UCO, Gulfxstream Collaborate to Cut Subsea Inspection Cost
Aberdeen-based Underwater Contracting (UCO) and Gulfxstream from the Isle of Lewis, have entered into a working collaboration that is designed to reduce costs of underwater inspection and survey.
The agreement sees the permanent installation of one of UCO’s observation and inspection ROVs aboard Gulfxstream’s MV Viking. This means the spread can be mobilized at short notice and, with MV Viking’s cruising speed of 20 knots and able to operate 60 miles from shore, rapidly transit to location, significantly cutting mobilization costs.
Stationed at Peterhead in Northeast Scotland, and servicing the O&G, renewables, decommissioning, and marine sectors, the vessel and ROV will be equipped to carry out a full range of specialist support services.
Depth rated to 300m, the ROV is fitted with sonar and underwater cameras. Additional sensors such as 3D cameras, laser metrology and survey tools can also be fitted to the ROV. MV Viking is certified to carry 12 people and, with ample deck space, means client personnel and equipment can be onboarded for a range of mission specific tasks.
Projects are envisaged to include underwater inspection of marine and renewable structures, hydrographic surveying, environmental monitoring and ocean research, search and rescue, hull inspections at sea or in port, emergency response for cable and pipeline damage identification, aquaculture survey and support, media and film production and even unique leisure experiences.
In addition, it can provide UWILDs, EOD and MMO support, seabed surveys, wave buoy deployment, salvage support and guard duties, equipment, personnel transfer and also for fuel transfer, thanks to its high fuel capacity.
The collaboration came in response to the impact Covid-19 is having on some offshore operations, creating a need for a fast, quickly mobilised service capable of carrying out a variety of tasks across a range of disciplines.
A rollout of the service to west Scotland and other ports around the UK is now being planned, a move which is expected to create additional jobs and further investment in the two companies. Two additional Gulfxstream vessels are ready for deployment for the next phase of growth, the GXS Valtos which has can operate 150miles offshore and the GXS Venturer, a high speed commercial RIB