The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Jul/Aug 2015


MMT awarded contract for record HVDC route survey

Survey ROV Surveyor Interceptor

Sweden-based MMT reports it has been awarded a contract for the world’s longest HVDC route survey for the UK-Iceland interconnector by Atlantic Superconnection Corporation (ASC), UK.


MMT will provide bathymetric and geophysical mapping along the entire route corridor, between Iceland to England.


MMT and Reach Subsea, Norway, have mobilised the Surveyor Interceptor ROV onboard Stril Explorer which will conduct the seabed survey on the deepest part of the route. MMT’s survey and ROV vessel Franklin will continue the survey in UK waters with a fully equipped ROTV.


The survey will take place during two months this summer and the route is approximately 1470 kilometres long. The water depth and seabed conditions vary greatly along the route with maximum depths of approximately 1100 metres. The survey is the first step in assessing the feasibility of a high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electrical interconnector between the United Kingdom and Iceland.


MMT’s chief executive officer, Stefan Eliasson, said: “This is a very exciting project for us at MMT since we are taking the Surveyor Interceptor out on its first HVDC route survey and in deep water. We are delighted for ASC’s confidence in our new mapping technology and can’t wait to be part of the early assessment of this historical project.”

Modus orders Sabertooth hybrid AUV/ROV from Saab and enters into collaboration agreement

UK company Modus Seabed Intervention and Saab Dynamics of Sweden have entered into a collaboration agreement to further develop the operational use and applications of the Saab Sabertooth hovering hybrid AUV/ROV for the oil and gas and offshore renewables markets.


Under the agreement, Modus and Saab will work in collaboration to “develop this game changing innovation and its applications in life of field subsea survey and inspection”.


A spokesman for the two companies said that, following a two-year evaluation and development programme, Modus has ordered the first in a planned fleet of Sabertooth vehicles from Saab which will be launched in the first quarter of 2016. The system will be equipped with additional batteries for extended autonomous endurance and with increased thrust for high-speed survey, making it ideal for both high current and deepwater applications, he said.


A suite of advanced survey sensors including the latest EdgeTech, USA, 2205 combined triple frequency sidescan sonar, co-located swath bathymetry and sub-bottom profiler, high-definition video/stills cameras, IXBlue, France, Phins3 inertial navigation system and Teledyne RDI, USA, Workhorse Doppler velocity log will be fitted in the vehicle. To manage data acquisition, navigation and processing of sensor data, the software package QINSy from Saab QPS, the Netherlands, will be fully integrated.


The vehicle has been configured to allow additional sensors, such as standard multibeam echosounders, cathodic protection probes and laser scanning systems, to be quickly integrated against project specific applications.


“Sabertooth can be uniquely operated in both fully autonomous and tethered modes enabling fully flexible dual operations from one platform,” the spokesman said. “Whilst the vehicle’s capability can be applied across the range of subsea operations – from site investigation surveys through to decommissioning support – a major focus is on its application in long-term subsea operations and maintenance and on delivering significant cost savings to high-quality visual and survey data acquisition.”


The vehicle is also capable of providing light intervention support and with a depth rating of 3000 metres can be deployed on a wide range of subsea tasks.

OIS awarded contract to decommission subsea wells

Offshore Installation Services (OIS), UK, has been awarded a contract by Antrim Energy, Canada, to decommission four subsea wells in the central North Sea. The offshore scope of the campaign, which also includes six wells from Centrica Energy, UK, will include complete offshore and onshore project management, vessel charter, equipment and personnel.


Rhodri Davies, OIS president, said: “Since 1996, OIS has successfully completed more than 118 well decommissioning projects without a single lost-time incident. With Antrim Energy and Centrica Energy now involved in our 2015 subsea well abandonment campaign, OIS is currently decommissioning ten subsea wells within the UK continental shelf. As an enabler of multi-operator campaigns, OIS values collaborations such as this in the decommissioning field and is well suited to working alongside progressive organisations such as Antrim and Centrica.”


The wells, in categories 2.1 and 1, will be abandoned using UK-based Claxton’s Suspended Well Abandonment Tool (SWAT). SWAT is a diverless, vessel-based approach and will be completed as part of a multi-operator campaign in the summer of 2015.


The offshore campaign will be conducted from an anchor-handling tug supply vessel, the Island Valiant. During phase one, SWAT will be deployed through the vessel’s moon pool to set cement plugs in the bore and across all the casing annuli. The second phase will use an abrasive severance system for the cutting of the wells and sequential removal from the seabed. This will conclude the offshore operations.

Harkand starts decommissioning work in the UKCS for Maersk Oil

UK-based inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) company Harkand has commenced decommissioning work in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) supporting Maersk Oil UK’s work in the Leadon field.


Earlier this year, the IRM firm secured a multi-million pound, 12-month frame agreement with Maersk Oil in the region for the provision of its two dive support vessels, the Harkand Da Vinci and Harkand Atlantis, as well as supporting onshore and offshore personnel.


This new award will see Harkand deliver project management and engineering services to the Danish-owned oil and gas company around its drill rig programme for subsea well plug and abandonment.


The scope of work which is being undertaken by the Harkand Atlantis includes barrier testing at 13 trees, removal of production and gas lift spools at trees and towhead ends, along with power and control jumpers and mattress recovery. The work also involves flooding and disconnection of a four-inch (ten-centimetre) gas import flowline.


David Kerr, managing director of Harkand Europe, said: “We are delighted to have secured this decommissioning work in the North Sea for such a high profile operator.


“Removal of subsea infrastructure can be challenging and this contract reflects our well-established and successful track record for decommissioning activities such as inspection and survey, valve operations, mattress removal, pipeline cutting and recovery.


“There’s an estimated 500 to 690 facilities reaching the end of their operational life over the next three decades, so North Sea asset decommissioning projects will play a large part in Harkand’s future. We look forward to successfully completing this work for Maersk Oil UK.”

Survey services contract

UK-based Nautronix has been awarded a multi-million pound contract extension to continue to provide survey services to Ocean Installer of Norway for the next three years.


“Nautronix has been growing its Survey Services Division since 2012 and has provided its services to projects worldwide on all Ocean Installer vessels,” said a spokesman. “The company has been a key supplier to Ocean Installer in delivering high quality, safe and efficient services to major operators in Brazil, UK, Norway and the USA.”


The spokesman said that with the growth of Nautronix’s Survey Services Division there has been a significant investment in people and equipment, with the Division now employing approximately 50 people and owning a significant quantity of survey equipment. “By securing this contract, Nautronix can continue to build and develop its Survey Services Division as it looks to further expand the business,” he said.


The chief executive officer of Ocean Installer, Steinar Riise, said: “We have been delighted with Nautronix’s performance over the last three years and the quality of service they provide is recognised by our teams onshore and offshore. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Nautronix in order to deliver the quality and value our clients expect.”

MacArtney kits out Bibby HydroMap dynamic remotely operated platform

MacArtney Underwater Technology, Denmark, reports it has supplied a consignment of underwater technology products and systems to the new Bibby HydroMap, UK, dynamic remotely operated platform (d’ROP).


The scope of supply included a Moog, USA, Focal type 176 slip ring (electrical and optical) for the appurtenant winch system and Moog Focal fibre optic multiplexer boards, MacArtney OptoLink fibre optic connectors and several SubConn connectors and connectivity assemblies for interfacing various systems and sensors on board the d’ROP vehicle.


“The combination of technical performance and track record, local support and cost effective solutions all combined to make MacArtney a logical choice of supplier for this important new project,” said David Buchan, managing director of MacArtney UK.


Bibby HydroMap’s d’ROP aims to provide a compact, efficient and stable platform for remote survey in dynamic coastal environments. It borrows and combines proven principles and technology from existing ROVs and ROTVs, along with methods from the modern day dredging industry.


“The system is effectively a compact, high-powered work-class ROV – but with all the expensive and complicated bits that are not needed for survey tasks stripped off,” according to Bibby HydroMap. In tune with this overall design philosophy, the d’ROP mostly depends on off-the-shelf components – such as the ones supplied by MacArtney – in order to ensure simplicity and reliability of operation along with easy maintenance.


Whilst the system was designed primarily for precision-tracking of buried cables and pipelines, the telemetry and connectivity components supplied by MacArtney allows the d’ROP to accept multiple sensors simultaneously, including multibeam echosounders, magnetometers and sidescan sonars, with resultant data transmitted through a high-performance fibre optic connection. This flexibility opens up the potential applications of the system and makes it relevant to stakeholders from a wide range of industries, Bibby HydroMap said.

Seaeye ROVs for Far East operations

Saab Seaeye, UK, reports it has supplied Tiger and Falcon ROVs to the DCNS Group, the French specialist in naval defence and energy.


Both vehicles will be deployed by DCNS Far East, DCNS’s Singapore-based subsidiary, as the company extends its operations in the region, said a Saab Seaeye spokesman.


“DCNS Far East chose the two ROVs for their versatility and reliability – and for their power to cope with currents,” he added. Nicolas Leluan, DCNS Far East’s managing director, said the ROVs will be used extensively in a wide range of large and complex projects. These include inspection of platforms, pipelines and moorings, together with salvage work and for the support of work-class ROV and diving operations.


In addition, the Falcon will be deployed on infrastructure assessment projects across Asia for life extension evaluation that will involve bridge piling, jetties and harbours. The ROV will also be used for seabed surveys.

LEXMAR to supply diving system for ice-class newbuild
  • LEXMAR bell test

LEXMAR Sat Systems reports it has been awarded the contract to supply the saturation and air diving system for an ice-class multipurpose vessel under construction at Keppel Singmarine, Singapore, for Singaporean ship owner New Orient Marine.


The system will be the LEXMAR 18-man, twin bell, twin self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboat design which has recently been supplied for two other newbuild DSVs. LEXMAR said it will be built to first-class international standards, classed by Bureau Veritas and meet industry standards and International Marine Contractors Association guidelines.


A spokesman for the Singapore-based company added: “LEXMAR is very proud to have been chosen to work with Keppel Singmarine, to provide LEXMAR expertise in design, engineering, manufacturing and also management to install and integrate the diving systems into the vessel. This is the first time that the only established manufacturer of in-built diving systems in Asia partners with a local Singapore shipyard. This demonstrates that, together, we have the competency and expertise to build such niche vessels in Singapore.”


Scheduled for completion in 2017, New Orient Marine’s new DP3 vessel will be built to Ice Class Arc 5 notation for operation in ambient temperatures down to -30°C.

Gavia delivers Norse beauty

Teledyne Gavia, Iceland, part of the Teledyne Marine Systems (TMS) group of companies, has announced it has completed the sale and delivery of a Gavia Offshore Surveyor AUV to the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban.


The AUV selected by SAMS is rated to 500 metres depth and includes an interferometric bathymetry system as its primary scientific sensor and utilises a high-accuracy Doppler velocity log (Teledyne RD Instruments, USA) aided inertial navigation system for subsea positioning. Additional modules can be added as SAMS AUV mission requirements evolve. The SAMS AUV will be known as Freya after the Norse goddess of beauty and will be employed for a variety of scientific applications including habitat mapping and geomorphology.


Dr John Howe, senior lecturer in marine geology at SAMS, said: “SAMS are delighted to receive the Gavia AUV on behalf of the NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) MARS (Marine Autonomous and Robotics) community. We have been especially impressed by the vehicle’s adaptability and ease of use and the GeoSwath+ data has been excellent. We look forward to working closely with Gavia in the future.”


“We are delighted to have a world-class scientific organisation such as SAMS join our growing group of Gavia scientific users. The modular design of the Gavia AUV gives scientific organisations the flexibility they need to add or change modules, or develop custom payloads, in response to changing mission requirements,” said Arnar Steingrimsson, director of vehicle sales at TMS.





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