Subsea UK News Feb. 2013

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IN THIS ISSUE Subsea UK’s Skills Shortage Solution Subsea News & Events Highlighting New Technology and Innovation


Apollo Offshore Engineering is an engineering design and analysis service company that delivers safe and appropriate solutions to the global energy industries. > Marine and subsea > Technical safety > Structures > Process and flow assurance



BEYOND THE NEXT WAVE The UK subsea sector continues to out-perform other industry sectors. It has successfully capitalised on the range of challenges faced by expanding into new frontiers with deeper and more complex wells and continues to show significant future growth potential. It is one of the fastestgrowing sectors in the UK and captures over a third of the global market. While we must continue to exploit overseas markets, there is still considerable scope in the North Sea. Recent E&A and E&P activity underline that there is significant life left in the old dog and indeed many more challenges to which our sector will undoubtedly rise. Some of the most sophisticated and successful technology has been developed by UK firms and the size of our industry, coupled with our diversification and willingness to embrace new challenges, means that we rightly deserve our position as a world-leader. However, maintaining that position as we move forward is becoming more and more difficult. A study of our members in 2012 indicated that 10,000 new employees are needed across the sector over the next 12 months in order to meet current and future demand. With demand for engineers, technicians, project managers and similarly suitably qualified people out-stripping supply, we urgently need to attract and develop new talent. The dearth of talent isn’t down to one single factor; a decline in children studying STEM subjects, increasing global competition, an ageing workforce and continued negative perceptions surrounding the industry have all played a contributing role. This issue’s feature concentrates on how Subsea UK will utilise a funding award from Skills Development Scotland to address the critical skills shortage. We will be working closely with our members to develop a variety of routes into the industry and we believe that through pan-industry cooperation and support for these initiatives, we can develop the pipeline of new talent into the world of subsea.

Subsea UK Subsea UK News, produced by Subsea UK, reaches over 15,000 subsea-affiliated people 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 50,000 employees, worth almost £6 billion in services and products and with over 800 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.

New Members • Agito Technical Dynamics • JGC Engineering Services • Alba Gaskets Ltd • Koso Kent Introl limited • Brodies LLP • LDC • Business Growth Fund • Ocean Power Technologies • Calidus Engineering Limited • Pharos Offshore Group • CDL • RUD Chains Ltd • Ceona Services (UK) Ltd • SPX Bolting Systems • Cygnus Instruments Ltd • STATS Group • Danbor Ltd • Subsea Deep Ocean Ltd • Deep Sea Recovery Limited • Universal Engineering Ltd • Energyn Limited • Virtual Office Solutions Ltd • FP Marine Risks Ltd To view the full Subsea UK members list, visit the Subsea UK Directory at

Technology will also be at the forefront of our work this year. We must identify operational needs and work with our members to meet these whilst continuing to capitalise on new opportunities for growth in emerging markets. The UK presently leads the way around the world in subsea with British experience, expertise and technology sought after in every offshore oil and gas province. But heavy investment in innovative subsea technology is essential if this lead is to be maintained.

Forthcoming Events

Where the UK subsea sector has enjoyed particular success is in our ability to be innovative and creative and we must take this approach and apply it to all aspects of our business. We must rise to the challenges that the skills shortage present and we must continue to develop the technology for which we have gained an unrivalled reputation. Only in doing so, will we ensure that the UK subsea industry continues to lead the way around the world.

Subsea Tieback Forum 2013 San Antonio, USA 5-7 March 2013

I hope you enjoy this edition of our magazine.

February 2013

July 2013

March 2013

September 2013

UK Energy Brazil Showcase Rio de Janeiro 11 – 15 March 2013

February 2014

Subsea Australasia Conference and AOG 2013 Perth 20/22 February 2013

June 2013

Subsea Asia Conference Kuala Lumpur 5 June 2013

Parliamentary Reception and Dinner London 3 July 2013 Subsea UK’s Offshore Europe Dinner 2013 Aberdeen 4 September 2013 Subsea 2014 – 10th Anniversary Aberdeen 5/6 February 2014

Regular branch meetings are held in the South East and North West of England.

Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK

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

Subsea UK News | February 2013



Images Main: Buoyancy system in steel frame (simulated load) being lowered into test tank. Top inset: Project team members. Lower Inset: Monitoring underwater movements against control system data

2012 Proves a Defining Year for Deep Sea Recovery’s Controllable Buoyancy Solutions After four years of collaborative research and development to design a deep water lightweight controllable buoyancy system (CBS) using liquid nitrogen as the gas source, Deep Sea Recovery (DSR) and their partners have enjoyed highly successful prototype trials at the National Hyperbaric Centre (NHC) in Aberdeen. Nicknamed ‘the Buoyancy Boys’ by the NHC team, DSR and colleagues demonstrated controlled ascent, descent and hover of a 3.5 tonne load within the test tank, proving the sensitivity of the control systems, the gasification of liquid nitrogen on demand and the resultant displacement of water from the buoyancy caissons. Management of dump valves allowed controlled release of gas from the caissons to slow or reverse the ascent of the load.

The patent-protected CBS comprises a cryogenic pressure vessel (carbon and stainless steel), carbon load bearing rings, GRP buoyancy caissons and control system to manage the gasification process, valve operation and cameras.

Liquid nitrogen has a significant expansion ratio which is the key to delivering positive buoyancy at depth from a relatively compact source. DSR’s CBS technology which is fully scalable is being directed at a number of application opportunities from providing work-class ROVs with independent lift capability to bespoke recovery / deployment of subsea assets in deep water. CBS can operate independently or as a complementary technology alongside heavy lift cranes and other buoyancy solutions.

Key Milestone for the Delivery of World’s First Full Scale Subsea Compression System The first phase of delivering a ground-breaking all-electric subsea control system developed by Aker Solutions for Statoil’s Åsgard field will be made in Q1 of 2013.

Early in 2013 the project will take delivery of the first phase of subsea control modules designed and manufactured by Aker Solutions’ subsea business in Aberdeen.

Located at Haltenbanken in water depths of 240-310 metres, the development sees gas and condensate from the Midgard and Mikkel satellite reservoirs transported through long distance flowlines to the Åsgard B platform.

“With start-up of the compressor station scheduled for 1st quarter 2015, Åsgard will become the first full-scale subsea compression project to come onstream,” said Matt Corbin, Managing Director of Aker Solutions subsea business in the UK.

Declining production will mean that by 2014 the reservoirs will have insufficient gas pressure to produce steadily. Aker Solutions was awarded the contract by Statoil in December 2010 to develop a new subsea gas compression system that would boost gas pressure to maintain stable production rates and ensure a minimum gas flow – all from the seabed. The work scope includes a subsea compressor manifold station, subsea compressor station template structure, three identical compressor trains, all-electrical control systems, high voltage electrical power distribution system, topside equipment, tooling, transport and installation equipment.


Subsea UK News | February 2013

“This pioneering project not only signifies a quantum leap for subsea gas compression within the oil and gas industry, it reaffirms our position as the preferred partner for subsea technology, solutions and capability.” Subsea compression on Åsgard is expected to improve recovery from the Mikkel and Midgard fields by some 278 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Advanced Subsea Inspection – Technology and Increasing Applications The requirement for the condition assessment of underwater-based structures and pipes has increased in the recent years due to general integrity reasons and the analysis of fitness-for-service of aging assets. This market demand has led to Innospection developing new ROV-deployed subsea inspection tools which combine the advantageous SLOFECTM technique with add-on techniques like Ultrasonic testing and Pulsed Eddy Current for a thorough assessment of the subsea assets. SLOFECTM is non-couplant based technique which combines a direct current magnetic field with an alternate Eddy Current field to allow the detection of general corrosion and smallest wall loss defects. The ability to inspect lower and heavy wall components without the removal of coating is a key advantage of this technique. The internal and external wall loss detection while scanning at a relatively high speed has proven to be an important element for a valuable integrity assessment. For the inspection of risers and caissons off the installation or by ROV, a hydraulically driven motorised inspection tool has been developed. This sophisticated inspection system known as MEC-HUG is able to embrace and crawl along the pipes to inspect the required areas. This is a new addition to the advanced Subsea MEC (Magnetic Eddy Current) inspection tool family which is based around the principle inspection SLOFECTM technology.

The demand for the inspection of subsea pipelines, structural legs and ship hulls led to the development of the MEC-Combi fleet which combines the SLOFECTM technique with Ultrasonic for additional verification and absolute thickness measurement. The MEC-Combi Crawler is a scanner equipped with hydraulic motor drive and is able to move up vertical pipes and structures with its magnetic force. It can also be easily adapted for the inspection of ship hulls. As the electromagnetic inspection technique is recognised to have further potential in the subsea area, the inspection system for flexible risers known as MEC-FITTM had been developed and was tested in feasibility studies on flexible risers supported by operators and producers. As a technique that does not require couplant, the MEC-FITTM inspection system has successfully demonstrated sensitivity in the detection of cracks and wall loss in the first and second tensile armour layer and to some extent, damage and interlocking failures in the third layer (pressure armour layer). MEC-FITTM is set up in a self-crawling frame which is deployable off the installation as well as by ROV. Like all other applications, this technique was analysed by trials and qualification tests. Inspection technology and deployment know-how demonstrate that the subsea inspection possibilities have changed substantially to the benefit of integrity assessment.


Cygnus DIVE with a large colour TFT screen displaying thickness measurements in clear, easy tp read numbers.

The Cygnus DIVE – Clear to Both DIVERS and TOPSIDE Inspection Engineers Cygnus Instruments, the leading manufacturer of Multiple Echo Ultrasonic Thickness Gauges, has successfully introduced the Cygnus DIVE, the new wrist-mounted underwater thickness gauge for diver use in subsea metal thickness inspections. Following the launch early this year, Cygnus DIVE has had a fantastic reception from divers and topside inspection engineers. Subsea 7, one of the world’s leading subsea engineering contractors, gave the Cygnus DIVE a huge thumbs up! Divers have been very impressed with the large colour TFT screen that displays the thickness measurements in clear and easy to read numbers. Dave Johnson, Diver at Subsea 7, said: “The screen is the best

thing about this meter as it was so easy for the diver and inspection engineers to view it at the same time.” Dereck Moore, Dive Supervisor, added: “The screen is very good to read off for inspection engineers. Conveniently,


you don’t have to adjust the diver’s helmet light.” Like all Cygnus products, the DIVE has been designed with simplicity in mind with only two buttons for quick and easy menu navigation. This is reflected in Diver David Walton’s experience:

“The Cygnus DIVE is a blessing to use. Inspection engineers can talk divers through steps easily.” Another Diver, Ryan Jones also added: “This gauge is very simple to use and reads quickly.” The data logging version of Cygnus DIVE has been a popular choice, allowing up to 5,000 measurements together with

Subsea UK News | February 2013

their individual A Scans to be stored without any button to press. The A Scan facility on DIVE offers further verification of valid thickness measurements and visually displays the returning echoes. The Deep Coat function allows the Cygnus DIVE to measure metal thickness through coatings up to 20mm thick. The Topside Options include DIVELink software to data log readings and store A-Scans on the surface and a Topside Display unit with video overlay capabilities to display thickness measurements on the video monitor. The optional HelmetView remotely displays thickness measurements via a display fitted to the divers helmet, ideal for surveys in black water or in limited visibility.



HOW DO YOU MONITOR THE PULSE OF YOUR SAFETY CRITICAL SUBSEA SYSTEMS WITHOUT THE UMBILICAL? Working in 12,000 ft of water is as safety critical as an operating theatre. Isn’t it comforting to know that whilst you are concentrating on everyday operations, NASeBOP from Nautronix is working in the background 24/7 helping to ensure your safety. The system is constantly checking the acoustic link and status of the subsea components of the emergency back up to your blowout prevention (BOP) system should your MUX control system fail and an emergency disconnect of the BOP becomes necessary. Fully automated for maximum operability, NASeBOP is built utilising proven acoustic technology with a distinguished track record in the subsea energy and marine defence industries. Together with EBOP, the portable emergency surface system, you’re always in control whatever your circumstance.

Benefits of NASeBOP include: • 24/7 Control and monitoring system • Field proven in deepwater • High integrity with high reliability data transmission utilising ADS2 signalling technology • No interference to or from other acoustic positioning systems • Operates in high ambient noise environment • Local and remote operator stations • Multiple portable topside systems for use if the facility has to be abandoned • Shore based portable control unit allows monitoring of abandoned BOP after disconnect has occurred • Nautronix NASeBOP systems are fully compliant with all the relevant requirements of API16D and 17E

Photo courtesy of Stena Drilling

For more information on how NASeBOP can monitor your safety critical subsea system please call the Sales team on +44 (0)1224 775700 or email us at Nautronix, Building 1, Ury House, Howe Moss Crescent, Kirkhill, Dyce, Aberdeen AB21 0GN, Scotland. Tel: +44 (0)1224 775700 Fax: +44 (0)1224 775800



SCAR Conquers Hard Clays and Boulders Issue for Renewables Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has deployed its SCAR Subsea Trenching System in a trial for a UK renewables project. The SCAR was mobilised from Leith onboard the Normand Pioneer for its first trial in the renewables sector. Conducted in shallow waters (11-17m LAT) the trials produced spectacular results in Trenching plough, Boulder Clearing and Backfill modes. The operation was completed without ROV support and two USBL beacons recorded and monitored the plough position and orientation, with multibeam and side-scanning sonar used to generate the post-trench survey. SCAR achieved the required burial depth of 0.8m throughout the route, exceeding this by up to 0.2m at certain points, and gradually transitioned in and out of the trench. The route was completed at a range of speeds from 360-720 m/hr, exerting a maximum tow force of 48Te (avg42Te). The layback required for this was 50m in a recorded water depth of 17.8m.

The first trial trench was carried out in stiff clay with strength from 40-112kPa with gravels, boulders and cobbles throughout the soil layer. The plough was configured to cut 0.8m depth with mouldboards raised and the route was designed to include a 90° 50m radius bend to demonstrate altering the trenching route from with the current to cross-current. The second trial trench was in Stiff clays with strength from 75-112kPa with gravels boulders and cobbles throughout the soil layer. A 50m radius curve of 270° was demonstrated. The third trial trench was in Hard clays with strengths from 150-300kPa with gravels, boulders and cobbles throughout the soil layer. The fourth trench was performed as a second pass in multi-pass mode on the same route as the third trench in hard clay with strengths from 150-300kPa, with gravels, boulders and cobbles throughout the soil layer. The trench depth achieved was between 1.3-1.5m. Further trials are planned to demonstrate boulder clearing on this site (already successful in moving 2,000 boulders on Laggan Tormore) and backfill of pre-cut trenches. ESS managing director, Mike Wilson, said the initial trial results were extremely encouraging and he expects it will lead to a full commissioning on behalf of the renewables operator.


Wilson said: “The SCAR answered the offshore wind industry’s call for a reliable, low risk and highly productive cable protection solution. The soils on this site are typical of Southern North Sea conditions and we have demonstrated SCAR’s ability to deal with difficult seabed and environmental conditions.”

Subsea UK News | February 2013

Main image: SCAR plough being launched over stern roller. Top inset: SCAR plough with raised mouldboards in Leith for mobilisation. Lower Inset: SCAR plough in multi-pass mode post trench inspection


Cancer Charity Showcase RoboticAssisted Surgical Technology

used in other specialties such as cardiac and paediatric surgery.

North-east urological cancer charity UCAN are pleased to present the very latest robotic-assisted keyhole surgical equipment at Subsea 2013 to showcase the leading technology it aims to purchase for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. UCAN is currently trying to raise £2.5million to purchase Scotland’s first Robotic-Assisted Surgical System (RASS) and build two integrated operating theatres to house the equipment. Visitors at Subsea 2013 can see a demonstration model and try out this highly advanced minimally invasive equipment, which will be used by the urological, general surgery and gynaecological teams at ARI. The RASS utilises powerful and advanced tools, which enables very intricate and precise surgery to be carried out in patients, and has numerous benefits over traditional ‘open’ surgery, including faster recovery, less pain post operation, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay and speeds up operating times. The robotic-assisted system mimics a human hand and is controlled remotely by the surgeon, who sits a few feet away and watches greatly magnified 3D high definition video images of the operation on a screen. Fiona JD Pearson, the charity’s fundraising manager, said: “We were very excited to

be able to bring this amazing technology to Subsea 2013. The North-east is already renowned for its incredible advances in technology in the oil and gas industry – and this is the medical equivalent.

“We have had fantastic support already but we need to keep raising money to make sure we reach our £2.5million target by the end of 2013.”

UCAN has a care centre at Ward 44 at ARI, offering support, advice and information to patients and their families. The facility includes a private clinicians’ room which opens out into a seating area with tea and coffee making facilities, computers with internet access, an online forum, literature on urological cancers and the treatment on offer and plasma screens showing informative DVDs. UCAN’s team of urological nurses also hold awareness sessions at workplaces or for groups keen to learn more about the main urological cancers – prostate, testicular, kidney and bladder.

The robotic equipment will be particularly beneficial for patients with prostate, bowel, rectal and gynaecological cancers and nonmalignant conditions, but has the potential to be





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Bowtech Products Ltd Successfully Supply Vision System to Imes for Riser Inspection Bowtech Products Ltd, a global market leader in subsea vision systems, has announced that it has been awarded a contract by Imes in late 2012, to supply cameras and lights for a Riser Visual Inspection System, which has been used on BP Norge’s Skarv development project in the Norwegian Sea. The contract from Imes involved the supply of the camera and lighting components for a visual inspection system, capable of monitoring the pull-in and hand-off of flexible risers on BP Norge’s Skarv FPSO. The system included four sets of cameras and lights, all of which were certified explosion proof to ATEX regulations and installed at 90° intervals around the i-tube, similar to the riser system already in use on the BP Schiehallion FPSO. The system also permitted the inspection of the whole circumference of the tube and inspection over a vertical length of around 30 metres, using articulated belts and was designed to operate in air, as well as underwater, in water depths of up to 100 metres. Mike Winstanley, Sales Director at Bowtech Products said: “We were honoured to work again with Imes and BP on our third Riser Visual Inspection System project, which we have been advised has been a valuable tool for monitoring

the pull-in and hang-off of the flexible riser system on the FPSO. This work has led to many other visual monitoring and inspection solutions being designed and delivered by Bowtech Products and we look forward to working together on future projects.”

Reinhardt Fuhrmann, Technology and Services Manager at Imes continued: “The project has been successfully delivered by the very positive partnership between the companies; individual but complimentary skill sets and experiences working together to generate a workable solution.”

BP Norges Skarv FPSO courtesy of BP Norge


Subsea UK News | February 2013


Transvac’s R&D Facility including high pressure flow loops

Transvac Awarded Micro-bubble Grant Ejector technology specialists, Transvac, are set to develop their micro-bubble technology following the award of a significant grant from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). Micro-bubble generators are found at the heart of compact flotation units (CFUs) for multi-phase separation. The micro-bubble generator creates trillions of microscopic bubbles, offering a huge surface area on which to capture oil and float to the surface of the separator vessel. Gary Short, R&D Director for Transvac, explains: “The key to this technology is bubble size. In simple terms, the smaller the bubble, the better. Our current micro-bubble technology has already proven successful, but we know we can offer more. “The whole industry is pushing for highly technical solutions, and our

clients demand the very best. The grant will accelerate our development programme and support our R&D test facility in a big way.” In 2010 the Transvac R&D Test facility was opened to develop ejector solutions for the oil and gas industry. Transvac developed a patented ejector design for use on Pertobras’ Marlim Project, via FMC Technologies. Transvac also offers a number of ejector applications to the subsea sector for boosting production of LP wells, sand slurry pumping and hydrocyclone pressure boosting.

“Ejector technology is ideal for use in the subsea sector. No moving parts, no maintenance and no power requirements make it an extremely attractive solution.” said Peter Ainge, Transvac’s Marketing Manager. “Our production boosting and subsea compression applications are already well established. We are confident that with the help of the TSB grant, we can strengthen our position in the microbubble market.”

Alba Gaskets: Improving Diver Safety Alba Gaskets, Aberdeen’s leading supplier of gaskets to the subsea sector, have been appointed as agents for US based Flange Skillets™ International. Flange Skillets™ International manufacture a range of revolutionary products that have changed the way subsea gaskets are installed on the flange faces of adjacent pipe sections on underwater pipelines. The Skillet™ makes the process of installation safer, more precise, faster and overall more efficient. Invented and patented by a professional deep sea diver, the Flange Skillet product range was invented as a means to protect divers’ fingers during gasket installations. This unique insight and first-hand knowledge of the industry allowed for a product to be created that is both functional and practical. For more than 20 years Flange Skillets™ International has been instrumental in improving the efficiency and safety on underwater pipeline installations. This year saw the introduction of a new improved range of Skillets specifically designed for SBX Style Gaskets, which are the most

common style used in the North Sea. Since their introduction they have been supplied on 12 North Sea campaigns.

The feedback from these campaigns, and specifically the dive teams, has been extremely positive. The product has also received some significant support from many of the main oil operators here in the North Sea. Flange Skillets are available for all styles and sizes of ring type joints and are commonly procured along with the gaskets in one package. Alba Gaskets are now stocking and supplying Skillets and Gasket packages to all the main subsea contractors. Alba Gaskets can conduct product training presentations on Gaskets and Flange Skillets™ to any interested parties.

Subsea UK News | February 2013



Pharos Offshore Group Completes Diver-less Export Cable Repair for London Array Pharos Offshore Group successfully completed the cable repair and re-burial for London Array Offshore Wind Farm on a section of damaged subsea export cable. Pharos delivered a work package including the rapid mobilisation of engineering, fabrication and operational teams to locate, recover, re-lay and re-bury the power cable off the Kent coast. This is the first diver-less operation to de-bury, retrieve and repair a cable of this size and weight. The 800mm² high voltage export cable has a 218mm diameter and weighs over 50kg/m in water and 86 kg/m in air. Tools for properly handling the large, stiff cable did not exist in the market and standard grapnel operations were not possible due to nearby cable routes. The Pharos team developed multiple operational plans that not only met the client’s tight schedule but allowed for the infield flexibility to deal with as found conditions. Drawing on years of subsea cable operations experience, the Pharos engineering, design and fabrication team designed, built, tested, modified and mobilised subsea equipment controlled

by skilled operators from the surface. Once on site, these tools were able to locate, de-bury, cut, grab and recover the vital export cable in a few days. In addition to the complexities of cable retrieval, the Pharos team also converted a conventional DP-2 telecoms cable ship to accommodate the loading, storage, lay, splicing and safe handling of the product. Pharos has a strong track record of adapting commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) technology from other markets to meet challenging subsea requirements. Considering the potential operation and maintenance issues due to a nearby foundation, the team was able to reroute the cable away from the original path but still within the planned cable corridors.

Top: Diver-less cable recovery. Bottom: Modified cable tank

The equipment and procedures developed for this repair will work for other repair situations; especially those where increasingly congested cable corridors preclude anchoring and grapnel runs and/or are beyond diver limits.



E: enquir | W: | T: +44 (0)1493 443 363 8220 SES HP 128x184.indd 1

18/12/2012 15:53

Email: Tel: +44 1229 206456


Global Subsea Tree Market at a Glance Providing the VITAL Connection

John Ferentinos, Analyst, Infield Systems Ltd. Subsea Tree Installations 2007 – 2016

2012 was good news for the global subsea industry. For the first time since 2008, Infield Systems recorded 420 new subsea tree orders, as opposed to 321 orders in 2011, with more than 320 trees going on stream, compared to 260 trees in 2011. The key fundamentals of the subsea industry are among the most promising in the offshore O&G world, with the subsea Capex set to grow at a 14% CAGR to 2016 according to Infield Systems data. Stagnant onshore production and shallow water basins approaching maturity force operators to push their E&P efforts to remote and harsher locations, in order to tackle declining production. It is estimated that currently around 30% of the world’s oil production comes from offshore areas, with production from deep waters accounting for 9% in total. In addition to that, the advancement of subsea technology, coupled with improved manufacturing techniques has lowered the cost associated with developing certain types of fields, enabling a number of smaller, previously uneconomical fields to be tiedback into existing new subsea tree infrastructure.


orders expected in 2013

For 2013, Infield Systems estimates over

700 600 500 400 300

500 new subsea tree 200 orders and up to 370 100 tree installations, 0 mainly driven by 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 investments in the ‘Atlantic Triangle’; Africa Asia Australasia Europe Latin America Middle East & Caspian Sea North America West Africa, Brazil and US GoM. Among the most anticipated awards are Total’s Egina (35 subsea Australia’s LNG prospects. Giant projects trees) and Chevron’s award for Block 14 such as Ichthys, Wheatstone and the (21 subsea trees). BP’s PAJ development Gorgon fields have been fuelling the is estimated for award in the second half subsea industry during the last years and of 2013 adding up to 30 tree orders. In new developments promising more than Brazil, Petrobras is expected to award 35 tree orders per year. However, the the first tranche of Libra and Carioca uprise of US shale gas and a stretched fields, as well as the second tranche supply of skilled workforce might put of the Franco development. In total, pressure on the Australian subsea Petrobras’ 2013 contribution is estimated investment in the long term. to surpass the 65 tree orders. Australian operations continue committing significant recourses to the subsea market. The energyhungry South East Asian market is the key driver for

Prospects for manufacturers are looking positive, with subsea manufacturers investing in capacity expansions to meet the growing demand of Latin America and Asia Pacific. Infield Systems anticipates a well-supplied subsea tree market until 2016, with an average utilisation rate of 72%.

Welaptega, BPP-TECH Join Forces to Offer Moorings Fitness for Purpose Evaluations

Tony Hall, CEO of Welaptega Marine

Welaptega Marine Limited, world leader in mooring integrity verification, is pleased to announce that it has formed an alliance with UK engineering firm BPPTECH to offer the highest-quality Fitness for Purpose Evaluations for offshore mooring systems. Tony Hall, CEO of Welaptega Marine, said:

“By integrating Welaptega’s top-quality inspection data with world-class engineering analysis from BPP-TECH, we now have the capability to deliver a comprehensive Fitness for Purpose Evaluation of mooring assets. Our combined experience and knowledge of best practice will help operators manage risk and save money.”


Subsea UK News | February 2013


BPP-TECH will interpret data collected with Welaptega’s accredited inspection technologies to create the highest quality intelligence available of a mooring system’s condition and its fitness for purpose. This information can be used to satisfy certifiers, regulators and insurance companies. Moorings are safety critical systems subject to immense environmental and structural forces. Mooring failure is a Class 1 Hazard, the highest rating given by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Failure can compromise operational safety, production and a company’s reputation.



GLOBAL OFFSHORE ENERGY INDUSTRY JDR leads the field in engineered products for the offshore oil

and gas We develop roviding theindustry. VITAL Connection technologies that maximise the efficient delivery of power, control and communications through our subsea production umbilicals and power cables. We create custom built systems

with the lifecycle customer service roviding VITAL Connection for subsea installations at ever increasing water depths.

Providing the vital connection


Oldham Engineering Manufacturing the World’s Largest Ball & Taper Mooring Connector.

‘Integrated Management Systems’ Traceability & Transparency Subsea Industry supply standards have been considerably tightened over the last decade. Premier manufacturing organisations such as Oldham Engineering have embraced these changes by enhancing their operational systems, procedures and organisational culture. Today, the importance of ‘Integrated Management Systems’ cannot be underemphasised, particularly in the oil and gas sector. Considerable management attention must be placed on the product quality throughout the entire manufacturing process from materials procurement and handling to fabrication, machining, assembly and inspection. To achieve such high levels of product quality, companies must select supply partners who have integrated management systems in place. These systems facilitate the co-ordination of every element of the process so ensuring full traceability, complete transparency and total compliance to product specifications.

This attention to detail is very relevant for items which are subjected to tremendous forces such as mooring lines, connectors and many subsea complex structures. By their very nature such components require vigorous inspection and testing coupled with detailed manufacturing process control.

Progress against plans and potential issues such as bottlenecks and trends are brought into sharp focus. At Oldham’s manufacturing facility, large projector screens displaying department-specific Acumen-Synergy™ views which ensure transparency and timely information flow at all times. These focused insights bring a whole new level of transparency to the operation, helping the team manage capacity, process flow, production schedules and customer deliveries effectively and efficiently - areas of particular importance when supplying complex, technical products to highend industry sectors. Acumen-Synergy™ is central to the Oldham’s imperatives of efficiency. Oldham Engineering has supplied many offshore and subsea clients with premier manufactured products from bend stiffeners, reaction collars and XT plates to ROV structures and tether clamps. In addition to their comprehensive in-house CNC machining and fabrication facilities, the company also has a skilled fitting team with a dedicated 30,000sqft assembly and testing area. This permits precision items such as subsea torque tools (below) to be supplied.

Mooring lines and connectors perform a vital anchoring role for floating platforms. Unfortunately these items are subjected to a whole range of variable environmental conditions to unpredictable collisions from shipping traffic, reinforcing the need for correct design, manufacture and supply. Oldham Engineering Ltd. is an established manufacturing service provider to the offshore and subsea industry. In 2012, they manufactured what is understood to be the world’s largest ball and taper mooring connector; 26,000 tonnes as shown (right). Oldham Engineering was selected as a key supplier for such a critical item because of their long-standing reputation at supplying high-end industry sector clients in the defence, nuclear and oil and gas sectors, coupled with their ability to demonstrate excellent manufacturing process control. Such process control excellence is partly due to the development of their Manufacturing Business Intelligence System called AcumenSynergy™. The system covers all areas of the business and delivers the information, and crucially, the insight to enable the team at Oldham Engineering to make the right decisions at the right time. Acumen-Synergy™ translates detailed plans and real-time process information from shop floor data capture into clear visual insights.


Subsea UK News | February 2013

Pictured: Oldham Engineering manufactured Subsea Torque Tool (API 17D Class 1-4) for a ROV application Below: Oldham Engineering: Shop Floor Data Capture & Acumen-Synergy™ Business Intelligence System


Emerging Markets

What are the Risks and Barriers to Business? Greg May, Partner and Service Sector Specialist in the Oil and Gas Team at Brodies LLP The oil and gas industry is, in essence, all about two apparently straightforward tasks - finding and getting hydrocarbons. Where hydrocarbons are easy to find and easy to get, they have largely been located and exploited. The key concern for the industry now is that the remaining reserves are difficult to find and/or difficult to access and will often be located in emerging markets which may present their own particular challenges. In this article I will consider the types of risks and barriers in emerging markets which may arise from geography and political instability. I will also provide practical advice based on my experience as an oil and gas lawyer, which I hope will help businesses address some of the challenges they are likely to face. For the past 15 years my principal focus has been the geographic areas of West Africa, Upper Saharan Africa, the Caspian, Middle East and North Sea. These sectors, with the exception of the latter, have frequently presented challenges either specific to geography or a consequence of political instability.

contract will arise if the force majeure event subsists for an agreed period. However, it is not always correct to assume that a party cannot control and reasonably avoid an event of civil unrest. If an operator, for example, has a longstanding relationship with the government or a local community, they could be in a position to manage this risk. If an operator fails to properly manage the risk, the contractor may want the contract to be clearly drafted to provide that force majeure remedies will not apply and the contractor will be protected against any commercial consequences.

Awareness of these risks is critical to negotiating and drafting a contract for an emerging market because it allows you to anticipate and allocate liabilities when negotiating a contract. Emerging market risks are less obvious than those one might typically consider – such as well control or reservoir damage – however they can compromise cash flow, eliminate value, and, in the worst case scenario, jeopardise your bottom line.

Political and civil unrest is very difficult to anticipate and predict in any part of the world. If such risk is unpredictable, it may also be unforeseeable, unpreventable and beyond the control of the parties. If so, it may be prudent to define such risk as a force majeure event (i.e. an event beyond the affected party’s control). By designating civil unrest as force majeure in a contract the parties agree that the affected party will not be liable for any related breach and the contract will typically provide that reduced rates may apply and a right to terminate the

It may also be relevant for a party to consider other rights and remedies beyond force majeure. One such right would be the contractor having control of its people and property and the right to take action to remove people and property from imminent danger. This immediate action may be required by a war risks policy. If so, it may be best practice not to assume that force majeure is an adequate remedy.

asset being confiscated by physical action or expropriated by legal steps. For example, a government’s position on its sovereign right to hydrocarbons and other natural resources may shift – as a consequence, the government may assert an interest in not only the natural resources, but all other logistics and infrastructure in-country deemed necessary for production. Indeed, logistics and infrastructure are viewed throughout the industry as a linchpin for safe, stable and successful operations. When a sophisticated and critical item of equipment, such as a blow out preventer, is not fully functional, the operator and the contractor will look to the relevant supply chain and infrastructure to source the services, equipment and materials necessary to fix the problem. A remote and emerging province may not have ready access to resources, an effective and efficient supply chain or a robust infrastructure. It may be necessary to consider this risk in your contract and consider during negotiation a balanced approach to managing the consequences.

The threat to property may not only arise from violence in the streets. A threat of expropriation or confiscation of a valuable asset (such as a drilling unit, tanker or floating production and/or storage facility) may be more subtle. It may be evidenced by a strong sentiment of nationalism that translates into the threat of an

Subsea UK News | February 2013



Flexlife Successfully Contracted by Petrobras America to Perform Integrity Checks in the Gulf of Mexico Flexlife, an oil and gas industry specialist in subsea integrity and project management, was successfully contracted by Petrobras America Inc. (PAI), a subsidiary of Petrobras, an integrated energy company that operates in 29 countries, to provide independent assessment services worth up to £862,000/$1.4 million for a campaign in the Gulf of Mexico during 2013. The agreement involved annulus testing of the flexible risers on the Cascade and Chinook subsea development. The initial week long testing programme is planned to take place at the beginning of 2013 and is scheduled to reoccur regularly every six months as instructed by PAI, in order to ensure that consistent integrity of the risers is retained. This was Flexlife’s first project with the company following the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Petrobras America in 2011.

“Should any issues transpire after the initial testing, the contract provides the option to deploy some of our other technologies in order to remedy the issue including FlexGuard, FlexGel and Armadillo. We feel that Petrobras having access to the combined flexible riser expertise and products and services of Flexlife under this contract will be a huge plus in terms of assuring the safe long term operation of the riser system.” displace any sea water that has entered through damaged risers.

Ciaran O’Donnell, CEO at Flexlife, said: “We are delighted to have secured this contract which highlights the significant global demand there is for UK based subsea engineering and technologies. Flexlife is building a strong relationship with Petrobras, and the signing of this agreement to provide integrity services and specialised engineering for its international oil and gas projects offshore is an important milestone for us.

Flexlife’s technologies that will be available include FlexGuard, which acts as an early warning indication system that alerts to any flooding of the riser by using patented ultrasonic (UT) scanning technology; the Armadillo, specifically designed to repair damage on the outer sheath of flexible risers by creating a seal that will prevent sea water entering the riser; and FlexGel, a gel injected into the I-tubes and J-tubes in order to

PhotoSynergy TeamsUp with The Underwater Centre to Support Open Days

“Over the past year the PSL light rope has been on evaluation in both the North Sea and inshore applications. The response to-date from the dive community has been very positive both in terms of the safety benefit and implications for improved productivity,” said Don Walker, Director of PhotoSynergy.

PhotoSynergy Limited (PSL) has collaborated with The Underwater Centre in Fort William in supporting their Open Days, utilising their 1.5 million litre indoor tank. The exposure received by PSL has resulted in increased operational activities.


Flexlife’s HQ is based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Alongside bases in Aberdeen and Newcastle, the company also has centres in the US and Brazil and operates globally.

This engagement with the dive community has resulted in both suggestions for alternative applications and build configuration. The original umbilical illumination has expanded to encompass tether lines, tool baskets and ‘Golden Gate’ illumination utilising a flashing system to distinguish from the umbilical. Technically the feedback has been distilled down to two new core systems the modular platform SLS5000 and multiple way SLS9000. PSL with headquarters and manufacturing based in Scotland will continue to work closely with end users to configure product for application specific needs.

Subsea UK News | February 2013

Scotland’s Strengths in Oil and Gas

Drilling Technology

Health & Safety

Pipeline Services

Education & Training

Research & Development

Downhole & Well Technology

Wave & Tidal Energy


Offshore Wind

Production & Process Management

The oil and gas sector in Scotland has a strong record of achievement over the past 40 years. Many of the skills and services developed in this country can be found in use throughout the world. Today over 2,000 companies operate in the Scottish oil and gas supply chain with skills and expertise in areas including subsea engineering, drilling, downhole and well technology, production and process management and education and training. A new industry led strategy is ensuring that the industry continues to thrive and Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International are helping more and more businesses to grow and prosper, both in Scotland and overseas.


Stemming the Skills Creating Sustainable Growth in Shortage: the Subsea Industry In October 2012, Subsea UK secured part of a £2million fund to attract vital new entrants into the energy industry and helping people to diversify their skills in order to meet the acute shortage currently facing the sector. The Energy Skills Challenge Fund, managed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), aims to complement firms’ own skills initiatives in developing a sustainable supply of talent, thereby guaranteeing the UK’s position as the global leader in energy. The training is aimed at helping people gain the skills necessary for working in oil and gas, as well as renewables and micro-renewables, by delivering practical solutions. The fund will focus specifically on transition training, which enables people with associated experience and generalised qualifications to become employed in the industry at an accelerated rate. With the global subsea market set to double over the next five years, from $35

billion to $70billion, the only way we can grow our business and respond to new opportunities is to invest in additional resources - including people. The skills shortage has been well reported. It extends across a number of key areas and our own survey indicated that a further 10,000 people are needed within the next year alone in order to cope with demand in the immediate future. Consequently, the funds are a much needed enabler, providing a boost to our efforts to meet demand for new talent and skills, which in turn will enable us to maintain our leading technological edge.

tools and interventions. Our approach has three clear strands; short, medium and long-term. We will look to provide information about and access to the industry to as wide a range of potential employees as possible. This will be a very much demand-led approach with employers’ requirements firmly at the forefront of our programme. We will provide firms with the tools they need to create their own development routes for new and existing staff, thereby creating strong teams. We will provide information and guidance to help remove barriers to entry into the industry. This has long term benefits for individuals, companies and the wider industry; by being solely reliant on existing workers, firms have little choice but to poach talent from within the industry, leading to escalating recruitment costs, costly work delays and a dearth of skilled employees.


Our chief aim is to accelerate the acquisition and deployment of people with relevant skills or potential by designing and co-ordinating sector wide

We need to ensure that the UK subsea industry is able to capture increasing global growth in the face of strong within the next year competition from the US and Middlepeople Eastneeded as well as to meet skills shortage 10,000 emerging markets in South America and Australasia.

Global Subsea Hubs

people needed within the to meet skills shortage

At a glance $70b

50% $70b $35b$35b50% 2017 2012 + 2017 2012




people needed within the next year to meet skills shortage

people needed within the year to meet skills shortag

Immediate Goal Our immediate concern is addressing the shortfall in skilled workers and this will be done by reaching out to “Cross-Over Professionals”; people who can convert from other engineering sectors and already possess the relevant qualifications and experience. Whilst this will undoubtedly include engineers looking for a new challenge, we see the military as a key target in achieving this. We have previously engaged successfully with Lossiemouth and Kinloss bases and the funding will enable us to continue to work with the military in promoting skills transition courses. This would include learning sessions for employers on how to employ military personnel and how military skills can be applied to the oil and gas industry. We will work to augment existing programmes, such as Subsea 7’s long-established engineering conversion scheme. Subsea UK facilitated the sharing of this format and cascaded it to members, resulting in Bibby Offshore adopting and launching a conversion programme in September 2012. We want to extend this even further and develop an industry recognised conversion course which includes training, resources and materials. We will look at enabling shared learning between companies, be it on-site visits or expertled classroom sessions.

Military personnel are a key target in addressing the immediate skills shortfall in the subsea industry.

Medium-term Goal In the medium-term, we will look to engage with universities and colleges to develop sector specific courses and an apprenticeship framework primarily focused on ensuring SMEs get access to apprentices. In conjunction with Robert Gordon University, we will be able to update and enhance our highly successful suite of on-line subsea learning modules. These have already been accessed by companies globally, but the Energy Skills Challenge Fund will help us to achieve academic accreditation and provide further practical information for those looking to move into the subsea sector.

Long-term Goal Our long-term approach is to work with primary school pupils to build interest in, and awareness of, the industry from the outset. Strengthening an interest in STEM subjects amongst children remains a key concern in both industry and government. Subsea UK will launch a careers tool in schools in collaboration with Inside Industry to highlight the range of opportunities a career in the sector affords.

Conclusion Whilst we must address the critical skills shortage we face, it is vital that we look to generate talent from the start to develop a more sustainable pipeline of people coming into the industry. The UK remains the global centre of excellence within the subsea sector, but in the face of strong global competition, we can only justify that title – and indeed maintain it – if we are committed to nurturing and developing talent and ensuring the routes into the industry are recognised, accessible and attractive.


Kongsberg Maritime Unveils New Premises in Aberdeen Kongsberg Maritime Ltd’s new facilities in Aberdeen have been officially opened by the President of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), Andy Woolgar. The global marine technology company has invested £2million in the long term lease of the state-of-the-art, purpose built premises which includes a bespoke test tank – the first of its kind in Aberdeen. 70 personnel have moved from its previous base in Bridge of Don, to the new building in Westhill. The Kongsberg Maritime Customer Training Centre also takes up one entire floor of the new property, meeting increased demand for technical and product specific training programmes for the maritime sector. David Shand, general manager at Kongsberg Maritime Ltd says, “Our operations in Aberdeen have grown significantly in the last two years, with the North Sea continuing to be a key market sector for Kongsberg Maritime. Relocation was essential to meet the increased demands for our services and specialised training, not just at present, but for our forecast growth in the future.

“In addition to growth in our traditional markets, we are now developing our capabilities and technology to meet the needs of the renewable energy sector. In the last year we have completed major contracts for marine, tidal and wind projects and we expect this to be a significant driver for continued growth. “As a highly innovative company, research and development is at the forefront of our operations. This is underlined by our bespoke test tank which will enhance our onsite equipment testing capabilities and we will also be installing our Advanced Ship Simulator system in 2013, which is one of the most advanced on the market. Our commitment in this new venture is a reflection of our continued desire to invest in our people, our customers and our future.” The camera division of Kongsberg Maritime remains at their premises in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.

Dave Shand, Bjorn Jalving, Andy Woolgar


Subsea UK News | February 2013


Jee Announces New London Office to Aid Growth Trevor Jee, Managing Director of Jee Ltd

Jee Ltd, a leading subsea engineering and training firm, has announced the opening of a new office in central London to accommodate growing staff numbers. The company, which provides a complete range of subsea engineering expertise, also has bases in Aberdeen and Tonbridge, near London. The new office, located in the city’s Waterloo area, will provide a more localised service to the company’s Londonbased clients, as well as aid ongoing recruitment within the company. Jee Managing Director, Trevor Jee, said: “Opening an office in central London has long been a goal for Jee, and we are thrilled to open our doors in a new location. The new base will accommodate our existing clients, as well as provide the staff and location to take on even more local operations.

“The new office is part of our existing growth strategy, which has the potential of creating more than 40 jobs in the UK by the end of 2013. As we continue, we aim to create 150 new jobs in the UK in the next four years, as well as increase company turnover from £5million to £20million in that time.” In addition to the new London office, Jee will be moving its Aberdeen office to a new premises double the size of its current location later in the year. Mr Jee founded the subsea engineering and training firm in 1988, which remains an independent, privately owned company.


new jobs to be created by the end of 2013

He said: “Our biggest growth area has been in subsea projects, and a large focus in 2012 was adding to our subsea engineering team, building on the wealth of knowledge the company already possesses as our client portfolio rapidly increases in this area. This recruitment drive will carry through 2013, allowing the Jee team to continue providing clients with the range of expert knowledge they are looking for in large and complex projects.”

Riser & Conductor Engineering Excellence since 1993


Ashtead Technology Offshore CEO, Allan Pirie, in the company’s new Westhill workshop

Agito Opens Brazil Branch Agito, a world leader in providing modelling and simulation of complex dynamic systems in the UK, Norway and Houston, is pleased to announce the opening of Agito Brazil. This office will meet the increasing demand for dynamic analysis in Brazil and ensure that our clients receive local representation. Agito has more than 30 years of modelling, simulation and analysis experience. Agito has the resources available to complete hydraulic, electrical, and fluid analysis. Agito provides support at all project levels from initial studies to final testing and verification using software that meets the specific needs of the offshore/ subsea industry. Agito perform dynamic analyses of critical functions in systems and provide detailed reporting.

As Brazil is one of the major regions for development of offshore Oil and Gas production. Agito have wanted a local presence in the region for several years. Opening the Brazil office moves Agito one step closer to having an office in all major Oil and Gas regions. Historically, numerical modelling and simulation of complex dynamic systems was reserved for a small group of highly specialised engineers. With the advent of state of the art software programs these tasks are much easier. By using simulation software, one can test a system virtually before putting it into real life test and production. Various alternative solutions can be tested and the results will form the basis for choosing the components and dimensions to be used. SimulationX is a supplement that will aid engineers to design a better product at a lower cost and assisting in selecting the best product. SimulationX is the trend setter in physical system simulation. It is also the first universal tool with a subsea specific library. Agito’s subsea electrical library is in the final development stage and will be ready for commercial use in 2013.


Subsea UK News | February 2013

Ashtead Technology Offshore Reports Successful Global Growth Leading subsea equipment solutions specialist, Ashtead Technology Offshore, has announced plans for further global expansion following a successful year of international growth during 2012. Ashtead Technology’s presence in the UK has been significantly strengthened with a move to new global headquarters in Westhill, Aberdeen. Representing a multi-million pound investment, the new facility has doubled the company’s operating capacity and enabled it to further develop its subsea solutions offering. Clients can now benefit from a more integrated experience, through the provision of offshore survey engineers, enhanced calibration services and asset management. Further 2012 growth milestones include the relocation of Ashtead Technology’s Singapore office to new larger premises, the appointment of a Middle East agent and the recruitment of 18 new personnel globally with further key appointments planned for 2013. The company continues its focus on offering a more flexible, responsive service through both its own support facilities in Aberdeen, Houston and Singapore and through its agent network including MacArtney in Norway and Scope Resources in Australia.

Allan Pirie, Ashtead Technology Offshore CEO, said:

“This has been an exciting year for Ashtead Technology’s Offshore division. The move to the new Westhill facility was a key milestone in our global growth strategy, which includes a focus on equipment innovation, service excellence and personnel.”


NewcastleGateshead’s subsea expertise puts it at forefront of future innovation As an established live test bed for the development of advanced subsea technology, Newcastle and Gateshead is home to many of the UK’s offshore global leaders such as OSBIT Power, SMD, IHC, Duco and Wellstream with teams of engineering innovators creating and testing products to meet the demanding conditions of the North Sea. These very same companies are now at the forefront of meeting the ever increasing demands of challenging deepwater horizon projects in markets such as South America and Asia-Pacific as well as an upsurge being seen in the role of the North East’s supply chain on frontier developments in oil and gas. This uniquely dense cluster (estimated £1bn North East subsea industry) of expertise from maintenance, modification, operations, design and high-value advanced manufacturing through professional services covering all aspects of offshore marine and subsea related expertise continues to grow in strength, influence and importance. A critical mass now exists across the supply chain in NewcastleGateshead and the wider area that gives access to large international corporations, and local home-grown gems that have their roots deeply embedded in the academic and engineering excellence the area is renowned for. It is these highly innovative, niche design and engineering organisations that have become the new backbone of the area’s economic identity through their growing influence on the global subsea industry. Many of the region’s engineering and design-led organisations now have significant commitments in projects further afield that are providing a true test of

the area’s ability to continually innovate and consistently deliver. Tony “North East England is a major source of Trapp, CEO of OSBIT engineering innovation and manufacture for the Power and founder of UK offshore industry with a huge heritage and world renowned, The vibrant workforce. The future of engineering Engineering Business, and manufacture in the UK depends on the is passionate about the region’s engineering engineering brilliance in innovative businesses. and design-led value. North East England is the best place for our He insists: “North East business to be to benefit, and contribute, to that.” England is a major source of engineering innovation and manufacture for the UK offshore industry access to relevant experience and knowledge with a huge heritage and vibrant workforce. is critical and in abundance in Newcastle. The future of engineering and manufacture in Global demand for advanced technology the UK depends on the engineering brilliance and complicated engineering solutions has in innovative businesses. North East England resulted in NewcastleGateshead becoming is the best place for our business to be to an increasing draw for the world’s best benefit, and contribute, to that.” companies looking for exceptional talent with With responsibility for Europe, Middle East and a number of companies seeking certainty of Africa on behalf of new market entrant Matrix growth opting to establish teams in the area. Composites & Engineering, from Australia, As James Russell, Technip Offshore Wind Stephen Wilson agrees. It is, in his words, head of project services adds: “The area has “testimony to the vibrant concentration of large a rich offshore renewables skills base – a vital and small innovative design, manufacturing consideration for a business competing for and offshore engineering service expertise first-class employees, allowing us to access that exists in the North East” that his company a new talent pool. The area also has relatively recently established a development office for low operating costs and is extremely well their range of buoyancy and cable/umbilical connected to key business hubs across products in Newcastle. “It’s a great jump off the UK and Europe, which enables us to point,” he explains, and the ease at which integrate in a cost-effective way with our he can build his network and gain access to offices in Aberdeen and London, as well as Matrix’s target market and current customer our UK and internationally-based business base is made easier by being in Newcastle. As partners.” Technip Offshore Wind Ltd opened they look to expand their team and services, an office in Gateshead in 2012. Visit:


close to

Emerson Goes from Strength to Strength in Subsea Arena

1400 Roxar downhole guages installed worldwide since 1987

Emerson Process Management continues to consolidate its position as a leading provider of subsea instrumentation. The last few months have seen a number of orders for Roxar intrusive corrosion and erosion probes, acoustic sand detectors and pressure and temperature transmitters that will be deployed in fields in West Africa, the North Sea and Asia Pacific. 2012 also saw the company celebrate the 25-year anniversary of its Roxar PDMS (Permanent Downhole Monitoring System), generating reliable and real-time downhole temperature, pressure and flow information from some of the world’s most remote offshore fields. The first Roxar PDMS was installed on Statoil’s Gullfaks A field in 1987 and, close to 1,400 Roxar downhole gauges have been installed worldwide since. Other downhole solutions include the Roxar Intelligent Downhole Network (IDN), which allows operators to install up to 32 instruments on a single cable; the Roxar Downhole Wireless PT Sensor System, which measures pressure behind the well casing in subsea wells; and the Roxar Downhole Flow Sensor System, which, for the first time, generates multiphase flow measurements from downhole in the well. 2013 also sees the launch of the Roxar third generation subsea multiphase meter, based on a new measurement principal that provides more detailed knowledge on flow rates and complex flow patterns. The meter is also significantly more compact than previous subsea meters, coming in at a height of 25.5 inches and weight of 220 lbs – 20% of the weight and half the height of the second generation meter. This reduced size opens up significant potential cost savings


Subsea UK News | February 2013

in terms of installation and maintenance as well as greater flexibility in regard to installation.

Current deployments of Emerson’s subsea instrumentation include Petrobras’ Cascade and Chinook fields, where Emerson’s Roxar subsea multiphase meters are working alongside sand erosion and pressure & temperature sensor systems. Furthermore, in May 2012, Emerson won a multi-million dollar contract to deliver its Roxar subsea instrumentation to Lundin Petroleum’s Brynhild field in the North Sea. The contract covers Roxar subsea multiphase meters, subsea Sencorr pressure and temperature sensors, subsea chemical injection valves, and sand monitors.


Continuous Expansion at Online Electronics Ltd Online Electronics Ltd (OEL), global specialists in the design and manufacture of pipeline pig monitoring equipment and pipeline data communication systems, is in the process of making further developments to Online House, the company headquarters in Aberdeen. The latest extension being added to the building is an increase to workshop floor space creating 40% additional area for new personnel and increasing potential production capacity. In 2012 the company has manufactured and batched 1,000 units across a diverse product range.

Above: Torsten Marten, General Manager, NCS Survey in Rio


business growth at the OEL Group in 2012.

The latest building work adjoins the recent and impressive, glass fronted conference room to the front of the building which is now viewed as a local landmark. Previously an elevated stateof-the-art R&D facility was developed at the south of the building accommodating a growing development team, increasing the company’s resources to design and provide new cutting edge technologies.

On the international front OEL announce the formation of Online Electronics Limited (DMCC branch) based in Dubai UAE. The business will operate from a new office suite on the 24th floor of Tower X2 in the inspirational area of Jumeirah Lake Towers. Even more recently OEL is also pleased to announce the formation of new US subsidiary, Online Pipeline Solutions Inc. (OPS). OPS has office facilities at the prime location of 1980 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 1500, Houston, Texas, in the Uptown area of the city. Tracey Hayden joins OPS Inc as Regional Manager. Tracey from Texas brings 14 years of technical sales experience gained in the Oil & Gas industry across the US Gulf of Mexico States. Tracey will be responsible for promoting all of the products and services offered by the OEL Group, which includes specialist valves and pipeline components business, Online Valves Ltd (OVL).



units manufactured and batched in 2012


NCS Survey Expands in Aberdeen and Opens Two New Offices

2012 has seen 40% business growth at the OEL Group. Managing Director, Brian Gribble, is very pleased with business performance at all levels and describes the expenditure in building work and the formation of new subsidiaries as an investment in continuous international growth. The OEL Group has set an annual growth target of 25% year on year for the next five years.

Subsea UK News | February 2013

NCS Survey, an Acteon company, is continuing its targeted expansion programme with the opening of a second office block at its headquarters in Aberdeen, UK, and new offices in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Stavanger, Norway. In Westhill, Aberdeen, designated a Subsea Centre of Excellence, NCS Survey is close to the UK headquarters of several of its major clients and can rapidly mobilise people and equipment for survey operations to locations worldwide. The company has carried out more than 800 projects in 36 countries since its formation in 2006. The offices in Brazil and Norway are the first two in a series that will establish a truly global presence for NCS Survey over the next three years. In Brazil, NCS Survey do Brasil will provide a wide range of survey support for construction projects, including route surveys, pipeline and cable installation support, and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and subsea visualisation surveys. The opening of the local office and the appointment of staff in Brazil benefit the company’s international clients with ease of accessibility. In Stavanger, NCS Survey offers a full range of survey services, from rig positioning through to construction support and AUV surveys. The Stavanger inventory of survey equipment and workshop facilities will support Norwegian Continental Shelf operations.

NCS Survey’s President, Andy Gray, said:

“We have had an exciting year since joining Acteon. It has given us the resources and support we needed to gear up our expansion plans and so meet our customers’ expectations. The registration process in Brazil is now complete and we have appointed Torsten Marten as general manager in Rio. Marten has more than 20 years of experience in the survey industry and previous experience of operating in Brazil. He has already instigated a training programme for Brazilian field personnel.” “Our Stavanger office opened on 5 November 2012 with the appointment of Dave Roberts as general manager. Dave has 27 years of experience in the offshore survey business and will be a great addition to our management team,” said John Meaden, NCS Survey chief operating officer. “He will be recruiting local field staff and the team will be supported by operations staff from the Aberdeen office where necessary. We have taken on an additional 25 personnel this year and plan to recruit 25 more between these three offices over the next six months.”


Ocean Installer: Continuous Expansion Subsea contractor Ocean Installer first opened its Aberdeen office in May 2012, and has since then established itself in the Aberdeen subsea industry. A Norwegian company, Ocean Installer’s UK presence plays a key role in the company’s growth strategy and the UK organisation is set to build to same level as their Norwegian Headquarters. Although only offshore since spring this year, Ocean Installer has already become a recognised subsea contractor in the North Sea basin, having completed projects for companies such as Xcite Energy, ExxonMobil, Nexen, ConocoPhillips, Premier Oil, E.ON Ruhrgas and Shell. The company has experienced close to 100% vessel utilisation of its long–term chartered construction support vessel (CSV) Normand Clipper and its safety record has been impeccable.

to be a total of about 250-300 persons by the end of 2013, of which 100 will be in the UK office. Sisley has great expectations for 2013.

“Ocean Installer aims to become a global SURF player and we are continuously expanding our organisation and operations. After a remarkable 2012, I am certain that 2013 will bring us closer to this goal,” Sisley added.

“We are extremely happy and proud that we, less than one year into our offshore operations, are performing along all parameters: contracts, client satisfaction, HSEQ, asset development and recruitment,” said Martin Sisley, UK Managing Director of Ocean Installer. Ocean Installer counts today about 150 persons internationally, of which 28 are based in Aberdeen. The objective is Vessel - Normand Clipper

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Subsea Success for Koso Kent Introl 2012 was a busy year at Yorkshire-based Koso Kent Introl, and especially for the company’s subsea engineering department. The subsea team was boosted by a series of new appointments earlier in the year: a Senior Design Engineer, a Graduate Engineer, a Project Engineer and a Development Engineer. The company also recently made a substantial additional investment in its support facility, moving it to a new facility adjacent to KKI’s manufacturing premises. Since the move, secure subsea project storage facilities have been installed, along with testing facilities which are now fully operational. Additional subsea technicians were also recruited and trained in 2012; having gained experience from around the business they have since moved into their designated roles. KKI also attained international standards API 6A and API 17D in 2012, successfully completing the stringent accreditation process in April.

These significant investments in KKI’s subsea capabilities were reflected in a buoyant second half for the company, during which period the company’s subsea budget figure was exceeded by over 100%.

Simon Tattersall, Global Subsea Products Sales Manager, KKI Inset: The new subsea storage area in the KKI aftermarket facility

Global Subsea Products Sales Manager, Simon Tatersall, commented:

“The pedigree of the KKI subsea team has meant that we have been invited to support some really interesting projects recently. We’re looking forward to 2013, which should be another great year for us.”

Imenco UK Sees Success in the UK Market In December 2012, Imenco UK doubled their turnover of business generated out of the UK. The office in Aberdeen was established three years ago and has seen a steady growth in business particularly in the subsea tooling market. Large orders for the supply of guideposts, guidewire anchors, hooks and shackles have been awarded recently by Shell, Total and Technip, establishing the company in the UK as a leading force in the market place.

Imenco has also seen a significant increase in sales of subsea cameras, lights and lasers in the last 12 months. The company has recently appointed sales managers to strengthen their global position in the USA and Singapore. The appointment of Seatools Pty Ltd as the distributor in Australia for subsea cameras, lights and lasers will promote a local presence in an expanding market in the southern hemisphere.


Imenco is launching the Lizard as the latest addition to their Shark range of subsea cameras. This pan tilt and zoom camera with integral LED lights is only 90mm in diameter. Its fish tail can be held in the jaws of an ROV’s manipulator arm to allow the camera to access confined spaces which would be inaccessible to conventional pan and tilt cameras. This camera will prove to be an invaluable tool for the subsea survey and inspection markets.

Subsea UK News | February 2013


Aberdeen Welcomes New Subsea Engineering Consultancy Crondall Energy, an established consultancy specialising in floating production developments have recently opened a new office in Aberdeen focused on subsea and pipeline engineering. While the company is best known for its work in floating production, the new office features a very experienced team of subsea specialists. Crondall Energy Subsea is well placed to advance subsea technology, with a team that has a strong reputation for innovation and delivering research that has advanced design understanding and technology in our industry. “Crondall Energy’s subsea business is formed around some of the industry’s leading technical experts in flow assurance, subsea systems & pipeline engineering,” said Murray Anderson, Manager for the new business in Aberdeen. “We have all worked together previously and jumped at the chance of setting up a business with Crondall, who have a great reputation in floating production. We offer both stand-alone subsea consultancy and work combining floating production and subsea engineering.” Crondall Energy has been actively providing floating production consultancy for more than 10 years from offices in the UK, Australia

and Singapore. Over this period, as field developments have moved into deeper water and more challenging process conditions, it has been increasingly important to integrate topsides facilities, subsea facilities and marine technology. “There were about 250 floating production units in service worldwide at the end of 2011, and that number is likely to more than double in the next 10 years,” said Duncan Peace, who founded Crondall Energy in 2001.

Crondall Energy’s vision in joining subsea and floating production capabilities is aimed at helping operators manage this challenge.

“Successful delivery of these projects hinges on selecting the right concept and appropriate execution strategies. Ensuring that the engineering, planning and costing of the project remains aligned between the subsea, marine and topsides discipline areas is a significant challenge, which is not always addressed adequately.”

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First Subsea: The First Company to Receive ABS 2009 Approval for Forgings over 500mm Diameter Used in Subsea Mooring Subsea mooring connector (SMC) equipment supplier, First Subsea, has been awarded the American Bureau of Shipping’s ABS 2009 Approval for specialist subsea mooring connectors. It is the first manufacturer of offshore mooring connectors to achieve this type approval for the design and manufacture of large scale forgings over 500mm in diameter. The ABS 2009 Certification of Offshore Mooring Chain specifies the requirements for materials, design, manufacture, and testing of offshore mooring chain and accessories, including special subsea mooring connectors, intended to be used for temporary and permanent mooring systems. The approval applies to First Subsea’s range of Ballgrab ball and taper mooring connectors manufactured from steel grade 4330V forgings up to 510mm outside diameter. The subsea mooring connectors can be used with R3, R3S, R4, R4S & R5 grade chain and shackle. The ABS 2009 Approval builds on First Subsea’s investment in research into large scale steel forgings. In collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Microstructural and Mechanical Process Engineering (IMMPETUS), the company

First Subsea Ball and Taper, Subsea Mooring Connector

leads the world in research into the manufacture and testing of 4330V large scale steel forgings. The company’s research was instrumental the development of the steel grade 4330V, and in assisting ABS in specifying the optimum sample testing location for assessing the forging’s mechanical properties and Charpy impact values.

“The ABS 2009 Approval for First Subsea’s mooring connectors is the culmination of many years of investment both financial, and in time and effort by our dedicated team of engineers. Customers can be assured of the quality and engineering integrity of First Subsea’s connectors as operators look to extend the life of their deepwater permanent moorings,” said John Shaw, Managing Director, First Subsea Ltd.

“Capturing the Energy” Convenor Appointed Jim Rae, Managing Consultant of D-Comms (Scotland) Limited, has been appointed Convenor of the ‘Capturing the Energy’ steering group, taking over from Christine Jones of Total, the first to hold the position since its inception in March 2006. ‘Capturing the Energy’ (CtE) was established to promote wider recognition of the technical and cultural importance of the offshore oil and gas industry to the UK. It has the support of Oil and Gas UK and the UK Government and is specified in DECC’s ‘Guidance Notes for the Decommissioning of Offshore Oil & Gas Installations & Pipelines’, under the topic heading “Provision for Historically Important Records”. A number of other organisations give their support to the initiative, including major oil companies (such as Total, Shell, ConocoPhillips, CNRI and BP), service and contracting companies (such as AMEC), Scottish Enterprise Grampian, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical


Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), the Business Archives Council of Scotland (BACS), Historic Scotland, the University of Aberdeen, The Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen City Council, plus many individuals with associations to the sector. Companies are encouraged to make provision for keeping the most important records as their operations evolve, ensuring that they can be safely stored, in an archive repository, so that they can be made accessible for current research, both within the sector and in the wider community, and for future generations. By promoting its achievements, CtE hopes to attract new recruits to the industry. The hub of the archives network is at the University of Aberdeen, which has strong links with the sector and an already substantial collection of oil and gas information. Jim has been involved in decommissioning activities since the late 1990s and is well known in the sector, principally for his pivotal roles on the Maureen, Brent and Murchison projects, on which he provided strategic advice and

Subsea UK News | February 2013

managed activities such as regulatory compliance, transboundary waste shipment, stakeholder management, Jim Rae, Managing government liaison Consultant of D-Comms and reputational risk (Scotland) Limited assessment. He also serves on various associated industry task and work groups, under Oil & Gas UK, Decom North Sea and EEEGR.

Supporting Jim in his new CtE role will be Ewan Daniel, Stakeholder Manager, AMEC, as Deputy Convenor, with special responsibility for communications, and Miles Oglethorpe, Head of Industrial Heritage, Historic Scotland, who provides the Secretariat.

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SETS Ltd Graduate Engineer wins 2012 Technician of the Year Award. SETS Ltd Director Chris Tierney congratulating Kate MacGregor on her award

SETS Ltd are proud to announce that Graduate Engineer Kate MacGregor has been awarded ‘Technician of the Year 2012’ at a prestigious ceremony held in London.

The award was developed through the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and is a measure of achievement and dedication to Industries. Kate qualified within the category of Subsea Oil and Gas. Kate is a member of the Institute through Adam Smith College where she studied and achieved her HND in Petroleum Engineering earlier this year. She was nominated for the award by her course head who felt Kate was a very strong candidate for the award as the Institute award the title to individuals based on academic performance.

Kate was sponsored by the Scottish Representative of the Institute and was required to attend a formal interview at their Head Office in London. There she was assessed for the award and Kate had the opportunity to present her achievements in her academic and working career and discuss the role she has at SETS Ltd and the projects she worked on going through college. Kate expressed delight and gratitude at being recognised for her work at college and her Engineering career even though she has only been actively employed in the industry for five months. Kate has taken to her role as Graduate Engineer with SETS Ltd extremely well. She has confidently worked on several workscopes with various clients as part of her on going Graduate training and consistently produces work to a high standard.

OMS Measures 19,000 pipe Ends Destined for the Congo River Crossing Pipeline Project Specialist pipe measurement technology company, Optical Metrology Services (OMS) Ltd, has successfully completed the measurement of more than 19,000 pipe ends for Bredero Shaw at its pipe coating facility in Leith, Scotland. The pipes are destined for use on Chevron’s technically challenging Congo River Crossing (CRX) Pipeline project. In two separate mobilisations in August 2012, OMS staff measured a total of 19,402 pipe ends (20” and 22” OD) using its automatic Pipe Checker laser-based measurement tool. OMS measured the internal and outside diameter profile (i.e. thickness) of the pipe ends immediately after the pipe preservation coating removal process, therefore avoiding any delays to Bredero Shaw’s overall production process. OMS staff carried out these measurements in a limited, two-minute timeframe.

Jim Buston, Senior Business Executive at OMS, commented:

“This was an unusual, challenging pipe measurement survey. Our staff had to take measurements inline with the plant’s production process, within a limited time window. We deployed six OMS staff in total; three per shift working across two shifts. During storage, the pipes had been lined with a special preservation coating, which had to be removed first by Bredero Shaw. Our crew then measured the pipe ends within the two-minute window: one person was deployed at each end of the pipe, with two


Subsea UK News | February 2013

Pipe Checker Tools working simultaneously, with another engineer floating between the two ends. There were no delays to Bredero Shaw’s production process throughout the entire pipe end measurement process. Our work simply slotted into the customer’s process without causing any disruptions at all.” The pipes were measured at a distance of 12mm from the pipe end. As well as providing Bredero Shaw with general dimensional inspection of pipe ends during the preservation coating removal process, the measuring process also allowed OMS to provide analysis of the pipe ends compared to dimensional specification criteria, including likely fit-up parameters. The pipes will be installed in extremely fast-flowing currents at depths of up to 117 metres. The pipes are designed to transport 250 million cubic feet per day of gas, fed from Chevron’s two blocks off Cabinda. From two platforms installed either side of the Congo River canyon, Chevron has drilled a ‘well intersection conduit’ – a tunnel created by two wells drilled from either side of the canyon, and intersecting at a point below the canyon riverbed. This conduit will hold the subsea pipelines, preventing them being exposed to the fast-flowing currents of the Congo River, as it enters the Atlantic Ocean.


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Success for Technip Junior Document Controllers A group of six junior document controllers from leading subsea engineering and construction company Technip, are celebrating after becoming the first students from the company to successfully complete a brand new Robert Gordon University (RGU) short course. The six employees – Jessica Leonard, Philip Kyle, Emma Easton, Linda Easton, Rachel Gilmour and Sandi Sleigh – were the first from Technip to successfully complete the 50-hour distance learning course and two of the delegates, Philip Kyle and Sandi Sleigh, were even promoted to Document Controllers during the process!

Rosanna Buchan, UK lead document controller at Technip, commented: “I am delighted for the delegates, they all worked extremely hard, even meeting weekly to help and mentor each other. I am certain that this approach made a huge difference and undoubtedly played a part in the pass success rate. Distance learning can be a challenging mode of study, one that requires a lot of discipline and self-motivation, so to see such a high pass rate is commendable.” Technip in the UK will now offer this course to all new junior document controllers as part of their ongoing staff development.

Dr Laura Muir, senior lecturer in the Department of Information Management at RGU added: The Document Control Foundation short course was developed for new entrants to the Document Control function in the oil and gas sector by RGU, in partnership with the Amor Group and with support from members of the Information Management Energy Forum. It aims to address the skills gap and enable students to gain understanding of the value and practice of information management and document control. Delivered via online distance learning, the students studied interactive web-based learning materials with tutor support and completed online assessment tests using the university’s online learning environment.

“The Document Control Course is an ideal professional development opportunity for people who work within this function. When the course was launched we had a very healthy response and the demand for places shows that students and oil and gas firms recognise the important role information management and document control plays in the industry.”

Technip’s Evanton Spoolbase Raise £35,000 for Charity Technip’s Evanton Spoolbase hosted a ‘Family Safety Seminar’ recently to mark the base’s mammoth £35,000 fundraising effort over the past six months. The Halloween themed event welcomed more than 150 Technip employees, guests and charity representatives and combined an HSE seminar as well as a raffle, children’s entertainment and games. Since the base’s last seminar in June, they have donated more than £35,000 to local charitable organisations, generated mainly from project specific ‘Safety Incentive Schemes’, which are jointly funded by project teams and clients. Dave Miller, general manager at the base said: “We were delighted to welcome so many guests to the seminar which is always a great success. The base does such a lot of good work for charitable organisations in the local area and it was fantastic to see so many of them enjoying the festivities with us. “However, there was also a serious side to the day, with presentations offering information on Technip’s ongoing health and wellbeing and HSE programmes. A wealth of information on stress management, cholesterol, blood pressure, alcohol awareness, smoking cessation, exercise and healthy eating tips was available to guests.”

2H Offshore Celebrates 20 Years of Engineering Excellence 2H Offshore, an Acteon company, marks its 20th anniversary in 2013. The company was founded by Steve Hatton and Dr Hugh Howells in London, UK, in February 1993, and has since been at the forefront of riser and conductor system engineering, specialising in the design, structural analysis and integrity management of riser and conductor systems. Over the years, 2H has provided the technical engineering expertise necessary for the successful design and delivery of complex riser systems for many major offshore developments worldwide. Dr Hugh Howells, founder of 2H Offshore, commented:

“2H has come a long way in the last 20 years, from doing small engineering studies for “deep” water in projects in 1000ft (now in over 10,000ft), through development of steel catenary and freestanding riser technology, to taking engineering and procurement responsibility for the riser systems on a number of major offshore production systems.” 38

Subsea UK News | February 2013

It has given me enormous pleasure and job satisfaction being involved in these developments and projects for which I would like to thank our clients, who have put their trust in us, and an exceptional team that rise so enthusiastically and capably to the ever changing challenges of riser engineering.” 2H currently employs more than 200 people globally with offices located in London, Aberdeen, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Rio de Janeiro, Perth and Beijing. With plans to continue to advance knowledge, capability, and technology, 2H is aiming to continue to play a leading role in providing riser and conductor engineering services to the industry for many years to come.

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Welder Training for the Diving Industry David Keats, Managing Director of Speciality Welds Ltd

The diving industry is unique way in how it operates with its employees. Unlike an engineering employer, which takes on apprentices, obtains government funding for day release or full/part-time education and the apprentice is rewarded with a National Qualification. The diving industry mainly operates through sub-contract or self-employed routes so the ‘standard’ route to education and qualification is not available. This places the emphasis for any qualifications firmly with the individual diver, not the employer. Welding is an important skill for the diving industry and such recognition and availability is essential. In welding, the term ‘qualification’ has a specific meaning, which is simply understood as a ‘coding’; a practical weld test in which the welder demonstrates his physical skills and abilities. Of course, this element of the welder’s ability is essential as welding is a craft skill and physical ability is a large part of the job. But for the engineering industries, this physical skill is supplemented with a number of years at college; e.g. ONC/HNC/HND etc., and most importantly, a management structure exists where foreman, senior engineers, supervisors and inspectors are employed by the company, and responsibility for welding does not lay with the welder. This structure does not generally exist for the inshore and offshore diving industry, where the hands-on expertise can be limited. A diver-welder may well find himself the only competent welding person on site, thus has to have greater expertise in welding than simply being able to deposit weld metal. Another diving industry problem is people are attracted from all sorts of backgrounds, with engineering being a minority. Thus, the physical skill factor, although crucially important, is not in itself sufficient to provide the industry with the next generation of competent, skilled welder-divers, divers with a minimum standard of competency in welding, which needs to include safety, techniques, materials, ‘weldability’, electrodes, terminology, plant/equipment, weld defects, standards, etc. There is more to welding than just burning rods!

Once you are in the workplace, it can sometimes become difficult to attend college. One course of action is through Speciality Welds, who have developed an 80-hour welding training programme, called The WeldCraft-Pro. This course follows the European Welding Federation (EWF) guidelines (570-01) for fillet welding of plate. The actual certificate of verified achievement (Diploma) is issued by EAL (EMTA Awards), the UK’s largest engineering and marine training authority, issuing over 80% of all the UK’s engineering qualifications. With regards to the welder qualification test, this is conducted in accordance with ISO 15618-1 welding standard, through our Zurich accreditation. The programme is also recognised by IMarEST and is the only competency assessed underwater welding course that meets all of industries current demands. Training is provided through approved diver training schools, allowing training to take place for new recruits immediately after diver training. For existing divers, the training is as compact as possible, usually taking no more than 10.5 days.

As most divers are self-employed and responsible for their own training/qualifications, unless they put themselves through college, there is limited opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to meet future industry demands or even progress and extend their knowledge base.


Subsea UK News | February 2013

It is crucial that the industry attracts the right calibre of individual. But equally important, the industry needs to ensure training exists to the right standard, providing all the skills necessary to keep Britain competitive and leading the field.


The Underwater Centre Rises to Skills Shortage Challenge As the demand for skilled staff in the global oil and gas industry continues its rapid growth, the world’s leading trainer of ROV pilots and commercial divers is rising to the challenge by offering increased opportunities for those looking to move in to the sector. The Underwater Centre in Fort William has been working closely with industry and the Government in recent months to provide additional courses, tailored to the specific needs of industry. The Centre has increased the number of courses it offers in ROV pilot technician training in line with demand – they are already fully booked for the first half of the 2013 - and employed a number of additional teaching staff. Meanwhile, the number of commercial divers required by the industry has also risen significantly, both at home and abroad. According to a recent report by Oil and Gas UK, the UK is facing an ageing population of commercial divers, with more than a third of the UK’s ‘core’ diving personnel aged between 45 and 54 years. The Scottish Government recently awarded The Underwater Centre £360,000 as part of its £2million Energy Skills Challenge Fund

investment package, which aims to tackle the current skills shortage in the oil and gas industry by offering training opportunities to those with a Scottish postcode. The funding has allowed the Centre - the only commercial diving school to have received the award – to offer 42 places at half the normal price. Steve Ham, General Manager at the Centre, said that those working in alternative industries such as construction and the military, both of which are experiencing a downturn in the current economic climate, have much to offer the oil and gas sector.

“Training is particularly geared towards equipping and up-skilling those with transferrable skills and a hands-on attitude to help prepare the next generation of commercial divers for the wide range of career opportunities available within this sector, including Scotland’s renewable industry and the oil and gas sector.”

National Renewable Energy Centre Marine Renewables and Subsea Technology Saltwater Environment Simulated Seabed Accredited Electrical Laboratories Site Support Team Prototype Development Factory Acceptance Tests Performance Verification Equipment Trials Installation Techniques For further information please contact John Watson e: t: 07590 443 532 or come and see us on stand 79 at Subsea 2013.

In Australia and the Asia Pacific region, the increased demand for commercial divers is also being addressed by The Underwater Centre, Tasmania. With many parts of Australia, particularly Queensland and New South Wales, experiencing a current downturn in the mining industry, commercial diving is seen as a viable and realistic alternative career option as many of the skills required in mining are directly transferable. Commercial diving provides a lucrative and exciting opportunity for a change of career as many oil and gas projects are under development.

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UTEC Increases Graduate Intake Thanks to a significant number of contract awards and a general improvement in the industry, UTEC has recently accelerated its graduate program to help deliver an increasing workload. Servicing the North Sea and West Africa as well as support operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa in conjunction with the company’s Naples office, all from their regional headquarters in Aberdeen, UTEC’s global reach extends to numerous locations including Houston, Rio de Janeiro, Perth, Singapore, St. John’s and Dubai. Kevin McBarron, UTEC Managing Director, explains: “The quality of our offshore staff is integral to our success and we are committed to continued investment in training. There has been a big shift in the resources we need to support our clients and there is a shortage in our industry of personnel in the 25 to 35 age group try making the market is tight for skilled personnel.”

Using the International Marine Contractors’ Association (IMCA) competency scheme as the framework for its training, UTEC takes on graduates to train as surveyors, data processors or both. Following basic training and exposure to both data acquisition and processing offshore, the path is then tailored to the individual depending on their strengths and interests. UTEC Survey Manager Jamie Laing says: “We quickly get new graduates trained so that they can safely go offshore because experience has proved that hands-on is the best way to learn. The combination of offshore shadowing backed up by onshore training allows UTEC to confidently and quickly deploy them on projects.

Liam Ellis, Jamie Laing & Colin Vallance, UTEC

“Because of our global footprint, people get the chance to travel because we frequently swap people around geographically to take account of the skills and manpower required by projects.” Glasgow University graduate Colin Vallance is taking part in the UTEC programme, and says: “I really liked getting hands-on right from the start and gaining offshore experience within two months of starting. Adapting to offshore life is a challenge but it is definitely worth it.”

Local Skills Pool Boost for Recruitment Specialist Subsea and marine recruitment specialist, ETPM, has praised the calibre of the North-east’s young skills pool after more than doubling its own team in 2012 by recruiting six new staff members, all living or educated locally – and all in their 20s. The company has enjoyed significant expansion in 2012 across every facet of business, resulting in the addition of three new service lines and the opening of new offices. “While we are very aware of the skills shortage in some sectors, our own experience as an employer is that it is a bit of a misnomer,” said Managing Director Jeff Mountain. “All our new recruits have graduated from Aberdeen or Robert Gordon universities or are from the local area, and we have been delighted that we have been able to hire such talented and committed local young people to meet our increased client demand. “The six new members of staff represent the biggest intake since ETPM was formed in 2007 and that impetus is set to continue as we are already looking to recruit four more people to the team in January 2013.” Three of the new staff members have joined the marine team where activity has doubled with the


Subsea UK News | February 2013

introduction of FPSO and Drilling services to the ongoing Crane Ops and DP work. There were additions also to the subsea team to provide a dedicated recruitment services for rigging, welding and inspection and for ROV and dive technicians. A sixth member of staff was brought into support the administrative team. Mr Mountain said the growth of the company was a sign of continuing confidence in the energy industry.

“Investors are making significant moves into the subsea and renewables industry and we have also seen some very interesting new start companies building momentum. That has led to the increased demand for personnel to support that level of activity.” From left to right: Ben Story, Ben Newell, Alex Thurlow, Natasha Ross, Janice Anderson and Kathryn Baxter

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