The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Jul/Aug 2018


Society for Underwater Technology

Leadership night

The SUT YES! Committee in Perth hosted a leadership night with Mike Utsler, former chief operations officer for Woodside Energy, as the keynote speaker.

The sold out event had 120 attendees, which reached the capacity of the auditorium at the University of Western Australia’s Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre.

Mike gave a passionate address on leadership, tailored to the crowd of young subsea professionals and students. The three part conversation started with a reflection on the history of oil and gas, the importance of petroleum to society, and the important role that the subsea industry will have as subsea production ramps up to be 30% of oil and gas production across the globe.

The second part had Mike talking about his position as the incident commander of BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill response, reflecting on the key lessons surrounding leadership. Mike provided examples of accelerated innovation used in the spill response, detailing how thousands of ideas from across the globe were turned into reality and ultimately benefited the spill response. Mike also touched on a number of personal stories from the vast array of stakeholders he engaged with during the response.

  • The fire aboard the mobile offshore oil drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, located in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 80 kilometres southeast of Venice, Louisiana, USA. Photo courtesy of the US Coast Guard

The third and final part of the discussion provided a summary of Mike’s most useful leadership insights and tips; and was followed up with an audience Q&A. Following the presentation, the majority of the crowd stayed to enjoy networking and food. In the end Mike was one of the last people to leave, staying well into the evening to answer questions and engage with the crowd.

A big thank you goes to our event sponsor Siem Offshore and our two YES! annual sponsors, Quadrant Energy and Woodside Energy.

The YES! Committee members are looking forward to seeing everyone at the next YES! event – a Quiz Night on 30 August 2018!

Nick Bardsley

Researchers offer insight into the future of subsea

The SUT Perth Branch evening technical meeting Researching into the Subsea Future at the Parmelia Hilton was co-opened by branch vice-chairman Rex Hubbard and Jennifer Maninin, with the evening being chaired by ETM Committee member Jatin Lodhia. The event was kindly sponsored by Curtin University, University of Western Australia (UWA) and Woodside Energy Limited (WEL).

The theme of the meeting was a showcase of current research within the subsea industry, hence the range of topics discussed on the night covered over a broad range of disciplines. There were a total of four presentations during the evening, two from UWA and one each from Curtin University and Edith Cowan University (ECU).

The evening also presented the opportunity to six additional students/researchers to display and discuss their research through a poster display during the networking sessions before and after the main presentations.

The first presentation was conducted by Abdul Fahad Mueed of Curtin University, who discussed his research into stored electrical power and potential to change subsea system power distribution. The presentation gave an evaluation of the current capabilities of battery technologies how lithium-ion battery technology can be the most favourable for adoption in subsea applications.

Next up was Lisabeth Wagner from UWA who presented her research on quantitative discharge water analysis using mobile 1H NMR. Her presentation discussed the development of reliable methods to monitor the water quality prior to direct discharge of the aqueous phase through NMR spectroscopy.

The third presentation saw David Szcepanski of ECU discuss steel lazy wave risers (SLWR) for turret versus spread moored FPSO in extreme and wave-induced fatigue conditions. The presentation discussed how David’s research concludes that turret- mounted SLWR demonstrates an unsatisfactory fatigue life compared to its mid-ship-mounted spread-moored counterpart, owing to riser hang-off location differences and correspondingly varied motions experienced by the riser.

The final presentation was delivered by a well-known figure within the SUT community, Terry Griffiths. His research looks into new paradigms in understanding the behaviour of cables and pipelines on rocky seabeds. Terry discussed how his research is looking into developing new models of behaviour for cables on rock seabeds and how these models are suggesting that the cables are indeed stable which is consistent with field observations of their behaviour.

The poster display was a new concept that allowed six student/researchers to display their research in the form of a poster (A0 size) and discuss questions with the evening delegates. This new concept seemed to be positively received as the students/researchers were engaged with many of the near 71 attendees that remained after the presentations to network and enjoy refreshments.

Tying up, a huge thanks to all of the participants for their presentations and poster displays during the evening. Further thanks to all of the SUT members and non-members who gave up their own time to attend on the evening.

Jatin Lodhia

The decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure in the UK Continental Shelf

The SUT+ North Sea Decommissioning – What Does the Future Hold? event, held at the University of Aberdeen, was a glaring success with a packed out lecture hall and some fantastic speakers.

Dr Tom Leeson (interim chief executive officer of Decom North Sea) discussed and outlined the many challenges the industry will likely face over the coming years, including legislative barriers, ownership rights and industry potential.

Steve Murphy (finance director at Pale Blue Dot) presented on the carbon capture and storage industry, detailing where it is currently positioned and the potential re-use of oil and gas infrastructure. Steve also discussed in detail the Acorn CCS project and the UKCS potential for offshore CO2 storage.

Professor Tom Baxter (Aberdeen University) presented his fascinating paper Decommissioning, the Sustainability Challenge. Tom outlined his Sustainability Assessment Model which compared decommissioning projects with other projects (e.g. renewable energy projects) from an economic, environmental, resource and social point of view.

Each of these presenters had a different philosophy on which direction the future of UK decommissioning should be going, which allowed for some fantastic debates.

At the end, the presenters were invited back for some panel questions and the discussions continued.

Special thanks go to the University of Aberdeen for hosting the event.





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