming systems. Spending a short time on site collecting a comprehensive 3D historical baseline model allows archaeologists and historians to spend months back in the lab performing detailed archaeological work.” During the course of this project, Viewport3’s scans provided an entirely new perspective on the USS Grunion, and answered many questions about its fate. Closer to home, they
are frequently called upon to provide answers to clients about their subsea infrastructure, increasingly within the burgeoning decom market. Co-director Richard Drennan explains: “If we’re honest with ourselves, the detail and condition of the hardware that lies subsea isn’t as well understood as it could be. Within decom this is a potential hindrance - small misconceptions surrounding the detail and condition of underwater hardware are capable of costing millions of pounds in marine costs, as well as causing schedule disruption. “At Viewport3 we believe that having an accurate, measurable and correct understanding of the hardware from the outset gives our clients the best chance of managing their schedule and budget. Reliable scan data can be used to ensure subsea lifts will complete successfully, that the correct destruct equipment is being mobilised subsea, and that we can reverse engineer geometries that we hold limited information on. In aggressive decom schedules, there is little room for the uncertainty caused by ‘asdesigned’ or even ‘as-built’ information. It’s time to work with the value of ‘as-is’ data.” Viewport3 specialise in providing underwater 3D scanning and reverse engineering services - using ROV or diver mounted cameras to obtain technical grade pointcloud data, to allow integration and analysis of subsea infrastructure, which in turn informs measured, accurate decision-making.
USS Grunion stern section
Subsea UK News | January 2020
New Year, New Direction for The KW Group It’s an exhilarating start to 2020 for the KW Group, with a new state-of-the-art, in-house pressure testing facility being officially launched as KW Pressure Testing Ltd. The fully-automated facility; based at the Groups HQ in the NW, utilises the specialism of the KW Group (incorporating KW Designed Solutions and KW Pressure Testing) in designing, manufacturing and installing bespoke pressure vessels and associated equipment. The skilled team have also been shortlisted for “Best Small Company” in the 2020 Subsea UK Awards. The 8,000sq. ft. internal pressure testing centre can test up to 40,000 psi and will provide environmental and pressure testing services including Hyperbaric, Hydrostatic, Gas, Submerged Gas and Environmental Testing Equipment to perform tests such as: Full Qualification, Type Approval and Factory Acceptance Testing. Fugitive Emission testing and Cryogenic Testing will be available soon. Qualifying Excellence Comprising five dedicated test cells; pressure testing will be available alongside specialist services including PR2 testing and Instrumented Buoyancy Loss ( IBL testing). The bespoke test cells will enable companies to develop, approval test and production test their equipment and materials, by accurately simulating extreme subsea conditions. This will verify suitability for use in high pressure environments and high / low temperature operation; ensuring durability, corrosion resistance, product lifespan and compliance to standards. Companies will substantially reduce operational costs, as they won’t need to invest in their own in-house testing facilities, if they don’t have a frequent requirement for this. The facility is fully certified to meet all necessary legislation and being fully-automated will enable remote operation removing the safety risks posed by human operation. It will provide the oil and gas, subsea, oceanographic, material science and energy markets with a safe, reliable, cost-effective facility to carry out critical component testing and enable OEM companies, energy producers and product manufacturers to validate the integrity of equipment pre-deployment; reduce operational risks, and develop new technologies that require rigorous design verification.
Mark Henderson, Commercial Director, said: “Many customers have purchased in-house pressure testing facilities from us but may not have high enough temperature / pressure capabilities or may not be able to perform specific tests. For other’s it’s not cost-effective to construct their own facility, they may not have the space or time frame; especially when performing urgent R&D testing. The innovative technology reflects our expertise, innovation and professionalism and will help to further strengthen our name.”
Subsea UK News | January 2020
KWik-Lok Closure Pressure Vessel
Pressure Testing Vessel
Creating a sea of change We are using our deep technical domain knowledge and rich project lifecycle experience to automate our design processes and change the way we deliver our solutions, creating faster and more certain project outcomes. At Wood, we are future ready, now.
Subsea UK and NSRI Partner with UK Defence Solutions Centre to Accelerate Development of Advanced Underwater Tech In summer 2019, a partnership was announced between Subsea UK, its technology arm, the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) and the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC) with a focus on accelerating the development of advanced underwater technology to solve challenges facing the oil and gas and defence sectors. Subsea UK News magazine spoke to David Wotherspoon, Executive Director - Innovation at UKDSC, to learn more about the first of its kind collaboration.
What does the UKDSC do? The UKDSC is the core of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) enterprise, a unique collaboration between the UK’s leading defence companies and the UK government, including the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department of International Trade (DIT). The DGP’s core strategic mission is to transform the UK’s defence industry to equip it to deliver export driven growth in the face of intense international competition - and UKDSC is key to this transformation. We have three core elements to our strategy. Firstly, is a strategic, long-term focus on international defence customers’ needs in identifying key trends and market drivers over a long-term horizon. Secondly, we are identifying key capability development themes which will be required to meet
Subsea UK News | January 2020
customers’ needs, especially highlighting where investments are needed to address gaps in capability. Finally, we are identifying innovative ways to deliver new investment to the sector and achieve greater alignment of investments by industry and government, therefore generating increased value from the investments made.
What does your role within the UKDSC involve? As the Executive Director - Innovation, I work inside the UKDSC innovations & investment team. As an experienced engineer, I am responsible for delivering innovation projects through the UK supply chain, supporting the innovation and investment pillar within the UKDSC. I also work closely with experts within industry and academia to gather a greater understanding of the evolving technology
landscape and how this could be applied to defence capabilities, for both UK and foreign military users.
What are the benefits of the Subsea UK and UKDSC partnership? Innovation plays a very important role in the private sector in terms of competitiveness and is key to success for many private businesses, helping to cut costs, improve products and open new markets. Innovation is also gaining in importance in the public sector as it can improve the quality of service delivery as well as reduce costs. Partnering with Subsea UK allows us to share knowledge within underwater autonomy across both the defence, oil & gas industry sectors and offshore renewable energy sectors. Our joint objective is to identify and deliver common opportunities within the supply chains, research themes and to
establish best practice. The aim is to build the UK’s strength across both sectors within the UK and the international market. We both recognise there are significant opportunities for the defence and energy industries to utilise the focus within the UK’s science and technology sector as we look to make the UK a leader in the development of technology and innovation. Knowledge transfer, through the exchange of technical and commercially viable ideas, occurs between non-traditionally aligned supply chains and with the respective developers and end-users. Commercially, joint applications increase the business opportunity and de-risk R&D investment. This is achieved by increasing the cumulative research and funding resources, amortising costs, reducing risk for solution providers and increasing the likelihood of early adoption. There are similarities between private and public sector innovation in terms of
definition, driving factors, barriers and measurement. The importance of crosssector collaboration in the private and public sector is to demonstrate that such a collaboration can improve innovation and provide mutual benefits.
chains, a range of innovative emerging and enabling technology solutions. We will explore working across sectors on joint solutions to encourage joint innovation, support growth opportunities, stimulate economic prosperity and reduce commercialisation risk.
What work is UKDSC currently doing into innovation in subsea?
These solutions have been identified as providing essential support for the visions and directions of both the UK defence and UK offshore industries within a five to fifteenyear planning horizon and contributing to economic prosperity by bringing convergence of knowledge and accelerating industry-led solutions.
Our vision is to enable unique UK technologies and industries to exploit subsea opportunities in a global environment. In partnership with Subsea UK, NSRI and the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) on behalf of MoD and the offshore energy sectors, we have developed a cross-sector investment. The autonomous subsea systems initiative will address specific opportunities which can deliver joint benefit to both sectors by developing, jointly through their supply
The project is set to deliver a competition in January 2020 with a combined funding pool of £6million to develop Subsea Autonomous Systems: Next Generation Technologies. The industrial co-investment model will increase the available funds to circa £10million.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Market Activity Report Q4 2019
Using the market intelligence tool, SubseaIntel, we have compiled this report covering the latest oil & gas developments worldwide.
UK North Sea 32nd Offshore Licensing Round Generates Significant Interest Independent Oil and Gas plc: Farm-out Completion and Phase 1 Final Investment Decision
Gulf of Mexico Chevron Sanctions Anchor Project Chevron Awards OneSubsea Industry’s First Fully Integrated Subsea Production System Rated up to 20,000 psi Sembcorp Marine FPU Construction and Integration Contract for Shell’s Whale Field
Summary Unlocking previously untapped resources in deeper and deeper waters is expected to be a continuing theme through 2020, while North Sea operators in particular have aimed to expedite their return on existing investments through subsea tiebacks, as the size of discoveries dwindles. Crude oil has remained relatively steady from Q3 sitting at around $60 a barrel at the end of 2019.
Gulf of Mexico At the end of 2019, Chevron announced that it had sanctioned the Anchor project in the Gulf of Mexico; making it the first high-pressure deepwater development to reach a final investment decision. Initial estimates peg this development requiring
Subsea UK News | January 2020
investment of around $5.7bn, and the first stage of development will see the creation of seven subsea wells enabled by a semisubmersible Floating Production Unit (FPU). Producing 75,000 barrels of crude oil and 28million cubic feet of natural gas per day, first oil is anticipated in 2024. “Chevron have reduced development costs by nearly a third compared to our last generation of greenfield deepwater investments in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Steve Green, president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production. This has been achieved by standardising equipment and using surface facilities that require less capital and employing drill-to-fill strategies. Schlumberger also announced an award by Chevron to OneSubsea for the supply of an integrated subsea production and multiphase boosting system for Anchor. The award will see the supply of vertical monobore trees and multiphase flowmeters certified up to 20,000 psi, unlocking high-pressure opportunities across the Gulf of Mexico. In the Whale field, Shell Offshore awarded a contract to Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters to build and integrate the topside and hull of an FPU. The Whale project is awaiting a final investment decision from Shell expected in 2020 before it moves ahead.
Norway North Sea Vår Energi AS and license partner Mime Petroleum AS plan to extend the Balder and Ringhorne production lifetime to 2045 Full Speed Ahead for Ærfugl Phase 2
Asia-Pacific A-6 Development Momentum Builds Jadestone Energy Announces Submission of Southwest Vietnam Field Development Plan
Australia Subsea 7 Awarded Contract by Woodside for Phase 2 JulimarBrunello Project Santos Acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ Northern Australia Interests
UK North Sea Development and production company, Independent Oil and Gas plc (IOG), completed the farm-out to CalEnergy Resources and taken the final investment decision on stage one of its core project, which consists of 410bn cubic feet of gas across six discovered UK Southern North Sea gas fields. Andrew Hockey, CEO, said: “This is the culmination of a transformative year for IOG which begins a new phase in our growth. Our focus, as ever, is on delivering shareholder value. We have established a solid platform from which to generate cash flow from our existing portfolio through effective project execution. “We have created the opportunity to generate additional value upside by bringing incremental volumes through our infrastructure. Our Southern North Sea gas business development strategy has clear competitive advantages: we have a very strong and wellaligned partner, we have our key export pipeline in place, we are an approved licence Operator, and we are fully funded to install our hub infrastructure.” In December, the UK’s 32nd licensing round received 104 applications totalling 245 blocks or part-blocks over the main
producing areas of the UKCS. Applications were received by over 70 companies, from multinationals to new entrants.
Norway North Sea The Balder and Ringhorne production lifetimes have been extended to 2045 by Vår Energi AS and its license partner Mime Petroleum AS. The Balder Future project will see 13 new production wells drilled plus a new water injection well in the North Sea, recovering 136million barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe). Balder will be one of the largest projects on the NCS for the coming years, according to Vår Energi CEO Kristen Kragseth. Overall, Balder Future has seen an investment of NOK 19.6bn and will create 30,000 man-years of work throughout its development project to 2045. Meanwhile, phase 2 of Ærfugl is underway, three years ahead of its original schedule. The field is one of the most profitable projects on the NCS pulling around $15 per barrel. Production of Ærfugl Phase 2 will begin in the first half of 2020, with start-up for phase 2 actually beginning ahead of the start-up of Ærfugl phase 1.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
MARKET INTELLIGENCE “Acceleration of Ærfugl Phase 2 means earlier production and increased value creation from the field. It’s good news for the Ærfugl joint venture, the supplier industry and the Norwegian society in the form of increased revenues,” said Kjetel Digre, SVP Operations & Asset Development in Aker BP.
line of sight toward formal development sanction which is expected to be received later this year. In the meantime, our negotiations are progressing well toward finalising a gas sales and purchase agreement in accordance with the heads of agreement signed with Petrovietnam earlier this year.”
Ærfugl contains around 300 Mboe.
Asia-Pacific Offshore Myanmar, the A-6 development has moved from its exploration and appraisal phase and into its pre-FEED phase. Woodside reported good progress working in conjunction with joint venture partners Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise, and have agreed with government on the fiscal framework that will enable commercialisation of Myanmar’s first ever ultra-deep-water resource. The development will see up to 10 ultra-deep-water wells drilled (six in phase 1 and potentially four in phase 2) at around 2,000 - 3,000m water depth, linked to a subsea gathering system routed up the continental shelf to a shallow-water processing platform. FEED entry is expected by the second half of 2020. Jadestone Energy have also announced the formal submission of a field development plan for the Nam Du and U Minh gas fields, off Vietnam.
Santos have announced their acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ Northern Australia interests, inclusive of Darwin LNG, Barossa, Poseidon and Bayu-Undan, for $1.39bn. “Santos was a founding partner with ConocoPhillips in Darwin LNG, which has been operating since 2006. The acquisition of these assets fully aligns with Santos’ growth strategy to build on existing infrastructure positions while advancing our aim to be a leading regional LNG supplier,” said Santos’ CEO Kevin Gallagher. “This acquisition delivers operatorship and control of strategic LNG infrastructure at Darwin, with approvals in place supporting expansion to 10 mtpa, and the low cost, long life Barossa gas project.” Subsea 7 have been awarded a contract in the region of $150 – 300million by Woodside for phase 2 of the JulimarBrunello Project, located offshore North Western Australia. Subsea 7 will design, procure, install and commission a corrosion resistant alloy gas transmission flowline and umbilical system using their reel-lay and heavy construction vessels. The project will begin in 2021.
Paul Blakeley, CEO of Jadestone Energy, said: “We have made significant strides toward our proposed southwest Vietnam gas development, with all key work streams progressing as intended. With the submission of our field development plan, we now have a clear
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 www.subseaintel.com
Subsea UK News | January 2020
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Coexistence: Proserv Provides a Different Perspective on Subsea Controls Technology
Preston Clarke Technical Authority, Power Management Proserv Controls
Kevin Glanville Technical Authority, System Design Proserv Controls
trategies are shifting in the boardrooms of an increasing number of subsea operators.
For years, whenever their subsea controls systems have begun to stutter and lose efficiency, they have tended to follow a prescribed route: turn to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that provided it in the first place and seek a convenient, prompt remedy. When margins are tighter and the economic landscape more challenging, decisionmakers want increased reliability of their assets and optimised performance – not diminishing returns. However, typically, the solution offered up by the OEM hasn’t been what was demanded. In the years the equipment was working without a hitch, the OEM has likely released an upgraded model, which no longer supports the operator’s legacy system. Faced with increasing reliability issues plus obsolete kit, a full system upgrade, requiring major additional expense and extended production downtime, might seem like the only viable route.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
In many senses, operators have been dependent on the support provided by their OEMs and have been tied in by their product range and lead times. An operator could commit to a subsea controls system, expecting 20 years of efficient performance, and factor in a field expansion of several new wells at a financially prudent point down the line to maximise returns, only to discover their infrastructure has now become obsolete. Their business strategy would be severely compromised as they anticipate either an expensive full upgrade or curtailing their plans, as they are no longer feasible. Then, as time passes and subsea control modules (SCM) begin to fail on their unsupported system, the only option from the OEM might be to replace the faulty
components with the latest iteration of the subsea electronics module (SEM), but because it has not been designed to be backwards compatible, all of its extra functionality and features, will be inaccessible. Imagine buying a new car, with fancy addons, only to find out you can’t actually use the in-built Sat Nav. Larger OEMs have a presence across several segments of the upstream industry. When an operator is handling a field with out-dated kit and needs spare parts urgently to retain the same levels of production, the slower turnaround times of the OEM, and the eventual lack of replacements, act like a gradual strangulation of efficient processes.
Upgrade and extend life There is another solution – coexistence. At Proserv, our dedicated controls technology R&D team based in Trondheim, has formulated an approach that dissolves the relative monopoly some OEMs have had over operators struggling with failing subsea systems. Our Artemis 2G SEM technology can be configured to coexist with the OEM system, effectively eradicating the problem of obsolete equipment. For the operator, this means it can turn to an alternative supplier who can come on to the field to slot its upgraded SEM into the OEM’s original module, thereby extending existing functionality and offering enhanced data rates on the powerline, ultimately boosting performance. When an operator has a clear option of eradicating the limitations of obsolete subsea infrastructure, it opens a new perspective on opportunities for field extension and maximising returns.
Deploying an SCM that not only interacts smoothly with the legacy controls system, but can generate significantly faster bit rates than the fixed, slow bandwidths of the original modules could mean the difference between needing to install fibre optic cables and a full umbilical for a new step-out well; the more affordable and convenient coexistence technology can simply connect to the existing infrastructure. For example, the potential speeds offered by this technology would allow multi-phase flow metering to be incorporated – a possible requirement for a new step-out. There are hundreds of subsea fields around the world without fibre optic capability, but by utilising such improved communications technology, smarter instrumentation can then be incorporated into the modules, modernising the infrastructure and potentially helping to extend the life of the field.
Enabling opportunities The Proserv subsea controls team regards its coexistence technology as a means for operators to free themselves from the constraints of what obsolete systems can do to planning and strategy. Proserv technicians preparing subsea control modules
In the North Sea, there are numerous opportunities to take advantage of known reserves, via tiebacks to brownfield projects. But conventional thinking renders such relatively marginal gains off-limits, due to the anticipated expense of ripping out the existing system to upgrade to one that would have uniform functionality. The extension would not seem viable. But coexistence enables the original inventory investment in the equipment to retain value and for the new wells to make financial sense. However, the true sure-fire way of avoiding unreliable performance and obsolete equipment, is to partner with a subsea controls technology expert at the outset of a project and utilise its agility to design a bespoke solution, geared up for expansion and production optimisation.
Proserv Artemis 2G subsea electronics module
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Balmoral Investments Enhance Industry Reach
Since Balmoral, the Aberdeen-based provider of buoyancy, protection and insulation product solutions, invested £10m in ACE Winches in 2017, the companies have been working together to grow ACE’s international reach in the offshore heavy lifting, renewables and decommissioning markets. To optimise further growth plans, Balmoral recently made a further seven-figure investment in ACE Winches that will be used to strengthen the company’s equipment fleet to meet increasing global demand.
Jim Milne, chairman and MD of Balmoral Group and chairman of ACE Winches, said: “There
are huge opportunities as the global energy market recovers from the recent downturn and we are pleased to be able to assist ACE with their growth plans.”
“There is a highly committed and skilled team in place at ACE and we have every confidence that by working ever more closely with them we can significantly strengthen their market position.” Balmoral also recently invested in Blaze Manufacturing Solutions Ltd taking a 70% stake in the Aberdeenshire-based company.
Alfie Cheyne and Jim Milne originally combined forces in 2017
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Blaze, established in 2006 and based in Laurencekirk, manufactures fire safety protection, detection and loss prevention solutions for the oil and gas, renewable energy, mining, commercial and industrial sectors. The company is run by husband and wife team, Ann and Howard Johnson, and currently employs 24 personnel. In 2017, Blaze was named as one of the top ‘1000 UK Companies to Inspire’ by the London Stock Exchange Group and picked up two gongs at the 2019 Offshore Achievement Awards. Following the investment Jim Milne, chairman and managing director of Balmoral, said: “This is another exciting move for us as we see Blaze as a company with great ambition.” Blaze plans to use the support to expand its global reach. Ann Johnson, finance director with the company, said: “Balmoral’s investment is much more than a cash injection. Their journey from small start-up in 1980 to an internationally recognised brand, leading its sector, is something that we aim to learn from. “We have seen international success and are keen to build on this and take our accredited systems into new territories and markets.”
Osbit Seeks to Drive Offshore Industry Progress with Knowledge Sharing Offering Osbit, is sharing its specialist technical knowledge with clients and partners to improve the effectiveness of offshore operations in the global energy industry. ‘Osbit Insight’ is the offshore equipment supplier’s bespoke technical knowledge sharing and learning offering, designed to spread specialist knowledge through the global offshore energy supply chain. Leading global energy companies including Swedish-based Vattenfall, Scottish Power and Danish power company Ørsted are among those who have participated in the skills-sharing initiative so far. Osbit’s Managing Director Brendon Hayward said: “At its heart, Osbit is a training organisation. We’re passionate about education and have trained hundreds of people to be brilliant engineers and offshore energy professionals. This doesn’t stop at our front door.
“Our customers operate in unpredictable environments, in industries with lots of risk, challenges and fast-paced change. This is particularly true in offshore wind where factors like increasing turbine sizes and seabed conditions mean that technology needs to adapt rapidly. There are also many oil & gas-focused companies diversifying into offshore wind and other means of energy provision, which requires a shift in approach.”
“This greater understanding is what enables vessel owners and energy companies to make more agile, high quality, lower-risk decisions, and also increases project success by facilitating the development of technology to deliver more safe and efficient operations.” Among delegates attending the first of two Osbit Insight sessions delivered in the past month were a group of engineers and programme managers from globally-leading renewable energy company Ørsted. The group took part in a learning exchange on subsea trenching, specifically relating to cable and foundation installation for offshore wind farms. Lazaros Theodoridis, Package Manager at Vattenfall for cable installation on Kriegers Flak, said: “We were impressed by the enthusiasm of Osbit as well as their deep knowledge of the subject. The sessions are highly recommended to both subsea cable specialists or offshore wind professionals looking to develop an understanding in the art of trenching cables.”
“For these companies, time is money. Osbit Insight is an opportunity for us to use our skills to enhance industry understanding as to what can be achieved when you combine the huge operational expertise of energy operators, with our collaborative and informed design process.
Namaka Subsea Complete Subsea Operation Support Project Namaka Subsea have recently completed a Subsea Operations Support project for a hose replacement campaign in Asia. Earlier this year, Namaka Subsea engaged with an established diving contractor who had been awarded their first major offshore project, which included the removal and installation of two subsea flexible hoses and a control umbilical. The 6-week project saw the Company appoint Alan Melia, Subsea Technical Authority, on behalf of the diving contractor. As the projects’ Subsea Technical Authority, Alan and his team of 6 personnel provided technical and operational support throughout. During the project execution phase, Namaka Subsea ensured that all project documentation was kept up to date, while ensuring operations were carried out safely and on schedule as well as being in line with current legislation and industry guidelines, as set out by the regulator and the trade industry bodies.
Sandy Harper, Director of Namaka Subsea, said: “Since
Alan joined the team, we have been approached by several diving contractors, as well as oil and gas operators, to provide additional subsea operational support. This has led Alan and his technical team to complete the aforementioned project, then onto a second subsea project, located in Liverpool Bay, UK, to completion, including the offshore phase and demobilisation. He has been an excellent addition to the team and has given our clients further confidence in the company.”
Namaka Subsea is an established global subject matter expert who specialises in subsea operations, offering innovative solutions to ensure client requirements and expectations are met anywhere around the world.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Viper V-ASSURE Launches New Integrity Management Software The new portal software provides managers of subsea control systems with a clearer picture of the threats to their oil and gas production, the health and safety of their offshore personnel and the environment says Jeremy Edwards of Viper Innovations, which describes the launch of its new product as providing a step change in integrity management. Being forewarned is forearmed and this is certainly true for subsea control system managers tasked with the job of maintaining and managing components and systems over long periods with minimal failures. Failure of a subsea system and the unplanned loss of production from subsea oil and gas wells can have major implications for an oil and gas producer. Being offline, even temporarily, can quickly lead to escalating costs and have a damaging impact on the operation of critical seabed assets. Having the ability to monitor degradation in performance of components and sub-systems, diagnose potential faults and plan early remediation can save costly production outages and unnecessary subsea interventions. For the last 10 years, Viper Innovations has provided asset integrity management services to oil and gas operators and from its experience of recording faults, analysing data, diagnosing and predicting degradation of components and sub-systems it has created V-ASSURE. The V-ASSURE Portal software provides a methodical, auditable and cost-effective means by which the availability of an existing Subsea Production Control System can be maximised whether it was installed on the seabed 25 years ago or is a recent subsea tie-back.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Designed to complement, rather than to replace, other data and task management software that managers already use it can be set up to interface with tag data historians, controlled document libraries and hyper-link to specific condition monitoring apps on other software platforms. Fundamental to the new V-ASSURE portal is the concept of threat and how faults and degradation of sub-systems accumulate over time. Augmenting the traditional risk assessment methodology of consequence and likelihood by also considering mitigating factors such as the in-built redundancy of critical sub-systems and how they reduce the overall impact on production up-time. The portal also shows graphically how new and accumulating faults increase the threat to production and how the provision of appropriate spares, the timely conduct of maintenance and inspection routines and having contingency engineering scopes fully defined all contribute to lowering the level of threat. A central feature is an integrity map of the subsea control system on which all the key components and inter-connections are editable allowing key data, fault history, maintenance and repair logs, change management reports, videos and photos to be stored in context and retrieved when needed.
Offshore Technology Aids 75th Celebration of D-Day in Surveying Sunken US Landing Craft at Lyme Bay Dorset where 1944 Tragedy Unfolded As part of the build-up to D-Day, in 1943 some 3,000 local residents in the area around Slapton in South Devon were evacuated from their homes in order for the American military to carry out rehearsal exercises for the World War Two D-Day landing in Normandy, known as Exercise Tiger. The area around Slapton Sands, Devon was selected for these exercises because it bore a great resemblance to parts of the French coast, the location chosen for largest invasion by sea during the war, and on the 27th April the exercise took place. The usually tranquil River Dart filled up with landing craft and ships for the operation. Nissen huts were built in Coronation Park in Dartmouth and new slipways and ramps were built on the river’s edge, in and around Dartmouth. Exercise Tiger was designed to be as realistic as possible. Landing craft loaded with soldiers, tanks and equipment were deployed along the coast. They were converging in Lyme Bay, off the coast of Devon when under cover of darkness nine German E-boats (fast attack craft) had managed to slip in amongst the exercise landing craft in Lyme Bay. Two landing ships were sunk and a third badly damaged. Lack of training on the use of life vests, heavy packs and the cold water contributed to the disaster: many men drowned or died of hypothermia before they could be rescued. It is estimated that between 650-900 American soldiers and sailors died. This summer a production company undertook an underwater video footage project for television for the 75th anniversary. One of Vocean’s rental Seaeye Falcons was used for the project to help secure the required footage. The ROV was mobilised on HM Denham in Weymouth harbour, where initial test dives were undertaken on the ROV and associated equipment, prior to departing to site.
Vocean Managing Director Tim Moore said: “It
was a pleasure to provide one of our ROVs for this historical and interesting project. The versatility of how our ROVs are used continues to grow.”
Vocean continues its growth this year. Following the investment in additional Seaeye Falcons the office headquarters and service facilities outside Edinburgh have been upgraded to allow further expansion in 2020.
Introducing Parkburn’s New Self-Fleeting Cable Drum Engine
Parkburn has further developed its radical self-fleeting cable drum engine resulting from Parkburn’s extensive knowledge and history in supplying such drum engines to the subsea telecoms industry. The rationale behind the development was to improve the design of the system such that it will allow the cable to create a simple natural helix on the drum surface without using any form of external or internal mechanical assistance to position the cable. Past Parkburn “industry standard” designs were based on a simple capstan design using fleeting knives to control the position of the cable. This technology proved to be exceptionally robust and reliable. However, removing fleeting rings and fleeting knives coupled with significant reduction of moving parts reduces operating costs and minimises required deck space.
for their new series of FibreTrac cranes. The first DNVGL certified 150T production unit was installed onto the new crane in 2019.
The Self-Fleeting Cable Drum Engine is two separate drums built as one interlocking unit. Each drum has an equal and opposite offset both in the vertical and with respect to the rotational centre line with the geometry of the offsets creating a fixed natural helix with an elliptical cable path. This solution results in a very simple and compact design. There is no need to control the cable on the drum surface by moving mechanical means and no human intervention other than commanding the winch to rotate in either direction at a set speed or tension. Simplicity is the key. A version of this patented technology for fibre rope handling has been chosen by MacGregor cranes as the fibre rope traction winch
Subsea UK News | January 2020
TECHNOLOGY An industrial in-line separator model tested at the Cranfield large scale flow loop
Cranfield Successfully Conducted Flow Loop Tests for the IntecSea’s Pseudo Dry Gas System A novel in-pipeline liquid removal unit developed by IntecSea / Worley has been tested using Cranfield University’s unique pilot scale pipeline test facilities in the Process Systems Engineering Laboratory. This project has been supported by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and industry sponsors, after a highly conclusive techno-economic study for a known stranded gas basin North of the Shetland Islands. The test matrix was designed to prove not just the capability of the device and the basic operating mode but also to validate the macro flow assurance and CFD studies. The results show that the technology removes the bulk liquid to near ideal performance, across a significant range of gas field operational states. When these results are back mapped into the macro flow assurance modelling, the resulting pseudo dry gas effect can be demonstrated across the operational envelope of the pipeline, which results in the increase in recoverable reserves and reduction in CO2 emissions. Using the unique 6” inclinable flow loop at Cranfield University, the first phase of testing lasted for six months and looked at different configurations of the liquid removal unit, effect of pitch and roll (linked to expected subsea engineering norms for design and installation), effect of sand on unit performance, a wide range of gas and liquid flowrates, as well as different flow regimes inclusive of liquid slugging. These data sets can be used to optimise the design of the liquid removal unit and validate a CFD simulation model which will contribute in the scaling up of the device to larger sizes. A second phase of testing will explore having different units in series and will further validate the performance of the liquid removal unit. Lee Thomas, Lead Development Engineer from IntecSea stated ‘After a long test matrix for the first prototype we are extremely happy with the experimental results, this really brings into the focus the reality
of the massive CO2 emission reductions (upwards of 90%), being demanded by the industry for the development of gas fields’.
Graeme Rogerson, OGTC Project Manager, Marginal Developments Solution Centre said: “We are excited about the impact this technology could have in lowering the carbon footprint of developing gas fields. The successful prototype testing at Cranfield has proven a key component of the system and my thanks go to the Cranfield team for their diligent approach throughout the test programme.” Professor Phil Hart, Director of Energy and Power at Cranfield University, said: “We are delighted about the outcomes and impact of the collaborations between Cranfield, IntecSea and UGTC. I am proud of the work our team have done, and thrilled that our contribution to the technology is a benefit to baseload power and not only lowering carbon emission but also reducing the cost of the offshore gas production.”
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Global Innovation Funding Specialists Leyton say Undervalued IP in Subsea Sector Limiting UK Growth Ambitions
UK Plc is a champion of subsea technologies, and a global force in offshore renewable energy – which is scheduled to provide up to 50% of our future electricity demands. This UK success story originates from strong private sector investment across renewables, defence, and oil & gas, a committed 10-year industrial strategy, combined with a job creation track record earmarked for a further 5-fold growth. As such, UK players both young and mature occupy a world leading position and offer a valuable and differentiated portfolio of products and services that are re-shaping the global landscape. Through this momentum, new discovery licenses and record corporate investment create a strong impulse to increase the reach of explorers and to develop new disruptive technologies – setting clear goals to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and maximise performance. However a key limitation to the UK’s international competitiveness in subsea technology is its undervalued level of global IP ownership – this stands at <10 % of originator patent applications compared to the big players (US, Japan, and China). Crucially, while larger competitors invest in aggregating complex patent families (often exceeding 200+) across diverse entities, exploration territories, and tax jurisdictions –not a single UK organisation ranks in the top 30 filers of patent applications. This is a significant obstacle for the UK’s growth ambitions, which may be reversed through measures that de-risk innovation. ‘Patent Box’ is a UK incentive and a key solution to address this challenge – as a government introduced tax-relief scheme for innovative companies, Patent Box captures value from profits derived from patented products, processes, and services – specifically, companies owning a relevant IP right can benefit from a 10% effective rate of corporation tax on qualifying profits.
Patent Box is therefore a valuable resource for subsea companies in possession of or who are seeking to monetise their cache of patents, proprietary software, design portfolios, goodwill rights, and extensive organisational expertise. Therefore Patent Box remains a vast growth opportunity and point of value creation for the best and brightest among UK subsea companies. However less than 1% of UK SMEs leverage Patent Box, while there exists a high regional disparity in access to the scheme, particularly in key industry clusters outside London. One factor contributing to the UK’s low engagement with the scheme may be the new regime measures introduced in 2016 – which for subsea companies created the need to resource specialist external expertise to accurately unlock Patent Box and the relevant tax break. Leyton is a key strategic growth partner to assist subsea companies in securing their tax rewards under the Patent Box scheme. Our team of technical and tax consultants possess an unrivalled capability to understand qualifying subsea technology projects, and can accurately compute profits derived from complex subsea processes and mixed product income streams. Leyton’s proven methodology is designed to help leaders make distinctive, lasting, and substantial improvements to the performance of their organisations.
Allspeeds Increase New Product Development Resource with £400k Investment in New Machining Centres Leading hydraulic and cutting tools manufacturer, Allspeeds, has invested over £400,000 in new machining systems at its Accrington manufacturing facility. The state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment will reduce production times and increase the scope for quicker Webtool new product and custom project developments.
The Doosan NHP5000 Horizontal Machining Centre and Doosan DNM 6700 Vertical Machining Centre are compact, high speed machining systems. They provide precision machining of small and medium sized parts for Allspeeds’ range of Webtool hydraulic cutters and Tangye hydraulic jacks. Utilising the machining centres’ stable bed structure and high-speed spindle performance allows parts production in a fraction of the time of the company’s older machining system. In addition to their machining capability, the machining centres are integrated with Allspeeds’ CAD / CAM system allowing a smooth transition from concept design to machined component.
“The new machining centres significantly reduce product supply times and increase our ability to handle bespoke project developments quickly and easily,” said Keith Elliot, Managing Director, Allspeeds. Allspeeds’ New Machine Center’s Investment
Subsea UK News | January 2020
The Webtool range of high performance cutting tools is designed and manufactured exclusively by Allspeeds Ltd.
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North Sea Dips into Wave Power
Left; Chris Retzler and right; Cameron McNatt of Mocean Energy
With growing pressure to decarbonise, more and more North Sea firms are getting their feet wet in renewables, writes Cameron McNatt, Managing Director of wave energy company Mocean Energy. The last 12 months have seen an incredible surge in interest in the use of renewable energy technologies to help decarbonise oil and gas operations and invest in renewables – with a growing appetite to look at wave power. At the end of 2019 a number of firms from subsea and offshore engineering won contracts in a £500,000 call from Wave Energy Scotland to find ways to quickly connect wave energy devices at sea. Aberdeen-based offshore engineers Apollo, subsea specialists SRP and electrical components provider Ditrel Industrial featured among the seven winning projects which now have three months to deliver feasibility studies on their proposed technologies. These firms – along with other winners – will now compete to pass through two further ‘stage gates’ to design and ultimately build and test their concept; all part of WES’s £2 million ‘Quick Connections System’ workstream. This interest in wave power should come as no surprise – and follows a recent industry survey by Aberdeen and Grampian chamber of Commerce which showed that more than half of respondents (52%) reported increased demand for their products and services in nonoil and gas projects with a further 25% saying they were “actively pursuing” work outside oil and gas. Speaking personally, I can attest to the interest the wave sector is generating. In 2019 we secured £3.3 million from WES to develop out utility scale ‘Blue Horizon’ technology and will be deploying a half scale prototype at EMEC in Orkney in 2020. However, it is our smaller scale Blue Star technology which is gaining the most traction in the marketplace with its potential to power subsea production equipment and future generations of field resident ROVs and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). We’ve had great support from the Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s TechX programme, and this has enabled us to set up office space in Aberdeen within their incubation centre as part of their TechX Plus initiative.
I believe we are close to a tipping point for the oil and gas sector, where the desire to decarbonise will be met by exciting new technologies. And wave power will play a part. Already Ocean Power Technologies Inc.’s (OPT) PB3 PowerBuoy has garnered operators’ attention following its deployment by Premier Oil at its Huntington field in the Central North Sea. The system is serving as an autonomous intelligent platform to provide communications and remote monitoring services, and the field trial has already demonstrated positive CO2 savings. Subsea7 has partnered with French firm GEPS Techno to trial their autonomous WAVEGEM platform whilst Saipem has signed a memorandum of understanding with Finnish wave pioneers Wello OY to optimise their Penguin technology. Of course the wave sector has a lot to gain from the expertise of existing players. Swedish wave energy developer CorPower Ocean has become one of the latest renewables operators to adopt Mermaid weather risk software – developed by James Fisher Marine Services – to assess and accurately plan its construction and operation and maintenance activities for its HiWave 5 demonstrator project. And the North Sea is not alone. In the Mediterranean Italian firms Eni, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Fincantieri and Terna have signed an agreement to set up a company for the development and manufacturing of wave energy power plants. I would not for one minute underestimate the challenges of generating power from waves. The North Sea is an extremely harsh environment. However, we now have clear appetite from oil and gas sector to look with an open mind at new technologies which can help them decarbonise. And we stand to gain from the sector’s expertise gathered through decades of operations offshore. It is a win-win scenario which I hope will lead to more power from the waves in the years ahead.
We are now in discussions with potential partners to trial our technology at sea.
Mocean Energy Seabase wave energy converter
Subsea UK News | January 2020
SEA Begin Development of Next Generation of High Voltage Connections for Renewables Market
Systems Engineering & Assessment Limited (SEA) has designed, manufactured, and installed the first ever subsea renewables 11kV requirement MV/HV connectors to be used at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. These connectors are still in use and SEA continue to support them. SEA’s approach for the EMEC test centre was to use standard 33kV proven connectors and crimps from the onshore power distribution industry and to implement them for the lower voltage marine renewables application. SEA have subsequently modified its designs as new MV & HV industrial connector products were developed to greatly reduce offshore vessel time during the installation process. The Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) 13.2kV requirement benefits from this incremental approach to design improvements with SEA’s second generation dry-mate connector using marinised industrial 42kV HV Connectors for a quicker offshore connection timetable. By far the greatest time and cost savings are made by pre-installing the connectors on the cable ends onshore prior to offshore deployment. This is a function of client project planning.
AS303619 Fastmate Cylinder Disconnected
This design can also be more readily incorporated into client designs for direct mounting or connection to their platform. The concept was developed using SR2000 & BiMEP design elements and lessons learned from EMEC, BiMEP, Lyell and SR2000 projects and has cope for increasing the voltage beyond 42kV. Alongside the ‘Fastmate’ connector approach, SEA has also looked at a 3-way connector hub design for inter-connection. The 3-way connector hub assembly will be a standalone assembly with three female interfaces mounted on one end. The female interfaces are designed to interface directly to male ‘Fastmate’ connectors for connection to two generator inputs and output service connection. The connector hub could also be daisy chained with a single generator input connected into a ring main.
SEA’s next generation ‘Fastmate’ connector looks to further reduce offshore connection timetables but also improve end termination SEA are currently working with their partners on development assembly onto the umbilical. This will be achieved through improved opportunities to utilise their new designs and provide more for a 000000 SubseaUK Events AD Jan2020-210x148-v1.ai 1 23/12/2019 12:45 frame design, easier assembly and improved connection efficiency. renewable future.
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These are some of Subsea UK’s events but please visit our website for full details of all forthcoming events.
Power Quality Monitoring from Bender UK Proves a Vital Tool for ROV Operators
Power quality monitoring equipment from Bender UK is being used by a global subsea ROV operator to verify the integrity of power supplies offshore. It is the first application of Bender power quality monitoring technology in the subsea sector. The company’s insulation monitors and earth fault location technologies are widely employed within the oil and gas industry to protect personnel, subsea equipment, installations and associated electrical infrastructure from insulation failure. Subsea contractor Film-Ocean provides ROV inspection and intervention services. They trust Bender power quality monitoring (PQM) systems to identify issues with fluctuating power supplies on board support vessels and offshore installations. Bender’s LINETRAXX® PEM735 measures and records the precise current status of electrical supply networks and displays the current/ voltage harmonics for assessment of the power quality. The product was first deployed by Film-Ocean after a project was affected by a fluctuating electricity supply that resulted in damage to high-value PCB boards in their ROV equipment.
Film Ocean’s Comanche ROV launching during recent project
Mike Mackie, Operations Manager at Film-Ocean said: “Bender’s power quality monitoring equipment alert us to spikes or troughs in the power supply voltage that can seriously affect the ROVs and cause permanent damage. Equally serious is downtime of the equipment and delays that can result from fluctuations in the power supply. If damage occurs, we can now track the cause and most importantly identify the source of the problem using Bender PQM ensuring maximum utilisation for our clients.
“The bigger ROV units can be more seriously affected by a dip or spike in supply. The Bender units won’t protect against the effects, but they let us know that it is happening, and that enables us to identify the root cause. They are proving very successful and we are aiming to use more of the Bender power quality monitors in the future.” The biggest power quality problems occur on three phase systems. Cranes are often one of the most common causes of spikes and drops in the power supply. A crane pulls a lot of current when it starts up, and that can cause a fluctuation in the power supply. When the crane stops, the power can sometimes spike and potentially cause damage to other electrical equipment, but Bender’s PQM technology records the changes in the power supply and alerts the Film-Ocean team. If there is a problem, then Film-Ocean can look at ways to make the power supply more stable - either by bringing in a separate dedicated generator or installing voltage conditioning equipment. Film-Ocean also uses Bender insulation monitoring devices to safeguard personnel and equipment subsea. Mike adds: “We use a variety of Bender line insulation monitors in multiple locations on all our ROV systems. Not only are they a critical safety device they are also used as condition-based monitors to identify a gradual or complete breakdown of insulation within our systems.”
Digital Edge Subsea Showcases New Version of DVR at Subsea Expo
Further promotion of Digital Edge Subsea’s new version of their well-known DVR will take place at Subsea Expo in Aberdeen. Managing Director John Benson, leads a team of 10 hand-picked specialists that have been focused on creating an even better and easier to use product. John has over 20 years’ offshore experience and has always concentrated on creating and developing products with the end user in mind, ensuring the Edge DVR is the best it can be for the men and women who work in often adverse conditions. The Version 5 software now has three levels: EdgeLite, Edge and EdgePro. Digital Edge understand that there is a base of clients who need an entry level unit suitable for surveys and inspections where there is no need for eventing. This is how EdgeLite was born. The mid range product EdgeDVR v5 has all the advantages of the v4 with the additional capability of being able to record four channels of HD simultaneously. It still allows for eventing, the creation of workpacks and offline editing. For those with further requirements, the EdgePro has everything the EdgeDVR has, plus the ability for clients to be able to create their own Workpacks from approved workscopes. Or, these can be created for you in-house by Digital Edge.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
To cater for different needs, there are four types of hardware: Standard Definition, HD, 4K and the laptop version. Version 5 is available for rental in any combination of software and hardware. Edge DVR Menu
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What a difference a year makes. As the subsea industry descends on Aberdeen’s shiny new exhibition centre, P&J Live, for this year’s Subsea Expo, it’s not just the venue that has changed dramatically but also some of the companies showcasing their products and services. None more so than Boskalis Subsea Services. The subsea part of the Dutch major’s offshore energy division has transformed itself in the last 12 months. When Boskalis Subsea Services Aberdeen set out its stall at Subsea Expo last year, it had around 11 employees. Now boasting a headcount of 85, the company has cemented its position in the North Sea with a series of IRM, SURF and Decommissioning projects totalling in excess of £100million. Boskalis Subsea Services set out to fill a gap in the market for a smaller, nimbler subsea construction company with a particular focus on construction work and inspection, repair and maintenance. From a backlog of eight vessel days at the end of 2018 to executing an impressive 800 days in 2019, around 500 of which were in the North Sea, the company has now set its sights on delivering more SURF projects. Tim Sheehan, global business development director of Boskalis Subsea Services, said: “As a fast-growing company, we have an entrepreneurial, can-do approach which is fast-paced and adaptable. Above all, we are willing and able to go the extra mile for our customers and have built a culture in which we provide solutions by challenging the norm in IRM. We are now adopting this approach to the delivery of SURF projects in the North Sea. We’ve also set our sights on winning SURF work in Africa, which will be driven by and led from our office in Aberdeen.”
SURF’s up for Boskalis Subsea Services as it Reports Record Year lob al B
In the last 12 months, Boskalis Subsea Services has carried out a diverse range of subsea campaigns. These include the decommissioning of subsea facilities in the Morecambe Bay area, air diving IRM at an FPSO in the North Sea, diverless scale squeeze operations and pipeline repairs using saturation divers and ROV support from the BOKA Atlantis and Boka Da Vinci. A subsea tie-in including flexible flowline and umbilical lay with manifold commissioning for start-up operations was also completed in the second quarter of 2019, and a sizeable manifold decommissioning was undertaken successfully in the third quarter. These wide-ranging workscopes were carried out efficiently and effectively to the satisfaction of four North Sea operators. Tim added: “As part of Boskalis’ offshore energy division, we can leverage a raft of specialist marine services to deliver a fully integrated solution to the most complex offshore projects in oil and gas and renewables. Working flexibly, we continually develop fit-for-purpose, cost-effective and safe ways of tackling underwater construction challenges.” The different and often complex challenges on these projects were overcome through meticulous planning, scheduling and prioritisation, the use of bespoke technologies, excellent communication, effective management of sub-contractors,
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robust risk assessments, collaboration with the client to work around their requirements and an absolute focus on safety at all times.
“Key to our success has been forging collaborative relationships with clients and subcontractors throughout but particularly during the planning stages,” said Tim. “We’ve earned our clients trust through detailed and accurate planning which results in safer and more efficient mobilisations and execution, as well as eliminating the risk of escalating costs due to unforeseen circumstances.
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“We’ve demonstrated that we are flexible and responsive, able to work round our clients’ timeframes and requirements, and that we place a huge emphasis on clear and regular communication.” As Boskalis continues its rapid growth trajectory, it is committed to nurturing existing relationships with sub-contractors and creating new opportunities for the supply chain.
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“The message to subsea companies is that our door is open and we’re very keen to hear from those who can offer something truly different and are willing to build mutually beneficial and truly collaborative relationships,” Tim explained. “We’ve shown that we can rise to even the most complex challenge through the use of bespoke technologies and we’re keen to become an enabler of new technology in the North Sea and beyond.”
Royal Boskalis Westminster is a global dredging and offshore contractor and maritime services provider. With over 100 years’ experience, Boskalis offers a unique combination of experts, vessels and activities, including marine installation and decommissioning, seabed intervention, marine transport, subsea services and marine survey. Boskalis Subsea Services is part of Boskalis’ offshore energy group. Head-quartered in Aberdeen it serves global deepwater and SURF markets, with continental Europe and Middle East managed from Boskalis’ Papendrecht offices. Tim added: “In 2018, Boskalis’ offshore energy group decided to give the UK more focus which has driven the growth in Aberdeen. As part of this group, we can offer unique fully integrated project delivery solutions with our specialist colleague companies in the group in a single contract.”
The MultiROV: Bridging the Gap Subsea Expo 2020 sees the launch of Aleron Subsea’s new MultiROV system, a multi-purpose, reconfigurable Work Class ROV. The MultiROV is an evolution of the work Aleron Subsea have been doing over the past few years with WROV system upgrades and the development of the AUXROV and TRACKROV. A shift in the type of operations being performed offshore and the need for specialist systems to perform tasks that current market WROVs have struggled to do. This mainly consists of working in high inshore currents that change quickly and cause operators frustration as they pay for waiting on weather, ultra-shallow water operations where the larger vessels can’t operate and carrying large tools with payloads up to 30Te which standard ROV frames can’t handle. Mobilising specialist ROV systems for short duration tasks isn’t cost efficient, specialist systems also have limitations and don’t have the buoyancy or freedom of a standard ROV to swim up close to structures performing tooling and survey operations. The Aleron solution to this is the MultiROV, a 300HP dual subsea HPU Work Class ROV that can be reconfigured to do all of the above, meaning much less risk and cost mobilising and demobilising. The system will come with an enhanced thruster configuration option allowing it to hold station in head on currents over four knots. MultiROV will have a modular frame so Aleron Subsea can adapt from a free swimming ROV to a heavy-duty tooling ROV operating large grabs, mattress frames or mass flow excavators. The ethos of the system is to delivery a true swiss army knife ROV that once mobilised will tick all boxes of large ROV operations with both shallow water and deep-water options.
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Why hydraulic? The type of ROV operations Aleron Subsea are targeting cannot today be performed electrically. “We are talking about operating large grabs, mass flow excavators, shear tools, BOP intervention packages - all tools that as of today need large volumes of hydraulic fluid and hydraulic pressure,” said Gary McConnell, Commercial Director, Aleron Subsea.
“To mitigate some of the issues that are perceived with hydraulic systems such as reliability and hydraulic fluid leaking into the ocean, we’ve designed the MultiROV to operate on environmentally considerate oil such as Panolin. We have also implemented advanced diagnostics and reporting ability so that as much as possible the owners/operators of the MultiROV will be able to perform predictive maintenance and significantly reduce downtime.” The MultiROV will be available for sale or rental in 2020 and will come with various specification options and launch and recovery methods to bridge the gap in what is available on the market today.
3D at Depth Delivers A Proven External Leak Detection and Identification Solution
3D at Depth, the world’s leading expert in subsea laser LIDAR technology and 3D data solutions, recently validated subsea LiDAR laser technology’s advanced capability to detect, locate and identify fluid and gas escapes from subsea infrastructure and pipelines allowing simpler volumetric estimations. 3D at Depth recently used LiDAR technology to locate reflective fluids with a higher reflectivity than seawater as an application to identify and locate leaks from production or commissioning fluids such as Mono-ethylene glycol (MEG); hydraulic production control fluids, and oils. The validation came after witnessing real-world examples of leaks in commercial open water projects. In order to substantiate the claim, 3D at Depth conducted baseline tests in a tank to show the capability of the Subsea LiDAR (SL) SL3 laser as a leak detection solution before members of the Norwegian Forum for Offshore Survey and Positioning (NOSP). Additives in the oil, allowed the SL3 laser solution to detect leaks from distances of greater than 12 metres away. Furthermore, when a “light-coloured” tracer was used, the SL3 demonstrated the potential to identify leaks up to the full operational range of 45 metres. The test conducted for NOSP proved the SL3 laser LiDAR is a viable solution for gas leak detection, and 3D at Depth will continue to build on the success of those results. Value can be shown on the backend of dynamic well center and pipeline inspection campaigns.
Today, operators must provide reliable operational strategies whilst maximising current survey programs. Technology solutions that can be easily deployed alongside current survey applications or embedded into resident systems, help mitigate leak-risk to human, environmental and financial stakeholders. The versatile nature of subsea LiDAR laser technology allows for survey-grade measurements and metrologies to be conducted while providing additional 3D measurable point clouds - used for mitigation planning, that can identify leaks and potential hazards. Along with the accurate, repeatable, 3D point cloud data, subsea LiDAR’s touch-less (or contactless) characteristic means that during survey data collection and acquisition, a safe distance can be maintained between the leak source and the LiDAR. This unique feature ensures that the ROV and/or divers do not need to enter the plume to accomplish the measurements, and thus minimising associated risks throughout the survey process. In addition, subsea LiDAR can accomplish pinpoint leak detection whilst performing a measurement orientated core scope which provides an ideal choice for brownfield metrologies and in-structure measurements for bypasses and SSIV valve replacements.
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ALL ABOARD: How Today’s Workforce can Help Treble Highly Skilled Jobs by 2030 Earlier this year, the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal set ambitious targets to treble highly-skilled jobs from 7,200 today, to 27,000 by 2030. Whose job is it to find the workers we’ll need, and when? Developing a highly skilled workforce is a long-term investment. That is partly why the UK Government has set out such an ambitious target for offshore wind jobs over a decade in advance. Collectively it will take our industry the best part of that decade to achieve this.
Raising the flag for apprenticeships A critical enabler to a sustainable talent pipeline is attracting bright and enthusiastic apprentices, which makes good relationships with education centres essential. Every initiative needs to inform, inspire and educate. One of the best ways to learn what works is to knowledge-share with your peer group. Among the most memorable experiences for a student is to be taken through an entire project lifecycle from the design phase, all the way through to decommissioning. An initiative like that requires the involvement of the end-toend supply chain. Networks regionally and nationally are also important, whether it’s a local working group or an initiative like the National STEM Ambassador scheme.
Plotting a course for success In the past JDR, has focused on practical initiatives for students, inviting hundreds of students to take part in activities, like interactive fact-finding missions and math challenges to solve design engineering problems. More recently, we involved our supply chain partners with demonstrations of virtual reality training, so students saw what it’s like to visit an offshore wind farm. The feedback from schools has been overwhelmingly positive. Maintaining the momentum helps us to do more, reach more children and work with more partners.
Ready the crew Attracting a new workforce relies on your existing workforce to help bring them in, so internal and external promotion of STEM initiatives is vital to spread enthusiasm and good will. At JDR, I am lucky that my colleagues regularly go above and beyond their everyday roles; volunteering their expertise to engage with students and to attract potential apprentices, graduates and workers from other industries. STEM Ambassadors, typically ex-graduates and apprentices are indispensable in providing a personal view on careers in our industry. Students can ask them questions a career adviser would simply not have the experience to answer.
by Vicki Ashton, Strategic Resourcing and Talent Manager for JDR Cable Systems, part of TFKable Group
The horizon and beyond 2019 has been a turning point for us, and is reflective of the direction of our industry; this year we’ve taken on twelve apprentices, including five graduates, our biggest ever intake. With a clear target we recognise that now is the time to be investing in our talent pipeline. While apprenticeships are about technical skills and industry standards, they’re also about making connections with people. Whether that’s through STEM events, work experience placements, apprenticeships, graduate roles or professional career development, everyone at every organisational level has a part to play in developing the highly skilled, diverse workforce we need for 2030.
Keeping one’s bearings In the early stages of an outreach programme, the target seems distant. You invest in making a memorable experience of an afternoon, a day, a week, with little prospect of ever seeing those students again. That makes it all the more worthwhile when you hear a story of that early engagement paying off. I recently met a student who attended our 2016 STEM event. They were inspired to study for a level 2 engineering qualification at College and then applied for an apprenticeship in offshore wind. I was stunned that a student was still living the impact of that day – there’s no greater recognition than that.
STEM event at JDR facility
Subsea UK News | January 2020
Subsea Transition - UK and Brazil Working Together By Tony Laing, Director of Research and Market Acceleration at NSRI
As we enter a new phase where oil and gas stocks are reducing and the climate change agenda is driving the energy transition, the subsea industry is quickly evolving. Subsea companies that are willing to adjust their ways of working and adapt to new markets such as decommissioning, offshore renewables and automation have a plethora of opportunities opening up across the industry. Over the last 50 years, advances and innovation in subsea technology have enabled both Brazil and the UK to expand their offshore oil and gas production capabilities. The Subsea & Drilling Brazil conference, which took place in Rio de Janeiro at the end of November 2019 provided a platform to explore opportunities for research and innovation, relevant to the subsea industries in both countries.
Tidal, wave and energy technology were also on the agenda. Research from the Universidade Federale do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) pointed to the deployment of an ongoing wave energy convertor. While further research from NSRI focused on identifying how subsea companies can capitalise on the challenges of power distribution, materials and corrosion, as well as installations and foundations.
Offshore decommissioning is developing at pace in the UK with projected expenditure greater than £20billion over the next two decades. Additionally, 53 projects and a further 7,500 km of pipeline are lined up for decommissioning in the next ten years. Subsea preparation for decommissioning comes with a series of obstacles, including the costs associated with removal or monitoring of pipelines and assets and the challenging subsea environment.
The UK has seen significant development of wave and tidal energy, although not competing with offshore wind, it does offers niche power generation which are easily transferable to Brazilian waters.
As a less mature province, Brazil’s decommissioning lags behind the UK but, with over 40% of the country’s offshore production units older than 25 years, particularly in the Campos Basin, it is set to become an increasingly important market. Brazilian oil and gas regulator the National Petroleum Agency is in the process of revising guidance on decommissioning. At the same time, the industry is trying to reach a consensus on best practices to reduce cost and maintain safety and environmental standards in a sustainable manner. At the event, the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) showcased research which identified pipeline cleaning as a poorly understood issue. Previous scientific research on ‘rig to reef’, enabled companies to make informed decisions which have led to the concept being adopted in certain regions with positive impacts on operations. It is hoped that this will stimulate scientific research will enable whether pipeline cleaning is required and to what standard or if indeed there are alternatives which will impact decommissioning strategies and ultimately reduce costs. NSRI states: “Together with organisations in the UK, NSRI is pushing for further research to inform the industry and additional input from Brazil will add further credibility to the debate.”
Subsea UK News | January 2020
A common theme across the subsea and drilling sectors is that of automation with its potential to reduce cost, limit human exposure and increase reliability. SINAI CINETEC and Saipem presented the development of their ‘Flatfish’ Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, a resident subsea autonomous vehicle able to perform complex inspection of subsea assets. This technology was developed in collaboration with the Brazilian Institute of Robotics and resonates with an NRSI programme that aims to work collaboratively with the defence and renewables sector, pooling together funding resources to further subsea research and development in partnership with academia. NSRI reflects that there are significant opportunities for the subsea community adapting their skills and learnings honed over decades in oil and gas, defence and other industries.
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Subsea, Analysed. The latest Subsea UK Business Activity Review
£7.8 billion industry
45,000 people Employed
£3.3 billion in exports
£1.8 billion in renewables
The findings in the report reveal that the 2017 decline has been arrested with a clear upturn in activity, largely due to an increase in output from subsea SMEs and a shift from oil and gas to renewables. Discover the current state of the underwater sectors, with data on manufacturing, employment, exports, and the rise of renewables.
The Subsea UK Business Activity Review 2019 launches at Subsea Expo in Aberdeen, the world’s largest annual subsea exhibition and conference, 11-13 February 2020. Available online at www.subseauk.com from 14 February 2020.
Viewport3 Maps WW2 US Submarine with 3D Scanning Software | Accelerating Development of Advanced Underwater Tech with UK Defence Solutions C...
Published on Feb 5, 2020
Viewport3 Maps WW2 US Submarine with 3D Scanning Software | Accelerating Development of Advanced Underwater Tech with UK Defence Solutions C...