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Renishaw Launches New Marine Lidar System

Global engineering technologies company Renishaw is pleased to announce the launch of Merlin, the latest innovative laser scanner in its range of mobile 3D mapping products. Merlin supports safer, faster and more complete marine survey data acquisition for efficient coastal, offshore and inland waterway project management and enhanced decision-making capabilities for vessel operators.

The first mapping product launched under the Renishaw brand, Merlin has been engineered specifically for use in the challenging marine environment and to help significantly cut the cost of vessel-based laser scanning.

Renishaw's low-cost, low-maintenance solution to the hydrographic surveying industry's increasing demand for a cost-effective marine laser scanner, Merlin speeds up operations, improves crew and vessel safety, and produces more complete point clouds for better data analysis.

The Merlin laser scanner is unique in that it offers seamless integration with existing vessel hardware and software. This means that vessel operators do not duplicate costly equipment, infrastructure and technologies that they already own. This cost-effective access to the advanced lidar technology required for exceptional surveying enables smart vessel operators to expand their product offering at low cost.

Renishaw has worked closely with the world's leading hydrographic software companies to develop Merlin's new dedicated Renishaw SLM driver, which is fully operational with the following major industry-standard software packages:

• HYSWEEP® multi-beam collection and editing software from HYPACK®. Fully operational in the HYSWEEP_15.0.18 version of HYPACK® 15.

• NaviScan and Kuda sonar and laser data acquisition software from EIVA. • QINSy (Quality Integrated Navigation System) hydrographic data acquisition software from QPS.

• Teledyne PDS software for hydrographic survey and dredging operations (version 3.9.5.4 and newer).

Using time-of-flight laser technology, Merlin quickly measures and records time-tagged geo-referenced data points above the waterline. This time-tagged information can now be synchronized with the vessel's bathymetric data captured below the waterline, which means that a detailed 3D map of the full marine environment can be captured simultaneously. Acquiring the full point cloud in a single pass significantly reduces project timescales and the amount of time that survey teams have to spend in challenging conditions.

“We're excited to be able to present the hydrographic surveying community with the first laser scanner dedicated to cost-effective marine surveying,” says Karl Bradshaw, Business Manager for Renishaw's mapping product range. “Merlin is not only versatile, it is also extremely robust – designed and manufactured to Renishaw's exacting standards. This unique laser scanning system provides survey companies and their end clients with a value-added solution to plan and undertake safer, faster and more comprehensive projects and we look forward to working closely with them.”

“There's currently nothing else like Merlin on the market,” said Cam Thomas, Technical Manager of Renishaw's Spatial Measurement Division. “Renishaw is proud to be the first to offer marine surveyors a safe, quick and accurate way to gather above-water detail while completing their regular underwater surveys, and we are certain that Merlin will gain rapid market adoption.”

Renishaw's Merlin marine lidar system will launch at the Hydro 2015 conference and exhibition in Cape Town this month to an international audience of hydrographic marine surveyors, civil engineers, oceanographers, geophysicists and other marine professionals. Renishaw will also be showcasing Merlin in December at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans, USA.

For further information on Renishaw's new Merlin dedicated marine time-tagged laser scanner please click here.

ASV C-Worker Completes Subsea Positioning Operation in Gulf of Mexico

ASV announces the successful completion of an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) supported LBL acoustic positioning array box-in and array baseline data collection operation in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Fitted with a Sonardyne gyro USBl, the C-worker 6 ASV was used to assist in the installation of a 38 compatt array by collecting 11 box Ins and all the baselines from the surface at a water depth of approximately 6000ft (1830m).

The application of this new technology resulted in significant savings by reducing surface support vessel time and increasing program efficiency.

Thomas chance, chairman of ASV remarked that “the industry is ready for this new approach, and sees our ability to support and streamline their operations as a significant benefit going forward.”

ASV is a leading provider of unmanned vessels with more than 70 ASV platforms in the field globally and a wide variety of associated payloads. ASV’s staff of 65 personnel designs, builds, and operates a range of ASV platforms for industrial, scientific, and military applications worldwide.

Total Awards Contract to Fugro for Underwater Services

Under the contract, which runs from July 2015 and includes extension options for a further two years, Fugro is providing a full range of ROV services to conduct inspection, repair and maintenance activities on TEP UK pipelines, subsea assets and jackets.

Prior to this significant contract award Fugro demonstrated its ability to support such a contract with a range of quality services, following the successful completion of both platform- and vessel-based campaigns for TEP UK.

In July 2015, Fugro undertook the Central Graben area ROV inspection campaign, utilizing the ROV support vessel Atlantis Dweller and its two permanently mobilized ROV systems. The workscope included cathodic protection, flooded member detection and high pressure water jetting services. The inspection campaign was completed ahead of schedule and TEP UK has noted the excellent safety culture and efficiency demonstrated by Fugro.

BOEM Announces Environmental Study Reports Posted During the Fourth Quarter FY 2015

Enhanced ESPIS Tools Help Visualize Data

The Environmental Studies Program (ESP) announces the availability of five study reports that were posted online via the Environmental Studies Program Information System (ESPIS) from July-September 2015. The new postings relay findings from regional studies for Alaska, the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The reports and associated technical summaries can be accessed through the enhanced ESPIS, which displays reports with new geo-referencing tools, animation and other new features. Links to documents below will show both the final report and the technical summary.

Animated tracks of drifter circulation in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, based on satellite data. Image: University of Alaska Fairbanks

Topics covered in the latest postings include:

Alaska:
 
Atlantic:
 
Gulf of Mexico:

A two-volume report on Long-term Monitoring at the East and West Flower Barden Banks, National Marine Sanctuary; and

A report on Observations and Dynamics of the Loop Current.

BOEM’s Environmental Studies Program (ESP) develops, funds, and manages rigorous scientific research to inform policy decisions regarding the development of energy and mineral resources on the OCS.

The Environmental Studies Program Information System (ESPIS) makes all completed ESP reports available on-line as full electronic pdf documents, including images and graphics. Technical summaries of more than 1,200 BOEM-sponsored environmental research projects, as well as full pdf documents of over 3,400 research reports, are available for online full text search.

NSRI to Explore Opportunities in Japan

In partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI) the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) will be going on a trade mission to Japan from 16-20th November to explore the opportunities in subsea mining and renewables across East Asia.

NSRI will learn about the ongoing initiatives that have been put in place to identify and harvest methane hydrates and conduct seabed mining in Japan, and identify how UK companies can help to satisfy the country’s vast energy needs.

The trade mission will expose several British companies, many of them from North-east Scotland, to detailed market insights and connect them with the key players in the industry, as they look to exploit the export opportunities in the world’s third largest economy.

These companies will be given the opportunity to showcase their products and services to Japanese companies including Mitsubishi, Kawasaki and Mitsui, and get the chance to network with technical societies and industry bodies. They will also learn about Japan’s growing subsea industry and the opportunities which exist around development of offshore resources.

Gordon Drummond, project director at NSRI said: “Japan is the established home of innovation and has expertise in a wide range of industries, particularly in technology. This knowledge base is of particular interest to UK companies that are looking for mature markets in which to showcase their products and services.

“The trade mission will allow us to gain access to detailed market insights and form partnerships that will help to build stronger business links with Japan’s energy industry.”

Following the shutdown of the country’s nuclear reactors in the wake of 2011’s tsunami nuclear crisis, Japan has gone in search of new energy supplies.

The government wants to increase renewables from 10 per cent of its energy mix to 24 per cent by 2030, further reducing its reliance on gas, coal and nuclear.

It is estimated around 1.1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas lies in the ocean floor off the coast of Shikoku island, western Japan.

Subsea mining has come into the fore in recent years, particularly in the Pacific, which has vast quantities of seabed mineral deposits.

“UK firms could play a major role in helping Japan meet its energy targets, exporting the wealth of skills, innovation and experience honed in the North Sea. There is much to be gained from doing business and investing in Japan, added Dr. Drummond. “The country offers a stable economy, a reliable tax regime, an internationally oriented infrastructure and is well known for embracing new technology. By continuing to work closely with SDI we can identify the emerging opportunities and seek to promote partnerships with UK companies in Japan.

The trade mission to Japan will take place from 16th-20th November. For more information about NSRI, click here.

Dr Gordon Drummond, project director of NSRI.

Unique Group Acquires Aberdeen Marine Survey Equipment Firm GSE Rentals

Unique Group has acquired GSE Rentals (Geophysical Survey Equipment) a rental specialist of high quality Geophysical, Hydrographic and Oceanographic marine survey equipment.

GSE Rentals is now wholly owned by Unique Group and the company's workforce will be retained. Former owner, Stan Moroney, will continue as business advisor and consultant to Unique Group.

Unique Group has more than 20 years of survey rental experience globally. By acquiring GSE Rentals, it can strengthen its presence in non oil and gas markets, with a focus on offshore renewable energy projects, submarine cables, dredging, ports and harbours and civil projects.

(left to right) Andy Doggett, director of Unique Group’s survey equipment division; Stan Moroney, former owner of GSE Rentals; and Ray Hughes, managing director of Unique System UK Limited.

Andy Doggett, director of Unique Group’s survey equipment division said: “GSE Rentals is a well respected company that offers a high level of technical support and knowledge to its global customers.

“The advantage to GSE Rentals’ customers is that it will now be able to provide enhanced global support through Unique Group’s bases in the Middle East, South Africa, India, the Netherlands, Singapore and the USA.

“We are well aware of the high-quality service provided by GSE Rentals and by committing additional capital to increase its fleet, we will enhance its place as the preferred marine survey rental company in Europe.”

Stan Moroney, the now former owner, of GSE Rentals said: “Becoming part of Unique Group will allow us to invest further in our rental pool and ensure that we have all the skills and equipment to meet our clients’ needs now and in the future. For the past 25 years we have been supplying the latest technology, supported by our dedicated staff and we will continue to supply the same high level of expertise and support to our clients”.

Harry Gandhi, founder of Unique Group said: “We offer the very best in the offshore and subsea sectors and the addition of GSE Rentals to our team is great news for our existing and potential customers.

“Our acquisition Of GSE Rentals will help us consolidate and expand into key markets that complement our existing offering, from Aberdeen to Singapore.”

Unique Group recently acquired Oceanwide Safety at Sea, the market leader in the design, construction and maintenance of self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboats. Oceanwide’s Rotterdam office has increased Unique Group’s access to new clients across the Antwerp, Hamburg and Bremen seaports.

GSE Rentals will continue to operate from its facility in Aberdeen, a short distance from Unique Group’s UK headquarters in Dyce.

Increased Environmental Commitment on the Norwegian Continental Shelf

Four years ahead of schedule, Statoil is already close to achieving our aim of reducing CO2 emissions on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) by up to 800,000 tons by 2020. We are therefore increasing our target by 50% to 1.2 million tons.

The Sleipner field in the North Sea, where the export compressor has been modified so that annual emissions of CO2 have been reduced by 24,000 tons. (Photo: Kjetil Alsvik)

"In Norway, we produce oil and gas with half of the CO2 emissions per unit of output compared to the global industry average. By aiming even higher now, we are reinforcing our leading role in the coming years as a low-emission producer of oil and gas,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president, Development and Production Norway (DPN).

In 2008, the petroleum industry, led by Konkraft, agreed on a goal of improved energy efficiency equivalent to 1 million tons of CO2 between 2008 and 2020. Statoil’s share of this was 800,000 tons.

“For several years now, we have been working hard at managing our energy use and improving energy efficiency on all our installations, which means that we have already practically achieved our Konkraft target. That is why we are now setting a new target of another 400,000 tons by 2020,” says Nylund.

With a total reduction of 1.2 million tons, Statoil will have reduced emissions on the NCS by the equivalent of emissions from about 750,000 cars, or every third car in Norway.

“Statoil aims to maintain profitable production from the NCS at current levels until 2030 and beyond. If we are to succeed, it is vital that we maintain our leading position in low emissions,” says Nylund.

No one simple solution
Statoil’s performance so far is essentially the sum of a variety of measures on the continental shelf.

“These results have been achieved through many different measures on the shelf. Here are two examples. Much of the gas from the NCS to Europe goes via Sleipner. There we have modified the export compressor so that annual emissions of CO2 have been reduced by 24,000 tons. At Oseberg Field Centre, we now use a main turbine generator combined with a steam turbine. That provides an annual saving of 44,000 tons of CO2,” says Knut Helland, head of energy in DPN. But future results are not a straightforward matter.

“There is no one single solution that solves everything, but it is the sum of hard work over time and many different measures that produce results. We are systematically studying each installation to identify ways of reducing CO2 emissions. We have already identified dozens of different measures, such as operational technology solutions, new technologies and other ways to streamline operations in order to reduce emissions. And this work will continue,” says Nylund.

Important to ensure competitiveness
In general, CO2 emissions per unit of output increase as fields mature. But the measures implemented by Statoil will mean that CO2 emissions from its NCS installations will not rise with the increasing age of the fields.

Norwegian industry has a good working relationship with the government and a framework that encourages eco-friendly innovation.

“The measures we have implemented, and plan to implement, will not only lead to reduced emissions but also value creation. Statoil believes it is very important to establish a common framework and price for CO2 across borders that will stimulate industry in general to increase its environmental efforts. Our current measures to reduce emissions will be one of our key competitive advantages in the future, as environmental requirements become increasingly stringent,” says Nylund.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf is an important contribution to Statoil’s total environmental commitment. And our work to reduce flaring, increase carbon capture and the research and development within renewable energy sources are other important elements in our effort to achieve our ambition to remain a leader in carbon efficiency,” says Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, head of corporate sustainability at Statoil.

New Award Recognizes Outstanding Efforts to Increase Awareness and Safeguard U.S. Natural Resources from Climate Change

The Award will recognize the actions of individuals and organizations that are making a difference by increasing understanding of climate impacts, adapting to and reducing threats, increasing response capabilities, and providing other innovative approaches to reducing impacts and increasing resilience in a changing climate. It will help spotlight innovative tools and actions that are making a difference now, and serve as a source of inspiration for additional efforts that advance climate smart resource conservation and management.

"Our climate is changing, and these changes are already affecting the nation's valuable wildlife and natural resources," said Michael Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. "This new Award recognizes outstanding leadership by organizations and individuals that is critical to help advance the resilience of our natural resources and the people, communities, and economies that depend on them."

Volunteers help plant native salt marsh grass as part of a 30 acre restoration of Beaver Dam Creek on Great South Bay, Long Island, New York. (Credit NOAA)

Establishment of the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources was one of the commitments announced as part of the Administration's Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's Natural Resources in 2014.The agenda calls for a commitment across the federal government to support resilience of America's vital natural resources.

The Award also directly addresses the goals of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, which was developed by a coalition of federal, state, and tribal natural resource agencies. These include:

• Goal 1: Conserve and connect species, habitats and ecosystems;

• Goal 2: Manage species and habitats to protect ecosystem functions and provide sustainable use;

• Goal 3: Enhance management capacity;

• Goal 4: Support adaptive management;

• Goal 5: Increase knowledge and information on natural resource impacts and responses to climate change;

• Goal 6: Increase awareness and motivate action to safeguard natural resources; and

• Goal 7: Reduce non-climate stressors to natural resources.

"State fish and wildlife agencies serve as stewards of the nation's fish and wildlife resources," said Dave Chanda, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which is helping to lead implementation of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. "Today's threats to fish, wildlife, and their habitats are exacerbated by climate change and underscore the need for incorporating climate adaptation in to conservation and science-based management." Nominations will be accepted until January 8, 2016. Individuals, groups, organizations and government agencies are eligible to apply. Three to five Awards are expected to be announced in 2016.

Fish, wildlife, and plant resources provide important benefits and services to Americans every day, including jobs, income, food, clean water and air, building materials, storm protection, tourism and recreation. For example, hunting, fishing and other wildlife-related recreation contribute an estimated $120 billion to our nation's economy every year, and marine ecosystems sustain a U.S. seafood industry that supports approximately 1.7 million jobs and $200 billion in economic activity annually.

Award sponsors include the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service. They will sponsor the award in collaboration with the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy's Joint Implementation Working Group, which is composed of representatives from 21 federal, state and tribal natural resource agencies.

For more information about the Award or how to apply, please visit the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award main page.

PortVision® Improves Vessel-Tracking Intelligence for Better Visibility, Transparency and Market Insights

- The Vessel Intelligence™ module for PortVision significantly expands the vessel details currently available from Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, alone.

- Includes more than 50 attributes on 10,000 workboats and offshore support vessels (OSVs) to provide most complete representation possible, from horsepower and deck space information to specialized capabilities and vessel operator contact details.

- New vessel search capability enables customers to quickly identify the right vessel for the job based on features and current location, speeding response for incidents or operational needs.

Overview:
The U.S. Coast Guard added five new data fields in 2015 to expand information about vessel size and voyage details. However, information provided by AIS data, alone, is limited to a set of unique vessel identifiers with minimal, and usually inaccurate, vessel dimensions. With PortVision’s new Vessel Intelligence module, users now have access to information about 50 additional vessel attributes across 10,000 workboats and OSVs, making it significantly easier to identify vessels with specific features or locate nearby vessels for operational or incident-response purposes. PortVision users now have the ability to build custom fleets based on these unique attributes so they can quickly identify not only the best vessel for the job, but what vessel can be there first.
 
Feature Highlights:
Enhanced search and analytics capabilities
- Search regionally or globally for vessels with specific attributes, such as all OSVs in the Gulf of Mexico that have a 400-ton-or-larger crane.

- Determine whether a vessel meets specific requirements by analyzing attributes ranging from moon-pool and total personnel capacity, to main engine horsepower and on-board equipment.

- Schedule email alerts when a vessel of interest stops, starts, departs, arrives, slows, heads in a new direction or otherwise changes its behavior. - Receive customized reports on current position and other attributes for one or more vessels.

Improved historical view
- Display full vessel movement history for any specific vessel of interest

- Identify all vessels that have been working in a specific lease block.

- See what vessels are doing now and how long they’ve been doing it.

Better incident response
-Identify available vessels in close proximity to the incident.

-Incorporate available port calls for re-supply planning.

About PortVision
PortVision’s web-based enterprise software and services help oil companies, marine terminal operators, fleet owners/operators and other maritime users improve business operations through instant, continuous visibility into vessel and terminal activities. PortVision’s enterprise software solutions leverage the company’s Automated Identification System (AIS) vessel-tracking service to automate and enhance operations, reduce costs, improve safety and security, and drive better business decisions. The PortVision service also has been deployed by homeland security agencies and government and regulatory bodies, incident responders, insurance providers and legal entities. Based in Houston, Texas, PortVision is service of Oceaneering International Inc. (NYSE: OII), a global oilfield provider of engineered services and products, primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on deepwater applications. Through the use of its applied technology expertise, Oceaneering also serves the defense, entertainment, and aerospace industries. For more information about Oceaneering visit www.oceaneering.com. For more information about PortVision, visit www.portvision.com.

SMI Annual Review of the Marine Science and Technology Sector

The seventh business survey of UK marine scientific industries highlights continued growth for the Marine Science and Technology sector on the back of strong exports.

The seventh survey, focused on UK companies operating primarily in Marine Science and Technology (MST) activities, aims to provide an insight into current business activity in terms of market sectors, market size and business confidence both current and forecast. This year we are adopted a slightly different approach and companies were invited to participate after attendance at Ocean Business 2015 on 14-16 April at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.

Highlights from the report are:

• Commercial Marine Science and Technology (MST) contributes on average, nearly £2bn/year to the UK economy.

• Most of the individual companies are in manufacturing or service and therefore the additional indirect contribution will be substantially higher.

• Most of the companies export to a total annual value of at least £760m operating on a global scale. Market diversity is wide and includes oil/gas, renewable energy, environment, ports/harbors and military.

• Whereas there had been a drop in the number of companies reporting a turnover increase, investment in R&D remained the same, with a strong commitment to maintain or increase this level.

The 2015 Annual Review of the UK Marine Scientific Industries can be found here.

SeeByte to Open New Office in Marine Robotics Innovation Centre

SeeByte, a global leader in creating smart software for unmanned maritime systems, are pleased to announce that they will be expanding their offices and taking space in the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton.

Bob Black, CEO at SeeByte, commented “Moving into the Innovation Centre at NOC is a great opportunity for SeeByte. Working so closely with many in this region, this expansion puts SeeByte in an ideal position to meet the requirements of our growing customer base in the South of England and continue our on-going positive relationship with NOC. We chose the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre because we are keen to work alongside like-minded companies.”

Kevin Forshaw, Associate Director, Innovation and Enterprise at the NOC said, “It is really good to be welcoming SeeByte to the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre, being a leading player in the control of autonomous assets, and a partner to many of the companies we engage with. We ourselves have collaborated with SeeByte on several R&D projects to date, and having them on site will stimulate further collaboration in the future. Both organizations have key areas of expertise, that when combined, will help to bring about exciting new innovations for the sector.”

Sonardyne Appoints Robin Bjorøy as New Managing Director

Subsea technology company, Sonardyne International Ltd., UK, has today announced the appointment of Robin Bjorøy as its new Managing Director. Robin succeeds John Ramsden who leaves the position after six years in charge to return to Singapore following a transition period.

Robin joins Sonardyne with immediate effect and brings with him extensive operational and management experience gained over a 27 year international career with GecoPrakla, WesternGeco and Schlumberger. Robin has served in seismic field surveys, product development, survey design and management roles internationally including Middle East, Africa and Asia as well as in the UK. Robin worked in Houston as the global QHSE manager for the Well Completions and Productivity segment. He has been in regional management in, and Vice President for, Latin America, been Managing Director for a large vertically integrated manufacturing centre in Singapore and more recently, served as Vice President, responsible for a major corporate account. His most recent role was directing integration of two acquired companies.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Ralph Rayner, Sonardyne’s Non-Executive Chairman said, “Having worked at an operational and strategic level across multiple geographies, Robin comes to us with excellent business, financial and commercial acumen. His depth of knowledge, skills and experience will strengthen the Board and leadership team as we respond to current market challenges, organize the business for an upturn in our core markets and expand into new markets.

I take this opportunity to thank John Ramsden for his dedication to Sonardyne, and wish him all the best for his return to Singapore with his family.”

New ROV Support Vessel Fugro Aquarius Delivered In Brazil

Fugro has taken delivery of the new ROV support vessel (RSV) Fugro Aquarius, the most advanced vessel of her type built in Brazil.

The new DP-2 diesel-electric vessel is 83 meters in length with a deck area of 520 square meters and accommodation for 60 people. Permanently equipped with two Fugro-built 150HP work class ROVs, Fugro Aquarius is capable of operating in water depths of 3,000 meters. The stern A‐Frame, with active heave compensated winch system, allows for deployment of 10 tons and the helideck is suitable for medium-lift helicopters such as the Sikorsky S‐92.

Fugro Aquarius. Image credit: Shipspotting.com

Commenting on the new vessel, Mathilde Scholtes, Managing Director, Fugro Brasil, said, “Fugro Aquarius has been built specifically for the Brazilian market and is ideally suited for subsea inspection, repair and maintenance work.”

Designed by Damen shipyards group and built by Wilson Sons shipyard in Guarujá near São Paulo, the vessel’s local content exceeds 60%, with technology and equipment locally sourced and the project involving a workforce of over 250 Brazilian nationals.

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