The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Jul/Aug 2018


Bibby Offshore secures Spirit Energy contract

Multi-role diving and ROV support vessel 'Bibby Sapphire'

Aberdeen, UK-based subsea services provider Bibby Offshore reports it has secured a fixed-term framework agreement with independent oil and gas operator Spirit Energy, UK.

The two-year agreement, which follows on from a previous five-year agreement, will see Bibby Offshore carry out inspection repair and maintenance works, ROV inspection and subsea survey operations across a number of North Sea structures and pipelines.

The project will utilise Bibby Offshore’s fleet capabilities, including its multi-role diving and ROV support vessel Bibby Sapphire, a Quasar MKII work-class ROV and two Seaeye, UK, Lynx observation-class ROVs.

Howard Woodcock, chief executive of Bibby Offshore, said: “The award of a further two-year framework with Spirit Energy is a clear demonstration of the strength in relationship between Bibby Offshore and the client.

“Having successfully delivered a varied programme of workscopes across the company’s Morecambe Bay assets and North Sea pipelines and structures over the past five years, this latest agreement highlights the on-going confidence in our ability to deliver safe, on time, multi-scope operations to meet the needs of our client.”

Dolwin Alpha project award
  • Dolwin Alpha platform

A consortium of SeaRenergy, Germany, and N-Sea, the Netherlands, has been awarded a project by TenneT, the Netherlands, covering modification works to the jacket structure of the HVDC platform Dolwin Alpha, in the German Exclusive Economic Zone of the North Sea. 

The project will see Hamburg-based lead partner SeaRenergy provide engineering and design services as well as the fabrication of clamps to be installed on each of the six jacket legs to increase the overall lifetime of the HVDC transmission system. 

Following SeaRenergy’s trial of mockup test structures, N-Sea will provide subsea installation services using a dive support vessel with dive team and work-class ROV. 

Johann Philipp, general manager of SeaRenergy, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for SeaRenergy and N-Sea to demonstrate our joint capabilities in engineering and subsea installation, performing a challenging task at an operational platform with an innovative and cost-effective design implemented in a safe and efficient manner.” 

N-Sea CEO Gerard Keser said: “This award is the culmination of months of hard work by the consortium team. We look forward to delivering the project with our partner and building on the cooperation and trust we have established with SeaRenergy.”

Diver video/comms systems delivered to navy in Far East

C-Tecnics, UK, reports it has delivered five customised C-Vision diver video and comms systems to a major navy in the Far East.

“The specially adapted C-Vision offers a portable split screen video control system which also offers high-performance diver communications and digital depth monitoring features, thereby giving total control, recording and verification of the whole dive,” the company said.

Diver umbilicals connect to high-resolution, helmet-mounted video cameras and powerful LED lights, according to the firm.

DeepOcean Troll award
  • Troll A platform in the Troll gas field

DeepOcean AS, the Norwegian subsidiary of the Netherlands-based DeepOcean Group Holding BV, has been awarded a contract for performing marine operations on Equinor’s (Norway) Troll Phase 3 project in the North Sea.

Troll Phase 3 covers the development of the large gas reserves in the western part of the Troll field.

The award to DeepOcean covers project management, engineering, procurement, fabrication and offshore installation activities. The offshore work includes installation of two integrated subsea template structures and manifolds, two foundation structures and PLEMs, installation of spools, laying of MEG line and umbilical, tie-ins and commissioning activities.

The onshore project team will work out of DeepOcean’s offices in Haugesund and Stavanger, Norway. Offshore execution will be performed in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

DeepOcean commercial director Rolf Ivar Sørdal said: “DeepOcean is continuously working hard to develop innovative and cost efficient ways of executing subsea construction projects. Troll Phase 3 is a perfect match to both our capabilities and our construction vessel fleet. This has been a target project for us and we are proud of being trusted with this exciting award. We look forward to working together with Equinor and successfully executing this project in a professional and safe manner.”

Port of Dover awards underwater inspection contract to VRT Finland

VRT Finland has announced it has signed a four-year contract with the Port of Dover, UK, to provide detailed underwater inspections of the port structures to ensure safe port operations.

Effective immediately, the four-year contract covers the delivery of underwater inspections between 2018 and 2021 for the entire 3.45-square-kilometre port area.

The Port of Dover has a wide range of assets of varying structure types, situated in the coastal marine environment that require inspection, testing, assessment and maintenance as part of the Port’s developing and ongoing long-term asset management plan.

“VRT’s inspections allow us to monitor any long-term trends in the deformation characteristics of the structures, the early identification of any potential issues allows the Port to undertake suitable maintenance or remedial designs if necessary,” said Darren Bell, geospatial engineer at the Port of Dover.

The co-operation started two years ago, when VRT Finland surveyed more than five kilometres of marine structures in works spanning 2016 and 2017. As a result of the new contract, it is the intention that every principle marine structure is surveyed over the next four years. Some of the structures will be inspected for the first time to collect baseline data for future surveys while a part of the Port’s infrastructure will be surveyed for the second time, enabling detailed change comparisons between data sets.

“The framework agreement is a great opportunity to carry out inspections for the whole port area to collect important baseline information to enable long-term monitoring of underwater structures. With multibeam sonar technology, we can make the invisible underwater structures visible while also surveying the structures above the surface with laser scan. With our underwater inspection service and VRT BIM online service, Port of Dover can digitise assets for smart asset management,” explained Karri Koistinen, client executive at VRT Finland.

C-Innovation wins Bass Lite flowline decommissioning project contract

C-Innovation, USA, reports it will play a key role in the Bass Lite flowline decommissioning project for Apache, USA.

C-Innovation will be responsible for flushing and preparing 60 miles (97 kilometres) of pipeline for decommissioning. The project, which is located in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to last approximately two weeks, will require two vessels with coiled tubing units and will be gas lifted using hot tap while flushing operations are executed.

“The project is complex and the timing will be critical as we manage the logistics of multiple vessels and ROVs along with partner Halliburton’s (USA) multiple coiled tubing units,” said David Sheetz of C-Innovation. “The ability to respond to Apache with a full solution reduces the cost to the client and also reduces the risks by dealing with a single subcontractor.”

Teledyne Gavia capability upgrades for Turkish Navy
  • Turkish Navy Gavia AUVs equipped with MB2250 gap-filler module

Iceland-based Teledyne Gavia reports the delivery of Teledyne BlueView, USA, MB2250 modules and associated Teledyne PDS software for all Gavia AUVs operated by the Turkish Navy Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Command in Erdek, Turkey.

The BlueView MB2250 will be used in conjunction with the existing EdgeTech, USA, 2205 sidescan sonars that are currently installed on the Turkish Navy Gavia vehicles and will provide capabilities for sidescan sonar nadir gap-fill as well as providing high-frequency multibeam data that can aid in detection and classification of mine like objects, according to a spokesman.

“During recent MCM trials, use of the Teledyne BlueView MB2250 allowed the Gavia AUV to cover roughly forty percent more area in a given time than the vehicle would have been able to cover without the use of gap-fill. This greatly increased coverage area is a significant development for small AUVs,” said the spokesman.

The Turkish Navy MCM Command will utilise its BlueView equipped Gavia AUVs either from vessels of opportunity or from its AYDIN or ENGIN class minehunters to augment existing MCM capabilities.

The Underwater Centre signs major Japanese trials contract
  • KHI AUV verification test November 2017

Scotland-based subsea training and trials centre The Underwater Centre has signed a basic agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) in Japan to carry out a verification test of a prototype AUV equipped with a robot arm for subsea pipeline inspection.

The test, scheduled for October 2018 at The Underwater Centre in Fort William, will be the first test of its kind in the world.

Steve Ham, the commercial director at The Underwater Centre, travelled to Tokyo for the signing of the agreement, which was witnessed by Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.

As a purpose-built subsea training and trials facility, The Underwater Centre incorporates an extensive pier complex including four dive stations, classrooms, workshops and decompression chambers plus mechanical and electrical workshops, a 1.5 million-litre indoor tank and classrooms as part of its ROV training suite.

In November 2017, KHI successfully completed a 15-day verification test at the Centre for the automated underwater docking of a prototype AUV to its charging station, involving contactless charging and large-capacity optical communication.

With a focus on the growing demand for pipeline maintenance in offshore oil and gas fields, KHI has been developing leading-edge component technologies for AUVs, based on sophisticated submarine technologies fostered in-house over many years.

Aiming at commercialisation in 2020, KHI is currently developing an AUV capable of underwater charging and transferring of inspection data to the mothership – features that allow for longer deployment time – while autonomously locating and tracking pipelines at close range, including those buried under seabed sediment.

For the upcoming test, KHI plans to use a prototype AUV equipped with a robot arm with an attached inspection tool unit – which is currently under development – to achieve autonomous locating and tracking of subsea pipelines.

The test will focus on verifying the robot arm’s capability to absorb the movement of the AUV due to tidal currents, as well as verifying that the inspection tool unit can continuously track a pipeline under those conditions.

  • KHI and The Underwater Centre agreement signing in Tokyo

Reflecting the Scottish government’s strong interest in this collaboration, the basic agreement with The Underwater Centre was signed in the presence of the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, who was visiting Japan.

Hyslop said: “I am delighted that Kawasaki Heavy Industries, one of Japan’s major companies, has decided to develop this innovative technology in Scotland. It is fantastic news for The Underwater Centre in Fort William. Scottish Development International has worked hard behind the scenes to help secure this hugely significant agreement.

“Kawasaki also has excellent links with the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics at Heriot-Watt University, which is developing the control software and multi-sensor algorithms for the AUV system to enable it to track pipes underwater.

“The Scottish government’s Subsea Action Plan, launched in January 2017, reflects our ambitions to support this important sector, not only in international oil and gas markets, but also to diversify into other sectors including renewables and deep-sea mining.”

Steve Ham said: “The Underwater Centre has been really delighted to support KHI during the testing of their AUV in our seawater test site. We have built up a very good relationship over the development and delivery of the project and we look forward to welcoming them back to Fort William later this year and in future.”

The agreement also states that The Underwater Centre will be collaborating with KHI on future development of underwater vehicle technology.





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