News Archive for Defence News, Oil and Gas News, Renewable News, Subsea News

Professional Diving Academy announces strategic training partnership with Ramora UK

Commercial divers will be trained to detect unexploded ordinance (UXO) in a new partnership between leading explosives disposal experts Ramora UK and the Professional Diving Academy, Dunoon.

 The partnership means the Professional Diving Academy will be fully accredited by Ramora UK to enhance its existing commercial diver training courses with a 2 day module in underwater UXO detection and identification techniques.

The possibility of the presence of unexploded ordnance is a very real threat during the construction phase on many offshore windfarm projects in North West Europe, and that threat has to be managed. As well as vessel based magnetometer and high frequency side-scan sonar surveys, commercial Divers and ROV’s are used routinely to identify suspicious items on or around production platforms or turbine locations and cable routes during the pre-construction phase. Major operators such as E.ON have stipulated that divers who wish to participate in this area of diving works, must first have undergone a suitable training programme.

Ramora UXO Clearance

The course will focus on awareness and identification of unexploded items and will include the use of diver operated magnetometers. The Aquascan DX 300 Magnetometer has been chosen for this purpose, as it’s arguably the most commonly used in this field. The DX300 is a highly-sensitive detection tool which can pinpoint the location of suspect items underwater, even when buried.



The course content draws on Ramora UK’s world-renowned expertise in explosives detection and disposal. The PDA, which has a global reputation for delivering high-quality, internationally recognised training for divers, will provide this course within its Premier Career Package, or alternatively as a 2 day standalone course for divers who wish to enhance their skills.

David Welch, Managing Director at Ramora UK, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this strategic partnership with the Professional Diving Academy.” “As leaders in our respective fields we see this as a perfect fit, combining Ramora UK’s expertise in explosive ordnance disposal with the PDA’s leadership in commercial diver training.”

Neil MacMillan, Training Manager at the Professional Diving Academy, said: “For commercial divers, this is an area that has not been covered in great detail by traditional training courses and this partnership will ensure that divers trained by us can now be given proper awareness in UXO surveying, detection and identification.” “It also cements the Professional Diving Academy’s reputation as a worldwide leader in recognising the current trends of the diving industry and delivering the required training courses that enables divers to achieve competence in their specific field of operations.”

Ramora UK, based in Hampshire, operates a round-the-clock emergency helpline with immediate response to incidents by specialist Bomb Disposal teams. The company’s highly-experienced ex-military experts also offer explosives-related training services to governments, corporations, military and law enforcement agencies around the world.

The Professional Diving Academy, which is based in Dunoon, Scotland delivers HSE accredited (IMCA recognised) offshore commercial diver training.

To find out more about the Professional Diving Academy, see


For more information about Ramora UK, see

New EU Directive Safety Case Compliance with Marex support

New EU Directive Safety Case Compliance with Marex support

Computational  Fluid Dynamics


Incidents, in particular the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, have raised public awareness of the risks involved in offshore oil and gas operations and have prompted a review of policies aimed at ensuring the safety of such operations. The Macondo incident highlighted the offshore oil and gas industry’s lack of universal mandatory safety procedures. In particular, it suggested a fragmented regulatory structure and lack of any overarching, cohesive legislative framework. The European Commission (EC) concluded that the existing divergent and fragmented regulatory framework applying to the safety of offshore oil and gas operations in Europe, along with current industry safety practices, did not provide adequate assurance that risks from offshore accidents were minimised throughout the Union. The EU, therefore, adopted the Offshore Safety Directive on 10 June 2013.

The implementation of the EU directive means that organisations will have to revise their safety cases over the next few years to allow them to comply with the updated regulations, which have more environmentally focussed considerations. As far as the UK is concerned, the majority of the Offshore Safety Directive’s requirements have been transposed into national law by the Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc) Regulations 2015. The new regulations came into force on the 19th of July, 2015 and are set up to reduce, as far as possible, the occurrence of major accidents relating to offshore oil and gas operations and to limit their consequences.

The new directive changes the way the regulators are set up to allow for a more unified level of response throughout the European Union. The directive also required the creation of an offshore competent authority. DECC and HSE, working in partnership, have now established the Offshore Safety Directive Regulator (OSDR). HSE and DECC’s legislation has been updated to fully implement the directive. This includes changes to existing legislation, as well as introducing new requirements.

The main changes between the new regulations and the existing UK offshore safety and environmental regime include:

  • The creation of an independent offshore competent authority
  • Integrating the management of safety and environmental risks, which impacts on the safety case, well notification, independent verification scheme and well examination requirements
  • Introduction of independent verification for environmental critical elements
  • Requirements for the production of a corporate major accident prevention policy
  • Specific requirements for oil pollution emergency plans
  • New requirements on liability for environmental damage
  • Duties on operators to report a range of new incidents and dangerous occurrences to the competent authority
  • Requirements on the competent authority to report a range of information, including the findings of their major accident investigations, to the EC
  • Duties on operators registered in the Member States to report major accidents that occur outside of Europe
  • Transitional arrangements covering existing installations and wells

In so far as the safety regime is concerned, a transitional period has been granted for existing installations, allowing parties involved with ongoing operations until 19 July 2018 to comply with the new regulations. Otherwise, the regulations will apply from 19 July 2016.

Preparation of safety cases to comply with the regulations requires great amounts of planning and preparation. Many of the major drilling contractors in the UKCS prefer to utilise the services of specialist risk consultancy companies, such as Marex Marine and Risk Consultancy, for the compilation of the safety cases and to facilitate the risk studies required. Risk studies can be categorised into qualitative and quantitative.

BowtieXP is one such program utilised in providing qualitative risk assessments. The software allows highly skilled employees to thoroughly analyse, with input from the client’s workforce, all potential hazards that could impact offshore assets. The software allows the tailoring of barriers to the possible threats that could initiate an event and the measures in place to prevent an event from escalating into a disaster. Through this, operators can ensure that concerns on safety aboard their offshore fleets are adequately addressed, while simultaneously providing a point of reference for the workforce. The software allows for several levels of information to be provided with each barrier, from those responsible for the actions described by a barrier, to lists of safety critical equipment associated with a prevention mechanism. Identification of Safety and Environmental Critical Elements (SECEs) can be one of the outcomes from this process, which is referred to as Major Accident Hazard Risk Assessment (MAHRA). The duty holder is responsible to create performance standards for the SECEs and develop a Written Scheme of Verification for the installation or the well. An independent verification body should be appointed by the duty holder to carry out the verification process to ensure that the SECEs are fit for purpose and continue to be so throughout the life of the installation.

Bowtie snapshot

Some cases might require an in-depth quantitative analysis of the impacts of fires, gas releases or explosions using complex modelling software. These programs operate on the principles of fluid mechanics to compute the fluid dynamics of the spread of gases, explosion overpressures and radiant energy released by fires. The software used includes PHAST and Kameleon FireEx (KFX), depending on the level of detail required by the duty holder. The results of these analyses are used in safety cases, and can also be used in producing risk analyses, either as supporting material or as standalone documents.

In some instances, availability studies, Failure Mode and Effects Analyses (FMEAs) and its extension, Failure Mode and Criticality Effects Analyses (FMECAs) would also be required. These assessments statistically analyse vital equipment offshore, such as the fire detection systems, to ensure that no one risk factor will dominate the equation or disrupt critical systems during an emergency.

The professional expertise of risk specialist companies can be utilised beyond the confines of the office and conference rooms. Carrying out compartment studies, human factors assessments and PUWER assessments on board vessels and installations are all essential parts of compliance with the regulatory structure surrounding offshore operations in the North Sea.

Due to the pace that the industry moves, it can be easy to overlook potential events that have an extremely low level of probability but potentially high consequences. A company that has not had a major incident for an extended period of time is no more or less at risk of a major incident, hence preparation is the key.  Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, Marex has completed over 200 safety cases (new submissions, thorough reviews and material changes) for major drilling contractors in the industry. Marex’s highly skilled team members are already assisting companies with the revision of safety case changes that have to be made, courtesy of the new EU directive. Ian McDougall, MD, said, ‘In doing this, Marex are providing a system of documentation to their client that will enable informed decisions to be made concerning all aspects of worker and workplace risk and safety and assist in identifying, minimizing and eliminating risk to their employees, their assets and the environment.’ For more information, please visit the website or contact Marex directly.

ESS Treble Profits on Back of 90% Revenue Hike

Diversification in to renewables and interconnector market rewarded

Ecosse Subsea Systems Ltd (ESS) more than trebled profits to £3.4 million and increased revenue by 88% to £15.6 million according to its latest published accounts.

The Aberdeenshire-based subsea engineering specialist attributed the phenomenal growth to a diversification from its traditional oil and gas market in to renewables and interconnectors.

ESS has developed technologies which are in high demand for seabed clearance work, trenching and cable laying projects. In the past two years the company has made huge inroads in to the emerging renewables sector which now accounts for 55% of projects and builds upon an earlier focus on oil and gas contracts. Read more…

SMD supply Quasar MkII ROV to Jan de Nul

Industry leader in dredging and marine construction activities Jan de Nul have confirmed an order with SMD for a Quasar MkII 150hp 3000m rated work class remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The high specification system including Tophat Tether Management System, A-Frame, Umbilical Winch and dual control system (vessel bridge and control cabin) will be delivered in the second quarter of this year.

SMD is one of the world’s leading subsea engineering companies designing and manufacturing Work Class ROVs, trenching systems, and subsea mining machines. They have a worldwide customer base operating in oil and gas, telecoms, mining, salvage, renewables, defence and scientific markets, with offices in the UK, USA, Singapore and Brazil. Read more…

Unique System FZE in association with HYPACK Inc. Successfully Conducts Hydrographic & Offshore Survey Training Courses in the UAE

A division of the Unique Maritime Group (UMG) which is one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solution providers, Unique System FZE in conjunction with HYPACK Inc. has successfully conducted HYPACK’s hydrographic & offshore survey training course at its training centre in Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah, UAE. As a precursor to this hugely popular course, a string of training topics, both technical and operational remarkably influencing the current market trends in the survey industry were also discussed as a part of the training schedule. The training courses were held from the 16th to the 27th of November 2014. Read more…

Bowtech release new PIONEER multipurpose camera

Bowtech Products Ltd, a global market leader in subsea vision systems, is delighted to release the Pioneer multipurpose underwater camera with LEDs.

The Bowtech products Pioneer is a high resolution underwater colour CCD camera with six integral high intensity LEDs. It provides a cost effective solution to general underwater viewing observation, down to 4,000 metres ocean depth. Read more…

Aquasign – Experts in Anti-Fouling Underwater Marking Systems

With a 30 year global track record, Aquasign® underwater markers are proven in even the harshest environments.

Originally developed by Shell Thornton Research taking their inspiration from the secretion of oils through fish skin – Aquasign® is completely unique as it is the only underwater marker to use the combined performance of its hydrophobic surface and controlled oil release to prevent marine growth at the lowest level. The key features of Aquasign®  are: Read more…

Unique Wellube Announces its Expansion, Investment and Strategic Plans @ ADIPEC 2014

Unique Wellube, a division of Unique Maritime Group (UMG) which is one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solutions provider, is pleased to share its expansion, investment and strategic plans @ ADIPEC 2014 which is being held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), from the 10th to the 13th of November 2014.

The ADIPEC exhibition is ranked amongst top 3 prominent shows for the oil & gas industry in the world. It is an unrivalled show which unites the oil & gas industry professionals under a common platform to showcase innovations in technology and highlight issues currently challenging the industry. It is a meeting point for industry leaders across the world to discuss the changing face of the industry. Read more…

Conductor Installation Services and Weatherford International Sign Global Master Services Contract

Conductor Installation Services Ltd (CIS), an Acteon company that provides hammer services to install conductors and drive piles, announced that it has entered into a global master services agreement with Weatherford International. The agreement requires CIS to supply conductor and pile installation services, and associated equipment to Weatherford. Read more…

Seatronics’ Predator ROV verifies identity of lost treasure liner, S.S. Connaught, off Northeast USA coast

Seatronics’ remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the Predator, has successfully verified the identity of lost treasure liner, the S.S. Connaught, off the Northeast coast of the USA. The Predator was deployed in a subsea mission organised and led by Endurance Exploration Group, Inc. (OTCQB: EXPL).

Seatronics’ Predator ROV was deployed by Endurance Group to verify the identity of the mid-19th century steamship, which carried a large cargo of gold coins, 100 miles from the shore. The S.S. Connaught, a 380-foot luxury liner carrying 592 people and 10,000 lbs of gold coins, suffered a fierce fire during a storm offshore Boston in 1860. The passengers and crew were rescued by a small fruit transport vessel, which sailed to intercept the burning, sinking ship. The S.S. Connaught became synonymous with courageous and successful maritime rescue efforts, as each passenger and crew member was safely returned to India Wharf, Boston, the next day. Read more…

Pulse motion and strain monitoring system validates new riser design in the Gulf of Mexico

Pulse, an Acteon company, has designed, manufactured and installed a powerful motion and strain monitoring system to verify the design of the first lazy-wave steel riser system to be installed in the Gulf of Mexico.

The monitoring program at Anadarko’s Constitution spar in the Green Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico started in 2012 and has enabled validation of the riser design against analytical models and verified riser system integrity during a hurricane event. Pulse was selected because of its understanding of the technical challenges and ability to meet a very tight deadline: the entire monitoring system was designed, manufactured and delivered in less than six weeks. Read more…

Deepwater subsea infrastructure

Deepwater subsea infrastructure includes many key subsea systems and components, connecting wells, manifolds and subsea templates to flowlines, pipelines and risers, which are then connected to the production vessel. The subsea developments in the North Sea are both shallow and deepwater, and although producing oil and gas from deepwater is not new to the industry, it is becoming more essential as the operators are forced to explore and then produce deeper and harder to reach oil targets.

Read more…

C-Kore Jumper & Umbilical Monitoring Device

Zetechtics, a market leader in Subsea Control Systems for ROV Tooling Interventions, has launched a new company, C-Kore Systems Ltd. to promote their new C-Kore technology.

C-Kore is a compact, easy-to-use unit that electrically monitors jumpers, umbilicals and modules, and can do this all subsea. C-Kore is a fully patented product developed entirely in-house. Read more…

Kongsberg to Deliver Ocean Observatories for Seabed Research

CAGE, Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate has selected Kongsberg Maritime to develop and deliver two ocean observatories. The observatories will be deployed off the coast of Svalbard (Norwegian islands in the Arctic Ocean) during 2015, to monitor methane leaks from the seabed. The contract for this project was signed 6th October 2014. Read more…

Unique Maritime Group Board Introduces New Member to its Family @ The Annual Strategic Board Meeting

Unique Maritime Group (UMG) which is one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solutions provider has recently held its annual strategic board meeting in Dubai, UAE from the 8th to 10th of October. At the meeting, the Group has formally announced the joining of a new member to its family – Steve MacMillan as the Global Project Director for its Diving Division and the Global QHSE Director. He will be based at UMG’s head office in Sharjah, UAE. Read more…

Nautronix Secure Major Order for NASNet® in Deepest Norwegian Offshore Field so Far

Leading provider of through water communication and positioning technology to the offshore industry, Nautronix, have secured an order to supply NASNet®, an underwater positioning system for Subsea 7. The system will be used on the Aasta Hansteen field, which is located in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea approximately 300km west of Bodø, at 1,300m water depth. The field is developed by Statoil. Read more…

SMD – Work Class ROV Systems


Building on a strong and unique legacy of over 40 years in subsea engineering, SMD entered the work class Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) market in 2004 following the acquisition of Hydrovision. Since then SMD have designed and manufactured over 125 ROV systems for the oil and gas, oceanographic, defence, salvage, telecoms, special projects and renewables markets. Read more…


A fundamental difference between NASNet® and conventional Long Baseline (LBL) systems is in NASNet®’s use of a broadcast, or one-way ranging technique which allows the use of passive receivers. This approach successfully overcomes the limitations of conventional LBL systems and provides a true multi-user system.

NASNet® combines its advanced signalling technology with a unique, patented, implementation to provide acoustic range measurements of up to 5,000m for seabed positioning and up to 10,000m for surface positioning. This allows any area to be covered by greatly reducing the number of units, thereby reducing vessel time needed to install and calibrate the seabed array. Read more…

Energising the Future of the Next Generation

SMD were joined a host of local businesses and education establishments at the Skills North East event held at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle last week. The two day event allowed local businesses to showcase career opportunities for young people.

SMD are keen to dispel stigma surrounding apprenticeships, and the myth that this type of qualification limits young people to low level roles, with little opportunity for career progression. Read more…

Ultimate Trenching Spread Delivers

Long-standing SMD customer DeepOcean, have now received delivery of their 1000hp QTrencher (QT) 1000 and successfully completed a number of projects. The recently upgraded T-3200 heavy duty trenching tractor is set to sit alongside the industry‐leading free flying, jet trenching ROV on DeepOcean’s Havila Phoenix vessel. Read more…

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