The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
Subsea 7’s newest heavy construction flexlay vessel, Seven Arctic, has been designed and built to Lloyd’s Register (LR) class. Designed to meet the demands of deepwater and harsh environments, she can work at depths of 3000 metres and features three offshore cranes, the largest of which is capable of a 1000-tonne lift.
Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea, Seven Arctic measures 162 metres in overall length with a breadth of 32 metres. The vessel also features a 600-tonne top tension tiltable lay system for pipe laying and is fitted with six diesel generators producing just over 25,000 kilowatts to supply eight electric propulsion thrusters.
“All thrusters can be automatically controlled by the cutting edge dynamic positioning system and the vessel is suitable for operations defined in LR’s DP AAA/3 notation,” said Subsea 7. “This means that all propulsion and control equipment will not fail in the event of fire or flood in any one compartment; the equipment is physically separated throughout the vessel in line with these requirements.”
All safety features of the vessel have been installed in accordance with the Special Purpose Ship Code 2008 and include an automated water-mist fire-fighting system, working alongside an advanced fire detection and safety control system.
The vessel is equipped with winterisation features to enable operation in cold climates and the hull has been built to comply with LR’s Ice Class Notation 1D.
Louisiana, USA-based C-Dive has announced it has expanded its fleet with the delivery of a newbuild dive support vessel, the 217.
According to the company, the purpose-built vessel is the first four-point sat DSV of its kind built for the Gulf of Mexico, instead of the industry practice of converting an offshore support vessel to a dive support vessel.
“This DSV is US flagged with an overall length of 185 feet (56 metres) and a beam expanded to 44 feet (13 metres) for maximum stability,” said C-Dive. “It has a four-point anchor positioning system, 65 feet by 44 feet (20 metres by 13 metres) of clear deck space, built-in dive equipment including dive control system and decompression chambers, 12-foot (3.7-metre) moon pool and accommodations for 49.”
The company added that the vessel is equipped with a six-man 1000-foot (305-metre) saturation diving system, hyperbaric rescue chamber and an EBI, USA, API 2C Monogram 30-tonne crane.
Commenting on the newbuild vessel, Robert Champagne, C-Dive founder and chief executive officer, said: “In this Gulf of Mexico dive market, where all of the operating four-point sat DSVs were built over 38 years ago, we felt that it was time for a purpose-built DSV designed to meet and exceed the safety expectations, cost considerations and work quality of today’s demanding clients, all while giving its offshore personnel first-class working conditions.”
The 217 will be utilised in subsea inspections, decommissioning, repair, maintenance and subsea construction operations.
The UK National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has launched a joint science-industry project that aims to develop a guide for using ocean-robots to assess the impact of decommissioned oil structures on marine life.
Decommissioned oil structures can have positive impacts, such as providing a habitat for marine life in a similar way to a reef, or negative consequences – such as marine pollution. In the North Sea, for example, structures are rapidly colonised and typically develop highly productive ecosystems that often include priority species, such as the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa. On the other hand, large piles of oil-enriched sediments lie underneath many oil and gas installations. The environmental impacts of these piles are not well known, nor are the relative impacts of re-disturbing partially recovered systems while removing structures. Marine robots have great potential to investigate these impacts.
NOC scientist Dr Daniel Jones, who is leading the project, said: “This is an excellent example of the NOC’s on-going commitment to working with industry to help provide the best possible evidence to underpin critical policy decisions in this area, as well as providing the high-technology solutions required to facilitate assessment and monitoring.”
Policymakers face a difficult challenge – the ecological role of structures needs to be assessed as part of the environmental impact assessment required for decommissioning. However, there is no standard approach for making these assessments and current assessments have not led to clear conclusions.
It is anticipated that this one-year project will help industry transform how it approaches monitoring by using autono-mous systems to provide a low-cost, high-quality solution for repeat assessment.
UK-based subsea consulting company Namaka Subsea has announced the appointment of Angela Stephen as operations manager.
The company said the appointment follows the award of several large contracts over the past two years and its continued growth both at home and overseas.
Director Sandy Harper said: “The appointment of Angela as operations manager is an important milestone for the company. With a high level of business activities within the UK and overseas, we decided that the appointment of an operations manager was essential and having worked with Angela previously it was obvious that she was the perfect candidate for the role.”
UK-headquartered subsea ROV service provider ROVOP reports it has bolstered its US team after winning a raft of contracts worth around US$19 million (£15million) including a two-year deal with a Houston-based global company.
Euan Tait has been appointed as president of the company’s US operations, ROVOP Inc, while Katarina Tehlirian takes up the post of vice president business development. Both will be based at ROVOP’s Houston hub with Tait taking over from Wayne Betts who is moving across to establish ROVOP’s operations in Brazil.
ROVOP said the appointments reinforce its increasing global presence across the US, Gulf of Mexico, Middle East, Africa and Europe, and its significant track record in providing specialised ROV services across various subsea sectors with the latest contracts spanning survey, drilling, construction and decommissioning as well as IRM markets.
Tait is a member of ROVOP’s board and will continue his role as commercial director while heading up the US operations with the support of general manager Neil Francis in the western region.
Tehlirian, who joins ROVOP from Subsea 7, has extensive business development experience in the US subsea sector and has previously worked with DOF Subsea and Canyon Offshore.
Steven Gray, chief executive officer at ROVOP, said: “The growth in our US team strongly positions ROVOP for further growth in the region while the substantial new long-term contracts we’ve won demonstrate that, in a challenging market, our industry is changing and becoming more efficient, using technology and new working practices to lower cost and risk.
“We believe our focused approach to ROV services, providing highly skilled personnel operating the most technologically advanced equipment available, combined with an exceptional operating and safety record, has been key to securing this new work, which continues to support expansion of both our client base and operation area.
“As such, ROVOP anticipates a record year in 2017 because our service and equipment is aligned with the future needs of the industry. While prolonged oil and gas market downturn is still hurting our industry, we believe there is much to look forward to.”