The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Sep/Oct 2016


Bibby Offshore awarded North Sea contract

CSV 'Olympic Ares'

Bibby Offshore, the UK-headquartered subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry, has announced a multi-million pound contract win with an independent UK-based E&P company to provide air diving and ROV inspection and construction services across five of its North Sea assets.

The contract, which began this summer and is to be completed by the end of the year, will see Bibby Offshore utilise several vessels including its construction support vessel Olympic Ares, diving support vessel Bibby Topaz and subsea support and construction vessel Olympic Bibby.

The vessel-based engineering work involves Bibby Offshore installing a cathodic protection system on one platform and performing air diving services to complete routine and non-routine inspection, repair and maintenance support at three other facilities. The company will also carry out routine pipeline inspection surveys at all five assets.

Fraser Moonie, chief operating officer at Bibby Offshore, said: “We have successfully completed multiple projects with this customer, with the latest contract demonstrating the continued confidence in our ability to deliver such complex workscopes.

“We place a huge emphasis on collaboration, which has led to us completing numerous high profile North Sea contracts throughout 2016, enabling our clients to achieve greater efficiency in this challenging market.”

ROV order

Houston, USA-based Forum Energy Technologies has announced it has received an order from Singapore-based New Orient Marine to supply three remotely operated vehicles for a multi-purpose ice-class vessel currently under construction. 

The order includes two Perry XLX 200hp, 4000-metre rated work-class ROV systems and one Sub-Atlantic Comanche 3000-metre rated observation-class ROV.

Forum said it will also provide operation and maintenance training for New Orient Marine’s personnel, as well as onboard support during the ROV mobilisation.   

Boone County Water Rescue takes delivery of sonar system

EdgeTech, the USA-based specialist in high-resolution sonar imaging systems and underwater technology, recently delivered a 4125 sidescan sonar system to Boone County Water Rescue, USA, and the system was immediately deployed in the region.

Boone County Water Rescue, established in 1967 and located Burlington, Kentucky, has a long and successful history operating sidescan sonar systems. The organisation is known for its professionalism, record of success and responsiveness to incidents. The team is often called on to assist with water-related accidents in counties around the area.

EdgeTech’s 4125 sidescan sonar system was designed with both the search and recovery (SAR) and shallow-water survey communities in mind and utilises EdgeTech’s Full Spectrum CHIRP technology.
“The system provides high-resolution imagery and dual simultaneous frequency operations resulting in exceptional range and resolution underwater even in challenging conditions,” said EdgeTech.

After delivery of the sidescan, EdgeTech also provided on-site training for Boone County Water Rescue. The company said: “During training operations one member of the team stated that he had ‘never seen underwater image quality and resolution like the 4125 produces’.”

Upon completion of the training session the Boone County Water Rescue team immediately started utilising the new EdgeTech 4125 system weekly for bridge and pier surveys.

Six USVs for 'groundbreaking' AUV project
  • SeaWorker vehicle

ASV Global, the UK-based manufacturer of unmanned and autonomous surface vehicle technology, is to design and build six brand new unmanned surface vehicles for SeaTrepid DeepSea, USA.

The vehicles will be used in a multiple autonomous vehicle programme developed by SeaTrepid DeepSea combining USVs and autonomous underwater vehicles to conduct wide area, high-resolution surveys.
Derivatives of the established C-Worker range of ASV Global platforms, the new bespoke SeaWorkers, will each be fitted with an acoustic underwater positioning system to track the AUVs throughout shallow and ultra-deep waters. Using USVs to track the AUVs brings a step change in operational efficiencies with significant cost savings compared to using a traditional ship.


Dan Hook, managing director of ASV Global, said: “We are delighted to be supplying six new USVs into this groundbreaking project. The SeaWorkers have been designed specifically as a ruggedised workboat, capable of carrying large payloads and handling varying weather conditions and water depths. The ASView control system will allow for the reliable and safe operation of the six vehicles.”

Jake Klara, commercial manager at SeaTrepid DeepSea, said: “The USVs are a vital piece of the multiple autonomous vehicle programme allowing for tracking and communication between the AUVs and host surface vessel. Having a quality USV developed by the leading manufacturer was essential for us to produce successful results to our clients.”

The 7.6-metre long SeaWorkers are being built at ASV Global’s production facility in Portchester, UK, before undergoing sea trials and being shipped to SeaTrepid’s base in Louisiana, USA.

Scientific surveys award
  • The SROV 'Surveyor Interceptor'

Marine survey specialist MMT, Sweden, has been awarded a contract with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project (Black Sea MAP) for archaeological and geological scientific surveys at the Black Sea.

The operations will be performed from the vessel Stril Explorer and will consist of seabed mapping, inspections and geotechnical sampling in close co-operation with the project scientific team.


The primary survey tool on board will be the SROV Surveyor Interceptor, jointly owned and operated by MMT and Reach Subsea, Norway.

Black Sea MAP is an investigation of the prehistoric and historic archaeology of the Western Black Sea, focusing on prehistoric changes in sea level. In scale and scope it is said to be the largest such project ever undertaken of the submerged cultural heritage of Bulgaria and should contribute to the enhancement of the record of human activity in this region.

Winch solutions for Canyon CSVs

Canyon Offshore, USA, has selected MacArtney, Denmark, MERMAC electric winch solutions for two of its latest construction support vessels.

MacArtney said it has supplied a total of four winch systems, all featuring active heave compensation (AHC), allowing Canyon Offshore to launch, operate and recover ROVs under rough sea conditions.

Installed inside the port and starboard hangars of the Grand Canyon II and Grand Canyon III, each of the MacArtney MERMAC R40 winches will be utilised to deploy the 3000-metre rated work-class ROV systems that form the backbone of each vessel’s subsea intervention toolkit.

Sub first for South America

Argentina's Coast Guard, the Prefectura Naval Argentina, has purchased the first manned submarine for civil applications in South America.

The sub was manufactured by USA-based Seamagine Hydrospace and sold through Mariscope Ingenieria in Chile and Mariscope Argentina, subsidiary companies of the German ROV manufacturer Mariscope Meerestechnik and its Argentinean representative Aerofalcon.

The Ocean Pearl submarine is depth rated to 380 metres and equipped with a bi-directional tracking system, a high-resolution sonar, an HD camera on a pan and tilt mechanism, a multifunction hydraulic manipulator, an altimeter and LED lighting, along with a number of other components. The submarine is full ABS A1 classed and was delivered on a trailer to make land transportation easy.

“The submarine will be used by Prefectura for search and recovery tasks but also for scientific purposes in cooperation with national and international research institutes and universities,” said a spokesman.
The spokesman said the ability to trailer the sub and to deploy it without the need of a supply vessel would permit its use in lakes in the Andes – something only done previously by Jacques Cousteau.

“Lakes in Argentina are very deep and abundant – every year people drown in these lakes and search and recovery is difficult due to the depth,” he said. “Also, most of these lakes are barely known underwater. Amazing results are expected from the use of a manned sub in these and other areas.”

Fugro supports Total ultra-deepwater drilling campaign with ROV services
  • FCV 4000 ROV recovers the ADCP deployed to monitor subsea currents at the Raya-1 field

Fugro Subsea Services, UK, has been awarded a contract by Total E&P Uruguay BV to support its drilling campaign offshore Uruguay. The contract provides for ROV and tooling services in the Raya-1 field in 3400 metres water depth.

Fugro is supplying two state-of-the-art 200hp FCV 4000D work-class ROV systems and subsea tooling which are installed on board the Maersk Venturer drilling ship and a field support vessel.

In addition to specialist tooling tasks, Fugro is performing a range of activities typically required during drilling operations such as bullseye checks, seabed survey and general cleaning on and around the subsea blow out preventer. Real-time video provided by the Fugro and Total telecom network enables Total to observe critical operations from its onshore office should it be needed.

Raya-1 is the deepest well, by water depth, ever to be drilled.

“Fugro’s top class intervention tooling is key to supporting Total in this world leading contract,” said Richard Mathieson, Fugro ROV services project manager.





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