The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has long collected information both on personnel working on remotely operated vehicles and also on the types of ROV in operation. The Association reports the there has now been a thorough reassessment of the original reported data going back to 2010 in order to identify long-term trends.
As Richard Benzie, IMCA’s technical director, explained: “There has been a clear fall in the number of ROV personnel at work, and the number of vehicles in use since 2015 due to current economic conditions. IRM work has seen the greatest relative reduction, but drill support work and construction have also fallen. Cable laying, and the underlying offshore renewable energy activity, has shown a continued increase in recent years.
Benzie said Class III ROVs continue to dominate accounting for nearly 83% of ROVs deployed offshore in February 2016 (the first of two survey periods) and 82% in the August 2016 period.
The personnel data is categorised according to: personnel grade (ROV supervisor/ superintendents, pilot technicians – all grades, and other personnel); discipline or area of work (inspection, drill support, construction and cable-lay); and whether or not the personnel were working on the two days that the ‘snapshot’ was taken in February and August each year (not taking into account any major contract start or finish times).
Vehicle data are categorised according to class of vehicle (I, II, III, IV, IV according to IMCA R 004 Guidance for the safe and efficient operation of remotely operated vehicles).
The statistics submitted (31 companies provided 57 responses in 2016) represent personnel and ROVs of IMCA member companies submitting data, and the information is representative of a significant proportion of the industry, according to Benzie.
UK-based subsea consulting company Namaka Subsea reports that its portfolio of services is now being offered in the Asia Pacific region.
The company said it has secured personnel and offices in Singapore, with an official unveiling to be announced in coming weeks.
Director Sandy Harper said: “The expansion within overseas markets is critical to the growth of the company and Singapore is the ideal location for servicing the Asia Pacific region.
“It is an area we have been interested in for some time and hope that we can support old and new clients in the region form our base in Singapore.”
HR Wallingford, UK, and G-tec, Belgium, have announced a new collaboration which will deliver integrated underwater sound surveys, numerical modelling and consultancy services worldwide.
“Before consent is given to build in the marine environment, developers must often assess how much underwater sound will be generated during the construction and operation of a facility, and assess any potential impact on marine life,” explained a spokesman for the two organisations. “Both before and during construction, they commonly monitor and report actual sound levels to ensure they understand and adhere to thresholds.”
As a specialist consultancy and research organisation with a focus on water and the water-environment, HR Wallingford’s environmental experts have developed a number of tools to model underwater sound and its potential impact on marine ecosystems. G-tec is a survey and monitoring company that provides geophysical, geotechnical and environmental investigations in offshore, coastal, onshore and riverine environments.
“Working together, HR Wallingford and G-tec will be able to deliver a comprehensive package of services to support developments in the marine environment, which will include modelling, fieldwork and specialist consultancy relating to underwater sound,” said the spokesman. “HR Wallingford will conduct detailed numerical sound modelling using a suite of validated modelling tools, and provide specialist ecological/environmental consultancy, with G-tec undertaking in situ monitoring of baseline, and during construction, sound levels.”