Energising ROV capabilities
Published by Sara Simper,
Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are an indispensable tool used across all stages of a pipeline’s lifecycle to ensure safety, integrity, stability and protection. From the initial survey and commissioning to regular inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM), and finally, decommissioning, ROV services are always in demand. In the North Sea alone, Shell has more than 200 pipelines and umbilicals, totalling 3000 km in length.
To satisfy growing energy demand, more and more offshore pipeline systems must traverse remote and extreme terrain and environments, or cross territories that differ in their regulatory regimes and requirements. Such CAPEX and OPEX demands, as well as building momentum to support renewable endeavours, means the ROV must keep pace to identify and solve an array of challenges quickly, efficiently and safely.
ROVOP has provided high performance ROV services to the oil and gas and subsea sectors since it was founded in 2011 and is expanding its offering in the renewables arena.
Ten years on, the independent specialist is on a strong growth trajectory having secured contracts valued at £25 million in the last six months for a diverse spread of work across offshore energy sectors in Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas. The growth comes on the back of several recent contract wins, including the firm’s first contract with Sapura Energy to provide trenching and survey support off Mexico.
The new contracts also involve dive support, IRM, decommissioning, cable lay and construction surveys for new clients, Prysmian Group and Mermaid Subsea Services Thailand, among others.
The contract wins, along with a financial restructure in 2020, have placed the Aberdeen-headquartered business in robust financial health with positive cash flow and available working capital to invest in its people, services and its fleet to meet future demand.
Since opening its new 22 000 ft2 facility in Houston in 2015, the company has seen y/y growth with revenue rising to US$10 million and predicts grow to US$16 million within the next three years.
ROV touchdown monitoring support
In recent years, one of the key focus areas of the offshore pipeline industry is creating cost efficiencies across each stage of a pipeline’s lifecycle. This, combined with increased growth in the amount of subsea infrastructure now in situ on the seafloor, as well as societal pressure for more sustainable operations, has seen a rising need for innovative approaches to support installation operations. These solutions need to be cost-efficient, maintain data quality, and be able to provide a platform that supports future technologies.
Underwater vehicles therefore, have had to undergo a rapid transformation from high risk, untethered manned submersibles in the 1960s to smart, fast and autonomous vehicles with a broader digital reach and capabilities which has completely changed the provision of touchdown monitoring (TDM) support to the lay vessel during the lay process.
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