Marine Technology Reporter Blogs

MTR100: Applications Available

March 11, 2016

COV MTR
I am happy to report that the application for  the 2016 MTR100 is now open to any and all companies serving the global subsea sector, available at: http://mtr100.marinetechnologynews.com/. MTR100 is the brainchild of Marine Technology Reporter magazine (www.marinetechnologynews.com), which is the world's largest circulation b2b magazine in the world serving the subsea sector. MTR100 is the pnnacle edition every year for MTR, and within it highlights the good works and innovation of 100 leading companies in the sector. There is no cost to participate, but to be considered for inclusion companies must apply. Deadline for applications this year is June 20, 2016. Link: http://mtr100.marinetechnologynews.com/.

Offshore Microwave Communications

February 2, 2015

Offshore Microwave Communications
Offshore communication requirements have greatly increased in the last decade, with the market focusing on bandwidth and availability. Ceragon Networks (formerly Nera Networks) was a key player when Norway’s oil boom started in the early 1970. The first system delivered was VSAT systems, followed a few years later by the first LOS microwave systems. With today’s change to IO (Integrated Operations) throughout the business, Ceragon has adapted to this with new, advanced, ATEX certificated radios and stabilized antennas. IO has now pushed the bandwidth requirement beyond what is possible and economically justifiable with VSAT systems. Today there are minimum requirement of 32Mb/s to most drill rigs and +100Mb/s on larger production rigs.

Pre-salt Seafloor Construction/Remote Operations Challenges Part 1

October 10, 2014

banner fmi
As a world leader in construction and remote operations in deep waters, Petrobras has been developing new technologies and testing them with their partners in Brazil’s deepwater pre-salt fields for over a decade. Petrobras has historically opted for an incremental strategy to develop its technological capabilities to explore the Brazil’s offshore oil resources. As deepwater discoveries began to enter the production phase, Petrobras opted for using and FPSOs and wet x-mas trees. These discoveries of supergiant oil fields in the Brazilian pre-salt have offered Petrobras an opportunity for reviewing its technological path and it is becoming clear that the national operator has been increasingly inclined to move as much of the oil production systems to the seafloor as possible…

Understanding ROV Launch and Recovery Systems – Part 2

January 19, 2015

th John Thomson cat storm
The main purpose of the heavy weather launch and recovery system is to stabilize and centralize the WCROV (Work Class ROV) and Tether Management System (TMS) with a device called a cursor which restricts horizontal movement while transitioning through the air/sea interface (called the splash zone). The splash zone presents the greatest risk of damage to the WCROV, TMS, and potentially the vessel. Large waves and high winds can cause the ROV and TMS to swing wildly, potentially impacting the vessel structure. As the vehicle is raised, this motion is amplified many times, which can make it difficult if not impossible to launch/recover the WCROV in foul weather. Another hazard is the close proximity of the WCROV to vessel hull mounted thrusters during entry and exit into the splash zone.

Understanding ROV Launch and Recovery Systems – Part 1

January 19, 2015

Compact WCROV lauching system
ROV system are vital to oil and gap E&P beyond saturation diving maximum depths. Full saturation diving has been conducted to depths of nearly 600 meters (2,000 feet). Beyond this depth ROVs are employed to undertake the diver’s tasks such as opening and closing valves, construction and equipment monitoring. In order to be deployed from the surface by support vessels, ROVs must be launched, recovered, and safely and efficiently operated using dedicated systems. Two systems are needed to successfully launch, recover and operate and ROV, these are the LARS (Launch and Recovery System) and TMS (Tether Management System). ROVs may be directly deployed from a simple crane…

Aker on Managed Pressure Operations

January 5, 2015

Distinct Medley fig
When Aker Solutions acquired Managed Pressure Operations in 2013, it became a provider of next generation continuous circulation and managed pressure drilling (MPD) systems, which has become a critical component to the drilling process going into the future. MPD systems have proven to be reliable, enabling maximum up time and significant cost savings and has been labeled of strategic importance for pre-salt drilling by Brazilian operator Petrobras, which uses MPD systems developed by Weatherford, which was the company that first introduced large scale use of the system to the industry. The MPD system being introduced by Aker/MPO is fully automated and simple to operate, needing few people to run the equipment.

Atmocean and The Potential of Wave Energy – Part 2

December 13, 2014

atm2
Atmocean’s wave energy system is unique in that each array of fifteen seawater pumps located up to 2 miles offshore produces pressurized water transmitted in a seafloor hose to the onshore turbine operating a generator. By using and underwater compressed air energy storage system a dramatic reductions in the net cost and availability of grid-scale energy storage is reached. Storing air at hydrostatic pressure, in equilibrium with the surrounding water allows the use of thin-walled storage vessels, and simpler, more reliable compressors. A simple, proprietary reversible air compressor runs at near-constant temperature and the heat of compression is stored in water and is restored during expansion of the air.

Atmocean and The Potential of Wave Energy - Part 1

December 11, 2014

cropped atmocean header
Water covers 71% of our world and holds a vast potential for clean renewable energy production. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers estimated in a 2010 report of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, that there is an estimated potential of 3.7 terawatts of wave energy, almost double that of current world electrical consumption, yet although it may never be possible to harvest all this energy, very little of it has been harvested up to now. Waves are mainly created by winds blowing across the oceans. Waves are distinct from daily tidal surges created by the gravitational effects of the moon as the earth spins on its axis.

Clariant’s H2S Management and Sequestration Tech for the Pre-salt

December 6, 2014

Clariant
Clariant, a global provider of specialty chemicals and solutions for the oil and gas industry, is has been applying its H2S Risk Management System in selected pre-salt plays offshore Brazil. The novel system encompasses the provision and management of specialty chemicals for both subsea activities (liquid H2S scavengers injected into wells) and offshore topside natural gas processing (removal of hydrogen sulfide residues using a solid adsorbent), including the entire onshore and offshore product delivery logistics and managing the removal and disposal of residues generated during the process. The system was developed by Clariant’s research centers in Brazil: the Deepwater Center of Excellence…

AIV – Paving the way for an Autonomous Light Intervention Vehicle

November 30, 2014

AIV
When Subsea 7 and SeeByte collaborated in engineering the AIV, the world’s first purpose built Autonomous Inspection Vehicle, they were looking for a new cost-effective asset for inspecting LoF (Life of Field) projects. The AIVs software was designed to dynamically control this unique hover-capable vehicle, which is already being used in Subsea 7 LoF projects for general visual inspection. It can also be used as an aid to field survey, integrity management and developments continue, looking at expanding its use to light intervention activities. One of the advantages of the AIV over other AUV’s is its capability to hover, maintaining station when necessary. It also has the ability to operate directly from a host facility such as an FPSO or rig as well as from infield support vessels.

Abrolhos National Maine Park – Part 2

November 21, 2014

baleias jubarte banco de abrolhos
An important marine reserve system started with the Abrolhos National Marine Park (Parque Nacional Marinho Dos Abrolhos) in 1983 and has been expanded to include three carefully managed "Marine Extractive Reserves": Canavieiras (2006), Corumbau, and, most recently, the Cassurubá Marine Extractive Reserve. This network of marine reserves is the first of its kind in Brazil and serves as a model for marine conservation. Nearly 20,000 families make a living from traditional fisheries in the Abrolhos region and they are becoming important conservation partners as they come to understand that marine protected areas are an effective tool for fisheries recovery.

Abrolhos National Maine Park – Part 1

November 17, 2014

ABROLHOS BA
The Abrolhos Marine National Park is located in the Abrolhos Archipelago since 1983. The Abrolhos are an archipelago of five islands with coral reefs off the southern coast of the state of Bahia state in the northeast of Brazil, between 17º25’–18º09’ S and 38º33’–39º05’ W., the so-called Whale Coast (Costa das Baleias). The marine biodiversity in the South Atlantic Ocean reaches its maximum level in the Abrolhos region. Seasonal populations of humpback whales go there to mate and give birth (and to nowhere else in the South Atlantic). It harbors some of Brazil's most important seabird colonies, extensive coral reefs, and several species of the world's most threatened sea turtles.

MBARI’s Benthic Rover

November 14, 2014

roverb
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's (MBARI) Benthic Rover is a subsea lab which methodically charts deep-sea carbon cycles. To measure metabolic activity in the sediment, twin respirometry chambers isolate samples of seafloor for 3 days at a time. Agitators stir up the sediment while sensors record oxygen levels. Diagram: Ken Smith, MBARI. The rover also has two optical/acoustic scanners that detect active chlorophyll and animals like worms buried up to 4 inches in the sediment. These two pieces of information help to fine-tune the respirometry measurements and to determine how quickly sediment arrives. At the MARS site 891 m (nearly 3,000 feet) below the surface, it’s always dark and there are no plants making food.

Water-Alternating-Gas injection

November 10, 2014

image lightbox P ABO Field layout
Brazil’s National Operator, Petrobras has been experimenting with advanced Water-Alternating-Gas injection in a number of offshore plays and recently at the Rio O&G 2014, Petrobras’ Pre-salt manager confirmed that the super-major will be using the technology at most, if not all of its pre-salt plays. The WAG injection process aims to recover more oil from a reservoir and also to recover oil more efficiently. The technology was originally intended to improve sweep efficiency during gas flooding, with intermittent slugs of water and gas designed by and large to follow the same route through the reservoir. Variants include injecting gas as a supplement to water or vice versa, primarily to reach other parts of the reservoir.

Managed Pressure Drilling for Brazil’s Pre-salt

November 6, 2014

EC Drill pore frac video grab
The definition of MPD recently adopted by the IADC Underbalanced Operations and Managed Pressure Committee states that: “Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) is an adaptive drilling process used to precisely control the annular pressure profile throughout the wellbore. According to drilling specialists, bottomhole pressure is normally maintained above pore pressure by controlling the density of the drilling fluid. When density gets too high, the formation begins to absorb the fluid and the fluid density needs to be adjusted. Casing must be run to isolate the open hole before drilling can continue. The common objective of all currently known managed pressure drilling techniques is to stretch or eliminate casing points to allow drilling beyond conventional limits of depth or pressure variation.

Deepwater Remote Operations Challenges

October 21, 2014

rov command
Today, much emphasis is given to working with real-time production data, real-time pipeline monitoring, leak detection and equipment condition monitoring. ROV/ AUV operations are used to support all sorts of deepwater seafloor construction processes, allowing operators to continuously monitor their subsea systems and intervene when necessary. Basically all equipment being installed on the seafloor has real-time communication systems, which allow operators on the surface to monitor the equipment’s performance and even control much of the equipment from the surface. Equipment that can be monitored from the surface but which cannot be manipulated remotely…

Pre-salt Seafloor Construction/Remote Operations Challenges Part 3

October 15, 2014

USA FMC Technologies Reaches Record USD bln of Subsea Revenue in
With the experience Petrobras has gained in deepwater field construction, the national operator has learned the best ways to get the job done and who to work with. Much of Petrobras’ deepwater seafloor construction work has been done by DOF, Technip, Subsea 7, FMC and Aker. Large deepwater post-salt fields such as Roncador, Frade and Marlim amongst others have been the main testing grounds of many construction techniques and much of the equipment being installed. Obviously, experience in deepwater seafloor construction has also been gained by Petrobras and service providers in locations such as the GoM and West Africa. Most of the pre-salt subsea trees will be built and installed by FMC, OneSubsea and Aker. FMC has a total order worth $1,5 billion, which was announced in March of 2012.

Pre-salt Seafloor Construction/Remote Operations Challenges Part 2

October 14, 2014

featured reef subsea power
According to Petrobras production engineers, secondary recovery is increasingly being implemented to improve oil recovery in the pre-salt carbonates, where reservoir rocks are usually oil wet, and this characteristic affects the performance of water injection. Another problem concerning water injection is related to rock-fluid interaction, which is more important and complex in carbonates. In order to assess the risks involved, as well as to define mitigation actions, rock-fluid interaction tests are being carried out in the reservoir rock and the salt cap rock. Alternative recovery methods are being implemented in the pre-salt reservoirs.

Understanding Subsea Acoustic Leak Detection and Condition Monitoring – Part 2

October 7, 2014

croppedsubsea
In any given subsea field there is a multitude of equipment, that need to be constantly monitored. Subsea Multi-Domain Condition Monitoring can be achieved by introducing additional hydrophones, specially designed for detecting sound from rotating machinery, subsea processing equipment, structural integrity, fluid flow rate variations among others. The latest high-end sensor systems ally acoustic condition monitoring with acoustic leak detection. This works in much the same way as surface-based acoustic emission monitoring and can be used to monitor rotating machinery to check speed tracking and resonant frequencies. It can also monitor rotational equipment in subsea plant such as bearing damage, unbalanced pumps, mechanical breakdown and reduced efficiency.

Understanding Subsea Acoustic Leak Detection and Condition Monitoring – Part 1

September 25, 2014

NAXYS GE Graphic
As more and more equipment is placed on the seafloor, especially in deep waters but also in shallow waters, concerns grow over potential hydrocarbon leaks from trees, manifolds, pumps, pipelines, flowlines, risers and valves. It’s no small challenge to have a reliable subsea leak detection system that can monitor the large array of subsea systems used in modern deepwater fields and on top of that there is the need to monitor the working condition of all this equipment and others, such as ESP’s and other pumps, which are rotating equipment. Acoustic emissions are the stress waves produced by the sudden internal stress redistribution of materials caused by changes in the internal structure.