Technology & Product News

Osbit Boat Landing System to Deliver Safe Crew Transfer at Hornsea Project One Wind Farm

3 1Osbit GMSOsbit Ltd, the offshore engineering and technology company, has been awarded a project to deliver an innovative boat landing and access system, which will be fitted to a GMS jack-up accommodation vessel destined for DONG Energy’s Hornsea Project One Wind Farm.

The boat landing system has been commissioned by Aberdeen-based Gulf Marine Services (GMS) UK Ltd and will be installed on one of its self-elevating, self-propelled, dynamically positioned Large Class accommodation vessels.

3 2Osbit1600x651Osbit will deliver an innovative boat landing and access system, which will be installed on a GMS self-elevating, self-propelled, dynamically positioned Large Class accommodation vessel.

The project is Osbit’s first contract win from GMS UK and will diversify its existing access offering. GMS, intent on delivering innovative solutions to its clients, required the development of a system to specifically facilitate crew transfers to and from a jacked-up vessel to crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and offshore wind transition stations, and this original thinking has resulted in a highly practical boat landing system that is an industry first. Utilizing a unique access tower with an integrated crew transfer vessel (CTV) boat landing, technicians will be able to safely access transfer vessels regardless of whether the GMS accommodation vessel is in a floating position or has been jacked-up to a pre-determined deck height of 21 meters above sea level.

Osbit’s system, in accordance with GMS’ requirements, is integral to allowing work crews to remain offshore, rather than making daily trips to and from shore and will facilitate up to 50 crew transfers each day. The vessel, and its sister accommodation vessel, will be deployed 120 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast.

The boat landing system will be raised and lowered into position using the vessel’s onboard crane, and will feature a waiting area and vessel interface that mirrors the buffer and ladder units found on traditional turbine transition pieces. GMS’ design concept was progressed at Osbit’s headquarters in Riding Mill, Northumberland. The boat landing system will be fabricated in the region, supporting GMS’ local supply chain objectives, and the system will be installed when the vessel arrives in the North East at the start of 2018.

Brendon Hayward, Managing Director of Osbit Ltd, said: “In delivering our first project for GMS UK Ltd we are proud to be involved in the development of the world’s largest offshore wind farm. This boat landing system enables safe and efficient crew transfer, with minimal operational interference.

“The versatility of the system ensures transfers can take place without being affected by the jack-up vessel height and therefore won’t interfere with operations or substation access. As a result, the vessel can become a hub for technicians working on the substations or turbines, delivering more efficient and cost-effective use of the project’s offshore accommodation provision, while maintaining safety at all times.”

Duncan Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Marine Services, said: “Gulf Marine Services has been at the forefront of jack up barge innovation since the design of the original four-legged self-propelled concept in 1982, which has given us the ability to relocate rapidly between offshore installations. As a business, we have constantly been evaluating and developing more efficient means of deployment of equipment and services in shallow water. In the oil and gas industry we have led the field in light cantilever intervention development and this boat landing system we are producing in tandem with Osbit is another first of its kind in the world.

“The system gives our barges the ability to safely transfer personnel from crew transfer boats to our barges while remaining jacked up on location with the requisite air gap. Once again it reduces non-productive time for our client while enhancing and improving safety and comfort for those workers offshore who need to access offshore wind transition stations for hook up or maintenance.”

Trelleborg Completes Its Leg Can System Portfolio with New Skirt Pile Gripper

Trelleborg’s engineered products operation is growing its portfolio of offshore floatover solutions, with a custom designed skirt pile gripper. Add to this its grout seal, diaphragm closure and grout packer products, and Trelleborg customers can now specify a total sub-structure leg can system from one source.

The skirt pile gripper (SPG) is welded onto the upper section of a platform’s jacket skirt pile sleeves and is designed to create a temporary connection between the pile and jacket during the grouting process. With unique biting teeth for increased contact area, Trelleborg’s innovative design delivers a firmer grip. This fixing method reduces risks during platform installation, as it guarantees stable working conditions, even in inclement weather.

7Trelleborg skirt pile gripperPhoto credit: Trelleborg

JP Chia, Engineering Manager for Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, says: “Jacket installation of a substructure into the seabed is an operation that requires product reliability and on site expertise. Until the grout between pile and jacket has set and the installation is completed, the SPGs holds the jacket’s piles firmly in place to provide temporary retention of the jacket’s elevation position during levelling operations and grout setting.

“By growing our portfolio to offer a total leg can system solution, customers can benefit from streamlined procurement, reliable functionality and interfacing of the entire system from purchase through to delivery from one solution provider.”

Trelleborg’s custom-made SPGs can be designed to have a holding capacity of between 500MT and 3000MT and are compatible with all offshore oil and gas and windfarm HVDC jackets. Working at operating pressures of 200 bar and higher according to customer testing requirements, and water depths of up to 250 meters, Trelleborg’s SPGs exceed all relevant client standards and is DnV GL certified.

Trelleborg’s SPGs are fully developed and tested in-house at its facility in Singapore. Full scale testing, biting teeth friction testing and pressure holding testing are all carried out and exceed client specified standards to ensure Trelleborg’s SPGs perform during the critical grouting process.

To discover more about Trelleborg’s new SPG, read our online flow book here.

Alternatively, for more information about Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, or any of its products and solutions, visit the Trelleborg Engineered Products website.

MacArtney Secures MV Swivel Order for FPSO Vessel

9Demo product MoogFocal Image MacArtney Sept 17MacArtney has secured the contract for a Moog Focal Model 460 medium voltage electrical swivel (MVES). The MVES is configured as a stacked ring design and will be included in the final design of the full subsea production system architecture solution for a development project. In addition to delivery of the MVES, the contract includes on-site Focal/MacArtney installation and commissioning jobs to support OneSubsea during these phases.

The project involves development of six subsea production wells and six water injection wells integrating subsea multi-phase booster pumps.

“Taking part in this comprehensive and ambitious project is extremely important to us, says Jens-Henrik Gadeberg, Sales Manager, MacArtney. Working together with Moog Focal to provide leading-edge expertise and support to OneSubsea for a development project is a pleasure and a privilege.”

Being a privately owned corporation with group headquarters in Esbjerg on the west coast of Denmark, MacArtney Underwater Technology has supplied products and engineering solutions for almost four decades.

Bluestream and Skeye Partners in Offshore Inspection Services

Bluestream, one of the leading providers of innovative inspection services to the oil, gas and wind industry, and Skeye BV from Alphen aan den Rijn, one of the most successful UAV operators in the Netherlands and UK, have announced a partnership providing visual inspection services and geographic data acquisition for offshore assets using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

According to a statement by both companies, this move is a good example of embracing innovations in the inspection market.

8bluestreamLeft Anton Janssens (Bluestream) and right Jan van Liebergen (Skeye).

Thanks to this extension of Bluestream’s own topside inspection capabilities, the Den Helder-based company can now provide clients with a total inspection solution utilizing Skeye’s advanced small unmanned drones, capable to reach places that are difficult, expensive, dangerous, or even impossible to approach by manned inspection teams. The drones are particularly suitable for live flare & vent stack, topside, splash zone and under deck inspections.

“Our professional rope access, diving and ROV inspection, repair and maintenance services combined with the Skeye UAV-based inspection services will provide a unique advantage for customer’s maintenance campaigns and projects. We are now tailored to meet the most challenging of customer needs,” commercial manager Anton Janssens of Bluestream said. “Not only does this high-grade inspection service allow a fast and efficient collection of extensive footage in a short amount of time, whilst the asset is still in production, it also improves the targeted delivery of Rope Access work. This cooperation enables both subsea and topside inspections to be done by a single party, resulting in integrated reports of inspections done, creating added value to the customer.”

Operations Director Jan van Liebergen of Skeye added: “Through this partnership we are able to offer full UAV inspections, complete with report, and including recommendations if requested. This new service will position both companies as more complete and efficient service providers within the offshore industry.”

Both Bluestream and Skeye are well introduced in the offshore and windfarm work practices, ensuring a suitable and safe concept of operations for any mission. The inspections are performed by highly competent personnel, that will ensure compliance with (local) legislation regarding UAV operations as well as inspection requirements.

In the meantime the new business partners have already successfully executed various inspection scopes together, including a comprehensive inspection program for a client in the North Sea wind sector.

Trelleborg Supplies Smartport Solution to Prelude FLNG

Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has supplied a suite of products to Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility, the largest offshore facility ever constructed. Prelude, which is 488 meters long, 74 meters wide, and made with more than 260,000 tons of steel, will extract and liquefy natural gas from a site in North West Australia.

Trelleborg supplied its gas transfer technology and SafePilot navigational and piloting systems for Prelude.

11Shell two ship of natural gas in seaShell’s Prelude FLNG. Image credit: Shell

Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation, says: “We’re delighted that our SafePilot solution, SSL, ESL and radio ESD for tandem condensate offload have been used on Shell’s Prelude FLNG. A project of this size and prestige is one we’re extremely proud to be a part of. The products supplied fall under our SmartPort product range: they represent industry leading technology that enables real time communications and information sharing during vessel approach and the LNG, LPG and Natural Gas Condensate transfer operations.”

In support of Prelude’s process operations, Trelleborg supplied its industry-leading Ship Shore Link (SSL) system for the transfer of LNG from the platform to visiting LNGCs. To achieve this, a full shore SSL system was supplied. In addition, Trelleborg also provided their Electrical Shutdown Link (ESL), known more commonly as the SIGTTO link, for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) transfer and a new radio ESD link developed with Shell used in conjunction with floating hoses for the tandem transfer of natural gas condensate produced as part of the LNG production process.

In support of Prelude’s marine operations, Trelleborg supplied the navigational system for Prelude. The system is designed to closely monitor the relative motion of the FLNG and the carrier during approach, and the sideways berthing/mooring phase, as well as a tandem berthing/mooring phase. The motion and position data of the carrier are measured by the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) / Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS) RTK based Portable Pilot Units (PPU) installed on the bridge wing of the gas LNGC.

The PPU is an “all in one” unit with built in roll and pitch sensors. The CAT III unit is quick and easy to set up, as it only contains two GPS antennas and the PPU switches on automatically the moment the antennas are pulled apart.

Position and motion data of the FLNG is measured by the Motion Reference Unit (MRU) and the DGPS / GLONASS RTK based base station on the FLNG. The base and up to five PPUs are linked via a dedicated UHF frequency.

The offshore operation requires a precision approach, monitoring and mooring software for the offshore oil and gas industry. Through the SafePilot system, the pilot, master, tug operator and control room all have access to a real-time, accurate and independent picture of the relative positions and movement between the different objects and tankers in the operation. Trelleborg’s offshore software allows the ability to view all objects and shuttle tankers together, on a single display.

Trelleborg’s SSL and SafePilot solutions fall under the company’s SmartPort portfolio. SmartPort is Trelleborg’s answer to the need for a standardized way to collect and store data. It’s a technology platform that connects port operations, allowing users to analyse asset performance and apply data insights, to improve day-to-day decision making.

For more information on Trelleborg’s SmartPort solution, including its SSLs and SafePilot solution, click here.

USCG Type Approval Tests Complete for Evoqua SeaCURE® System

8 1EvoquaBoat rig pSeaCURE® Ballast Water Management System (BWMS), the electrochlorination based solution pioneered by Evoqua Water Technologies, has successfully completed all biological efficacy US Coast Guard Type-Approval tests.

Tests were carried out under the supervision of classification society Lloyd’s Register and the independent laboratory NSF International will now compile test data for submission to the USCG for imminent approval.

Matt Granitto, Business Manager, Ballast Water, said: “We are delighted that the SeaCURE system has successfully completed and exceeded all testing requirements and protocols for USCG certification. It has been a lengthy process but the importance of these tests and USCG Type Approval cannot be undervalued.

“The testing regime we opted for was the most stringent because it uses natural organisms in natural environments over those that are manufactured. By using real organisms, it takes a lot longer as nature doesn’t always have sufficiently high organism counts.”

8 2EvoquaElectrochlorination is an effective, safe and simple method of treating ballast water. As the hypochlorite is produced from seawater, there is no need to handle and store on board harmful biocides, whilst proprietary control logic ensures that the production is limited to only meet the demand reducing the power consumption requirement. The SeaCURE system also offers dual-purpose operation if required. Image credit: Evoqua

All testing was carried out by NSF International. The first five tests in brackish waters took place in Baltimore harbour in the summer of 2015 by NSF partner Maritime Environmental Resource Centre (MERC). Another partner laboratory, Great Ships Initiative (GSI), then carried out five freshwater tests in the summer of 2016, with the final set of land based tests (marine water) completed by Holland’s MEA-NL, working in conjunction with classification society Lloyd’s Register, on 27th July 2017. Shipboard testing was conducted in various locations around the globe with scientists from MERC.

NSF International was the first independent laboratory to be certified by the USCG for BWMS testing and is widely regarded as the most stringent testing regime there is for a ballast water management system, as Ian Stentiford, Evoqua’s Global Vice President, Electrochlorination, attests.

“We deliberately selected an independent laboratory that would challenge the SeaCURE system as part of the whole approval process. The testing NSF partners carry out is extensive and places considerable demands on the system in real-life, operational conditions. Testing uses real organisms, in different salinities, different water temperatures and different local environments, taking into account organism regrowth.

“It is very stringent; but we knew that if the SeaCURE system could pass these tests, then shipowners will be confident that the system they have invested in is very robust and it can actually do what it has been designed for in all at-sea operating conditions encountered.”

The SeaCURE system is one of the smallest electrochlorination-based ballast water treatment systems to have completed USCG testing, with one unit capable of treating up to 6,000m3/h from an easy-to-install skid of just 2m x 1.5m.

Evoqua anticipates receiving USCG BWMS Type Approval before the end of the calendar year.

Tests Confirm that New Patented Buoyancy Design Eliminates VIV in High Currents and Minimizes Drag

A major milestone is successfully completed under the joint development agreement between Diamond Offshore, Inc. and Trelleborg that focuses on creation of a helically grooved buoyancy design with enhanced performance for drilling riser operations in high current conditions. Test results revealed that, when using the patented design, Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV) is effectively eliminated in high currents, with the added bonus that drag loading on the riser is also reduced to a level comparable with fairings.

In June of this year, tow tank testing on the patented helically grooved design was performed at SINTEF Ocean’s Tow Tank facility in Trondheim, Norway. The joint facility, under SINTEF and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), is one of the premier hydrodynamic research facilities in the world, allowing testing of the new buoyancy design in the supercritical flow regime representative of offshore current conditions.

10 1TrelleborgSubsea View of Helically Grooved Drill Riser Buoyancy. Photo credit: Trelleborg

Antony Croston, Business Group Director with Trelleborg’s offshore operation in Houston says: “Based on the extensive modelling performed by both Diamond Offshore and ourselves, we were very confident that the design would be fully validated by testing. In reality, the results exceeded even our own expectations.

“For many years, fairings have been accepted as the best technical solution for drag and VIV reduction on drilling risers. Their use has come with an operational penalty in the form of increased running and retrieval time, as well as handling issues, especially in harsh weather. We now have an integral concept, which has been proven to match the performance of fairings, without any issues in drilling riser handling and running methodologies.”

10 2Trelleborg2Helically Grooved Buoyancy during testing. Photographer: Collin Gaskill

The extensive test program provided valuable hydrodynamic data confirming the design’s drag reduction and VIV suppression performance. Fixed and dynamic drag coefficients of the new design were recorded during separate fixed and free vibration tow testing. Drag coefficients at an average of 0.65 were observed for relevant flow regimes, which is comparable to the performance of riser fairings. This is achieved through the highly successful VIV suppression of the design, effectively eliminating VIV response and subsequent drag amplification in the high excitation response range of offshore drilling risers.

Forced motion testing of the helically grooved design was also performed to better understand excitation of the riser under high current conditions and for the development of lift coefficient data for use in analytical fatigue damage prediction programs.

The helical drag reduction and VIV suppression performance shows strong independence of current speed, which is consistent with the behavior of an external helical strake. However, the underlying flow physics causing the suppression are quite different, leading to the suitability of the helically grooved design for large diameter drill riser buoyancy.

Both Diamond Offshore and Trelleborg are delighted with the success of the joint development, which has resulted in the validation of the design through tow tank testing. In addition, Trelleborg has manufactured and delivered two complete strings to Diamond Offshore that have been recently deployed in the Gulf of Mexico. The two companies look forward to making this technology available to the offshore drilling industry to enhance safety and efficiency of operations in environmentally challenging locations around the globe.

aqua-tools Delivers Advanced Ballast Water Monitoring Systems

aqua-tools, the specialist in water microbiology, has delivered the first in series of 30 state-of-the-art Rapid ATP Ballast Water Monitoring Systems to SGS Group.

13aqua tools BWMS test kit30 Rapid ATP ballast water monitoring kits will be supplied to SGS Group, which has been contracted to monitor treated ballast water by several countries

The Geneva-based testing and certification body has agreements in place with several countries to inspect and monitor the treated ballast waters of vessels entering their ports, the latest of which is The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Vessels discharging ballast water in Saudi Aramco ports will be required to present a ballast water report and sample from 16 August 2017.

Dr. Vladimiro Bonamin, Vice-President, Global Business Development Manager, SGS Groups, said: “With the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention next month, ballast water monitoring will become an important aspect of the port state control function, as inspectors test treated water for compliance. aqua-tools, in collaboration with SGS Group (Switzerland) and LuminUltra (Canada), has developed a Rapid ATP technology designed to be the most reliable and effective ballast water monitoring solution on the market.”

According to Bonamin, existing bioluminescence methodologies used to monitor Adenosine Tri-phosphates (ATP), a molecular structure, like DNA, that is found in all living organisms, “are ineffective in high salinity waters and while an accepted method for testing surface waters, these rudimentary solutions do not provide a reliable tool with which to test the efficacy of ballast water treatment systems”.

Marc Raymond, Managing Director, aqua-tools, said: “Our test protocol is based on the bioluminescence principle, whereby the proportion of light correlates exactly with the number of Adenosine Tri-phosphates found in ballast water. Other luminometers measure the light but these use a very rudimentary measurement ‘pen’ to take a small sample of the water. This is ineffective since the reagent required to extract the ATP from the organism is heavily diluted and does not provide an accurate measurement from which to assess efficacy across the entire spectrum specified in the IMO D2 parameters list.

“We have developed a unique method for extracting the ATP from the cell walls of all marine organisms, including those with hard shells, in a process that takes just five minutes. Our method analyses each fraction: >50μm (most often zooplankton), 10-50μm (most often phytoplankton) and bacteria, which other ballast water monitoring systems struggle to achieve.”

"While much focus has been given to the ballast water treatment system, there has been little discussion about enforcement,” said Bonamin. “Existing ballast water testing methods could mean that incorrect measurements are taken, resulting in heavy financial penalties for shipowners. We now have the technology available to provide 100% indicative but accurate readings more or less immediately, without having to send samples off to laboratories.”

aqua-tools’ ATP 2G technology can be used onboard vessels and by enforcement agencies to rapidly analyse treated waters onboard vessel during the deballasting process, providing results in less than 40 minutes.

SGS Group now has agreements in place to implement ballast water compliance verification tests and certification in seven countries, with the service available in USA, Canada, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, UAE, India, China, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and Taiwan.

The 30 Rapid ATP Ballast Water test kits will now be distributed to SGS Group offices in all those countries by which it has been contracted to carry out ballast water verification tests.

Pharos Offshore’s Cable Recovery Spread Completes New Scopes

5Pharos 55t cable grab iceland w768h432Pharos Offshore Group have paired their trenching and deburial systems with a rugged cable retrieval grab to aid the offshore industry with a simple to use and quick to mobilize solution for recovering damaged subsea products and out of service cables.

Two of the company’s Cable Recovery Spreads were sent out this month to work on the recovery of 1x Array Cable within an Offshore Wind Farm situated in the Irish Sea, and the recovery of a section of an interconnector off the coast of Iceland.

The company felt that the cable industry could benefit from a simple solution to resolve common issues and supply clients with a varying amount if equipment depending on requirements, more importantly the company were driven to reduce the amount of downtime for the client by providing a fast and efficient service.

The Subsea Cable Recovery tooling is offered as part of a “Menu of Equipment” so that clients could tailor their own package. Typical items include:

  • Mass Flow Excavator or Jet-Trenching ROV for the deburial and subsequent reburial of the product;
  • The cable grab spread (configured for crane launch or as a ROV configured unit);
  • An independent camera and lighting system on the cable grab itself to monitor the recovery;
  • Proximity sensors, gyros and imaging sonars;
  • The personnel to mobilize; operate and demobilize the varying levels of kit chosen.

The track record for these spreads has covered 2 x Interconnectors, 3 x Array Cables and 1 x Export Cable. Upcoming projects may include flowlines, flexible pipe and (with the addition of a new-build grab) sections of pipeline; as the company continue to explore new options across the offshore markets in Europe and beyond.

RJE International Helps China Study the Deep Sea

RJE International are partnering with China's major oceanographic institute to take a closer look at the ocean floor.

The National Deep Sea Center -- founded several years ago to advance China's marine research -- plans to deploy scientific equipment to depths of 6000 meters below the surface in order to gather valuable data from the sediment and surrounding subsea environment.

10RJE AP120623019383RJE will partner with China for a closer look at the deep sea. Photo: Wang Wensheng /AP

RJE will help the Center recover the equipment mooring after it completes its months-long study. When the data has been collected, the equipment will be released from its anchor and float to the surface to be recovered by researchers.

In the likely event the equipment surfaces far away from its original location, the Center plans to use our ATT-400/6KM Acoustic Transponder and our STI-350 Surface Acoustic Receiver to retrieve it.

"Operating at depths of 6000 meters is always a challenge," said Bruce O'Bannon, the VP of Sales at RJE. "But our line of acoustic beacons and receivers are up to the task."

The ATT-400/6KM Transponder is a small, battery-operated acoustic beacon that is designed to withstand the enormous pressure of the deep ocean. It assists in recovering subsea assets and equipment when paired with the STI-350 and DPR-275 acoustic directional receivers.

This opportunity was made possible through Qingdao Haiyan Electronics Co., Ltd, a company based in China and a partner of RJE.