The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Sep/Oct 2017


Society for Underwater Technology

OSIGp OTC selections

Not even the gusty late-afternoon rains typical of Perth winter could forestall a great turn out to this year’s OSIGp Selections of OTC. At 5:30pm, more than 70 damp umbrellas lined up outside the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC) auditorium at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Inside, a diverse mix of industry practitioners, students and academics was welcomed to an early evening snacks provided by Subcon, this year’s sponsor.

Since it was NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) week, the technical programme was officially opened by OSIGp committee chair Fiona Chow with an “acknowledgment of country” that examined the ancient Aboriginal culture through the perspective of geological history.

This year, four papers from OTC Houston were selected by the Committee and were presented for 15 minutes each, followed by five minutes Q&A.

David White from UWA opened the technical session with the paper Pipe-Clamping Mattress (PCM) to Stop Flowline Walking. Dave’s presentation highlighted the success story of a “nutcracker-inspired” mattress that clamps subsea pipeline to provide weight to arrest “pipeline walking”. Dave shared anecdotes of how the mattress was conceived, developed and deployed in the tropical waters of the Philippines for the Shell Malampaya project, all within a period of 12 months.

Ehsan Heshmati from Curtin University then presented the paper entitled Great Australian Bight: New Offshore Frontiers, Challenges and Potential Solutions. Ehsan highlighted the challenges encountered in developing a potential location for an offshore oil and gas development, with offshore southern Australia as a case study. The remoteness of the area, increased water depth, and the harsh environmental conditions offshore were among the key challenges discussed in length, with results from BP drill sites forming the baseline data to uncover the otherwise unknown subsea conditions of this particular region.


Fraser Bransby from Fugro AG and Noel Boylan from NGI Perth shared the podium to give the third presentation entitled The State of Knowledge of Pipe-Soil Interaction for On-bottom Pipeline Design. The two presented recent developments in the understanding of pipe-soil interaction based on research carried out and industry experiences gathered over the years. A long list of topics was covered during the presentation, including best practices for on-bottom pipeline design, mitigation of design issues associated with geohazards, hydrodynamic stability and thermal expansion management.

Susan Gourvenec from UWA closed the evening with her presentation entitled A Toolbox For Optimising Geotechnical Design Of Subsea Foundations. Susan’s presentation summarised her research work on subsea shallow foundations at UWA during the last 15 years. The presentation highlighted the different components of a toolbox of solutions for optimising geotechnical design of subsea foundations derived from a blend of physical model testing in a geotechnical centrifuge, numerical analysis and theoretical modelling, all made available online at www.webapps

All of the presentations were of a high quality and were well received, with enthusiastic questions from the audience and engaging discussion with the presenters. The programme ended with Fiona, on behalf of the OSIGp Committee, presenting Dave White a parting gift for his departure back to the UK, and acknowledging his valuable contributions to the SUT-OSIGp since its inception in 2012.


Michael Cocjin

Spotlight on light well intervention, flowline buckle management and the newly developed low motion floater

The Perth Branch’s August 2017 technical evening meeting, held at the Parmelia Hilton, was opened by the branch’s vice chairman Rex Hubbard and chaired by SUT committee member Nick McNaughton. The event was very kindly sponsored by ATV, INTECSEA and Rosen.

The evening was designed to showcase new technologies that have global application, but are particularly relevant to challenges faced in this region.

The first presentation of the evening was given by Bevan Morrison, sales manager – light well intervention, TechnipFMC. Bevan’s presentation provided an overview of the maturity and merits of light well intervention, giving examples of situations in which it is an effective choice compared to rig-based interventions. He presented the advantages and disadvantages of each method, highlighting the benefits of the deep integration possible between vessel and intervention systems when the vessel is dedicated to the task full time. Bevan made the point that while the capabilities of light well intervention spreads are expanding, there are still relatively few complete systems in the global market.

Our second presentation was by Adrian Lim, Asia Pacific regional manager for Integrity Management and Engineering Services, Rosen Australia. Adrian’s presentation provided a background on the drivers for planned pipeline curvature and the sources of unplanned curvature, before diving into the details of how in-line inspection tools can be used to monitor curvature and associated strains. He provided an overview of the development of Rosen’s technology using its inspection tool test loop, and shared data showing the repeatability of measurements. Adrian closed by summarising the real-world benefits to pipeline integrity management offered by this new form of surveillance.


The final presentation of the evening was by Yuriy Drobyshevski, technical advisor for floating systems, INTECSEA. Yuriy presented an overview of the conventional FPSO, associated motions and impact on riser system options before introducing the newly developed low motion floater. Along with an array of benefits of the new design, Yuriy presented details of the system components, and reviewed the background simulation and tank testing work used to develop the design. The agreement between tank test results and simulation-based predictions was identified as a key milestone for the design team, and has led to subsequent engagement with classification societies and major energy companies.


There were questions from the floor after each presentation that challenged the presenters and led to interesting discussion after the session closed. The presentations were very well received from 120-plus attendees, many of whom stayed afterwards to network and enjoy refreshments.

Thank you to the SUT members and guests for their attendance during the evening. Also, to the three presenters, who in their own time volunteered to speak at the event.

I would like to conclude by thanking again our sponsors, ATV, INTECSEA and Rosen, for providing continued backing. Events like these cannot be realised without key sponsorship and support.

Nick McNaughton

New London headquarters

The Society moved its London headquarters to new serviced office premises in August.

The move will save the Society approximately £25,000 per year on what it had been paying at the old Fetter Lane site, whilst allowing it to remain in the heart of London and not requiring any relocation for its staff.


The new London HQ address is: SUT, Unit LG7, Quality Court, off Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HR.





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