A new generation of subsea equipment
It is no doubt that as the oil and gas industry faces oil recovery challenges, companies are investigating the latest ways of enhancing new and existing wells. This has led to an increase in expenditure in the subsea sector, with many operators expanding subsea infrastructure and moving into even deeper waters.
Often these types of projects require complex and advanced technology to accommodate the challenging conditions. With on-going research by market experts, subsea hardware expenditure is expected to double to US$124 billion from 2013-2018, with 52% of expenditure expected to be directed at ultra deepwater (1500m+). Therefore it is easy to see why the subsea sector will remain a buoyant one.
Anticipating the demand, Motive Offshore, a leading marine equipment specialist, kick-started its design and development of its subsea equipment range in 2012 and is now well equipped to meet the requirements of its customers.
Dave Acton, chief operating officer of Motive Offshore explains how he led his team of experienced engineers to develop the next generation of subsea technology.
Subsea winch with powered slew bearing and deployable anchor legs.
Research, development and innovation
In 2012, a customer approached us to design and develop a subsea basket, which triggered the start of Motive Offshore’s subsea series. Our team of engineers has worked closely with DNV GL to design and develop our range of various sized baskets, whilst taking into consideration challenges often met by operators when using the equipment, such as ROV accessibility and seabed stability.
Instead of using the standard box section design, which can often collapse with hydrostatic pressure, we developed the DNV GL certified 2.7-3 subsea baskets using universal column (UC). This mitigates the risk of structural failure and has improved corrosion resistant characteristics compared to a design that employs the use of hollow section. Other modifications of the subsea baskets include features such as lids, side doors/walls, ROV grab rails and internal and external access ladders to enhance safety. Our smaller baskets used to deploy tools also include ROV operable doors and latches for easy access.
At Motive Offshore, a large aspect of our equipment design and development is collating feedback from our customers, and in this case, our subsea client base, not only to advance our equipment but also to provide our clients with the tools required to support their ambitious projects.
Introduction of subsea winches
Motive Offshore is commended for its quality high-capacity winches and umbilical deployment equipment, and so shortly after the development of the subsea baskets, our engineering team along with the input from ROV and construction specialists, designed our range of subsea winches in early 2013. This was timely with the steady growth rate of the subsea sector and its need for resources to increase its infrastructure.
It was this moment that signalled the beginning of a new generation of subsea equipment made available by Motive Offshore. With operators’ safety at the forefront, our team used the knowledge gathered from years’ experience to achieve the optimum design of the subsea winches.
Including unique safety features, our subsea winches incorporate an integral crash frame that acts as a protection barrier whereby the winch is fully enclosed and safe from damage. The frame also acts as a clump weight to weigh down the winch to the seabed, and similar to the subsea baskets, its frame is also designed with UC to compensate for hydrostatic pressure.
With an ROV grab rail and a hydraulically operated slew bearing, the ROV can rotate the winch to allow for easier repositioning of the winch wire exit on the seabed. The winch can rotate 270° in total, making it simple to manoeuvre in complex conditions.
Another unique aspect to the subsea winch range is the option to have a deployable anchor that embeds into the seabed. As the subsea winches are operable in water depths up to 3000m, the anchor acts as a stabiliser for support and ensures minimal movement occurs to allow optimum pulling application, ideal for commissioning and decommissioning projects, for example, when deploying and positioning subsea flowlines.
BP’s quad 204 project
Motive Offshore has been awarded a contract by Technip to supply subsea winches for BP’s Quad 204 project in the UK North Sea. Located West of Shetland, Motive’s subsea winches are being used for the subsea relocation of flexible riser tails to facilitate connection to the new seabed flowlines, as part of the project to replace the Schiehallion FPSO and subsea infrastructure.
With the contract well on its way, David Maclennan, Technip project manager, Quad 204, said: “We have to ensure that throughout this project everything is done safely and in a timely manner. We want to complete the job as efficiently as possible without compromising on the safe design and quality of build and this is why we have selected Motive Offshore’s subsea winches.”
With a £9 billion subsea sector in the UK alone, Motive Offshore’s subsea equipment has primarily been used in projects across the North Sea. However, with recent international demand and growing markets across Asia-Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and Australia, we expect to increase our portfolio further across these regions. Our subsea baskets have already been used as part of a project in the Gulf of Mexico, and we expect the same demand for our subsea winches, with further overseas subsea and deepwater projects on the horizon.
We have a standard range of subsea equipment that we are continuously looking to develop to respond to industry trends and help overcome operational challenges. Some of our complimentary subsea products include a full range of subsea clump weights up to 25Te, hydraulic release shackles and a launch and recovery system (LARS) for subsea equipment. We strive to obtain optimum operational functionality with our equipment, which is always supported by our customer feedback, in which small modifications and enhancements are made to the equipment when necessary.
Although the oil and gas market has recently endured an uncertain period, and market experts have noted a flat line in subsea tree orders, I think it is important to take focus away from this as many of the other subsea services have been underappreciated. With subsea production expected to rise from 10% of global production in 2013 to 18% by 2025, we are only at the start of an evolution in the subsea sector.
As we continue to explore new ways and means to produce the next generation of subsea equipment, it is no doubt that subsea projects are currently leading the way in innovation within the oil and gas industry, and Motive Offshore will continue to be at the forefront of this.
Subsea basket features:
- DNV GL 2.7-3 certified
- Universal column design
- ROV operable
- Water depth – 3000m
- 5 sizes available up to 13.4m / 23000kg payload
- Additional features – lids, side doors, side walls, grab rails, internal/external access ladders
Subsea winch features:
- Integral crash frame
- Universal column design
- Clump weights
- Rotatable slew bearing (270°)
- Deployable anchor
- Grab rail for ROV
- Water depth – 3000m
- 2 sizes available – 5Te and 20Te
Sourced from: David Acton, Chief Operating Officer of Motive Offshore
Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall