The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Sep/Oct 2017


Rampion contract

The CS 'Recorder' is capable of simultaneous cable lay and burial utilising plough systems and the Q1000 jet trenching ROV

Global Marine Group (GMG), the UK-based provider of offshore engineering services to the renewables, telecommunications and oil and gas industries, has announced it has been awarded a contract from E.ON, Germany, to install a fibre optic cable at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, which is under construction 13 kilometres off the coast of Sussex, UK.

Upon completion, the cable will run from the shore to an offshore substation, providing a communications link for the wind farm.

CWind, which is part of the GMG and is responsible for delivering the company’s power capabilities, will execute the contract and will utilise the Group’s capable assets and project engineering team.

The installation will centre on a 96-fibre armoured cable supplied from Hexatronic, Sweden, installed by the CS Recorder using the Hi-Plough to ensure appropriate cable protection in the hard chalk seabed.

Due to be completed and operational in 2018, the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, owned by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank and Canadian energy firm Enbridge, will generate 400 megawatts of power, the equivalent of the electricity used by almost 347,000 homes, comparable to around half the homes in Sussex.

RJE helps Chinese oceanographic institute to study the deep ocean
  • 'Jiaolong', China's deep-sea research submersible. Photo: XINHUA

RJE International, USA, has announced it has partnered with China’s major oceanographic institute to take a closer look at the ocean floor.  

The National Deep Sea Centre, founded several years ago to advance China’s marine research, plans to deploy scientific equipment to water depths of up to 6000 metres in order to gather valuable data from the sediment and surrounding subsea environment.

RJE will help the Centre recover the equipment mooring after it completes its months-long study. When the data has been collected, the equipment will be released from its anchor and float to the surface to be recovered by researchers.

In the likely event the equipment surfaces far away from its original location, the Centre plans to use RJE’s ATT-400/6KM acoustic transponder and STI-350 surface acoustic receiver to retrieve it.

“Operating at depths of 6000 metres is always a challenge,” said Bruce O’Bannon, the vice president of sales at RJE. “But our line of acoustic beacons and receivers are up to the task.”

The ATT-400/6KM transponder is a small, battery-operated acoustic beacon that is designed to withstand the enormous pressure of the deep-ocean. It assists in recovering subsea assets and equipment when paired with the STI-350 and DPR-275 acoustic directional receivers. 

Bibby Offshore bolsters North Sea presence

Aberdeen, UK-headquartered subsea services provider Bibby Offshore reports it has strengthened its North Sea presence through the successful completion of two further contracts with oil and gas majors, Perenco and Endeavour Energy UK.

Perenco appointed Bibby Offshore to perform subsea integrity inspections and maintenance works on the Inde Joint pipeline, which runs to the Bacton Gas Terminal in the Southern North Sea. Completed in early July, the 15-day workscope saw Bibby Offshore install a total of 94 concrete mattresses over the pipeline to assist in preserving the remaining rock dump mounds.

The second workscope, completed in late July, saw Endeavour Energy UK contract Bibby Offshore to carry out subsea tree inspections in the Renee and Rubie fields located in blocks 15/27 and 15/28 of the Central North Sea.

Both contracts utilised the company’s inspection, repair and maintenance vessel Olympic Bibby and were the latest in a series awarded by these clients.

Barry Macleod, UKCS managing director at Bibby Offshore, said: “The successful completion of both workscopes further consolidates our exceptional ability to deliver projects in a short period of time and with a quick, successful turnaround.

“We place a huge emphasis upon client satisfaction and confidence, and once again, Bibby Offshore has demonstrated our clients’ continued belief in our ability to efficiently deliver a wide range of consecutive projects. We look forward to the continuation of both excellent working relationships.”

Saudi Aramco acquires Gavia AUV to enhance survey services

Iceland-based Teledyne Gavia has announced the acquisition of a Gavia Offshore Surveyor AUV system by the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco).

Teledyne Gavia said the system will enhance Saudi Aramco’s agility in meeting high demands for hydrographic survey services through the company’s in-house survey operations and will be utilised predominantly for debris survey and pipeline inspection in the Arabian Gulf, with a potential service extension for other types of survey in water depths up to 1000 metres in the Red Sea region.

The Gavia purchased by Saudi Aramco is equipped with an interferometric sidescan sonar (Klein Marine Systems, USA) and camera and utilises a high-accuracy Doppler velocity log (Teledyne RD Instruments, USA) aided inertial navigation system, (Rovins 154, iXblue, France). For pipeline inspection applications, the vehicle will be equipped with SeeByte (UK) Autotracker software which provides autonomous pipeline inspection capability. In order to gather environmental data, a variety of other sensors are carried in the new Gavia Science Bay module including the SeaOWL UV-A (WET Labs, USA) which is optimised for oil detection in water.

In addition to the AUV, a small survey launch including all required peripheral components and a mobile launch and recovery solution is being provided by Teledyne Gavia.

Sonardyne sonars installed to protect new energy facility in the Middle East
  • Sonardyne's Sentinel detects, tracks and classifies divers and small underwater vehicles approaching a waterside properties, alerting security personnel to the potential threat

Sonardyne, UK, has announced that its underwater intruder detection sonar technology, Sentinel, has been installed on the site of a new Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) facility in the Middle East to monitor unauthorised access from the sea.

The programme of work included the supply of multiple in-water sonars and redundant control room equipment in order to provide uninterrupted situational awareness over a large waterfront.  

CNI facilities such as power plants, dams, gas storage terminals and offshore oil platforms represent attractive targets for sabotage. Many of these installations have comprehensive above-the-water security systems that can include physical barriers, access control, surface radar and long-range opto-electrical sensors. However, many are vulnerable to intrusion from the water, and in particular, from below the surface.

“Sonardyne’s Sentinel closes this gap in surveillance capability,” said the company. “It reliably detects, tracks and classifies divers and small underwater vehicles approaching a protected asset, alerting security personnel to the potential threat. With a track record spanning more than 10 years, Sentinel is widely regarded as the security industry’s most extensively deployed diver detection sonar.”

Sonardyne said the small, lightweight design of Sentinel’s in-water sonar unit makes it ideal for mobile security operations, but for this contract the company’s in-country partner installed the sonars on permanent seabed mounts placed in key locations around the shoreline.

“Each sonar is designed to provide 360 degrees of coverage and provides long range warning of incoming targets for the local security personnel to intercept the threat. It is even able to determine, with a high degree of probability, what type of diving equipment they are wearing; open or closed circuit,” the firm said. 

Due to the strategic importance of the new facility within the region, for the first time Sonardyne was requested to supply dual redundant control room equipment to ensure uninterrupted service. All equipment was interfaced with the facility’s third party C2 (command and control) security system.

HUGIN sale

The University Of Gothenburg, Sweden, has chosen Norway-based Kongsberg Maritime’s HUGIN AUV to expand Sweden’s capabilities in the field of marine research using unmanned platforms.

The HUGIN, which will be funded by grants from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Sweden, and managed by a project team with representatives from the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Stockholm University, Sweden, will be recognised as a national asset for marine research projects around Sweden and further afield.

“The University of Gothenburg has chosen a HUGIN configuration rated to 3000 metres, with a range of up to 300 kilometres,” said Kongsberg. “The autonomous underwater vehicle is due for delivery in February 2018, and will feature an advanced Kongsberg navigation system in addition to an extensive package of Kongsberg and third party instruments and sensors, including an EM 2040 multibeam echosounder and environmental sensors such as the CONTROS (Germany) HydroC CO2.”

Kongsberg said it will also deliver a HUGIN Operator Station (HOS) Payload Operator Station (POS) and Acoustic Positioning Operator Station (APOS) for communication and full control of the HUGIN and payload from the mothership.

Australian salmon farming gets new Falcon technology

The largest majority privately owned producer of fresh salmon in Australia, Huon Aquaculture, has ordered a second Saab Seaeye, UK, Falcon ROV.

The new vehicle is enhanced with Saab Seaeye’s iCON behaviour-based intelligent control architecture.

“This is an important new resource for Huon as iCON makes possible the option of intelligent station-keeping and precise positioning that helps reduce operator workload by allowing them to concentrate on the task in hand,” said a Seaeye spokesman.

Huon’s main use of the Falcons is to inspect the nets, rigging and moorings in aquaculture pens.

“The key reason we decided to purchase a second Falcon is its reliability and Saab Seaeye’s excellent after sales support,” said Huon’s business development manager, James Bender.

Shea Cameron, Huon’s subsea manager, added that the first Falcon has worked tirelessly for 1000s of hours.

“We like the low height of the machine because we can deploy it sideways between a walkway and the net,” he said. “The SIMCT thrusters are also ideal for aquaculture use with no shaft seals to service or inspect. None of the other machines we own at the moment have this advantage. We also like the ease of servicing the machine so feel comfortable ordering a new one with iCON that is compatible with our current machine.”





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