The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (Trustees) have settled with BP for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill. This settlement concludes the largest natural resource damage assessment ever undertaken. The Trustee Council will now begin implementing restoration as laid out in the comprehensive restoration plan.
The Trustees recognize the historic significance of this settlement—the largest recovery of damages ever for injuries to natural resources. This settlement is a momentous step towards restoring the Gulf of Mexico– bringing an unprecedented amount of funding dedicated to this iconic ecosystem.
Image credit: NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration
The Trustees would not have reached this day without the commitment of thousands of people at the local, state, and federal levels who contributed their expertise to formulate the restoration plan. The Trustees owe them a debt of gratitude and a pledge to continue to do all we can to restore the Gulf of Mexico for the benefit of its natural resources and those that depend on them for their livelihood and recreational use.
Under this settlement, BP will pay the Trustees up to $8.8 billion for restoration to address natural resource injuries. The settlement includes:
• $1 billion already committed during early restoration
• $7.1 billion for restoration over 15-plus years, beginning in April 2017
• Up to an additional $700 million to respond to natural resource damages unknown at the time of the agreement and/or to provide for adaptive management
Last month, the Trustees made a final decision to select the comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem restoration alternative laid out in the final plan as our approach for restoration implementation. This decision has been approved by the court, and the case is settled. The Trustees can now begin implementing restoration as laid out in the final plan. The Trustees will continue to solicit input from the public as we begin to develop project-specific restoration plans.
For more information about this agreement and next steps, click here.
Oceanology International 2016 (OI2016) held 15-17 March at London’s ExCeL attracted 7,836 unique attendees from 79 countries, with many revisiting on consecutive days to provide an overall show attendance of 14,161.
“We are absolutely thrilled with how OI2016 has gone,” says Event Director Jonathan Heastie of Reed Exhibitions. “With many of our participants active in the oil and gas industry, it’s fair to say that their expectations were lowered pre-show in light of the market challenges faced… but the feedback we received from our exhibitors all week was tremendous. They told us consistently that the quality of the visitors they met has risen sharply, with key decision-makers and senior technologists on-site from a multitude of industries, not just oil and gas and, most importantly, that these important attendees are looking to buy both now and into the future with numerous orders taken during the show.
Photograph taken at Oceanology International 2014 Credit to: Trevor Smeaton
“Typical of the feedback we have received is this comment from John Pepper of OceanWise: ‘As first time exhibitors at OI, we had a good show, with interest shown in our products and services from organizations in the UK and overseas seeking to gain efficiency savings in the way they monitor and manage data and operational workflows. We look forward to signing up at least three overseas distributors as a result of being at the show.’
“We are thrilled for our customers and delighted that the active core of the ocean technology community has continued to support and attend OI, keeping it as the focal point of the industry’s calendar globally. We now turn our focus towards replicating its success in both China in November (9-11 November, Shanghai) and at our new North American event in San Diego in February (14-16 February), before returning to ExCeL in March 2018 (13-15 March), when Interspill 2018 will be co-located alongside OI2018.”
The OI2016 exhibition was the largest ever in the show’s 47-year history with over 8,500m2 occupied by 520 exhibiting companies from 33 countries. Already over 3,000m2 of space has been booked or reserved for OI2018.
Once again the vessels moored immediately outside the OI2016 exhibition halls in the Royal Victoria dock, proved a draw with visitors. The 11 vessels, varying in length from 12.5m to 53m, that came to OI2016 had a busy time with 1,107 people going aboard for one of the 93 trips in the five giving demonstrations; and 847 visiting the vessels moored alongside as reception and exhibition bases. 142 people attended the dock side demos in the specially sited portacabin from which the demonstrations and all underwater activity could be viewed.
Conference streams over the three days dealt with Aquaculture; Green shipping (looking primarily at invasive species); Handling big data; Hydrography, Geophysics and Geotechnics; Marine renewables; Marine technology and services sector role in the Blue Economy; Monitoring structural integrity understanding risk and reliability; Oil & Gas: What’s next for ageing offshore assets?; Positioning & metrology; and the Unmanned vehicles and vessels showcase. Additionally the Trade & Innovation Theatre on the exhibition floor was home to Clusters, Collaboration and a common blue voice; the Oiltech: ‘Meet the Investor’ seminar; Open Ocean & Coastal Observation Workshop; Near and Far Market Trading: UK, France, Scotland, USA, Ireland, Canada, Australia; and the New Products Showcase.
Announcements from exhibitors
Exhibitors used OI2016 to make a series of announcements:
• “We ended the week on a nice note securing a new contract from Saab Seaeye for a Leopard buoyancy ROV pack 3000m-rated which will be manufactured at the Rochdale fa
cility using high performance low density TG26/3000 syntactic foam” David Clayton, Sales Director, Trelleborg Applied Technologies
• Ashtead Technology has become the first subsea services company to be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) for its calibration laboratory
• Subsea 7 and 3D at Depth announced the completion of several metrology projects using subsea LiDAR technology in new configurations to help increase overall efficiencies in offshore oil and gas applications
• Nanhal Rescue from China ordered two Teledyne Benthos deep-tow systems with QINSy software from QPS through reseller Geo-Marine Technology. The deep-tow systems will be used in the search for MH370
• Fugro announced a hat-trick of offshore wind contracts - two in UK waters (Walney Extension; and Aberdeen’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre) and one in the Dutch sector of the North Sea (Hollandse Kust (zuid) wind farm zone)
• Next Geosolutions has been awarded a geophysical, UXO & geotechnical contract from Prysmian SLR for the MONITA project in the Adriatic Sea
• Kongsberg Maritime Ltd, the UK division of Kongsberg Maritime, announced the expansion of its extensive subsea Aberdeen-based rental pool, with the addition of its sophisticated new MUNIN AUV
• The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is to form part of the new Centres of Excellence in Satellite Applications which is expected to aid economic growth in the Solent region
• Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors BV has purchased a suite of Gemini 720is multibeam imaging sonar
• Ocean Scientific International Ltd (OSIL) has recently shipped a network of eight MetOcean buoys to the Middle East for use in environmental monitoring
• The UK Marine Industries Alliance (MIA) has launched an industry Code of Conduct in respect of surface maritime autonomous systems (MASs)
• The Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) has formed a seventh focus group for its maritime engineering membership which will be led by the maritime autonomous systems (MAS) Council
• BMT ARGOSS has been appointed by Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd to deliver weather forecasting services to support its onshore and offshore operations in the Sakhalin region, off the east coast of Russia
• ASV has completed the construction of four C-Worker 5 vehicles
Highly successful ‘Catch the Next Wave’
The ‘Catch the Next Wave’ held at the prestigious Royal Institution the day before OI2016 opened attracted an invited audience of over 250 industry professionals and researchers from more than 30 countries, united by their shared interest in key disruptive technologies. Focussing on next-generation robotics and automation, the conference brought together leading global experts from the aerospace, medical, academic and marine industries to explore the latest technological advances from their fields, and their visions from 2020.
Four significant presentations took place at the conference.
• Gwyn Griffiths, Founder of Autonomous Analytics, was presented with the OI Lifetime Achievement Award
• Paul Ridout, Executive Chairman of Ocean Scientific International Limited was named the AMSI Council Business Person of the Year
• The Alan Greig Memorial Prize for outstanding contribution to operational oceanography was awarded to Richard Burt of Chelsea Technologies Group
• And, the SUT Oceanography Award for 2015 was presented to Professor Karen Heywood of the University of East Anglia
Further information on OI2016, including the conference presentations from all ten conference streams and Catch the Next Wave; the show dailies produced by Geomares Publishings’ ‘Hydro International’; as well as links to the OI China and OI North America websites; and early information on OI2018 and Interspill 2018 is here.
The Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering at FAU would like to extend a warm welcome to all who will be joining them for the 50th year celebration of their ocean engineering (OE) program on April 21-22. When the program was conceived in 1965, the founders could only imagine the extent to which their efforts would shape the future of ocean engineering in the United States and abroad.
Today, ocean engineers play important roles in the Navy, offshore industries, underwater communication, weather and climate prediction, commercial shipping, and a host of industries specializing in underwater technology. Continuing advances in technology and the growth in the global market place offer new opportunities to ocean engineers. Over 1500 individuals have graduated from the ocean engineering program at FAU.
The OE undergraduate program is still the largest of its kind in the country, while the OE graduate program maintains its significant strength. Operating on a dual campus; the original campus in Boca Raton still serves as the primary home to the undergraduate program while the ocean-side campus at Dania Beach has seniors working side-by-side with graduate students, faculty and engineers engaged in leading edge research at SeaTech, The Institute of Ocean and Systems Engineering.
OneSubsea, a Schlumberger company, announces the successful commission and startup of subsea boosting systems installed in ultradeep waters, located in the Gulf of Mexico.
"We strive to deliver the solutions that help customers reduce costs while increasing recovery from the reservoir, and in this case, our subsea boosting technology is enabling the customer to optimize production from one of the world’s deepest subsea reservoirs," said Mike Garding, president, OneSubsea, Schlumberger.
Installed in depths of approximately 7,000 ft (2,100 m), the subsea boosting systems consist of three retrievable 3.0 MW single-phase pump modules, which are landed in their pump stations, along with the subsea controls and power distribution system. Located topside is the associated pump control and instrumentation equipment with the variable speed drive and step-up transformer delivering power to the subsea equipment.
Having developed the first subsea boosting systems by a predecessor company more than 25 years ago, OneSubsea is the market leader in this field-proven technology designed to increase production rates and ultimate recovery from subsea fields. The customer has stated that by reducing the back-pressure on the reservoir, the boosting pumps have the potential to improve the recovery factor by 10% to 30%. This translates to between 50 and 150 million barrels of additional oil recovery resulting from this leading-edge subsea boosting technology.
OceanWise, the UK’s leading independent marine data management, publishing and GIS specialist, will be hosting its first Marine Data Management and GIS Workshop in Scotland on Thursday 21st April 2016. The event will take place at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George St, Edinburgh and will focus on “Data Management Best Practice - managing valuable assets to save time, effort and money.”
This free-to-attend event, which is supported by the Scottish Government, will give the audience a unique opportunity to hear our keynote speaker from the Data Management Association (DAMA) UK present “The Foundations of Effective Data Management”. Further sessions will include how the Scottish National Marine Planning interactive (NMPi) portal is developing into a rich information resource for all marine stakeholders and “Why Marine Heritage Matters”. Case Studies will be presented showing how best practice data and workflow management is delivering benefits in ports and offshore energy sectors.
OceanWise will be demonstrating its Intelligent Marine and Coastal Mapping Data, Enterprise GIS and Productivity Tools and showcasing the latest developments in its Environmental Data Sharing and Publishing “smart telemetry” service Port-Log.
The bureau will be testing the deployment and communication of the system, leaving several marking devices on the ice floe for long-term duration studies. Two methods of deployment will be used, one by a helicopter aerial drop of two GRIDSAT tags with floe spikes and another by manually inserting one GRIDSAT tag using an ice screw technique. If an oil spill were to occur in the Arctic, both methods would be utilized to tag and track spilled oil either trapped under or encapsulated in Arctic sea ice.
The extreme conditions in the Arctic, especially the presence of sea ice, create unique challenges to the identification, tracking and response to an oil spill, should one occur. The GRIDSAT radio/GPS marking device can be left on an ice floe to track the movement of the floe and entrapped oil for a period of up to nine months.
Oil Spill Preparedness Engineers and Specialists from BSEE are part of a diverse and multi-national team with more than 200 participants from more than 35 organizations coming together to support over 25 test objectives at ICEX 2016. The Bureau’s activities support both the ICEX 2016 Arctic research program and the Bureau’s ongoing efforts to address challenges associated with energy exploration and development in the Arctic.
The ICEX 2016 is a five-week exercise designed to assess the operational readiness of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force while also continuing to advance scientific research in the arctic region. The U.S. Navy's Arctic Submarine Laboratory, based in San Diego, serves as the lead organization for coordinating, planning and executing the exercise involving two submarines and multiple nations.
Subsea training facility, The Underwater Centre, is helping to increase its students’ employability in the downturn by adding new modules to its commercial air diving courses, offering an enhanced package which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
From March 2016, the ‘Premium’ and ‘Construction’ diver training packages will also include:
· Commercial Enriched Air Nitrox Course;
· MJI 21 Hydraulically Tensioned Subsea Bolted Connections Course;
· IMCA Diver Medic Training (DMT) or IMCA Assistant Life Support Technician (ALST) Training
A group of students at The Underwater Centre take part in the MJI 21 Course, led by Chris Barratt (green hat) from Stork.
The modules have been added after consultation with industry and will provide students with important additions to their CVs in the current challenging climate.
The MJI 21 Hydraulically Tensioned Subsea Bolted Connections Course provides students with the knowledge and practical experience of working with and using bolt tensioning equipment. Delivered by an expert from Stork, who also supplied the equipment, the course includes isolations, dismantling, inspection and assembly, and tightening techniques in this specialist area.
The Commercial Enriched Air Nitrox Course – the only one of its kind delivered by an independent training provider – gives a recognized industry qualification and ensures training in specific techniques around using Nitrox as a diver.
Steve Ham, The Underwater Centre’s Commercial Director, said: “These courses are being included now because they have been highlighted as important by industry and they will make important additions to our students’ CVs when it comes to looking for a job as a commercial diver.
“This is a very challenging time for the oil and gas sector and we believe that these additions to our air diving courses will improve our students’ employability while also increasing the competency of new divers.”
The IMCA DMT is a highly sought after ticket and the Centre’s course incorporates hands-on skills training with their decompression chamber and saturation and air diving systems.
The IMCA ALST certificate is seen as a good springboard to getting offshore - the majority of ALSTs work in this sector. This course will provide students with practical experience and exposure to a real saturation system, with mixed gas divers in training.
Chris Barratt, Senior Trainer at Stork, added: “The one day Subsea Bolt Tensioning Course, or more commonly known as the MJI 21 Course, is a fundamental skill required within the commercial diving industry. Developed from the ECITB technical training standard, the course has been specifically designed with the diving industry in mind due to the lack of any robust training in Subsea Bolt Tensioning, for divers and deck crew.
“The course covers theory and practical, but in a laymen understanding on the various components of a bolted connection, inspection, assembly and alignment, and finally applying the correct bolt loading using Subsea Bolt Tensioning Equipment.
“Delivering the course at The Underwater Centre in Fort William allows a concentrated focus in familiar surroundings for divers; ensuring individuals are trained and knowledgeable in Subsea Bolt Tensioning when they graduate from their diving course.”
All of the training courses have been added at no extra cost to the student. More information can be found here.
With accommodation and additional classrooms based at the landward end of the pier, The Underwater Centre is set up to provide its students with the skills and experience to succeed in their new careers, and continue providing the subsea industry with the workforce that it needs.
Teledyne RD Instruments (TRDI) has received an order for ten (10) custom-designed Explorer Doppler Velocity Logs (DVLs) to provide precision navigation and current profiling capability on board OceanServer Technology’s Iver3-580 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). These vehicles are designed for customers and applications which include the US Navy Fleet Survey Team for littoral data collection to support the Warfighter's needs, the Canadian Government for Advanced Mine-Counter-Measures Research, several universities for various research programs, and commercial survey providers doing coastal engineering projects. This brings the total number of DVLs ordered by OceanServer for integration onto IVER AUVsystems to 66.
The Explorer DVL provides a flexible solution for high-quality navigation aboard small underwater platforms such as IVER AUVs, gliders, disposable vehicles, inspection class ROVs and diver platforms. The DVLs supplied to OceanServer are custom designed to meet the vehicle’s unique, size, weight and power requirements, as well as provide onboard navigation and ocean current profiling functions.
OceanServer continues to select Teledyne RDI’s DVL based on TRDI’s field-proven technology and extensive field experience in Doppler navigation. Bob Anderson, President of OceanServer Technology, Inc. explains: “OceanServer looks to Teledyne RD Instruments as a partner in assuring the precision and accuracy of navigation onboard our IVER AUVs. Our organizations actively collaborate to ensure to that we are consistently providing our customers with the highest quality sensor available to meet their navigation needs”
The International Seabed Authority and the UK Seabed Resources Limited (UKSRL) a, wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin UK, have signed a 15-year contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules in the eastern part of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone.
The Contract was signed Tuesday, 29 March 2016, in New York, by the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Nii Allotey Odunton, and Linda Reiners, UKSRL Managing Director, on behalf of the Chief Executive of UKSRL, Peter Ruddock.
UKSRL allocated area (outlined in black) covers a total surface of 74,919 km2 in the eastern part of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone
The application for the exploration contract was approved by the Council of the International Seabed Authority on 21 July 2014.
The area allocated to the Contractor covers a total surface of 74,919 square kilometers (km2) in the eastern part of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) as shown in the map below.
This is the fourteenth contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules in the CCZ and the second contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules by UKSRL which has been signed with the Authority.
UKSRL signed its first exploration contract with the Authority in February 2013. The contract area is approximately 116,000 km2 located in the eastern part of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone.
Oceaneering International, Inc. (“Oceaneering” or the “Company”) (NYSE:OII) announces the appointment of William (Bill) J. Boyle as Senior Vice President, Asset Integrity.
In this role, Mr. Boyle will be responsible for Oceaneering’s Asset Integrity business worldwide. This business provides asset integrity management, corrosion management, inspection, and non-destructive testing services to customers in the oil and gas, power generation, and petrochemical industries.
Mr. Boyle will report to Chief Operating Officer Clyde Hewlett.
Rod Larson, Oceaneering’s President, stated, “I am pleased to welcome Bill to Oceaneering. With more than 30 years of international experience in the offshore and subsea industry, Bill has the proven leadership skills and management capabilities needed to take our asset integrity service offerings to the next level. We are focusing on utilizing the latest surface and subsea technologies and risk-based asset integrity methodologies to improve process safety while lowering our customers’ total cost of ownership.”
Prior to joining Oceaneering, Mr. Boyle held senior leadership positions at several companies in the oilfield services and other related industries. Most recently, he was Chief Executive Officer at Underwater Integrity Solutions. Mr. Boyle graduated from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.
The Company also announced that Michael C. Leys, who previously held this position, will become Oceaneering’s Vice President, Operations – Asset Integrity. In this role, Mr. Leys will assist Mr. Boyle with the day-to-day operations and facilitate a smooth and orderly succession until his retirement later in the year.
The executive search firm of JDG Associates, Ltd. has been selected to conduct the search for the Executive Director position at MTS.
Headquartered in Rockville, MD, JDG will be receiving resumes for the position through April 22. However, since Search Committee interviews of finalists could take place in early May, those interested in the position are urged to submit their resume as soon as possible. Those wishing to suggest someone else for the position are similarly urged to do so on an ASAP basis. View position description.
Resumes and nominations for the position should be sent directly to:
The World Ocean Council (WOC) is working to foster private sector participation in the Polar Challenge – a competition to develop an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) capable of a 2,000 km mission under the sea-ice in the Arctic or Antarctic, with a prize of 500,000 Swiss francs to the winner.
The World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation hope the competition will stimulate innovation towards a cost-effective, autonomous and scalable observing network for ice-covered ocean regions.
“With the Polar Challenge, we hope to open new horizons in under-ice navigation, endurance and environmental monitoring that is vital to understanding polar oceans,” said WCRP Director David Carlson.
“The reliability of long-term climate change outlooks in polar regions is severely limited by the scarcity and cost of observations of the sea-ice and below,” emphasized WCRP Senior Scientist Michel Rixen. “New generation AUVs such as underwater gliders provide a potential cost-effective option for scaling up observing networks for the Polar regions,” added Mr. Rixen.
WOC CEO, Paul Holthus, noted that, “The use of AUVs and other intensive data collection technology can be cost-effectively augmented by harnessing the use of commercial vessels for data collection as they operate in polar waters, and we are working to advance this through the WOC ‘Smart Ocean-Smart Industries’ program.”
Currently AUVs are primarily used in ice-free zones, where they can surface to get a GPS fix and transmit data, e.g. temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and acidity. But under the sea-ice, the operating range, positioning and data transmission are a major challenge. Progress on power systems, navigation and communication create the potential to expand the scope of AUVs to under sea-ice operations. The Polar Challenge advances WCRP research priorities in polar oceans and will contribute to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) polar initiatives that benefit the wider community (weather, ocean, environment, safety, transport, energy, tourism, etc.).
The WCRP invites contributions from all relevant stakeholders and provides more details, including competition rules and registration, at: www.wcrp-climate.org/polarchallenge.
The Polar Challenge was announced last week at the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS), in Fairbanks, Alaska. WOC co-organized the private sector theme sessions of the Arctic Observing Summit, which addressed industry experience in, and needs for, Arctic observations and data, and culminated in a workshop on fostering data collection and sharing by industry.
The AOS brought together 450 delegates from 30 countries - representing industry, science, indigenous peoples, government agencies, and NGOs. The AOS 2016 Conference Statement outlines seven major recommendations for developing a pathway towards an internationally supported, pan-Arctic observing system. Click here for the AOS Statement.
Their combined expertise, and the strength of each of their parent companies, enable SMD and UMS to provide customers with proven, de-risked solutions to deep-sea, near-shore and inland underwater exploration, mining and processing.
SMD have over forty years of experience in subsea engineering and remote intervention, having delivered over 400 subsea systems to date. The company, who have unrivalled experience in the marinization of earth moving equipment for use in deep water, have recently delivered the world’s first three commercial deep-sea mining vehicles for Nautilus Minerals.
SMD’s deep-sea mining vehicles. Photo credit: SMD
UMS have delivered commercial shallow water mining solutions and have capability to provide a complete system including mining vehicles and corresponding launch & recovery systems, vessel conversion, ore processing, transportation, separation and ancillary ore handling equipment.
SMD and UMS’ complementary product portfolio, means customers can spread risk across the supply chain, and benefit from integration of this complementary equipment and services from an early stage and throughout the life cycle of the mining projects.
Robert Denovan, UMS: “The minerals industry is currently in a ‘belt-tightening’ period. We are now in the perfect position to offer larger mining houses the solutions they need to help them get through this period, and to help them emerge into the next growth phase with a competitive edge.”
Toby Lambooy, UMS: “We can now offer our inland customers exactly what they want and need – a safely delivered mining and mineral processing solution at a price below that of conventional mining techniques, with a much smaller environmental footprint.”
Stefan Kapusniak, SMD: “We’re delighted to be able to offer the emerging underwater mining market, both inland and offshore, an unrivalled capability from a group that provides the experience and ability to deliver market-leading solutions.”
SMD are also the Technical Manager on the ¡Vamos! Project which is a consortium funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
The ¡Vamos! project team are developing a submerged mining solution to exploit existing inland mines which are no longer economically viable by conventional mining methods. The program will develop processes and technology, such as mining navigation, sensing and awareness systems, to be exploited in this new and emerging market.