The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Oct/Nov 2018


Bibby Offshore completes North Sea project

Diving and ROV support vessel 'Bibby Sapphire'

UK subsea services provider Bibby Offshore reports it has successfully delivered a significant contract to an independent oil and gas development and production company.

The project, completed via two separate scopes, saw Bibby Offshore carry out inspection repair and maintenance services and riser connection support across three North Sea assets.

Based on the company’s current saturation diving framework agreement with the operator, the contract was completed utilising Bibby Offshore’s multi-role diving and ROV support vessel Bibby Sapphire.

Barry MacLeod, managing director at Bibby Offshore, said: “This recent project demonstrates the operator’s confidence in our inspection, repair and maintenance and subsea support expertise. Having successfully completed multiple projects in the past, we’re delighted to continue our trusted partnership with its team.”

Pilot programme launches for ecosystem restoration around offshore wind farms
  • The reef structures will be positioned within Eneco's Luchterduinen wind farm using a Van Oord installation vessel

The Netherlands-based Van Oord and Eneco, together with Dutch environmental organisations the North Sea Foundation and Natuur & Milieu (Nature & Environment), are starting a project – the Rich North Sea – to restore natural underwater features around offshore wind farms. A pilot project at Eneco’s Luchterduinen wind farm will investigate “how nature conservation and sustainable energy generation can reinforce one another”.

“The demonstration project will provide know-how and possibly a blueprint for underwater nature restoration at all offshore wind farms, so that this can soon become standard when constructing new wind projects,” said a Van Oord spokesman.

Numerous big new wind farms are planned for the Dutch sector of the North Sea in the coming years, according to the spokesman. “With the new project, Van Oord, Eneco, Natuur & Milieu and the North Sea Foundation aim to show that nature conservation and sustainable energy generation can be mutually beneficial,” he said.

In addition to this project, Van Oord is also preparing an oyster project at the Borssele V innovation site. “This will increase our understanding of how to speed up the recovery of oysters in the North Sea, something that is very important for improving biodiversity there,” said the spokesman.

Use of trawl nets is prohibited within wind farms, and marine life can attach to the support towers. “This makes wind farms an ideal location for proactively reinforcing natural underwater features,” the spokesman explained. “Various types of artificial reef systems and oysters will be positioned within the wind farm. The oysters will produce larvae that contribute to the creation of a full-scale reef that then attracts all kinds of other species, such as crabs, fish, and seals.”

Human intervention and outbreaks of disease have led to the near disappearance of natural reefs, often shellfish beds, from the North Sea. Reefs play an important role underwater, filtering water and acting as an attachment point and source of food. During the pilot project, the organisations will investigate the optimum underwater conditions to enable nature to thrive once again.

  • The oysters will produce larvae that contribute to the creation of a full-scale reef that then attracts all kinds of other species, such as crabs, fish and seals

The reef structures will be positioned within Eneco’s Luchterduinen wind farm this coming autumn using a Van Oord installation vessel. The artificial reefs will consist of “reef balls” and cages containing adult oysters. “These will produce larvae that will then contribute to the creation of a full-scale reef with all kinds of other species – a veritable nursery for biodiversity,” the spokesman said.

The pilot project will be tracked in a scientific research and monitoring programme in collaboration with the Bureau Waardenburg Consultancy and Wageningen Marine Research in the Netherlands.

TenneT begins laying NordLink subsea cable

Transmission system operator TenneT, headquartered in the Netherlands, has begun laying its NordLink subsea cable section in the German North Sea. During the operations TenneT will wind out 99 kilometres into the seabed between the cable landfall at the Büsum dike (Schleswig-Holstein) and southwest of the Island of Sylt through the tidal flat area (Wadden Sea).

Next year, another 55 kilometres of subsea cable will be laid in the German offshore area up to the border of the Danish territorial waters. Here, the cable end will be connected to the 228-kilometre-long cable section to be laid in 2018 and 2019 in the Danish North Sea area by means of a subsea cable joint.

The 134-kilometre-long subsea cable section in Norwegian territorial waters is already complete. Construction of the 53-kilometre-long overhead line on Norwegian mainland is scheduled for completion in 2019.

On the German mainland, NordLink will be laid as an underground cable on a 54-kilometre route between Büsum dike and the Wilster converter station (Steinburg district) starting in 2019.

Overall, the NordLink interconnector is 623 kilometres long. The “green link” will directly connect the energy markets of Germany and Norway for the first time and serve as an exchange between German wind energy and Norwegian hydropower.

M2 completes Ithaca contract
  • Multi-service vessel 'Go Electra'

Aberdeen, UK-based ROV services M2 Subsea has completed a contract with Ithaca Energy UK to conduct a subsea system survey of a North Sea field.

The company deployed the Go Electra multi-service vessel equipped with a Triton XLX work-class ROV to the Stella field, located 280 kilometres off Aberdeen with a water depth of 85 metres.
The scope of work included the survey and inspection of subsea systems including pipelines and subsea structures.

Mike Arnold, chief executive officer of M2 Subsea, said: “This project is a testament to the cost efficient and high-quality service our team continues to bring to operations not just in the North Sea, but globally.”





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