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SUBSEA UK NEWS THE MAGAZINE FROM SUBSEA UK WWW.SUBSEAUK.COM OCTOBER 2020

IN THIS ISSUE The Next-generation Smart Machines OCEANIDS: A New Dawn for Marine Autonomy Offshore Wind’s Subsea Robotics Revolution The Expanding Envelope of Unmanned Surface Vessels

WHEN PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL WORLDS CONNECT Subsea UK News Supported by:


E PL M SI

FOREWORD

TO

Save time & money on subsea testing operations. C-Kore subsea testing tools are simple and automated, no specialised offshore personnel are required. With their compact size, they can quickly be mobilised anywhere in the world for fault finding, umbilical installation or sensor testing. Automated Testing

No personnel required

Save Time & Money

Remote C-Kore support

!

INSULATION RESISTANCE • SUBSEA TDR • PRESSURE • SENSOR MONITOR

SE U

Subsea Test Tools

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 recent setbacks in the battle against coronavirus have got everyone wondering when we’re ever going to get on this infamous road to recovery. After the unprecedented turmoil of 2020, one thing for sure is that this road is going to be long, windy and rocky. But our renowned resilience, even more apparent among our SME community, underpins a cautious degree of optimism for 2021 when we hope to have greater visibility on projects and can start to concentrate on how we go after the major opportunities in the Blue Economy. Capitalising on these will be the theme for Subsea Expo in February, and we are planning to run a physical conference and exhibition and not a virtual event. With people working remotely for a large part of 2020 and the Neil Gordon, Chief Executive, Subsea UK restrictions on personnel moving around the globe and mobilising on vessels, there has been a greater dependence on virtual ways of working. Automation in our industry has accelerated this, and the shift towards remote operations and the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) is making the previously impossible, now possible. This edition of our magazine centres around the advances in subsea automation and AI. Used most frequently in inspection, repair and maintenance offshore, automation and AI are on the rise across the subsea industry. Inventing and harnessing the power of the next generation of underwater technology will be key to unlocking the potential of the Blue Economy. In a relatively short space of time, we’ve been able to replace divers with ROVs and AUVs, using pilots on-board vessels. But now these pilots can be based in remote operations centres onshore, hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, driving down costs and shrinking our carbon footprint. Already we’re seeing examples of this next generation technology resulting in remote operations with autonomous surface vessels able to deploy underwater robots which can be stationed on the seabed and controlled from the shore. This type of remote intervention still requires the human element but we’re moving that human intervention further and further away from the operational risk. And as the possibilities of AI become reality, we’re starting to see underwater robotics not controlled from the beach but able to make decisions and carry out tasks based on the data gathered. Driven by the need to make deeper cost savings and efficiencies and meet net-zero targets, the pace at which the latest science and technology is uncovered and commercialised is picking up. As the two worlds of the virtual and the physical collide, there will always be questions about the impact on jobs. Our view is that the new, high value jobs created in AI, big data and data science will outweigh the jobs replaced by automation. The inventiveness, ingenuity and pioneering spirit inherent in the subsea industry will never be replaced by machines but will be pivotal to deriving the added value, lower risk, environmentally friendly and cost-efficient benefits from embracing and advancing AI.

The UK subsea industry leads the world in experience, innovation and technology. The UK will maintain a leading technological edge by sustaining and expanding this important business sector. Whether you are a company looking to join and reap the benefits or an individual looking to develop your career in the subsea industry, explore our website or contact us to find out how Subsea UK can help you, your business and your industry. Find out more at www.subseauk.com

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

New Members Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK

Anderson Anderson & Brown DeepWind Olsen Subsea Controls Ltd Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC)

Subscribe to the electronic version of the Subsea UK News magazine

UK Defence Solutions Centre University of Southampton

To view the full Subsea UK members list, visit the Subsea UK Directory at www.subseauk.com

If you’d like to receive this magazine in its digital form, as well as keep up to date with the latest news, events and market intelligence from Subsea UK, subscribe for free at: www.subseauk.com/9418/general-consent-form or scan the QR code

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.

Tel: +44 (0)1904 215161 • Email: sales@C-Kore.com

www.c - kore.com

To contact Subsea UK News, please email editor Dan Fearon at magazine@subseauk.com

Subsea UK News | October 2020

3


E PL M SI

FOREWORD

TO

Save time & money on subsea testing operations. C-Kore subsea testing tools are simple and automated, no specialised offshore personnel are required. With their compact size, they can quickly be mobilised anywhere in the world for fault finding, umbilical installation or sensor testing. Automated Testing

No personnel required

Save Time & Money

Remote C-Kore support

!

INSULATION RESISTANCE • SUBSEA TDR • PRESSURE • SENSOR MONITOR

SE U

Subsea Test Tools

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 recent setbacks in the battle against coronavirus have got everyone wondering when we’re ever going to get on this infamous road to recovery. After the unprecedented turmoil of 2020, one thing for sure is that this road is going to be long, windy and rocky. But our renowned resilience, even more apparent among our SME community, underpins a cautious degree of optimism for 2021 when we hope to have greater visibility on projects and can start to concentrate on how we go after the major opportunities in the Blue Economy. Capitalising on these will be the theme for Subsea Expo in February, and we are planning to run a physical conference and exhibition and not a virtual event. With people working remotely for a large part of 2020 and the Neil Gordon, Chief Executive, Subsea UK restrictions on personnel moving around the globe and mobilising on vessels, there has been a greater dependence on virtual ways of working. Automation in our industry has accelerated this, and the shift towards remote operations and the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) is making the previously impossible, now possible. This edition of our magazine centres around the advances in subsea automation and AI. Used most frequently in inspection, repair and maintenance offshore, automation and AI are on the rise across the subsea industry. Inventing and harnessing the power of the next generation of underwater technology will be key to unlocking the potential of the Blue Economy. In a relatively short space of time, we’ve been able to replace divers with ROVs and AUVs, using pilots on-board vessels. But now these pilots can be based in remote operations centres onshore, hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, driving down costs and shrinking our carbon footprint. Already we’re seeing examples of this next generation technology resulting in remote operations with autonomous surface vessels able to deploy underwater robots which can be stationed on the seabed and controlled from the shore. This type of remote intervention still requires the human element but we’re moving that human intervention further and further away from the operational risk. And as the possibilities of AI become reality, we’re starting to see underwater robotics not controlled from the beach but able to make decisions and carry out tasks based on the data gathered. Driven by the need to make deeper cost savings and efficiencies and meet net-zero targets, the pace at which the latest science and technology is uncovered and commercialised is picking up. As the two worlds of the virtual and the physical collide, there will always be questions about the impact on jobs. Our view is that the new, high value jobs created in AI, big data and data science will outweigh the jobs replaced by automation. The inventiveness, ingenuity and pioneering spirit inherent in the subsea industry will never be replaced by machines but will be pivotal to deriving the added value, lower risk, environmentally friendly and cost-efficient benefits from embracing and advancing AI.

The UK subsea industry leads the world in experience, innovation and technology. The UK will maintain a leading technological edge by sustaining and expanding this important business sector. Whether you are a company looking to join and reap the benefits or an individual looking to develop your career in the subsea industry, explore our website or contact us to find out how Subsea UK can help you, your business and your industry. Find out more at www.subseauk.com

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

New Members Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK

Anderson Anderson & Brown DeepWind Olsen Subsea Controls Ltd Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC)

Subscribe to the electronic version of the Subsea UK News magazine

UK Defence Solutions Centre University of Southampton

To view the full Subsea UK members list, visit the Subsea UK Directory at www.subseauk.com

If you’d like to receive this magazine in its digital form, as well as keep up to date with the latest news, events and market intelligence from Subsea UK, subscribe for free at: www.subseauk.com/9418/general-consent-form or scan the QR code

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.

Tel: +44 (0)1904 215161 • Email: sales@C-Kore.com

www.c - kore.com

To contact Subsea UK News, please email editor Dan Fearon at magazine@subseauk.com

Subsea UK News | October 2020

3


BUSINESS

BUSINESS

C-Kore Sees Demand Rebound for Subsea Testing Tools C-Kore Systems is seeing high demand for their subsea testing tools. After an initial drop in business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mobilisations have picked up with clients coming back to work who need to perform subsea testing in the simplest and most economical way. So far C-Kore have shipped nearly 100 units this year, with 50 of them this summer alone. C-Kore’s subsea testing tools are used on both fault-finding and installation operations to determine the health of subsea umbilicals and other components. Their tools range from a cable monitor to test the insulation resistance and continuity of each electrical line, the Subsea TDR unit to localises faults along the line, and the latest tool, the Sensor Monitor, to read and record data from subsea sensors without needing a Subsea Control Module.

Cynthia Pikaar, Sales Manager of C-Kore said: “We were having our best quarter ever the start of 2020. Then COVID-19 hit and everything went quiet. However, since our units are used the world over, we quickly became very busy again as our international customers restarted business. We’re delighted to see that work is picking up again in the UK too, our home market.”

Greg Smith, General Manager of C-Kore said: “Although

the pandemic has put a dampener on the industry, it happens that the C-Kore tools are a great fit for the times. Customers are reducing offshore personnel to the essential minimum and ensuring all operations are carried out in a costefficient manner. C-Kore aids both objectives. Our automated testing can be carried out by general personnel, removing the need for extra technicians on-board, whilst the self-contained and pre-configured tools significantly accelerate subsea testing, saving vessel time and cost.”

GreySellsGlobal North Sea Wall Map Features UK 32nd Offshore Licencing Round In September, the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) offered for award 113 licence areas over 259 blocks or part-blocks to 65 companies in the 32nd Offshore Licensing Round. GreySellsGlobal are pleased to confirm that these 113 licence areas and the 65 companies named, are included within their 2020 North Sea Map-Boardroom Edition. Comprising all other operated licence blocks, with operator name, with named fields and field development infrastructure type, major pipelines and well locations including new discoveries. The map is available as printed hard copies, supplied to order, and available in several finishes, including gloss and matte laminated copies, supplied rolled or mounted on board or canvas. The map is reproduced in full colour at high resolution. Bespoke copies are also available, printed with your own company title piece. Copies of this new map can be ordered from the company’s website or direct from the cartography agent.

4

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Malin Moves Forward with New Well-Safe Solutions Agreement Malin Marine, a Scottish marine engineering company, has secured a Master Services Agreement (MSA) with Well-Safe Solutions Limited for the provision of Engineering, Naval Architecture, Shipping and Fabrication Services. Well-Safe Solutions have recently set out their commitment to invest £200m in bespoke assets in the next 3 years, with an innovative approach to meet the challenges and regulatory imperatives around decommissioning. Malin Marine Services, a new business unit of the Malin group, combine the heritage and expertise that Malin is known for, with creativity and a drive to develop best practice within the industry. This new agreement will enable both companies to work together to have a real impact in this exciting area of marine engineering. Ben Sharples, Director, Malin Marine: “We have been working with Well-Safe for many months now, on a range of services focused on their Well-Safe Guardian semi-submersible decommissioning rig. The significant effort and activity through all levels within Malin, especially during this challenging period, has been excellent, as has the relationship we have built with Well-Safe and their partners in a relatively short window. We are delighted to be associated with such a progressive Tier 1 contractor.”

Phil Milton, CEO, Well-Safe Solutions: “The execution of this MSA with Malin Marine allows Well-Safe Solutions to progress works on the Dive Spread system and deliver our unique offering of a bespoke decommissioning service from a single asset to our clients.”

Subsea UK News | October 2020

5


BUSINESS

BUSINESS

C-Kore Sees Demand Rebound for Subsea Testing Tools C-Kore Systems is seeing high demand for their subsea testing tools. After an initial drop in business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mobilisations have picked up with clients coming back to work who need to perform subsea testing in the simplest and most economical way. So far C-Kore have shipped nearly 100 units this year, with 50 of them this summer alone. C-Kore’s subsea testing tools are used on both fault-finding and installation operations to determine the health of subsea umbilicals and other components. Their tools range from a cable monitor to test the insulation resistance and continuity of each electrical line, the Subsea TDR unit to localises faults along the line, and the latest tool, the Sensor Monitor, to read and record data from subsea sensors without needing a Subsea Control Module.

Cynthia Pikaar, Sales Manager of C-Kore said: “We were having our best quarter ever the start of 2020. Then COVID-19 hit and everything went quiet. However, since our units are used the world over, we quickly became very busy again as our international customers restarted business. We’re delighted to see that work is picking up again in the UK too, our home market.”

Greg Smith, General Manager of C-Kore said: “Although

the pandemic has put a dampener on the industry, it happens that the C-Kore tools are a great fit for the times. Customers are reducing offshore personnel to the essential minimum and ensuring all operations are carried out in a costefficient manner. C-Kore aids both objectives. Our automated testing can be carried out by general personnel, removing the need for extra technicians on-board, whilst the self-contained and pre-configured tools significantly accelerate subsea testing, saving vessel time and cost.”

GreySellsGlobal North Sea Wall Map Features UK 32nd Offshore Licencing Round In September, the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) offered for award 113 licence areas over 259 blocks or part-blocks to 65 companies in the 32nd Offshore Licensing Round. GreySellsGlobal are pleased to confirm that these 113 licence areas and the 65 companies named, are included within their 2020 North Sea Map-Boardroom Edition. Comprising all other operated licence blocks, with operator name, with named fields and field development infrastructure type, major pipelines and well locations including new discoveries. The map is available as printed hard copies, supplied to order, and available in several finishes, including gloss and matte laminated copies, supplied rolled or mounted on board or canvas. The map is reproduced in full colour at high resolution. Bespoke copies are also available, printed with your own company title piece. Copies of this new map can be ordered from the company’s website or direct from the cartography agent.

4

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Malin Moves Forward with New Well-Safe Solutions Agreement Malin Marine, a Scottish marine engineering company, has secured a Master Services Agreement (MSA) with Well-Safe Solutions Limited for the provision of Engineering, Naval Architecture, Shipping and Fabrication Services. Well-Safe Solutions have recently set out their commitment to invest £200m in bespoke assets in the next 3 years, with an innovative approach to meet the challenges and regulatory imperatives around decommissioning. Malin Marine Services, a new business unit of the Malin group, combine the heritage and expertise that Malin is known for, with creativity and a drive to develop best practice within the industry. This new agreement will enable both companies to work together to have a real impact in this exciting area of marine engineering. Ben Sharples, Director, Malin Marine: “We have been working with Well-Safe for many months now, on a range of services focused on their Well-Safe Guardian semi-submersible decommissioning rig. The significant effort and activity through all levels within Malin, especially during this challenging period, has been excellent, as has the relationship we have built with Well-Safe and their partners in a relatively short window. We are delighted to be associated with such a progressive Tier 1 contractor.”

Phil Milton, CEO, Well-Safe Solutions: “The execution of this MSA with Malin Marine allows Well-Safe Solutions to progress works on the Dive Spread system and deliver our unique offering of a bespoke decommissioning service from a single asset to our clients.”

Subsea UK News | October 2020

5


BUSINESS

BUSINESS

Pharos Offshore Expands with New Opportunities for Offshore Personnel Having won a range of new contracts in recent months, despite the challenges of the pandemic, Pharos Offshore Group has new opportunities for offshore personnel and is looking to add to its already extensive subsea inventory of equipment. New purpose-built offices in the Port of Blyth support a refurbished workshop, complete with 20 Tonne Overhead crane. Recent additions to their equipment portfolio, much of which is available for rental, includes new hydraulic cable grabs, a rock grab, and a Subsea Hydraulic Pipe/Cable Shear capable of cutting pipe and cable up to 22” diameter. Operational success is being counted in completed trenching distance, with a track record of successful global trenching and excavation, in a wide range of conditions, through what has been an exceptionally busy year. New clients in Europe, South America and Asia have added depth and breadth to the future workbook. Phil Walker, CEO, attributes the success of the company to their personnel strategy, with over 100 years of operational experience across his senior leadership team. Most personnel are permanent staff with employment contracts, with Pharos then successfully bidding for manpower contracts according to client needs. This enables Pharos to train and develop their offshore personnel, and to ensure the client is getting experience relevant to the task and the equipment.

Norwegian Initiative for Global Offshore Wind Ocean Installer and Vard are entering into a partnership to develop one of the world’s most advanced turbine installation vessels for offshore wind. “We will jointly be developing one of the world’s most advanced vessels for installation of future offshore wind turbines, which are too large for the existing turbine installation fleet,” said Erik Haakonsholm, General Manager of Vard Group Offshore & Specialised Vessels. “By being able to install wind turbine components above 1 000 tonnes more than 150 metres above sea level, this ship is expected to be highly attractive for construction of big international wind farms in the coming years.” International wind farm developers are due to develop many large offshore wind projects in Europe and Asia, as well as on the American east coast. The wind turbine installation market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and vessel capacity will be insufficient. “This all-Norwegian collaboration between subsea contractor Ocean Installer and the Vard shipyards builds on experience, quality standards and efficiency developed over years of work on the Norwegian Continental Shelf,” said Odd Strømsnes, CEO of Ocean Installer. The new vessel will be able to install future giant wind turbines offshore. Vard has extensive experience in design and construction of complex offshore construction vessels and advanced special purpose ships. The current project portfolio includes the REV Ocean research and expedition vessel as well as other highly specialised and autonomous zero-emission vessels.

6

Subsea UK News | October 2020

“On the basis of Norwegian advanced ship design and construction capabilities, as well as experience from complex subsea projects, we’re now ready to take a piece of the growing global market for installation of offshore wind turbines,” the two explains. “Energy companies in Norway are winning large international tenders for offshore wind farm construction, so it is natural for us to get into the game.” Strømsnes reports that Ocean Installer is already prequalified for certain large offshore wind projects and is participating in tenders in the USA and Europe for both Norwegian and international energy companies. “Such change of direction is very important for traditional Norwegian oil and gas supply chain, which long term will have to replace its existing business with something else,” he says. “We currently have high expertise and solid revenues from oil and gas, and these resources are now dedicated to establish us as a leading player within the offshore wind space.” To lead this initiative, Ocean Installer has recruited several key people from the sector. These include Even Larsen, former CEO of Fred Olsen Ocean, and Olav Hetland, former Senior Vice President for offshore wind power at Statkraft.

The firms’ engineering department also continues to successfully assist clients with hands-on consultancy regarding the design, purchasing, maintenance and operations of new, old and concept pieces of equipment. There is ambition to build the consultancy services available from Pharos to include advice on wider maritime risk and opportunity into 2021.

Flowline Specialists Transfer Skills as Offshore Wind Powers Ahead As the energy transition grows apace and millions of gigawatts of new offshore wind power are installed around the world, Oldmeldrum-based Flowline Specialists was among the first Scottish companies to enter the offshore wind market. The energy equipment manufacturer and service provider decided more than a decade ago to boldly diversify its business beyond the oil and gas and subsea industries. Identifying the ease with which it could transfer its cable handling, deployment and recovery equipment and expertise into the offshore wind and wider marine renewables sectors. Established in 2001, Flowline Specialists designs, engineers and manufactures a range of cable and pipe handling and deployment equipment for use in the energy industries, which includes spoolers, tensioners, turntables and under rollers. The company operates internationally, and for renewable energy clients it has spooled cables onshore and deployed them at offshore wind farms and tidal energy sites. This has included projects in Canadian, French and UK waters. Ross Whittingham, CEO of Flowline Specialists, said: “More than a decade ago the senior management team recognised that we had to broaden our client base beyond the oil and gas and subsea sectors in the North Sea. Offshore renewables in the UK and Europe was growing in importance at the time and we recognised that our equipment was suited to the sector and our skills, knowledge and expertise could also be transferred. “The energy generated offshore, regardless of whether it is wind or tidal, must be brought ashore and with cabling required to channel it.

Our handling and deployment solutions are ideal, as the cable install process is similar to deploying flexibles and umbilicals.

“We have worked on projects around the world and built up a reputation for our strong Ross Whittingham, and creative engineering CEO, Flowline Specialists capabilities. This has led to us becoming a trusted and first port of call provider for cable handling and deployment equipment to the offshore wind sector, which now accounts for a significant proportion of our business.” Earlier this year, Flowline Specialists expanded its service offering by launching a service and maintenance division. Utilising its technical expertise in hydraulics, engineering and maintenance of cable handling and deployment equipment, the firm is servicing and refurbishing similar products that are owned by other companies working in the energy sectors.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

7


BUSINESS

BUSINESS

Pharos Offshore Expands with New Opportunities for Offshore Personnel Having won a range of new contracts in recent months, despite the challenges of the pandemic, Pharos Offshore Group has new opportunities for offshore personnel and is looking to add to its already extensive subsea inventory of equipment. New purpose-built offices in the Port of Blyth support a refurbished workshop, complete with 20 Tonne Overhead crane. Recent additions to their equipment portfolio, much of which is available for rental, includes new hydraulic cable grabs, a rock grab, and a Subsea Hydraulic Pipe/Cable Shear capable of cutting pipe and cable up to 22” diameter. Operational success is being counted in completed trenching distance, with a track record of successful global trenching and excavation, in a wide range of conditions, through what has been an exceptionally busy year. New clients in Europe, South America and Asia have added depth and breadth to the future workbook. Phil Walker, CEO, attributes the success of the company to their personnel strategy, with over 100 years of operational experience across his senior leadership team. Most personnel are permanent staff with employment contracts, with Pharos then successfully bidding for manpower contracts according to client needs. This enables Pharos to train and develop their offshore personnel, and to ensure the client is getting experience relevant to the task and the equipment.

Norwegian Initiative for Global Offshore Wind Ocean Installer and Vard are entering into a partnership to develop one of the world’s most advanced turbine installation vessels for offshore wind. “We will jointly be developing one of the world’s most advanced vessels for installation of future offshore wind turbines, which are too large for the existing turbine installation fleet,” said Erik Haakonsholm, General Manager of Vard Group Offshore & Specialised Vessels. “By being able to install wind turbine components above 1 000 tonnes more than 150 metres above sea level, this ship is expected to be highly attractive for construction of big international wind farms in the coming years.” International wind farm developers are due to develop many large offshore wind projects in Europe and Asia, as well as on the American east coast. The wind turbine installation market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and vessel capacity will be insufficient. “This all-Norwegian collaboration between subsea contractor Ocean Installer and the Vard shipyards builds on experience, quality standards and efficiency developed over years of work on the Norwegian Continental Shelf,” said Odd Strømsnes, CEO of Ocean Installer. The new vessel will be able to install future giant wind turbines offshore. Vard has extensive experience in design and construction of complex offshore construction vessels and advanced special purpose ships. The current project portfolio includes the REV Ocean research and expedition vessel as well as other highly specialised and autonomous zero-emission vessels.

6

Subsea UK News | October 2020

“On the basis of Norwegian advanced ship design and construction capabilities, as well as experience from complex subsea projects, we’re now ready to take a piece of the growing global market for installation of offshore wind turbines,” the two explains. “Energy companies in Norway are winning large international tenders for offshore wind farm construction, so it is natural for us to get into the game.” Strømsnes reports that Ocean Installer is already prequalified for certain large offshore wind projects and is participating in tenders in the USA and Europe for both Norwegian and international energy companies. “Such change of direction is very important for traditional Norwegian oil and gas supply chain, which long term will have to replace its existing business with something else,” he says. “We currently have high expertise and solid revenues from oil and gas, and these resources are now dedicated to establish us as a leading player within the offshore wind space.” To lead this initiative, Ocean Installer has recruited several key people from the sector. These include Even Larsen, former CEO of Fred Olsen Ocean, and Olav Hetland, former Senior Vice President for offshore wind power at Statkraft.

The firms’ engineering department also continues to successfully assist clients with hands-on consultancy regarding the design, purchasing, maintenance and operations of new, old and concept pieces of equipment. There is ambition to build the consultancy services available from Pharos to include advice on wider maritime risk and opportunity into 2021.

Flowline Specialists Transfer Skills as Offshore Wind Powers Ahead As the energy transition grows apace and millions of gigawatts of new offshore wind power are installed around the world, Oldmeldrum-based Flowline Specialists was among the first Scottish companies to enter the offshore wind market. The energy equipment manufacturer and service provider decided more than a decade ago to boldly diversify its business beyond the oil and gas and subsea industries. Identifying the ease with which it could transfer its cable handling, deployment and recovery equipment and expertise into the offshore wind and wider marine renewables sectors. Established in 2001, Flowline Specialists designs, engineers and manufactures a range of cable and pipe handling and deployment equipment for use in the energy industries, which includes spoolers, tensioners, turntables and under rollers. The company operates internationally, and for renewable energy clients it has spooled cables onshore and deployed them at offshore wind farms and tidal energy sites. This has included projects in Canadian, French and UK waters. Ross Whittingham, CEO of Flowline Specialists, said: “More than a decade ago the senior management team recognised that we had to broaden our client base beyond the oil and gas and subsea sectors in the North Sea. Offshore renewables in the UK and Europe was growing in importance at the time and we recognised that our equipment was suited to the sector and our skills, knowledge and expertise could also be transferred. “The energy generated offshore, regardless of whether it is wind or tidal, must be brought ashore and with cabling required to channel it.

Our handling and deployment solutions are ideal, as the cable install process is similar to deploying flexibles and umbilicals.

“We have worked on projects around the world and built up a reputation for our strong Ross Whittingham, and creative engineering CEO, Flowline Specialists capabilities. This has led to us becoming a trusted and first port of call provider for cable handling and deployment equipment to the offshore wind sector, which now accounts for a significant proportion of our business.” Earlier this year, Flowline Specialists expanded its service offering by launching a service and maintenance division. Utilising its technical expertise in hydraulics, engineering and maintenance of cable handling and deployment equipment, the firm is servicing and refurbishing similar products that are owned by other companies working in the energy sectors.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

7


BUSINESS

BUSINESS

Impact Subsea Sign Distribution Agreement with ROMOR Ocean Systems Impact Subsea is pleased to announce the appointment of ROMOR Ocean Systems as a distributor of Impact Subsea products within Canada. With over 30 years’ experience in the ocean technology industry; ROMOR provides training, service and support for a variety of equipment across the scientific, offshore oil and gas, geophysical and defence markets. ROMOR are dedicated to driving advances in Ocean Sciences and related technologies. Based in Eastern Canada, they are perfectly situated to support the area’s emerging marine industries and will play a key role in the sales and support of Impact Subsea’s expanding Canadian customer base.

Darrin Verge, President of ROMOR said that he is pleased and excited about the new possibilities available for ROMOR clients as Impact Subsea brings their innovative technologies to the Canadian market: “I

am looking forward to exploring the different ways project managers and engineers in Canada can use these products and technologies on their ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) and AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) in their projects and applications.”

James Fisher Offshore Expands its Capabilities to Drive Cost Savings for the Renewables Sector James Fisher Offshore (JFO), a global provider of specialist subsea equipment and engineering services, has expanded its capabilities to meet increased demand for control flow excavation (CFE) in the renewables sector. Leveraging its extensive experience and equipment range, JFO can answer its customers’ evolving requirements and improve the safety and cost-efficiency of their offshore wind operations. By merging with its sister company, James Fisher Subsea Excavation, JFO was able to create a single, dynamic source for a host of CFE services. The company can now deploy its multi-skilled offshore teams to provide all-in-one solutions for excavation, subsea cutting, decommissioning and subsea infrastructure removal, and pull in services. With this comprehensive capability, JFO can tailor its operations to the customer’s requirements, while also offering significant time and cost savings. This development builds on JFO’s existing record of accomplishment in delivering CFE for the renewables sector – which the company first began to serve in 2010 with the completion of a major project for the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Since then, JFO has invested in an extensive range of equipment types to maximise the safety, cost-efficiency, and flexibility of its services. As a result, the company’s technology is fully controllable with variable flow output, which increases trenching accuracy; the team’s compact and light-weight equipment allows for the deployment from smaller vessels for increased agility, while also saving vital deck space; and JFO is ideally placed to complete emergency cable deburials, remedial cable trenching, sand wave clearance, and seabed rectification.

8

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Graeme Brand, Business Development Director at James Fisher Offshore: “We

are delighted to expand our CFE capabilities to deliver the best results for our renewables customers. As the team is now able to support a wide-range of project requirements in-house, customers stand to benefit from the reduced costs and lead times that come with sourcing one dedicated solution.”

With its up scaled capacity and global reach, JFO continues to look for new CFE opportunities in the renewables industry, and is equipped to deliver first-class support for projects throughout their entire lifecycles.

Ben Grant, Managing Director, Impact Subsea said: “We are thrilled to announce the appointment of ROMOR as a distributor of Impact Subsea products within Canada. Their knowledge and technical ability will enable excellent support to be provided to our Canadian user base.” Impact Subsea’s distributor base consists of sixteen companies worldwide. Further growth of the distributor network is planned to ensure the highest levels of support are maintained for Impact Subsea’s sensor solutions. Impact Subsea are based in the United Kingdom where they design and manufacture a range of sensors for underwater applications. Their sensor offerings include Sonar, Altimeter, Depth, Attitude & Heading Reference and Flooded Member Detection systems.

SURETY Turnkey cable protection solutions for the offshore wind sector Our products are tried, tested and trusted through a 40‐year evidence‐based track record Patented cable protection systems (CPS) Distributed buoyancy c/w specialist clamping options Bend stiffeners and restrictors Retrofit J‐tubes PU bellmouths Full in‐house testing and validation

BUOYANCY, PROTECTION and INSULATION SOLUTIONS balmoraloffshore.com/renewables

Subsea UK News | October 2020

9


BUSINESS

BUSINESS

Impact Subsea Sign Distribution Agreement with ROMOR Ocean Systems Impact Subsea is pleased to announce the appointment of ROMOR Ocean Systems as a distributor of Impact Subsea products within Canada. With over 30 years’ experience in the ocean technology industry; ROMOR provides training, service and support for a variety of equipment across the scientific, offshore oil and gas, geophysical and defence markets. ROMOR are dedicated to driving advances in Ocean Sciences and related technologies. Based in Eastern Canada, they are perfectly situated to support the area’s emerging marine industries and will play a key role in the sales and support of Impact Subsea’s expanding Canadian customer base.

Darrin Verge, President of ROMOR said that he is pleased and excited about the new possibilities available for ROMOR clients as Impact Subsea brings their innovative technologies to the Canadian market: “I

am looking forward to exploring the different ways project managers and engineers in Canada can use these products and technologies on their ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) and AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) in their projects and applications.”

James Fisher Offshore Expands its Capabilities to Drive Cost Savings for the Renewables Sector James Fisher Offshore (JFO), a global provider of specialist subsea equipment and engineering services, has expanded its capabilities to meet increased demand for control flow excavation (CFE) in the renewables sector. Leveraging its extensive experience and equipment range, JFO can answer its customers’ evolving requirements and improve the safety and cost-efficiency of their offshore wind operations. By merging with its sister company, James Fisher Subsea Excavation, JFO was able to create a single, dynamic source for a host of CFE services. The company can now deploy its multi-skilled offshore teams to provide all-in-one solutions for excavation, subsea cutting, decommissioning and subsea infrastructure removal, and pull in services. With this comprehensive capability, JFO can tailor its operations to the customer’s requirements, while also offering significant time and cost savings. This development builds on JFO’s existing record of accomplishment in delivering CFE for the renewables sector – which the company first began to serve in 2010 with the completion of a major project for the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Since then, JFO has invested in an extensive range of equipment types to maximise the safety, cost-efficiency, and flexibility of its services. As a result, the company’s technology is fully controllable with variable flow output, which increases trenching accuracy; the team’s compact and light-weight equipment allows for the deployment from smaller vessels for increased agility, while also saving vital deck space; and JFO is ideally placed to complete emergency cable deburials, remedial cable trenching, sand wave clearance, and seabed rectification.

8

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Graeme Brand, Business Development Director at James Fisher Offshore: “We

are delighted to expand our CFE capabilities to deliver the best results for our renewables customers. As the team is now able to support a wide-range of project requirements in-house, customers stand to benefit from the reduced costs and lead times that come with sourcing one dedicated solution.”

With its up scaled capacity and global reach, JFO continues to look for new CFE opportunities in the renewables industry, and is equipped to deliver first-class support for projects throughout their entire lifecycles.

Ben Grant, Managing Director, Impact Subsea said: “We are thrilled to announce the appointment of ROMOR as a distributor of Impact Subsea products within Canada. Their knowledge and technical ability will enable excellent support to be provided to our Canadian user base.” Impact Subsea’s distributor base consists of sixteen companies worldwide. Further growth of the distributor network is planned to ensure the highest levels of support are maintained for Impact Subsea’s sensor solutions. Impact Subsea are based in the United Kingdom where they design and manufacture a range of sensors for underwater applications. Their sensor offerings include Sonar, Altimeter, Depth, Attitude & Heading Reference and Flooded Member Detection systems.

SURETY Turnkey cable protection solutions for the offshore wind sector Our products are tried, tested and trusted through a 40‐year evidence‐based track record Patented cable protection systems (CPS) Distributed buoyancy c/w specialist clamping options Bend stiffeners and restrictors Retrofit J‐tubes PU bellmouths Full in‐house testing and validation

BUOYANCY, PROTECTION and INSULATION SOLUTIONS balmoraloffshore.com/renewables

Subsea UK News | October 2020

9


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

WHEN PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL WORLDS CONNECT

exogenous shocks such as the pandemic, but also our ability to respond at pace collectively to economic opportunity and to the challenges of sustainable operations. Accelerants for Success To realise these tools, we have to build, connect and populate a new ecosystem - virtual and physical collaboration zones where investors, researchers, companies, regulators, users and investors can co-create, working together to envisage, design, build, test and manufacture Smart Machines.

Developing and Using A New Generation of Smart Machines

These zones are part software – tools to collaborate from your desk wherever you are – and part physical hardware - Living Laboratories where real testing and iteration happens safely before moving into the real world. Avoiding silos, they enable collaboration and re-use in the classic workflow: ideation to understand need, simulation to converge on requirements and specifications, emulation and partial hardware ‘in the loop’ to bring real world rigour and uncertainty, visualisation to see all, Living Laboratories to make the first tentative steps safely, and the real world where Smart Machines grow up.

Professor David Lane PhD CBE FREng FRSE Founder, Edinburgh Centre for Robotics Director, EPSRC Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA) Hub Co-Chair, UK Robotics Growth Partnership

Robot safety compliance and self-certification trials

During the late spring of 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic a Government group made contact to enquire if any of the mobile robots or quadrupeds in the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics could be repurposed to trial hospital cleaning duties. PPE and staff were in short supply. Colleagues in the Centre convened, and we concluded yes, but we would need six months. Special access to our laboratories would be needed to work on re-programming to repurpose and to build mock ups to carry out tests. Meanwhile the Ventilator Challenge UK teams were creating, certifying and producing an approved product at scale in the space of 12 weeks. We lacked the necessary tools to work together and on our robots remotely. Such tools not only underpin our resilience in responding to

10

Subsea UK News | October 2020

The tools in these zones comprise various Digital Twins of the Smart Machines and their environments, that represent their geometry and physics as well as semantic attributes that describe their context and characteristics. These Digital Twins can connect remotely to each other and to real prototype machines and their sensors in Living Labs. We connect these Digital Twins and machines through a Digital Commons embodied as a new set of standards and middleware. The commons forms a new kind of national infrastructure that, like the World Wide Web, is used by everybody but owned by nobody. Beyond the search of the World Wide Web comparing text strings, the Digital Commons enables query in the world-wide-twin (or even Twinternet) of digital and real assets to seek reasoned information. By making the virtual and physical worlds co-exist thus, smart machine simulations can move around virtual worlds, with available real data integrated to improve fidelity, and vice versa. This revolutionises the quality of trials and training opportunities for people and machine learning before operating in the real world. Further, the commons middleware could enable existing Digital Twins to be connected, and sets a consistent direction for future development. Continues overleaf >>

Remote vehicle monitoring and supervision

Subsea UK News | October 2020

11


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

WHEN PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL WORLDS CONNECT

exogenous shocks such as the pandemic, but also our ability to respond at pace collectively to economic opportunity and to the challenges of sustainable operations. Accelerants for Success To realise these tools, we have to build, connect and populate a new ecosystem - virtual and physical collaboration zones where investors, researchers, companies, regulators, users and investors can co-create, working together to envisage, design, build, test and manufacture Smart Machines.

Developing and Using A New Generation of Smart Machines

These zones are part software – tools to collaborate from your desk wherever you are – and part physical hardware - Living Laboratories where real testing and iteration happens safely before moving into the real world. Avoiding silos, they enable collaboration and re-use in the classic workflow: ideation to understand need, simulation to converge on requirements and specifications, emulation and partial hardware ‘in the loop’ to bring real world rigour and uncertainty, visualisation to see all, Living Laboratories to make the first tentative steps safely, and the real world where Smart Machines grow up.

Professor David Lane PhD CBE FREng FRSE Founder, Edinburgh Centre for Robotics Director, EPSRC Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA) Hub Co-Chair, UK Robotics Growth Partnership

Robot safety compliance and self-certification trials

During the late spring of 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic a Government group made contact to enquire if any of the mobile robots or quadrupeds in the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics could be repurposed to trial hospital cleaning duties. PPE and staff were in short supply. Colleagues in the Centre convened, and we concluded yes, but we would need six months. Special access to our laboratories would be needed to work on re-programming to repurpose and to build mock ups to carry out tests. Meanwhile the Ventilator Challenge UK teams were creating, certifying and producing an approved product at scale in the space of 12 weeks. We lacked the necessary tools to work together and on our robots remotely. Such tools not only underpin our resilience in responding to

10

Subsea UK News | October 2020

The tools in these zones comprise various Digital Twins of the Smart Machines and their environments, that represent their geometry and physics as well as semantic attributes that describe their context and characteristics. These Digital Twins can connect remotely to each other and to real prototype machines and their sensors in Living Labs. We connect these Digital Twins and machines through a Digital Commons embodied as a new set of standards and middleware. The commons forms a new kind of national infrastructure that, like the World Wide Web, is used by everybody but owned by nobody. Beyond the search of the World Wide Web comparing text strings, the Digital Commons enables query in the world-wide-twin (or even Twinternet) of digital and real assets to seek reasoned information. By making the virtual and physical worlds co-exist thus, smart machine simulations can move around virtual worlds, with available real data integrated to improve fidelity, and vice versa. This revolutionises the quality of trials and training opportunities for people and machine learning before operating in the real world. Further, the commons middleware could enable existing Digital Twins to be connected, and sets a consistent direction for future development. Continues overleaf >>

Remote vehicle monitoring and supervision

Subsea UK News | October 2020

11


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

The Smart Machine Lifecyle

Implications for Offshore Energy

Just like humans, Smart Machines don’t burst into the world as mature adults. Their conception and gestation is normally in digital synthetic environments. Then gradually they are exposed to aspects of the physical world using test rigs, hardware-in-the-loop emulation and external sensors to capture real world data. The next step is to allow them out into the world but within constrained environments - Living Labs. Over time, as their capabilities evolve and mature, the constraints within the Living Lab can gradually be relaxed until eventually the Smart Machines can be allowed out into the real world. Even then, teleoperation enables humans to (scalably) step back into the loop and take control if/ when the smart machine encounters a problem that it cannot solve; rather like a watchful parent ready to offer advice and assistance during adolescence and even adulthood.

Such Smart Machines and Digital Twins can be at the heart of our efforts to develop resilient and sustainable offshore operations for the future. Successful developments such as the Subsea7/SeeByte Autonomous Inspection Vehicle (AIV) have trailblazed the way and motivated broader programmes of work. Within the EPSRC ORCA Hub and soon the new National ROBOTARIUM in Edinburgh, we are working with a range of industrial and Government partners to bring new capabilities with mobile and legged robots, drones, autonomous underwater and surface vehicles to the market. Beyond inspection, the new frontier is robotic touch from all these platforms, to manipulate, place and interact physically with the asset. Shared autonomy interfaces have been developed that vary the independence of robot and operator according to the complexity of the task. Using novel, deployable sensors and networks coupled to Digital Twins, rich data sets are being gathered and used to realise more advanced condition monitoring and prognostics on offshore assets. The possibility now exists to design and build assets that can self-certify their safety using these methods, and can reconfigure their operation to maximise this safety. Advanced interfaces to operators using chat and dialog are making the AI methods and automation able to explain themselves, thereby enhancing trust in the systems. Through a spiral innovation approach we have been bringing researchers and practitioners together to realise successive sprints and practical demonstrations around specific use cases in the asset integrity lifecycle.

Underwater reconstruction and navigation trials at ORE Catapult facility, Blyth

These Smart Machines need to be woven into the fabric of our everyday lives so that they are capable, mature and trusted. There they will help deliver economic opportunities in terms of increased efficiency, scalability, sustainability and resilience, and when mega shocks hit, these Smart Machines can be conscripted to help us fight those battles.

Autonomous underwater vehicle for subsea surveys AUV for subsea station keeping and 3D reconstruction

Object detection and 3D reconstruction of a subsea pipeline

Quadruped mapping and navigation

12

Subsea UK News | October 2020

“These Smart Machines need to be woven into the fabric of our everyday lives so that they are capable, mature and trusted.”

Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV)

The Way Ahead We don’t yet have all the new digital infrastructure that can enable us to properly accelerate the developments and multi-site collaborations in programmes such as ORCA. However, through the work of the UK Robotics Growth Partnership we are seeding national initiatives in collaboration with cross sector public and private partners to bring together this more coherent cyber-physical digital infrastructure of connected Digital Twins and Living Labs. Once constructed, they present the opportunity of the cyberphysical campus, for remote skills development for apprentices, graduates, researchers, operators and managers. On tap access to connected cyber-physical assets from your desk or your phone can accelerate the pedagogical change we are already seeing on our physical campuses in response to the pandemic. Such infrastructure enables new ways of learning with the emphasis on the needs and interests of the individual. The UK will not outspend its large international competitors investing in R&D. But by spending wisely on this new kind of digital infrastructure, it can empower its researchers, innovators and industries to become and remain internationally leading.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

13


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

The Smart Machine Lifecyle

Implications for Offshore Energy

Just like humans, Smart Machines don’t burst into the world as mature adults. Their conception and gestation is normally in digital synthetic environments. Then gradually they are exposed to aspects of the physical world using test rigs, hardware-in-the-loop emulation and external sensors to capture real world data. The next step is to allow them out into the world but within constrained environments - Living Labs. Over time, as their capabilities evolve and mature, the constraints within the Living Lab can gradually be relaxed until eventually the Smart Machines can be allowed out into the real world. Even then, teleoperation enables humans to (scalably) step back into the loop and take control if/ when the smart machine encounters a problem that it cannot solve; rather like a watchful parent ready to offer advice and assistance during adolescence and even adulthood.

Such Smart Machines and Digital Twins can be at the heart of our efforts to develop resilient and sustainable offshore operations for the future. Successful developments such as the Subsea7/SeeByte Autonomous Inspection Vehicle (AIV) have trailblazed the way and motivated broader programmes of work. Within the EPSRC ORCA Hub and soon the new National ROBOTARIUM in Edinburgh, we are working with a range of industrial and Government partners to bring new capabilities with mobile and legged robots, drones, autonomous underwater and surface vehicles to the market. Beyond inspection, the new frontier is robotic touch from all these platforms, to manipulate, place and interact physically with the asset. Shared autonomy interfaces have been developed that vary the independence of robot and operator according to the complexity of the task. Using novel, deployable sensors and networks coupled to Digital Twins, rich data sets are being gathered and used to realise more advanced condition monitoring and prognostics on offshore assets. The possibility now exists to design and build assets that can self-certify their safety using these methods, and can reconfigure their operation to maximise this safety. Advanced interfaces to operators using chat and dialog are making the AI methods and automation able to explain themselves, thereby enhancing trust in the systems. Through a spiral innovation approach we have been bringing researchers and practitioners together to realise successive sprints and practical demonstrations around specific use cases in the asset integrity lifecycle.

Underwater reconstruction and navigation trials at ORE Catapult facility, Blyth

These Smart Machines need to be woven into the fabric of our everyday lives so that they are capable, mature and trusted. There they will help deliver economic opportunities in terms of increased efficiency, scalability, sustainability and resilience, and when mega shocks hit, these Smart Machines can be conscripted to help us fight those battles.

Autonomous underwater vehicle for subsea surveys AUV for subsea station keeping and 3D reconstruction

Object detection and 3D reconstruction of a subsea pipeline

Quadruped mapping and navigation

12

Subsea UK News | October 2020

“These Smart Machines need to be woven into the fabric of our everyday lives so that they are capable, mature and trusted.”

Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV)

The Way Ahead We don’t yet have all the new digital infrastructure that can enable us to properly accelerate the developments and multi-site collaborations in programmes such as ORCA. However, through the work of the UK Robotics Growth Partnership we are seeding national initiatives in collaboration with cross sector public and private partners to bring together this more coherent cyber-physical digital infrastructure of connected Digital Twins and Living Labs. Once constructed, they present the opportunity of the cyberphysical campus, for remote skills development for apprentices, graduates, researchers, operators and managers. On tap access to connected cyber-physical assets from your desk or your phone can accelerate the pedagogical change we are already seeing on our physical campuses in response to the pandemic. Such infrastructure enables new ways of learning with the emphasis on the needs and interests of the individual. The UK will not outspend its large international competitors investing in R&D. But by spending wisely on this new kind of digital infrastructure, it can empower its researchers, innovators and industries to become and remain internationally leading.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

13


BUSINESS

FEATURE ARTICLE

ELECTRODE: Connecting the Dots on Subsea Cable Failures in Offshore Wind By Charlotte Strang-Moran, ELECTRODE Project Lead, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult

Subsea power failures – at both the inter-array and export levels – are the major source of insurance claims from the offshore wind industry. As we race towards our net-zero targets, reducing outages and increasing reliability is a priority for the industry, and therefore for us as the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for the offshore renewables sector. That is why, through our project portfolio, we are convening industry, academic researchers and disruptive technology innovators to find solutions.

Oceaneering SDS Completes Successful Manufacturing of Umbilicals and Associated Hardware Oceaneering’s Subsea Distribution Solutions facility in Rosyth recently completed the successful manufacturing of an umbilical and hardware contract for a European super major. Oceaneering was awarded the contract which included the delivery of three steel tube electrohydraulic umbilicals, a spare, and associated hardware in October 2018. Oceaneering met the July 2020 contract delivery date, overcoming challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic at a critical time within the project. The entire team, especially those tasked with continuing on-site manufacturing of the contract’s longest umbilical, performed exceptionally under very difficult circumstances. As part of the project scope, the Oceaneering team completed the design, procurement, manufacture, and assembly of umbilical components and hardware, together with the termination, testing, and delivery of the equipment. The combined umbilical length delivered was approximately 56km with the longest of the umbilicals manufactured in a single length of over 37km. The team’s continued focus on HSE and quality resulted in safe execution of the project and end products that satisfied customer requirements on schedule. The multi-million-pound project was loaded out from Rosyth via a carousel to carousel loadout onto a vessel over a period of seventeen days. Once loaded, the vessel proceeded directly to the field to start installation.

14

Subsea UK News | October 2020

The umbilicals and hardware will be installed in the North Sea UKCS in 80-90 meters of water depth and the field is to be developed using existing host infrastructure.

“The successful execution of this project exemplifies the commitment and professionalism of our team,” said Crawford Tennant, General Manager. “When we took the project on in 2018, we never could have anticipated the circumstances we’ve managed, and I am more than proud of those who saw the project through to fruition on time, and most importantly, safely. This is only one of the recently completed projects that we have seen pass through our facility and would like to commend the professionalism of our Oceaneers in ensuring we are able to deliver the solutions our customers require.”

ELECTRODE (Electrical Cable Failure and Reliability Trending for Operational Developments) is the most ambitious and far-reaching of these projects. Recognising the need for better availability of the core tracking of cable failures, defects and reliability trends, we are launching the offshore wind industry’s first anonymised data-sharing platform to provide the most accurate trend analysis to date. We believe that this knowledge-sharing exercise is the best route to accelerating improvements in cable reliability and reducing the costs in terms of downtime, repairs and insurance. Looking further ahead, we envisage that fewer failures will reduce the need to deploy personnel to failure sites and drive up standards at every point of the supply chain – from design, manufacturing and transport to storage, installation, testing and maintenance. By removing the unknowns from cable failures and defects, ELECTRODE aims to encourage operational change, stimulate technology innovation and research, and help all levels of the supply chain identify where they can best develop and upgrade traditional systems and procedures. Insurers, meanwhile, will have the evidence they need for accurately assessing subsea cable risks and setting their requirements for industry standards that will drive down premiums.

How ELECTRODE will work Anonymity and security of commercial data are two of the core principles of ELECTRODE. For this new system, ORE Catapult will draw upon its experience in implementing the SPARTA benchmarking system (www.sparta-offshore.com) that captures the performance, availability and reliability data for 98% of the UK’s installed offshore wind capacity. ELECTRODE will track root causes of cable failures, failure modes, service downtime, as well as the effectiveness of the repair and monitoring procedures in place. This rich resource will connect every point of the cable highway to bridge gaps in knowledge between stakeholders and provide regular up-to-date industry-backed evidence. ELECTRODE aims to provide two levels of insight: 1. C  ontributors will have access to a webbased platform to upload their data and view the collated, anonymised data from themselves and other contributors through a trend and benchmarking interface. 2. A  regularly published digest will summarise cable reliability trends, conclusions from our analysts, case studies, and market overviews. While these are the high-level outputs for ELECTRODE, we are now actively talking to all levels of industry and the supply chain to ensure that the system will answer their most pressing needs and is a service they are comfortable using. They are telling us that ELECTRODE should build industry consensus on solving common cable system-related issues, feed into their strategic operations and maintenance (O&M) planning, fuel informed discussions between operators and the supply chain, and stimulate innovation from the data and digital, insurance and external sectors.

How to get involved with ELECTRODE ORE Catapult’s ELECTRODE is now under technical development with the support from various stakeholders; from operators, manufacturing, repair and installation, condition monitoring, asset management and other areas within the sector. During this stepping-stone phase, we are using the feedback from our consultations to create an agreed set of methodologies and trend analysis outputs that will be pulled together in an ELECTRODE Handbook ready for the project’s launch in early 2021. This Handbook will include the methodologies to each input trend analysis to ensure clarity and openness while safeguarding anonymity and security of the inputted data. The research and industry collaboration used to build this Handbook will ensure that it is of greatest value to the industry to bring down the costs of cablerelated activities. We are inviting businesses from across the supply chain to join the consultation and help us to shape ELECTRODE to ensure it best meets their needs. If you’re interested in getting involved in the consultation or learning more about the project, please do get in touch.

ore.catapult.org.uk

Subsea UK News | October 2020

15


BUSINESS

FEATURE ARTICLE

ELECTRODE: Connecting the Dots on Subsea Cable Failures in Offshore Wind By Charlotte Strang-Moran, ELECTRODE Project Lead, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult

Subsea power failures – at both the inter-array and export levels – are the major source of insurance claims from the offshore wind industry. As we race towards our net-zero targets, reducing outages and increasing reliability is a priority for the industry, and therefore for us as the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for the offshore renewables sector. That is why, through our project portfolio, we are convening industry, academic researchers and disruptive technology innovators to find solutions.

Oceaneering SDS Completes Successful Manufacturing of Umbilicals and Associated Hardware Oceaneering’s Subsea Distribution Solutions facility in Rosyth recently completed the successful manufacturing of an umbilical and hardware contract for a European super major. Oceaneering was awarded the contract which included the delivery of three steel tube electrohydraulic umbilicals, a spare, and associated hardware in October 2018. Oceaneering met the July 2020 contract delivery date, overcoming challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic at a critical time within the project. The entire team, especially those tasked with continuing on-site manufacturing of the contract’s longest umbilical, performed exceptionally under very difficult circumstances. As part of the project scope, the Oceaneering team completed the design, procurement, manufacture, and assembly of umbilical components and hardware, together with the termination, testing, and delivery of the equipment. The combined umbilical length delivered was approximately 56km with the longest of the umbilicals manufactured in a single length of over 37km. The team’s continued focus on HSE and quality resulted in safe execution of the project and end products that satisfied customer requirements on schedule. The multi-million-pound project was loaded out from Rosyth via a carousel to carousel loadout onto a vessel over a period of seventeen days. Once loaded, the vessel proceeded directly to the field to start installation.

14

Subsea UK News | October 2020

The umbilicals and hardware will be installed in the North Sea UKCS in 80-90 meters of water depth and the field is to be developed using existing host infrastructure.

“The successful execution of this project exemplifies the commitment and professionalism of our team,” said Crawford Tennant, General Manager. “When we took the project on in 2018, we never could have anticipated the circumstances we’ve managed, and I am more than proud of those who saw the project through to fruition on time, and most importantly, safely. This is only one of the recently completed projects that we have seen pass through our facility and would like to commend the professionalism of our Oceaneers in ensuring we are able to deliver the solutions our customers require.”

ELECTRODE (Electrical Cable Failure and Reliability Trending for Operational Developments) is the most ambitious and far-reaching of these projects. Recognising the need for better availability of the core tracking of cable failures, defects and reliability trends, we are launching the offshore wind industry’s first anonymised data-sharing platform to provide the most accurate trend analysis to date. We believe that this knowledge-sharing exercise is the best route to accelerating improvements in cable reliability and reducing the costs in terms of downtime, repairs and insurance. Looking further ahead, we envisage that fewer failures will reduce the need to deploy personnel to failure sites and drive up standards at every point of the supply chain – from design, manufacturing and transport to storage, installation, testing and maintenance. By removing the unknowns from cable failures and defects, ELECTRODE aims to encourage operational change, stimulate technology innovation and research, and help all levels of the supply chain identify where they can best develop and upgrade traditional systems and procedures. Insurers, meanwhile, will have the evidence they need for accurately assessing subsea cable risks and setting their requirements for industry standards that will drive down premiums.

How ELECTRODE will work Anonymity and security of commercial data are two of the core principles of ELECTRODE. For this new system, ORE Catapult will draw upon its experience in implementing the SPARTA benchmarking system (www.sparta-offshore.com) that captures the performance, availability and reliability data for 98% of the UK’s installed offshore wind capacity. ELECTRODE will track root causes of cable failures, failure modes, service downtime, as well as the effectiveness of the repair and monitoring procedures in place. This rich resource will connect every point of the cable highway to bridge gaps in knowledge between stakeholders and provide regular up-to-date industry-backed evidence. ELECTRODE aims to provide two levels of insight: 1. C  ontributors will have access to a webbased platform to upload their data and view the collated, anonymised data from themselves and other contributors through a trend and benchmarking interface. 2. A  regularly published digest will summarise cable reliability trends, conclusions from our analysts, case studies, and market overviews. While these are the high-level outputs for ELECTRODE, we are now actively talking to all levels of industry and the supply chain to ensure that the system will answer their most pressing needs and is a service they are comfortable using. They are telling us that ELECTRODE should build industry consensus on solving common cable system-related issues, feed into their strategic operations and maintenance (O&M) planning, fuel informed discussions between operators and the supply chain, and stimulate innovation from the data and digital, insurance and external sectors.

How to get involved with ELECTRODE ORE Catapult’s ELECTRODE is now under technical development with the support from various stakeholders; from operators, manufacturing, repair and installation, condition monitoring, asset management and other areas within the sector. During this stepping-stone phase, we are using the feedback from our consultations to create an agreed set of methodologies and trend analysis outputs that will be pulled together in an ELECTRODE Handbook ready for the project’s launch in early 2021. This Handbook will include the methodologies to each input trend analysis to ensure clarity and openness while safeguarding anonymity and security of the inputted data. The research and industry collaboration used to build this Handbook will ensure that it is of greatest value to the industry to bring down the costs of cablerelated activities. We are inviting businesses from across the supply chain to join the consultation and help us to shape ELECTRODE to ensure it best meets their needs. If you’re interested in getting involved in the consultation or learning more about the project, please do get in touch.

ore.catapult.org.uk

Subsea UK News | October 2020

15


BUSINESS

GROWTH

Rotech Subsea in Twin Taiwan Scope Success In the last two months subsea excavation pioneer, Rotech Subsea, has twice mobilised its next generation controlled flow trenching and excavation technology from Aberdeen for Taipei, Taiwan, where the company is conducting vital infrastructure work scopes at separate stateowned offshore wind farms. Rotech Subsea recently mobilised its state-of-the-art TRS2 and TRS1-LD Controlled Flow Excavation (CFE) and Suspended Jet Trenching tools, setting sail from Aberdeen to Taiwan. There, the TRS2 is completing a sandwave clearance for a new client won on the back of Rotech’s unrivalled European track record in renewables. The TRS1-LD jet trencher is concurrently undertaking a cable array trenching and export scope for a major long term tier one client.

Indeed, against a backdrop of a global pandemic, Rotech Subsea, has continued to operate at capacity throughout the last six months, servicing vital infrastructure projects in the burgeoning renewables sector in Europe and Asia. It is also teeing up delayed oil and gas projects while accessing new markets in home waters and overseas, including completing nationally vital port/logistics and alternative energy projects in the UK and as far afield as Bangladesh.

“Taiwan is a fantastic opportunity for us,” said Director of Subsea, Stephen Cochrane. “Rotech Subsea was essentially head-hunted and asked to mobilise from the UK for both scopes despite there being other older technology available to both clients in-country. It’s a great endorsement for us.

When Rotech Subsea demobs on both jobs in Taiwan, its TRS1LD will remain in the region, heading straight for Australia for a soon-tobe-announced scope of work in offshore Melbourne.

“We won, mobilised and are managing and executing these jobs in Asia while servicing the numerous European and UK projects in renewables and oil and gas that we have going on at the same time.”

Rotech Subsea’s patented RS technology provides capabilities not available through traditional mass flow excavation.

TRS1 LD Taiwan scope

MDL Targets Global Growth with New Appointments Maritime Developments has implemented organisational changes to its management and business development teams as it targets global growth in the “new normal” energy market. Andrew Blaquiere, previously VP Americas, joins the MDL Board as Managing Director and will be overseeing the day-to-day business operations. The last three years Blaquiere has been responsible for the business development and commercial management for MDL based in Houston. Prior to joining MDL in 2017, Blaquiere held various positions within the Acteon Group across engineering, project management, sales and business analysis. Reinforcing MDL’s commitment to its home market is the appointment of Dave Gardiner as VP UK & Europe. Gardiner joined MDL in 2017 as BD & Commercial Manager, having previously worked as contracts Engineer at TechnipFMC. He will be responsible for strengthening existing client relationships and building new ones, through tailored back-deck solutions to customers’ operational challenges in the North Sea basin and globally. The company has also made two new appointments to the clientfacing team. Michael Blease-Shepley joins MDL as VP Africa, building on 17 years of Sales and Business Development experience in the subsea sector. Following his initial career focusing on Scandinavia and Europe, Blease-Shepley went on to hold various management positions focusing on the African market, including with GSP Offshore, DOF Group and Ariosh. From his base in Accra, Ghana he will focus on supporting the company’s existing clients in Africa, as well as building the MDL brand in the region. Taking the role of Commercial Developments Manager is Marvin Morrison, who brings over 18 years of Project Management and Engineering experience from his previous roles at BP and DeepOcean, where he had responsibility for the delivery of significant SURF packages of work in UK, Norway and Azerbaijan. He will be responsible for growing MDL’s Asset Engineering and Maintenance division by fostering relationships with both current and future O&G Operators, implementing business growth strategies and identifying new product solutions and services based on client feedback. Derek Smith, MDL CEO, said: “Like every other business in the world, we were not immune from the painful impacts of COVID-19. This will likely be the most challenging market since MDL’s inception over 20 years ago.

“Still, we have managed to keep all of our team members, successfully served our customers and delivered on all our commitments without fault, and we have continued to add new work into the pipeline, albeit at a slower rate. All of this is a testament to the strength of our people, and resilience of MDL. “This is why I believe MDL can, and deserves to, continue to grow, to serve more customers worldwide with our value added services. These recent appointments are the springboard to this growth. “I would like to congratulate Andrew and Dave on their new posts, and welcome Michael and Marvin to One Team MDL.”

Andrew Blaquiere joins the MDL Board as Managing Director

16

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Subsea UK News | October 2020

17


BUSINESS

GROWTH

Rotech Subsea in Twin Taiwan Scope Success In the last two months subsea excavation pioneer, Rotech Subsea, has twice mobilised its next generation controlled flow trenching and excavation technology from Aberdeen for Taipei, Taiwan, where the company is conducting vital infrastructure work scopes at separate stateowned offshore wind farms. Rotech Subsea recently mobilised its state-of-the-art TRS2 and TRS1-LD Controlled Flow Excavation (CFE) and Suspended Jet Trenching tools, setting sail from Aberdeen to Taiwan. There, the TRS2 is completing a sandwave clearance for a new client won on the back of Rotech’s unrivalled European track record in renewables. The TRS1-LD jet trencher is concurrently undertaking a cable array trenching and export scope for a major long term tier one client.

Indeed, against a backdrop of a global pandemic, Rotech Subsea, has continued to operate at capacity throughout the last six months, servicing vital infrastructure projects in the burgeoning renewables sector in Europe and Asia. It is also teeing up delayed oil and gas projects while accessing new markets in home waters and overseas, including completing nationally vital port/logistics and alternative energy projects in the UK and as far afield as Bangladesh.

“Taiwan is a fantastic opportunity for us,” said Director of Subsea, Stephen Cochrane. “Rotech Subsea was essentially head-hunted and asked to mobilise from the UK for both scopes despite there being other older technology available to both clients in-country. It’s a great endorsement for us.

When Rotech Subsea demobs on both jobs in Taiwan, its TRS1LD will remain in the region, heading straight for Australia for a soon-tobe-announced scope of work in offshore Melbourne.

“We won, mobilised and are managing and executing these jobs in Asia while servicing the numerous European and UK projects in renewables and oil and gas that we have going on at the same time.”

Rotech Subsea’s patented RS technology provides capabilities not available through traditional mass flow excavation.

TRS1 LD Taiwan scope

MDL Targets Global Growth with New Appointments Maritime Developments has implemented organisational changes to its management and business development teams as it targets global growth in the “new normal” energy market. Andrew Blaquiere, previously VP Americas, joins the MDL Board as Managing Director and will be overseeing the day-to-day business operations. The last three years Blaquiere has been responsible for the business development and commercial management for MDL based in Houston. Prior to joining MDL in 2017, Blaquiere held various positions within the Acteon Group across engineering, project management, sales and business analysis. Reinforcing MDL’s commitment to its home market is the appointment of Dave Gardiner as VP UK & Europe. Gardiner joined MDL in 2017 as BD & Commercial Manager, having previously worked as contracts Engineer at TechnipFMC. He will be responsible for strengthening existing client relationships and building new ones, through tailored back-deck solutions to customers’ operational challenges in the North Sea basin and globally. The company has also made two new appointments to the clientfacing team. Michael Blease-Shepley joins MDL as VP Africa, building on 17 years of Sales and Business Development experience in the subsea sector. Following his initial career focusing on Scandinavia and Europe, Blease-Shepley went on to hold various management positions focusing on the African market, including with GSP Offshore, DOF Group and Ariosh. From his base in Accra, Ghana he will focus on supporting the company’s existing clients in Africa, as well as building the MDL brand in the region. Taking the role of Commercial Developments Manager is Marvin Morrison, who brings over 18 years of Project Management and Engineering experience from his previous roles at BP and DeepOcean, where he had responsibility for the delivery of significant SURF packages of work in UK, Norway and Azerbaijan. He will be responsible for growing MDL’s Asset Engineering and Maintenance division by fostering relationships with both current and future O&G Operators, implementing business growth strategies and identifying new product solutions and services based on client feedback. Derek Smith, MDL CEO, said: “Like every other business in the world, we were not immune from the painful impacts of COVID-19. This will likely be the most challenging market since MDL’s inception over 20 years ago.

“Still, we have managed to keep all of our team members, successfully served our customers and delivered on all our commitments without fault, and we have continued to add new work into the pipeline, albeit at a slower rate. All of this is a testament to the strength of our people, and resilience of MDL. “This is why I believe MDL can, and deserves to, continue to grow, to serve more customers worldwide with our value added services. These recent appointments are the springboard to this growth. “I would like to congratulate Andrew and Dave on their new posts, and welcome Michael and Marvin to One Team MDL.”

Andrew Blaquiere joins the MDL Board as Managing Director

16

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Subsea UK News | October 2020

17


NSRI UPDATE

BUSINESS / TECHNOLOGY

Strathclyde University Hails Subsea Technology Commercialisation Tool

Crondall Energy Celebrates Success in Achieving Energy Transition Ambitions Crondall Energy, as part of a consortium with WSP and GeoEnergy Durham, have been appointed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as technical advisors for the development of Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) in the UK.

Commercialisation of technology will be key to green recovery By Tony Laing, Director of Research and Market Acceleration at NSRI

Strathclyde University has endorsed a methodology developed by NSRI (National Subsea Research Initiative) to accelerate the commercialisaton of technology in support of the green recovery. NSRI, which works with underwater technology companies and academia to collaborate on bringing forward new technology, has developed a way of measuring commercial viability of a technical innovation to help fast-track getting it to market. The tool, called CHASMAITM, provides a clear indication of the potential commercial viability of early stage technology in the subsea industry that enables both innovators and investors. By measuring the viability of a technical concept through analysis of various factors including market conditions and funding requirements, CHASMAITM take a systematic approach and helps identify exactly where pioneering companies should be focusing their efforts. NSRI believes it will be particularly attractive to investors, helping to speed up the investment process which will, in turn, accelerate the introduction of new technical concepts which could support the green recovery. Tony Laing, director of research and market acceleration at NSRI, said: “Ideas frequently fail between invention and commercialisation. To improve the current success rate in the commercialisation of subsea technology, which is currently around one in ten, we’ve developed this tool that will help technology developers, funding organisations and investors assess robust commercial viability.

“As an enabling organisation, we know where there are demand-led technology gaps and can support supplier-led technology solutions. With our unique combination of deep domain knowledge and impartiality, we are in prime position to take a lateral approach to cross-industry challenges and priorities in terms of technology requirements. In the current precarious economic climate, technology development and innovation has never been more important, but it must be underpinned with a sound business case.”

Strathclyde University, renowned for its engineering capabilities, has been working closely with NSRI for several years.

18

Subsea UK News | October 2020

The potential re-purposing of existing Oil and Gas infrastructure for these Energy Transition applications is a further area of Crondall’s expertise. This has the potential to reduce the overall CAPEX, ‘carbon cost’ and environmental impact of Energy Transition projects. Many offshore facilities are reaching the end of their economic life and are scheduled for decommissioning, so time is of the essence to realise the benefits.

The BEIS contract as CCUS advisors is a strategic first step in Crondall’s Energy Transition ambitions. Crondall is well positioned to harness their technical skills and Oil and Gas experience to embrace new opportunities arising from offshore wind developments combined with power conversion (P2X) to hydrogen, ammonia or methanol for pipeline transport to shore.

We are at a critical watershed in the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy. Crondall Energy believe this is both an essential national strategy and an exciting engineering opportunity and are fully committed to support it.

Professor Matthew Revie, Associate Dean (Knowledge Exchange), Department of Management Science at Strathclyde Business, said: “The energy landscape is changing at an incredible rate, and the UK’s subsea industry is well-placed to capitalise on the many opportunities surrounding the blue economy, energy transition and digitalisation. We have a strong track-record of successful collaboration with subsea companies on the research and development of engineering-based innovation.” “Companies regularly come to us with strong engineering-based innovations, however establishing robust commercial viability is often not considered by businesses early enough in the idea generation process. The modelling framework developed by NSRI provokes companies to reflect not only on the “can we” of technology development, but also on the “should we” - will this technology development lead to a well-defined commercial solution? “With meaningful outputs in dashboard format, NSRI’s commercialisation tool visualises uncertainties and shows exactly where efforts should be focused to drive maximum business value and return on investment. That could be towards internal resources, delivering the technology or external market-led factors. The outputs are also incredibly valuable for allowing investors and stakeholders to understand the existence of customer-led demand.”

Commercialisation

Technology & Innovation

NSRI

If you’d like to utilise the new tool developed by NSRI, contact tony.laing@nsri.co.uk NSRI is the technology commercialisation arm for Subsea UK.

CCUS will play a key role in the decarbonisation of the UK industry and enable the production of ‘Blue’ Hydrogen at scale. Crondall will provide offshore facilities expertise, in particular the subsea pipeline and flow assurance required to transport CO2 over long distances safely and efficiently from the onshore facilities to the subsurface storage location. The initial two-year contract will support Government ambitions to be able to deploy CCUS at scale.

Research

Cellula Solus-LR AUV

Cellula Robotics Solus-LR UUV Nears Completion of Sea Trials Cellula Robotics are expecting completion of sea trials with their new long range UUV system - ‘SOLUS-LR’, in late Q4, 2020. The UUV is being built under the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) All Domain Situational Awareness Science & Technology Program. Objectives of this program include enhancing the domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic. The vehicle features a hydrogen fuel cell, which enables the longrange capabilities and endurance characteristics of the of Solus-LR. The vehicle can thus be deployed from a port, travel hundreds of kilometres to a work site, and then complete a multi-week mission. This provides a feasible, low-cost alternative to launching and recovering UUVs from large, manned vessels. The first set of vehicle sea trials were completed in Q4, 2019 and focused on validating basic autonomous behavior; including surface and submerged missions in Port Moody, off Burrard Inlet, British Colombia, supported by the Cellula Ranger survey vessel. Subsequent sea trials in February 2020 included testing of an integrated suction anchor and variable buoyancy engine module. The suction anchor enables Solus-LR to hold station in a low power, quiet mode for extended duration missions.

The project will conclude later in Q4, 2020 with a 2,000km mission in the Indian Arm glacial fjord, located north of Vancouver city, BC. This mission will see Solus-LR completing 10km laps between navigation and communications buoys, providing regular updates to a remote mission control center via under water communications. The Solus-LR is approximately 8.5 metres in length, 1 metre in diameter and displaces 3,700 kilograms. A fuel cell provides over 250-kilowatt hours of useable energy. When operating at speeds of 0.7 – 1.0 metres per second, Solus-LR will be capable of carrying out underwater missions over 2,000 kilometres in range. Integrated into the power system is a 4-kilowatt hour battery for fuel cell start up and to provide the ability to reduce the vehicle’s acoustic profile while cruising or at anchor. The autonomously deployed subsea anchor is used to further increase the vehicle’s endurance enabling submerged multi-month missions.

The final set of trials commenced in early September 2020, with the fully marinized fuel cell power module integrated to compete a number of long endurance missions.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

19


NSRI UPDATE

BUSINESS / TECHNOLOGY

Strathclyde University Hails Subsea Technology Commercialisation Tool

Crondall Energy Celebrates Success in Achieving Energy Transition Ambitions Crondall Energy, as part of a consortium with WSP and GeoEnergy Durham, have been appointed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as technical advisors for the development of Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) in the UK.

Commercialisation of technology will be key to green recovery By Tony Laing, Director of Research and Market Acceleration at NSRI

Strathclyde University has endorsed a methodology developed by NSRI (National Subsea Research Initiative) to accelerate the commercialisaton of technology in support of the green recovery. NSRI, which works with underwater technology companies and academia to collaborate on bringing forward new technology, has developed a way of measuring commercial viability of a technical innovation to help fast-track getting it to market. The tool, called CHASMAITM, provides a clear indication of the potential commercial viability of early stage technology in the subsea industry that enables both innovators and investors. By measuring the viability of a technical concept through analysis of various factors including market conditions and funding requirements, CHASMAITM take a systematic approach and helps identify exactly where pioneering companies should be focusing their efforts. NSRI believes it will be particularly attractive to investors, helping to speed up the investment process which will, in turn, accelerate the introduction of new technical concepts which could support the green recovery. Tony Laing, director of research and market acceleration at NSRI, said: “Ideas frequently fail between invention and commercialisation. To improve the current success rate in the commercialisation of subsea technology, which is currently around one in ten, we’ve developed this tool that will help technology developers, funding organisations and investors assess robust commercial viability.

“As an enabling organisation, we know where there are demand-led technology gaps and can support supplier-led technology solutions. With our unique combination of deep domain knowledge and impartiality, we are in prime position to take a lateral approach to cross-industry challenges and priorities in terms of technology requirements. In the current precarious economic climate, technology development and innovation has never been more important, but it must be underpinned with a sound business case.”

Strathclyde University, renowned for its engineering capabilities, has been working closely with NSRI for several years.

18

Subsea UK News | October 2020

The potential re-purposing of existing Oil and Gas infrastructure for these Energy Transition applications is a further area of Crondall’s expertise. This has the potential to reduce the overall CAPEX, ‘carbon cost’ and environmental impact of Energy Transition projects. Many offshore facilities are reaching the end of their economic life and are scheduled for decommissioning, so time is of the essence to realise the benefits.

The BEIS contract as CCUS advisors is a strategic first step in Crondall’s Energy Transition ambitions. Crondall is well positioned to harness their technical skills and Oil and Gas experience to embrace new opportunities arising from offshore wind developments combined with power conversion (P2X) to hydrogen, ammonia or methanol for pipeline transport to shore.

We are at a critical watershed in the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy. Crondall Energy believe this is both an essential national strategy and an exciting engineering opportunity and are fully committed to support it.

Professor Matthew Revie, Associate Dean (Knowledge Exchange), Department of Management Science at Strathclyde Business, said: “The energy landscape is changing at an incredible rate, and the UK’s subsea industry is well-placed to capitalise on the many opportunities surrounding the blue economy, energy transition and digitalisation. We have a strong track-record of successful collaboration with subsea companies on the research and development of engineering-based innovation.” “Companies regularly come to us with strong engineering-based innovations, however establishing robust commercial viability is often not considered by businesses early enough in the idea generation process. The modelling framework developed by NSRI provokes companies to reflect not only on the “can we” of technology development, but also on the “should we” - will this technology development lead to a well-defined commercial solution? “With meaningful outputs in dashboard format, NSRI’s commercialisation tool visualises uncertainties and shows exactly where efforts should be focused to drive maximum business value and return on investment. That could be towards internal resources, delivering the technology or external market-led factors. The outputs are also incredibly valuable for allowing investors and stakeholders to understand the existence of customer-led demand.”

Commercialisation

Technology & Innovation

NSRI

If you’d like to utilise the new tool developed by NSRI, contact tony.laing@nsri.co.uk NSRI is the technology commercialisation arm for Subsea UK.

CCUS will play a key role in the decarbonisation of the UK industry and enable the production of ‘Blue’ Hydrogen at scale. Crondall will provide offshore facilities expertise, in particular the subsea pipeline and flow assurance required to transport CO2 over long distances safely and efficiently from the onshore facilities to the subsurface storage location. The initial two-year contract will support Government ambitions to be able to deploy CCUS at scale.

Research

Cellula Solus-LR AUV

Cellula Robotics Solus-LR UUV Nears Completion of Sea Trials Cellula Robotics are expecting completion of sea trials with their new long range UUV system - ‘SOLUS-LR’, in late Q4, 2020. The UUV is being built under the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) All Domain Situational Awareness Science & Technology Program. Objectives of this program include enhancing the domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic. The vehicle features a hydrogen fuel cell, which enables the longrange capabilities and endurance characteristics of the of Solus-LR. The vehicle can thus be deployed from a port, travel hundreds of kilometres to a work site, and then complete a multi-week mission. This provides a feasible, low-cost alternative to launching and recovering UUVs from large, manned vessels. The first set of vehicle sea trials were completed in Q4, 2019 and focused on validating basic autonomous behavior; including surface and submerged missions in Port Moody, off Burrard Inlet, British Colombia, supported by the Cellula Ranger survey vessel. Subsequent sea trials in February 2020 included testing of an integrated suction anchor and variable buoyancy engine module. The suction anchor enables Solus-LR to hold station in a low power, quiet mode for extended duration missions.

The project will conclude later in Q4, 2020 with a 2,000km mission in the Indian Arm glacial fjord, located north of Vancouver city, BC. This mission will see Solus-LR completing 10km laps between navigation and communications buoys, providing regular updates to a remote mission control center via under water communications. The Solus-LR is approximately 8.5 metres in length, 1 metre in diameter and displaces 3,700 kilograms. A fuel cell provides over 250-kilowatt hours of useable energy. When operating at speeds of 0.7 – 1.0 metres per second, Solus-LR will be capable of carrying out underwater missions over 2,000 kilometres in range. Integrated into the power system is a 4-kilowatt hour battery for fuel cell start up and to provide the ability to reduce the vehicle’s acoustic profile while cruising or at anchor. The autonomously deployed subsea anchor is used to further increase the vehicle’s endurance enabling submerged multi-month missions.

The final set of trials commenced in early September 2020, with the fully marinized fuel cell power module integrated to compete a number of long endurance missions.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

19


TECHNOLOGY

EMPOWERING

Floating wind test render

our new generation of electric work robots

Balmoral: Floating Wind to Drive Almost 10-fold Increase in Offshore Capacity A world of opportunities is opening up for the offshore wind market. With the latest intelligence predicting a global capacity increase from 2019’s 29GW to a massive 234GW by 2030, innovation and technology will play a major role in achieving this goal. With the reduction in development costs for wind power already being exploited, floating wind is becoming an increasingly attractive prospect for developers as they seek to harvest large scale, powerful and consistent wind power efficiently. As most of the world’s population live on - or close to - a coastline, transmission costs are considered highly competitive. The energy transition is also seeing the electrification of established brownfield production platforms and the industry is researching how deeper water can be utilised for renewable power generation.

more powerful more intelligent more future-flexible world leader in electric underwater robotics

With much of the technology required for floating wind being adapted from the traditional offshore energy sector, Balmoral is in an exceptionally strong position to contribute to these projects. Ian Milne, sales manager for renewable energy products at Balmoral, said: “Our in-house expertise – including a dedicated research and development team, hydrodynamic engineering design and project management, supported by comprehensive test facilities – provides a truly unique offering to the industry. “Our product solutions have been used successfully by the offshore energy sector for 40 years and we maintain an unrivalled performance record in the industry.

“This design and manufacturing expertise and experience is now being enjoyed by our clients in the offshore wind sector where clients can rely on our highly skilled personnel to deliver projects safely on time, on budget anywhere in the world.” Where floating wind buoyancy and mooring systems are required, Balmoral offers distributed buoyancy modules and accessories such as bend restrictors and stiffeners, in addition to standard mooring offerings. Milne said: “Complemented by fixed wind patented fibre-technology cable protection systems, our solutions offer high performance, highly competitive options for the offshore wind sector. “Engagement and collaboration are where real savings can be made so we encourage contact at the early stages of development. We have enabled savings of up to 30% on previous projects by playing a proactive and innovative role in delivering end-to-end solutions.”

Subsea UK News | October 2020

21


TECHNOLOGY

EMPOWERING

Floating wind test render

our new generation of electric work robots

Balmoral: Floating Wind to Drive Almost 10-fold Increase in Offshore Capacity A world of opportunities is opening up for the offshore wind market. With the latest intelligence predicting a global capacity increase from 2019’s 29GW to a massive 234GW by 2030, innovation and technology will play a major role in achieving this goal. With the reduction in development costs for wind power already being exploited, floating wind is becoming an increasingly attractive prospect for developers as they seek to harvest large scale, powerful and consistent wind power efficiently. As most of the world’s population live on - or close to - a coastline, transmission costs are considered highly competitive. The energy transition is also seeing the electrification of established brownfield production platforms and the industry is researching how deeper water can be utilised for renewable power generation.

more powerful more intelligent more future-flexible world leader in electric underwater robotics

With much of the technology required for floating wind being adapted from the traditional offshore energy sector, Balmoral is in an exceptionally strong position to contribute to these projects. Ian Milne, sales manager for renewable energy products at Balmoral, said: “Our in-house expertise – including a dedicated research and development team, hydrodynamic engineering design and project management, supported by comprehensive test facilities – provides a truly unique offering to the industry. “Our product solutions have been used successfully by the offshore energy sector for 40 years and we maintain an unrivalled performance record in the industry.

“This design and manufacturing expertise and experience is now being enjoyed by our clients in the offshore wind sector where clients can rely on our highly skilled personnel to deliver projects safely on time, on budget anywhere in the world.” Where floating wind buoyancy and mooring systems are required, Balmoral offers distributed buoyancy modules and accessories such as bend restrictors and stiffeners, in addition to standard mooring offerings. Milne said: “Complemented by fixed wind patented fibre-technology cable protection systems, our solutions offer high performance, highly competitive options for the offshore wind sector. “Engagement and collaboration are where real savings can be made so we encourage contact at the early stages of development. We have enabled savings of up to 30% on previous projects by playing a proactive and innovative role in delivering end-to-end solutions.”

Subsea UK News | October 2020

21


TECHNOLOGY

Fugro’s Major Upgrade to LADS Technology Improves Hydrographic Data Collection in Australia and Pacific Region Fugro has successfully trialled a major upgrade to their Fugro LADS airborne lidar bathymetry (ALB) system. The enhanced LADS HD+ technology was developed in Fugro’s laser laboratory in Adelaide, Australia, and is a sophisticated hydrographic mapping system that accurately measures water depth over both the marine and coastal zone environments. nautical charting and coastal zone management. This development will also complement Fugro’s lightweight Rapid Airborne Multibeam Mapping System (RAMMS), which can be operated from small aircraft or from an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV). Mark Sinclair, Fugro’s Director of Hydrography in Asia-Pacific, said: “This

Fugro’s LADS HD+ on final acceptance flights over South Australia

The new advances to the system have doubled the laser speed and the swath width and improved the object detection of the system, greatly increasing data collection efficiency for nautical charting. The system builds upon the proven Australian-developed LADS technology and has been designed for safe, high-speed and costeffective surveys of clean, shallow coastal areas in depths up to 80 m. ALB can be integrated with traditional hydrographic survey methods using acoustics, such as multibeam echosounders (MBES), to support

innovation will deliver enhanced survey coverage and object detection to improve our nautical charts, which are critical to our maritime trade. These data collection enhancements are also supported by more efficient data processing with Fugro’s Australian-developed Pyxis cloudbased processing, which combines artificial intelligence and machine-learning.”

The Fugro LADS HD+ system will now be deployed to Papua New Guinea for nautical charting projects, continuing Fugro’s work in Pacific Small Island Developing States supporting safety of navigation and climate change adaption.

Tritech Announce Official Launch of Diver Mounted Display (DMD) Tritech International Ltd, a Moog Inc. company, announced the official launch of the Diver Mounted Display Tethered system (DMD-T) this October. The system was originally developed as a prototype (the HMD) and has been developed into a full product, incorporating user feedback and advancements in design. The DMD comprises of topside and diver mounted components. On the diver there is a slimline monocle which can be flipped up and down in the water which is mounted on the diver’s mask or helmet, an above eye-level multibeam sonar, and a subsea computer which processes the signal from the sonar and is clipped onto the diver’s belt A custom made cable then allows for the sonar signal and diver comms to be sent to the topside dive team who operate the DMD Surface Control Unit (DMD SCU). The DMD SCU allows the dive team to control and monitor the same sonar signal the diver is able to see through their monocle as well as send messages and directions down to the diver, up to 100m away. The system is compatible with Tritech’s Gemini 1200ik dual frequency multibeam sonar, the Gemini 720ik and the smaller Gemini 720im. The data from multibeam sonar allows the diver to see in zero visibility water for up to 120m (depending on the sonar selected). The system boasts hands-free technology for the diver and the ability to shorten missions and make them more efficient. The system was first developed for the Search and Recovery industry but is set to be used throughout commercial and military diving operations. The system comes ready-to-use and can be deployed quickly and without extensive training.

22

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Maersk Training Launches Training Management App to Assist Businesses Post Pandemic Maersk Training in the UK has announced the launch of its upgraded Training Management Solution (TMS) with the aim to improve the training management for companies dealing with fewer headcount and remote working, amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The software which is divided into two parts, a mobile app aimed at delegates and a web-based application for the administrators and training facilitators, offers a fully customised solution to meet the global training needs whilst removing the intermediary and reducing administrative time and costs. The mobile app provides a full overview of the employee’s individual training requirements, from training due to expire to current courses due to be completed, whilst offering a training record at their fingertips accessible anywhere in the world.

MAXIMISE PRODUCTION. MINIMISE DOWNTIME. For over fifty years, Nylacast have helped and assisted its customers to enhance project performance, efficiency and safety through the design, manufacture and supply of award-winning materials technology. Manufacturing components from initial chemistry to end product, Nylacast’s full engineering solutions enhance performance and reduce maintenance through their corrosion resistance, low weight and low friction. How can you enhance your projects? Speak to our engineering team today.

The web application supplies the employers with a customised view and management of individual employee’s training matrix, simplifying the administrative process including booking and cancellation system, logistics and cost optimisation at the same time. The application also allows for the upload of financial records ensuring further cost assurance that training is kept within budget.

Maersk Training UK Head of Commercial, Scott Taylor, said: “As

our working habits have changed due to the global pandemic, remote employment has become our next Scott Taylor, Maersk Training UK normal. Businesses Head of Commercial have sadly had to make cuts, so with lower headcounts and more responsibility for surviving employees a solution that offers a saving on cost, time and is contactless with less administrative processes, is something that fits seamlessly into this new business era we enter. “The software offers a total training management solution in your hand anywhere at any time, and gives delegates an ownership of their development and competence whilst giving employers a total overview of training needs. The software has been recently onboarded by Maersk Drilling and has been a success.” Apart from a 360degerees training management solution, TMS provides access to over 500 pre-approved highest quality vendors and Maersk Training’s own cutting-edge facilities as well as opportunity to benefit from Maersk Training’s over 40 years’ experience in handling training management.

www.nylacast.com/energy | info@nylacast.com


TECHNOLOGY

Fugro’s Major Upgrade to LADS Technology Improves Hydrographic Data Collection in Australia and Pacific Region Fugro has successfully trialled a major upgrade to their Fugro LADS airborne lidar bathymetry (ALB) system. The enhanced LADS HD+ technology was developed in Fugro’s laser laboratory in Adelaide, Australia, and is a sophisticated hydrographic mapping system that accurately measures water depth over both the marine and coastal zone environments. nautical charting and coastal zone management. This development will also complement Fugro’s lightweight Rapid Airborne Multibeam Mapping System (RAMMS), which can be operated from small aircraft or from an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV). Mark Sinclair, Fugro’s Director of Hydrography in Asia-Pacific, said: “This

Fugro’s LADS HD+ on final acceptance flights over South Australia

The new advances to the system have doubled the laser speed and the swath width and improved the object detection of the system, greatly increasing data collection efficiency for nautical charting. The system builds upon the proven Australian-developed LADS technology and has been designed for safe, high-speed and costeffective surveys of clean, shallow coastal areas in depths up to 80 m. ALB can be integrated with traditional hydrographic survey methods using acoustics, such as multibeam echosounders (MBES), to support

innovation will deliver enhanced survey coverage and object detection to improve our nautical charts, which are critical to our maritime trade. These data collection enhancements are also supported by more efficient data processing with Fugro’s Australian-developed Pyxis cloudbased processing, which combines artificial intelligence and machine-learning.”

The Fugro LADS HD+ system will now be deployed to Papua New Guinea for nautical charting projects, continuing Fugro’s work in Pacific Small Island Developing States supporting safety of navigation and climate change adaption.

Tritech Announce Official Launch of Diver Mounted Display (DMD) Tritech International Ltd, a Moog Inc. company, announced the official launch of the Diver Mounted Display Tethered system (DMD-T) this October. The system was originally developed as a prototype (the HMD) and has been developed into a full product, incorporating user feedback and advancements in design. The DMD comprises of topside and diver mounted components. On the diver there is a slimline monocle which can be flipped up and down in the water which is mounted on the diver’s mask or helmet, an above eye-level multibeam sonar, and a subsea computer which processes the signal from the sonar and is clipped onto the diver’s belt A custom made cable then allows for the sonar signal and diver comms to be sent to the topside dive team who operate the DMD Surface Control Unit (DMD SCU). The DMD SCU allows the dive team to control and monitor the same sonar signal the diver is able to see through their monocle as well as send messages and directions down to the diver, up to 100m away. The system is compatible with Tritech’s Gemini 1200ik dual frequency multibeam sonar, the Gemini 720ik and the smaller Gemini 720im. The data from multibeam sonar allows the diver to see in zero visibility water for up to 120m (depending on the sonar selected). The system boasts hands-free technology for the diver and the ability to shorten missions and make them more efficient. The system was first developed for the Search and Recovery industry but is set to be used throughout commercial and military diving operations. The system comes ready-to-use and can be deployed quickly and without extensive training.

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Subsea UK News | October 2020

Maersk Training Launches Training Management App to Assist Businesses Post Pandemic Maersk Training in the UK has announced the launch of its upgraded Training Management Solution (TMS) with the aim to improve the training management for companies dealing with fewer headcount and remote working, amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The software which is divided into two parts, a mobile app aimed at delegates and a web-based application for the administrators and training facilitators, offers a fully customised solution to meet the global training needs whilst removing the intermediary and reducing administrative time and costs. The mobile app provides a full overview of the employee’s individual training requirements, from training due to expire to current courses due to be completed, whilst offering a training record at their fingertips accessible anywhere in the world.

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The web application supplies the employers with a customised view and management of individual employee’s training matrix, simplifying the administrative process including booking and cancellation system, logistics and cost optimisation at the same time. The application also allows for the upload of financial records ensuring further cost assurance that training is kept within budget.

Maersk Training UK Head of Commercial, Scott Taylor, said: “As

our working habits have changed due to the global pandemic, remote employment has become our next Scott Taylor, Maersk Training UK normal. Businesses Head of Commercial have sadly had to make cuts, so with lower headcounts and more responsibility for surviving employees a solution that offers a saving on cost, time and is contactless with less administrative processes, is something that fits seamlessly into this new business era we enter. “The software offers a total training management solution in your hand anywhere at any time, and gives delegates an ownership of their development and competence whilst giving employers a total overview of training needs. The software has been recently onboarded by Maersk Drilling and has been a success.” Apart from a 360degerees training management solution, TMS provides access to over 500 pre-approved highest quality vendors and Maersk Training’s own cutting-edge facilities as well as opportunity to benefit from Maersk Training’s over 40 years’ experience in handling training management.

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FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

OCEANIDS: Developing the Next Generation of Marine Robotics Oceanids is a £16 million programme funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and being delivered and led by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in partnership with the Scottish Association for Marine Science, University of Exeter and University of Southampton, which aims to reinforce the UK’s position as a global leader in marine science and technology. The primary aim is to develop enhanced data collection and delivery capability for the UK marine science community, particularly in unexplored and technologically challenging under-ice and deepocean environments. Under Oceanids the NOC and its partners are developing the next generation of pioneering Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS) that will push the boundaries of how we explore the ocean. The new vehicles, integrated marine sensors and software platforms will enable longer missions for autonomous underwater vehicles, allow scientists to explore under ice shelves, and collect vital oceanographic data in some of the most challenging and remote marine environments on the planet.

ALR1500

Sensors

Command and Control (C2)

Autosub 2000 Under Ice (A2KUI)

The five-year Oceanids programme - which launched in 2016 - has already delivered three new Autosub Long Range vehicles. Autosub Long Range 1500 (or ALR1500) is an evolution of the NOC’s existing ALR technology, made famous by ‘Boaty McBoatface’. Depth-rated to 1500 metres, the new Autosubs boast a considerably longer operational range than earlier models due to not requiring the bulky pressure housing needed to operate at full ocean depth.

The Loch Ness trials saw ALR2, one of the earlier 6000m depthrated vehicles, fitted with two new autonomous sensor classes that have been developed under Oceanids – CarCASS and AutoNutS.

Another key element of the Oceanids programme is Command and Control (C2) - a single, unified, web-based platform developed by the NOC’s software engineers which simplifies and centralises the operation of fleets of diverse MAS.

Autosub 2000 Under Ice (A2KUI), has been designed to operate at depths of up to 2000 metres and under ice shelves, as the name suggests. The vehicle will be an evolution of the NOC’s current highpowered workhorse, Autosub 6000.

The C2 platform has been designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, yet powerful enough to allow operators to create complex mission plans. The C2 interface will be made available to the wider UK community for piloting and monitoring of autonomous assets. An automated piloting infrastructure is being created to reduce the piloting load required for missions, which will allow rapid development of automated piloting routines and integration of third-party piloting algorithms for applications using a variety of vehicle types. The Oceanids C2 workflow for near-real-time data from gliders and recovery data from Autosub Long Range became operational in 2019, including delivery of open data via the web.

In addition to its under ice capabilities, A2KUI will be highly configurable and equipped with a new obstacle avoidance system, state-of-the art sonars, and high definition imaging capabilities to enable scientists to create detailed maps and establish habitat characteristics of the seafloor.

This lower depth-rated pressure vessel has been designed to deliver a greater buoyancy and payload capacity, which can accommodate a battery pack 2.5 times larger than its sibling. This battery configuration will provide enough power for deployments with longer ranges, at higher speeds, and with the integration of more powerhungry sensors and navigation systems. ALR1500 has already successfully completed Harbour Acceptance Trials at Portland Harbour in the first half of 2019, as well as commissioning trials at Loch Ness last August. Loch Ness was also the stage for trials of some of the new sensors being developed under Oceanids. The next outing for ALR1500 will be the long-distance proving trials, scheduled for later in 2020, which will see the sub voyage 2000km from the UK coast to the continental shelf.

CarCASS (Carbonate Chemistry Autonomous Sensor System) is the first sensor of its kind that is capable of autonomously making measurements of seawater carbonate chemistry including pH, Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) and Total Alkalinity (TA) from the surface to full ocean depth. CarCASS will be used to improve our understanding of the ocean’s rapidly changing CO2 reservoir, as well as monitor ocean acidification in areas of significant ecosystem and commercial importance such as coral reefs, shell fishing areas and mariculture establishments. The sensor will also be a powerful tool for monitoring sub-seafloor carbon storage reservoirs due to its ability to detect carbon dioxide leaks during and after gas injection. AutoNutS (Autonomous vehicle Nutrient Sensor), is an adaptation of an existing NOC sensor that has been optimised to produce six new operational devices for measuring nutrients and micronutrients. The data they gather will be crucial to advance our knowledge of how marine ecosystems work and how they respond to a changing climate. These ‘lab-on-chip’ miniaturised laboratories are able to perform seawater chemical analysis using small amounts of seawater samples and chemical reagents to help create more complete low-cost ocean chemistry datasets. The Loch Ness trials saw a total of 10 new sensors put through their paces. Nine of these were NOC-developed ‘lab-on-chip’ devices, alongside one third-party electrochemical pH sensor.

24

Subsea UK News | October 2020

In addition to these benefits, C2 will also help to deliver improved deployment visibility and outreach. Current deployments for the long-range MAS fleet are not as visible to the science community and the wider public as they could be. Improving this visibility will assist with outreach and show UK science in action.

A2KUI will also feature a new onboard control system which will improve system reliability, make it simpler to integrate new sensors, and provide a modern and future-proof system for ongoing development, while the power system will be based upon a NOCdesigned pressure tolerant rechargeable lithium ion battery array, which has been developed to provide constant power for extended duration operations. Marine robotics is transforming how we observe the ocean and opening up new and cost-effective, low carbon research possibilities. The last two decades have seen an increasing interest in ocean exploration, and marine autonomy has emerged as a key technology for enabling science and industry to take advantage of the opportunities that exist and continue to emerge. Through the innovation of new platforms and systems, coupled with the exploitation and adaptation of existing technologies, the Oceanids programme is on course to make a vital contribution to the future of ocean science, and maintain the UK’s position as a leader in ocean exploration.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

25


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

OCEANIDS: Developing the Next Generation of Marine Robotics Oceanids is a £16 million programme funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and being delivered and led by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in partnership with the Scottish Association for Marine Science, University of Exeter and University of Southampton, which aims to reinforce the UK’s position as a global leader in marine science and technology. The primary aim is to develop enhanced data collection and delivery capability for the UK marine science community, particularly in unexplored and technologically challenging under-ice and deepocean environments. Under Oceanids the NOC and its partners are developing the next generation of pioneering Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS) that will push the boundaries of how we explore the ocean. The new vehicles, integrated marine sensors and software platforms will enable longer missions for autonomous underwater vehicles, allow scientists to explore under ice shelves, and collect vital oceanographic data in some of the most challenging and remote marine environments on the planet.

ALR1500

Sensors

Command and Control (C2)

Autosub 2000 Under Ice (A2KUI)

The five-year Oceanids programme - which launched in 2016 - has already delivered three new Autosub Long Range vehicles. Autosub Long Range 1500 (or ALR1500) is an evolution of the NOC’s existing ALR technology, made famous by ‘Boaty McBoatface’. Depth-rated to 1500 metres, the new Autosubs boast a considerably longer operational range than earlier models due to not requiring the bulky pressure housing needed to operate at full ocean depth.

The Loch Ness trials saw ALR2, one of the earlier 6000m depthrated vehicles, fitted with two new autonomous sensor classes that have been developed under Oceanids – CarCASS and AutoNutS.

Another key element of the Oceanids programme is Command and Control (C2) - a single, unified, web-based platform developed by the NOC’s software engineers which simplifies and centralises the operation of fleets of diverse MAS.

Autosub 2000 Under Ice (A2KUI), has been designed to operate at depths of up to 2000 metres and under ice shelves, as the name suggests. The vehicle will be an evolution of the NOC’s current highpowered workhorse, Autosub 6000.

The C2 platform has been designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, yet powerful enough to allow operators to create complex mission plans. The C2 interface will be made available to the wider UK community for piloting and monitoring of autonomous assets. An automated piloting infrastructure is being created to reduce the piloting load required for missions, which will allow rapid development of automated piloting routines and integration of third-party piloting algorithms for applications using a variety of vehicle types. The Oceanids C2 workflow for near-real-time data from gliders and recovery data from Autosub Long Range became operational in 2019, including delivery of open data via the web.

In addition to its under ice capabilities, A2KUI will be highly configurable and equipped with a new obstacle avoidance system, state-of-the art sonars, and high definition imaging capabilities to enable scientists to create detailed maps and establish habitat characteristics of the seafloor.

This lower depth-rated pressure vessel has been designed to deliver a greater buoyancy and payload capacity, which can accommodate a battery pack 2.5 times larger than its sibling. This battery configuration will provide enough power for deployments with longer ranges, at higher speeds, and with the integration of more powerhungry sensors and navigation systems. ALR1500 has already successfully completed Harbour Acceptance Trials at Portland Harbour in the first half of 2019, as well as commissioning trials at Loch Ness last August. Loch Ness was also the stage for trials of some of the new sensors being developed under Oceanids. The next outing for ALR1500 will be the long-distance proving trials, scheduled for later in 2020, which will see the sub voyage 2000km from the UK coast to the continental shelf.

CarCASS (Carbonate Chemistry Autonomous Sensor System) is the first sensor of its kind that is capable of autonomously making measurements of seawater carbonate chemistry including pH, Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) and Total Alkalinity (TA) from the surface to full ocean depth. CarCASS will be used to improve our understanding of the ocean’s rapidly changing CO2 reservoir, as well as monitor ocean acidification in areas of significant ecosystem and commercial importance such as coral reefs, shell fishing areas and mariculture establishments. The sensor will also be a powerful tool for monitoring sub-seafloor carbon storage reservoirs due to its ability to detect carbon dioxide leaks during and after gas injection. AutoNutS (Autonomous vehicle Nutrient Sensor), is an adaptation of an existing NOC sensor that has been optimised to produce six new operational devices for measuring nutrients and micronutrients. The data they gather will be crucial to advance our knowledge of how marine ecosystems work and how they respond to a changing climate. These ‘lab-on-chip’ miniaturised laboratories are able to perform seawater chemical analysis using small amounts of seawater samples and chemical reagents to help create more complete low-cost ocean chemistry datasets. The Loch Ness trials saw a total of 10 new sensors put through their paces. Nine of these were NOC-developed ‘lab-on-chip’ devices, alongside one third-party electrochemical pH sensor.

24

Subsea UK News | October 2020

In addition to these benefits, C2 will also help to deliver improved deployment visibility and outreach. Current deployments for the long-range MAS fleet are not as visible to the science community and the wider public as they could be. Improving this visibility will assist with outreach and show UK science in action.

A2KUI will also feature a new onboard control system which will improve system reliability, make it simpler to integrate new sensors, and provide a modern and future-proof system for ongoing development, while the power system will be based upon a NOCdesigned pressure tolerant rechargeable lithium ion battery array, which has been developed to provide constant power for extended duration operations. Marine robotics is transforming how we observe the ocean and opening up new and cost-effective, low carbon research possibilities. The last two decades have seen an increasing interest in ocean exploration, and marine autonomy has emerged as a key technology for enabling science and industry to take advantage of the opportunities that exist and continue to emerge. Through the innovation of new platforms and systems, coupled with the exploitation and adaptation of existing technologies, the Oceanids programme is on course to make a vital contribution to the future of ocean science, and maintain the UK’s position as a leader in ocean exploration.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

25


TECHNOLOGY

TECHNOLOGY

Nanotechnology Project to Boost North Sea Gas Production Scientists from the University of Aberdeen are developing new technology they claim will be a “game-changer” in enhancing production from North Sea gas fields. Nanotechnology is more commonly associated with medical sciences, with limited application in the oil and gas sector. But now, academics are pioneering a new method that harnesses nanotechnology to enhance the production efficiency of cyclic gas wells. The project is being led by Dr Roozbeh Rafati and Dr Amin Sharifi from the University’s School of Engineering. It is supported by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and three industrial partners Chrysaor Production UK Limited, Schlumberger and ChampionX. The work is based on the development of so-called ‘smart fluids’ using nanoparticles that significantly improve existing techniques that promote well production. Dr Sharifi said: “There are challenges associated with the gas production from mature reservoirs where reservoir pressure is low and gas production may become uneconomic using the current technologies. “We have been discussing these issues with oil and gas companies since 2018, and based on fundamental research has been carried out here at the School of Engineering, we are using nanotechnology to develop smart fluids that have the potential to overcome these challenges. “Over the next 15 months we aim to prove that this technology will work, and if successful we will then move to a North Sea field trial in 2021.”

26

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Dr Rafati added: “The potential for this technology is huge, with significant annual production improvements foreseen per gas well. Not only will it provide economic benefit through operational savings, but it will also offer an environmentally friendly solution compared to current technologies. We believe it will be a game-changer for the industry.” Craig Hodge, Project Engineer at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “The development of nanotechnology to improve foam performance used as a method of artificial lift, has exciting potential to be a cost effective means of significantly increasing recovery from low pressure, water loaded gas fields.

“Engineering nanoparticles to enhance foam performance and stability will not only maximise the uptime of wells, but will improve the environmental profile of foamer treatments through reduced chemical demand.” Scott McCrorie, VP Technical Assurance & Innovation Chrysaor, added: “the development and deployment of this innovative technology will reduce the recycle time on our cyclic gas wells, enhancing recovery and improving both plant efficiency and carbon intensity”.

Oceaneering’s Freedom Autonomous Subsea Vehicle Successfully Lands on Third-Party Docking Station Oceaneering’s Freedom™ Autonomous Subsea Vehicle has achieved another key milestone this past September. The Freedom vehicle completed the industry’s first autonomous subsea docking operation using Equinor’s Underwater Intervention Drone (UID) docking station at our Tau, Norway, facility. “Witnessing the successful autonomous docking of our Freedom vehicle to Equinor’s docking station marks the culmination of years of hard work,” said Steffan Lindsø, Subsea Robotics Product Manager at Oceaneering.

Freedom has been put through rigorous design and qualification testing at Oceaneering’s Tau facility, and this event marks a major accomplishment for the vehicle’s team. “We have spent a considerable amount of time and effort developing the Freedom vehicle and the control software that powers operations,” said Lindsø. “We are extremely happy with the success of the autonomous docking operation as this confirms that the technology is ready for the market. We have always been confident in our ability to engineer the solutions the industry requires, and seeing the project come to fruition is a great result.”

“We are exceptionally thankful to Equinor for trusting our engineering and enabling us to demonstrate the capability and readiness of the Freedom vehicle.” The docking station was deployed from a quayside location. While in autonomous mode, the vehicle located the docking station and adjusted its orientation using integrated machine vision, which enables Freedom to analyze both heading and distance to ensure a perfect landing. Once docked, Freedom’s inductive connectors allow it to recharge its batteries, link to onshore locations to download data, and receive new mission information.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

27


TECHNOLOGY

TECHNOLOGY

Nanotechnology Project to Boost North Sea Gas Production Scientists from the University of Aberdeen are developing new technology they claim will be a “game-changer” in enhancing production from North Sea gas fields. Nanotechnology is more commonly associated with medical sciences, with limited application in the oil and gas sector. But now, academics are pioneering a new method that harnesses nanotechnology to enhance the production efficiency of cyclic gas wells. The project is being led by Dr Roozbeh Rafati and Dr Amin Sharifi from the University’s School of Engineering. It is supported by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and three industrial partners Chrysaor Production UK Limited, Schlumberger and ChampionX. The work is based on the development of so-called ‘smart fluids’ using nanoparticles that significantly improve existing techniques that promote well production. Dr Sharifi said: “There are challenges associated with the gas production from mature reservoirs where reservoir pressure is low and gas production may become uneconomic using the current technologies. “We have been discussing these issues with oil and gas companies since 2018, and based on fundamental research has been carried out here at the School of Engineering, we are using nanotechnology to develop smart fluids that have the potential to overcome these challenges. “Over the next 15 months we aim to prove that this technology will work, and if successful we will then move to a North Sea field trial in 2021.”

26

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Dr Rafati added: “The potential for this technology is huge, with significant annual production improvements foreseen per gas well. Not only will it provide economic benefit through operational savings, but it will also offer an environmentally friendly solution compared to current technologies. We believe it will be a game-changer for the industry.” Craig Hodge, Project Engineer at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “The development of nanotechnology to improve foam performance used as a method of artificial lift, has exciting potential to be a cost effective means of significantly increasing recovery from low pressure, water loaded gas fields.

“Engineering nanoparticles to enhance foam performance and stability will not only maximise the uptime of wells, but will improve the environmental profile of foamer treatments through reduced chemical demand.” Scott McCrorie, VP Technical Assurance & Innovation Chrysaor, added: “the development and deployment of this innovative technology will reduce the recycle time on our cyclic gas wells, enhancing recovery and improving both plant efficiency and carbon intensity”.

Oceaneering’s Freedom Autonomous Subsea Vehicle Successfully Lands on Third-Party Docking Station Oceaneering’s Freedom™ Autonomous Subsea Vehicle has achieved another key milestone this past September. The Freedom vehicle completed the industry’s first autonomous subsea docking operation using Equinor’s Underwater Intervention Drone (UID) docking station at our Tau, Norway, facility. “Witnessing the successful autonomous docking of our Freedom vehicle to Equinor’s docking station marks the culmination of years of hard work,” said Steffan Lindsø, Subsea Robotics Product Manager at Oceaneering.

Freedom has been put through rigorous design and qualification testing at Oceaneering’s Tau facility, and this event marks a major accomplishment for the vehicle’s team. “We have spent a considerable amount of time and effort developing the Freedom vehicle and the control software that powers operations,” said Lindsø. “We are extremely happy with the success of the autonomous docking operation as this confirms that the technology is ready for the market. We have always been confident in our ability to engineer the solutions the industry requires, and seeing the project come to fruition is a great result.”

“We are exceptionally thankful to Equinor for trusting our engineering and enabling us to demonstrate the capability and readiness of the Freedom vehicle.” The docking station was deployed from a quayside location. While in autonomous mode, the vehicle located the docking station and adjusted its orientation using integrated machine vision, which enables Freedom to analyze both heading and distance to ensure a perfect landing. Once docked, Freedom’s inductive connectors allow it to recharge its batteries, link to onshore locations to download data, and receive new mission information.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

27


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

MAINTAINING THE MOMENTUM OF OFFSHORE WIND’S SUBSEA ROBOTICS REVOLUTION by Daniel Sumner, Project Development Manager, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult

As the UK races towards its 2050 net-zero targets, offshore wind capacity will need to increase from almost 10GW today to at least 75GW, which means having an approximate 7,500 turbines operating off our coastlines. As we push these sites ever further offshore and into ever-deeper waters, the operational landscape will have to change too, for both the welfare of the workforce and in order to achieve the cost reductions needed for Net Zero. To meet the challenges, how we install, operate and maintain these sites will need to evolve fast. There are not only connectivity and logistical challenges associated with moving further offshore: foundation and substructure types will need to change too as water depth increases; operational windows will likely change as the wind and waves increase; co-ordination and simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) will become more complex. Costs associated with the inaccessibility of sites, delayed missions and difficulties in conducting pre-emptive repairs will need to come down too. We estimate that unscheduled operations and maintenance activities on offshore wind installations account for almost a quarter of the lifetime cost of an average offshore farm today. Remote robotics, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems offer a convincing solution. They will reduce human deployment in increasingly hazardous conditions, bolster the sector’s resilience to shocks like COVID-19, reduce costs and carbon footprint, and help extend asset lifetimes through predictive maintenance.

Robotics projects with big implications for subsea inspection ORE Catapult is currently trialling a variety of robotic platforms and technologies capable of conducting inspections of turbine monopiles and foundations. Rovco’s SubSLAM X2, developed under two Innovate UK funded projects in partnership with ORE Catapult, is a 3D real-time imaging and positioning system, that enables subsea robotic systems to navigate and survey turbine foundations, monopiles and jacket structures. It

28

Subsea UK News | October 2020

can yield high-resolution 3D models of assets, combining millimetric precision, advanced object recognition and a proof-of-concept navigational mapping technique. Under a yet more ambitious scenario, the MIMRee project (Multi-Platform Inspection, Maintenance and Repair in Extreme Environments) will demonstrate how an autonomous vessel can scan moving wind farm blades for defects, which is currently not possible, before transporting blade crawling robots by drone to effect close-up inspection and repair. MIMRee provides a blueprint for how a variety of robotics and autonomous systems can work together to conduct a chain of operations in offshore environments. An adapted system would reduce the need to deploy manned vessels, allowing technicians to work onshore and communicate with the robotic platforms through a human-machine interface.

The future of offshore wind working I have given a taster of two innovations that we expect will transform offshore wind working in the coming years. It is far from the end of the line though, and this fusion of academic research, big industry players and SME disruptors will be needed to maintain the momentum. Questions also remain around the standardisation and compatibility of robotics platforms across the offshore wind industry (for example, making sure there are standardised charge points). Other well-documented barriers to entry for robotic systems exist too. Can the technology survive and perform as designed in a harsh environment? Does a robotic approach make economic sense, either though time or cost? Does the technology meet the regulatory legislation or process lead

standards required? And what are the larger societal consequences, do we trust and have confidence in robotics? It is crucial that UK developers have ready access to test and demonstration sites for new technologies. ORE Catapult operates a variety of simulation facilities from the 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine off the coast of Fife and the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland. Our most promising SME gamechangers, like cable monitoring and prediction innovator Synaptec, go through to operational sites such as Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). Meanwhile, our five-year partnership with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) will ensure that the knowledge and experience of offshore working gained by the fossil fuel industry is passed on to the offshore renewables future too.

Centre of Excellence (OMCE) in Grimsby we are building a strong portfolio of projects in the robotics and autonomous systems arena with plans for dedicated facilities for data, digital and virtual reality technology development and demonstration. This will be complemented by an extension of our testing assets at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, where we plan to offer new validation services and create dedicated zones for different types of robotic systems. As we scope out how our demo zones and facilities will look, we are conducting a consultation with operators, OEMs, technology developers and the supply chain too. To take part in the consultation and learn more, please contact ORE Catapult.

ore.catapult.org.uk

Over the coming years, we will need to continually extend and evolve the range of demo sites in the UK to meet the industry’s changing needs. Through our new Operations and Maintenance

ORE Catapult's National Renewable Energy Centre Dock View

Subsea UK News | October 2020

29


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

MAINTAINING THE MOMENTUM OF OFFSHORE WIND’S SUBSEA ROBOTICS REVOLUTION by Daniel Sumner, Project Development Manager, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult

As the UK races towards its 2050 net-zero targets, offshore wind capacity will need to increase from almost 10GW today to at least 75GW, which means having an approximate 7,500 turbines operating off our coastlines. As we push these sites ever further offshore and into ever-deeper waters, the operational landscape will have to change too, for both the welfare of the workforce and in order to achieve the cost reductions needed for Net Zero. To meet the challenges, how we install, operate and maintain these sites will need to evolve fast. There are not only connectivity and logistical challenges associated with moving further offshore: foundation and substructure types will need to change too as water depth increases; operational windows will likely change as the wind and waves increase; co-ordination and simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) will become more complex. Costs associated with the inaccessibility of sites, delayed missions and difficulties in conducting pre-emptive repairs will need to come down too. We estimate that unscheduled operations and maintenance activities on offshore wind installations account for almost a quarter of the lifetime cost of an average offshore farm today. Remote robotics, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems offer a convincing solution. They will reduce human deployment in increasingly hazardous conditions, bolster the sector’s resilience to shocks like COVID-19, reduce costs and carbon footprint, and help extend asset lifetimes through predictive maintenance.

Robotics projects with big implications for subsea inspection ORE Catapult is currently trialling a variety of robotic platforms and technologies capable of conducting inspections of turbine monopiles and foundations. Rovco’s SubSLAM X2, developed under two Innovate UK funded projects in partnership with ORE Catapult, is a 3D real-time imaging and positioning system, that enables subsea robotic systems to navigate and survey turbine foundations, monopiles and jacket structures. It

28

Subsea UK News | October 2020

can yield high-resolution 3D models of assets, combining millimetric precision, advanced object recognition and a proof-of-concept navigational mapping technique. Under a yet more ambitious scenario, the MIMRee project (Multi-Platform Inspection, Maintenance and Repair in Extreme Environments) will demonstrate how an autonomous vessel can scan moving wind farm blades for defects, which is currently not possible, before transporting blade crawling robots by drone to effect close-up inspection and repair. MIMRee provides a blueprint for how a variety of robotics and autonomous systems can work together to conduct a chain of operations in offshore environments. An adapted system would reduce the need to deploy manned vessels, allowing technicians to work onshore and communicate with the robotic platforms through a human-machine interface.

The future of offshore wind working I have given a taster of two innovations that we expect will transform offshore wind working in the coming years. It is far from the end of the line though, and this fusion of academic research, big industry players and SME disruptors will be needed to maintain the momentum. Questions also remain around the standardisation and compatibility of robotics platforms across the offshore wind industry (for example, making sure there are standardised charge points). Other well-documented barriers to entry for robotic systems exist too. Can the technology survive and perform as designed in a harsh environment? Does a robotic approach make economic sense, either though time or cost? Does the technology meet the regulatory legislation or process lead

standards required? And what are the larger societal consequences, do we trust and have confidence in robotics? It is crucial that UK developers have ready access to test and demonstration sites for new technologies. ORE Catapult operates a variety of simulation facilities from the 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine off the coast of Fife and the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland. Our most promising SME gamechangers, like cable monitoring and prediction innovator Synaptec, go through to operational sites such as Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). Meanwhile, our five-year partnership with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) will ensure that the knowledge and experience of offshore working gained by the fossil fuel industry is passed on to the offshore renewables future too.

Centre of Excellence (OMCE) in Grimsby we are building a strong portfolio of projects in the robotics and autonomous systems arena with plans for dedicated facilities for data, digital and virtual reality technology development and demonstration. This will be complemented by an extension of our testing assets at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, where we plan to offer new validation services and create dedicated zones for different types of robotic systems. As we scope out how our demo zones and facilities will look, we are conducting a consultation with operators, OEMs, technology developers and the supply chain too. To take part in the consultation and learn more, please contact ORE Catapult.

ore.catapult.org.uk

Over the coming years, we will need to continually extend and evolve the range of demo sites in the UK to meet the industry’s changing needs. Through our new Operations and Maintenance

ORE Catapult's National Renewable Energy Centre Dock View

Subsea UK News | October 2020

29


TECHNOLOGY

Flexlife Deploys AI to Monitor Subsea Risers and Structures Flexlife has been at the forefront of the flexible riser services market since its inception in 2007. Originally, Flexlife was established to provide one-stop, life of field support to users of unbonded flexible risers. Over time, this led to several industry firsts with the development of a suite of patented and proprietary technologies focused on the inspection, maintenance, and repair of unbonded flexible risers. In 2015, the buzz of the “digital twin” and artificial intelligence started making waves in the oil and gas industry. Asset integrity monitoring was already common but expensive, and operators were not always able to fully utilise the massive amounts of data collected. Digitisation was really showing promise, allowing the use of digital twins, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to perform assessments utilising historical, real-time, or forecasted data. At the same time in Rio de Janeiro, Victor Chaves, was developing his Master Thesis: Artificial Neural Networks Applied to Flexible Pipes Dynamic Analysis. His work at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Chaves was pioneering the use of AI for risers with his early research, still in use today. In 2016, he founded Rio Analytics, an artificial intelligence consulting and software firm to develop technologies to reduce downtime and increase operational efficiency in oil & gas, renewables and mining industries. Flexlife first started working with Rio Analytics to utilise its Artificial Neural Network technology and apply it to Flexlife’s flexible riser local analysis work to determine flexible riser fatigue life which traditionally had a high computational cost for this type of numerical model. Utilising Rio Analytics’ Artificial Neural Networks combined with Bflex, a local analysis tool, the duo was able to significantly reduce local analysis run times. The power of the technology was undeniable. Further testing followed. Flexlife and Rio Analytics then applied the artificial neural networks in real-time scenarios, using environmental data measured with 6 DOF vessel motion sensors as inputs. The testing showed tremendous opportunity to utilise ANN’s as a type of “virtual sensor” and provide real-time fatigue prediction of tensile armour wires with a greater than 99% accuracy compared to traditional FEA (Finite Element Analysis) methods. Accuracy of ANN Compared to FEA Model This testing confirmed that the ANN can replace these sensors virtually and predict tensile armour wire stress using only 6 DOF vessel motion data, which is typically easy to source.

Subsea Remote Operated Vehicles Protection Against Earth Faults

Safety in depth with Bender Earth Fault Monitoring Solutions  Designed for use on AC, DC or AC/DC main circuits  Provides advanced warning of developing insulation failure  Monitors energised and de-energised systems In May of 2015 at OTC Houston, the two companies signed an exclusive partnership agreement to develop and use AI to monitor subsea risers and structures. The partners continued development on virtual sensors and scored blind tests with multiple operators to study the use of ANNs as virtual sensors for flexible risers, SCR’s, mooring lines, and tendons. The virtual sensors would allow the operator to utilise six DOF vessel motions obtained from onboard sensors to predict real-time fatigue for each of these assets. On the flexible riser front, Flexlife offers a unique value proposition. The ANN model is only as good as the input data, and for flexible risers, annulus flooding can be an important factor in calculating remaining fatigue life.

 Protects subsea assets and operators  Integrates with existing OEM equipment  Increases safety of operations

SUBSEA ONSHORE OFFSHORE

The next iteration combined the use of Flexlife’s patented FlexScan® flexible riser scanning technology to obtain the riser annulus status and corrosion levels (if any) of the individual armor wires at multiple depths. This hybrid methodology uses the ultrasonic scanning data to create a more refined and realistic model when combined with FEA and artificial neural networks Results to date have shown that the general assumptions used on corrosion rates and the regular wave dynamic analysis approach are each very conservative, and significant life extensions have been justified based on the results of the combined inspection and analysis method. Flexlife sees great opportunity with these new technologies combining Scottish subsea expertise with a first-class AI partnership with Rio Analytics to challenge the status quo.

BENDER UK

30

Subsea UK News | October 2020

www.bender-uk.com

Low Mill Business Park, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 9EE Tel: 44(0) 1229 480123 Fax: 44(0) 1229 480345


TECHNOLOGY

Flexlife Deploys AI to Monitor Subsea Risers and Structures Flexlife has been at the forefront of the flexible riser services market since its inception in 2007. Originally, Flexlife was established to provide one-stop, life of field support to users of unbonded flexible risers. Over time, this led to several industry firsts with the development of a suite of patented and proprietary technologies focused on the inspection, maintenance, and repair of unbonded flexible risers. In 2015, the buzz of the “digital twin” and artificial intelligence started making waves in the oil and gas industry. Asset integrity monitoring was already common but expensive, and operators were not always able to fully utilise the massive amounts of data collected. Digitisation was really showing promise, allowing the use of digital twins, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to perform assessments utilising historical, real-time, or forecasted data. At the same time in Rio de Janeiro, Victor Chaves, was developing his Master Thesis: Artificial Neural Networks Applied to Flexible Pipes Dynamic Analysis. His work at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Chaves was pioneering the use of AI for risers with his early research, still in use today. In 2016, he founded Rio Analytics, an artificial intelligence consulting and software firm to develop technologies to reduce downtime and increase operational efficiency in oil & gas, renewables and mining industries. Flexlife first started working with Rio Analytics to utilise its Artificial Neural Network technology and apply it to Flexlife’s flexible riser local analysis work to determine flexible riser fatigue life which traditionally had a high computational cost for this type of numerical model. Utilising Rio Analytics’ Artificial Neural Networks combined with Bflex, a local analysis tool, the duo was able to significantly reduce local analysis run times. The power of the technology was undeniable. Further testing followed. Flexlife and Rio Analytics then applied the artificial neural networks in real-time scenarios, using environmental data measured with 6 DOF vessel motion sensors as inputs. The testing showed tremendous opportunity to utilise ANN’s as a type of “virtual sensor” and provide real-time fatigue prediction of tensile armour wires with a greater than 99% accuracy compared to traditional FEA (Finite Element Analysis) methods. Accuracy of ANN Compared to FEA Model This testing confirmed that the ANN can replace these sensors virtually and predict tensile armour wire stress using only 6 DOF vessel motion data, which is typically easy to source.

Subsea Remote Operated Vehicles Protection Against Earth Faults

Safety in depth with Bender Earth Fault Monitoring Solutions  Designed for use on AC, DC or AC/DC main circuits  Provides advanced warning of developing insulation failure  Monitors energised and de-energised systems In May of 2015 at OTC Houston, the two companies signed an exclusive partnership agreement to develop and use AI to monitor subsea risers and structures. The partners continued development on virtual sensors and scored blind tests with multiple operators to study the use of ANNs as virtual sensors for flexible risers, SCR’s, mooring lines, and tendons. The virtual sensors would allow the operator to utilise six DOF vessel motions obtained from onboard sensors to predict real-time fatigue for each of these assets. On the flexible riser front, Flexlife offers a unique value proposition. The ANN model is only as good as the input data, and for flexible risers, annulus flooding can be an important factor in calculating remaining fatigue life.

 Protects subsea assets and operators  Integrates with existing OEM equipment  Increases safety of operations

SUBSEA ONSHORE OFFSHORE

The next iteration combined the use of Flexlife’s patented FlexScan® flexible riser scanning technology to obtain the riser annulus status and corrosion levels (if any) of the individual armor wires at multiple depths. This hybrid methodology uses the ultrasonic scanning data to create a more refined and realistic model when combined with FEA and artificial neural networks Results to date have shown that the general assumptions used on corrosion rates and the regular wave dynamic analysis approach are each very conservative, and significant life extensions have been justified based on the results of the combined inspection and analysis method. Flexlife sees great opportunity with these new technologies combining Scottish subsea expertise with a first-class AI partnership with Rio Analytics to challenge the status quo.

BENDER UK

30

Subsea UK News | October 2020

www.bender-uk.com

Low Mill Business Park, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 9EE Tel: 44(0) 1229 480123 Fax: 44(0) 1229 480345


TECHNOLOGY

TECHNOLOGY

OceanTools Launch World’s Most Advanced Leak, Dye and Cement Detection System

Fugro’s Remote Technology Aids Safe and Efficient Construction of North Sea Link

When OceanTools initially set out to develop a world-leading dye detection system, it was determined to create the best possible solution to introduce to the industry. By connecting their in-house skills with world leaders in optical technology, OceanTools could offer its clients a ground-breaking development. Dr Thangavel Thevar, Dr Nicholas Burns and their colleague, Emeritus Professor John Watson of Aberdeen University, acknowledged leaders in this technology, were influential in the development of the new instruments now available globally. With an accelerated development program, the DyeTector™ range of optical detection systems emerged just six months later. The DyeTectors use advanced optical techniques that shine an intense, focussed, light onto a dye, causing it to fluoresce. The fluorescence is then detected by a sophisticated detector unit with the ability to identify light down to single photons. A dye may be added to leaking subsea infrastructures and control systems with the leaks detected either by Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) or by a diver. The systems have the ability to rapidly detect even the smallest of leaks – just a few parts per billion – therefore saving money and protecting the environment. Additionally, the DyeTectors have the capability to detect the presence of cement returning to the surface during offshore drilling operations. This detection leads to operational and cost efficiencies by saving significant hours of rig time as well as reducing costs due to using less cement.

In addition to advanced leak detection technology, OceanTools produce some of the finest subsea cameras and lighting systems. The product range is in high demand with customers in all regions of the world, having recently supplied units to USA, Sweden, Singapore and Australia. The OceanTools subsea design department has also seen increased activity designing deepwater pressure housings for entities as varied as the National Institute of Ocean Technology in India, Proeon Systems Ltd in Norwich and, completing the circle, to Aberdeen University. To drive growth and enhance market resilience, OceanTools invested heavily in CNC machinery at the height of the COVID crisis. “While others were considering reducing the size of their workforce, we decided to aggressively pursue the opportunities that presented themselves,” said Parker. “We are delighted this growth strategy has created new job prospects and has resulted in a 50% increase in our workforce.”

“The market response to the DyeTector range has been fantastic and we are delighted to have already sold, and secured rental contracts, for systems globally including Australia, West Africa, Azerbaijan and Houston,” said Kevin Parker, managing director, OceanTools. “The Feedback from our customers has been extremely positive and we have received nothing but praise for the DyeTector system.”

In July, Fugro finished supporting the installation of two 2.5 km cable as part of the North Sea Link project, the ongoing construction of an electricity link between Kvilldal in Norway and Blyth in the UK. When completed, the North Sea Link will be the longest subsea interconnector in the world. Connecting the UK and Norwegian renewable energy markets benefits the two countries by better managing fluctuations in supply and demand, and boosting the security of energy supplies. Blyth and Kvilldal are strategic locations for renewable energy infrastructure: Blyth hosted the UK’s first offshore wind farm and is home to the National Renewable Energy Centre Catapult research facility, and Kvilldal is the site of Norway’s largest hydroelectric power station. Working closely with their client, Nexans, Fugro provided remotely operated vehicle (ROV) survey and monitoring support services to install the two high-voltage power cables through a mountain and along a Norwegian lakebed, at a depth of 210m. The project involved a full year of planning and preparation and a month to execute onsite.

Nexans to monitor the project from any location and therefore minimise the number of personnel onsite, which was vital for ensuring compliance with Covid-19 regulations. Throughout the project, no downtime was logged against any of the Fugro equipment. The successful role that Fugro played in this high-profile project illustrates the safety and efficiency benefits of deploying ROVs controlled by onshore ROCs. With its continued investment in remote technology, Fugro looks forward to playing an increasing role in constructing and maintaining crucial renewable energy infrastructure.

Fugro utilised ROVs to monitor the cables’ underwater positioning and installation, and deployed their InclinoCam technology, which was originally designed to measure piles for wind turbines, to monitor the cables’ departure angles, in a successful first such application of this proprietary technology. Harnessing remote solutions removed the need for a worker to stay onsite to physically monitor and interpret the angles, which improved operational safety and data accuracy. The installation Geo-data were streamed back to Fugro’s remote operations centre (ROC) in Aberdeen for real-time monitoring and project support, including near-real-time processing. This remote strategy not only ensured operational continuity but also allowed

Fugro’s remote technology has helped install the two power cables, improving operational safety and data accuracy (image courtesy of Nexans)

VideoRay ROV Protected by Bender Insulation Monitoring VideoRay is a leader in underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) technology, serving the world’s Navies and Coast Guards since 1999. The VideoRay Defender and Pro 5 have seen significant growth in use, especially in military applications. The underwater ROVs help prevent terrorism, find and retrieve objects, inspect infrastructure both inland and offshore, and keep divers safe from hazardous conditions. VideoRay specialise in one-man, portable and reliable underwater systems. Their vehicles assist in increasingly challenging situations with owners trusting their ROV’s to help them perform in the most demanding environments and missions.

VideoRay utilise Bender insulation monitoring technology to provide continuous monitoring of the ROV power system. The power system for the ROV is isolated and by employing an insulation monitor as part of VideoRay’s control console, the power system and umbilical power cable remain undamaged and safe in the unlikely event of an earth fault. Should excessive current leakage occur Bender’s insulation monitor will detect this, and an alarm will trigger and indicate that the system has experienced a fault, tripping as a result. The specified ISOMETER® isoRW425 ensures predictive monitoring of the de-energized ungrounded umbilical cable that runs to the ROV. Only the control console is initially energized so the user knows ahead of time if an earth fault issue exists prior to powering the ROV. This insulation monitoring device is preferred due to its robust performance. It is also used rail applications where excessive vibration, shock, and movement of the Bender device is required without compromising performance. This feature was popular with VideoRay since the installation is located in a portable operator control console that is moved from one ROV deployment to another and often used in harsh environments.

OceanTools DyeTector

32

Subsea UK News | October 2020

VideoRay Defender

Bender insulation monitoring technology is widely used by ROV manufacturers to ensure electrical safety for man and machine.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

33


TECHNOLOGY

TECHNOLOGY

OceanTools Launch World’s Most Advanced Leak, Dye and Cement Detection System

Fugro’s Remote Technology Aids Safe and Efficient Construction of North Sea Link

When OceanTools initially set out to develop a world-leading dye detection system, it was determined to create the best possible solution to introduce to the industry. By connecting their in-house skills with world leaders in optical technology, OceanTools could offer its clients a ground-breaking development. Dr Thangavel Thevar, Dr Nicholas Burns and their colleague, Emeritus Professor John Watson of Aberdeen University, acknowledged leaders in this technology, were influential in the development of the new instruments now available globally. With an accelerated development program, the DyeTector™ range of optical detection systems emerged just six months later. The DyeTectors use advanced optical techniques that shine an intense, focussed, light onto a dye, causing it to fluoresce. The fluorescence is then detected by a sophisticated detector unit with the ability to identify light down to single photons. A dye may be added to leaking subsea infrastructures and control systems with the leaks detected either by Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) or by a diver. The systems have the ability to rapidly detect even the smallest of leaks – just a few parts per billion – therefore saving money and protecting the environment. Additionally, the DyeTectors have the capability to detect the presence of cement returning to the surface during offshore drilling operations. This detection leads to operational and cost efficiencies by saving significant hours of rig time as well as reducing costs due to using less cement.

In addition to advanced leak detection technology, OceanTools produce some of the finest subsea cameras and lighting systems. The product range is in high demand with customers in all regions of the world, having recently supplied units to USA, Sweden, Singapore and Australia. The OceanTools subsea design department has also seen increased activity designing deepwater pressure housings for entities as varied as the National Institute of Ocean Technology in India, Proeon Systems Ltd in Norwich and, completing the circle, to Aberdeen University. To drive growth and enhance market resilience, OceanTools invested heavily in CNC machinery at the height of the COVID crisis. “While others were considering reducing the size of their workforce, we decided to aggressively pursue the opportunities that presented themselves,” said Parker. “We are delighted this growth strategy has created new job prospects and has resulted in a 50% increase in our workforce.”

“The market response to the DyeTector range has been fantastic and we are delighted to have already sold, and secured rental contracts, for systems globally including Australia, West Africa, Azerbaijan and Houston,” said Kevin Parker, managing director, OceanTools. “The Feedback from our customers has been extremely positive and we have received nothing but praise for the DyeTector system.”

In July, Fugro finished supporting the installation of two 2.5 km cable as part of the North Sea Link project, the ongoing construction of an electricity link between Kvilldal in Norway and Blyth in the UK. When completed, the North Sea Link will be the longest subsea interconnector in the world. Connecting the UK and Norwegian renewable energy markets benefits the two countries by better managing fluctuations in supply and demand, and boosting the security of energy supplies. Blyth and Kvilldal are strategic locations for renewable energy infrastructure: Blyth hosted the UK’s first offshore wind farm and is home to the National Renewable Energy Centre Catapult research facility, and Kvilldal is the site of Norway’s largest hydroelectric power station. Working closely with their client, Nexans, Fugro provided remotely operated vehicle (ROV) survey and monitoring support services to install the two high-voltage power cables through a mountain and along a Norwegian lakebed, at a depth of 210m. The project involved a full year of planning and preparation and a month to execute onsite.

Nexans to monitor the project from any location and therefore minimise the number of personnel onsite, which was vital for ensuring compliance with Covid-19 regulations. Throughout the project, no downtime was logged against any of the Fugro equipment. The successful role that Fugro played in this high-profile project illustrates the safety and efficiency benefits of deploying ROVs controlled by onshore ROCs. With its continued investment in remote technology, Fugro looks forward to playing an increasing role in constructing and maintaining crucial renewable energy infrastructure.

Fugro utilised ROVs to monitor the cables’ underwater positioning and installation, and deployed their InclinoCam technology, which was originally designed to measure piles for wind turbines, to monitor the cables’ departure angles, in a successful first such application of this proprietary technology. Harnessing remote solutions removed the need for a worker to stay onsite to physically monitor and interpret the angles, which improved operational safety and data accuracy. The installation Geo-data were streamed back to Fugro’s remote operations centre (ROC) in Aberdeen for real-time monitoring and project support, including near-real-time processing. This remote strategy not only ensured operational continuity but also allowed

Fugro’s remote technology has helped install the two power cables, improving operational safety and data accuracy (image courtesy of Nexans)

VideoRay ROV Protected by Bender Insulation Monitoring VideoRay is a leader in underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) technology, serving the world’s Navies and Coast Guards since 1999. The VideoRay Defender and Pro 5 have seen significant growth in use, especially in military applications. The underwater ROVs help prevent terrorism, find and retrieve objects, inspect infrastructure both inland and offshore, and keep divers safe from hazardous conditions. VideoRay specialise in one-man, portable and reliable underwater systems. Their vehicles assist in increasingly challenging situations with owners trusting their ROV’s to help them perform in the most demanding environments and missions.

VideoRay utilise Bender insulation monitoring technology to provide continuous monitoring of the ROV power system. The power system for the ROV is isolated and by employing an insulation monitor as part of VideoRay’s control console, the power system and umbilical power cable remain undamaged and safe in the unlikely event of an earth fault. Should excessive current leakage occur Bender’s insulation monitor will detect this, and an alarm will trigger and indicate that the system has experienced a fault, tripping as a result. The specified ISOMETER® isoRW425 ensures predictive monitoring of the de-energized ungrounded umbilical cable that runs to the ROV. Only the control console is initially energized so the user knows ahead of time if an earth fault issue exists prior to powering the ROV. This insulation monitoring device is preferred due to its robust performance. It is also used rail applications where excessive vibration, shock, and movement of the Bender device is required without compromising performance. This feature was popular with VideoRay since the installation is located in a portable operator control console that is moved from one ROV deployment to another and often used in harsh environments.

OceanTools DyeTector

32

Subsea UK News | October 2020

VideoRay Defender

Bender insulation monitoring technology is widely used by ROV manufacturers to ensure electrical safety for man and machine.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

33


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

also been providing efficiencies in data harvesting operations and enabling operations to continue even amid global travel restrictions. For example, earlier this year, we were able to contract XOCEAN to ‘post’ one of its X0-450 USVs, equipped with a Sonardyne HPT 3000 transceiver, to Norway. There, it was deployed into a harbour by a local service company and then remote piloted about 130 km out to Shell’s Ormen Lange field where the transceiver faultlessly harvested data from 30 of our Fetch pressure monitoring transponders. The data was delivered from the seabed to Shell’s offices in real-time without a single person going offshore.

The Expanding Envelope of USV-enabled Operations by Edd Moller and Geraint West, Global Business Managers at Sonardyne

It’s not that long ago that unmanned surface vessels (USVs) were something of a novelty in the offshore industry. To many they still might not yet be seen as a standard piece of kit, but those views are changing. The operations that can be done using a USV have expanded considerably and more is coming, largely by using already proven, off-the-shelf payload systems.

XOCEAN’s USV was used by Sonardyne for data harvesting offshore Norway.

Some of the earlier users of USVs were in ocean science, where long-duration monitoring capability and economies of operation were enabled by wave propelled platforms, such as Wave Gliders from Liquid Robotics. These types of vehicle were also adopted for accurate absolute seafloor instrument positioning, using a technique called GPS-Acoustic (GPS-A), which combines GPS and acoustic measurements by positioning a vessel’s acoustic

34

transducer with GPS and attitude data, then acoustically ranging to a seabed transponder. Sonardyne’s GPS-A USV module has been enabling a whole host of vehicles to undertake this type of positioning since 2013, most recently off the Pacific Northwest coast of America for tectonic plate movement monitoring allied to tsunami and earthquake research. The offshore industry’s interest in USVs has been growing since the mid-2010s. In 2016,

Subsea UK News | October 2020

for example, we demonstrated pipeline touch-down monitoring capability, using a USV fitted with our Gyro USBL transceiver instead of using a fully manned ROV support vessel. Similarly, back in 2016, we demonstrated how an L3 ASV C-Worker 6 could calibrate a wide area seabed LBL transponder array in 1,900 m water depth in the US Gulf of Mexico. Using the C-Worker, also with our Gyro USBL, sailing a pre-programmed route vastly reduced the manned

vessel’s workload. It was also used as a remote gateway for the surveyors on the mothership to remotely conduct the baseline calibration, saving in total two days of vessel time. We’ve come a long way since then and now even smaller USVs can be used with smaller instruments, such as our Dunker or ROVNav 6+, to conduct the same operations. Meanwhile, USVs have become a staple in hydrographic survey where large coastal areas can be mapped efficiently. They’ve

Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav was integrated onto a SEA-KIT X USV to aid navigation

“As other sectors start to adopt USVs, we’re seeing further requirements, for example supplementing? standard terrestrial USV navigation by using underwater sensors so that the USV can still calculate its position, even if it loses GNSS signal, when near large structures or perhaps due to signal jamming.”

collects acoustic ranges from transponders, such as our Small Seismic Transponder 6, attached either directly to the seismic node or to the deployment rope nearby. These ranges are merged with the USV’s GNSS data so that an accurate position of each node can be calculated. Yet more is on the way that will expand the USV capability envelope further. There are mvoes to bring USVs into the market that can deploy ROVs. Fitted with our Mini-Ranger 2 USBL system running our Robotics Pack, these USVs will enable users to deploy, track, command and control ROVs during inspection, survey and data harvesting projects, from onshore remote operations centres. Similar capabilities are being explored within the offshore wind industry where there is so much infrastructure that new methodologies are required in order to cover it all.

This year, the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) trialled this capability, using our SPRINT-Nav hybrid acousticINS navigator on a SEA-KIT USV. Being able to ride out GNSS jumps could also benefit USVs operating in the survey segment within offshore wind farms, where turbines can interrupt signals.

The role of USVs within the offshore market place is definitely evolving and so too are the commercial models, giving customers more flexibility in what they do and how they do it. For example, for the Ormen Lange data harvesting project, we provided a turnkey solution – complete with vehicle selection and real-time QC - directly to the operator, reducing the contracting chain and project complexity. We delivered their data, when they wanted, where they wanted it. On other projects, we have been the technology enabler, suppling USV compatible equipment and integration know-how to the vehicle manufacturer or to the contracted users, enabling them to contract the work scopes themselves.

Another first coming this year is seismic node positioning using a USV with our Transition Zone (TZ) Transceiver onboard – helping to increase coverage rates and cover shallow waters manned vessels cannot access. The TZ Transceiver

So, end customers, contracted users and USV manufacturers alike now have a multitude of options to select from, be that the platform, the enabling payload or the commercial model that will best suit any specific project.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

35


FEATURE ARTICLE

FEATURE ARTICLE

also been providing efficiencies in data harvesting operations and enabling operations to continue even amid global travel restrictions. For example, earlier this year, we were able to contract XOCEAN to ‘post’ one of its X0-450 USVs, equipped with a Sonardyne HPT 3000 transceiver, to Norway. There, it was deployed into a harbour by a local service company and then remote piloted about 130 km out to Shell’s Ormen Lange field where the transceiver faultlessly harvested data from 30 of our Fetch pressure monitoring transponders. The data was delivered from the seabed to Shell’s offices in real-time without a single person going offshore.

The Expanding Envelope of USV-enabled Operations by Edd Moller and Geraint West, Global Business Managers at Sonardyne

It’s not that long ago that unmanned surface vessels (USVs) were something of a novelty in the offshore industry. To many they still might not yet be seen as a standard piece of kit, but those views are changing. The operations that can be done using a USV have expanded considerably and more is coming, largely by using already proven, off-the-shelf payload systems.

XOCEAN’s USV was used by Sonardyne for data harvesting offshore Norway.

Some of the earlier users of USVs were in ocean science, where long-duration monitoring capability and economies of operation were enabled by wave propelled platforms, such as Wave Gliders from Liquid Robotics. These types of vehicle were also adopted for accurate absolute seafloor instrument positioning, using a technique called GPS-Acoustic (GPS-A), which combines GPS and acoustic measurements by positioning a vessel’s acoustic

34

transducer with GPS and attitude data, then acoustically ranging to a seabed transponder. Sonardyne’s GPS-A USV module has been enabling a whole host of vehicles to undertake this type of positioning since 2013, most recently off the Pacific Northwest coast of America for tectonic plate movement monitoring allied to tsunami and earthquake research. The offshore industry’s interest in USVs has been growing since the mid-2010s. In 2016,

Subsea UK News | October 2020

for example, we demonstrated pipeline touch-down monitoring capability, using a USV fitted with our Gyro USBL transceiver instead of using a fully manned ROV support vessel. Similarly, back in 2016, we demonstrated how an L3 ASV C-Worker 6 could calibrate a wide area seabed LBL transponder array in 1,900 m water depth in the US Gulf of Mexico. Using the C-Worker, also with our Gyro USBL, sailing a pre-programmed route vastly reduced the manned

vessel’s workload. It was also used as a remote gateway for the surveyors on the mothership to remotely conduct the baseline calibration, saving in total two days of vessel time. We’ve come a long way since then and now even smaller USVs can be used with smaller instruments, such as our Dunker or ROVNav 6+, to conduct the same operations. Meanwhile, USVs have become a staple in hydrographic survey where large coastal areas can be mapped efficiently. They’ve

Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav was integrated onto a SEA-KIT X USV to aid navigation

“As other sectors start to adopt USVs, we’re seeing further requirements, for example supplementing? standard terrestrial USV navigation by using underwater sensors so that the USV can still calculate its position, even if it loses GNSS signal, when near large structures or perhaps due to signal jamming.”

collects acoustic ranges from transponders, such as our Small Seismic Transponder 6, attached either directly to the seismic node or to the deployment rope nearby. These ranges are merged with the USV’s GNSS data so that an accurate position of each node can be calculated. Yet more is on the way that will expand the USV capability envelope further. There are mvoes to bring USVs into the market that can deploy ROVs. Fitted with our Mini-Ranger 2 USBL system running our Robotics Pack, these USVs will enable users to deploy, track, command and control ROVs during inspection, survey and data harvesting projects, from onshore remote operations centres. Similar capabilities are being explored within the offshore wind industry where there is so much infrastructure that new methodologies are required in order to cover it all.

This year, the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) trialled this capability, using our SPRINT-Nav hybrid acousticINS navigator on a SEA-KIT USV. Being able to ride out GNSS jumps could also benefit USVs operating in the survey segment within offshore wind farms, where turbines can interrupt signals.

The role of USVs within the offshore market place is definitely evolving and so too are the commercial models, giving customers more flexibility in what they do and how they do it. For example, for the Ormen Lange data harvesting project, we provided a turnkey solution – complete with vehicle selection and real-time QC - directly to the operator, reducing the contracting chain and project complexity. We delivered their data, when they wanted, where they wanted it. On other projects, we have been the technology enabler, suppling USV compatible equipment and integration know-how to the vehicle manufacturer or to the contracted users, enabling them to contract the work scopes themselves.

Another first coming this year is seismic node positioning using a USV with our Transition Zone (TZ) Transceiver onboard – helping to increase coverage rates and cover shallow waters manned vessels cannot access. The TZ Transceiver

So, end customers, contracted users and USV manufacturers alike now have a multitude of options to select from, be that the platform, the enabling payload or the commercial model that will best suit any specific project.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

35


ACHIEVEMENTS

ACHIEVEMENTS

Slingco Wins Queen’s Award for Second Time Slingco has been named a winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for the second time in four years. The honour, awarded for Slingco’s “outstanding success” in international trade, is the UK’s highest official accolade for business success. It is recognition of Slingco’s export achievements and continues a story of success that saw the company named winners of the same award in 2016. Slingco has exported to over 80 different countries in the past three years alone and exports now account for more than 85% of sales revenue, growing at such a rate that overseas earnings have increased threefold over the last three years. Founded in 1980 by Chris Dykins, Slingco supply steel net platforms and cable installation and support products to a wide range of markets including electrical utilities, oil & gas, renewables, subsea and aerospace. In addition to the company’s Lancashire headquarters and manufacturing plant, Slingco have offices in the US and India, and serves customers around the world.

Nick Dykins, Slingco Group Managing Director, said: “We

were incredibly grateful and honoured to win our first Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade four years ago and are doubly so today. A very special thank you must go to our employees and their families, this award being recognition of the hard work, dedication, and skills of our people. I also want to express our sincere gratitude to our loyal customer base and supply chain partners, without whose support this award would not have been possible.” The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious accolades for businesses and individuals in the United Kingdom. The entry process is rigorous and highly competitive. Slingco and other winners of The Queen’s Awards will be invited to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace later in the year. The company can also use The Queen’s Award Emblem for a period of five years as a symbol of its quality and success.

JFD Produces and Delivers 100th Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus (COBRA) System

Serious about your subsea business? We’re serious about helping you develop your business!

JFD, the world leading underwater capability provider serving the commercial and defence diving markets and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has announced the production and delivery of its 100th Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus (COBRA) system.

The voice of the subsea industry. Working for its Members | Supporting and Promoting Providing Leadership | Driving Collaboration | Influencing | Internationalising | Adding Value Fundamentals of Subsea Systems 1-day Course (November)

Aquaculture 101 – An Introduction to Scottish Aquaculture

3 November 2020 Webinar

4 November 2020 Webinar

Cables 2020 in Collaboration with Renewable UK

Wind Energy Hamburg

24 November 2020 Woking, UK

1 Dec - 4 December 2020 Hamburg, Germany

Subsea Expo 2021

Subsea UK Awards 2021

23 - 25 February 2021 Aberdeen, UK

24 February 2021 Aberdeen, UK

Australasian Oil & Gas - AOG 2021

Brazil Showcase with DIT

10 - 12 March 2021 Perth, Australia

16 - 18 March 2021 Rio de Janerio

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

www.subseauk.com

The award-winning COBRA system was developed to provide a simple and reliable breathing system, offering a diver up to 50 minutes of fully independent breathing gas to return to the safety of the diving bell, leading the way in functionality and innovation. As a direct comparison COBRA provides a supply of up to 33 minutes at a depth of 120 metres, compared with approximately 7.5 minutes on conventional bailout at the same depth. Therefore, COBRA allows the diver significantly more time to return to the diving bell, providing an unparalleled safety offering to the commercial diving sector. Following significant industry uptake, COBRA systems are now being operated in many subsea sectors including the North Sea as well as Brazil, Singapore, Australia, the Gulf of Mexico, and other regions in the Far East. COBRA has also been introduced to the defence diving sector and is entering service with the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) to support its saturation diving operations on board a newbuild submarine rescue vessel capable of diving to 450 metres. Danny Gray, Managing Director, JFD, said: “We are extremely proud of the COBRA system and the confidence it provides, which is showcased by its popularity in the global market. From great depths to low temperatures and limited visibility, the risks associated when operating subsea cannot be overstated. It is essential that divers are protected in the most hostile working environments in the world, and to guarantee this they need to have full confidence in their breathing systems.

WATCH THE VIDEO COBRA Timeline - The Story So Far

“COBRA has been recognised for its innovative approach and for elevating safety standards across the commercial diving industry, all while offering a system that is easy to operate and maintain. The unique design of the COBRA system means saturation divers can now receive emergency breathing gas for an extended duration. With the 100th set now complete and further orders in progress, we look forward to further extending COBRA’s track record as the safest and highest performing bailout system available to the commercial diving market.” COBRA is the only commercial emergency rebreather system to have been granted CE marking status to NORSOK U101 (Diving Respiratory Equipment) & EN14143 (Self Contained Rebreathing Apparatus), which ensures the system is at the forefront of delivering the highest safety standards. This latest announcement follows the confirmation in July 2020 of the successful CE Certification of the newly-launched COBRA Buoyancy Jacket from the CE Notified Body, SGS. The system was awarded the Innovation for Safety award at the Subsea UK Awards in 2019, and awarded the HSE Innovation Award at the Offshore Achievement Awards in 2020.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

37


ACHIEVEMENTS

ACHIEVEMENTS

Slingco Wins Queen’s Award for Second Time Slingco has been named a winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for the second time in four years. The honour, awarded for Slingco’s “outstanding success” in international trade, is the UK’s highest official accolade for business success. It is recognition of Slingco’s export achievements and continues a story of success that saw the company named winners of the same award in 2016. Slingco has exported to over 80 different countries in the past three years alone and exports now account for more than 85% of sales revenue, growing at such a rate that overseas earnings have increased threefold over the last three years. Founded in 1980 by Chris Dykins, Slingco supply steel net platforms and cable installation and support products to a wide range of markets including electrical utilities, oil & gas, renewables, subsea and aerospace. In addition to the company’s Lancashire headquarters and manufacturing plant, Slingco have offices in the US and India, and serves customers around the world.

Nick Dykins, Slingco Group Managing Director, said: “We

were incredibly grateful and honoured to win our first Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade four years ago and are doubly so today. A very special thank you must go to our employees and their families, this award being recognition of the hard work, dedication, and skills of our people. I also want to express our sincere gratitude to our loyal customer base and supply chain partners, without whose support this award would not have been possible.” The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious accolades for businesses and individuals in the United Kingdom. The entry process is rigorous and highly competitive. Slingco and other winners of The Queen’s Awards will be invited to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace later in the year. The company can also use The Queen’s Award Emblem for a period of five years as a symbol of its quality and success.

JFD Produces and Delivers 100th Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus (COBRA) System

Serious about your subsea business? We’re serious about helping you develop your business!

JFD, the world leading underwater capability provider serving the commercial and defence diving markets and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has announced the production and delivery of its 100th Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus (COBRA) system.

The voice of the subsea industry. Working for its Members | Supporting and Promoting Providing Leadership | Driving Collaboration | Influencing | Internationalising | Adding Value Fundamentals of Subsea Systems 1-day Course (November)

Aquaculture 101 – An Introduction to Scottish Aquaculture

3 November 2020 Webinar

4 November 2020 Webinar

Cables 2020 in Collaboration with Renewable UK

Wind Energy Hamburg

24 November 2020 Woking, UK

1 Dec - 4 December 2020 Hamburg, Germany

Subsea Expo 2021

Subsea UK Awards 2021

23 - 25 February 2021 Aberdeen, UK

24 February 2021 Aberdeen, UK

Australasian Oil & Gas - AOG 2021

Brazil Showcase with DIT

10 - 12 March 2021 Perth, Australia

16 - 18 March 2021 Rio de Janerio

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

www.subseauk.com

The award-winning COBRA system was developed to provide a simple and reliable breathing system, offering a diver up to 50 minutes of fully independent breathing gas to return to the safety of the diving bell, leading the way in functionality and innovation. As a direct comparison COBRA provides a supply of up to 33 minutes at a depth of 120 metres, compared with approximately 7.5 minutes on conventional bailout at the same depth. Therefore, COBRA allows the diver significantly more time to return to the diving bell, providing an unparalleled safety offering to the commercial diving sector. Following significant industry uptake, COBRA systems are now being operated in many subsea sectors including the North Sea as well as Brazil, Singapore, Australia, the Gulf of Mexico, and other regions in the Far East. COBRA has also been introduced to the defence diving sector and is entering service with the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) to support its saturation diving operations on board a newbuild submarine rescue vessel capable of diving to 450 metres. Danny Gray, Managing Director, JFD, said: “We are extremely proud of the COBRA system and the confidence it provides, which is showcased by its popularity in the global market. From great depths to low temperatures and limited visibility, the risks associated when operating subsea cannot be overstated. It is essential that divers are protected in the most hostile working environments in the world, and to guarantee this they need to have full confidence in their breathing systems.

WATCH THE VIDEO COBRA Timeline - The Story So Far

“COBRA has been recognised for its innovative approach and for elevating safety standards across the commercial diving industry, all while offering a system that is easy to operate and maintain. The unique design of the COBRA system means saturation divers can now receive emergency breathing gas for an extended duration. With the 100th set now complete and further orders in progress, we look forward to further extending COBRA’s track record as the safest and highest performing bailout system available to the commercial diving market.” COBRA is the only commercial emergency rebreather system to have been granted CE marking status to NORSOK U101 (Diving Respiratory Equipment) & EN14143 (Self Contained Rebreathing Apparatus), which ensures the system is at the forefront of delivering the highest safety standards. This latest announcement follows the confirmation in July 2020 of the successful CE Certification of the newly-launched COBRA Buoyancy Jacket from the CE Notified Body, SGS. The system was awarded the Innovation for Safety award at the Subsea UK Awards in 2019, and awarded the HSE Innovation Award at the Offshore Achievement Awards in 2020.

Subsea UK News | October 2020

37


ACHIEVEMENTS

ITC Wins Great Company Award at SPE Offshore Achievement Awards 2020 ITC recently celebrated a double success at the SPE Offshore Achievement Awards 2020, with the company winning the Great Company award (SME) - and the MD who won the Best Dressed award! The Great Company award, sponsored by Offshore Europe, recognised ITC’s efforts in developing and introducing a number of new innovations to the industry and its delivery of the highest quality products and services. Celebrating their 21st anniversary, ITC Hydraulics & Manufacturing employs 25 members of staff across its two sites at St Katherines and Turriff. The company has achieved significant growth over the years, winning a number of large new equipment build contracts as well as major refurbishment projects. ITC has placed a strong emphasis on R&D with the introduction of a number of their own novel technologies as well as helping partner companies test their new concepts. ITC has always believed in ensuring the quality of their offerings and is proud of their DNV-GL accredited Integrated Management System to ISO9001:2015, ISO14001:2015 and ISO45001:2018. The awards could not take place in the usual manner due to COVID-19 and for the first time in its history the event was held virtually. The event, presented by Rachel Riley, showcased how adaptable the industry can be, giving virtual attendees an entertaining and professional evening.

Tracy Clark, Managing Director and Co-owner said: “We

are delighted to have won the Great Company award (SME) at the Offshore Achievement Awards, it reflects the significant achievements of the business across the energy sector. This was a well organised event which we watched and celebrated from the comfort of our home with some of the team. I would like to thank all involved for helping ITC continue to deliver our services safely during this difficult time.”

Teaching the Grown-ups: Serica Energy Announces Winners of Kids’ UNSDGs Summer Competition Serica Energy has committed to putting the 17 United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) at the heart of its business. Serica wanted to help raise awareness of these Goals within staff and partnerships, to keep up the focus and enthusiasm to make a positive difference. With this in mind, Clara Altobell, Serica’s VP ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance), set a Summer Holiday competition challenged young people to choose any one of the 17 Goals and create a unique piece to grab the attention of grown-ups, highlight the importance of their selected Goal and encourage everyone to take better care of our planet. Submissions could be in any format; poster, animation, article or film. The resulting material is uplifting and engaging, focusing on looking after our forests, marine life, seas and oceans. Clara interviewed the two winners and asked why they had chosen the ‘Life Below Water’ Goal and both said they wanted to protect the fish and reduce plastic going into the sea. The winners and runners-ups received book tokens/gift vouchers as a prize and all entrants got a certificate and a pair of Serica sunglasses. The interviews, photos and artworks were made into a short film and can be viewed by following the link to Serica’s virtual gallery.

The judging panel, headed by Serica CEO Mitch Flegg, was hugely impressed by the messages and quality of submissions:

“In fact, we were so impressed that we plan to run the competition again in 2021 and broaden invitations for entry.”

The World’s Leading Subsea Exhibition and Conference P&J Live, Aberdeen Natalie Casado age 6

READ THE ESG REPORT Find out how the UN SDGs shape Serica’s approach 38

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Rachel Hodgson, age 7, winner

www.SubseaExpo.com

23-25 February 2021

VIEW THE GALLERY

Organised By


ACHIEVEMENTS

ITC Wins Great Company Award at SPE Offshore Achievement Awards 2020 ITC recently celebrated a double success at the SPE Offshore Achievement Awards 2020, with the company winning the Great Company award (SME) - and the MD who won the Best Dressed award! The Great Company award, sponsored by Offshore Europe, recognised ITC’s efforts in developing and introducing a number of new innovations to the industry and its delivery of the highest quality products and services. Celebrating their 21st anniversary, ITC Hydraulics & Manufacturing employs 25 members of staff across its two sites at St Katherines and Turriff. The company has achieved significant growth over the years, winning a number of large new equipment build contracts as well as major refurbishment projects. ITC has placed a strong emphasis on R&D with the introduction of a number of their own novel technologies as well as helping partner companies test their new concepts. ITC has always believed in ensuring the quality of their offerings and is proud of their DNV-GL accredited Integrated Management System to ISO9001:2015, ISO14001:2015 and ISO45001:2018. The awards could not take place in the usual manner due to COVID-19 and for the first time in its history the event was held virtually. The event, presented by Rachel Riley, showcased how adaptable the industry can be, giving virtual attendees an entertaining and professional evening.

Tracy Clark, Managing Director and Co-owner said: “We

are delighted to have won the Great Company award (SME) at the Offshore Achievement Awards, it reflects the significant achievements of the business across the energy sector. This was a well organised event which we watched and celebrated from the comfort of our home with some of the team. I would like to thank all involved for helping ITC continue to deliver our services safely during this difficult time.”

Teaching the Grown-ups: Serica Energy Announces Winners of Kids’ UNSDGs Summer Competition Serica Energy has committed to putting the 17 United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) at the heart of its business. Serica wanted to help raise awareness of these Goals within staff and partnerships, to keep up the focus and enthusiasm to make a positive difference. With this in mind, Clara Altobell, Serica’s VP ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance), set a Summer Holiday competition challenged young people to choose any one of the 17 Goals and create a unique piece to grab the attention of grown-ups, highlight the importance of their selected Goal and encourage everyone to take better care of our planet. Submissions could be in any format; poster, animation, article or film. The resulting material is uplifting and engaging, focusing on looking after our forests, marine life, seas and oceans. Clara interviewed the two winners and asked why they had chosen the ‘Life Below Water’ Goal and both said they wanted to protect the fish and reduce plastic going into the sea. The winners and runners-ups received book tokens/gift vouchers as a prize and all entrants got a certificate and a pair of Serica sunglasses. The interviews, photos and artworks were made into a short film and can be viewed by following the link to Serica’s virtual gallery.

The judging panel, headed by Serica CEO Mitch Flegg, was hugely impressed by the messages and quality of submissions:

“In fact, we were so impressed that we plan to run the competition again in 2021 and broaden invitations for entry.”

The World’s Leading Subsea Exhibition and Conference P&J Live, Aberdeen Natalie Casado age 6

READ THE ESG REPORT Find out how the UN SDGs shape Serica’s approach 38

Subsea UK News | October 2020

Rachel Hodgson, age 7, winner

www.SubseaExpo.com

23-25 February 2021

VIEW THE GALLERY

Organised By


The momentum of iEPCI™ Market growth is surging worldwide as more clients embrace the capabilities of our integrated subsea solutions to strengthen project economics. TechnipFMC iEPCI™ awards Confidential Trestakk

Seagull

Fenja

Lancaster Duva and Gjøa P1

Visund Nord Tor II

Solveig and Rolvsnes

Gumusut Kakap Phase II

Kaikias PowerNap

Merakes

Who Dat

Pyxis

Atlantis III

Lambert Deep / GWF3

Perdido P2

Mozambique LNG

Thunder Horse South Expansion

Platina

Karish

Innovate Early engagement is key as our front-end team works closely to collaborate with clients to understand their needs and maximize value.

Integrate and accelerate We deliver fully integrated subsea projects through early engagement and a technology-enabled iEPCI™ business model that simplifies development, reduces costs and unlocks first oil and gas faster.

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Profile for Subsea UK

Subsea UK News - October 2020 Issue - When Virtual and Physical Worlds Connect  

The Next Generation Smart Machines | OCEANIDS: A New Dawn for Marine Autonomy | Offshore Wind's Subsea Robotics Revolution | The Expanding E...

Subsea UK News - October 2020 Issue - When Virtual and Physical Worlds Connect  

The Next Generation Smart Machines | OCEANIDS: A New Dawn for Marine Autonomy | Offshore Wind's Subsea Robotics Revolution | The Expanding E...

Profile for subseauk

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