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UK: SMD Carries Out Testing of WROVs at Stoney Cove

2012 has seen SMD evolve the Q-series range of Work Class ROVs with extensive type testing carried out at the UK’s National Diving Centre at Stoney Cove, Leicester. The latest systems are configured to ensure SMD’s WROVs meet the demands and expectations of customers well into the future. Testing has successfully been carried out on the Atom which has been delivered to Bibby Remote Intervention and the first new Quantum (code named MkIII) recently delivered to Hallin.

The new Quantum uses many of the multi-platform Curvetech™ components first seen on the Atom. This gives SMD’s fleet customers interchangeable parts between systems.

It can interface as standard with the latest instruments such as high bandwidth sonars and high definition cameras. It uses the new single pedestal Curvetech™ HTE430 thruster for class leading bollard pull and high current operation. Available with a 200hp and 250hp HPU, the system comes with 245 LPM isolated tooling for demanding applications. A 350kg payload (after manipulators and core instrumentation is fitted) completes a package which cannot currently be matched for heavy WROV construction duties.

Topside, a revised cabin layout with monitor display options and increased space for third party survey equipment creates an ergonomic and pleasant environment for operators. SMDs DVECSII SCADA PLC control system gives operators advanced real time information on vehicle subsystems.

Mark Collins – SMD’s ROV Business Stream Manager commented:

“Through 2012 SMD have made significant progress re-vamping the Q-Series range. The recent Atom and Quantum trials were a huge success and we are now on track to complete trials of the new Quasar in December. The evolution of the SMD Work Class ROV brings increased versatility and flexibility to meet market demands into the future but also lower through life operating costs.”

Stoney Cove started life as a quarry, and first became popular with divers in the 1960s after it was abandoned and allowed to fill with water. The centre has been used for the testing of marine machinery since the 1970s. The facility offers depths of up to 35 metres, good visibility and good hard standing adjacent to the water, allowing loads of up to 20 tons to be deployed easily onto the water, not to mention the on-site pub!

Subsea World News – UK: SMD Carries Out Testing of WROVs at Stoney Cove.

UK: PEMEX E&P and BP to Share Technology, Expertise for Deepwater Well Cap

Petroleos Mexicanos Exploration and Production (PEMEX E&P) and BP today announced an agreement for BP to share the technical information it used to build its global deepwater well-capping equipment.

Under the Technology License Agreement, BP will make available technical information that PEMEX E&P, one of four subsidiaries of PEMEX, can use, in addition to PEMEX E&P initiatives already in place, if it decides to build and maintain its own well capping system for use in Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

In addition, BP has agreed to conduct workshops in Houston to brief PEMEX E&P on the technical information and operational aspects of the system, as well as to introduce PEMEX E&P specialists to key vendors and fabricators that BP used to develop its global deepwater well cap and tooling package.

“The agreement marks another step forward in PEMEX E&P’s ongoing efforts to help protect the rich Gulf of Mexico environment in which we operate, as well as to apply state-of-the-art technology as we develop Mexico’s deepwater oil and natural gas resources,” said Carlos Morales, president of PEMEX Exploration and Production.

Richard Morrison, BP’s Head of Global Deepwater Response, said the agreement underscores BP’s commitment to sharing lessons learned during and following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident and response.

“Today’s announcement builds on our commitment and the work we have done — and continue to do — to help advance global deepwater response capabilities around the world,” he said.

“We are pleased to provide PEMEX E&P with access to our recent technological innovation and information so that operators in both the USA and Mexico areas of the Gulf of Mexico can be equipped to respond to a subsea well control incident in the Gulf of Mexico.”

BP’s global deepwater well cap is a 100-ton stack of valves that can be lowered onto a leaking well to halt the flow. The system can operate in 10,000 feet of water and is rated to pressures of 15,000 pounds per square inch. Stored in Houston, it can be sent by heavy-lift aircraft to any country where BP operates in a matter of days.

Under the Technology License Agreement, BP will share at no cost to PEMEX E&P technical information on BP’s capping stack, and PEMEX E&P has agreed to make any future advancements to this well-capping technology available at no cost to BP. BP will retain intellectual property rights, so it can continue to share the plans with others.

BP, which has had a presence in Mexico for around 50 years, has collaborated with PEMEX E&P through a variety of non-commercial technology, scientific and training mutual cooperation agreements over the last decade. Those have resulted in hundreds of workshops, seminars and exchanges to share best practices and technological expertise.

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Boltight Launches Technology Trial for Customers (UK)

Specialist bolt tensioner manufacturer Boltight Ltd has put together a new tool hire service that allows customers to trial hydraulic bolt tensioners, hydraulic nuts, pumps and ancillary equipment before making a final decision on whether to buy the equipment. The costs of hire can then be offset against the final purchase price.

The ‘try before you buy’ initiative has been launched in response to growing interest from companies from a wide range industry sectors who are contemplating making the switch from older types of legacy tools to the latest bolt tensioning technology.

Offshore oil and gas companies are increasingly using hydraulic tightening systems for subsea applications and working on compact flanges. The tools offer the end user a quick, precise and reliable means of bolt tensioning in difficult conditions, making it much easier to work quickly and achieve even flange and gasket compression.

Boltight’s tools are a popular choice because they are lightweight, easy-to-use, flexible and reliable. All the products are manufactured to exacting standards to strong and robust designs to ensure durability and a long operating life. The tools use the latest technology like low friction long life composite material seals that need little maintenance and simplify piston retraction. In addition, Boltight is able to provide comprehensive product and application support and technical back up at all times.

Explained Boltight director Fred Heaton: “We believe the best way to appreciate how far bolt tensioning technology has moved forward in recent years is to use these tools in a day-to-day workplace environment. Customers can conduct their own technical trials and compare our bolt tensioning tools with their existing equipment. If they like what they find, we can agree a special purchase price that takes into account the initial hire costs already incurred.”

Subsea World News – Boltight Launches Technology Trial for Customers (UK).

Perenco Extends Contract with Expro for Work in Cameroon

Leading international oilfield services company Expro has been awarded a significant contract extension with Perenco in Cameroon.

The award is an extension of services from a previous well campaign and will last for the duration of one year.

Expro will provide an extended well test, data acquisition services and its drill stem testing (DST) package including Expro’s CaTS™ wireless telemetry technology which will be utilized as a surface read-out system.

Work will take place across two exploration and appraisal (E&A) wells in the Lungahe and Elombo fields and two development wells in Dissoni.

Expro’s Southern & West Africa region director, Riccardo Muttoni, said: “Perenco is pressing ahead with major development plans in Cameroon and the neighboring areas. This award provides a platform for us to showcase our technologies and solution focused attitude.

“This is one of the jobs we have done in the region using our CaTS technology and the contract also provides potential for us to introduce our strengths in tubing conveyed perforating (TCP) and complete the full well flow management package.”

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Norway: STX OSV Strengthens Specialist Technology with New Acquisitions

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STX OSV Holdings Limited (“STX OSV”), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of offshore and specialized vessels, announces that it is strengthening its technology and engineering competence through two separate transactions.

Seaonics AS (“Seaonics”), a subsidiary of STX OSV, is in the process of acquiring a shareholding interest in Castor Drilling Solution AS (“CDS”). Based in Kristiansand, Norway, CDS is a newly established company with specialist competence in offshore drilling technology.

The investment is expected to give STX OSV new insight into this segment of the offshore market, and give opportunities for development of integrated solutions primarily related to the growing market of Offshore Subsea Construction Vessels (“OSCV”). The investment, to be completed in two tranches by the end of the year, will give Seaonics a 34% stake in CDS.

Separately, STX OSV has entered into an agreement to acquire 70% shareholding interest in Brevik Partners AS (“Brevik Partners”). Established in 2010, Brevik Partners is an engineering company specializing in offshore technology and equipment. The investment in the company, to be renamed STX OSV Engineering Brevik, is expected to strengthen STX OSV’s ability to develop new concepts and integrated solutions for offshore and specialized vessels. The proposed transaction is expected to be closed by the end of May.

Both investments are in line with STX OSV’s strategy of increasing its technology and engineering competence in select parts of the offshore value chain. Through focused investments, STX OSV aims to strengthen its ability to develop and introduce vessels equipped with cutting-edge innovation and technology.

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USA: Subsea 7 to Exhibit at Offshore Technology Conference

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Subsea 7, a global leader in seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services to the offshore energy industry, will be exhibiting the wealth of its expertise and some of its new groundbreaking technology at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, USA, from 30 April to 3 May.

Subsea 7 will deliver seven conference papers and, among the range of new technology the company will be exhibiting at its booth 1641, will be its new flagship pipelay / heavylift vessel, the Seven Borealis, its pioneering Autonomous Inspection Vehicle (AIV), and its award winning Mechanically Lined Pipe technology. Also high on Subsea 7’s agenda at OTC 2012 will be the recruitment of talented engineers, project managers and support function personnel for its expanding work programme following the successful award of a number contracts.

Steve Wisely, Subsea 7’s Executive Vice-President – Commercial, said: “We will have a bigger presence than ever at OTC this year. This reflects the successful year we have had, the great strides that we have made in technology solutions and our service offering to clients. Subsea projects are getting more complex and challenging, in deeper waters and more harsh environments. We want to show clients the full range of our capabilities, including a large and modern fleet, our expertise and our ability to deliver their projects. And for people looking for new employment challenges with a rewarding company, we have a number of opportunities available.”

Subsea 7 has been investing in renewing its fleet in the last year, including its new flagship vessel, the Seven Borealis, which is due to go on its first project later this year. With its combined S-lay and J-lay pipelay and 5,000t heavylift capabilities, the Seven Borealis is one of the most versatile subsea construction vessels in the industry, ideally suited to meet the exacting requirements of ultra-deep and deepwater projects.

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In the area of Life-of-Field support, Subsea 7 will showcase its revolutionary AIV, which is now commercially available. A differentiating element of the AIV is its ability to recognise and respond to its surroundings, being able to correct its trajectory in real time, based on information it gathers from its onboard sensors. The AIV, which can operate directly from a host facility, such as an FPSO or Platform, or from infield support vessels or mobile rigs, will transform Life-of-Field projects. It can provide cost-effective, low-risk inspection to aid field survey and integrity management and intervention activities.

The full range of Subsea 7’s capabilities in riser technology, pipe-in-pipe and pipeline welding will be on show at OTC. The company’s technological expertise was recently recognised by the industry’s prestigious Pipeline Industries Guild giving Subsea 7 the Subsea Pipeline Technology Award for the installation of Mechanically Lined Pipe by reel–lay, which will be on display at the show. The technology, independently qualified by DNV, has demonstrated its market potential and been adopted for the first major pre-salt project, Guará-Lula NE, in Brazil by Petrobras.

Seven technical papers will be delivered by Subsea 7 at this year’s OTC, showcasing its experience and capabilities to deliver innovative solutions for clients’ projects. These are:

• Accounting for Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV) in wake induced motion of risers in tandem at high reynolds number

• A giant step and innovative subsea project – Pazflor

• Innovation in ROV/AUV technology – Autonomous Inspection Vehicle: A new dimension in Life-of-Field operations

• Design consideration and equipment details of the 5,000t mast crane of the deepwater pipelay and heavylift vessel Seven Borealis

• Improved pile driving prediction in carbonate soil and rock

• Mechanically Lined Bubi® Pipe – installation by reel-lay

• GIS support for field development project: A contractor experience and perspective.

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Schlumberger to Acquire Norway-Based SPT Group

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Schlumberger announced that it has entered into an agreement with Altor Fund II to acquire SPT Group—a privately owned software company specialized in dynamic modeling for the oil and gas industry.

The company provides a combination of software and consulting services for multiphase flow and reservoir engineering applications. Closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

“The dynamic modeling and reservoir optimization software of SPT Group will complement the existing Schlumberger production software portfolio,” said Tony Bowman, President, Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS). “In combination with the Petrel* E&P software platform and other SIS technologies, this will enable customers to further optimize production from reservoir performance to processing facilities.”

“This is a great testament to our employees and a remarkable opportunity for the company,” commented Tom Even Mortensen, Chief Executive Officer of SPT Group. He continued, “Combining the skills, abilities, presence and technologies of the two companies will further increase the scale of our activities and enable continued delivery of products and services with the quality and pace the market demands.”

SPT Group Chairman and Altor Partner Reynir Indahl added, “We are proud to have developed a very successful company together with SPT Group management, and believe that Schlumberger will be a great home for SPT and its employees.”

SPT Group, founded in 1971, is headquartered in Norway and employs approximately 280 people in 11 countries worldwide. The company is a leader in dynamic modeling of multiphase flow and reservoir optimization through renowned software products and a global team of professional consultants. SPT Group has invested more than most comparable firms in developing cutting-edge technology. The company’s employees, global presence, close ties to industry research environments, and clear focus on customer needs have been important factors in its success.

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Aker Solutions to Design World’s Largest Spar Platform for Statoil

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Aker Solutions has been awarded a FEED (front-end engineering and design) contract from Statoil to design the world’s largest Spar platform for the Aasta Hansteen field development in the Norwegian Sea.

With a total hull length of 193 meters and a draught of 170 meters, the Aasta Hansteen (formerly named Luva) Spar platform will be the largest of its kind. A Spar platform is a cylinder shaped floating offshore installation. Aasta Hansteen will be the first Spar platform on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), and also the world’s first Spar platform with condensate storage capacity – a so called Belly-Spar.

The Belly-Spar concept is an exclusive Aker Solutions design. The ‘belly’ refers to the increased diameter on part of the circular shaped hull, where the condensate storage tanks are located. This gives the Aker Solutions’ Belly-Spar its characteristic shape.

Henning Østvig, head of Front-End & Technology in Aker Solutions says: “The Aasta Hansteen Spar will be the first production platform on the NCS with steel catenary risers. With a water depth of 1300 meters, this is probably the only riser technology that can meet the challenges on the Aasta Hansteen field”.

The steel catenary risers are made of self-supporting steel pipes in a bow shape between the platform and the seabed. The shape helps the risers compensate for the motions on the floating facility.

Innovation

“The Belly-Spar concept is a result of the innovative spirit and culture among our engineers, who have come up with the right solutions for the challenging conditions on the Aasta Hansteen field,” says Valborg Lundegaard, head of Engineering business area in Aker Solutions.

The mooring system for Aasta Hansteen Spar platform consists of a set of polyester lines. “There are currently no installations on the NCS with polyester mooring. Aasta Hansteen may be the first, and it will definitely be operating in the deepest water,” says Henning Østvig.

The FEED study will be completed in the third quarter of 2012. The contract value is undisclosed.

Aasta Hansteen

The field was discovered in 1997 and lies 300km offshore in the Vøring area. The licence partners are Statoil (75 per cent), ExxonMobil (15 per cent) and ConocoPhillips (10 per cent).

Aker Solutions’ contract party is Aker Engineering & Technology AS.

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