North Sea News

L3 Harris UK’s C-Worker 7 working with an ROV off the UK’s south coast. Photos from L3 Harris UK.

Hybrid Autonomous Systems Evolve

unmanned surface vessels (USVs) are also being tested and put to use. It’s another way to take operators out of harm’s way, centralize operations and cut costs and environmental footprints. But, there’s a way to go until these systems can face the harsh conditions of the likes of the North Sea.Early adoptersFrench firm Marine Tech has been combining USV and ROV capabilities, with commercial success since 2017. Those behind the firm, which was founded in 2014, have been providing what they call remote surface vessels (RSVs) into the oil and gas industry since 2012, in marine survey operations

New model tool: the iCon inspection robot searches for cracks. CREDIT: OceanTech

Subsea Robots in the Splash Zone

From their base deep within a former World War II U-boat pen, Norwegian outfit, OceanTech, is developing a set of robot tools that cling to offshore structures in order to effect inspection, maintenance and repair, or IMR. Old submarine anchorages are now subsea testing and training sites, but the North Sea is still the target. Hundreds of aging platforms and subsea structures require IMR that’s too costly, complex or hazardous for divers or remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs.As he walks us through Dora II, the original name of the U-boat pen,  OceanTech CEO, Berndt Schjetne, points to

Equinor’s Hywind Tampen project will use floating wind turbines to provide power to the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas production facilities.  (Image: Equinor)

Offshore Energy Outlook for 2020

to reducing CO2 equivalent emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. As another example, the Seadrill-operated drilling rig West Mira has been equipped to run on batter power. The list goes on and on.The shift is undoubtedly a global one, but nowhere is it better showcased than in the North Sea. While those working in the region are already among the most experienced and technologically advanced in the world, a recent report from PwC and Oil & Gas UK finds that innovation and technology, collaboration between operators and the supply chain, and partnership models are crucial to the

Vicinity Map Seagate Boston. (Image courtesy Tighe & Bond)

Protecting Ports from Sea Level Rise

Coastal flooding disasters have occurred periodically through history often followed by construction of flood defenses to help ensure it does not happen again.  One of the most well known was the 1953 North Sea Flood in the Netherlands when a storm surge occurred on top of astronomical high tides causing thousands of deaths, property and economic damages.  The Dutch and UK reacted and increased construction of sea defenses including storm surge barriers, such as the Delta Works and River Thames barriers.  In the US the New Bedford/Fairhaven port was severely flooded by hurricanes in

Grane (Photo: Øyvind Hagen, Equinor)

Equinor Re-ups Magseis Fairfield Contract

Magseis Fairfield announced Norwegian energy company Equinor had awarded four-year renewal for its reservoir monitoring program for the Snorre and Grane fields in the Norwegian North Sea.The containerized permanent reservoir monitoring (PRM) system, designed and delivered in 2013, has been operated by Magseis Fairfield acquiring 4D surveys twice a year over both Equinor assets. The contractual relationship under the Equinor framework a reement extends the existing scope of operations by adding the ability to utilize the system over multiple assets in different configurations, Magseis Fairfield

Equinor's Oseberg field center (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland, Equinor)

Norway Plans North Sea Power Grid

Norwegian energy firm BKK announced plans to build an offshore power grid in the North Sea, in a more than $2 billion project to help the country's oil and gas industry cut greenhouse gas emissions.It will undertake the project with infrastructure company CapeOmega, which owns stakes in Norwegian gas pipelines and processing facilities.The project will supply electricity from onshore hydropower plants via a direct current (DC) cable and BKK said it would help to reduce the Norwegian oil and gas industry's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by at least 1.4 million tonnes a year, from 14 million

(Photo: Forum Energy Technologies)

Forum Upgrades Hyperbaric Test Site

Energy Technologies said: “Forum’s UK-based hyperbaric test tank has been a vital asset for decades and has supported major oil and gas operators, subsea service providers, international navies and telecommunication companies from around the world. As E&P activity ramps back up in the North Sea and new research and development projects are sanctioned, we are seeing increased demand for our hyperbaric test tank. The recent upgrades, coupled with a larger engineering team, means that testing can now be more tailored to customer requirements, providing bespoke and faster service. The investment

(Photo: N-Sea)

N-Sea Reports Sales Uptick

has led the Netherlands-based company to report a record year.The company said its commercial growth from bases in Aberdeen, the Netherlands and the Middle East has been spurred by the completion of more than 1,500 vessel days throughout the year, reinforced by an increase in personnel numbers.In the North Sea, the firm continued ongoing work through long-term frame agreements for several major oil and gas international operators and the securing of contract wins with three new clients. Managed and supported by N-Sea’s inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) team, the projects comprised air diving

Photo courtesy of Forum

Forum Upgrades Hyperbaric Testing Facility

Energy Technologies said: “Forum’s UK-based hyperbaric test tank has been a vital asset for decades and has supported major oil and gas operators, subsea service providers, international navies and telecommunication companies from around the world. As E&P activity ramps back up in the North Sea and new research and development projects are sanctioned, we are seeing increased demand for our hyperbaric test tank. The recent upgrades, coupled with a larger engineering team, means that testing can now be more tailored to customer requirements, providing bespoke and faster service. The investment

NotiloPlus’ Seasam AUV has been operating around the world. Photo from NotiloPlus.

Subsea Tech's 'March of Miniaturization'

operators, for example, faster information about what’s happening subsea.Hydromea’s LUMA modem. (Photo: Hydromea)A LUMA modem was deployed by Rever Offshore at a wellhead site as part of an Ashtead Technology Autonomous Monitoring System (AMS+) during a drilling project for Total in the North Sea early in 2019. An ROV could then get data from the AMS+, using LUMA, 8m from the wellhead.Later in 2019, an Alfred Wegener Institute and Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology scientific cruise on the research vessel Sonne used LUMA modems on Geomar’s ROV KIEL6000 to directly communicate

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