Subsea UK News Feb 2014

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IN THIS ISSUE In-depth: Interview with KD Marine Subsea News and Events Worldwide Highlighting New Technologies and Innovation


WorkClass Class ROVs Work ROVs

Observation ROVs Observation ROVs


Trenchers Trenchers


Buoyancy Buoyancy

Custom Tooling Custom Tooling

ROV Tooling Tooling ROV

PLR Pig Launcher/Receiver

ROVDrill ROVDrill

Project Simulation Simulation Project

Rentals Rentals

DataAcquisition Acquisition Data

PipelineJoint Joint Coating Pipeline Coating

Offshore Personnel Offshore Personnel

Geotechnical Geotechnical

Visit us on stand 64 at Subsea Expo


WELCOME TO THE FIRST EDITION OF SUBSEA UK NEWS FOR 2014 Normally we would expect to make resolutions for the New Year. How well we stick to them is another matter, but the will is there to make either small or significant changes that will put us on a better footing for the challenges ahead. Subsea UK is no different when it comes to making resolutions. In 2013 we resolved to tackle the skills shortage through our Subsea Target initiative; the scheme has been widely welcomed by companies looking to expand their workforce and individuals keen to get involved in our industry. We also wanted to increase our global market share while seeking and developing new overseas opportunities. In June, our Business Activity Report demonstrated that the British subsea sector now captures 45% of the market with revenues of £8.9 billion and is on target to reach £11.1 billion by 2016. So what resolutions have we made for 2014? We start this year with the subsea sector in robust health, ready to capitalise on the huge opportunities both at home and abroad. Naturally, challenges remain; a global economy in recovery but still fragile, international competition developing, and E&P taking place in increasingly harsh territories. We are, however, the world-leader in the industry but we must not be complacent about that position. We will not shy away from increased overseas competition; we will use it to push us further in demonstrating our capability, adaptability and resilience. Spreading that message of British subsea excellence is another key aim this year. We can do this through our ongoing attendance at international events including OTC, Subsea Tieback and Australasian Oil & Gas as well as our upcoming major trade mission to South America with UKTI. These activities equip our members with the information and tools necessary to successfully work in the region, while providing a strong platform from which they could showcase their expertise. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, it was timely that we review the format of our own annual event to ensure that it remains topical, relevant and fresh. A large part of our success is that our exhibition and conference attracts the subsea fraternity from around the world and with that in mind, the event has been rebranded as Subsea Expo, thereby reflecting the importance of the industry both at home and abroad. In December, we welcomed our 290th member, with membership now extending across the supply chain and representing around 90% of the total industry. It is that connectivity that will ensure we are ready to embrace the new opportunities that we will encounter this year. I look forward to the year ahead and together, we can make 2014 even more successful for our industry.

Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK

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 53,000 employees, worth almost £8.9 billion in services and products and with over 750 companies, the UK subsea industry sector leads the world in experience, innovation and technology. The UK will maintain a leading technological edge by sustaining and expanding this important business sector. Whether you are a company looking to join and reap the benefits or an individual looking to develop your career in the subsea industry, explore our website or contact us to find out how Subsea UK can help you, your business and your industry. Find out more at

New Members • Fugro GEOS • Offshore Environmental Oils • Petrex • Rigmar

• Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering Co • Tymor Marine

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

Forthcoming Events February 2014

April 2014

March 2014

June 2014

UKTI Energy Showcase Brazil 28 March 2014

Subsea Asia 2014 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 11-13 June 2014

Australasian Oil & Gas 2014 - Australia 19-21 February 2014 Subsea UK Pavilion at Subsea Tie Back Forum - USA 4-6 March 2014

Subsea UK Golf Day (Spring) - Peterculter, Aberdeenshire 25 April 2014 Subsea NE Dinner and Conference - Newcastle 4-5th June

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

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Paddy Collins, CEO of Aubin

Aubin and Flexlife Announce Collaboration to Provide Full-service Integrity Solutions Offshore chemical engineering specialist Aubin has formed a collaboration with subsea flexible pipe specialist Flexlife, to create an industry first in subsea integrity management (IM). Aubin Integrity, a division of Aubin, and Flexlife are working together to provide full-service IM solutions to the oil and gas industry. Under the partnership, Aubin Integrity will supply its development team to create bespoke products and provide offshore personnel for operations. Flexlife will bring its subsea engineering and project management expertise to ensure quality deployment for all applications. The two companies have a history of working together to create bespoke products and services. This includes collaborating on a number of projects to help mitigate corrosion in hard to access areas around the critical splash zone region of offshore platforms where the seawater and air interface can lead to integrity issues. These projects serve to maximise the remnant life of risers and can defer or obviate the major capital expenditure which would be required if the degraded risers had to be replaced. The partnership has also developed a range of pipeline isolation polymers which have been used to address major

integrity issues within the substructure of an offshore platform in the UKCS. The companies worked together to create an internal pipework sealant, AXI-Lokk, and the delivery process, in record time to enable repair intervention following a serious breach in integrity. Serena Arif, Subsea Director of Aubin, said:

“ This agreement marks a milestone for both companies, as we will be able to take on a wider scope of projects by sharing our innovative and specialised services. By entering into this, we are launching a new service to the oil industry, providing all areas of an IM project from start to finish.” Able to provide full-circle Integrity Management services, Aubin and Flexlife specialise in providing solutions

for subsea projects, on- and offshore operations, corrosion mitigation and plugs for temporary or permanent solutions. Ciaran O’Donnell, CEO of Flexlife, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Aubin and have already demonstrated successful deployment of our joint IM solutions to meet the needs of our customers. As well as Flexlife offering technology, which will identify corrosion, our collaboration with Aubin has enabled us to develop solutions for instances when infrastructure has been damaged or integrity is in question. With the ageing assets here in the North Sea and globally we are seeing a real demand for our IM solutions now and in the future.” In addition to AXI-Lokk, Aubin Integrity has developed a suite of products to tackle complex IM challenges including AXI-Cast, a sealant product that has been successfully deployed offshore West Africa, and AXI-Gard, a corrosion mitigation and plugging product. It has also created AXI-Bind, a flexible sealing gel that complements Flexlife’s repair product line.

Subsea UK News | February 2014



Ceona Signs Contract with Solstad for Time Charter of the Normand Pacific SURF and subsea construction contractor Ceona has entered into a one-year time charter commitment with Solstad Offshore ASA for the charter of the CSV Normand Pacific. The charter will commence in early April 2014 and has an option for extension. Ceona will mobilise a new vertical lay tower, reel drive systems and two modern high-powered work class ROVs on the vessel in the Gulf of Mexico early April, equipping her to be available and ready for projects by mid-April 2014.

Stuart Cameron, Ceona’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

“ This is an important strategic charter for Ceona, and one that will enable us to offer and deliver yet more SURF projects to our clients on a global basis. Having the Normand Pacific in our fleet will complement the Polar Onyx, due for delivery in March 2014, and the Ceona Amazon, due to be delivered in January 2015. With these three vessels Ceona is able to offer a very broad range of rigid, flexible, umbilical and deep water subsea construction services, in a safe and competitive manner.”

The Normand Pacific


STATS Group Successfully Completes Subsea Oil Line Replacement in North Sea STATS were contracted by a major oil producer to supply high pressure isolation plugs, to provide a double block and bleed isolation barrier for the safe tie-in of a replacement section of the main 24-inch oil export line from the platform, without having to de-oil the entire 80km pipeline. To facilitate the double block isolation and enable a reinstatement leak test in accordance with the pipeline design code, STATS provided two remotely controlled Tecno Plugs™. The first Tecno Plug™ provided a proven double block isolation from pipeline pressure. The second Tecno Plug™ provided a local leak test boundary. Using two plugs in this manner maintains a safe isolation until the leak test is completed and prevents pressurising the entire pipeline up to leak test pressure. An expert isolation committee of a subsea engineering and construction company, which included their global technical risk experts, assessed the suitability of the high pressure remote isolation plug as a double block barrier for diver breaking containment activities. The critical operational areas of concern were scrutinised and the Tecno Plug™ was deemed to provide an acceptable isolation barrier for the required work scope.

The primary project objectives of safety and efficiency were delivered to ensure a minimal shut down period was achieved. Excellent project management, intercompany team working and appropriate use of isolation technology resulted in a successful pipeline replacement that was completed in a timely manner. Dale Millward, STATS Group director of EPRS and subsea services, commented on the successful project:

“ Although not our first subsea isolation, this project is a milestone subsea isolation project that shows how far we and our technology have progressed since the introduction of STATS remote isolation plug technology 10 years ago.”

Prior to award of the isolation work scope STATS conducted a detailed engineering and piggability study to confirm the fitness for purpose of the Tecno Plug™. Further reassurance of piggability and reduction of risk was achieved by deploying a geometry proving pig and a high resolution Inline calliper survey tool.

Subsea UK News | February 2014



Big Changes Ahead for Employers of Offshore Oil and Gas Workers Alex Arthur, Director of Tax at Johnston Carmichael After a recent consultation, HMRC has issued further guidance on the steps being taken to reduce the loss of tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) due by offshore employees and employers. Special arrangements are needed for oil and gas workers due to the hundreds of contracts and subcontracts involved in running offshore oil installations, which can make it difficult to know who is required to pay what. Under the new regime, UK based associates or branches of offshore employers will become liable to make good any unpaid tax and NICs. Offshore employers who do not have a UK associate or branch will be able to apply for a compliance certificate, however, if they do not have a certificate, the liability will pass to the oil company who has the license. As HMRC points out, the oil company which holds the license could ‘ask’ the offshore employer to fulfil their tax obligations, however, the licensee will still be liable for any failure incurred by the offshore employer.

At present, many offshore employers that deploy workers to the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) operate UK PAYE, however are not liable to pay employers’ NIC for workers classed as ‘mariners’.

HMRC has drafted the new rules carefully so that NIC relief remains Alex Arthur in place for recognised ‘mariners’, but will be denied to some of those who have staff working aboard floating installations as opposed to supply or safety vessels. Following the consultation process and meetings with HMRC, we expected a definition of mariners to be announced, however further queries and concerns were raised, which has meant that this is still under consultation. A draft of the proposed changes to the NI regulations shows that if you are a UKCS worker, as well as a mariner, then being a UKCS worker will trump the mariner rules. This means that many more mariners will be caught, so the effect will be more widespread than first envisaged, following discussion with HMRC. But there are still unresolved questions. For instance, what happens when a vessel switches from an oil and gas contract to do offshore renewables work? As the new information is still under the consultation process, we have spoken to HMRC and are in dialogue with them to clarify their understanding. We hope that by the time the amendments are finalised, genuine mariners will remain within the current status and that no NIC is due, allowing UK businesses to remain competitive in the UK market. The amended legislation is expected to take effect on 6 April 2014.

The UK Bribery Act: Managing the New Risks Paul Marshall, Public Law & Regulatory team at Brodies LLP As the market for subsea technology extends around the globe to include emerging economies the issue of bribery and corruption has taken on evergreater significance. The UK Bribery Act 2010 lays down the foundations to encourage prosecutions of corruption in business, especially British businesses with overseas operations. It also makes new demands beyond what is required by the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and greatly increases the risk of prosecution for UK companies doing business abroad. The UK Bribery Act differs from the FCPA in three key aspects:

In addition, the UK Act: • Signals very clearly that bribery is not limited to conduct involving public officials and can take place in the context of “any activity connected with a business”. • Introduces a “corporate offence” where someone outside the organisation but acting on its behalf - an “associated person” - bribes with the intention of gaining an advantage for that organisation. Businesses have a defence if they can demonstrate that they have introduced “adequate procedures” to prevent bribery by associated persons. This involves doing due diligence on, and monitoring the activities of, agents and others acting on its behalf.

1. Under the UK Act, bribery does not need to involve a public official - bribery between private entities is an offence; 2. Facilitation payments, which are permitted by the FCPA, are illegal, regardless of value; 3. It is an offence for businesses to fail to prevent bribery by connected persons – there is no equivalent FCPA offence.


• Allows for the prosecution of businesses with a “close connection to the UK”, including companies incorporated in the UK, for conduct overseas, if that action would amount to bribery in the UK.

Subsea UK News | February 2014

Arguing that such Paul Marshall conduct is part of the custom and practice of the overseas territory is not a defence. However, a business will have a defence if the agent’s action accords with the “written law” of the overseas territory. The UK authorities - the Crown Office in Scotland or the Serious Fraud Office in England and Wales - want businesses that uncover bribery to self-report. This may mean that the business avoids prosecution. However, there are no guarantees. The prudent step is to take legal advice before doing so – indeed in Scotland any self report must come from external lawyers. Paul Marshall is an associate in the Public Law & Regulatory team of Brodies LLP.


Next Pre-salt Oil and Gas Bidding Round Could Take Place in 2016

The First Pre-Salt Oil and Gas Bidding Round in Brazil The First Pre-Salt Oil and Gas Bidding Round was held in Rio de Janeiro on 21st October, 2013. On offer, under the new Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) regime, was the offshore Libra field, located in the Santos Basin. Prior to this bidding round, all rights for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Brazil were granted competitively under the concession regime. According to a law passed in December 2012, however, reserves located in the pre-salt lawyers discovered in 2007 and other strategic areas where exploration risks are considered to be substantially lower shall be offered exclusively under a PSA. Even though 11 companies were accredited to participate of the bidding round, only one consortium made an offer to the Brazilian Government. This consortium is formed by five oil companies: the Brazilian State company Petrobras with 40% of participation in the consortium (30% must be Petrobras’s minimum share), EnglishDutch company Shell with 20%, French company Total with 20% and the Chinese State companies CNPC and CNOOC with 10% each. The contract awarded in the First Round will be valid for 35 years. Under the new PSA regime the profit oil is to be shared by the consortium and the Government. In this respect, the invitation to bid stated that the bidding winner would be the participant who put forward the largest profit oil to the Government; however, the sole consortium interested in the bidding only offered the minimum percentage of profit oil (i.e. produced

after investments are paid off) – 41.65%, besides agreeing to pay a R$ 15 billion (US$ 6.88 billion on 21 October) signature bonus to the Government. Pursuant to the new regime, Petrobras will be the sole operator in the Libra field. Also, a new company called PPSA (belonging to the Brazilian Government) will represent the Union’s interests in the PSA and help to manage Libra. In so doing, PPSA will receive the Government’s share of profit oil and be able to sell it subsequently. According to the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), the Libra field – Brazil’s largest, located in an area extending over 1,547.76 km2 – has an estimated recoverable volume of between 8 to 12 billion oil barrels. The expected revenue to be obtained with the Libra activities is R$ 900 billion for the next 30 years, of which R$ 300 billion will be paid to the Government.

The new pre-salt bidding round may take place by 2016, according to news published in the Brazilian press last December. If this is correct, then the second pre-salt bidding round under a production sharing regime will take place within three years from the Libra field auction.

Platform P-55 Starts Operating in Campos Basin P-55 started operating in the Roncador field, located in Campos Basin, on 31 December, 2013. Platform P-55 was projected to process 180,000 of barrels of oil per day and compress 6 million cubic metres of natural gas per day.

Production of Oil and Gas Increases The total production of oil and gas by Petrobras in November 2013 in the Brazilian territory was of 2.342 millions of barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), corresponding to an increase of 1.2% when compared to the 2.315 millions boed production in October 2013.

12th Oil and Gas Round in Brazil The 12th bidding round held by the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) for the concession of rights for the exploration and production of oil and gas took place in Brazil in November, 2013. Out of the 240 blocks offered, only 72 were sold (49 to Petrobras alone or in a consortium), generating R$ 165.2 million for ANP.

Subsea UK News | February 2014


Offshore Deployment, Flexible Pipe & Cable Handling Flowline Specialists designs, engineers and manufactures tensioners, reel drive systems, under-rollers, powered reels and shears for the global oil, gas and renewable industries. Installed and operated by experienced field technicians, our product portfolio is designed to ensure the safe and efficient handling of reels, flexible pipes, umbilicals and cables, onshore and offshore.


+44 (0)1651 871872


05-07 FEBRUARY Aberdeen AECC


Q1000 Jet Trencher

Reef Subsea Integrated Projects Provides Q1000 Jet Trencher to Technip Norge AS RSIP will provide the state-of-the-art Q1000 jet trencher, along with a team of experienced operators, to conduct trenching services in connection with the Bøyla project located 225 kilometres West of Stavanger, Norway, at a water depth of 120 metres. RSIP will also provide all of the associated engineering, procedures and onshore and offshore project management necessary to complete the trenching workscope, which will take place in 2014.

Reef Subsea Integrated Projects (RSIP) is the new division formed from the merger of Reef Subsea Power & Umbilical & Reef Subsea Norway. This restructure is aimed at creating a much more effective projects delivery division as the company continues to grow. RSIP will operate all of the vessels under one division and will be able to share its exceptional engineering resource with greater flexibility across its sites in Thornaby, Bergen, Norway and Aberdeen. In turn, this will enable RSIP to better serve the needs of its clients around the world.

The Q1000 is an industry-leading jet trenching ROV embracing the latest technologies in jet trenching and ROV design. With 750kW of total installed power and 700kW of variable jetting power, the Q1000 is capable of trenching pipelines, umbilicals and cables up to three metres in the seabed. This proven design has been upgraded, based on RSIP’s specific requirements, to operate in either high pressure mode or high flow rate mode depending on seabed conditions.

Daryl Lynch, Commercial Director Reef Subsea Integrated Projects, commented:

“ The Q1000 is an exceptional trencher, managed by experienced operators, which will provide added value to our client on the Bøyla Development project.”

Subsea UK News | February 2014



N-Sea Acquires the Subsea Business of Stork Technical Services The acquisition of the subsea business of Stork Technical Services in Aberdeen is a logical next step in the realisation of the growth strategy pursued by both companies, and re-affirms the commitment of N-Sea to its strategy of becoming a leading Survey and IMR company. The combined businesses will have a strong position in North Europe delivering IMR and Survey solutions to operators with subsea infrastructures in the oil & gas and renewable industries. Post-acquisition, the enterprise will employ more than 120 onshore staff, and on average 150 offshore staff, with 10 diving systems, 9 ROVs, three offshore diving & ROV support vessels and three daughter craft diving RHIBs, plus three support RHIBs as well as extensive data management and subsea engineering capabilities. Customers will benefit from the Group’s combined service offering from the two principal offices in Aberdeen (UK) and Zierikzee (NL). The Group will have a

combined turnover in excess of EUR 75 million and with all vessels under contract in the winter period, the Group is poised for a good 2014 performance. Roddy James, Senior Vice-President of Stork Technical Services (Subsea), will join the Board of Directors of the N-Sea Group in the role of COO. Gerard Keser, CEO comments:

“ I am confident that the joining of the two companies will enhance the Group’s activities and will deliver increased value in the field of survey and IMR to our customers.”

N-Sea is an offshore subsea contractor in the North Sea, known for its strong performance and innovative solutions. N-Sea provides the following services to the oil and gas, renewable and subsea cable industries: subsea construction support, diving and ROV, IMR, Survey and Positioning. Besides its offshore activities, N-Sea is also active as an underwater contractor in the coastal, harbour and inland civil works. Stork will continue to develop and invest in technology associated with subsea integrity, cathodic protection, bolting, tensioning and tooling operations, which will not be affected by the sale of the subsea business.

Subsea Services and Technology Products

Pipeline & Installation | Intervention & Inspection | Project Management, Engineering & Operations

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See us at Stand 81


Costain Group PLC Expands its Reach Following the acquisition of ClerkMaxwell in 2011 and EPC Offshore in 2013 by Costain Group PLC, Costain Upstream is poised to challenge the market’s status quo. The company combines the project management of EPC Offshore and the engineering expertise of ClerkMaxwell. Keith Wallace, Costain Upstream Executive Vice President, said: “Costain Upstream will build on Costain Group’s hard-won heritage of successful construction and engineering project delivery.

“ We will provide integrated whole-life services, from design consultancy to the post-construction operation and eventual decommissioning of assets. We are ready to offer a dynamic alternative to the market. “We are organised into three business streams to reflect our customers’ organisations. Costain Upstream Select helps appraise and define the optimum asset development concept. Costain Upstream Deliver supplies quality FEED studies, then manages the subsequent detailed design, procurement, construction and commissioning. We can provide these services from subsea wellhead through to topsides and on to export. Costain Upstream Improve applies decades of brownfield expertise to operational and integrity issues.

“Costain Group has completed a number of milestone projects in the industry, including research into suitable technology for the offshore liquefaction of natural gas and major contracts to provide a range of Engineering Construction and Project Support services. Of particular note has been its leadership in the design and construction management of many onshore gas processing terminals in the UK. This has included new builds and specialised modifications for clients including Shell, Exxon and British Gas Hydrocarbon Resources.” Costain Upstream has significant growth ambitions and will be positioned in the UK offshore field development market, where investment in 2013 was an estimated £13 billion.

Keith Wallace, Costain Upstream, Executive Vice President

Subsea UK News | February 2014



New HQ for Subsea Innovation Subsea Innovation Limited, in Darlington, has officially started work on its new headquarters, which it hopes will secure larger contracts and deliver more jobs. It is creating additional factory and office space after outgrowing its existing Faverdale North base. Martin Moon, Subsea’s Managing Director, and Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council ceremonially cut the turf at the greenfield land site on Wednesday 8th January. The plant is being built by Darlington-based J and RM Richardson and was designed by Darlington’s Architects Design Group. Bosses say it will be twice the size of Subsea Innovation’s current home, offering scope to double its workforce to more than 70 staff and handle bigger contracts for oil, gas and energy clients. The 40,000sq ft site is expected to be finished in August. The company employs 44 workers and specialises in launch and recovery systems that deploy remotely operated vehicles for subsea work across the world. It also designs and makes pipeline repair and subsea sealing systems used in the offshore industry, and construction of the factory comes just over a year after Mr Moon set a target to double sales of £7.5m in three years.

Photo credit - The Northern Echo


Subsea UK News | February 2014

He said: “The new building will allow us to build bigger machines and carry out increased testing, so we don’t have to use external facilities. The fact the new building will have extra height means we can put larger cranage in, and it will also allow us to dedicate space to research and development. “I always envisaged the company would double in size, and by increasing the production facility it means we can look at larger work and achieve this goal.

“ We wanted to stay in the region and looked at other places, but Darlington had everything to keep us local. You have to be flexible and ready to move rapidly in this industry, and such an investment will allow us to do that and strengthen our future.” He added the firm will continue to use its existing site for some production, refurbishments and storage.


GE Oil & Gas Invests £4m into its Aberdeenbased Subsea Manufacturing Facility, Creating 20 New Jobs in the North-East of Scotland This follows the recruitment of 30 new employees at the site last year, with the investment also expected to contribute to an increase in output, allowing the organisation to meet the growing demands of customers and their global subsea projects. Rod Christie, CEO-GE Oil & Gas Subsea Systems, said:

“ This latest investment provides the plant with significant capability improvements, enhancing test and assembly activities along with allowing important safety and technology upgrades. It also allows us to generate new employment opportunities for the region.” A highlight of the investment has been the establishment of a standalone training school, with a dedicated classroom area for 12,


coupled with separate workshop areas for practical training in the operation of running and installation tools, lifting and handling, make-up of test equipment and pressure testing. The facility will be used to develop the local skills base, along with talent from other regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. The creation of an Advanced Technology Organisation (ATO) lab has also resulted from the refurbishment, with the new facility doubling the footprint of the existing lab. This additional space allows more room for conducting product qualification test programmes, introduces additional crane capacity and includes an environmentallycontrolled measuring room, with all environmental chambers placed under cover. Other enhancements include an increased structural capability in Test & Assembly 2

Subsea UK News | February 2014

(T&A2), from 30-tonnes to 50-tonnes, with new 50-tonne cranes for heavier lifts; a deepened gas pit in T&A2 (from 3m-6m), new pressure test cells and testing equipment. This has created the additional capability to build and test Master Valve Blocks (MVB), small tree units and large sub-assemblies such as flow bases; and test & Assembly 1 (T&A1) has also been structurally upgraded from 50-tonnes to 100-tonnes, allowing for heavier lifts, with five new test cells introduced, enabling greater efficiency. Two 100-tonne cranes were installed in T&A1 in January, an upgrade that will allow large-scale tree systems to be handled using a single crane, enabling the more efficient and timely manufacture of subsea production systems.


Alco Sub-Tek Ltd Continuing Development Yorkshire based valve manufacturer Alco Valves Group has opened a new facility in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The 14,000sq ft new facility extends the company’s headquarters’ capacity to over 40,000 sq ft. This is in addition to the groups manufacturing facility in Manchester, sales offices and warehouses in the USA, Canada, Singapore and Bahrain. The expansion has enabled the Subsea arm of the group to move into its own dedicated manufacturing and office space to enhance Alco Sub-Tek’s expansion program, and new testing and production facilities. Alco Sub-Tek now has a fully qualified range of API 6A Subsea ball valves up to 5.1/8” 10k. Further investment is funding the creation of a new line of Subsea Gate valves specifically designed to meet the requirements of API 6A, API 17D and API 6DSS which will supplement our existing range. All of Alco Sub-Tek’s seal materials have now been successfully qualified to API 6A Section F1.13.5.2 and Norsok M-710 after months of arduous testing. Alco plan to launch the new improved range of Gate Valves within the next three months to the international market.

The company has many agents and distributors in over 30 other countries around the world. The Group was recognised as one of Yorkshire’s top 60 performing companies in a recent Yorkshire Post survey and is to be ranked in the top 20 next year. There is also a very healthy forward order book in 2014 and beyond. This only goes to confirm Alco’s position as a world leader in high pressure valve design, valve technologies and manufacturing methods.


Hydrasun Invests Over £1m in 6Mo Instrumentation Products to Support the Integrity of Customer Assets Aberdeen-based Hydrasun, a leading specialist provider of integrated fluid transfer, power and control solutions, has invested significantly in a range of Parker Instrumentation products in 6Mo (super austenitic stainless steel material), to meet customer demand for components with superior corrosion resistance. The company has invested £1million in further broadening and deepening its family of Parker Low, Medium and High pressure products adding over 200 new lines in 6Mo material across a complete range of Tubing Fittings and Valves. This investment in 6Mo components is in direct response to customer requirements for high quality materials that extend the service life of their assets whilst improving safety, reliability and integrity performance. All of the products are NORSOK compliant and the superior high strength stainless steel, which provides resistance to pitting and stress corrosion cracking, make them ideal for corrosion resistance in harsh, high salinity environments. This initiative complements Hydrasun’s long and extensive association with the Parker A-Lok and Autoclave brands, further highlighting the company’s focus on supporting the standardisation of material specifications across the industry and reducing customer lead times through off-the shelf availability.

Craig Sangster, Hydrasun Sales & Marketing Director, said:

“ Corrosion is a major problem in offshore environments and our customers have a need for enhanced corrosion resistant materials. “With this investment in 6Mo products, we are helping to ensure that our customers’ assets have improved integrity, safety, and longevity, which can provide sizable life cycle cost and time savings. “This investment re-emphasises our focus on providing the highest quality and highest reliability offerings in the marketplace and supports our industry leading Small Bore Tubing Integrity Management programme which is focused on HCR leak reduction.”

Jee Ltd on Track for Further Growth in Coming Year Independent subsea engineering and training company Jee Ltd is on track to realise its strategic company growth in 2014, following the continued expansion of two of its UK bases in 2013. The company’s new office in Westhill, which was officially opened in November 2013 by Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, has doubled the company’s office space in Scotland. This move allows Jee to provide more project office support for operator or contractor personnel, as well as providing the capacity to increase staff numbers by 110% in the region. As part of this strategic growth plan, and in order to better serve existing clients, Jee opened a central London office in early 2013. Due to the phenomenal response from clients, the company outgrew this


office and moved to bigger premises last July. Jee Ltd Managing Director and founder, Trevor Jee, said: “As we continue to grow, we are delighted to have expanded our team of talented engineers, as well as welcoming Nigel Ross as Business Development Director. At Jee, we are about our people and I have no doubt that our expanded team will continue Jee’s success into 2014 and beyond.”

Subsea UK News | February 2014

Trevor Jee, Managing Director of Jee Ltd, and Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK


Severn Subsea Technologies Expands Production Facilities Severn Subsea Technologies (SST) is investing over £100,000 in new Directional Control Valve (DCV) production and test facilities at its headquarters in Redruth, Cornwall. Part of the Severn Glocon group, the company is spearheading the development of new subsea valves and systems for the global oil and gas market. Increased levels of subsea processing are prompting the development of next generation DCV valves capable of handling higher pressures and temperatures, and greater water depths. DCV valves are a key component in subsea processing safety systems. In the event an Emergency Shut Down (ESD) is initiated, the DCVs can be set to unlatch at different pressures, ensuring tree and manifold valves close in the correct sequence.

“ Our range of DCVs will reflect the latest developments in the technology for these safety critical systems.”

Severn Subsea Technologies is establishing a DCV production unit, for the manufacture of Bi-Stable DCVs comprising two control cell pilots. This includes the installation of a Class 7 (ISO 14644-1) cleanroom for assembly and flushing the DCVs, and a hyperbaric chamber for proof testing the valve’s unlatching pressure. “DCVs are a key component of subsea processing systems,” says Brian Green, managing director, Severn Subsea Technologies.

Severn Subsea Technologies invests in Directional Control Valve manufacture.



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Subsea UK News | February 2014



In-depth: KD Marine Celebrating 25 Years Subsea UK interviews Hamish Petersen, KD Marine, UK

KD Marine, the subsea intervention and diving specialists, has become a name synonymous with innovation in the subsea market. From its base in Aberdeen it supplies a range of underwater services to the oil and gas industry both locally and across the world. The present company was established 25 years ago by Hamish Petersen, a former diver with over 38 years in the industry. Following the acquisition of British Underwater Engineering (which included KD Marine UK) by Stena Group, Petersen took the name and set about re-establishing the company, building on its strong heritage. Born in Lerwick, Hamish grew up watching the hard hat divers in the Malakoff yard. Chasing one’s fortune at sea was also a family tradition; his father had been a whaler in the Antarctic during the 1930s and 40s and after moving to Aberdeen when he was eight, Hamish had already set his sights on a career as a diver.

“ Growing up in the 1960s, the only way to become a diver was to join the Royal Navy or work in a shipyard and there was very little of that, especially around the North East of Scotland,” explains Petersen. “I moved to London and got into construction instead but then in the 1970s with the birth of the region’s oil and gas industry,

divers were being brought in from the US. In response, the UK opened diver training centres and I undertook my training before coming straight back to Aberdeen to start my diving career.” Hamish began working with CG Doris but quickly realised that his previous experience as a construction manager and his ability to communicate in the local environment was an asset in an industry led by Americans. “I had to think longterm; divers tended to work for a limited time and then change career and a diver’s skill set isn’t immediately transferable to an onshore role. I joined KD Marine in 1979 as a diver then in 1982 moved into a management position but one which still let me ‘play with the big boys’ toys’ – boats and rigs - which were dear to my heart.” Working as Special Projects Manager, KD Marine took Petersen across the world. He oversaw the development of a new base in Aberdeen and the building of a DSV in Middlesbrough before moving to India and Kuala Lumpur where he was regional manager. When KD Marine, which was now part of BUE, was sold to Stena in 1988, Petersen returned to the UK. “The name KD Marine had been iconic in the industry, hugely respected and yet it was sitting unused,” he says. “I took the name as a souvenir and registered the company. I returned to Aberdeen having been away for three years and I set up office in my front room, and I managed like that for the first five years.”

Lift Boat in Water

The combination of both KD Marine and Petersen’s own names meant that clients and the industry were happy to do business with the company because of the strength of existing




“We are unique to come from a nation of inventors and we create solutions to problems on a daily basis,” said Petersen. “Our technicians are always inventing tools and solutions, and in recent years, we have developed that side of the business. New markets want an instant fix and as soon as they see the results they want to buy it. It’s the creative thinking coupled with building and development that takes time and skill, and that is what we do best.” A significant development in the history of KD Marine followed the Cullen Inquiry. “Understandably, there was a huge amount of risk aversion post-Piper Alpha,” says Petersen. “Running diving operations from an installation wasn’t the norm owing to safety cases, however we didn’t have ships and were challenged to think of alternative solutions. Our systems and processes have allowed us to operate safely and efficiently from an installation. It was a challenge, and we spent long periods between jobs, but tenacity and patience has paid off. We learned great deal from that experience and it continues to influence our work.

20 onshore staff

100 diving contractors

relationships. Petersen said: “The business environment has greatly changed and I don’t think that it would be the same today. Many of the elements of trust and integrity have gone and entry to the marketplace would be far harder. Now you have to go to great lengths to prove you have the experience and ability to perform such critical subsea work. Operators need to have confidence in contractors because if something goes wrong offshore, the consequences can have a huge impact on both the operator and the contractor. From those early days in the front room of Petersen’s house, the business has grown considerably and now employs an onshore staff of 20 and 100 diving contractors. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, KD Marine is looking at new markets to grow into.

KD Marine is now pre-qualified with most of the majors and works with them and others regularly. “The majors recognise that they can get things from companies like us that they can’t easily get from bigger companies,” he says. “That has the potential to dramatically change the size of the business over the next few years. Our challenge is to keep the quality and the skills at the optimum level. We punch above our weight as a contractor because we deliver the same content as a major contractor but on a much smaller scale. Our size actually works to our advantage because we can turn around something very unique in a matter of days that may take a larger company much longer.” Having been involved with Subsea UK since its creation, KD Marine was keen to lend its support to Subsea Expo this year.

“ It’s a great opportunity to have a small company’s name in front of the global subsea audience, and being seen to support Subsea UK gives us another lift in credibility that we are part of the industry and not just taking from it. We are helping to grow it.”

“ Aberdeen is a very small part of the world but oil and gas is a global business,” says Petersen. “ New territories such as West Africa are key. Ultimately, people still come to the UK for the ideas.“

Lift on Boat, East Brae in Background

Michael Portillo with Hamish Petersen at Subsea 2010 Main image: Boat in Greenland in ice


Optimising Pipe Fit-up and Logistics to Improve Weld Productivity with OMS In oil and gas pipeline projects, the welding of fatigue-sensitive SCR and flowline pipes to tight specifications is critical. Counterboring the pipes might not be a viable method of controlling pipe geometry due to cost considerations or to limitations on pipe wall thickness. So how can pipeline contractors ensure that pipe fitup, welding and pipelaying processes run smoothly with minimal interruptions? In order to prevent bottlenecks during welding and to minimise project delays and risks, oil industry owners, pipelay contractors and welders need to capture, record and analyse pipe end geometry quickly and accurately. This measurement data, if used correctly, can help to ensure that pipes delivered into the bead stall will fit together within the welding specification requirements.

Typically, end dimensioning and fit-up involves two steps: measuring and fit-up. Measuring involves collecting pipe measurement data. Automatic, laser-based measurement tools can be used to measure geometrical features of pipe ends, normally performed onshore, although this process sometimes needs to occur on a cargo barge.

Laser-based measurement tools can be used to measure the IDs, ODs and WTs of pipe ends in rapid time. Typically, several thousand IDs and ODs of a pipe can be measured simultaneously in less than 10 seconds, enabling hundreds of pipe ends to be measured in one shift. This means less time on site, and minimal delays and costs for the pipelay contractor. Laser measurement tools are also very accurate (typically to 0.05mm). Data from laser measurement tools can then be made available to pipe optimisation software, which will include some sort of simulation or sequencing software. OMS’ own SmartFit™ software, for example, uses pipe measurement data to predict and control the fit-up, before the pipes are brought into the bead stall for welding. This averts production issues relating to poor fit-up and manages the assembly of problem pipes in order to maximise welding productivity. Measure, mark and fit-up Each pipe end is measured, identified and entered into the software. The software analyses the fit-up of pipes and allows the operator to mark the best rotational position on each pipe end. In the bead stall, these marks are aligned to immediately achieve the best rotational position so that misalignment is minimised and the project HiLo is achieved.









Any problem pipes that won’t fit at a specified HiLo are also indicated and are re-sequenced or removed completely so that fit-up problems do not occur in the bead stall.

Pipe ends being loaded onto a pipelaying vessel


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Subsea UK News | February 2014



Unique Solutions for Niche Inspection Challenges from Innospection The challenges of offshore operations in ever hostile and complex environments also present challenges in the inspection of splash zone and subsea assets. Very often, operators and integrity management companies seek customised solutions to solve their niche offshore and subsea inspection challenges, such as: • How can the extent of damage of a ship-impacted platform leg be determined? • How can the corrosion suspected to exist on the external surface of a 24” casing placed inside a 30” conductor pipe at the splash zone be determined? • How to inspect the complex flexible risers to determine the integrity issues at the different inner layers? Bringing to the market innovative technologies, application developments and equipment to provide optimum inspection solutions for niche inspection challenges is the foundation strategy of Innospection’s business. These above mentioned challenges presented to Innospection were resolved by Innospection’s creative R&D team with new and available inspection technologies, as well as the development of innovative submersible inspection tools able to deliver the best quality and comprehensive inspection data within a single inspection deployment. One of the most suitable techniques for subsea inspection is the Saturation Low Frequency Eddy Current (SLOFEC) technique which has over the past years proven its suitability for splash zone and subsea inspections due to the easy deployability, low surface preparation requirement and high scanning speed. The next generation of SLOFEC based subsea inspection tools, branded under the name MEC (Magnetic Eddy Current), are innovative submersible inspection tools able to incorporate other supporting inspection techniques and high pressure cleaning system.

Ship-Impacted Platform Leg Inspection

Inspection of Casing within a Conductor Pipe

As a result of an impact from a ship, one of the legs from an offshore platform was damaged at the splash zone area and it was necessary to determine the extent of the damage for a fitness-ofpurpose analysis.

An offshore operator in the UAE suspected that the 24” casing located within a 30” conductor pipe suffered from external corrosion at various and unpredictable areas above and below the splash zone. However, the challenge was the deployment of an inspection tool into the limited space to perform the inspection.

To perform an efficient inspection, Innospection developed a carrier frame system to be placed in the splash zone which operates the high pressure cleaning system and various inspection techniques in an encoded scan pattern axially and circumferentially above and below the splash zone after deployment from the installation. The inspections performed within the same deployment include crack detection using Multiple Eddy Current Sensor Array, localised defect detection by SLOFEC, absolute thickness measurement with Ultrasonic, internal crack detection by TOFD as well as geometry scan using laser triangulation system to deliver the best possible condition data.

Due to the operator’s decision to assess the internal corrosion condition of the conductor in order to conclude an external wall condition of the casing, Innospection proposed to perform an external combined SLOFEC and Ultrasonic inspection on the conductor pipe using the MEC-MPS200+ Scanner to determine if corrosion exists on the internal surface of the conductor pipe. The SLOFEC technique uses the Eddy Current principle in combination with a magnetic field. By superimposing the DCmagnetisation, the depth of penetration is increased such that corrosional attack even on the inside can be detected from the external wall. As the inspection system provides a colour mapping image of the external and internal wall condition either separately or combined, the more interesting internal condition was well assessed.


Main Image: MEC-MPS200+ scanner performing the scans on the 30� conductor pipe

Flexible Risers Inspection Responding to the market demand for a technology able to deliver an external fast screening of the flexible risers insitu, with visibility of the multiple wire layers and without the risk of damaging the integrity of the flexible risers, the patented MEC-FITTM technique was developed to provide a reliable and technically advanced solution for the inspection of flexible risers operated either directly from offshore installations or by ROV deployment.

This electromagnetic technique combines magnetic field lines with eddy current field lines to allow the deeper penetration into the various armour layers to detect cracks and corrosion in the inner layers.

No annulus flooding is required to perform the inspection which minimises the risk of damage to the inner layers of the flexible risers. The MEC-Combi Hug inspection tool was developed not only to deploy the MEC-FITTM technique but also to address the very specific challenges of accessing and inspecting the flexible and rigid risers in its working locations. A sophisticated self-crawling inspection system, it is able to move horizontally or vertically on its own while performing the inspection after being deployed by ROV or rope access personnel. A change out of the sensor system enables MEC-Combi Hug to be used for the inspection of rigid risers and general pipes.

Right: MEC-Combi Hug being deployed onto flexible risers in the North Sea


UK Company Looks Towards a New Standard of Safety in the Subsea Industry Allspeeds Ltd, designers and manufacturers of the Webtool™ range of products, have nominated the Webtool™ HP690 intensifier panel for the Subsea UK Innovation for Safety Award. Safety concerns were being expressed from those working offshore in deep water with regards to the use of high pressure hydraulics and traditional ROV hydraulic intensifier panels. Allspeeds identified that the main safety issue was that standard pressure intensifiers contain a check valve. This check valve requires a deliberate reversal of pressure in order to relieve the high pressure circuit after the intensifier has completed its task. Failure to reverse this pressure manually or in the event of an HPU or ROV breakdown causing the inability to reverse the pressure, will result in a high pressure circuit at approximately 700Bar (10,000psi) and this will remain energised whilst the ROV resurfaces. Keith Elliot, Engineering Director at Allspeeds Ltd stated: “Allspeeds set about designing their own Webtool™ version of an ROV hydraulic intensifier panel with the intention of making it safer and more reliable than the existing products in the market place. Our challenge was to come up with an intensifier panel that did not allow high pressure fluid to be locked in, regardless of oversight or ROV failure”. Having taken major steps in design and innovation to manufacture an intensifier panel that addresses the main safety issues, Allspeeds designed HP690 which safeguards the user with automatic protection from the possibility of locked in high pressure hydraulic fluid. There is no longer any need for the user to manually reverse the pressure to make

the hydraulic system safe; this will happen automatically. In addition to this, the input pressure will be automatically compensated for depth via the ROV’s own HPU, so as the ROV surfaces, the high pressure side of the circuit also compensates. These features also allow any pressure build up due to temperature variation to be vented back to the ROV’s pressure tank. As a final safeguard the panel was designed with a cross-drilled manifold style body. This means there are less hydraulic fittings (and potential leak paths). Safety screens have also been included on the pressure intensifier ports to prevent contamination seizing the intensifier. This makes the unit more reliable and the solid manifold design protects the components from accidental damage. Allspeeds did not set out to make a similar product following industry standards, the intention was to differentiate from competitors by offering a product with significant safety benefits. The HP690 is designed and manufactured to be a better, more reliable and safer product motivated by worrying industry concerns.

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Subsea UK News | February 2014

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Hydratight Offers Hot Bolting Services Offshore in the UK The need to replace corroded or damaged bolts that are fitted to live pressurised flanges is a common problem for many operators. Hydratight, the market leading joint integrity and machining specialist, now offers a solution for safe hot bolting services on all 4-bolt ASME flanges, and those with eight or more bolts. The patented design of the hot bolt clamp offers a robust solution, providing the highest mitigation of risk of flange or gasket damage or worse, a leak. Meeting these safety standards ensures these services are performed without any damage, leakages or interruptions in daily production. Paul Holland, Global Technical Services Lead for Hydratight said:

“ Our hot bolting solution is designed to be simple – it does not require any pneumatics or hydraulics for clamp engagement, nor does it increase the load on the gasket, and it requires less bulky systems for a given flange size. The lightweight and compact design fits almost all flange space restrictions; it is easy to handle and fit, therefore enabling speedy bolt replacement. Furthermore it is designed and tested in accordance with ASME VIII Division 2. Added to this, hot bolt clamps can be specified to be fitted in advance, remaining in-situ until the flange bolting can be safely replaced at the next shutdown.”

The clamp consists of segments that are temporarily bolted around the flange, whilst patented backstops prevent the clamp pre-tensioning from being transferred directly to the flange and inter-alia the gasket. Clamps for 4-bolted flanges have an “open” design, enabling the use of a nut splitter and bolt cutting. Clamps for larger flanges with more than 4 bolts have an enclosed design with space for use of hydraulic socket wrench, spanner and twist socket. Safe hot bolting on old flange connections mitigates many unknowns such as the condition of the bolts and gaskets; how the gasket will act under increased or decreased load; the remaining bolt tension after a long time in service and how much force is needed to remove old rusted bolts. Safe hot bolting also reduces many concerns including failure of bolts during hot bolting operation on adjacent bolt; changes in operating parameters like flow, temperature, or pressure and the occurrence of unpredictable situations which could cause personnel to leave the workplace. Hot bolting services are currently available in the UK and North Sea.

Subsea UK News | February 2014



Fugro’s Innovative ROV Technologies Provide Assured Deepwater Operations With production going deeper more is expected of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to support site surveys, installation operations and to inspect and maintain subsea equipment.

Piloting such an ROV in close proximity to subsea structures requires considerable experience and training. Fugro’s DeepWorks ROV simulators are used worldwide with their own in-house created scenarios and lesson plans for skills training and for rehearsal of specific field operations.

The latest addition to Fugro’s FCV series is the FCV 3000 200HP Work Class ROV. This has been designed to target the extreme demands of deepwater drilling and completions; however, given its modular design it can equally be used for subsea oilfield and construction support as well as inspection, repair and maintenance of installations. This is accomplished by fitting a variety of tooling packages that can be rapidly installed onto the vehicle by means of standard interfaces – both mechanical and control – which map any new sensors to the surface without the need to open pods and rewire. These interfaces ensure that operational changes can be implemented safely and efficiently and with the minimum of fuss.

Offshore, DeepWorks can be driven from real-time telemetry to provide live visualisation of the actual positions and orientations of surface and subsea assets with personalised views for vessel, crane and ROV support teams. This not only increases efficiency and situational awareness but also provides a permanent record to show that the mission was carried out in accordance with agreed procedures.

At the heart of every FCV ROV is Fugro’s proven control and communications system based on single-mode, fibre-optic technology, including Fugro’s own designed and built SMFO multiplexer. This high-end multiplexer can manage up to 12 conventional cameras (8 simultaneously) and provides a wide range of data communication protocols, facilitating the efficient integration of add-on tools and sensors. The data highway of the FCV 3000 can handle up to 24GB, which is sufficient to run the ROV, the TMS, 3 HD cameras (optional), a full survey data suite including multi-beam sonars, and still have sufficient capacity to allow a range of other specialist sensors to be operated simultaneously.


Subsea UK News | February 2014

DeepWorks also supports design and deployment validation of ROV tooling. Instead of building costly physical prototypes, engineers can build and test virtual prototypes in DeepWorks before manufacture which helps to eliminate poor designs earlier and reduces the amount of offshore testing required. Fugro is one of the few manufacturers that operates its own ROVs, ensuring that its products remain at the leading edge of the industry, bringing an unrivalled combination of ROV design, construction and simulation expertise to the challenges of deepwater oilfield support.





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Subsea UK News | February 2014



Forum Subsea Technologies Develop 3G Torque Tool Technology within the ROV tooling world is constantly evolving. The first generation of torque tools used by ROV operators were simple hydraulically operated tools. The second generation added sensors that provided detailed operating information back to the operator on the surface. Forum Subsea Technologies have pushed the technology forward and have developed a third generation (3G) torque tool. This tool not only has the ability to feedback information to the operator on the surface, but it can also reconfigure subsea to cover a range of operations that would previously require a number of tools to be deployed with the ROV, or costly trips to the surface to reconfigure the tool. A key stage of the development was to add functionality to enhance the operating software. The two key features are the simplification of the user’s interaction with the software, and closed loop feedback of the tool to improve control and accuracy. The tool addresses two of the key driving factors in the industry moving forward: firstly the requirement for improved productivity and efficiency; the tool offers this by providing the ability to do a range of tasks once deployed to the subsea worksite, and secondly the increasing demand for personnel within a rapidly growing industry; to address this it is essential that tools are straight forward and intuitive to use. In addition to the improvements made with the software control algorithms and GUI, there are a number of innovative mechanical developments on the tool. Torque tools require a range of torques when deployed subsea, this was previously achieved by returning to the surface to change out a gearbox or motor. Competitors have developed products that use a hydraulically switched gearbox; this is an acceptable solution, but the gearboxes have a tendency to lock up during operations, necessitating a return to the surface to remedy. To meet the requirements Forum Engineers designed a new hydraulic motor. This motor is effectively two hydraulic motors combined into a space envelope no larger than the existing hydraulic motor. One motor is operated for low torque, a second for medium, and both can be combined for high torque. During testing, it was discovered that super low torques could be achieved by driving one motor against the other, giving an unprecedented operating range and eliminating the risk of locking up during operations.


Subsea UK News | February 2014

For torque tool operations, different torque ranges require different socket sizes. In the past, cumbersome external change out modules have been used, or a spring loaded ‘nested socket’. Spring loaded sockets are a reasonable solution, but when docking onto a tree it is not clear which socket is being used, and this could result in a high torque being applied to a value only intended for low torques, subsequently causing costly damage to a subsea structure. To overcome these deficiencies Forum Engineers developed an innovative mechanism that changes socket by simply rotating the nose of the tool, and there are clear markings on the outside of the tool that can be seen by the operator to clearly identify the torque range being operated. To change the range subsea, the torque tool is returned to its deployment storage housing and a function is activated from the topside control software. Forum Engineers are currently putting the prototype tool through a gruelling qualification programme and are aiming to have production units for sale Q2 2014.


Successful Use of WFS Viewtooth® in Australia for i-Tech WFS Technologies, a world leading supplier of through-water wireless radio frequency (RF) technology for communication, navigation and power transfer, has successfully delivered wireless communication capability in Australia on behalf of i-Tech. WFS Technologies’ Viewtooth® was used to mount on an intervention tool to support removal of an internal plug making the inside of the tool visible during the actuation. Viewtooth® is a compact, portable, and easily operated wireless subsea camera that can be quickly integrated with leading underwater vehicles in applications down to 4000m. In the case of i-Tech, Viewtooth® incorporated a high resolution colour camera, with 6 high intensity LEDs and 50° diagonal angle view. Viewtooth® successfully assisted the i-Tech team in providing complete visibility during the removal of the plug by streaming live video from inside the tool; this delivered accuracy and improved efficiency allowing the project to progress according to the initial plan. Viewtooth® is a cost, time and risk effective tool eliminating the hazards that are caused by the use of cabled cameras.

James Christie, ROV Vessel Project Manager of i-Tech commented:

“ The camera was a very valuable asset as it allowed us to see what the tool was doing inside the guide. At one point while the tool was removing the threaded plug, the camera showed that we hadn’t fully got hold of it which, if the camera wasn’t there, the operator would have not been aware.”

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Subsea UK News | February 2014


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N-Sea Launches Mobile TUP Diving System® N-Sea recently celebrated the official launch of the TUP Diving System® at the TUP Aware Party at N-Sea Head Quarters in Zierikzee, The Netherlands. Gerard Keser, managing Director of N-Sea and guest speaker Peter Valkenier of Wintershall launched the TUP Diving System® in a festive atmosphere, a ceremony filled with ‘infotainment’, enabling fellow professionals and personnel to meet and learn about the increase in efficiency and safety TUP Diving System® brings to the market.

TUP Diving System®, the world’s first air diving system, can be equipped with a hyperbaric lifeboat, enabling N-Sea to offer a safer, more efficient and cost effective diving solution to the market. The TUP Diving System® consists of a 3-man diving bell, launch and recovery system, triple-lock decompression chamber, gas diver control (air/Trimix/Nitrox) and hyperbaric rescue craft. The TUP Diving System® refit and enhancement conforms to IMCA guidelines and surpasses the uppermost standards set by Lloyd’s.


Subsea UK News | February 2014

N-Sea designed and manufactured the TUP Diving System® in-house. The system has an extensive track record with over 2,300 bell runs to date. The system has undergone a comprehensive refit and been converted into a mobile system, deployable from most DPII support vessels and platforms. The re-introduced TUP (Transfer Under Pressure) Diving System® is a safe system which saves you money and time on diving operations. It offers a number of advantages when compared to traditional surface supply diving operations and saturation diving operations. Now with Nitrox, efficiency begins at a much shallower depth range (25 msw) when compared to traditional surface-oriented air diving. A diver’s workable bottom time in the 25 to 33 m water depth range is over 60 minutes longer. The reduced nitrogen component accumulated during diving also shortens the decompression time. Compared to saturation diving systems in tidal areas between 35 and 50 m water depth, the TUP Diving System® is a safe and cost competitive alternative as bottom times are almost identical.




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Subsea UK News | February 2014



Energy Institute Innovation Commendation for SDS Subsea Deployment Systems, based in Westhill, received a commendation at this year’s Energy Institute’s Awards. This is a well-established competition, recognising the efforts of individuals and organisations in the global energy industry. Award categories cover Environment, Safety, Communication, Community Initiative, as well as rewarding excellence in Innovation and Technology. SDS’s award was in the Innovation category for its alternative method for the installation of large subsea structures. Arnbjorn Joensen, SDS Operations Director, commented that it was particularly pleasing for a small company such as SDS to receive the commendation given the global nature of the competition.

the crane required. However, the SDS creates a near neutrally buoyant system by coupling the structure to a submersible deployment vehicle (SDV) which is then pushed to the seabed by lowering chains into the SDV. Once the assembly is on the seabed ballast is added incrementally to balance the buoyancy of the deployment frame before disconnecting it. This allows a small crane vessel or anchor handling tug to install or recover any structure independent of its size or weight. The technology behind the individual aspects of the SDS is well proven and based on simple engineering principles but the combination provides a uniquely simple solution to an increasing problem.

The Subsea Deployment System (SDS) is a low cost alternative to a conventional lifted installation that meets or exceeds the weight and depth capacities of existing vessels. It is also less weather sensitive than a conventional installation resulting in increased operating windows and greater schedule flexibility.

The system has been proposed by independent bodies for both the installation and decommissioning of structures. A major oil company has also stated that they consider it as a proven concept offering significant cost savings and another has asked that SDS align with one of their existing suppliers with a view to bringing it to market. However, the conservatism within the industry has resulted in the typical “race to be second” and consequently the system is still at the concept stage.

Subsea installation has historically been based on the principle that the bigger the structure, the bigger

SDS is actively seeking a partner who can assist in taking this exciting innovation to market.

Tow Chain Clump Weight

Ballasting Platform / System

The tow chain clump weight is inserted into the tow wire to provide the necessary weight to submerge the SDV from the deep draught tow condition to the submereged tow condition . It also acts as an anchor for the SDV when parked on the seabed.

The flooding and vent vallves are manually operated from work stations next to the control chain towers by means of mechanical linkage where necessary. The SDV will be ballasted by means of gravity alone and all valves will remain open during the submerged tow.

Control Chaines & Chain Towers The control chains are lowered into chain towers to gain control of the SDV during installation. The weight of the chain supported by the SDV at the base of the chain towers is used to control the height of the SDV. The length (weight) of chain suspended within the chain towers is used to control the height of the SDV.

Solid Buoyancy Modules Solid buoyancy modules (syntactic foam) rated to the installation water depth are located above the hulls. The buoyancy modules are loacted as hight as is practical to maximise the separation between the CoG and CoB when the SDV is submerged. This ensures the stability of the SDV throughout all stages.

Castles The castles are positioned above the majority of the solide buoyancy and will be the only part of the SDV apart from the chain towers that will protrude above the waterline in the deep draught condition. This faciliates fine tuning of the trim.

Ballast Chain Lockers Balast chain lockers are placed at each corner above the hulls. They are used to trim the SDV to suit the weight and CoG of the structure prior to the tow. They are also used to hold the ballast weight which replaces the structure after installation of the structure. Longitudinal Pontoons The SDV consists of two longitudinal pontoons which have ballasting facilities. This enables the SDV c/w structure to operate at a shallow draught.


Subsea UK News | February 2014


Seatronics Reaches Century of Sales in Two Years with Gen 5 Multiplexer (MUX) Seatronics, an Acteon company, has secured its sale of the 100th industry-leading Gen 5 MUX: a milestone it has reached in just two years. “The Gen 5 MUX is the most versatile, high-specification fibre multiplexer solution currently available,” explains Adil Ali, international product sales manager at Seatronics. “Reaching this 100 unit sales milestone is of course significant in terms of commercial success, but also helps bring Seatronics and RTS closer to the client base with this superbly engineered piece of kit. In the short-to-medium term, we are offering the industry a best-inclass solution. Ultimately, we believe that this will be the industry-standard multiplexer that is specified in build programmes by offshore construction companies and Remotely Operated Vehicle manufacturers.” These systems, which are designed and manufactured by RTS and sold through Seatronics’ global network, are recognised as best-in-class by the ROV and subsea survey communities. The immediate benefits in using the Gen 5 MUX lie in the time saved in mobilising and interfacing various survey sensors. Additionally, the Gen 5 MUX eliminates much of the troubleshooting and trial-and-error testing that used to be required while setting up subsea communications, providing significant cost savings. The Gen 5 MUX has standardised cabling and sensor compatibility that offers plug-and-play operation. It employs C-WDM techniques to offer the highest capacity system available on the market, and has 3000msw (metres seawater) rated titanium housing. The system benefits from multiple power sources for a number of survey sensors including for up to four HDSDI video channels. Several leading companies have used the system, which is generally selected for its reliability and ease of use. Mathias Sevestre, survey and positioning equipment engineer at Saipem, says: “Saipem has used the Gen 5 MUX on a variety of offshore construction projects. We chose this system after assessing its simplicity of use and ultimate reliability against other standard offerings. When testing, the Gen 5 did not drop any bytes of data, which is critically important for post-processing efficiency. We also made substantial time savings by avoiding the need to interface and cable-in each separate survey sensor directly to the Remotely Operated Vehicle.”

We work well under Pressure... Hyperbaric Testing to 8000m deep


- Wet or dry testing - Environmental Test Facility - Large WorkChamber 3x8m - Recordable data & video monitoring

Altitude Testing

to 55,000ft high

UKAS approved EN 17025 Test Facility

123 Ashgrove Road West Aberdeen - AB16 5FA Mike McDonald - +44 (0)1224 666 332 Subsea UK News | February 2014 8000m 35


The Illuminated Diver Umbilical ‘LIGHTPATH’: A Significant Safety Advance from PhotoSynergy Ltd PhotoSynergy Ltd has identified the ability to see the entire route of an air dive umbilical underwater as a significant contribution to safety. This research-driven company has achieved this by manufacturing a unique light emitting fibre that carries no electrical power. At 5mm in diameter and up to 150m long, it is spirally wound into the diver’s umbilical thereby creating a flexible continuous line of light from a low power LED source, which can be steady state or flashing. Operational experience with LIGHTPATH has been gained in the North Sea through collaboration, support and advice from Bibby Offshore, Helix Well Ops UK Ltd and Boskalis Offshore Subsea Services operating in both Saturation and Wet Bell systems. The positive feedback provided and photographic evidence of performance supports LIGHTPATH as an innovation that helps de-risk diving operations; a major industry concern. LIGHTPATH enhances safety for all parties operating in the subsea environment. This has been proven for the individual diver, his colleagues in the water and the bell-man. ROV pilots are aware of the route of the umbilical which minimises the risk of collision and helps detect cases of dive umbilicals snagging on structures. LIGHTPATH can be specified to emit Green and Blue as they penetrate

most efficiently in water with White as a third alternative and can be utilised to identify the individual diver. The Green system operates near the peak eye response, the optimum wavelength for the human eye, and provides extraordinary output from minimum power, typically <7W operating over 12 to 24V DC.

SLS5000 Light source

The initial testing and evaluation took place at The Underwater Centre in Scotland, their Open Days contributed significantly in raising the profile of the illuminated umbilical concept. Nigel Kenrick, Diving and Dive Systems’ Operations Manager, said: “On the Bibby Offshore DSVs we use different colours for each diver, so there is no confusion when the divers are working close together in poor light conditions. The main benefit is that the divers can readily identify where their umbilicals are at any time, preventing potential problems with unseen snagging hazards. The ROV can also quickly check the divers’ umbilcals are completely clear before landing large items on the seabed.

“ The divers themselves started requesting umbilical lighting quickly following the early offshore trials. This, in itself, speaks volumes.”

Malaysian Diver Training School Enrols in Speciality Welds Training Speciality Welds Ltd is delighted to announce that MM Matrix Integrity, a Malaysia-based diver training school, has enrolled on the Weldcraft-Pro™ underwater welding scheme. The Weldcraft-Pro™ is an 80-hour training syllabus that follows the European Welding Federation (EWF) and International Institute of Welding (IIW) guidelines for underwater filletwelder on plate and is certified through EAL. EAL is part of SEMTA - Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies and is the UK’s leading awarding-body for engineering qualifications. This certification provides independent, quality assured, audited appraisal; making it the only externally awarded welding training programme to issue internationally recognised/ verified qualifications to commercial divers, anywhere in the world.


The programme is also recognised by IMarEST, The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology under their CPD programme. The course is available to commercial diver training schools, following audit and approval, under a licence agreement, where Speciality Welds provides all the learning materials, exams, audit controls and delivery mechanisms to deliver training. Training is divided into dry and wet welding, together with a series of learning outcomes where candidates must complete written work and take an end of course exam. Practical welder qualification testing is provided under BSEN ISO 156181: 2002. Training is open to both non-welders and welders alike and provides for the essential skills foundation training for a commercial diver, to ensure they meet industry demands now and in the future.

Subsea UK News | February 2014

SLS9000 Light Source (3 way)


National Hyperbaric Centre Provides Perfect Set for Pinewood Studios’ Film, ‘Pressure’ The award winning Pinewood Group has been involved with some of the biggest productions since the 1930’s; some of their most notable blockbuster successes include the Harry Potter series, Les Miserables and the James Bond collection. ‘Pressure’ is Pinewood’s current project, a thriller in which four deep sea divers encounter problems in the Somali Basin off the East Coast of Africa, details of which cannot yet be revealed. Water scenes were shot in the sea at neighbouring town, Stonehaven, before the team arrived at National Hyperbaric Centre, Aberdeen. The film crew and three trailers descended on the National Hyperbaric Centre alongside actors Danny Houston, Matthew Goode, Joe Cole and Gemita Samarra. The team were given access to the Centre’s state-of-the-art saturation system, workshop and control room where they had an intensive two full days shooting. The facilities at NHC are part of the centre’s successful training, testing and emergency services departments; able to simulate deep underwater pressures within a controlled environment. The full set-up includes living chambers for up to 16 divers and a ‘diving bell’ which connects to the main work chamber. NHC has worked hard to provide the most competitive simulation systems ideal for testing the suitability of deep water equipment, machinery and technology as well as the competency of hyperbaric welders. The system is designed to be as close to the systems on board vessels as possible, providing a safe and organised environment for trials before the ‘real thing’. This safety and accessibility made NHC the perfect location for filming, Producer Jason Newmark explains:

“ The unique facility provided us with everything we needed for the scenes and the NHC team were close at hand with their expert knowledge of the system.”

Specialist for Subsea Inspection Services & Solutions • • • • • •

Risers & Flexible Risers Caissons Subsea Structures & Pipelines Non-Piggable Pipelines Ship Hulls Complex Areas like Subsea Welds & Manifolds

Inspection solutions feature: • • •

ROV & Installation deployment High corrosion defect detection capabilities Fast scanning with no coating removal

Innospection Ltd, Unit 1, Howemoss Avenue, Kirkhill Industrial Estate, Dyce, AB21 0GP, Aberdeen, United Kingdom Subsea UK News | Tel: +44 (0)1224 724744 Email:

February 2014



Another Key Appointment for HTL

OMS Appoints Peter Day as Chief Technology Officer

North East based HTL is proud to announce that they have appointed Paul Storey in the newly developed role of Global Commercial Director.

Pipe measurement specialist Optical Metrology Services (OMS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Day as the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Paul joins HTL from MRB Schumag where as a Chartered Director he held for over 15 years the position of Managing Director while utilising his strategic and operational skills and demonstrating continuous international business growth over a number of years.

Based at OMS’ UK office in Bishop’s Stortford, Peter will head up the Tools division and will sit on the OMS Services Board of Directors. With a strong technical and engineering background, Peter’s responsibilities include all technical aspects of OMS tools, including managing the delivery of measurement and inspection tools used by OMS operators.

As Global Commercial Director, Paul will have overall responsibility for HTL group operations, managing relationships with existing customers and partners.

Ashtead Technology Strengthens Singapore Team Leading international subsea equipment solutions specialist Ashtead Technology has strengthened its management team with a key appointment to its Singapore office. Wendy Lee has joined Ashtead Technology as regional general manager, responsible for building upon the company’s successful global growth within the Asia Pacific region. Wendy graduated from the University of Calgary with a degree in civil engineering and has spent the last 16 years working in the Asia Pacific region, most recently as managing director of Dominion Gas based in Singapore. Allan Pirie, chief executive of Ashtead Technology, said: “Wendy’s appointment is a key milestone in our global expansion plans and the depth of her experience, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, makes her wellplaced to lead Ashtead Technology’s business activities from our Singapore office.”


Subsea UK News | February 2014

Key Appointment at North-east HR Firm as Marine Employment Expert Joins One of Scotland’s leading independent employment law, HR and health and safety firms has strengthened its litigation team with a key appointment. Lesley Rennie has joined Empire, which is headquartered in Aberdeen and also has offices in Glasgow, as a litigation consultant specialising in marine labour law. 26-year-old Mrs Rennie honed her skills at a private practice, where she advised on employment law matters across a wide range of sectors; including retail, construction, and oil and gas. The appointment will see Mrs Rennie focus on matters relating to marine labour law. Managing director at Empire, Steve Cook, said: “Lesley is an experienced litigator who brings with her a wealth of specialist marine and offshore knowledge, which is an area we are looking to expand our operations.”

GROWTH / PROJECTS Subsea UK News | February 2014



Costain Upstream was formed by the acquisition of ClerkMaxwell and EPC Offshore by Costain Group PLC. The combination of multidisciplinary engineering and asset support services, with project definition and management expertise, creates a unique asset lifecycle service with subsea, floating and fixed capability. To mirror your organisation, we have three broad business streams:

Select/Deliver/Improve Aberdeen/Manchester/Teesside/London/Abu Dhabi


Subsea UK News | February 2014