Subsea UK News - November 2015 Issue

Page 1


IN THIS ISSUE Subsea UK’s Market Activity Report 2015 In-Depth: An Interview with Alfie Cheyne, CEO of ACE Winches UK Students Win Global Innovation Award for ‘Green’ Submarine Subsea News and Events Worldwide




How can we ensure that unstable subsea cables and umbilicals don’t move and become damaged on the seabed?


Fugro Subsea’s Q1400 trencher operating with Fugro Symphony can simultaneously lay and bury cables and umbilicals to avoid potential damage.


Welcome to this Edition of Subsea UK News It was over a year ago that the movement in oil price started to concern the industry. Since then, the price has deteriorated and pretty much everyone is now in agreement that we are in for a much longer period of sustained, lower prices. The inevitable round of cost-cutting has, in some cases, been brutal and while there is an acknowledgement that the industry has to “slim down”, that is of no consolation to those companies who have gone under and those who have lost their jobs.

Neil Gordon

Sadly, several subsea businesses have been among the casualties. For many in our sector, despite the cost-cutting and collaboration, the immediate future is looking somewhat bleak with no visibility or prospects on the horizon.

The way forward is now about behavioural change; being open to and finding new ways of working in a much more joined up way to seek out greater efficiencies. There is no doubt that as an industry we have to act much faster to identify where we can make these changes and then implement them without delay. Subsea UK is committed to the task of driving those changes through the supply chain and supporting our members to exploit the opportunities this presents. The fact that the North Sea with its high cost base, maturity and fiscal regime has been one of the hardest hit provinces is no secret. Those who rely solely on this region are in a more precarious position and it is even more imperative for them to look beyond the North Sea. As part of the UK Government’s strategy to help double British exports by 2020, Subsea UK has been encouraging companies to extend their global reach with a number of initiatives underway to help our members fast-track their overseas business. The UK is still recognised as a global centre of subsea excellence in terms of skills, expertise and technology and, now more than ever, we must take this to the markets that have the most potential. Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia - collectively known as the Asian hub of subsea activitypresent opportunities. Singapore has traditionally been a strong centre for UK company offices and port facilities. Malaysia has seen a number of UK companies establish local operations and Indonesia is attracting inward investment and developing its port facilities to cope with the expected growth in the region. With deepwater developments expected across Asia, the market proposition is exciting. From Asia to Latin America, where we recently led a trade mission to Mexico. This region is potentially one of the strongest for us at the moment and through links created with the Mexican government and industry, Subsea UK is matching British expertise with the needs of the market. Our members have the chance to play a major role in the development of this province. Last stop: Japan. A market many may have overlooked. In partnership with SDI and the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI), there will be a trade mission to Japan to explore the opportunities in subsea mining and renewables. We are exploring the opportunities which exist around the development of Japan’s offshore resources in methane hydrates and will identify how UK companies can maximise these.

Subsea UK Subsea UK News, produced by Subsea UK, reaches over 15,000 subsea-affiliated subscribers each issue. Subsea UK is the champion for the UK subsea industry. We act for the entire supply chain bringing together operators, contractors, suppliers and people in the industry. With some 53,000 employees, worth almost £8.9 billion in services and products and with over 750 companies, the UK subsea industry sector leads the world in experience, innovation and technology. The UK will maintain a leading technological edge by sustaining and expanding this important business sector. Whether you are a company looking to join and reap the benefits or an individual looking to develop your career in the subsea industry, explore our website or contact us to find out how Subsea UK can help you, your business and your industry. Find out more at

New Members Lamorna BDM

Seadrift Offshore

Strategic Offshore Research

All Oceans Engineering Ltd

Subsea Tooling Services UK

Caledonia Competence Ltd

Frontline Inspection Services

Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd Dibon Subsea Ltd

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

Forthcoming Events December 2015 Subsea Integrity and Efficiency Conference 2015 London, UK 1 December 2015 Subsea UK’s AGM Aberdeen, UK 3 December 2015 January 2016 Lunch and Learn with Bibby Offshore Aberdeen, UK 14 January 2016 How the Supply Chain Works for You Aberdeen, UK 26 January 2016 February 2016 Subsea Expo Aberdeen, UK 3-5 February 2016

Subsea UK Awards Dinner 2016 Aberdeen, UK 3 February 2016 AOG: Stand Space with Subsea UK Perth, Australia 24-26 February 2016 June 2016 Subsea UK’s Parliamentary Reception 2015 - save the date 15 June 2016 November 2016 Subsea Asia 2016 @ OSEA Marina Bay, Singapore 29 Nov - 2 Dec 2016

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

I hope you enjoy the issue.

Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK Subsea UK News is a magazine which invites contributions from the subsea industry, and is published by Subsea UK. The views and opinions expressed herein are not those of Subsea UK News or its owner, Subsea UK. The opinions and views expressed herein are those solely of individual contributors, and do not reflect in any way those of Subsea UK News, Subsea UK or its staff. All materials published in this magazine are published with the consent and authority of the authors. Subsea UK News makes no representations about the suitability of any information and/or services published for any purpose. Subsea UK News is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims, all liability for, any indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages (including damages for loss of business, loss of profits, litigation, or the like) of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information published within this magazine. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information in Subsea UK News, no guarantee is given that the information published is correct, complete, reliable or current, and its publication in this magazine does not constitute an endorsement by Subsea UK News. To contact Subsea UK News, please email editor Dan Fearon at


Canyon Offshore Selected to Trench the Inter Array Cables on Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Canyon Offshore Ltd, the robotics subsidiary of Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., has been awarded a multi-million pound project with VBMS Ltd on the Statoil, Masdar and Stakraft Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm for the supply of its services to provide the trenching solution for inter array cables. As part of the cable contract VBMS will be responsible for the lay and burial of the inter array cables. In turn Canyon Offshore will utilise the primary trenching solution of its jet trencher, T1200, together with its hard ground trencher, iTrencher, they will provide solutions in order to achieve the target depth of burial. Both systems, along with two work class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), will be mobilised from a single support vessel, the Grand Canyon. The combination of systems will target operational efficiency, which in turn offers a cost effective solution to achieve the prescribed depth of burial in the challenging soil conditions in which the project is to be undertaken.

John Davies, Canyon’s Business Acquisition and Development Manager, said: “This now further

extends Canyon Offshore’s project profile; Canyon having successfully buried hundreds of kilometres of inter array cable within the offshore wind sector. Canyon Offshore works across diverse markets and uses its core project delivery strengths together with its most capable assets and offshore

personnel to meet and exceed its customers’ and their clients’ expectations.” In the last year Canyon Offshore has added the T1500 jet trencher to its asset portfolio to be used in diverse markets, pushing the boundaries of jet trenching in stiffer seabeds, whilst also achieving target burial depths in sands and lower strength clays in a single pass. Gary Aylmer, Vice President of Canyon Offshore added: “We are very pleased to once again be working with VBMS and also especially pleased to have Statoil and Statkraft as the end clients. We have worked for Statoil and Statkraft on many occasions directly or as a sub-contractor within the project supply chain. This project will see Canyon Offshore’s primary trenching solution used to optimise the burial of the cables from one of the most weather resilient vessels that can be used for such operations. We feel this will be a key differentiator as wind farms move further offshore.” The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm will be located in water that is between 18-25m deep on a 35 km² site located 32 km [20 miles] off the coast of the seaside town of Cromer in North Norfolk.

Underwater Cameras & Lights

Harsh Environment Cameras and LED Lighting for or a variety of Subsea applications

From surface to subsea... Our camera and light range covers everything from surface applications to subsea operations of up to 4000m - Reliable and robust - Various designs to suit your needs - Aluminium, stainless steel & titanium housings or options - Variety of connector

Contact our Sales team for more information:

+44(0)1224 666 322

s u b s e a

e q u i p m e n t


Boskalis Subsea Services Completes Dan Bravo Subsea Lifetime Extension for Maersk Oil When the Dan Complex came on stream in 1972, the facility (Denmark’s first producing offshore oil field operated by Maersk Oil) was expected to produce for 25 years. By 2010, this had been revised to around 35 years. Now, thanks to a complex, multi-year subsea structural reinforcement campaign involving the installation of 136 tonnes of new steel, over more than 200 diving days, the life of the complex’s wellhead platform, Dan A, is expected to be doubled to total 70 years. The complex project, akin to a 3D, subsea puzzle, involved a large subsea photogrammetry campaign, preparation work and the installation of temporary cranes on vertical platform members to help maneuver the new steel into place – all while the platform was in production. The main scope was to reinforce Dan A’s jacket, using so called K-node clamps, and to install a new conductor guide level – both of which would require carefully maneuvering various pieces of up to 4- to 5-tonne sections of fabricated steel through slots in the platform’s structure, guided by divers and rope access teams.

into an exact geometric 3D model, using the information from the markers, from which the K-nodes and conductor level guide could be designed and fabricated. The project has been executed during 2013 up to 2015, involving more than 200 DSV days with the DP2 Boskalis Constructor and DP3 Protea and is successfully completed without any LTI.

One of the challenges was mapping the existing structure, which, over the years, had been extended by assessing existing inspection data and acquiring new data. A huge photogrammetry exercise – the largest ever of its type – was carried out beneath the waves. Air and saturation divers first cleaned and marked out the structure, using 3,000 magnetic, coded markers, and then some 20,000 high-definition, overlap ping photographs were taken by WROV. The photographs were then converted, using computer software,

Boskalis DP2 SAT DSV Constructor working at Dan complex for Maersk Oil

Subsea UK News | November 2015



Rotech Subsea Delivers New Solutions to Market Challenges Rotech Subsea, part of the Rotech Group, specialists in innovative excavation and dredging equipment, has recently completed another successful project following its return to the market earlier this year. On a recent deburial workscope using the new RS1 system, a 20m by 60m area of clay seabed was excavated to a depth of Steve Cochrane, Director, Rotech Subsea 2m in five hours of operation. The team also successfully demonstrated the ability of the patented RS tools to transport and backfill seabed material in a specific location when the RS1 was used in suction mode. In the four years since the sale of their original business to Reef, Rotech’s R&D department have been busy improving the power and efficiency of their mass flow excavator designs. As well as excavating more effectively, Rotech’s new equipment can now also capture excavated material and deposit it in a controlled manner. The RS9 cable burial tool, currently in production, will combine all these capabilities in a tracked vehicle, allowing non-contact trenching and then backfilling of pre-laid cable in a single operation.

Stephen Cochrane, Director of Rotech Subsea, who was part of team who built up the original business prior to the 2011 sale, said:

“It is exciting to be back for the launch of the new Rotech Subsea business. Some of the advantages of the new RS Controlled Flow Excavation systems are being able to cut narrower trenches, cut harder soils, and bury assets for protection, all with a smaller deck footprint. These RS tools are ideal for both installation and IRM of subsea cables. We are now able to offer the widest range of excavation & dredging capabilities to the renewables and oil and gas markets based in Aberdeen.”

While Rotech Subsea is currently focused on the European market, where there is high demand from the renewables sector, they are increasingly getting enquiries from further afield as clients see the advantages of the new range of systems.

Raising Buoyancy Standards Andy Smith, Customer Group Manager, Trelleborg In a somewhat unregulated market, how can the industry respond to increased legislation and product lifetime demands, while ensuring performance and safety in the long term? Andy Smith looks at what legislation is in place to drive performance and efficiency for mooring buoyancy. Modular buoyancy systems have huge loads placed on them during mooring, impacted by changes in vessels and structure type. Should they fail, pipelines and vessels could suffer damage. The right system should be manufactured with specific design, material selection and stringent testing parameters in mind, to enable the product to perform for its lifetime. The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) industry standard, API 17L, was launched in March this year, detailing these requirements for flexible pipe ancillary equipment. However, some pipeline ancillary products installed still don’t meet the standard minimum level required, increasing the risk of product failure and costly downtime. API 17L requires ancillaries to: 1. Be capable of withstanding design loads defined in the design requirements section applicable to the ancillary equipment in question 2. Perform its functions for the specified service life 3. Be compatible with the environment where the material is exposed 4. Conform as a minimum to the corrosion requirements specified in 4.3.11 and in the corrosion requirements section applicable to the ancillary equipment in question


Subsea UK News | November 2015

Andy Smith

The manufacturer should test and document the material properties of composite syntactic foams in buoyancy modules, including its bulk modulus, density, water absorption, hydrostatic creep resistance, hydrostatic strength, compressive, shear and tensile strength, as well as modulus and strain at break. If manufactured from high performance, low density, rigid syntactic foam core, encapsulated within a rigid polymer skin, the buoyancy will not suffer detrimental water ingress following damage. A lightweight core and closed cell design guarantees that water cannot be absorbed if the skin is punctured. As such, the loads can still be catered for while repair or replacement takes place. Similarly, the composition of the internal compound means that no leakage of the foam material is possible, even if the skin is broken. The design and manufacture of modular buoyancy must continually develop to remain safe and compliant. A supplier that sees the curve in development and uses up and coming legislation to drive its product development will stand you in good stead for the future.


Operators Must do More to Bring Shallow Water and HPHT Fields Online Philip Howe, Head of Subsea, io oil and gas consulting In August of this year, Maersk Oil announced that the UK’s biggest gas field discovery in a decade had been approved for production by Britain’s oil and gas authority. The field had actually been discovered in 2008, but representatives from Maersk stated that the project had only now been made possible by the significant North Sea incentives announced by Chancellor George Osbourne in his most recent budget. The UK government’s attempts to stimulate North Sea oil are welcome, particularly with their focus on encouraging the exploitation of shallow water fields. Many of these fields typically contain HPHT (high-pressure high-temperature) reservoirs, which present complex technical challenges that must first be overcome. As a result, bringing these wells online entails significant costs, which often render them uneconomical for operators. In the past, governmental taxation regimes have not recognised the difficulties faced by operators in developing these fields. However, given a clear opportunity to stimulate a struggling North Sea industry, Chancellor George Osbourne has in recent years taken the welcome step of incentivising their exploitation. In 2012, Mr Osbourne introduced the Brown Field Allowance, which exempts a portion of the income generated from mature fields from the supplementary charge ordinarily charged on a company’s profits (as long as they met certain criteria). This has since been followed by the cutting of the Petroleum Revenue Tax from 50% to 35% in order to support continued production in older fields.

Philip Howe Whilst much of this drilling and subsea technology innovation should be driven by the industry, operators also need to play their part to better incentivise supply chain partners to develop mainstream and cost effective solutions. Encouragingly, some steps in this direction are being taken. Last year, GE Oil & Gas partnered with Maersk and BP to develop drilling systems that would operate in high-pressure and high-temperature reservoirs of up to 20,000 psi and 350°F. Such innovation clearly demonstrates the progress that can be made with operators collaborating with suppliers to improve HPHT technologies.

The UK government has created a strong opportunity for offshore industry, and the necessary steps must be taken to move forward stalled projects and bring HPHT reservoirs online. The exploitation of shallow water fields has been driven from the very top, but operators must play their part to encourage the industry, otherwise these fields risk being left behind forever.

The result is that many shallow water fields that were previously uneconomical now present the opportunity of a reasonable return for operators. However, whilst the British government has taken steps to make shallow field projects more attractive, this stimulus has not been matched by action from operators and the industry. Crucially, a key factor influencing HPHT field development concept (and therefore cost) is the lack of technology development in the drilling and subsea arenas.

Subsea UK News | November 2015



SECC Connector Enables Worldfirst Flow Rates during Live Reservoir Stimulation from a Monohull Vessel DP-enabling technology allows riserless light well intervention project to achieve reservoir stimulation rates in excess of 50 barrels per minute for a major North Sea and global operator. A self-sealing dry breakaway created by subsea connector specialist SECC Oil & Gas is being used to help operators enhance well production through open water, riserless intervention. The Hot Make Hot Break pressure-balanced connector was designed as a safety mechanism to increase the feasibility of live subsea intervention, particularly in high sea-state conditions where potential drift-off is an inherent risk. Recent projects have also highlighted its relevance as an enabling technology in high-rate stimulation schemes, where the connector’s full-bore design allows for optimum flow rate and volume.

Supporting live stimulation with new technology Live stimulation of subsea wells is still a relatively underused method of increasing oil recovery across the industry, largely because performing this sort of procedure in open water is considered too high-risk. The practical difficulties and potential dangers involved in working in unstable, high seastate conditions, and the specific issue that a vessel may be pulled off position while in operation, make this sort of intervention challenging. Added to this, a shortage of suitablyequipped vessels also reduces the feasibility of live intervention projects. Vessel availability is a perennial problem in this sector, with light work over intervention vessels typically being on hire to a handful of operators, or even a single operator, often for very long periods. And as decommissioning work accelerates - some 800 wells, 40 per

cent of which are subsea wells, are due to be decommissioned by 2022 – the issue of vessel availability is expected to intensify in the coming years. Despite the general understanding that this is a low-cost, high-value way to increase production compared to drilling new wells, industry figures suggest only 5% of interventions carried out are subsea interventions, even though they generally give a 75% success rate. As a result, statistics also show that subsea wells produce around 30 to 40 per cent less of their potential compared with platform wells. Faced with the prospect of underproduction from valuable subsea assets, operators are motivated to identify and understand new technologies that will help them to enhance production and ultimately extend field life. One of the most important breakthroughs in the industry’s pursuit of better, more reliable ways to carry out subsea intervention has been the emergence of a new generation of dynamic-positioned (DP) technologies. These perform a critical safety role, allowing operators to control the risk of a vessel being pulled off position and the potential for loss of containment, or fluid spill. At the forefront of this market, subsea connector company SECC Oil & Gas has developed a series of Emergency Quick Disconnect (EQD) technologies which are designed to be used with DP-enabled vessels. These are attracting a growing following of operators and service companies involved in improving production from rising numbers of maturing oil fields, using methods such as acid stimulation, scale squeeze, water wash, hydraulic fracture, and foam lift.

Live stimulation solution After a review of its existing reservoir stimulation capabilities in 2012, a major operator began designing a vesseldeployed high-rate acid stimulation solution to enhance production from its Central North Sea subsea reservoirs. Its challenge was to create a high-rate, highpressure, high-volume solution that would enable back-to-back live stimulations at a rate of 50 barrels per minute (bbls/min). The possibility of conducting the pumping operations from the host installation was discounted because of logistical and engineering limitations. Having used light well intervention monohull vessels over many years to conduct subsea well work, the natural progression for the operator was to enhance the existing technologies and pair with the new generation of dynamic positioned vessels in a bid to reach new levels of reservoir stimulation only ever previously achieved using a mobile offshore drilling unit with riser systems. Using light well intervention to carry out a high-rate stimulation was groundbreaking. Whilst a conventional scale squeeze would typically involve flow rates of ten barrels per minute (10 bbls/ min), the operator’s target stimulation rate needed to be five times that. One of the primary challenges facing the project designers was managing the risk of a vessel losing DP during the pumping phase. Mitigating loss of containment when activating the vessel’s Emergency Shutdown (ESD) function meant that sourcing market-leading self-sealing quick disconnect coupler technology was critical to the success of the project.

FEATURE ARTICLE The operator commissioned Helix WellOps’ light well intervention vessel, the Skandi Constructor, to work alongside StimWell Services’ Island Patriot stimulation vessel and equipment. The company specified SECC’s Hot Make Hot Break emergency breakaway connector with a four-inch bore to accommodate the high rate of pumping that needed to be achieved.

SECC’s EQD technology The Hot Make Hot Break connects to the subsea asset via a vertical injection hose. In the operator’s case, the connector’s receptacle was installed on a vesselmounted SIL which was deployed to the seabed and stationed on the well. The hose, fitted with the injection probe, was then guided into position by an ROV. According to SECC, operators can also deploy the technology from a vessel of opportunity teamed with an ROV and a stand-alone intervention skid unit to host the female. In this scenario, which would be appropriate at depths of less than 200m and in light currents – typical of Central North Sea conditions for example – a standalone skid unit is lowered to the sea floor and connection with the injection hose is made by the ROV. A jumper is then used to connect the skid with the tree so that fluid injection can begin. At around a third of the cost of a specialised workover vessel, the economic benefits of chartering a vessel of opportunity are an important consideration for operators.

a pre-determined load level is reached, ensuring the safety of the vessel and its personnel while avoiding the potential damage caused by an uncontrolled disconnection or emergency guillotine device. The disconnected hose can be retrieved and reconnected by ROV, without the need to reel in and replace or reseal the hose, therefore reducing costs, downtime and deferred revenues.

“The connector technology is innovating every day as we rigorously test its capabilities in new and challenging situations. It is proving itself as an extremely useful enabling technology among operators looking for alternative solutions to the perpetual need to increase production from maturing wells.”

Alongside its connect-disconnect capabilities, the Hot Make Hot Break also offered the operator the ability to maximise flow volume and production rate in a way that was crucial to the success of the project. The connector’s full-bore design meant pumping rates and fluid volumes were not compromised as the fluid passed through the connector, allowing the operator to sustain the rate of 50bbls it needed to achieve.

Enabling successful subsea intervention

“This is a significant and exciting development because it expands the potential and illustrates the benefits of live open water stimulation as a viable, safe, convenient and cost-effective approach to intervention,” says

The success of the operator’s high-rate acid stimulation signals a significant step change in the way the market approaches subsea intervention. Activity in this area is gathering pace and bringing with it a new body of expertise that is improving the feasibility and outcomes of light well intervention from a monohull vessel. Market observers anticipate that developments in enabling technology and project design will result in substantially greater gains from maturing subsea wells in coming years, providing operators with a low-cost, high value source of oil production during a sustained period of fluctuating revenues.

Mark Henderson, Global Business Development Manager at SECC Oil & Gas.

SECC also describes how the receptacle can be permanently fitted onto existing subsea trees or manifolds to make repeat access to the well convenient and efficient. In this way, the need for additional intervention skids or specialised intervention vessels is removed; resulting in large savings on both intervention costs and deferred oil revenues. The coupler-based technology works by sealing instantly at the point of connection and disconnection, eliminating the risk of fluid loss and the impact of a spillage on the marine environment, while helping to protect the safety of personnel. If the host vessel fails to maintain its position, its movement applies tension to the line on which the connector sits. The connector automatically disconnects when

Inset SECC’s 4” Hot Make Hot Break connector is used as the fluid connection point and also the emergency breakaway system in case of a vessel drift off. Here, the probe section of the connector containing two hoses, is dropped from the vessel and guided into position to form a connection with the well-mounted receptacle and enable fluid injection into the well. Main Image The blue vessel is WellStim’s stimulation vessel, which carries the chemicals, pumps, etc. Red is Helix Scandi’s Constructor, an intervention vessel that controls the hardware and the connection onto the tree. The hose going between the two is WellStim pumping the acid across to the Helix’s vessel for entry into the well.

Leap into the future

The most advanced compact work ROV ever - smaller, smarter, stronger



Bibby Offshore Delivers Double in Decommissioning Bibby Offshore, a leading subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry, has this year delivered two multimillion pound decommissioning contracts to the UK Continental Shelf. Endeavour Energy appointed Bibby Offshore to perform operations in the Renee and Rubie fields located in blocks 15/27 and 15/28 of the Central North Sea, approximately 115km east of Aberdeen. The 60 day agreement, which was completed in Q3 of this year, involved Bibby Offshore’s dive support vessel (DSV) Bibby Sapphire and construction support vessel Olympic Ares, completing the recovery of subsea equipment including cross-over structures, umbilicals and protection mattresses. Barry Macleod, Managing Director of Bibby Offshore UKCS said: “Decommissioning work has been a key area of focus for Bibby Offshore for many years and as a result, we have built up a strong track record. Production from the Renee and Rubie fields ceased in 2009 and, following a site survey we completed last October, we were contracted to be part of this extensive project.

“UKCS decommissioning costs are forecast to reach in excess of £50billion over the next 35 years. Decommissioning operations in particular are specialist by nature in order to ensure that all materials and often complex infrastructure are removed and disposed of safely and responsibly, with minimal environmental impact.”

Recovery of subsea structure

Derek Neilson, Managing Director of Endeavour Energy UK said “When we tendered this work we were pleased to see that Bibby had a clear understanding of our requirements. We established a strong working relationship with Bibby which enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency throughout the programme and resulted in the safe and successful completion of the subsea facilities decommissioning work this year”. Bibby Offshore also successfully completed work for Tullow Oil SK (TOSK) throughout April and May 2015, utilising DSV Bibby Topaz to perform decommissioning operations at the Orwell and Wissey subsea installations, including the tie-ins at the Thames and Horne and Wren platforms, in block 49/28 of the Southern North Sea. “Both scopes of work have been a cross-business effort, drawing on the skills and expertise of the entire Bibby Offshore team to deliver safe and competitive services. These contracts not only demonstrate the breadth of our capabilities, but they also help solidify our position as leaders in subsea services,” said Barry Macleod.

Bibby Sapphire in port during mobilisation

Subsea UK News | November 2015



In-Depth: An Interview with

Alfie Cheyne CEO, ACE Winches

Graduating with a Marine Engineering Apprenticeship, Alfie worked across the globe for eight years as a well testing downhole valve specialist in the oil industry. When he saw an opportunity to open a marine and hydraulic engineering workshop, manufacturing deck equipment to service the fishing industry, he took it. ACE Winches is the trading name of Alfred Cheyne Engineering Limited, the global deck machinery specialist, which he started up in 1992.


Subsea UK News | November 2015


ACE started up by selling winches for fishing boats – can you tell us how it all came about and how the company has evolved over the years? As the fishing industry experienced a down turn, the business evolved into a major manufacturer of high quality, bespoke and detailed engineered products for the marine and offshore industry. The purchase of a redundant factory, nearby buildings and land in North Aberdeenshire were redeveloped into state of the art workshop facilities for all engineering and manufacturing processes. The ACE Hire facilities has its own workshop, offices and test bed facility. Based in the north-east Scotland, we are proud to be a global leader, setting ourselves apart from the competition through our facilities, products and services. In addition to this, our manufacturing business sells catalogue products as well as designs and develops bespoke solutions.

Can you tell us about your recent Trade Export Mission? Being part of the UK trade delegation mission to Asia Pacific allowed us to further build our presence in the region, enhancing client relations and showcasing our technologically advanced products and services. Internationally, ACE Winches is currently active in Asia-Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and supplies equipment to the Middle East.

What has ACE Winches been up to recently? And what are your plans for the future? ACE Winches works in collaboration with clients, operators and regulatory industry bodies including European design accreditation authorities and manufactures to European industry standards. Earlier this year, we secured £10m in contracts to supply equipment and services for a major project in the Far East. Our engineers are currently in the final stages of installation, setup and commissioning.

Most recently, we completed a number of projects for clients across the North Sea and in West Africa, utilising our new product range of Linear Winches, Reel Drive Systems and Tensioners. Over £18m has been invested into the Hire Fleet in the last five years. In addition to this, we are currently installing ACE manufactured products for decommissioning projects across the North Sea for an oil major.

What’s your prediction for the future of the North Sea? What do you think companies should be doing to secure a sustainable future given the current challenges? The North Sea has ample reserves, much of which needs investment in new technology in order to extract at a lower cost. Companies need to be looking at how they can make better use of scarce resources, whilst working together. It’s important that we collaborate with each other to create one team with the goal of improving performance and efficiency and ultimately reduce operating costs.

As a company you have done a lot in a bid to inspire the next generation – why do you think it’s important to invest in graduates and apprentices? Through our graduate scheme and apprenticeship programme we are helping to create a pipeline of talent from the bottom up. Spending time with those on the ACE Winches apprentices and graduate programmes is an invaluable way of ensuring that technical expertise can be shared with the next generation coming into oil and gas sector. ACE Winches recently became the first organisation to achieve the Investors in Young People (IIYP) accreditation. It is the only people management standard that focuses on an employer’s recruitment and retention of young people, which launched July 2014 in partnership with the Scottish Government.

What do you most enjoy about running the business? The daily challenges that our clients are looking to solve and being on hand to provide them with technical expertise to resolve their challenges is rewarding. The fact that I can learn something new every day and pass on knowledge and expertise is satisfying.

Subsea UK News | November 2015



Subsea Innovation Successfully Delivers Multi-Mattress Deployment System to OMM Subsea Innovation, one of the world’s leading subsea equipment suppliers, is pleased to announce that it has completed the design and manufacture of a unique Multi-Mattress Deployment System (MDS3) for Offshore Marine Management Limited (OMM). OMM is a leading global service provider specialising in the delivery of subsea solutions for the offshore energy, grid and telecommunications industries, and has worked with Subsea Innovation to produce this innovative subsea tool which will substantially reduce project costs and improve HSE standards offshore. Its technology will deliver significant time savings consequently driving down associated vessel, equipment and personnel costs as well as removing the need for either divers or a work class ROV to assist deployment. The MDS3 was designed and manufactured at Subsea Innovation’s headquarters in Darlington before going through extensive wet testing at PD Ports facility at Hartlepool and finally sea trials. The design took into account the need for the tool to be easily transported to support global application, and following the wet testing the equipment saw its first action in an offshore campaign that was ran in the first weeks of July. Already a major player in the manufacture of LARS as well as Tether Management Systems (TMS), Subsea Sealing Systems, Pipeline Repair Systems and Waterstop Seals, Subsea Innovation has further


Subsea UK News | November 2015

demonstrated its capability in the production of a fully functional bespoke subsea tools and solutions.

George Birkett, Resources Manager at OMM, said:

“We have a great team who have a really clear understanding of the needs and the added benefits this will bring to the industry, our clients and to OMM. The collaboration with Subsea Innovation signifies the UK’s specialist subsea capability and our aptitude to deliver out of the box thinking.” Matthew Shaw, Project Manager at Subsea Innovation, said: “We are thrilled to have been asked to deliver this tool for Offshore Marine Management. We have a vast amount of experience in delivering solutions that make a real difference to the wider offshore industry.”


Market Activity Report Q3 2015

The industry is currently experiencing challenging times resulting in large-scale redundancies, mergers, even bankruptcies, vessels being laid up, and scrapping of older equipment. This is part of the cyclical nature of the industry, and it has all been seen before. However, many operators and contractors are, by necessity, adapting well to and taking advantage of the downturn in the market. Despite tough market conditions, it is encouraging to see that in the last quarter, operators are continuing to progress a number of large developments worldwide, although the focus remains on cutting costs wherever possible.


North Sea Maersk receive approval for development of Culzean HP/HT discovery

Gulf of Mexico Shell announce FID for the Appomattox development

West Africa Total looks for first production from Moho Nord, offshore Congo

North Sea In the UK sector of the North Sea, Maersk received approval for the development of the Culzean HP/HT discovery in the central North Sea in August, and has since made a number of contract awards. There was some disappointment for European yards that Sembcorp’s Singapore yard, SMOE, was awarded the topsides, but part of SMOE’s scope (the power generation module, two bridges and a flare) has been subcontracted to Sembmarine in Lowestoft. and Heerema has a second contract for the fabrication of a further two jackets, while Subsea 7 has the SURF contract. Contract awards continue for Statoil’s giant Norwegian sector Johan Sverdrup field, also approved in August. Statoil presented a preliminary capex estimate for the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development to the partnership last month. The updated estimate is showing reduced capital expenditures said to be ‘as a result of positive market response in contracts and purchase orders’. The overall capex estimate has been reduced by NOK 9 billion ($1 billion) from NOK 123 billion at the time of the PDO

submission in February, to NOK 114 billion in nominal terms. Again in the Norwegian sector, Wintershall is progressing the Maria development as a subsea tie-back to Kristin. The PDO was approved in early September.

Gulf of Mexico In the Gulf of Mexico, Shell announced the final investment decision (FID) for the Appomattox development in Mississippi Canyon Block 348 in early July. Appomattox will consist of a semisubmersible, four-column production host platform and a subsea system. Two contract awards in September have been to Oceaneering for umbilical supply, under a frame agreement, and to FMC for subsea equipment. BP looking to develop the Hopkins field in the Green Canyon Block 627 on a super-fast track basis. This will put the project ahead of the BP Mad Dog II project with first oil slated for 2018 two years before Mad Dog II. The operator has applied for permission to drill an appraisal well this autumn.


Arctic Eni continues to be dogged by delays on its Barents Sea Goliat project

Australasia Woodside progressing Greater Enfield Area Development offshore northwest Australia

North Africa Excitement over Eni’s recent Zohr discovery offshore Egypt in the Mediterranean

Asia-Pacific Topaz Energy orders two modern subsea vessels from Vard Brattvaag in Norway

Arctic In the Arctic, Eni continues to be dogged by delays on its Barents Sea Goliat project, although start-up is still anticipated by the operator this year. Shell, following a disappointing result from the Burger J exploration well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, has decided to cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. This decision reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.

North Africa In the North African region, there is considerable excitement over Eni’s recent Zohr discovery offshore Egypt in the Mediterranean. It is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea and could become

one of the world’s largest natural-gas finds. According to the well and seismic information available, the discovery could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas in place (5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent) covering an area of about 100 sq. km. Eni says it will immediately appraise the field with the aim of accelerating a fast track development. Eni have set an overall budget of $10 billion for full field development. The discovery is expected to impact on the nascent offshore production offshore Israel, which had been looking to supply gas to Egypt. Meanwhile, BP is eyeing development of its West Nile Delta gas fields, comprising 5 trillion cubic feet of gas resources and 55 million barrels of condensates with an estimated investment required of around $12 billion. Production is expected to start in 2017. Subsea 7 has a contract worth about $500 million for the development of the first West Nile Delta phase – the Taurus and Libra fields offshore Alexandria. The EPCI contract comprises the subsea infrastructure required to develop the gas from nine wells including 75 kms of umbilicals and 100 kms of pipeline.

...continued overleaf


West Africa In West Africa, Total is looking for first production from Moho Nord, offshore Congo in December 2015. The deepwater development comprises a total of 28 subsea wellheads tied back to floating production units and with 17 more wells from a new tension leg platform. Ocean Installer was awarded a contract last month to install and pre-commission an umbilical, Multi-Phase Pump (MPP), flying leads and spools. The contract is the contractor’s first major operation in West Africa following the creation of its Africa, Mediterranean and Middle East regional office in the second half of 2014. Ophir Energy is at the pre-development stage with its Fortuna gas development off Equatorial Guinea. The upstream FEED, which is being carried out by two contractor consortia - (i) McDermott Marine Construction and GE Oil & Gas UK and (ii) Subsea 7 and Aker Solutions - is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016. The project is planned to reach FID by mid-2016, with first production anticipated in January 2019. Tullow Oil says that the TEN project, offshore Ghana, is on budget and on track for first oil in mid-2016. The TEN project comprises the development of the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme fields and is located just 25km from Tullow Oil’s Jubilee development. The FPSO for the field was officially named FPSO Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, at the beginning of October, after the late president who oversaw first oil from Ghana’s Jubilee field in 2010. Also Offshore Ghana, Kosmos and partners have discovered a number of additional oil and gas-condensate discoveries at West Cape Three Points, including Mahogany, Teak, and Akasa (MTA). Kosmos is advancing appraisal activities at MTA to determine resource size and define optimal development. To date, it has drilled 10 wells in these three discovery areas, which the operator anticipates tying back to the Jubilee FPSO.

Australasia In Australasia, Woodside is progessing the Greater Enfield Area Development offshore northwest Australia, and awarded a FEED in September to OneSubsea. The FEED study, which will be conducted by OneSubsea’s local team in Perth, will include the design of the full subsea production system architecture solution, including subsea multiphase boosting, for the field that will be tied-back to the existing Ngujima-Yin FPSO. Woodside is targeting FID in 2016. A FEED for the modifications to the FPSO has been awarded to Aibel.

INPEX updated the expected production start-up schedule and raised the anticipated production capacity of the Ichthys LNG Project, offshore Australia last month (September). Production, which was initially expected to start toward the end of December 2016, is now expected to start in the third quarter of 2017 (July-September 2017). Meanwhile, INPEX will raise the annual LNG production capacity by about 6% to 8.9 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from the initially planned 8.4 MTPA. Also in September, the central processing facility for the project was launched from the offshore floating dock at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea.

Asia-Pacific In the Asia-Pacific region, Technip has been awarded a couple of contracts in Malaysia by PETRONAS Carigali. It has an EPCI contract for the tie-in of PETRONAS first floating liquefied natural gas (PFLNG1) facility to KAKG-A platform in Kanowit field, located 200 kms offshore Bintulu, East Malaysia. It covers the procurement and installation of a 3.2 kms flexible flowline between the existing KAKG-A central processing platform in Kanowit field to the PFLNG1 riser. It also includes modification and tie-in works at KAKG-A. The second contract covers the procurement and installation of two 8-inch water injection flexible pipes totalling 9.5 kms connecting three fixed jacket platforms which from the existing D18 infrastructure offshore Sarawak, Malaysia. On the vessel side, against a background of lay-ups and order cancellations, Dubai-based Topaz Energy and Marine has just ordered two modern subsea vessels from Vard Brattvaag in Norway at a purchase price of around $115 million. Specifically developed for light subsea construction with intervention duties, the vessels will be of VARD 3 08 design and are scheduled for delivery in the third and fourth quarters of 2017. Topaz retains an option for two more vessels.

René Kofod-Olsen, CEO, Topaz Energy and Marine, commented: “We

have confidence in the growth of the subsea sector and accordingly we’re reinvesting in our subsea-capable fleet with these innovative and fit-for-purpose vessels. By building in what is a challenging time for the industry we have minimised costs, and believe that at the time of delivery the market will have rebalanced sufficiently to be generating healthy demand.”

Conclusion Having seen little sustained upward movement in the oil price in recent months and production levels continuing to rise in several regions globally, these challenging times look set to continue well into 2016. This is being driven by two significant factors: the continued and unexpected resilience of the North American shale producers and Saudi Arabia’s ambition to maintain market share. There remain some robust projects in the North Sea which continue to push ahead towards concept selections, final investment decisions and first production.


Subsea UK News | November 2015


Forum Energy Technologies Open New Facilities Global oilfield equipment and products company, Forum Energy Technologies (UK) Limited, have recently completed its new build European Operational Facility and also opened a new Regional Head Office. The strategic decision to position both these new facilities in Westhill, the ‘Global Centre of Excellence in Subsea Engineering’ was due to the close proximity of a significant number of Forum’s clients.

Five Forum businesses will relocate from other locations around Aberdeen. The new facilities offer the benefit of centralising the businesses whilst ensuring capacity for future planned expansion. The relocation of all the businesses will be completed by mid-November. The new operations centre, which has 14,000 square feet of offices, 40,000 square feet of warehouse and 36,000 square feet of outdoor yard space, will also feature a state-of-the-art test tank, containing 135,000 litres of water, which is capable of testing work-class Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), ROV tooling and a variety of underwater sensors. The facility offers hydraulic, electrical and electronic workshops along with a 10-tonne gantry crane. Forum’s investment in these new facilities shows its commitment to the industry despite current market conditions.

Forum’s Europe HQ (left) and the newly built Operations Centre (right).

The Centre of Excellence for Subsea Safety

nhc training - Client Representative - Diving & ROV System Auditing - Dive Technician - Diver Medic Technician (IMCA) - Subsea Isolations - Trainee Air/Bell Supervisors (IMCA)

- Offices in Aberdeen & Singapore - Training locations worldwide

nhc consulting - Technical Diving Expertise - Diving & ROV System Auditing - Client Representatives - Accident & Incident Investigation - Expert Witness - Application for IMCA Membership

nhc testing - Pressure Testing - to 8000m deep - Altitude Testing - up to 55,000ft - Hyperbaric Welding Trials - Environmental Testing - Cycle Testing - 8m x 12m DiveTank

+44 (0)1224 698 895


Warwick Sub Wins Global Innovation Award for ‘Green’ Submarine A final render of Godiva from Warwick Sub. The 3D model consists of 500 individual parts, 110 of which were unique.

Eight students from the University of Warwick have received global recognition for their engineering skills after scooping the first prize for innovation at the International Submarine Races (ISR) in America. Since exhibiting at Subsea Expo 2015, the world’s largest annual subsea exhibition and conference, Warwick Sub has celebrated a number of successes. Led by Richard Freeman, the team competed against 22 universities across Europe, Asia and the US. Held at the Carderock Naval Facility at Bethesda, Maryland, the ISR competition was established in 1989 to inspire young engineering students to delve deeper into the advancements in underwater technology and provide them with an educational experience that translates their theoretical knowledge into reality. The award-winning team, comprising of Richard Freeman, Theo Saville, Sam Clifton, Rupert Barnard, Stuart Snow, Jack Fairweather, Verity Armstrong and Matthew Shanahan, received an

honorable mention in the Best Design Report Award and $1000 prize money.

With an initial grant from the University, the team was tasked with raising enough funds to design and build a man-powered submarine within eight months. The students successfully secured £60,000 of sponsorship from over 20 companies and industry bodies.


Warwick Sub built their submarine using ‘green’ materials, which were adapted for a marine environment. The hull of the submarine was made from biodegradable flax fibre and they incorporated a rotor asymmetric chain ring to improve efficiency. The team, which brought together students of various engineering disciplines, used advanced manufacturing methods, such as advanced prototyping and 3D printing, to optimise the design. They faced a multitude of challenges from researching and sourcing materials to transporting the submarine across the Atlantic safely and within the set budget. Each member of the team also completed a scuba diving certification, so they could safely carry out a series of underwater tests. Matthew Shanahan, who played an instrumental part in the team’s success said: “One of the biggest engineering challenges we faced was how to economically transport the submarine. Fully assembled, the submarine made air freight travel very expensive.

“The ‘fold away’ design for the hull and chassis allowed us to transport the submarine easily and within budget. The hull could be dismantled into four separate sections and packed into a far smaller crate. Additional to this, the chassis was collapsible. This substantially reduced shipping costs and had never been attempted before.” The ISR competition is recognised globally as an opportunity for some of the most talented students, from a host of universities, to demonstrate their knowledge and passion for engineering.

Godiva has her first wet test in the campus swimming pool at the University of Warwick. Perfecting neutral buoyancy is key to a successful run at the ISR.

The ISR contestants queue up in the David Taylor Model Basin to test their submarines; there were 23 teams total.

Students are required to work as a team applying the skills learnt on their course to a practical application. The culmination of the project in the UK is a week-long event where teams are assessed on a variety of criteria, following the completion of straight-line and slalom courses. The overall winner is determined on the basis of design, manufacture, performance and lessons learned. “We knew exactly what we wanted to achieve, but whether we could do it or not, was determined by how much sponsorship we secured. Exhibiting at Subsea Expo exposed us to so many companies that were willing to get behind us and put our design into reality. Without industry support, we wouldn’t have been able to build the submarine that won us the first prize for innovation,” added Matthew. “It was an incredible experience to see how other teams from across the world designed and built their submarines. It really showcased the engineering talents and capabilities from a global perspective.

“When we were starting out, we had very limited sponsorship, but that soon changed. We definitely didn’t expect to raise as much as we did and to have so many high profile companies backing us was a huge encouragement. We didn’t want to let them down, so we really pulled out all the stops to make our submarine stand out.” The ISR project contributed to the team’s final year studies at Warwick University. A number of the students have already left to pursue a career in engineering, however Matthew plans to take a year out to go travelling before embarking on his own journey in the engineering sector.


Changing the Game of Subsea Video For the first time, live subsea video can be digitally transmitted via Ethernet without significant latency. The SubVIS platform is based on embedding a computer into the camera, making it ready for advanced image enhancement and Computer Vision. Imenco have effectively made a dedicated computer especially designed for low latency video processing, based on smart phone technology. Full digital video transmission opens up an array of applications in the control room. Similar to the smart phone technology, an important part of Imenco’s philosophy is to ensure an open architecture to allow third parties to fully integrate these cameras into their control systems and to write software applications to increase the popularity and usefulness of the platform. This will allow you the freedom to tailor the package to suit your own specific demands, as well as integrating own video analysis function algorithms, image enhancement etc. on top of the core software. The system opens up for the use of image metadata, which represents great advantages. One of the most innovative and exciting features that will be developed on this system, is that subsea devices can be made to automatically communicate with each other. This allows for

example the camera to tell the lights to reduce its intensity and deliver optimum level of light. The first camera based on the SubVIS technology is called Orca. This is the Latin name of the Killer Whale – one of the most intelligent creatures in the ocean. This symbolises the change from the analogue and HDSDI cameras used in the market today. The camera is designed as a ROV main camera and has been equipped with an excellent water correction lens system for high image quality. Imenco will keep on developing software applications as well as new camera models in the SubVIS range.

Stills from the Imenco SubVIS Orca video. Scan the QR code or visit to watch the full length video


AISUS Offshore Expands into Norway with Cost-Saving Inspection Technology Aberdeen-based AISUS Offshore recently secured its first contract in Norway with a major oil and gas operator to deliver a double caisson inspection scope on a platform located 120km North West of Bergen. Established in 2013, AISUS develops and uses specialist technology to provide visual and ultrasonic inspection services to the global oil and gas industry. The company has grown significantly over the past two years and now provides inspection services to more than 10 major operators in the UK. The contract win in Norway saw AISUS combine visual inspection, high-pressure cleaning and ultrasonic corrosion mapping, using their automated deployment systems to carry out a comprehensive inspection package on a firewater and seawater caisson. The purpose of the inspection was to assess the integrity of the two pump caissons and record any anomalies found. Both caissons contained existing internal swaged liner repairs and following an external ROV survey, deterioration was identified, requiring further investigation. AISUS Offshore utilised the SIRIUS™ tool, the latest technology available for internal ultrasonic testing and corrosion mapping to complete the project. This allowed AISUS to control everything from the topside, allowing wall thickness data to be captured above, within and below a variety of obstacles and diameter variations encountered within the caissons. AISUS Offshore delivered the entire project offshore and completed the scope successfully within the set timescale.

Stuart Lawson, Managing Director of AISUS Offshore

Stuart Lawson, managing director of AISUS Offshore said: “Caisson integrity is a major issue for offshore platform operators. A caisson is a relatively simple part of an asset, but one which can have a devastating impact if its integrity is compromised by corrosion or mechanical damage. With most common degradation mechanisms for caissons developing from the inside, and often not visible externally until they are through thickness, inspection, monitoring and mitigation efforts need to focus on the detection and prevention of internal degradation. “By completing two caisson inspections in the same mobilisation, a significant cost saving was achieved for the client.” In May 2014, AISUS launched the Aquarius system, and now deploy this technology, as standard, as part of its internal caisson and riser inspection work. Using a water column to couple the UT signal to the inspection item, Aquarius enables transition from above water, through the splash zone, to the subsea section. Prior to us launching this technology, there was no way to perform full length corrosion mapping on subsea and topside structures in the same deployment.

Stuart said: “The

outlook for the inspection market shows growth potential particularly in the longerterm as Arctic resources are targeted off Canada, Norway and Russia and in deep water. Subsea processing is now coming of age, adding to the inspection and asset integrity challenge.

“Expanding into the Norwegian market supports our strategy, focusing on markets where we believe we can add most value through our technical expertise and experience.”

Subsea UK News | November 2015



Update to Subsea Anomaly & Asset Integrity Management Software IQ Integrity Ltd has released version6 of “ONE”, its subsea integrity management software solution suite. ONE’s standard anomaly workflow process has been in use subsea UKCS since 2013. Version6 upgrades ONE’s subsea asset management functions with the latest features and extensions to component attributes.

Alan Gillespie, IQ Integrity

ONE version6 for subsea assets also enables operating status Dashboards, new live and historic reports and integration with IQ Integrity’s Risk Assessment module. IQ Integrity is in its sixth year of business and continues to invest heavily in product development based on user feedback. ONE version6 is the foundation for the scheduled Q2 2016 upgrade. This will include some of the significant new modules already in development, which clients and the wider industry have helped to specify.

Seatronics Secures First UK Sale of 2G Robotics’ ULS-200 Underwater Laser Scanner

IQ Integrity’s Technical Director, Alan Gillespie, said:

“ONE version6 is another confident step forward for us. We developed new functionality to meet industry demand both in the UK and Asia Pacific regions for powerful, cost effective solutions to subsea integrity issues. Providing the features users actually use within software which adapts to their company’s needs, greatly increases the benefits and reduces implementation and training time.” The company’s integrity management solutions were designed and developed from the ground up as web based systems. IQ Integrity provides intuitive user interfaces and what they call ‘dispassionate logic’ to cut through legacy workflow and enable significant efficiencies with data in ONE place.

2G Robotics ULS 200 Underwater Laser Scanner in Action

Seatronics, an Acteon company, has secured the first UK sale of 2G Robotics’ ULS-200 underwater laser scanner. The system was purchased by HR Wallingford; a world-leading independent civil engineering and environmental hydraulics organisation, based in Oxfordshire. Adil Ali, product sales manager at Seatronics, said: “HR Wallingford is a leader in global hydrological research, and purchased 2G Robotic’s ULS-200 system based on the impressive level of resolution and accuracy it delivers. Seatronics has an excellent track record of customer service and technical support and provided close client liaison in both commercial and technical matters leading up to the sale.” The ULS-200 is 2G Robotics’ mid-range underwater laser scanner. The system has a lightweight, compact design and low power and bandwidth requirements, enabling simple integration and operation. The system generates 3D point cloud models. From these models, highly accurate and precise measurements can be captured for detailed analysis of underwater structures and environments. HR Wallingford recently opened the Fast Flow Facility, one of the world’s largest marine test facilities, with a unique, dual-channel flume for wave-current-sediment modelling. The company conducted trials with the ULS-200 at the facility, with technical support


Subsea UK News | November 2015

from Seatronics and 2G Robotics. HR Wallingford subsequently purchased a ULS-200 and has successfully deployed it in marine renewables projects and scour research.

Prof. Richard Whitehouse, technical director, HR Wallingford, said, “We were impressed with the

ULS-200’s capabilities and results during our trials. The 3D visualisations generated by the ULS-200 are providing highly accurate models from which detailed analysis and research can be conducted. The ULS-200 is greatly assisting with our projects – including those in the marine renewables sector – delivering significant benefits in accuracy and efficiency.”


Total Saves Times with Sonardyne Fusion 6G at Egina French oil major Total, operator for the Egina oil field offshore Nigeria, together with its construction and survey partners, successfully installed a Fusion 6G subsea positioning network to support its development of the $15 billion project. Supplied by Sonardyne International Ltd, UK, the acoustic technology specified for Egina, which is still ongoing, included a field-wide array of Compatt 6 seabed transponders that were deployed and made ready for work eight days ahead of schedule. Located 150 kilometres off the coast of Nigera, in water depths of up to 1,750 metres, the Egina field covers an area of around 500 square miles. Production at the field is expected to reach 200,000 barrels per day at its peak. Fusion 6G is Sonardyne’s sixth generation of Long BaseLine (LBL) acoustic positioning system, and is widely considered the industry standard tool for subsea construction and survey thanks to its performance and time saving features. Planning for Fusion’s deployment at Egina had begun several months earlier and involved senior project managers and surveyors from Total and its sub-contractors, working closely with personnel from Sonardyne’s own Survey Support Group (SSG). The work undertaken by the SGG for Egina included analysing the proposed location for each of the Compatt transponders in the seabed network and, in doing so, verify that there was clear line of sight between each transponder in order that they can reliably range to each other. In addition, the SSG team mapped out seabed coverage and the expected positioning performance of the Compatts at all points of interest. At Egina, the investment in time planning acoustic operations onshore, was rewarded with a highly successful offshore LBL campaign. The wide-area transponder array was deployed, installed and calibrated more than a week ahead of schedule and without any further direct support from Sonardyne and the SSG.

Frederic Auger, Chief Surveyor at Total E&P said:

“The array installation and subsequent UFR campaign performed at the Egina field, has proven to be an extremely successful demonstration of Fusion’s capabilities. Off the back of it, we will be using it to support ongoing field construction activities throughout the rest of this year and into the 2016 season. The system’s quick setup and deployment meant that the savings in vessel time alone has more than justified our decision to trust in Sonardyne’s lowrisk digital technology platform.”

A Sonardyne Compatt 6 transponder that forms part of the field-wide array of transponders at the Egina oil field is lowered in a frame down to the ocean floor

Subsea UK News | November 2015



Impact Subsea Launch the ISA500 – Altimeter, Heading, Pitch & Roll Sensor Impact Subsea is pleased to announce the launch of the ground breaking ISA500 – a 500kHz underwater altimeter which also provides heading, pitch and roll. The ISA500 is the only sensor in the world to provide altitude, heading, pitch and roll from a single device. This significant development from the UK based company highlights the capability to reduce equipment costs through integration of sensors. With a 120 meter (394 feet) altitude range measurement capability, the ISA500 is the longest range 500kHz altimeter available today. Making use of a composite transducer and advanced digital acoustic engine, the ISA500 is able to achieve significantly long range while providing sub-millimetre measurement accuracy. The ISA500 also provides heading, pitch and roll readings – ideal for AUV/ROV navigation, underwater equipment deployment, touch down monitoring or riser monitoring applications. At under 11cm (4.3”) long, 4.5cm (1.8”) wide and weighing just 0.5kg (1.10lb) in air makes the ISA500 a highly compact unit. This form factor is ideal for applications where space and weight are critical considerations. Using under 60mA of power at 24VDC also makes the ISA500 one of the most power efficient units available today – ideal for long term monitoring deployments. The on board pitch and roll sensor can be used to automatically compensate for pitch, roll and altimeter misalignment to provide

consistent true altitude readings – a first in altitude measurement technology. Housed in a robust titanium housing, complete with industry standard connector, ensures that the ISA500 is not only at the forefront of technology, but built to withstand the harshest of underwater environments.

Ben Grant, Managing Director of Impact Subsea, said:

‘With the ISA500 we have created a very capable sensor, with the benefit of being very easy to use. Through the provision of not only altitude, but heading, pitch and roll; users are given capability previously unseen from a single device. This presents a significant cost saving opportunity through intelligent integration of multiple capabilities into a single device.

Integrity Support Specialist For Subsea Assets • • • • • •

Flexible Risers, Risers & Caissons Subsea Structures & Pipelines Non-Piggable Pipelines Conductor Pipes Ship Hulls & Mooring Lines Other inspection challenges

Inspection & integrity assessment solutions featuring :

• • • • • • •

MEC-Combi inspection tools based on Magnetic Eddy Current (MEC) technique Integrated Ultrasonic sensor array system & other advanced inspection techniques Integrated advanced cleaning system ROV & Installation deployment High corrosion defect detection capabilities Fast scanning in circumferential & axial orientation No coating removal Innospection Ltd, Unit 1, Howemoss Avenue, Kirkhill Industrial Estate, Dyce, AB21 0GP, Aberdeen, UK Tel : +44 (0)1224 724744 Email :


Power Jacks’ New 5Te Load Link: A Compact Size, Robust Design Driven by customer demand for a low weight and compact Load Link, Power Jacks Load Monitoring Solutions have designed and manufactured the smallest in their range to date. The 5Te Load Link weighs only 1.5kg and provides the ideal solution when accurate and reliable tensile load monitoring is required for lifting applications, but where space is an issue. Hird Lifting was one of the first companies to use the 5Te Load link produced by Power Jacks. Having expressed their need for a compact and accurate product, Power Jacks went onto supply Hird Lifting with a product fitting their requirements. The newly designed Load Link not only proves a hit in size; it also has an accuracy of <0.5% of applied load, a safety factor of 5:1, environmentally

rated at IP67, 500 hour battery life using 2 x AAA’s, and comes in wireless and cabled versions. This model is suitable for all industry sectors, including marine, offshore and subsea environments. In particular, it is ideal for mobile applications and services, as well as service and maintenance vehicles. Having the expertise in-house to design and manufacture products from the Power Jacks facility in Ellon, the Load Monitoring team are quick to respond to market demand. The 5Te Load link joins a portfolio of 12 Load Link designs from 12.5Te to 500Te as standard, as well as compressive load cells, load shackles, load pins, running line tensionmeter, load cell displays and data logging.

5Te Load Link

Innovation Investment as Subsea Supplies Launches Online Ordering Solution Subsea Supplies has invested £50,000 to launch a new online procurement solution that gives clients access to thousands of products at the touch of a button. The Aberdeen-based company, which supplies cables, components and connectors to firms operating in underwater-related industries, developed the solution in partnership with city-based design agency, Form Digital. Subsea Supplies says the new solution will speed up the ordering process for clients, improve efficiencies and gives it scope to market components and equipment to a broader client base.

Subsea Supplies increased turnover from £4.9m in 2013 to £5.6m for its 2014 December year-end – a rise of 14%. The company, which was established in 2000, provides components, connectors and other equipment to companies operating in the oil and gas, defence and underwater sectors. Its products are commonly used in remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

The business invested more than £180,000 in its new premises in Bridge of Don at the start of the year. The company can now stock around 100,000 items at the site. Pauline McCann, sales manager at Subsea Supplies, said: “We looked at how we could help our clients have a more streamlined ordering process as they seek to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. “The online portal is easy-to-use with scope to review and order several products at the same time. The solution is an important development as we continue to build on our reputation for exceptional customer service.” Andy Smith, director at Subsea Supplies, said: “We have been looking to offer our clients the web portal solution for some time and we’re delighted to have launched it. The early feedback from clients has been extremely positive.”

Neil Gordon, chief executive of industry body, Subsea UK, said: “Once again it is great to hear about another

one of our members bringing innovation to the marketplace. I’m sure this new online system will add value to the supply chain and provide Subsea Supplies with the opportunity to develop as a business.”

Subsea UK News | November 2015



Graduate Engineers Secure Full Time Employment with OSBIT Power after Completing Placements OSBIT Power is continuing to attract talented engineers and has this week welcomed two new graduates. Both employees have been awarded permanent contracts after completing placements with the company as part of their degrees. Callum Noble and Sacha Aichroth completed their studies at University of Edinburgh. As part of their course, both undertook a seven-month placement with the Northumberland-based offshore engineering company. After impressing the company’s directors, they were offered permanent contracts to begin after graduation. The pair is the latest in a series of graduate engineers who have been recruited by OP since the company launched in 2010. The company began offering placements several years ago, with the number offered increasing yearly as the company expands. The permanent OP team has grown by over 150 percent in the last three years. Callum, 23, who is from Penicuik in Scotland, joins the business after gaining a 2:1 in Mechanical Engineering, which included a focus on renewable energy. Sacha, 25, earned a 2:1 Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and moves to the North East from Sherborne in Somerset. As OP engineers, Callum and Sacha will be involved in a variety of projects across the oil & gas and renewables sectors. They will participate in OP’s full project lifecycle from designing and draughting the innovative engineering solutions delivered by the company, through to on-site installation. OP provides bespoke engineering solutions that range from onshore pipe and cable handling, pipe and cable lay and well-intervention equipment to test rigs, trenchers and subsea vehicles. It is also a leading supplier of offshore ‘walk to work’ systems. OP’s MaXccess range utilises patented technology to allow safer transfers between support vessels and rigs or offshore wind turbines in greater wave heights.


Subsea UK News | November 2015

Callum said: “The time I spent on placement with OSBIT was excellent and I was delighted to be offered a permanent position with the company. The company is exceptionally innovative and I am very proud to be part of such a talented and experienced team.” Sacha said: “The

North East is a hub for offshore and subsea engineering and I am very pleased to have secured a role with one of the region’s leading companies. My placement was really interesting and through it I gained practical experience and industry knowledge which will prove useful in my new permanent role.”


Leading Subsea Training Centre Unveils New Collaborative Training Model A new model for increasing workforce competency in the ROV industry, using a realistic offshore instruction environment, has been unveiled by Scottish ROV and diver training and trials facility The Underwater Centre. Industry and training providers have collaborated to develop work class ROV operations training that gives personnel thorough preparation and experience in essential aspects of work class ROV practice, offering the building blocks to improve safety and efficiency of staff and agency personnel. Commercial Director Steve Ham said that the aim of the industry-led solution was to address the looming skills and personnel shortage by offering an even more comprehensive suite of training courses, tailored to the needs of companies and individuals, with the aim of shortening the time to reach senior roles. The new model has seen The Underwater Centre set up and deliver the training and represents a complete change in the approach to training and consequently the opportunities open to personnel development within the industry in the future. The Underwater Centre has received increasing support from the subsea industry and a number of companies – including Technip, Subsea 7, Fugro, Forum Subsea Technologies, FMC Schilling Robotics, Lawson Engineers Ltd, Digital Edge Subsea, Kongsberg and, more recently, Valeport – have been instrumental in developing the training syllabus, as well as donating much needed equipment. Steve said: “The new contextual training we are offering in conjunction with industry signifies a paradigm shift in the way we deliver our courses, and includes theoretical and practical instruction on board our work class ROV support vessel – Loch Sunart – in a realistic marine environment.

Steve Ham, Commercial Director

“The new programme, which builds on our existing training, has been developed with a modular approach, covering topics such as ROV maintenance and operations, tooling, electrical and electronic systems, high voltage, working at heights, fibre optics and OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer), and hydraulics. The training is also staged to address the training needs of new entrants, as well as established and experienced personnel. This approach allows training to fit with companies’ existing competence development programmes.

“The competency and training of ROV operators will be an important factor in ensuring the continued development of the industry bringing increasingly significant operational and cost efficiencies.” The Underwater Centre works closely with the subsea industry to help companies gain the workforce they need, and to provide new and existing personnel with the best possible preparation for a subsea career.

Jee Launches New Course Schedule Offering Flexible Cost Saving Solutions for 2016 Jee Ltd, a leading multi-discipline subsea engineering and training firm, has unveiled its 2016 course schedule and training and development brochure offering new cost-effective, flexible training programmes for the global oil and gas and offshore wind industry. Covering the whole life-of-field, Jee has designed its portfolio of 27 courses to help subsea engineers build on their existing competencies and meet the standards demanded of them at every stage of their career. With a reputation for excellence, Jee has been training the global oil and gas industry for more than 20 years, working with over 7000 delegates in 37 countries. With a clear understanding of the necessity for a flexible approach to learning, the company’s methodologies are at the forefront for both the new generation of engineers and experienced professionals. Jee’s Head of Courses, Jenny Mathew said: “At Jee we understand that in the current climate budgets are being cut, particularly in areas such as training. Cost reduction and efficiencies are key to ensure investment in subsea training continues to be a feasible option for our customers.” The 2016 schedule offers a variety of online or face-to-face deliveries, at a Jee course hub (Aberdeen and Houston) or in-house at client offices. New options are also available to enhance courses, allowing delegates to create their own unique learning experience.

“Our new training outlook provides cost-effective, flexible training solutions that can be tailored to any organisation’s requirements and budget. Delegates have the option to choose a standard ‘off the shelf’ course, customise part of a course, or develop a completely bespoke programme to meet specific requirements. “Using the latest learning theory and offering a range of options, often referred to as blended learning, helps to ensure knowledge is effectively retained and produces real business value when applied to the work of an individual and organisation,” said Ms Matthew. The training team at Jee develop courses in collaboration with tutors, all practising engineers with a wealth of expertise in their field, and incorporate lessons learned from their engineering division to ensure up-to-date content in line with the latest industry codes, standards and best practice.

Jee’s Head of Courses, Jenny Matthew

Subsea UK News | November 2015



The National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) has made great progress over the last 12 months in meeting its overall aim of bringing new subsea technology to market which will consolidate the UK’s leading position across the globe and help sustain the life of the North Sea. The organisation recently marked its one year anniversary and has a number of new initiatives underway to bring industry, technology developers, universities and academics together to solve today’s and tomorrow subsea challenges.

three operators seeking the technological solutions that will unlock their potential. Break-out sessions then interrogated the challenges and debated how they could be addressed.

The scenarios covered the following themes:

New Board Appointments Melfort Campbell and Martin Jones have been appointed to strengthen the board of NSRI. One of the most high profile members of the Scottish oil and gas industry and a champion for new technology development, Melfort Campbell is Chair of the Oil and Gas Expert Commission, set up by the Scottish Government and co-chair of Innovation Scotland Forum. Martin Jones is chief executive of Magma Global Ltd, which he founded in 2010 to manufacture high quality carbon fibre pipe for subsea exploration and production. The inventor of 12 granted patents, Mr Jones is also the founder and Chairman of M-Flow and Chairman of Magma Structures which has recently delivered the world’s largest ever yacht masts. With impressive pedigrees in innovation and technology in the subsea industry, these new board members will help NSRI deliver its aim of bringing new technology to market that will reduce costs and deliver efficiencies and help the UK subsea sector maintain its world-leading position.

Hackathon Dates Confirmed Following a study into the recovery of small hydrocarbon pools, NSRI has been running a series of workshops bringing the industry together to explore the new, disruptive technologies that will help exploit these small and currently uneconomical fields. These “hackathons” held in Aberdeen and London discussed the findings from the economic study into small pools, which identified the ‘size of the prize’ for the supply chain in Capex terms. Three oil field development scenarios were outlined by

Engineering & Flow Assurance

Process & Chemistry

Subsea Production Systems

Subsea, Umbilical, Risers & Flowlines

Surface Facilities, Modifications & Stand alone

Operating & Production

All ideas were captured and will be screened to prioritise the efforts in the short, medium and long term, with cost reduction and efficiency measures addressed first. New technology will be qualified and risk assessed prior to being deployed for field trials.

Matchmaker Service Now Live A new service which aims to partner end users with technology researchers and developers in the appropriate fields has been introduced. Matchmaker is a publicly available database resource of who is operating in which technological development areas and aims to match industry needs with the relevant academics, research institutions, test houses and qualification bodies to encourage collaboration on the development of new technology. The resource is a starting point on which NSRI will build to make sure that it truly represents the entire industry and relevant research organisations; providing the best and most relevant contacts and collaborations needed to advance the development of new technology. For more information, visit

Subsea UK News | November 2015


You will soon be able to order directly through our new website. We stock thousands of products from industry-respected suppliers including Burton Subsea, Nexans, Sunstar, Masto and Clear-Com