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Issue SIX 2019


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Vol 13 No 6 Editor: John Howes +44 7859905550 Editorial Assistant: Terry Dactyl Production: Sue Denham Research: Melanie Hamilton-Perry Advertising: Zinat Hassan Tel: +44 (0) 845 6522 483 Mobile: +44 (0) 781 1200 483

Published by UT2 Publishing for and on behalf of the Society for Underwater Technology. Reproduction of UT2 in whole or in part, without permission, is prohibited. The publisher and the SUT assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material, nor responsibility for content of any advertisement, particularly infringement of copyrights, trademarks, intellectual property rights and patents, nor liability for misrepresentations, false or misleading statements and illustrations. These are the sole responsibility of the advertiser. Opinions of the writers are not necessarily those of the SUT or the publishers.


Issue SIX 2019





The AutoNaut unmanned surface vehicle from Seiche


"I am working in the Mediterranean" says Carol Stern, Senior Surveyor at Swire Seabed. "We had just had a thunderstorm so a flock of what looks like sparrows landed onboard. We are about 100 miles offshore. "The sparrows started to make a lot of noise and all started going inside the ROV’s TMS. When I looked up, there were two Sparrowhaws. "Looks like the TMS also makes a pretty good offshore bird cadge."


COLLABORATIONS MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS CSA Ocean Sciences (CSA), the marine environmental services provider, is joining forces with MMT, to better service the offshore Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, and Interconnector markets. The strategic alliance will provide combined services for the Americas offshore markets. MMT and CSA plan to offer combined geophysical/ geotechnical and environmental services on a high specification survey vessel. The vessel will be available to support the Americas region, from offshore wind farms in the northeastern United States through the Carribean and Gulf of Mexico and into Central America. Kevin Peterson, CSA’s CEO, said “The combined offerings deliver a comprehensive solution for operators looking for integrated services that provide a one-stop, value-added solution for engineering, planning, and regulatory requirements.” ● MMT has an established a local entity established in Boston, Massachusetts. The main purpose is to strengthen the efforts further in providing high quality geophysical and geotechnical marine surveys along the US East Coast for the offshore renewables market. ● As a continuation of the inspection/IMR work performed the past two years together with Reach Subsea in Trinidad and Tobago, MMT has now established an local branch. ● Kongsberg Digital and MacGregor, have entered into a collaboration agreement to test the interface of MacGregor’s OnWatch Scout condition monitoring and predictive maintenance service within Kongsberg Digital’s Vessel Insight data infrastructure solution. The Vessel Insight solution enables high-quality data from interfaced systems to be captured and transmitted in a cost-effective and secure manner to the Kongsberg Digital Kognifai platform. ● XOCEAN has completed the acquisition of 4D Ocean, a specialist autonomous hydrographic survey company, as part of the company’s strategic global growth plans. The announcement follows the news of XOCEAN’s successful €7.9 million funding round earlier this month. ● Motive Offshore Group, specialist in marine equipment fabrication and rental, has completed the acquisition of Stavanger-based Pumptech, following significant investment earlier this year from private equity firm, EV Private Equity. It has launched a new Flexibles division and supporting acquisition. ● AML Oceanographic has acqired the German sensor and platform manufacturer KM Contros from Kongsberg Maritime.



NEWS VÅR ENERGI Vår Energi has signed frame agreements with Apply and Aker Solutions for modifications and maintenance support for the company’s operated assets. The frame agreements, which cover operation, maintenance, modification and engineering services, have a duration of three years with options for a total of two additional years. ● Recently, Vår Energi (owned by Eni and HitecVision), signed an agreement with ExxonMobil to acquire its upstream assets in Norway. The transaction includes ownership interests in more than 20 producing fields.The fields are operated mostly by Equinor, including Grane, Snorre, Ormen Lange, Statfjord and Fram, with a combined production of approximately 150,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd) in 2019. The agreed terms include a cash consideration of USD 4.5 billion subject to closing adjustments. The acquisition has an effective date of 1 January 2019 and is expected to be completed in Q4 2019 subject to standard conditions precedent, including customary approvals from regulatory authorities. Vår Energi will become the secondlargest E&P company on the NCS after Equinor, with total reserves and resources of about 1,900 million boe. Total production is expected to be about 300,000 boepd in 2019, growing organically to more than 350,000 boepd in 2023 as the company invests about USD 7 billion in development projects such as Johan Castberg, Balder X and Grand in the 2020-23 period. The ExxonMobil portfolio is a strategic fit for Vår Energi and will add interests in more than 20 producing fields in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea, allowing the extraction of commercial and logistical synergies.




ALLSEAS SUSPENDS WORK ON NORDSTREAM 2 In anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Allseas has suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities in order to avoid U.S. sanctions contained in legislation signed by President Donald Trump earlier. According to Reuters, the move throws into doubt the completion date of the $11 billion project that Moscow had said would be ready in months, jeopardizing plans to quickly expand Russian sales of natural gas to Europe via pipeline. The participation of privatelyheld Allseas, a specialist in subsea construction and laying underwater pipeline, is integral to the completion of Nord Stream 2, led by Russia’s state energy company Gazprom. Nord Stream 2 would allow Russia to bypass Ukraine and Poland to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Gazprom is taking on half of the project’s planned costs and the rest is divided between five European energy companies: Austria’s OMV, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Engie. The Trump administration, like the Obama administration before it, opposes the project on the grounds it would strengthen Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economic and political grip over Europe. Russia has cut deliveries of the fuel to Ukraine and parts of Europe in winter during pricing disputes. Nord Stream 2 would also likely deprive Ukraine of billions of dollars in gas transit fees. The Solitaire and Pioneering Spirit




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GLOBAL OIL STOCKS WILL BALLOON IF OPEC FAILS TO AGREE ON DEEPER PRODUCTION CUTS SAYS RYSTAD Barring additional oil production cuts by OPEC in 2020, Rystad Energy forecasts a substantial build of global crude stocks and a corresponding drop in oil prices. A showdown is taking place in Vienna as OPEC countries plus Russia will gather in the Austrian capital on 5-6 December to discuss oil output levels in 2020. “We have a clear message to the OPEC+ countries: A ‘roll-over’ of the current production agreement is not enough to preserve a balanced market and ensure a stable oil price environment in 2020,” says Bjørnar Tonhaugen, head of oil market research at Rystad Energy. “The outlook will be bleak if OPEC+ fails to agree on additional cuts.” According to Rystad Energy’s estimates, the global oil market will

be fundamentally oversupplied to the tune of 0.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2020. Empirical evidence has demonstrated that a 1 million bpd surplus of oil can be expected to cause an oil price decline of around 5% per month, implying a potential drop of 30% over six months. “If OPEC and Russia don’t extend and deepen their cuts, we could see Brent Blend dip to the $40s next year for a shorter period,” Tonhaugen said. “In order to ensure a balanced market, our research indicates that OPEC would need to reduce crude production to 28.9 million bpd – a drop of 0.8 million bpd from the level seen in the fourth quarter of 2019-levels – given our forecast for demand, non-OPEC supply and the impact of new IMO 2020 regulations


on global crude runs,” Tonhaugen added. New shipping fuel regulations, the socalled IMO 2020 effect, are expected to create more demand for crude oil in the near-term. However, if the actual effect of the IMO rules on crude demand turns out to be zero the “call on OPEC” - the amount of OPEC oil needed to meet demand drops by 1.9 million bpd year-on-year to 28.3 million bpd. “Despite decent cut compliance from the group as a whole and large involuntary declines in Iran and Venezuela this year, OPEC’s current crude production of about 29.7 million bpd is far above the ‘call’ for 2020. Alas, without deeper cuts taking effect in January 2020, large global implied stock builds are on the cards,” Tonhaugen remarked.

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Two well contract for Maersk Maersk Drilling has entered a contract with Shell subsidiary BG for work offshore Trinidad and Tobago on a two-well development project for the semi-submersible rig MĂŚrsk Developer. The contract has an estimated duration of 171 days and is expected to commence in Q1 2020. The value of the firm contract is approximately USD 39m, including a mobilisation fee. The contract contains five additional one-well options. The MĂŚrsk Developer is a DSS-21 column-stabilised dynamically positioned semisubmersible rig, able to operate in water depths up to 10,000ft. It is currently operating offshore Mexico.



CFXDOWF and Bokalift 2 Boskalis and Hwa Chi Construction have been awarded the foundation scope for the Taiwanese Changfang and Xidao offshore wind farm (CFXD OWF) project owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). The project includes the transportation and installation of sixty two three-legged jacket foundations and the accompanying 186 pin piles. CFXD OWF will be the launching project for the new Bokalift 2 crane vessel. Similar to the successful Bokalift 1, Boskalis will convert an existing hull to create the Bokalift 2 crane vessel. The DP2 vessel with accommodation for 150 persons will boast 7500m2 of free deck space and a 4000t revolving crane capable of lifting structures more than 100m high. The Bokalift 2 will be a flexible value adding asset, well positioned for the installation of current and future generation offshore wind turbine foundations as well as oil and gas structures in addition to serving the decommissioning and salvage market.



ITHICA ACQUIRE CHEVRON'S NORTH SEA FIELDS Ithaca Energy has completed the $2 billion acquisition of Chevron North Sea Limited. The transaction provides a material and important step up in the scale and breadth of the Company’s asset base, adding ten additional producing field interests to the existing portfolio, along with a wider portfolio of investment opportunities from which to grow the future cashflows of the business and accelerate monetisation of the Company’s existing UK tax allowances.




UNLOCKING THE ABB has successfully completed shallow water validation testing of its latest innovative subsea power technology. This could be the key that potentially unlocks the gates to the 'Subsea Factory", the concept of relocating offshore production facilities onto the seabed. At a sheltered harbour in Vaasa, Finland, ABB announced the successful conclusion of its 3000-hr shallow water test, as part of the Joint Industry Project (JIP) backed by partners Equinor, Total and Chevron. For the first time, energy companies will be able to access a reliable power supply of up to 100MW to remote consumers at distances up to 600km. This distance, for example, is extensive enough to supply power either from Norway or Scotland, to most North Sea fields. It could cost-effectively impact deepwater developments in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa and Australia. LONG DISTANCE POWER The industry has long since recognised the advantages of long-distance power transmission to minimise the reliance on expensive offshore infrastructure. At present, relatively few subsea fields enjoy the advantages of being powered remotely, largely due to constraints in transmission distance. Up until now, the maximum distance over which it has been possible to transmit sufficient amounts of power is around 125km. Operators, however, have been keen to extend this envelope. Electrical transmission requires a number of subsystems such as transformers and frequency converters. These are common in a terrestrial landscape, but when employed subsea, these devices have to be marinised and in some cases modified and redesigned to meet the harsh design requirements. In 1998, ABB developed the first




Installing variable speed drive on the testbed at Vaasa harbour


subsea transformer, which was used two years later on Topicao and Ceiba. In 2000, it built the first frequency converter under the Sepdis programme. By 2010, it had installed a more advanced 20MVA subsea design, the world’s most powerful. The main driver was the ability to increase tie-back distance from existing offshore facilities to tap remote reserves. Operators, however, had also been looking for ways of reducing the high levels of atmospheric carbon. It has been estimated that a quarter of Norway’s aggregate greenhouse gas emissions (13.4 million tonnes CO2 eq) emanate from the offshore sector. Operators recognised a major carbon source was that produced by offshore platform power-generating gas turbines. An answer has been to replace this platform-derived power with the

plentiful clean hydroelectric energy available using long distance cables. In 2005, ABB built the world's first DC link that enabled an onshore generator to drive the twin 40MW very high voltage motors on Troll A, 70km away. This immediately reduced annual emissions by 230 000t of CO2 and 230t of NOx. DC power is an extremely efficient way of transmitting electricity, enjoying minimal losses along its length and thus inviting its use over long distances. The electricity, however, is generated and used in AC, and so the downside is that extremely large converters are required at either end to change the power from and back to AC in order to drive the consumers. In practical terms, AC-based systems would provide a more suitable technology. In 2013, ABB and its partners officially launched this joint industry project. The aim was to develop a medium voltage (MV)

ABB's subsea transformer

power distribution and conversion system capable of feeding a large-scale pumping and gas compression system up to 600km away, along a single cable. DFEEP WATER Depending on the geographical bathymetry, longer tieback lengths are


Subsea equipment making remote subsea power available

typically consonant with greater water depth. A 600km tieback distance might be enough to extend over continental shelf boundaries down into very deep waters. The JIP partners, therefore, decided that the ability to withstand very high pressures – up to 300 bar – would be part of the design consideration.

There are two methods of isolating electronics and equipment from high ambient external pressures. One strategy is to house the electronics within sealed enclosures filled with a dielectric mineral oil. The high ambient external pressures are balanced by the incompressible fluid inside. This arrangement brings other


A circuit board functioning in oil is shown for illustration purposes. This particular example has been in continuous operation since mid 2016.


WHY SUBSEA POWER? At some stage in its life, the hydrocarbon wellstream emerging from the reservoir will require pumping to enable it to reach a market. The most efficient location for such a pump is inside the reservoir itself, but the available size sets practical limits on this. The solution that the offshore industry has traditionally favoured is a platform located above the surface. This platform not only houses the large pumps/compressors, but also generates the necessary power, on site, to drive them. The drawbacks of platforms include that they are very expensive to build, install and remove, and working conditions are challenging to the health, safety and security of offshore personnel. The power generation turbines housed on size-constrained platforms topside require constant maintenance and logistical support and are expensive and very inefficient, producing high volumes of carbon. An ideal answer would be to effectively relocate the platform to the seabed, closer to the reservoir for improved efficiency and beneath the harsh waves, with lower environmental impact. This concept was termed the 'Subsea factory' and for over the past decade, landmark projects have successfully relocated equipment such as pumps, compressors and separators to the seabed. Many items require rotating equipment. So far, these equipment items have been supplied by relatively local power. The availability of longdistance power, however, could bring the vision of a subsea factory into reality, enabling more effective access to remote resources.

Two components in a metal capsule, illustrating the effect of pressure (the righthand component is distressed). A large part of the JIP was dedicated to identifying components that wouldn’t perform in the harsh target environment and replacing them with components that would. These were then extensively and exhaustively tested to verify and then qualify.

advantages. Heat management can be an issue in any industrial process, and this is often regulated by cooling systems. A better and passive long-term approach, however, is to take advantage of the low external seawater temperatures. "The cold sea water outside the steel walls serves as a heat sink," said Svein Vatland, Vice President, Subsea Technology Programme. "Inside the enclosure, the differential temperatures set up a convection cell, facilitating a flow of heat from the hot equipment to the outer steel walls

The harsh environment can take its toll on seals. It has been important to source these correctly to avoid failure


and out into the seawater. "This, however, required us to calculate the necessary surface area of the enclosure we would need to allow sufficient heat to be carried away. Inside the enclosure, some areas are hotter than others, and so knowing where to locate the electronics internally was also challenging," said Vatland. "We also needed to research how these temperatures affected electronic materials, particularly plastics. Depending on the chemistry, some plastics can dissolve in oil, others lose their properties, and get soft, brittle or even expand. We had to carry out 2 million test hours looking at different plastics. “The other main pressure-resisting strategy is to install the systems in steel enclosures able to withstand ambient pressures. Some elements that could not be immersed in oil were instead located in a one-atmosphere nitrogenfilled steel housing with sufficiently thick walls."

Adding to Vatland’s perspective, ABB’s John Pretlove, Department Manager, Subsea Technology, shared: "Because of these pressure -mitigating enclosures, we could safely conduct the testing in the shallow waters at Vaasa, in the knowledge that they could be used in deep waters. Then there were items, however, such as the long step out cabling, seals etc, that were qualified at Equinor's Kårstø metering and technology laboratory (K-lab) near Stavanger, as part of the research work carried out for the Asgard development.” TESTING PROGRAMME Sitting on the seabed template at Vaasa harbour are the three main systems under test that are central to the JIP. These are the 9MVA medium voltage variable speed drives (VSDs), the medium voltage switchgear and the control and low voltage (LV) power distribution systems. Variable Speed Drive The variable speed drive (sometimes called an adjustable speed drive in the US) is used to control the motor torque and speed of a subsea pump or compressor.

The rotating equipment will be required to run at different speeds at different times in its life. Moving a motor from stationary requires a greater load than when it is already spinning, and this has to be accommodated for in the drive. “A keynote to the 30-year design is building-in redundancy and making the system modular," said Heinz Lendenmann, VSD Project Manager, Subsea Technology Programme. "The subsea VSD is built on a power cell-based topology with long established power semiconductors using overrating design margins. There are typically 12 power cells, with four cells per phase. "Any power cell failure is prevented from migrating to neighbouring cells, because they can work in series or parallel. Two units can work run a load of at least 18 MVA, with others able to be added to on a common subsea frame. Any faulty cell can be bypassed with the use of integrated disconnectors.” Switchgear The power is distributed to the motors that drive the compressors and pumps, (via the VSDs) by medium voltage (MV) 11-33kV subsea switchgear. In operation, this connects to a subsea step-down transformer, or directly to a subsea power cable from topside to shore. The switchgear developed by ABB is sufficiently powerful to supply a small town. The rated voltage is 36 kV and the main busbar current is 1600A. A range of variants exist to support conventional 50 and 60 Hz frequency, as well as 16 2/3 Hz, which is used in very long transmission distances. "The MV subsea switchgear is based on our widely used vacuum breaker technologies, which have high reliability and electrical durability without maintenance," said Vitor Moritsugu, R&D engineer at ABB, and a member of the team that developed the product. The switchgear also supplies low-voltage with circuit breakers that allow de-energising and independent retrieval of the connected auxiliary load, protection from faults in the auxiliary system, and external power input for system status monitoring.

Variable Speed Drive

Control The subsea control module (SCM) is effectively, the 'brain' of the overall system. It provides power delivery, as well as an advanced automation and communications network backbone for monitoring and overall control, along with protection of the entire system. The SCM includes ABB’s high-performance PEC controller,



which has been substantially redesigned for subsea use. In addition, capacitors can store energy so that the system can run long enough for safe shutdown, in the case of an emergency. SAVINGS Based on a specific field development case, ABB says that the new technology could offer CAPEX savings of more than $500 million, if eight consumers, such as pumps or compressors, are linked through a single cable over a distance of 200 km from other infrastructure. "This is an enabler," said Martin Grady, Vice President and Global Industry Manager, Oil and Gas. "It can enable us to do some things we couldn't before and to do some others in a more cost and energy efficient way.� With a power transformer switch gear, a drive and control system, the project may kickstart the development of other system projects, such as electric actuators or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS)to handle starting currents and push the technology even further.



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SUBSEA GAS SEPARATION Aker Solutions and a group of the world’s leading oil and gas operators have come together in a joint industry project with the aim of making subsea gas separation a reality. Using CO2 injection to increase recovery rates in offshore oil and gas fields can improve the economics of a field significantly, but so far, the separation of ‘back-produced’ CO2 from the well-stream has been considered carried out on an existing platform, adding cost and making the concept economically unattractive. Now Aker Solutions together with energy companies Total, Pertamina, Equinor and industry group the CO2 Capture Project (CCP), have initiated a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to identify required membrane qualities for a subsea gas and CO2 separation process, to minimise pretreatment needs and avoid large processing modules. Flooding an oil field with CO2 increases recovery rates, and extends the life of an offshore field. Aker Solutions has developed new concepts for subsea processing of well streams from CO2 -flooded oil fields, in which CO2 -rich gas is separated, compressed and reinjected back into the reservoir. The hydrocarbon-enriched gas can then be routed to the topside production facility. Subsea gas separation has the potential to make CO2 -rich gas fields commercially viable. Testing Membranes A prerequisite for the concept to be technically and economically attractive is that the gas separation is done with robust membranes that reduce pretreatment requirements and remove the need for large processing plants. Also, the qualified operating range for relevant membrane materials do not match the optimal operating conditions for gas separation on the seabed. Hence, testing must be done in order to obtain knowledge about membrane performance under these conditions. The project will perform tests of different membrane qualities under relevant conditions related to pressure, temperature, gas composition and rates. The tests will be carried out by the SINTEF research institute in Norway. The project also includes technical and economic engineering studies to assess the technology concept based on the test results. The project aims to: l Qualify membrane qualities that are suitable for bulk separation of CO2 in a typical subsea process l Confirm technical and economic use of subsea processing as a favorable concept for the realization of offshore CO2 EOR in combination with reinjection and storage of CO2 Aker Solutions delivered the first subsea gas compression system to Equinor for the Åsgard field offshore Norway. The system has been in operation with no unplanned downtime since it was installed in 2015. The subsea gas separation technology in combination with the subsea gas compression technology could make offshore handling of CO2 for EOR technically and economically attractive. The JIP is supported by and receives funding from Gassnova's CLIMIT program for research, development and demonstration of CCS technologies.


Subsea field development



AutoNaut vehicle approaching the rig, inside the zone of exclusion



SOUND TEST Defining the 'sound field' within an underwater area is essential when trying to understand the noise impact of offshore operations on marine life.

locating acoustic sensors nearby.

This becomes more arduous near the rig or platform itself, however, because of the statutory 500m exclusion zones imposed to prevent vessels In recent years, environmental accidentally colliding with drilling/ researchers have been particularly production tubulars and equipment. concerned with the potential effects of underwater sounds generated from One tool that is commonly used to offshore operations on fish and marine measure offshore data is the drift buoy. This collects audio and navigation data mammals. It has led to the industry as it moves at the surface. looking for novel ways of monitoring sound sources (such as with unmanned It consists of mast (strobe and radar surface vessels) and even mitigating reflector), metal housing (battery and or masking noise (such as employing bubble curtains and quieter hammers). tracking system), e-tube, wet leg, and 60m cable with 4 hydrophones placed in pairs at 30m and 60m. The different But what of offshore oil and gas gain for coincident hydrophones can installations themselves? extend dynamic range. Measuring sound fields from offshore rigs is more problematic because of the The drawback of a drift buoy is that it physical difficulty in collecting the data moves with the swell and currents, but these have an element of randomness in areas of high activity. in their movement. In some cases, the sound data Seiche, therefore proposed the use of transmitted into the water from its AutoNaut 5m unmanned surface individual support vessels and other vessel to provide a navigated solution. maritime traffic can be measured by

The AutoNaut vehicle Islay


The company made the case that its small unmanned vehicle was capable of precise controlled manoeuvring and could therefore work in places where larger vessels would not be allowed. Operating in close proximity to an oil and gas asset is strictly controlled but the use of a marine autonomous Map of AutoNaut movement

Approaching the MODU system offers cost and safety benefits. The AutoNaut works by harvesting the movement of the water using wave foil propulsion technology so zero carbon footprint, with clean continuous power. The very low self-noise of the system also eliminates potential for contamination of the data set. If the vehicle needs to move in emergency however, it has a set of auxiliary thrusters. At night, the AutoNaut operates outside the Safety Zone under ‘remote’ control and only enters the perimeter during daylight hours under ‘local’ control. While small, the vehicle has a large enough payload space to incorporate measurement tools as well as communications system, hull-mounted PAM unit and 25m towed hydrophone cable.








Hydrogen is considered as the ultimate zero-emission solution. Ulstein's vision is to create tomorrow’s solutions for sustainable marine operations, and our first hydrogen powered ship design is now market-ready, offering zero-emission marine operations. The solution can be taken in use today. Recently, DNV GL identified the five most promising alternative fuels for shipping, with hydrogen as the ultimate zero-emission solution. The first complete hydrogen fuelled prospect has been put together by Ulstein Design & Solutions BV and Nedstack fuel cell technology BV. The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission DP2 construction support vessel is Ulstein’s first hydrogen powered offshore vessel, featuring a Nedstack fuel cell power system. The DP2 vessel can cater for a large variety of offshore support operations. This design uses proven and available technology, enabling clean shipping operations to reduce the environmental footprint of offshore projects. CO2, NOxand particle emissions are eliminated when using hydrogen fuel cells. First vessel can be delivered in three years

aim for future zero-emission operations of long endurance,” says Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO, Ulstein Group. Sea trials of a newbuild ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission could happen as soon as 2022. TECHNOLOGY With today’s technology, the ULSTEIN SX190 design is already capable to operate 4 days in zero-emission mode. However, with the rapid developments in hydrogen storage and fuel cell technologies, a future zero-emission endurance of up to two weeks is targeted. For extended missions and capabilities, the vessel can fall back on its more conventional diesel-electric system using low sulphur marine diesel oil. The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission design is based on Ulstein’s existing SX190 vessel platform and has a total installed power of 7,5 MW, of which 2 MW is generated by a fuel cell power system, typically Nedstack Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which are located in a separate, 2nd engine room. PEM fuel cells convert hydrogen and air into electric power, heat and water and produce no harmful emissions in the process. Nedstack fuel cell systems have already been built and proven in the

“The maritime industry needs to align and be ambitious in bringing green solutions forward for a sustainable future. With this hydrogen-fuelled vessel, we


multi-megawatt power ranges and have now been marinized to meet the requirements of the marine industry, including class requirements and supply chains. “Ulstein is constantly looking to improve marine operations and to reduce the environmental footprint of the vessels we deliver to the market”, says Ko Stroo, product manager at Ulstein Design & Solutions BV. “Implementing fuel cell technology in a workhorse like the SX190 CSV design is one of the steps we take to move the marine industry into a more sustainable future, in addition to our X-BOW® hull shape, ULSTEIN ZEDTM‘getin-and-leave-no-trace solution’ and plugin hybrid solutions.” The PEM fuel cells used in the SX190 Zero Emission design are fuelled by hydrogen from containerized pressure vessels, a well proven and readily available technology. These hydrogen storage containers can be loaded and unloaded by normal container handling operations and equipment. Hence, eliminating the need for expensive bunkering infrastructure and providing worldwide operational flexibility. The hydrogen containers can be refilled at hydrogen production sites, either from industry by-product hydrogen or green hydrogen from electrolysis, making the vessel globally employable.

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Magma Global has been selected by C-Innovation to supply m-pipe thermoplastic composite subsea jumpers for flowline intervention in the Gulf of Mexico. The 4in diameter 10ksi m-pipes are expected to be deployed in the next few months.

assets within the Gulf of Mexico. It will involve lowering a drill pipe riser through the moonpool of an offshore support vessel then connecting to subsea infrastructure using the m-pipe jumpers in a free-hanging steep wave configuration.

C-Innovation is planning to perform a remediation of suspected blockage or restriction in a subsea production system using Flexi-Coil. The work will be performed in water depths of up to 6,500 feet on different

The Flexi-Coil will be run down the drill pipe riser, through the m-pipe jumper and into the production flowline. m-pipe is a thermoplastic composite


pipe (TCP) that is made from PEEK and carbon fibre, lasered together to form a continuous, bonded flexible pipe. The construction produces a jumper that is lightweight, strong and with high bend strain capacity. In addition, it does not corrode in seawater and has superior resistance against a wide range of oilfield chemicals. The flexible m-pipe jumper will remove heave from the vessel and provide a smooth pathway to ease Flexi-Coil access.


SUBSEA NEWS JOHAN SVERDRUP PHASE 2 Equinor has awarded the Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 Pipeline and Umbilical Detail Engineering contract to IKM Ocean Design. Phase 1 of the project consists of four field centre platforms and three subsea water injection templates, while Phase 2 consists of an additional Process platform at the field centre with subsea development of three different satellite areas. ORMEN LANGE Norske Shell has awarded Schlumberger subsidiary OneSubsea a frame agreement for an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the supply of a subsea multiphase compression system for the Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea. Through the EPCI contract, OneSubsea and its Subsea Integration Alliance partner Subsea 7 will supply and install a subsea multiphase compression system. OneSubsea will, in the first phase of the project, carry out the engineering and design of the complete system. Following the final investment decision by the license group, it will execute the complete scope of the EPCI. The compression system will be powered and controlled from the Nyhamna onshore gas processing plant, which is 120 km from the subsea location. This tieback distance is also a world record for transmitting variable speed power from an onshore facility to equipment on the seabed. The system will be installed at 850m of water depth and comprises two 16-MW subsea compression stations tied into existing manifolds and pipelines. This multiphase compression system is surge

Johan Sverdrup Phase 2




tolerant, does not require wellstream preprocessing and is adaptable to the varying conditions over the life of the field.

production life of the Ormen Lange field, Norway’s second-largest gas field that currently supplies 20% of the UK’s gas needs.

Nexans will supply and install the three 65 km offshore export cables and three 20 km onshore export cables for the project.

NEXANS OneSubsea has awarded Nexans the contract for the design, manufacture and supply of the two 120km power umbilicals to power and control and the multiphase compression system.

● Nexans has been appointed by SSE as the preferred supplier to design, manufacture and install the onshore and offshore export cables for the Phase 1 development of the Seagreen offshore wind farm project.

JOHAN SVERDRUP PHASE 2 Equinor has awarded the Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 Pipeline and Umbilical Detail Engineering contract to IKM Ocean Design.

The power umbilicals will be manufactured in Nexans factory in Halden, Norway, and installed in 2023 by Aurora, the new Nexans cablelaying vessel.

Currently, under construction off the Angus coast, Phase 1 comprises the Seagreen Alpha and Bravo wind farms. With a combined capacity of 1,075MW, they will form the largest windfarm project in Scotland when they come online in 2024.

The system will help extend the


Phase 1 of the project consists of four field centre platforms and three subsea water injection templates, while Phase 2 consists of an additional Process platform at the field centre with subsea development of three different satellite areas.

SUBSEA 7 Subsea 7 has won a contract from Woodside for the execution of phase 2 of the Julimar-Brunello Project. The Julimar field is located approximately 200km offshore North Western Australia. The full scope of work will be to design, procure, install and commission a 22km 18in Corrosion Resistant Alloy (CRA) gas transmission flowline and an umbilical system. The offshore activities will be performed in 2021 using Subsea 7’s reel-lay and heavy construction vessels.

NKT NKT has developed a monitoring system for high-voltage power cable installation. The new system provides real-time monitoring and data collection during cable lay ensuring optimal layback tension, departure angle and touchdown position without any physical contact with the cable. The Cable Laying Monitoring System has been specially designed by in close collaboration with 4D Nav and is integrated into the hull of the NKT Victoria NKT was recently awarded a threeyear service agreement contract


by TenneT covering the cable jointing part of a larger offshore service agreement. NOVACAVI Novacavi has recently supplied a couple of specially engineered mooring cables for the LofotenVesterålen Cabled Ocean Observatory. These featured • Breaking strength up to 4400Kg • Reinforced construction with fibres embedded into the outer sheath • Configuration for DSL and RS 485 communication Fiber Optic and Ethernet • Watertightness


BIOMIMETICS Over billions of years, nature has evolved various biological solutions to a wide range of environmental challenges. This has prompted many systems designers to re-examine how marine organisms live, move, communicate and harness their surroundings in the prospect that these solutions can be transferred to engineering practices. The term for imitating biological processes is ‘biomimetics’. Emulating these are very common in the fields of medicine, agriculture and even architecture but this also has particular relevance to the subsea world. The ability of large marine mammals to communicate long distances, for example, led acoustic engineers to develop their own ability to communicate with underwater bodies sometimes thousands of miles away. Elsewhere, studying the ability of dolphins to recognise the calls of specific individuals up to 25km away has prompted engineers to look at managing sound scattering while emulating their unique frequencymodulating acoustics for incorporation into high bandwidth underwater communications systems. One area which could perhaps confer the greatest practical benefits from biomimetic research, however, is in underwater movement. Characterised by low noise, high efficiency and the ability to swim long distances, the activities of sea animals can provide useful clues in order to improve vehicle locomotion. FINS A common feeding strategy for the humpback whale is to swim in circles tight enough to produce nets of bubbles - sometimes only 5ft across. This corrals the krill behind these bubble nets, allowing the whale to feed more efficiently.

Blue Whale showing tubercle fins. Image: Todd Craven

The offshore industry sometimes




employs the 'bubble curtain' concept during offshore piling. The noise bounces off the inside of this bubble curtain, retaining the sound rather than letting it spread across the water. The humpback whale, however, can be up to 40-50ft long and weigh nearly 80 000 pounds. The ability to form tight turning circles requires considerable dexterity. This is conferred in no small part by its flippers, and a notable feature of these are the tubercles or large irregularlooking bumps located across the fins' leading edges. Research has shown that while water layers flowing over smooth flippers break down into trailing vortices, the water layers passing across a humpback’s tubercles maintain even channels of fast-moving water. This effectively allows humpbacks to 'grip'

on the water at sharper angles, allowing tighter turns, even at lower speeds. Model tests in a wind tunnel have shown that fins containing tubercles demonstrated an 8% improvement in lift and 32% reduction in drag when compared with similar tests on fins without tubercles. This also allowed a 40% allow in increase in angle of attack when compared with smooth flippers. Some have promoted the incorporation of these shapes on wind turbine blades to overcome the three major limitations of wind turbines, namely: poor reliability when winds fall or fail, the high levels of noise (especially reducing tip chatter caused by tip stalling) and poor performance in unsteady or turbulent air.

Shark skin

SKIN Under a microscope, shark's skin consists of small tooth-like denticles called placiod scales. These erupt through the epidermis to form direct contact with the water. This microstructure has been of considerable interest from subsea engineers looking at how surface roughness may reduce drag forces. Some researchers started looking at the effect of surface roughness A bubble curtain that helps to retain the sound (of piling) inside it


to look for an alternative to wind power. Soon, steam engines coupled to a mechanism to propel the vessel through the water became the arrangement of choice. The first devices were based on a paddlewheel that, when rotated, pushed water backwards and consequently, made the boat go forward. This was soon, however, replaced by the screw propeller in which the blades rotate at right angles to the direction of motion for the boat. A propeller is essentially a rotating wing. While more efficient than paddles, screw propellers have some disadvantages. Cavitation can occur if too much power is transmitted through the screw or if it operates at a very high speed. This can create vibration and wear, cause damage and waste power however, it is still the most effective method of propulsion. Such systems are generally agreed by technologists to be noisy, inefficient and not particularly manoeuvrable when compared with marine life. Propellers also have the practical disadvantage of getting entangled in reeds. While some small invertebrates employ a corkscrew-like flagellum that can rotate and propel the body, the 'biological wheel' never evolved in larger organisms. This may have been because of the difficulties in supplying of blood vessels and nerves to a freely rotating organ. on flow using rigid flat plates simply held in a stationary position, but this progressed to mounting the skin surfaces on flexible membranes in order to more closely emulate how the shark bends and flexes during swimming. The studies generally suggested that the results obtained when the skin was allowed to flex during swimming differed substantially from rigid, static conditions and had a dramatic effect on propulsion.

The advent of 3D printing and computer-aided tomography permitted a greater and more accurate reproduction of shark skin. This even allowed the researchers to experiment with varying denticle ridge spacing and then examining how this affected drag, swimming speed and power consumption. PROPULSION Around the 1800s, engineers started


The solution that nature evolved, however, typically uses one of two mechanisms. Jetting One propulsion movement is based on jetting or a pressure pulse. A robot based on this design is being developed by researchers at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong.


Aqua Penguin The robot was fabricated using softmaterial moulding and 3D printing It consists of a soft mantle structure with four built-in soft actuators that are designed to provide steering and manoeuvrability for underwater locomotion. The control is carried out using smart sensors are embedded into the soft mantle. The propulsion and steering are generated by soft-body deformation via an electric motor enclosed within a sealed chamber. This provides a rotation motion which is transmitted through soft-bodied tentacles, generating a vortex to produce thrust. A more common mechanism in

animals with a skeleton, however, has been to use an undulating sideways (as seen in fish) or up-down (common in whales and dolphins) hinge flapping motion. This requires a fin. The cyclic repetition of propulsive movements enables the fish to cover large distances at fairly constant speed.

AQUA PENGUIN Years ago, the German engineering group FESTO launched its robotic Aqua Penguin. Penguins can reach a top speed of almost 30km/hr when hunting. Not only can they move fast, but they seem to do this with a low consumption of energy. Adélie penguins, for example, can swim more than 180km on a full stomach (approximately 1kg of krill). This is the equivalent of travelling travel 1500km through the icy Antarctic waters on just a litre of fuel. The hydrodynamic body contours and elegant wing propulsion principle were adopted in the AquaPenguin. The wings comprise a skeleton of spring steel elements embedded in an elastic matrix of silicon, allowing them to twist to an optimal angle in interaction with the hydrodynamic forces in each stroke, whereby the pitch angle can also be regulated interactively. The robotic penguins can thus manoeuvre in cramped spatial conditions, turn on the spot when necessary and – unlike their biological archetypes – even swim backwards.


To make such an “organic” change of shape possible, the head, neck and tail segments were based on a new 3D Fin Ray structure. This structure, derived from the tail fin of a fish. The bending structure consists of flexible longitudinal struts with circumferential connecting elements that maintain the shape of the elastic skin. Steering is effected via the longitudinal struts and mechanically linked draw lines, with small actuators for horizontal and vertical movement. The actuators and control electronics are housed in the dry chamber of the torso. The shoulder joints are spherical; the wing axes pass through the joints and are also fitted with separately rotatable bearings within the sphere. The additional axis of rotation is controlled by one actuator per wing, which adjusts the wings’ pitch angles. This mechanism is used for steering in various manoeuvring situations. A special flapping mechanism acts on the wing axes directed toward the torso, in order to operate the two wings synchronously and to provide the strong up-and-down motion for propulsion. This force is provided by one powerful electric motor, whose rotational speed also controls the flapping frequency of the wings.

Berlin-based EvoLogics has been closely involved in developing equipment based on natural analogues, and has collaborated in many research projects developing underwater vehicles. The most recent is Poggy, – a novel bionic autonomous underwater vehicle that uses Fin-Ray technology pioneered on the AquaPenguin.

Together with the rigid part of the body, the progressively bendable tails perform as two adjustable hydroplanes that in every steering position have an overall streamlined shape. The new concept facilitates outstanding roll and depth control combined with low drag performance. Both parts of the dual-tail use independent bionic Fin-Ray Poggy

The vehicle is being developed as part of BONUS SEAMOUNT collaborative R&D project and made its first dives at Breaking The Surface 2019 workshop in early October 2019. POGGY The AUV is a one of a kind, novel bionic design with two propulsion thrusters and two independent flexible “tails” that give the robot unique mobility features. Its dual-tail construction is an original idea that stemmed from previous work on EvoLogics’ Manta Ray AUV and its lifelike “flapping wing” propulsion system. The design was simplified and optimised - the robot lost the wings, and its tail was divided in two.




drives and allow for precise heave, pitch and roll adjustments, enabling dynamic climbs and dives, levelled gliding and bottom following. Due to the small size of its basic AUV components, “Poggy” has an excellent payload capacity and can carry multiple sensors and instruments at the same time. In addition, the dual-tails facilitate unique manoeuvres that could open new opportunities for sensing and monitoring: the vehicle was designed to keep any desired roll angle and maintain a steady glide, even at very low speeds.


At Breaking The Surface 2019 in Biograd na Moru, Croatia, EvoLogics team performed the first sea trials of the “Poggy” prototype as part of a workshop on underwater communication and networking for UUVs. The goal of BONUS SEAMOUNT is to develop innovative autonomous vehicles and integrated sensor systems for complex real-time sea surveying, analysis and monitoring, and then to apply these in the study of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in the Baltic Sea. SEAMOUNT UUVs would locate and monitor SGD and associated nutrients and/or pollutants in coastal waters. Coordinated by EvoLogics, SEAMOUNT project is funded within the framework of “BONUS - Science for a better future of the Baltic Sea region”, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme. Project partners are EvoLogics GmbH (Germany), ChristianAlbrechts-University Kiel, Institute of Geosciences (Germany), Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (Germany), Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (Denmark), Geologian tutkimuskeskus - Geological Survey of Finland, Maritime Institute in Gdansk (Poland), NOA (Poland).





HAMR Cockroaches have the ability to exploit a wide variety of habitats. Although mainly terrestrial, they can survive being underwater for anything up to half an hour. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute have looked to emulate this diversity of habitat with the Harvard Ambulatory Micro Bot (HAMR). Not only can it walk on land and swim on the surface of water, but it can also walk underwater. The HAMR weighs 1.65 grams (about as much as a large paper clip), can carry 1.44 grams of additional payload without sinking and can paddle its legs with a frequency up to 10 Hz. It is coated in Parylene to keep it from shorting under water. Like cockroaches, locomotion is carried out by legs - six in real -life but four in the research version. The tips of these mechanical legs are enlarged to provide a larger greater area. By

exploiting the surface tension and surface tension-induced buoyancy, the multifunctional foot pads can allow the HAMR to stand on the water’s surface. In order to move across the water’s surface, the tips of each leg incorporate a pairs of asymmetric flaps. The design of these robopaddles were inspired by the gait of a diving beetle. It effectively exploits the unsteady interaction between the robot’s passive flaps and the surrounding water to effectively swim forward and turn. While this surface tension is exploited to keep keeps the HAMR afloat, it is necessary to break this order for the microbot to pass through the water and walk on the seabed, and this is a challenge for such a small device.

This is solved, however, by the footpads emitting a high voltage in a process called electrowetting. This applied voltage effectively reduces the contact angle between a material and the water surface, making it easier for objects to break the surface tension. Once submerged, the HAMR uses the same gait to move on the seabed that it uses on dry land. Once submerged, this presents another problem when getting out of the water as the surface tension force is twice HAMR’s weight. The induced torque causes a dramatic increase of friction on the robot’s hind legs. This required the researchers to stiffen the robot’s transmission and install soft pads to the robot’s front legs. This increases the payload capacity and redistribute friction during climbing. At present, the only of getting the HAMR to escape from the water's hold is by it walking up a modest incline, however, the next stage of research will be at removing the need for a ramp.

HAMR. Image: Yufeng Chen, Neel Doshi, and Benjamin Goldberg/Harvard University






The researchers say that the size is fundamental to its performance. Any increase in size would make it challenging for the robot to be supported by the water’s surface tension. Conversely, if it were much smaller, the robot would need considerably more force to break it. ROBOBEE One drawback of water is that it is dense and thus, difficult to travel through. There are practical advantages, therefore if a robot could travel as closely as possible to site through the air but then land in the water and swim or crawl to the target. This is the design concept behind the RoboBee concept. It is designed to fly, dive into water, swim, propel itself back out of water, and safely land.

Harvard, specifically its Wyss institute has been working on a the RoboBee design for many years.

to stabilise on the water’s surface before an internal combustion system ignites to propel it back into the air.

Inspired by the biology of a bee, it measures about half the size of a paper clip, weighs less that one-tenth of a gram, and flies using “artificial muscles” compromised of materials that contract when a voltage is applied.

This latest-generation RoboBee, which is 1,000 times lighter than any previous aerial-to-aquatic robot, could be used for numerous applications, from searchand-rescue operations to environmental monitoring and biological studies.

Originally powered by a thin micro wire, the first autonomous units were announced earlier this year. Variations of this RoboBee design, however, can transition from swimming underwater to flying, as well as “perch” on surfaces using static electricity.

“This is the first microrobot capable of repeatedly moving in and through complex environments,” said Yufeng Chen, ex-graduate student in the Microrobotics Lab at SEAS. “We designed new mechanisms that allow the vehicle to directly transition from water to air, something that is beyond what nature can achieve in the insect world.”

New floating devices, however, allow this multipurpose air-water microrobot



BIO ADHESIVES Most adhesives are poor at wet bonding. Marine biology, however, has solved this problem. “Mussels, barnacles, and oysters attach to rocks with apparent ease” said Jonathan Wilker, a professor of chemistry and materials engineering at Purdue University “In order to develop new materials able to bind within harsh environments, we made a biomimetic polymer modelled after the adhesive proteins of mussels.” New findings showed that the bio-based glue performed better than 10 commercial adhesives when used to bond polished aluminium. When compared with the five strongest commercial glues included in the study, the new adhesive performed better when bonding wood, Teflon and polished aluminum. It was the only adhesive of those tested that worked with wood and far out-performed the other adhesives when used to join Teflon. Mussels extend hair-like fibres that attach to surfaces using plaques of adhesive. Proteins in the glue contain the amino acid DOPA, which harbours the chemistry needed to provide strength and adhesion. Purdue researchers have now inserted this chemistry of mussel proteins into a biomimetic polymer called poly(catechol-styrene), creating an adhesive by harnessing the chemistry of compounds called catechols, which are contained in DOPA. “We are focusing on catechols given that the animals use this type of chemistry so successfully,” Wilker said. “Poly(catechol-styrene) is looking to be, possibly, one of the strongest underwater adhesives found to date.” While most adhesives interact with water instead of sticking to surfaces, the catechol groups may have a special talent for “drilling down” through surface waters in order to bind onto surfaces, he said. “These findings are helping to reveal which aspects of mussel adhesion are most important when managing attachment within their wet and salty environment,” Wilker said. “All that is needed for high strength bonding underwater appears to be a catechol-containing polymer.” Surprisingly, the new adhesive also proved to be about 17 times stronger than the natural adhesive produced by mussels. One explanation might be that the animals have evolved to produce adhesives that are only as strong as they need to be for their specific biological requirements. The natural glues might be designed to give way when the animals are hunted by predators, breaking off when pulled from a surface instead of causing injury to internal tissues.

Designing a millimeter-sized robot that moves in and out of water has numerous challenges. First, water is 1,000 times denser than air, so the wing flapping speed must will vary widely between the two mediums. If the flapping frequency is too low, the RoboBee can’t fly. If it’s too high, the wing will snap off in water. By combining theoretical modelling and experimental data, the researchers found the Goldilocks combination of wing size and flapping rate, scaling the design to allow the bee to operate repeatedly in both air and water. Using this multimodal locomotive strategy, the robot to flaps its wings at 220Hz–300Hz in air and 9Hz–13Hz in water. Another major challenge the team had to address was at the millimetre scale, the water’s surface might as well be a brick wall. Surface tension is more than 10 times the weight of the RoboBee and three times its maximum lift. While previous research demonstrated how impact and sharp edges can break surface tension on a RoboBee’s entry into water but the question remained as to how it would get back out again? The RoboBee represents a platform where forces are different than what we – at human scale – are used to experiencing. To solve that problem, the researchers retrofitted the RoboBee with four buoyant outriggers and a central gas collection chamber. Once the RoboBee swims to the surface, an electrolytic plate in the chamber converts water into oxyhydrogen, a combustible gas fuel. “Because the RoboBee has a limited payload capacity, it cannot carry its own fuel, so we had to come up with a creative solution to exploit resources from the environment,” said Elizabeth Farrell Helbling, graduate student in the Microrobotics Lab. The air-water hybrid microrobot uses a tiny, novel sparker inside the chamber ignites the gas to propel the RoboBee out of the water. The robot is designed to passively stabilise in air, so that it always lands on its feet. The gas increases the robot’s buoyancy, pushing the wings out of the water and the floatation to stabilise the RoboBee on the water’s surface. From there, a tiny, novel sparker inside the chamber ignites the gas, propelling the RoboBee out of the water. The robot is designed to passively stabilise in air, so that it always lands on its feet. Because of the lack of onboard sensors and limitations in the current motion-tracking system, the RoboBee cannot yet fly immediately upon propulsion out of water but the team hopes to change that in future research.






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Over 90% – possibly even as much as 98% of all the worlds animal species are invertebrates, with a considerable proportion of these successfully exploiting underwater habitats While many subsea engineers have looked to better understand and simulate the movement of larger animals, particularly fish, there is just as much to comprehend about the movement and lifestyle of soft bodied organisms. "When trying to study and model soft bodied animals, however, it doesn't make sense to use hard bodied components," said Professor Kaspar Althoefer, Director, of the Centre for Advanced Robotics at Queen Mary (ARQ), part of Queen Mary University of London. "This was a main driver that led us to examine the potential for developing a soft bodied biomimetic cephalopod. "Modelling invertebrate animals will not only help us better understand the locomotion systems, but integrating the completed models into an environment may allow biologists to get much better behavioural insights. From an engineering viewpoint, the project also provides a good demonstration of the rich possibilities offered by soft robotics in general. "After considering various invertebrates, we eventually decided to model an Octopus.


The octopus is using its arms for many types of locomotion including swimming through the water and walking across the seabed. The work of ARQ will focus on swimming. These swimming movements are largely carried out using its eight identical sucker-lined arms." When engineers look to biomimetically 'build' a fish, they typically employ motors to administer the actuation and steering system that would be naturally provided by the muscles. Muscles typically work by being connected to a skeleton and as such, the electrical actuators also requires a stiff skeletal frame to work against. Developing a soft-bodied robot with no rigid skeleton, however,requires a very different arsenal of tools.

It is easy to confuse the octopus and squid, but these have totally different lifestyles. To prevent ambiguity, the squid lives in the open ocean and notably moves by jetting water backwards through its siphon. It has a flexible backbone called a pen to maintain its shape. It steers from fins on its head as well as both its tentacles and arms The Octopus lives in dens and moves across the sea floor.


"Instead of a motor, the muscle of a soft robot is a fluidic actuator" said Jan Fras, research student at QMC. "Each actuator actually consists of two chambers basically composed of several layers of silicone.

Above Right Below: By binding the elastic tubes in closely wound polyester thread, injecting fluids causes them to extend rather than balloon

Introducing air into the soft silicone would cause it to 'balloon' so to prevent this, the chambers are reinforced with polyester thread, helically wound with a very small pitch. As a result, when high pressure fluid is introduced, the constrained actuator chambers elongate and does not balloon any more."


The arm's variable movement is owed to actuator chamber sides being composed of different materials with dissimilar elastic properties. Introducing more stiff material into one, the other or both sides causes the actuator to curve or completely bend, the amount of movement being proportional to the pressure being applied. Symmetrical actuation of all the chambers of all the tentacles generates a coaxial thrust that pushes the robot forward, while actuation of only one group generates asymmetrical thrust on one side and makes the robot turn. Selectively injecting air through specific actuation chambers causes the soft robot to assume different patterns resulting in a twisting motion or crawling action. While the top inner third of the octopus leg houses the actuator, the remaining two-thirds is static. This means, that when the active part of each arm moves, it causes the static part to act like a whip and transfer the energy through the water. "In the laboratory tanks, we power the

systems pneumatically, injecting air inside the actuators," said Fras, "but as we start to consider testing in deeper waters, it is self-evident that the gasbased power systems will completely change the buoyancy characteristics. We will, therefore, revert to a hydraulic-based power system." "Once we learn more about how the system operates and we start to understand what we need to do to make it move predictably, a next step will look at making the system more autonomous. At present, it is powered by an external pump, but we have already developed plans to incorporate a battery that feeds a local miniaturised compressor." This may be the first of a number of designs that will essentially help bring sensors into that particular world of marine biology without disturbing the environment. "We are already talking to psychologists at Queen Mary studying fish and other sea animals to better understand their behaviours and possibly see how that relates to humans," said Althoefer. " We are in discussions on how to create artificial devices to collaborate and interact with the biological counterparts."

A prosthetic hand with pneumatic 'fingers' holding a bulb

Soft robotics is an area that has received a great amount of interest in recent years. The jaws of some electric manipulators incorporate pressure sensors that ensure that the closing pressure of the fingers do not exceed a given value and thus, do not damage delicate objects. These jaws are understandably expensive. Soft robotics could provide a very cost-effective alternative. By replacing gripper jaws/servo motors with elastic fingers powered by fluidic pressure delivered through silicon tubes, the specimen cannot be griped too tightly. More importantly, however, the 'jaw' can be composed of numerous independentlymoving fingers which can exhibit considerable dexterity. In a more advanced arrangement, an operator moves his/her own fingers, this can be scanned in three dimensions and the coordinates sent to the fingers of a remote silicon 'hand. The remote 'hand' can the exactly replicate the exact movement of the operator. This means that it is possible for a remote operator to intuitively pick up tools or objects or push buttons on site with a five-fingered manipulator, with no training required.




Underwater positioning and tracking technology from Sonardyne International is to be used to support search and recovery operations undertaken by the Republic of Korea Navy's (RoKN's) new auxiliary submarine rescue ship (ASR-II).

built around Sonardyne’s 6G hardware and Wideband 2 signal technology platforms. This combination enables underwater targets to be tracked beyond 11 km, position updates to be acquired every second, and for a vessel to work in any water depth, shallow or deep.

Through a contract with GE’s Power Conversion business, the ASR-II will be fitted with Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 UltraShort BaseLine (USBL) system. This will interface onboard the vessel with GE’s class leading Seastream™ Dynamic Position (DP) control system providing accurate and fast position reference updates during critical station keeping activities.

The ASR-II and its moonpool-deployed DSRV are being built under South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration as a replacement for the submarine rescue ship RoKS Cheonghaejin. The 5,200-tonne ASR-II is expected to be delivered to the RoKN by the end of 2022.

The Ranger 2 onboard the ASR-II will also be used to simultaneously track the position of, and communicate with, Sonardyne instrumentation fitted to the new, untethered Deep Search Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) that is being built to operate from the ship when it comes into service. Ranger 2 is installed on a global fleet of DP vessels operating within defence, offshore energy, ocean research and commercial survey. Its success in meeting the diverse operational requirements of these sectors is

Sonardyne’s order from GE’s Power Conversion business includes everything the ASR-II will need to achieve the best performance from its Ranger 2 USBL during exercises or in the event of a submarine rescue operation. This includes a seabed-deployed 3000m-rated Dynamic Positioning Transponder 6 (DPT 6) with recovery flotation collar to provide high accuracy USBL positioning for reliable station keeping, even when operating near sources of potential noise interference. The control room software will be fitted with a Ranger 2 Marine Robotics Pack, enabling the vessel crew to both track the DSRV and also communicate with it.




Teledyne Marine Seismic, has been awarded a long-term contract to provide seismic source controllers to PGS. ​​​​

Seatec has received order for 3000m special designed subsea umbilical. The umbilical consists of various 16mm2 power cores as well as multiple twised pairs for controls. It has an integrated aramid fibre as strength member to handle loads up to 4.5T an PU outher sheath.

Teledyne Real Time Systems’ SmartSource system represents decades of experience in marine seismic exploration. The system is capable of synchronizing up to 192 sources and is the next generation in state-of-the-art digital marine seismic source control.

SmartSource system

Teledyne Benthos $12.2 Million IDIQ Contract Teledyne Benthos has received an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for acoustic transponders, transceivers, and release systems for the Naval Oceanographic Office. The order also includes Teledyne RD Instruments' acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs).

This includes new systems and refurbishment of systems currently deployed by the Navy. The contract runs for up to five years, with a ceiling of $12.2 million. Teledyne Marine has been providing acoustic technologies and ADCPs to the Naval Oceanographic Office since 2002.


Scope of supply also includes various subsea junction boxes for quick umbilical termination with Both sides fitted with Seacon subsea connectors.


MDL COMPLETES INSTALLATION Maritime Developments has completed a project offshore Equatorial Guinea with new client, Ocean Installer.

The aim of the project is to increase production from the existing field by bringing 3 new wells online. Andrew Blaquiere, MDL VP Americas, said:

The project included installation of umbilicals and flexible flowlines using MDL’s equipment and service personnel: Horizontal Lay System (HLS) with 85-tonne tensioner plus work platform and 400Te reel drive system, mobilised on board the Viking Neptun.

The MDL HLS was added to the company’s rental fleet earlier this year and has proven track record on projects in the North Sea before the EG mission. The system features a 4.5m overboarding chute, a 3m entry chute,


a work platform to accommodate installation of buoyancy modules and a 75Te hang-off beam. It can also be equipped with hydraulically operated davit arms, featuring 97 deg pivot. Like the rest of the MDL fleet it is road-transportable, can be assembled on the quayside off critical path andmobilised on board a vessel in two lifts: one for the HLS and the second for the tensioner.


Line fed into the tensioner




The final phase of commissioning the Balticconnector pipeline was completed in November 2019 when the offshore pipeline was filled with gas and pressurized as well as connected to Estonia’s gas transmission network. Balticconnector will be in commercial use as of 1 January 2020.

Van Oord / Cablel has selected First Subsea to supply cable protection systems (CPS) for the Export Cables and Cross Over Protection for TenneT’s Net op zee Hollandse Kust (zuid) (Offshore Wind Farm located 20 kmoff the coast of The Hague in the Netherlands). First Subsea will engineer, test and supply a CPS for the protection of the 220 kV Export Cables and the 66 kV Interlink Cable between the J-tube at the offshore sub-stations, Alpha and Beta.

The pipeline’s construction work and laying on the seabed of the Gulf of Finland were completed in summer 2019. To fill the pipeline with gas, it was first rinsed with nitrogen, which was then purged by conveying natural gas behind the pipeline scraper. Once the pipeline scraper, or the “pig” as it is called in the industry, arrived from Inkoo to Paldiski in Estonia, the pipeline was filled with gas and ready for use.

The platforms shall be of a jacket design and J-tubes used to guide and protect the export cables entering the platforms. The export cables are protected by the CPS, which is installed on top of the scour protection and trenched beyond the scour protection. The CPS has been designed to ensure the power cables are protected against vortex induced vibrations, instability due to waves and currents, touchdown protection, edge scour and abrasion. In addition, it provides improved cable fatigue performance, optimised installation and simple disconnection should it be required.

The Balticconnector pipeline project will play a major role in the energy strategies of both Finland and the EU. The project will

The scope of work also includes crossing protection for four submarine power cables which will each cross three pipelines. A total of twelve pipeline crossings shall be supplied and installed by Van Oord / Cablel. The crossing designs consist of a CPS, which will be designed and supplied by First Subsea.

l Improve regional security of supply by diversifying gas sources l Create a framework for market opening and growth and enable the use of alternative sources, such as liquid natural gas (LNG) and biogas l Enable the interconnection of the Finnish and Baltic gas markets and their integration with the EU’s common energy market.


Line fed down through the moonpool


TIME SAVING SO MacArtney has recently supplied the latest in a series of seven customised NEXUS MK C ‘Super MUX’ multiplexers to MMT, providers of customised marine surveys for the offshore energy industry. Multiplexers, designed to simultaneously transmit data along a single channel of communication, provide operators with the opportunity to gather numerous types of data at once. The Swedish based, MMT working in close collaboration with Reach Subsea, ordered the customised NEXUS MK C connectivity solution (named the Super MUX by MMT) from MacArtney Underwater Technology earlier this year. MMT assists global industry leaders with a full range of customised marine surveys within the offshore energy industry whilst Norway based Reach Subsea boasts a comprehensive knowledge of subsea operations. The easy to install NEXUS MK C is a fully customised plug-and-play multiplexer for work class ROVs and is a mobilisation time saver. Fitted to new ROVs or as an upgrade to existing systems it can handle data for ROV setups that require multiple cameras, sonars, attitude sensors, manipulators, cable and pipe trackers. The NEXUS MK C system provides connectivity between the vessel and the ROV sensor package in one compact unit. The topside unit features an open interface that is versatile and perfect for data acquisition work aboard a wide range of vessels. The NEXUS MK C includes a large number of sensor interfaces including Ethernet, HD video and serial channels. The 25 connectors on the subsea unit, configured to match a broad range of interfaces, allow configuration of the multiplexer for numerous tasks. Controllable power switching and health monitoring are available via an accessible software user interface.







LOST DUKW During the Allied push through Italy in 1945, an amphibious 20ton DUKW truck was lost on Lake Garda, 60 miles east of Milan. Around 20 years later, the nonprofit underwater archaeology foundation, ProMare initiated an expedition to locate the remains of the DUKW, but it was only in 2012, that the local volunteer group Gruppo Volontari del Garda located the vehicle a depth of 276m. In 2018, ProMare teamed up with submersible builder-operator ICTINEU Submarins, to provide a three-man mini submarine ICTINEU 3 rated for 1000m depth was used to descend to the sunken craft. During the expedition the ICTINEU 3 submersible made five dives to the wreck. The ICTINEU 3 is one of a kind, specifically designed for deep exploration, research and underwater work. Thanks to a large capacity battery package, it is ideal for long-range expeditions and transects. In the expedition on Lake Garda the target was 3 miles from the nearest harbour, but thanks to the capacity of the submersible, towing was not needed, and the submarine could self-propel to the site. A key feature of the ICTINEU 3 is the large, slightly (10deg) tilted forward window which allows a great view over the sea bottom and is ideal for filming either with an external or an internal camera. Also, thanks to the eight propellers, the submersible can be driven with exact position across the sea bottom, or up a vertical wall. The ICTINEU 3 submersible is usually dived in the ocean. As with any other underwater vehicle, the weight and buoyancy are of great importance. This must be adjusted according to the passengers’ weight, diving in salt or freshwater,




and sea temperature. All these conditions must be considered before a mission is planned. For the mission in Lake Garda, the temperature was not a constraint as the temperature was expected to be around 7 to 8 degrees throughout the water column. The critical issue was the buoyancy. While the saltwater density for the Mediterranean is 1,028, the density for freshwater is 1,000, which meant that 155 kgs had to be adjusted prior to the dive by removing some ballast and adding syntactic foam.

was to survey the site. The survey started by making two transects alongside the DUKW and at least two across, keeping the submersible stable for good quality footage. Second step was to obtain footage from all sides of

The DUKW preserved underwater

The equipment on the submersible for this mission was mainly a 4k camera for filming. The camera was installed inside the vehicle, in the middle of the window sphere, which allowed good quality images without the need of expensive external camera systems. Other additional cameras were also used for additional footage. The submersible standard configuration also includes a 360ยบ sonar, USBL, DVL, two depth sensors, one altimeter and one underwater telephone. The submersible had also recently been equipped with a manipulator. Gruppo Volontari del Garda had noticed that there were lines crossing above the wreck and that there could be others nearby. Once an area 100 meters around the DUKW had been inspected and found to be safe, and once the line crossing the wreck had been located, it was decided that the descent to the wreck could be done safely with one pilot and two passengers. A total of five dives were made to the wreck with passengers, with a support vessel giving instructions and directions to the submersible. The goal of the first day mission


the vehicle. The painting on the DUKW was still very visible. The second day mission was to search for artefacts or any remains from the cargo or from the soldiers around the wreck.

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It was decided due to the entanglement risk that the third day dive would be mainly a new visit to the wreck. It was agreed that an American flag brought by the mission team and an Italian flag brought by the Italian mayor of Torbole would be deployed on the top of the DUKW using the submersible manipulator.

TGS MULTIBEAM AND SEAFLOOR SAMPLING TGS, along with its joint venture partner PetroData, is pleased to announce Nigeria’s first regional multi-client Multibeam and Seafloor Sampling (MB&SS) Study.

The study will cover an area of approximately 80,000 square kilometers of the offshore Niger Delta and will incorporate around 150 cores from the seabed,whose location is based on multibeam backscatter anomalies. Much of this area is also covered by TGS’ NGRE19 2D seismic data that was reprocessed earlier in 2019 to take advantage of the latest seismic imaging techniques. Final results of the new MB&SS program will be available early in Q2 2020.

The DUKW is sitting upright on the lake bed and seems to be in a good state of conservation. It almost seemed as if it could be raised, started, and start moving again. The cold fresh water and the lack of organic life have preserved it. There are no concretions or biological life as is normal in the open sea. The green paint is in a perfect state, the white star painted on the front is also clearly visible. Some marks were found on one side which can help to identify the vehicle. There are no visible artifacts on board, and in the small area that was inspected around the wreck, no remains were found.



THE FIVE DEEPS Throughout 2019, the Five Deeps Expedition has been carrying out a project to send a manned submersible vessel to visit the deepest points in each of Earth’s five oceans. The work was carried out by private company Caladan Oceanic using a two -person submersible called the Limiting Factor. Manufactured by Triton Submarines the 36000/2 Hadal Exploration System was designed to slip vertically through the water column at high speeds. It was transported and deployed by the retrofitted ship Pressure Drop. The 36000/2 was a result of sixmonths of design concepts work, and a further six-months of design and engineering feasibility studies. The titanium pressure hull required development of new advanced forging techniques to ensure the perfect circularity necessary for structural performance and an entirely weld-free construction. Measuring 3.54in (90mm) thick, it was tested at the Krylov State Research Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia, to 140MPa (43,300ft or 13,200m) which is more than 20% greater than the deepest point in the ocean. The titanium pressure hull required development of new advanced forging techniques to ensure the perfect circularity necessary for structural performance and an entirely weld-free construction. Measuring 3.54” (90mm) thick and with an inner diameter of 59″ (1500mm), it was tested to withstand pressure >20% greater than full ocean depth at the Krylov State Research Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia. Designed to slip vertically through the water column, the Triton 36000/2 can reach the deepest point in the ocean in less than two and a half hours. Weighing just 11.2 tons, the submersible is far lighter than previous deep diving vehicles, an important

consideration during launch and recovery. An array of 10 powerful electric thrusters provide for motion in all directions. Energy is provided from a pioneering set of full ocean depth certified Li-Fe-P batteries supplying 65 KWh of power. The interior configuration of the Triton 36000/2 is unlike any previous deep-diving submersible. The ergonomically designed leather


seats provide two occupants with the comfort and durability required for 12-hour dive missions. Four situational awareness cameras and three conical acrylic viewports ensure the pilot has an excellent view of the subsea environment. Ten, 20000 lumen LED lights, illuminate the ocean floor for the broadcast-quality 8k cameras. Critical to determining where to dive, the Five Deeps Expedition uses a state-

of-the-art Kongsberg EM124 sonar suite for precise mapping of the ocean floor even to full ocean depth. After a trials and testing in the Bahamas, the first part safely reached the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench after an approximate two-and-a-half hour descent. It sailed to from Montevideo, Uruguay the deepest point of the South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean 7,235 meters/23,736 feet deep. Dive 3 reached the previouslyunvisited bottom of one Java Trench in the Indian Ocean. Now measured at 7,192 meters/23,596 feet deep. At the bottom of the trench, the team managed to capture footage of entirely new species, including a hadal snailfish and many other bottom dwelling organisms, The expedition provided detailed maps of the Diamantina Fracture Zone sea floor off the coast of Australia, as well as the deepest parts of the Java Trench.

In late April, reached the deepest point on planet Earth: Challenger Deep within the Mariana Trench. At 10,928 meters. In total, it completed four dives. In an additional dive the team went to the bottom of the deepest point in the Southern Hemisphere – the Tonga Trench’s Horizon Deep. The final dive reached the bottom of the Molloy Deep (also scientifically referred to as the Molloy Hole), the deepest point in the Arctic Ocean. With external sea temperatures dropping to -2 °C, Victor dived to a depth of 5,550m The Molloy Deep was formed as the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates split apart and lies 170 miles west of Svalbard, Norway. . The data will be an important contribution to the Nippon Foundation – GEBCO – Seabed 2030 Project to map the world’s seafloor in detail by the end of the year 2030.


VALEPORT CYBER ESSENTIALS + Valeport has been awarded Cyber Essentials Plus certification, the more rigorous level of accreditation in the Government backed scheme that helps organisations protect against a range of the most common cyber attacks. The certification provides reassurance to Valeport’s customers that the company treats the threat of cyber crime, and the protection of their personal information, with all seriousness. Cyber Essentials provides a set of security processes and policies to adhere to, while the Cyber Essentials Plus programme includes a penetration test at least every year to assess the vulnerability of the company’s data. The verification of Valeport’s cyber security is carried out independently by a Certification Body.

NEKTON MISSION TO A pioneering expedition moved a step closer to its aim or increasing the scientific understanding of the oceans when it carried out its first manned dive from below the surface of the Indian ocean, the world’s least explored and most at risk ocean. The seven -week long expedition was led by Nekton, an independent non -profit research institute based in Oxford. The expedition has been backed by 47 world leading organisations, combining marine research institutes, governments, media organisations, subsea technology businesses and civil society groups and it combines 4 major activities – scientific research, ocean governance, capacity development and ocean literacy and impact. Scientists onboard are surveying underwater life by diving into the “twilight zone” below depths of 30 meters that the tropical sun barely reaches. Using two crewed submersibles and a remotely operated vehicle they are able to document organisms and habitats up to 500m deep, while sensors offer a glimpse of depths of up to 2000m . From the dramatic subsea cliffs of Astove and their unbleached healthy coral ecosystems, the mission found an abundance of predators, especially six-gill sharks at 300m. Early indications suggest the existence of the Rariphotic Zone (meaning scarce light) in Seychelles from 100+metres down. Retrieving the submersible Image: Nekton





First Descent Image: Nekton




UNDERWATER DREDGE The Dutch -based Naval Architect company C-Job has developed an innovative alternative to conventional ship-based river and inshore dredging systems. Called Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredger (AUMD), it holds out the promise of being cleaner and more sustainable than traditional systems. Dredging is an energy intensive process. It is typically carried out by vessels such as the Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD). This works by using a vacuum pump to effectively excavate sediment from the floor and pump it up stiff hollow arms into the into tanks within the ship's hull. The AUMD design looks to replicate this with an underwater vehicle. In the development, the designers looked to features on a typical floating dredger to see how they could be improved. One of the major costs of ships was to provide crew accommodation. This is applicable for every seagoing vessel above 500 tons. In addition, one of the criteria laid down is the need for an open deck space for crew off duty. As the AUMD is unmanned, more to the space can be allocated to the payload. An key advantage of a submarine based system is that it can fly very close to the seabed. This immediately reduces the distance that the sediment needs to be transported to get into the tanks. The relatively closer distance also means that a lower vacuum would be required and this in turn results in a smaller pump being used. There are other advantages. As all the frame is supported by water, it effectively results in a reduction in overall hull girder loads and reduced steel weight. Because a large part

of the submarine's volume providing displacement, this gives it a larger payload than a floating vessel. The submerged vessels are less affected by the surface waves although they may be subject to greater frictional resistance is from the additional wetted surface area. The amount of sand transported by a floating vessel is governed by the volume of the hopper. With a submerged hull, however, it is the deadweight of the material being dredged that becomes important. The entire volume of the submerged hull, however contributes to the buoyancy. The internal structure ensures that sloshing effect will be generated in the hopper, which is beneficial in the control of trim and heel. Once the tanks are full, the AUMD travels to a remote site and the sediment payload can be ejected. Control Any autonomous vehicle requires a data communication for control but this increases with greater vehicle complexity. At present, even the stateof-the-art satellite communication systems do not allow sufficient bandwidth nor speed. One compromise


option was to reduce the required amount of data to be sent over satellite communication. The AUMD also needs to surface for repair, maintenance and charging the batteries. The designers decided that given these properties, it was decided to limit the operational areas to rivers and near-shore regions. This had ramifications in the design. Since the AUMD will operate mainly in shallow waters and near river beds, a compromise had to be found in the hull shape considering hydrodynamic efficiency while operating the vessel as near to the riverbed as possible. The result was the development of a flat-bottomed hullform. Since the AUMD will be in port regularly (it is expected is to have the vessel in port on a daily basis), the application of a docking station for recharging and modular equipment become attractive. By these means, equipment can be maintained, replaced, recharged without a (large) consequence in deployability. This resulted in the choice for a full electric design, powered by batteries. In addition, by the design of a full

ER In order to have ample thrust at low speed, the azimuthing thrusters are equipped with propeller nozzles. As the AUMD will sail close to the seabed, the vessel might be prone to a sand/water mixture flowing through the propellers resulting in early wear of the propellers. A protective propeller heel was envisioned to prevent this from occurring. Submarines are very sensitive to trim, heel and buoyancy. This is especially important while carrying out dredging. The system should, therefore, have sufficient stability and buoyancy control during all operational conditions as well as analysis speed as well as pump and compressor capacity. This would have to be accommodated for in the automation system.

electric system, the amount of rotative machinery (which is prone to maintenance) is reduced. Similarly, the entire dredging system (pipelines, dragheads) will be fitted out in such a way that it can be easily exchanged in port and maintenance can be performed on shore. The AUMD is equipped with a 16MWh battery pack that provides enough power for up to 12 hours of maintenance dredging.

In order to enable the AUMD to control all motions,the design has 2 trim tanks (fore / aft) and central ballast tanks. Rolph Hijdra, Autonomous Vessels Research Lead at C-Job, says “When we developed this exciting design, we performed a comparison study

The maintenance dredging work requires the ability to very accurately position the vessel dynamically along a pre-determined track. Manoeuvrability is, therefore, one of the key aspects of the vessel. This led to the choice for the installation of two azimuthing thrusters in the aftship and 2 tunnel thrusters in the foreship. The combination of these (together with a proper DP/DT system, with DP2 functionality) should enable the vessel at all time, inclusive undesired malfunctioning, to keep in position.


with a conventional Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger. This showed that the Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredger requires 55% less propulsion power and by submersing the vessel we could reduce the suction head cutting the dredge pump power demand by 80%.” The submersion of the design also increases operability as it mitigates wave motions as she’s capable to remain submerged throughout the dredging cycle. The AUMD features the same hopper volume as the traditional dredgereven though the overall length of C-Job’s design has been reduced by 20%. Rolph continues “Autonomous shipping provides enormous potential for ship owners, with both technical design and economic benefits. According to our research, even with a conservative approach, we found that with the AUMD ship owners can expect nearly twice as much profit after 15 years. Though there’s a higher initial investment, operational cost are much lower which makes it an interesting option for companies to consider.”


HISAS 2040 MODULE Hydroid has integrated an inmission processor on a REMUS 600 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) with the KONGSBERG HighResolution Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (HISAS) 2040 for a customer. By integrating the in-mission processing, the high-resolution images from the HISAS module can be quickly downloaded when the vehicle returns from its mission. HISAS 2040 provides up to 2cm by

2cm resolution across a 300m swath. When combined with the onboard EM2040 it provides a complete, gapfilled image. Synthetic aperture sonar uses algorithms to synthetically lengthen the aperture, providing consistent resolution across the entire swath, both along and across track, as opposed to traditional real aperture side scan sonars. Because of the high resolution of HISAS, the files are very large and can take several hours to download.





MacArtney Canada, working for Environment Canada, recently supplied a freshwater oceanography marine lifting device for water instrumentation, profiling and sampling apparatus. Working with Environment and Climate Change Canada, a government-affiliated department, MacArtney Canada have supplied a Launch and Recovery System (LARS) for freshwater oceanography in the Great Canadian Lakes. Installed aboard a Canadian Coastguard multi-purpose vessel, the Danish designed and manufactured LARS provides a complete package for easy installation and removal of a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth) rosette sensor suite of underwater instrumentation. Water Science and Technology, WST, a research support section of Environment and Climate Change Canada, provide support to research and monitoring groups for vessel sampling operations in partnership with the Canadian Coastguard. The deployment and retrieval of the equipment for the water column sampling via the CTD rosette fell to MacArtney to devise. Devising the full LARS scope of supply MacArtney Canada provided a CORMAC Q5 high-speed winch, MERMAC A10 A-Frame, Hydraulic Power Unit and Remote Control System. MacArtney LARS

THRUSTER AGREEMENT Kraken Power has signed a multi-year supply agreement with Multi Pump Innovation of Norway. Under the agreement, MPI will purchase RIM-driven thrusters and control systems for use in MPI’s new JetMaster

automated cage cleaners used for fish farming. While JetMaster is a new product for MPI, its leading position in fish farming cleaners and the growth of the aquaculture industry, gives MPI confidence it will purchase at least $2 million worth of Kraken thrusters per year going forward. JetMaster

MVP GEOMAR has acquired a Moving Vessel Profiler (MVP) from AML Oceanographic as part of the Helmholtz Association funded observing infrastructure “Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems” (MOSES). MOSES is comprised of highly flexible and mobile observation modules which are designed to investigate the interactions of short-term events and longterm trends across Earth compartments. The MVP30-350 will collect CTD and chlorophyll data to better understand carbon uptake in upwelling areas. “The first MOSES experiment where we plan to use the MVP will be a joint ship/ aeroplane survey of ocean eddies north of the Cape Verde Islands, in the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean,” explained Johannes Karstensen (Senior Research Scientist, Physical Oceanography) of GEOMAR. Ocean eddies are whirling water masses, similar to whirls seen in pools and bathtubs, but covering an area of approximately 20 000 km2 in the open ocean.


Moving Vessel Profiler (MVP) from AML Oceanographic

London & South of England Evening Meeting

RISING SEAS – THE CASE FOR MOVING TO HIGHER GROUND Richard Binks 18th November 2019 On the 12 November 2019, the branch hosted its first event at the prestigious new Institute of Physics on Caledonian Road, London. The presentation was given by leading oceanographer, consultant and expert on sea level rise, John Englander. A broad marine science background coupled with explorations to Greenland and Antarctica enables John to see the big picture of sea level rise and its societal impacts. Today, John works with businesses, governmental agencies and communities to understand the risks of increased flooding due to rising seas, extreme tides, and severe storms, advocating for “intelligent adaptation”. As a conduit for information on this critical subject, he has founded the non-profit, Rising Seas Institute. John’s fascinating talk, was deliberately given in plain clear English. The world is confused by messages regarding, plastic, CO2, carbon, floods, sea ice melting etc. The result can be people thinking that re-using a plastic bag will suddenly halt the melting of ice in Greenland. The presentation’s aims were to focus attention on what is likely to happen in time frames that people can understand ie within their expected life spans or before their house loan is paid off. The presentation was not given to panic the world but to give a message to be more prepared. In John’s words this means for planning for a sea level rise of 1m now but ideally consider 3m. Coastlines have not changed for the last 5000 years and this leads to complacency that they will not change now. In fact, they have changed dramatically through the last four ice ages, sea level fluctuating by over 150m in the last 125,000 years. Coming out last ice age, sea level rose

by 50cm a decade. The migration of animals depicted our movie screens is based on fact! John Englander explained why the rate of rising seas will likely increase exponentially. Recent developments in Antarctic ice core analysis now give a clear log of C02 and temperature through the ice ages. Human industrial output of C02 has now exceeded the maximum in the warm periods between ice ages and is still on an exponential increase. This has switched the ice age cycle, instead of starting to cool into another ice-age we are continuing to warm. The Arctic and Northern latitudes have taken the brunt of climate change with temperature increasing by 3 deg Centigrade already. Sea ice melting actually causes the sea level to drop, but now we have an Arctic Ocean that is dark water absorbing heat rather than an ice sheet reflecting it. Thermal expansion of the oceans from this heat absorption is a key reason for sea level rise. There was an excellent round table discussion following John’ s presentation on how society comes to terms with the sea level rise. In reality, even if some of the world is in denial of the causes of climate change, humans now need to respond to the consequence of the current level of green house gases (GHG) in the atmosphere. Climate repair was discussed, though some ideas would require geoengineering on a vast scale, like coating the arctic ocean with reflective glass beads. Singapore is already planning for a 4m rise in sea level, even poor communities in Bangladesh have developed effective floating islands to live on, so there is


some hope! The discussion touched on another exponential effect: that of release of methane from melting permafrost which is 30 times more potent as a GHG than C02. But at this point the meeting adjourned for some welcome cheese and wine! John Englanders bestselling book, High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis, clearly explains the science, the impending devastating economic effects and the opportunity to design for a more resilient future. Moving to Higher Ground—the title of his next book, is coming out in 2020. Moreover, the core presentation slides, are available on https://www. for us all to understand and share. IMechE, also have just published a very informative brochure entitled “Rising Seas: The Engineering



To meet the challenge imposed by environmental monitoring, some researchers have taken advantage of “vessels of opportunity” that continually repeat a commercial route. Teledyne say that Installing Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) on commercial vessels provides a cost-effective way to take sustained current measurements with high-spatial resolution along a specific transect. Effective monitoring of environmental changes requires sustained and widespread observations. To meet this challenge, some researchers have taken advantage of “vessels of opportunity” that continually repeat a commercial route. Such studies have examined algal blooms, estimated fluxes (water, heat, sediments), and validated satellitesensed observations.

State installed ADCPs on two public ferries that run continual (daytime) transects across the entrance to Puget Sound. Strong flows command this chokepoint where estuarine waters are exchanged with the ocean. This project aims to improve

Installing Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) on commercial vessels provides a cost-effective way to take sustained current measurements with high-spatial resolution along a specific transect. One caveat is that, at times, severe interference by bubbles and vessel noise can corrupt the ADCP profiles. Additionally, commercial vessels sometimes deviate from their regular route due to traffic or weather. In 2014, researchers in Washington Teledyne ADCP


understanding of the environmental influence of these flows, ranging from circulation patterns and lowoxygen intrusions to tidal energy resources. The four-year data set analysed by the researchers contains at least twenty transects per day, even

JANUS INTEROPERABILITY STANDARD In November 2019, Teledyne Marine took part in the second JANUS Interoperability Fest hosted by the NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), based in La Spezia (Italy). Over the past decade, the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation has been leading the efforts to develop a digital underwater coding standard aimed at providing a baseline common denominator for underwater acoustic communications. Although there are a number of commercial communication solutions and protocols now available from different suppliers,

more in summer when two ferries are in service. The ferries’ 6km route across Admiralty Inlet spans steep topography that channels the flow. The vessels run at 6 m/s, cutting through currents that can exceed 3 m/s and have strong spatial gradients. Pinging at 2Hz, the 300kHz ADCPs are programmed for 2m vertical resolution and averaged over 15s ensembles. Thus the recorded current profiles are separated by 90m (nominal) along the transect. Data are uploaded each day to a public server. Strong tidal streams dominate Admiralty Inlet’s circulation and ocean-estuarine exchange as well as influence navigation and shipping. Tidal analysis was therefore the first step for processing the ADCP data. Careful quality control diminished the volume of data approved for analysis. Nearsurface ADCP data was consistently degraded. Thick bubble layers are known to stream below commercial vessels because of their hull shape. Some data was also lost

until recently, there has not been a set standard to ensure the interoperability between equipment from the various ACOMMS manufacturers. This standard is called JANUS, and is now recognized as a NATO standard referred to as STANAG, a Standardization Agreement by all the NATO Nations. Once implemented globally by manufacturers, JANUS will make military and civilian, NATO and nonNATO devices interoperable, providing them all with a common language with which to communicate and arrange to cooperate. At this year’s event, Teledyne Marine once again tested their JANUS protocol capabilities, along with several other manufacturers. At last year’s

due to the ADCP’s proximity to the propeller used during the return passage of these double-ended ferries. When the four years of transects were merged, current profiles were assigned to a layered spatial grid. The grid’s cells were 200 m wide and 2 m thick.Measurements were binned according to cross-stream position and depth. Thus, a long time series was available within each cell although data was not evenly spaced in time. The tidal analysis took advantage of software that had been developed for a similar ferry-based ADCP project in Long Island Sound. Results show tidal variation across the section and through depth. For Admiralty Inlet, the five most energetic tidal components contained 95% of the flow’s kinetic energy; the familiar twicedaily lunar tide was by far the most dominant. The control of the seabed topography in steering the tidal streams was


Interoperability Fest, Teledyne Marine, with their decades of experience in providing custom and standard wireless acoustics communication technology to the US government, easily secured their position as the first vendor to meet this realtime implementation of the JANUS protocol. T his year, Teledyne Marine returned to this event with their UTS-9400 deck box and ATM-900 Series Modems, with some added capabilities. These included an emergency plug designed for distressed submarine rescue operations, and the Automatic Identification System (AIS) designed as a status reporting service to broadcast identification and localization information.

readily apparent in the spatial variation of the tidal results. Strongest streams were found mid-channel where they reached below 50m depth. The high-flow regions were bordered on both sides by strong shears. A wide span of slow flow reached to the eastern shore. After the tidal contributions were removed, the spatial pattern of time-averaged velocity showed two distinct flows. A widespread deep flow was headed into Puget Sound across much of the section. Yet, at both ends of the section, the water was headed out, moving to the ocean. This impressive project reinforces the value of commercial vessels for collecting sustained observations of the ocean. As well as explaining the complex flow regime at the entrance to Puget Sound, these ADCP time series results can be used to inform water quality studies and to refine computer models of this important coastal chokepoint.




SeeByte and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have joined forces to explore the feasibility of combining multiple autonomy architectures onto a single autonomous platform to produce the most capable unmanned system. As unmanned systems are now routinely deployed to carry out a wide variety of tasks, the need for adaptable and extendable systems is increasing. The research and development project, funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), will investigate the most suitable approach for combining two of the most widely used autonomy architectures: SeeByte’s Neptune and MIT’s MOOS-IvP. The approach will allow capabilities from both autonomy architectures to be leveraged concurrently based on the mission requirements. SeeByte’s Technical Program Manager, Pierre-Yves Mignotte, said “To date most research in Autonomy has focused on developing new behaviours to control the vehicle or sensor processing algorithms to improve the robot’s perception of its environment. As a result, researchers have focused their development around the use of single autonomy architecture. This project is a great opportunity to shift the focus towards multiautonomy architecture to produce the most efficient system for the maritime industry.” Michael Benjamin, Research Scientist at MIT, said "A primary goal of the MOOS-IvP open source marine autonomy software project is to empower the end user with greater options for performing missions and extending mission capabilities. The ability to simultaneously run different autonomy architectures on a single vehicle, within a single mission, has the potential to unleash even more autonomy capabilities available to the user.” SeeByte’s Neptune and MIT’s MOOS-IvP offer extendable autonomy architectures and have been used in collaborative unmanned systems demonstrations worldwide. By combining these platforms, the research hopes to develop multi-autonomy architecture concepts that are capable of balancing the variable levels of autonomy and the coordination of behaviors, which in turn will enable a quicker transition of research technology to the fleets.



OCEAN INFINITY LAUNCHES THIRD VESSEL to serve its clients on a global basis across each of the world’s major oceans. The Normand Frontier is a modern, fuel-efficient, Ocean Infinity now operates three multi-purpose vessel capable of both supporting permanently mobilised subsea vessels each equipped with 5 AUVs, 3 AUV and USV operations, as well as deep water search and recovery services. The mobilisation of USVs, 2 ROVs, full ocean depth hull mounted multi-beam echo-sounder, this third vessel adds to Ocean Infinity’s current deep water 45 tonnes fibre rope fleet consisting of the Seabed Constructor and winch and construction class crane. MV Island Pride, and will allow Ocean Infinity Ocean Infinity has successfully launched its third vessel, Normand Frontier.

BATTERY ENHANCEMENTS The company has reached a significant milestone in battery technology for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). The new, industry-leading technology has now been tested following 18 months of research, development and trials, which was aimed at improving the safety, efficiency, and quality of AUV operations. The work has been carried out in partnership with Kraken Robotics, the marine technology company dedicated to the production and sale of software-centric sensors, pressure tolerant batteries, underwater robotic systems and data analytics as a service. Ocean Infinity’s new 6000m pressure tolerant batteries enables greater endurance and efficiency of its HUGIN AUVs, enabling missions to be conducted across a period of more than four days without a battery change. The technology, partnered with Ocean Infinity’s multi-AUV operation, also increases the possible survey range to nearly 700 kilometres per AUV, providing the industry with a revolutionary survey platform offering.



MAS CHALLENGE Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) are of increasing importance to a wide range of sectors, including marine scientific and survey, offshore resource exploitation, maritime transport and defence and maritime security operations. The Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MASG) Council aims to enhance this reputation and encourage development and take-up of MAS technologies in the UK. Activities include: Facilitating outward and inward trade missions to create business opportunities through greater international co-operation Arranging information briefings on key developments in the market Organising networking opportunities with those who have a common interest in maritime autonomous systems. This prompted the launch of the Marine Autonomy Challenge. The challenge is focussed on autonomy (as opposed to platforms) and the aim is to get students thinking about how autonomy might address the problem of plastics in the ocean. It will stretch the knowledge of the students and promote creative thinking and encourage team working through a variety of individual skills

The idea is to connect the brightest young talent coming through the UK’s universities with the UK’s MAS Industry

Submission in which each team will make a 3 min video submission outline:

The competition scope is to focus on providing each team with a powered surface vessel (catamarans) (Including battery and thrusters, and the teams will be challenged to:

Individual skills, Relevant experience/ projects, Competition strategy Views on what the key issues are likely to be and what the team would do with the prize. Five teams will be selected to proceed to Phase II.

l Design and install control and sensor systems

An ‘expert’ industry mentor will be assigned to each team.

l Demonstrate controlled, safe manoeuvrability of vessels under challenge conditions

Phase II will culminate in an on-water competition at Calshot activity centre. Each team will complete a series of challenges with Prize of £2,000 to winning team.

The first phase will be a Video



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FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

PERDIDO SPAR What to do? Lifting separate modules onto the spar hull and integrating them offshore, as was conventional, or design a lighter weight topside as a single lift. Shell opted for the latter. Benchmarking showed that BP's Horn Mountain had the best function-to weight of any spar so this model was followed with Alliance Engineering selected as the engineering contractor because of its

experience with Horn Mountain. Oh - the image is the topsides installed by Heerema's Thailf

Nice. I saw that from the DSV Kingfisher. We did the closing spools on the keel tank


PRIDE CARLOS WALTER This was one of Pride International's Amethyst class deepwater semis. It was built at Okpo shipyard, South Korea and commissioned in Cape Town before going to Brazil . Sister ship to the Pride Brazil, the self-propelled dynamically positioned rig was capable of operating at depths of 5000ft. It was originally the Amethyst 7 and is now the Ensco 6001 Anyone with any picture of the original M & S Amethyst out of DeHoop, Lobith. Lost all my build pictures. Worked on her in that super little yard. Been there for a while They build everything Supersize in S. Korea In 2000 we worked on a few diamond mining vessels in CPT harbour alongside A-berth; I recall seeing this sub there for quite a while. 6002 (Pride Brazil) heading the same way It is now razor blades Great rig, worked their from ‘07-‘’09 Was there when the photo was taken, when in operation in Brazil, and also when organizing last trip to junk yard.... The full life cycle.... A great adventure Nice crew by the time I had to join this rig replace a radio operator just for a week I already made some shipments in this Rig in Brazil Those rigs did great work in Brazil! Very good design for the time and place! Saudades I believe it had a Dutch captain called Eric I can't believe 19 years have passed already. I think I was on board at the time this picture was taken. Have been pleasantly working on this Semi for quite some she is in pieces and the 6002 is going the same route....


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

SEMAC 1 The Semac 1 laying the pipeline to bring oil from Montrose to Forties Charlie Spent many a shift on that auld girl !!! Initially a Surveyor on Semac 1 for Brown & Root Survey in 86 then Party Chief and finally Client Representative Barge Superintenent Martin Raynor (The Crocodile) Earle Tupps, was the barge Superintendent, mostly when I

worked on the Seamac, had many fun conversations, on repairs. Shit hole, like it's mates Castro Se and all ETPMs barges. Only beaten by Micoperi. RIP Martin Raynor Many adventures and fond memories as barge engineer in ‘91. Spent many a shift getting people to work on that old girl.Happy days


Happy days. First time offshore was on the Seamac laying a line to the Murchison from the Dublin circa 1978. Worked a few projects on semac many, many moons ago. Been on Semac 1 many times I started my career on the semec-1

ALCATEL'S CAPJET Had fantastic time as cto on her , great crew, miss y'all ! Our team worked from semac 1 quite some time ago

(More from David Lawrence's collection) Onboard the Lowland Cavalier. Norway 1996. I was with STS and Scorpion 1 to do an as-built survey. We Didn’t have a lot to do!

I remember being on the SeMac 1 for the laying of the Flags line. She was MacDermotts then, now sadely 40 years later and she is gone.

Look's like it's left it's wheels on the bottom... look's like lively recovery :-) David Lawrence, um ... ok all the versions I supported with an ROV had wheels, remember this as I had to recover a few that fell off đ&#x;™‚. Cant see how it can just sit on a pipe with out damaging it ! Deep Vaid you could be right. It was 23 years ago. I was with the ROv. I Just remember all the motor problems including Power vans catching fire! Worked with Capjet on the Nordica around 2000, It was nicknamed CrapJet as it spent more time on deck than it did trenching, It still managed to finish the job eventually though Forgot to mention, STS legend Eric Tough is in the foreground. Man of few words. If you could understand them, I’m Australian. Famous for driving his land rover down the stairs off Union St., Aberdeen.I got plenty of hours flying the vehicle working with Eric. He didn’t do flying. he had a bar as well in town somewhere


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

THISTLE The 31 000t structure was towed to site on a barge by 4 ocean-going tugs. After launch, selective flooding of the buoyancy tanks righted the structure

Handsome tug.


Here’s the Thistle Jacket ready for float out from the Laing Offshore, Graythorpe Yard in Hartlepool.


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)


The field was discovered by the Blue Water 3 drilling semi in July 1973. Th

First trip offshore Green as you could get. Welding ladders down the outside of the legs.Just a harness attached to the ladder. Good times / Good money. Was it safe ? By today’s standards, no. Did we all come home, yes.

Great little rig.

than we had ever seen.

The rig welder at the time knew me. Picked up off the boat & spun round a few times by the crane before we landed. Don’t bother to Reply to this with negative posts. It’s history & it was what it was. Bottom line Is We all made more money

Bean counters in charge for over a decade. Are the guys better off. ? Minimum wage they can get away with & contracts which are worthless. Bring it back. That is who we were & what made us the men we are today.



he rest is history

ISE Inspector I am on holiday, so David Lawrence has kindly contributed photos from his collection. David writes.... Small inspection Rov the ISE Inspector. Sonsub had it in Singapore, Never worked!

Don’t think I worked with an Inspector, but have used the ISE Dart, which Doug Hernandez and I took offshore in a Bell 214. That was likely the first time a “ROV System” was flown out to a job. I don’t recall too many details (it was ‘79/‘80), but I think it flooded at some point.

Same here

the time (1977) it seemed pretty awesome to me. Mud facilities were in a separate building as was the cement unit. My next rig was a Pentagone rig in the North Sea. It was space age compared to the Bluewater

Ive often filled my vehicle and wondered if the petrol im putting in my truck is from a well ive worked on.

The accommodation unit looks very "house on the prairie" like.... pitched roof

First semi I worked on was the Bluewater 2. No compensator (bumper subs) and riser tensioner were clump weights. At

Brilliant pioneering picture, shows how far we have come in a short time.

any of the wells i’ve been involved in; some are covered in dust or sand, others are just dustbin lids in the North Sea i suppose - as for the rest... Signal Oil & Gas I remember it well. I find this sort of nostalgia quite fascinating. We drill these wells, in whatever capacity we’re in at the time, and often just walk away - never to really know what happens after we leave. I’ve quite literally no idea what became of


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

THISTLE A module being installed on the Brutus TLP at the GMF yard in Ingleside, Texas. This was Shell's 5th TLP.

Miss those days for sure, lots of years put in those two yards

Now owned by EnVen Energy. Great company. Great TLP.

That has got to be pretty exciting assembling that BEAST. Sense of accomplishment when it goes to sea for sure!

The building of this TLP was a great experience for me. Lots of great memories, and some not so good...đ&#x;˜œ. I was on it from the shipyard till it was


warm stacked (the first time). Still the best TLP in the Gulf Of Mexico. Getting ready to start my 13th year at this location.

XL20 ROV (More from David Lawrence's collection) XL20 coming back on board the Uncle John after recovering transponders on the Exxon Diana project 1995?

Loving the t3(?) wrist camera! Must be after 95. Canyon didn't start until the end of 96. I used to pilot one just like that for Canyon. I worked for Perry Tritech where that work class ROV was designed and built. Quite a lot of them as I remember. Followed by the XLX a very durable vehicle. Those XL's are still in service.


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

PRINCE FIELD, GULF OF MEXICO Mini TLPs became of great interest around the 2000s. Heerema installed Modec-designed Moses TLP in 1450ft of water on El Paso's Prince field in 2001 shortly after McDermott installed the third Atlantia Sea Star Mini-TLP on Typhoon ( the first two being Morpeth and Allegheny). Prince was originally called Sunday Silence when it was developed by Tatham Offshore. Tatham was bought by Leviathan Gas Pipeline

Partners which, in turn, was bought by El Paso Energy. The Minimum Offshore Surface Equipment Structure (MOSES) was the first Mini-TLP to support dry trees. Now owned by EnVen Energy still producing, some of the original El Paso guys are still there from commissioning! Neat little TLP


The four-point (or four-set) anchor mini TLPs were a good idea for dry trees. The three-set anchored ones weren't see my previous post on the fate of the Chevron Typhoon Seastar TLP. Depends on your field. Subsets isn't always cheapest or fastest.

CEREMONY BRUNEI. 1991. (More from David Lawrence's collection) Job commencement ceremony on Brown and Root's, DLB264(Hugh Gordon). The Priest (flown in on Shell Helicopter) is about to cut the chicken's head off, and put some blood on the Big Rigs main hook. This was done so we would have a successful project. Shoulda put some on that Kuda Very witty! Perhaps Chris could have used a few drops! At least you didn’t have to share a cabin with a very unstable ex-legionnaire. I Was cast to wake him for shift. The dive supervisor gave me a broom to use. Think Tasmanian devil


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

CHALLENGER 1987 The jib for the4000t lift capacity vessel Challenger being installed in North East Shipbuilder's Middlesbrough yard. This was the largest ship-shaped crane vessel in the world. It had 4 tanks on each side of the hull mid-portion to help suppress roll. At the time of the photo, its owners,

ITM were in receivership and the NE Shipbuilders assumed ownership. Its first job was to be the installation of Conoco's V fields jackets - a job that eventually went to the DB101.

Those tanks were not for roll suppression in the classical sense but to keep vessel level during crane operations. Even slewing the empty crane will need some roll control.

Challenger design was many years ahead of its time in 1987 in many respects.

Interesting design was that those tanks were open to sea at the bottom, water level was controlled by air pressure built above the compartments. It was


DB26 1992 I am on holiday, so David Lawrence has kindly contributed photos from his collection. David writes.... Oceaneering’s Scorpio 58, next to McDermott diving hyperbaric Lifeboat. Onboard DB26, 1992 In 1993 I worked with his older brother here in Brazil ... The good old Scorpio 42 ... With the same blue painted aluminum tube frame, the vehicle's HPU consisted of a 40hp electric motor and a variable axial piston pump Rexroth A10VO71 DFR. The thrusters were the famous Innerspace 4200 series and the manipulators were the 5 Functions TA16 & 7 Functions was an ISE model and both were "Hard Pack", Good Times !!! God I hated those innerspace thrusters :-) Deep, kkkk is True... everyone hated these Thrusters because they broke easily. (edited)

the responsibility of second mate to operate the manual controls.

Nice shot of the DB50 under construction. I have spent a lot of time on on that vessel.

Years later while designing a modern construction vessel, we used the same specs for crane operations but this time everything was automated and controlled by computers.

This ship kind of reminds me of the old DB50

I was in the DB50 last September. The vents are still loud. Cool Mark. Good to hear the old lady still hissing. Controls still manual? The ITM Challenger was the last ship to be built at the North Sands yard in Sunderland Worked on it in North sands Roll dampening by using open wing tanks was already invented and used by NETHERLANDS OFFSHORE CO in late 70ths ..Blue Whale and Sea Lion Correct, I was employed by NOC 1975 till 1977. In those years we installed the Montrose and Claymore platforms. Both were manual ballast control for upending.

Because it is. The DB50 was originally the Challenger Worked for ITM offshore from early 1983 to late 1987 when they went under and Davy Normanby took over. Amongst other jobs worked on the challenger at Sunderland and in the Middlesbrough Normanby wharf yard on the Beryl SPM Bouy it was on the go at the same time. I don't recall the Challenger being at Middlesbrough. That picture is at Sunderland. I worked on the crane boom construction at itm Middlesbrough, apprentice plater, THINK I left 7 grinder inside then put top plate on??? Well I was only 16/ 17 Yep, i spent many days on this ole girl Great vision from Alf Duffield of ITM but sadly it ended in tears. Remember it well!


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

GREEN CANYON 29 1988 Placid's Green Canyon 29 template which sat in 425m of water. The template was fabricated from steel and lowered in sectins rather than being by buoyant tubular members.

The design was based on experience by Vetco Hughes and the valve blocks were based on the Cameron iron Works 'Plain Jane' ethos.


Brings back memories. During the mid-80s downturn, the 24-slot Green Canyon template was one of the few games in town for subsea wellhead equipment manufacturers. I worked

on various phases of subsea drilling, production and workover interfaces while on contract with Vetco Gray at the former Hughes Offshore facility (where I also worked in 82/83). The template was installed in one

piece by the Balder. Hughes Offshore and Cameron designed and built the system. That looks like one of my photographs. Mike time flies when you are having fun doesn't it. 31 years ago already


To the good old days, and the technology development that propelled the industry into Deepwater.

FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

SCORPIO 61 David Lawrence has kindly contributed photos from his collection. David writes.... "Oceaneering’s Scorpio 61 caught in fish trap off the coast of Malaysia. The guy with the knife was the client!" Aaah! The good ole days; the stories I could tell... Robert remember a client rep diving to untangle an rov just using a fire fighting ba set? Still happens including client involvement So familiar This is amazing!!! Thanks for sharing The right kind of client! Nice outboard too! Was a good ROV, lost in action in china. Sorry to hear that. Andy Warder and I took her out a few times in early 90’s. She loved to run on water. We had no spare innerspace thruster seals. She got a transfusion of Telus 68 after each dive!



FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

SUPER SCORPIO 9 (More from David Lawrence's collection) This STS’s Super Scorpio 9, onboard the Bar Protector in 1996. Fitted is a diamond wire cutter tool. This was the first time a diamond wire was used in anger! The inventor was flown out with the wire in a locked briefcase. The Reason why is in the background. The Saipem's Castro Sei lay barge dropped its pipe in 500m of water in a Norwegian Fjord. That was bad but worse was they lost the X-ray sled with the radioactive source. It looked like a pile of Spaghetti on the bottom. We trialled the cheese cutters back in ‘93 - it was an idea from Technospamic in Italy and Sonsub had to sort out IP in libel case. We used purpose built units for Odin decommissioning project in ‘93/‘94 on Smit Seni , S7000 etc. Used Tritons, Challenger, MRVs and Voyager systems. Odin.... oh man what a project that was I spent many weeks on Bar Protecor as Oil Company Representative on numeous projects when STS ROV team were onboard always a success TAFF JENKINS loved them RIP Taff a Legend in Offshore Diving related Construction Projects I had to get a "thank you" prezzy from the reps to Taff while B-P portcalled in Schiedam... a monocycle with stabilizers and Billywiz flag. He was beaming from ear to ear as he tested it on the main deck!

You couldn’t use your cameras to fly. We had to use the Scorpion to land the Super Scorpio on the pipe before cutting. It probably wasn’t the first time the DWC used, I was impressed by the owner bringing it himself in a briefcase! Hope you’re doing ok Gary. Did you see the photo of the Capjet, Eric is in the foreground There was a lot of learning to be done on those early diamond wire jobs. All routine these days! Old school to the bone! Gotta love it! I’ve spent a lot of time near to that chain onboard the Bar Protector in 2001. Great vessel she was! A great piece of additional buoyancy They do not look basically any different now. Both DWC and ROV. Cleaner lines about it! Stena Offshore used a diamond wire cutter (and a ball grab) with the Apache in Brazil in about 93 if I remember correctly. Dave Cannell (sp) was the project engineer in charge of developing the kit. Very very good this picture Ametek Straza's Scorpio 2000 (Macbeth & Maccallum) were doing cable jetting by that time ... ;D so nice Chris Kemplay when the tether was not a problem

a great guy to work with Bill Roger Kenny Roger Gary Black Eric Tough Doug Scott Bill Garden and many more


HIBERNIA From the photo collections of John Middlemist

The 600 000t gravity base structure (GBS) was designed to resist iceberg forces. It was originally built at Bull Arm by Doris Engineering using a stepforming approach, however, this was replaced by Aker using its slipforming expertise.


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

MAGNUS JACKET FLOAT OUT AT HIF From the photo collections of John Middlemist this week.

The fabrication of the single central combined drilling and production platform began in 1980. The Magnus jacket was designed, manufactured and installed by John Brown Offshore. This was the first platform I was on

My first job and the last job before load-out scar area NDE from a basket without manriding. 30 June 1981 and ÂŁ2.18/hour! ÂŁ88 a week in a pay packet I was cutting grass in Strathclyde park during the Uni summer holidays. 78


thru 82. The weekly pay packet was about the same and double what was on offer for engineering training schemes. In 79 OT was good and I made well over 100 quid a week for a 61 hour week. Happy days. Great bunch of lads both students and full timers


Ninian South Image Alan Cattell Self floating, right? I came to Magnus 1987 it’s been a good platform with some great people who have past through over the years and I’m still here to this day, Aye Guys a big beast at the time and even now nearly 40 years later one of the biggest single piece builds at 43,000te Almost a disaster Offshore though as she on upending she shed most of the pre installed 72” piles due to fatigue in the shear plates However weather was kind to us and no major damage , apart from a John Brown Eng rep taking a heart attack on the supply boat. We had to manufacture replacement piles in jig time. Glory days indeed After Magnus it was TLP and Statpipe then Marathon Brae B The good old days. Ah, the Magnus, what a platform. First trip offshore 2001. Who remembers Papa Mick? Used to go to Thailand and bring back watches and football shirts to sell to the guys. (edited) I think my dad worked on that jacket, I think I even still have a copy of Hifab news in my loft somewhere. He was part of a documentary done by the BBC of the tradesmen who travelled up to the yard from Teesside. The good old days lol The 2 top nodes were built by Motherwell Bridge in a temp yard in Grangemouth, I represented HI Fab, I believe it was in 1980, how time flies The BP Magnus. It was a record breaker in its day. I had my first NDT job for Mapel on that project. It was followed by the Conoco TLP. You must have worked for Ultratest then, Derek.... First rig I worked. As a cleaner on the topside construction offshore. The start of great adventure Who remembers the Derrickman nicknamed “The Fiend” on Magnus? Did great Technical Limit work there. 30% reduction in well times. Great fun had by all


FRIDAY PHOTOS (From the UT2 Linked-in site)

SE FORTIES All these come from the library of UT2 correspondent John Middlemist BP SE Forties Jacket HiFab 1985 This was 1 of 4 projects I worked on at Brown and Root - Wimpey Highlands Fabricators (HiFab) in Nigg in the mid 80,s. Great place to work. John Maynard Ronnie Bonnar William Ross Hector Ross Iain Fraser HUGH SKINNER bob dunsmore Duncan Wigney My grandfather was a fabricator for hi-fab back in the day. Kenny Mackay was his name. Loved hearing the stories of the past and how busy nigg and ardesier were compared to now. Thanks for sharing I was on the Forties Bravo when the Forties Echo came out into the field. It was supposed to be "unmanned" That never happened. Was on site during the launch and final installation. Nice history In those days Garry were there still wolves roaming free in the Scottish highlands ? Yes there were and also several bears....fond memories of the Kincraig hotel with an honesty bar and monster breakfasts.... David that would have been the RDL rig yard in Methil you would be looking at, has changed names a few times now, I probably worked on 6 or 7 of these jackets, great days. I think late 70's could have been the Jacket for the Forties field in the North Sea. My first offshore project on site with Heerema back in the day. Happy memories and a great education Remember it well




David Lawrence has kindly contributed photos from his collection. David writes "This is the infamous Robert Keith. You may know him from his informative posts and comments on Linked In. ROV legend for losing at least 6 ROVs and a winch! Robert and I were sent to Brunei. With the “Kuda” made by the University of Malaysia. Job was a disaster! The launch system in the photo was from a RCV225. My last job in the Sonsub workshop was to gut the system, the eyeball and controls went in the trash! We are on the Brown and Root barge DLB264( Hugh Gordon) 1992

Thanks for the 'recommendation' DLaw, but you failed to mention I've actually recovered more ROVs than I've dropped, including a TROV caught on a wellhead for 7 years! Alas, 2 vehicles under my supervision were permanently lost, 1 thru the thrusters of the "recovery vessel", and the other drifted away into Bass Strait; the last ROV of that era that had a foam block unwisely painted blue 'n white. Great picture. I think Glenn lost 1 or 2 in his days at Sonsub Tandy Markcum Yeah Tandy, Ian Mason summed it up decades ago when he


quipped: “There are two kinds of ROV operators, those that have lost ROVs, and those that are going to”. That's one handsome looking dude!! Do you owe him money well he still has the original negatives...…. My old boss,pleasure to work for

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UT3 Issue 6 2019  

UT3 Issue 6 2019