The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
Global Diving & Salvage, USA, has surpassed a major industry milestone; performing 10,000 successful dives on a single project at Olmsted Locks and Dam in Illinois, USA. Tom Cameron, a long-time diver with Global, performed the 10,000th dive.
Wade Miller, AECOM, USA, marine construction manager for the Olmsted Locks and Dam project, said: “The Global team has done an exceptional job. This accomplishment is such a strong statement regarding their professionalism and commitment to performing their work safely.”
Global has been working at Olmsted since 2009 providing a variety of dive-related services. The Olmsted Locks and Dam project is a significant, ongoing undertaking. The new locks and dam system will replace two outdated locks and dam systems on the Ohio River, greatly reducing tow and barge delays through one of the busiest US inland waterways.
“This is a monumental achievement for everyone involved,” said John Graham, director at Global. “This milestone demonstrates our diligence and commitment to safety in carrying out all of our operations; from a simple tug survey to a long-term project such as this.”
Norwegian offshore vessel owner Solstad Offshore has taken delivery of the subsea construction vessel Normand Maximus and started it on its eight-year charter contract with Italy’s Saipem.
The Normand Maximus was developed in close collaboration between Solstad, Saipem and shipbuilder Vard, Norway. The vessel is equipped with a 900-tonne active heave compensated offshore crane and a 550-tonne top tension vertical lay-system, enabling the installation of large diameter flexible pipes in ultra-deepwater environments.
The vessel was built by Vard in Romania and Norway.
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC), UK, reports the launch of a new collaborative way of working with the oil and gas industry. NOC said it will provide innovative science and technology to enable industry to work safely and efficiently, with minimum impact on the marine environment.
The launch comes off the back of many years of working with the industry on both an individual and collaborative basis, to develop science and technology to enhance competitive advantage, maximise investment and reduce operational costs during exploration, production and decommissioning, according to a spokesman.
NOC has unique expertise in marine autonomous and robotic systems and sensors, for operations in challenging, hazardous and deep-sea environments. NOC’s fleet of AUVs, ROVs, unmanned surface vehicles and submarine gliders have all been developed to operate in extreme conditions.
NOC associate director, Innovation and Enterprise, Kevin Forshaw said: “Building on our existing relationships, we are hoping that this offer will encourage more oil and gas companies to develop long-term relationships with us, as we believe there are benefits to be gained on both sides. With the many challenges facing the industry, companies are recognising the value of novel science and technology, to create real business value. By accessing external funding opportunities and joint-industry funding, companies are benefiting from responsive and flexible innovations to drive down operational costs, maximise existing investments, access and share innovation expertise, and respond to government fiscal and environmental regulations.”
The collaboration package is an annual subscription which includes access to “efficient, authoritative and rigorous science research services, responsive to the industry’s needs, expert interpretation of valuable data-sets, access to software and data-products and alerts for public funding opportunities”. Collaborators will also have associate membership of the NOC’s Marine Robotics Innovation Centre.
A recently formed subsea services business has secured a substantial injection of private equity investment to acquire a fleet of 32 best-in-class ROVs.
With bases in Aberdeen, UK, and Houston, USA, M2 Subsea Ltd has attracted the investment from a fund advised by British private equity firm Alchemy Partners.
M2 Subsea is set to become one of the largest independent providers of ROV services globally and offer its customers safe, cost-effective solutions for inspection, repair, maintenance, decomissioning and light construction, according to a company spokesman.
The company expects to create at least 50 onshore and 100 offshore jobs operating primarily in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and eventually Asia Pacific and the Middle East by the end of 2017.
Mike Arnold is heading up the business. He said: “The time is absolutely right for a new ROV services provider with a fresh approach that can, through experience, expertise, the correct asset base and lean management, dramatically reduce both cost and risk whilst continuing to provide a professional and quality service. Key to this will be the company’s collaboration with vessel owners and operators, helping them to maximise utilisation of vessels and offering competitive solutions to meet our clients’ demands.”
Dutch subsea IMR provider N-Sea has increased its fleet through the long-term charter of Siem Offshore’s (Norway) offshore subsea construction vessel the Siem Barracuda.
The vessel is equipped specifically for subsea IMR, survey and construction operations, featuring twin work-class ROVs (moon pool deployed), a 250-tonne AHC crane and accommodation for 110 personnel.
Roddy James, chief operating officer at N-Sea, said: “The Siem Barracuda has added another highly efficient dive support and survey vessel to the N-Sea fleet. Its technical specifications not only increase our capabilities across the subsea IRM field, but also build upon the safe, efficient ethos for which N-Sea is renowned.”
He added: “This is a state-of-the-art subsea vessel, which increases our ability to operate within greater parameters of harsh weather. Additional bed space, a large active heave compensation crane and the option for simultaneous moon pool deployment of ROVs and air nitrox diving, all illustrate N-Sea’s capacity for safe, sound and swift operability within oil and gas and renewables markets. This is further reinforced by the addition of a permanent air nitrox daughter craft.”
UMC, United Kingdom-headquartered V.Group’s underwater and afloat inspection, repair and maintenance business, has expanded its operations in Malaysian federal territory Labuan to offer inshore operational support in addition to the existing offshore services.
UMC said the investment in the new operational base in Labuan will allow it to not only respond faster to client requests but importantly offer a greater range of services.
The offshore division of UMC (formerly Core-IRM) has been based in Labuan for several years serving the afloat inspection and repair needs of the drilling market. The Labuan operational base has been equipped to undertake all standard underwater maintenance services.
Alan Hide, UMC country manager, said: “This new location is located centrally to the large range of vessels and platforms in Labuan and Brunei Bay and in close proximity to the nearest anchorage. Our investment in this new operational base will allow us to respond to the needs of commercial shipping clients as well as rigs, floating storage units and offshore support vessels.”