New Lift and Deployment System from Deep Blue Engineering

Posted by Eric Haun
Thursday, May 01, 2014
courtesy Deep Blue Engineering

Remotely operated Lift & Deployment System Reduces Costs, Improves Efficiency & Enhances Safety Subsea

Deep Blue Engineering UK Ltd, a specialist engineering design and development company serving the international marine, oil, gas and renewable energy industries, announced the introduction of the Shuttle Sub. The new lift and deployment system is a large payload-carrying, remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

Developed for companies involved in subsea operations, the Shuttle Sub offers an efficient and cost-effective way to deploy heavy payloads - such as cables and umbilicals - to and from the seabed. It is used to install and retrieve equipment, lay cable and conduct salvage operations. Even when laden with a payload of 100 metric tons, the buoyant-controlled Shuttle Sub can float, dive, surface and maintain neutral buoyancy, so it is ideally suited for work being carried out in deepwater environments on – or near - the seabed.

Deep Blue's long-term objectives for this technology are diverse. “The Shuttle Sub is essentially an ROV in its own right, but it combines this with a transport function,” said David Webster, Managing Director of Deep Blue Engineering. “The vast majority of deployment operations are conducted from the surface, using ships with cranes, which has limitations. Shuttle Sub offers an alternative. Eighty percent of our planet is covered with water. In the future, offshore industries will migrate into the vast, deeper and more remote areas where there is currently no activity. Whether installing generating equipment, laying cables, mining, conducting exploration or salvage operations, the industry needs a safe, efficient transport capability - a delivery vehicle - and the Shuttle Sub fulfils that role.”

It is the first lift and deployment system of its kind. It does not require an additional ROV to conduct visual monitoring or connector installation activities subsea. Instead, technicians on a support vessel carry out these tasks remotely. As with a conventional ROV, they monitor and control subsea activities via an umbilical between the Shuttle Sub and the vessel at the surface. Where the Shuttle Sub is unique is that it is also the payload carrier, transferring deployment and retrieval tasks to the ROV. This provides optimum control and removes the need for lift line-based operations. It also removes the loads from cables and umbilicals during deployment when they are suspended between the vessel at the surface and the seabed. The Shuttle Sub performs all of the functions of a work class ROV, but is large enough to accommodate a payload that would normally be deployed or retrieved from a ship. In addition, deployment is very accurate when using the Shuttle Sub because equipment or cable can be placed
into position as opposed to working with the lift line, which makes accurate positioning difficult.

During the coming months, Deep Blue Engineering will submit the first Shuttle Sub to rigorous testing. The company is keen to form a joint venture with an umbilical manufacturer in order to fast track development through to commercialization of the technology for cable and umbilical deployment. "An umbilical manufacturer with exclusive access to this technology will be capable of offering lighter weight umbilicals for deepwater applications, and steel tube flying leads that are tens of kilometers in length, with the potential for simultaneous deployment and trenching,” said Webster. “This will provide them with a major differentiator and massive advantage within the global market,” he added.

For those involved in subsea cable- and umbilical-laying, the Shuttle Sub offers considerable cost-savings. When deploying cables and umbilicals from the surface, they must be capable of supporting their own weight, as well as any end termination, which dictates major aspects of their specifications, significantly increasing production costs. But because they are not deployed at surface when using the Shuttle Sub, this is not a factor. By using lightweight, low-cost hardware and smaller support vessels for umbilical and cable deployment, costs are dramatically reduced.

This advantage also extends to maintaining installed equipment. For example, when a cable within an umbilical is suffering IR issues, it is relatively straightforward to install a single, new cable and create a bypass arrangement. In addition, periodic maintenance operations of, for example, subsea processing equipment is easier, with the Shuttle Sub providing a platform to work from, transporting replacement consumables, and retrieving the parts to be changed out. This is completed in a single operation.

Finally, in the event of a catastrophic subsea blowout or pipeline breach, heavy cutting and capping equipment can be swiftly deployed into deepwater for intervention purposes. This is especially important because it is currently not possible to 'fly' this special equipment from a remotely positioned rig or vessel. The central environmental benefit lies in the system’s ability to facilitate intervention in deepwater remotely, allowing complex operations, such as sealing pipelines or damaged, uncontrolled subsea wells.

The Shuttle Sub, which will be available in two sizes, has a payload capacity of 50 metric tons and 100 metric tons. The vehicle itself weighs slightly less than its payload capacity, and uses a “cartridge-based” carrying system similar to the container method used in the shipping industry. A crane mounted on the support vessel lifts the empty Shuttle Sub into the sea, followed by the payload cartridge, which is lowered into the Shuttle Sub. Different cartridges are designed for different applications. For example, cartridge variants currently include a reel for laying cable, a drum for deploying long steel tube flying leads, and lifting equipment for salvage operations. Future plans include the intervention and capping capability, and a cartridge with a subsea drilling capability. The current design can be deployed in water depths to 1,500 meters. Deep Blue plans to develop a Shuttle Sub capable of working at 3,000 meters, followed by greater depths in the future.

The first set of wet trials will take place in Q4 2014. Deep Blue will use a reduced scale Shuttle Sub prototype. Even so, the prototype has a payload capacity of four metric tons, and is one of the largest ROVs in the world.

deepblueengineering.co.uk
 

  • courtesy Deep Blue Engineering

    courtesy Deep Blue Engineering

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Liquefaction Terminals to Dominate LNG Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditure (Capex) on global LNG facilities is expected to total $259 billion (bn) over the period 2015-2019, with investments expected to be 88% larger

Ennsub Delivers ROV Deployment Systems

Ennsub has completed the design and manufacture of two workclass remotely operated vehicle (WROV) deployment systems for ROVOP, due to be installed into a newbuild

Wärtsilä to Proceed with first LNG Terminal

Wärtsilä has been given full notice to proceed (NTP) from Manga LNG Oy for the supply of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Tornio, Northern Finland.

New Products

Nordic Yards Delivers 'Wind Server'

Nordic Yards officially handed over the offshore service vessel to the Danish company DBB Jack-Up Services A/S. During the handover ceremony, the ship was named ‘WIND SERVER’.

NRL Researchers Demo Ship-to-Shore Data Link

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) along with Mercury Continuity (MC) have demonstrated the Tactical Reachback Extended Communications (TREC) system in the port of Miami.

NASSCO Opens Bremerton Repair Facility

General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Bremerton, Wash., yesterday. The facility will support the company’s recently-awarded contract to repair and maintain U.

Marine Equipment

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Keeping to the Schedule in the Pacific Northwest

When a tightly scheduled repower for the Kodiak-based trawler Sea Mac in early December took a very bad turn, Mike Fourtner used his 25 years of fishing experience

Damen Outfitting First of Nine Bahamas Patrol Boats

The first of nine Damen Stan Patrol 3007s ordered by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force has arrived at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands for outfitting.

Unmanned Vehicles

Ennsub Delivers ROV Deployment Systems

Ennsub has completed the design and manufacture of two workclass remotely operated vehicle (WROV) deployment systems for ROVOP, due to be installed into a newbuild

Vard Wins Farstad's OSCV Contract

Vard Holdings Limited (“VARD”) has secured a contract for the design and construction of one Offshore Subsea Construction Vessel (“OSCV”) for Farstad Shipping (“Farstad”).

Nordic Prince Chartered by Noble Energy

Nordic Maritime, a leading offshore service operator, today announced its MKIII subsea service vessel Mokul Nordic has been renamed Nordic Prince and has started

Underwater Engineering

DNV GL Targets Safer Approach to Subsea Lifting

The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP).

Lowrance Renews Insight Genesis College Cup

Lowrance®, a world-leading brand in fishing electronics since 1957— announced today the renewal of its Insight Genesis™ College Cup. In its second year, the

Japan Gains Edge in Australia Submarine Deal

Australia and Japan appear to be inching closer to an agreement on the sale the top-secret technology from Japan to build a fleet of new generation submarines.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1468 sec (7 req/sec)