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OceanWise Develops Maritime Toolbar (MTB) for Esri Users

OceanWise has now developed Maritime Toolbar (MTB) for ArcMap so maritime users on an Esri platform can take advantage of the great functionality previously only available to Cadcorp SIS users. This new add-in extends the GIS functionality commonly used within the maritime sector to ArcMap 10.1 and above. The toolbar includes 31 tools that can support existing workflows and increase productivity - thus improving the return on GIS investment. Benefits of MTB include:

• Streamlining everyday tasks to improve efficiency

• Simplified batch processing tools to automate repetitive or large-scale processing

• Raster processing tools including hill shading, slope analysis, contouring and a raster calculator

• Tools to read text file formats including bag, pts and xyz to create point or coverage datasets

• Conversion tools to batch-transform coordinates or export shapefiles to other GIS file formats

MTB is targeted at those organizations wishing to manipulate marine environmental or geographic based datasets. Although originally developed in collaboration with numerous UK ports, its usage lends itself to commercial survey companies, harbors, engineering and environmental consultants, marine laboratories/agencies and operators/owners wishing to better manage their marine datasets.

In addition to the standard release, OceanWise is looking to develop the existing MTB Extensions. By linking to Ocean Database (OceanWise’s complete data management solution), this will allow both current and historical Hydrographic Survey, Dredging, Environmental Sampling and Asset Management data to be effectively managed through the toolbar. The extensions enable fast interrogation and reporting of the data and use the power of GIS to allow further analysis not available within a standard database.

Kongsberg Evotec to Deliver ROV Launch & Recovery System to Bourbon Offshore

Kongsberg Evotec, a fully owned subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, has signed an agreement with Bourbon Offshore Norway for the delivery of the sophisticated E-LARS Launch and Recovery System for Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV). The delivery will take place in December 2015. The system is to be installed on an advanced new VARD 2-12 ARCTIC design AHTS vessel, which is developed for worldwide operations, including arctic regions.

Kongsberg Evotec has through the development of E-LARS focused on environmental factors and safety of the operator and the equipment. The positive qualities of the permanent magnet motor technology used in the E-LARS system combined with a customized control system introduces significant operational advantages including accurate heave compensation with minimal power use.

To ensure safe and efficient ROV launch and recovery, the E-LARS control system provides the operator with continuous information about i.e. capacity utilization, the amount of regenerated power, umbilical status and history. This supports the operator to utilize the ROV mission operational window in an efficient and very environmentally friendly manner. Kongsberg Evotec has also designed the system in order to minimalize the need for maintenance.

"Kongsberg Evotec is to us a new supplier of launch and recovery systems for ROVs. The equipment fits well with the vessel’s dedicated hangar and operation profile. We have great expectations both of the equipment and of the further collaboration with Kongsberg Evotec," says Bjørn Remøy, CEO of Bourbon Offshore Norway.

"We have for a long time had close dialogue with Bourbon Offshore Norway, where solutions and problems have been discussed in a constructive way. This has been vital for securing this contract," says Kongsberg Evotec’s Senior Sales Manager, Handling Solutions, Jon Olav Kopperstad. "The trust given to Kongsberg Evotec by Bourbon Norway inspires, commits and creates a good platform for further collaboration."

NOAA, Deepwater Horizon Trustees Announce Draft Restoration Plans for Gulf of Mexico Following 2010 Disaster

NOAA and the other Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees have released a 15-year comprehensive, integrated environmental ecosystem restoration plans for the Gulf of Mexico in response to the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill. Implementing the plan will cost up to $8.8 billion. The explosion killed 11 rig workers and the subsequent spill lasted 87 days and impacted both human and natural resources across the Gulf.

The Draft Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement allocates Natural Resource Damage Assessment monies that are part of a comprehensive settlement agreement in principle among BP, the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of federal agencies, and the five affected Gulf States announced on July 2, 2015. The Department of Justice lodged on October 5, in U.S. District Court a consent decree as part of the more than $20 billion dollar settlement.

The BP Macondo Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010. Approximately 3.19 million barrels (134 million gallons) of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico, making it by far the largest offshore oil spill in United States history. (Credit: US Coast Guard)

In the draft plan, the Trustees provide documentation detailing impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to:
• wildlife, including fish, oysters, plankton, birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals across the Gulf
• habitat, including marshes, beaches, floating seaweed habitats, water column, submerged aquatic vegetation, and ocean-bottom habitats
• recreational activities including boating, fishing, and going to the beach

The Trustees determined that “overall, the ecological scope of impacts from the Deepwater Horizon spill was unprecedented, with injuries affecting a wide array of linked resources across the northern Gulf ecosystem.” As a result of the wide scope of impacts identified, the Trustees “have determined that the best method for addressing the injuries is a comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem restoration plan.”

Both the consent decree and the draft plan are available for 60 days of public comment. The Trustees will address public comment in adopting a final plan. For the consent decree, once public comment is taken into account the court will be asked to make it final.

Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted at eight public meetings to be held between October 19 and November 18 in each of the impacted states and in Washington, DC. Comments will also be accepted online and by mail sent to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345. The public comment period will end on December 4, 2015.

The Trustees are proposing to accept this settlement, which includes, among other components, an amount to address natural resource damages of $8.1 billion for restoration and up to $700 million for addressing unknown impacts or for adaptive management. These amounts include the $1 billion in early restoration funds which BP has already committed. “NOAA scientists were on the scene from day one as the Deepwater spill and its impacts unfolded. NOAA and the Trustees have gathered thousands of samples and conducted millions of analyses to understand the impacts of this spill,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The scientific assessment concluded that there was grave injury to a wide range of natural resources and loss of the benefits they provide. Restoring the environment and compensating for the lost use of those resources is best achieved by a broad-based ecosystem approach to restore this vitally important part of our nation’s environmental, cultural and economic heritage.”

NOAA led the development of the 1,400 page draft damage assessment and restoration plan, with accompanying environmental impact statement, in coordination with all of the natural resource Trustees. The draft plan is designed to provide a programmatic analysis of the type and magnitude of the natural resources injuries that have been identified through a Natural Resource Damage Assessment conducted as required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and a programmatic restoration plan to address those injuries. Alternatives approaches to restoration are evaluated in the plan under the Oil Pollution Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Specific projects are not identified in this plan, but will be proposed in future project-specific restoration proposals. The Trustees will ensure that the public is involved in their development through public notice of proposed restoration plans, opportunities for public meetings, and consideration of all comments received. The draft plan has an array of restoration types that address a broad range of impacts at both regional and local scales. It allocates funds to meet five restoration goals, and 13 restoration types designed to meet these goals.

The five overarching goals of the proposed plan are to:
• restore and conserve habitat
• restore water quality
• replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources
• provide and enhance human use recreational activities
• provide for long term monitoring, adaptive management, and administrative oversight of restoration efforts.
 
 
The 13 proposed restoration activities are:
1 Restoration of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats
2 Habitat projects on federally managed lands
3 Nutrient reduction
4 Water quality
5 Fish and water column invertebrates
6 Sturgeon
7 Submerged aquatic vegetation
8 Oysters
9 Sea turtles
10 Marine mammals
11 Birds
12 Low-light and deep seafloor communities
13 Provide and enhance recreational opportunities

Together, these efforts will restore wildlife and habitat in the Gulf by addressing the ecosystem injuries that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Once the plan is finally approved and the settlement is finalized, NOAA will continue to work with all of the Trustees to plan, approve, and implement restoration projects. NOAA will bring scientific expertise and focus on addressing remedies for living marine resources — including fish, sturgeon, marine mammals, and sea turtles — as well as coastal habitats and water quality. NOAA scientists developed numerous scientific papers for the NRDA case including documentation of impacts to bottlenose dolphins, pelagic fish, sea turtles, benthic habitat and deep water corals.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement is available for public review and comment through December 4. It is posted at www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov

Our Ocean Future – Our Ocean Economy: Sustainable Ocean Summit and Global Ocean Industry Scenarios

We cannot plan for our ocean future without knowing our ocean economy, i.e. knowing when, where and what kinds and levels of industry activity is likely.

At the Sustainable Ocean Summit you will hear, for the first time in one location, projections of ocean use trends, locations, opportunities, risks, and constraints for the next 50 years for each major industry sector.

The “Ocean + 50” session will bring together future ocean industry scenarios and what these mean for the ocean business community, for the ocean economy overall, and for the ocean itself – focusing especially on the next 15 years, the time frame of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

Expert presentations will describe the future of shipping, oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy, cruise tourism, marine mining and submarine cables in this first-ever comprehensive platform on the future of ocean industries.

The rich and comprehensive SOS 2015 conference program convenes the global ocean business community around issues of material importance to our ocean future and our ocean economy.

An increasing number of CEOs and senior industry representatives from shipping, fisheries, oil and gas, aquaculture, tourism, seabed mining, renewable energy, ports, technology, innovation, investment and other areas are signing on as speakers and participants for the SOS 2015’s unprecedented, global, multi-industry look at “Sustainable Development and Growing the Blue Economy - the Next 50 Years”.

SOS 2015 CONFERENCE AND HOTEL RESERVATIONS ARE BECOMING LIMITED Sustainable Ocean Summit 2015: 9-11 Nov 2015, Singapore Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore

Oceaneering Announces Vessel Services Agreement

Oceaneering International, Inc. (NYSE:OII) announces that its subsidiary Oceaneering International GmbH has entered into a two-year, subsea field support vessel services agreement with an oil and gas company in India for use of the Island Pride. Anticipated commencement date is in November 2015 upon completion of the vessel’s mobilization from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The contract provides for four option periods of six months each, exercisable by the Indian company.

Island Pride- Image: Island Offshore

The Island Pride is a state-of-the-art, multi-service vessel built in 2014. It has an overall length of approximately 340 feet (103 meters); a Class 2 dynamic positioning system; accommodations for 94 persons; a helideck; a 125-ton active heave compensated crane; and a working moonpool. The vessel is outfitted with two Oceaneering work class remotely operated vehicles and survey and satellite-based positioning equipment provided by Oceaneering’s recently acquired subsidiary, C & C Technologies, Inc. In addition, the vessel is equipped with a satellite communications system capable of transmitting streaming video for real-time work observation by shore personnel.

The vessel is expected to be used to perform subsea inspection, maintenance, and repair projects, light construction, and pre- and post-installation surveys.

Mr. Kevin McEvoy, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased with this agreement to support operations offshore India. This agreement builds on our established deepwater vessel project capabilities in the GOM and offshore Angola and represents further international expansion for our Subsea Projects business.”

Marsol International Takes Charge With Rhino Craft

Marsol International Ltd, a Dubai-based global marine solutions provider focused on the offshore oil terminal market and related infrastructure, has introduced Rhino Craft, a multi-purpose workboat tailored to meet the requirements of specific customers and challenging sites.

Working with Rhino Marine, Marsol International aims to introduce the workboat to the oil and gas industry. The craft fulfils a number of roles including support vessel for maintenance operations, a robust replacement for small inflatable boats and the ability to assist with firefighting duties. Rhino Craft can also be used as a Dive SRP (Scuba Replacement) boat, which Mike Young, Managing Director of Marsol International, believes could be a game changer for the industry especially as it does not have the vulnerability of other smaller craft in this category and has significant advantages.

Mike Young and the Marsol team at the Rhino Craft launch

Mike explains: “Marsol International prides itself on its innovative approach to solving the real challenges faced by the offshore sector. The practical applications of this craft are immense. Offering Rhino Craft to the offshore oil and gas market is at the request of our clients, and our years of operational experience, who have a need for a multi-purpose support vessel tailored to meet their needs.

“Marsol International leads a number of initiatives in the marine sector including emergency pipeline repair, hose management, asset integrity management, and MIRMO (management, inspection, repair maintenance, and operation) of offshore terminals. Rhino Craft’s versatility ensures the right craft is used for the job, ensuring safe, efficient, and high quality operations.”

Anton Wale, Engineering Director of Rhino Marine, continues: “Rhino Craft hulls are fabricated from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which is a ductile, high strength plastic with excellent abrasion, UV and chemical resistance. HDPE is ideally suited to use in harsh environments and is easy to repair by relatively un-skilled staff when damaged. Rhino Craft have been designed primarily for the offshore oil and gas market where the conditions are rough and craft are exposed to severe impact loadings. The Rhino Craft have evolved and proved themselves in over a decade of service in these harsh conditions. We are delighted to be working with Marsol International and value their experience in the marine sector.”

Since 2005, based on experienced gained over 47 years, Marsol International has provided operational engineering and management solutions to clients, consultants and EPC contractors for new offshore terminal facilities, and operational integrity management and IRM services of existing facilities to offshore terminal owners and operators.

New Report Details 10 Years of Improvements in Gulf Observation Systems

A new report from the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) details the first 10 years of the nonprofit organization’s work to improve access to ocean observing data that helps to protect and preserve the Gulf and its residents.

The report, “The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System: 10 Years of Protecting and Preserving the Gulf,” was published in recognition of the organization’s 10th anniversary and released at its September board meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla. The report outlines improvements made in:

• Developing early warning systems for harmful algal blooms;
• Integrating data that supports improved weather and hurricane forecasts;
• Safer navigation in the Gulf’s ports; Educating residents on the important role the Gulf plays in their daily lives.

At the heart of these improvements is the GCOOS-RA. As a member of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, GCOOS-RA is responsible for bringing together representatives from the maritime industry, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, marine scientists and resource managers to combine ocean data to provide timely information about the Gulf of Mexico. The data comes from instruments mounted on things such as buoys, autonomous underwater vehicles and even oil platforms.

“Probably the most notable success in our first 10 years is the fundamental change that we’ve made in how ocean monitoring is conducted in the Gulf,” said Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of the GCOOS-RA. “GCOOS has helped move organizations away from collecting and keeping their own ocean data to sharing and exchanging information in real-time and near real-time. We helped to develop data management standards and we provide a portal where organizations can stream their data and provide public access.”

Integrating real-time and near-real-time data streams collected from many scientific partners throughout the Gulf of Mexico and providing it in a single, easy-to-navigate website is at the heart of the GCOOS-RA mission. But since its beginning days in 2005, GCOOS organizers knew that was only one piece of developing a robust and interactive coastal ocean observing system. Equally important? Providing information to the public in a way that was useful for end users in all sectors — from government, to industry to environmental educators and the general public.

That led to the creation of the GCOOS Outreach and Education Council, which educates user communities and residents about GCOOS products to increase overall ocean literacy and also informs developers about the types of products needed by different end users, such as recreational boaters or ship captains.

“It was really visionary of the early organizers of GCOOS to focus on data integration along with education and outreach,” said David Driver, Chairman of the GCOOS Board of Directors. “That has given GCOOS the ability to support experts throughout the Gulf in the development of new ocean observing tools, in maintaining observing instrumentation and in making sure that the ocean community is aware of the tools available to help them in their day-to-day operations.”

Today, the GCOOS-RA has 132 members and 16 data providers and has developed a comprehensive plan that addresses the need to maintain and enhance existing Gulf observation tools, bring new measurements online and to fill the largest data gaps. Among other improvements, this GCOOS-RA Build Out Plan calls for expanding high-frequency radar (HFR) and autonomous underwater vehicle observations in the Gulf.

HFR is a system of transmitters and radio antenna receivers along coastlines or on oil platforms; they transmit radio signals that are relayed to the receivers after bouncing off the ocean’s surface. The signals received are related to the speed and direction the currents are moving and by wave heights. Because the information comes in near-real time, it is vital for developing accurate, timely forecast models that are especially crucial during response efforts when lives, habitat and property are at risk from hurricanes and oil spills.

Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), also known as gliders, are torpedo shaped, untethered instruments that use buoyancy to move up and down in the water column in a zig-zag pattern, taking in water to move down and expelling water to move up. They are equipped with radio and satellite transmitters that transmit data gathered on things like water temperature, salinity, water currents and other conditions that can reveal water quality and the effects of storms back to researchers in a laboratory.

Gliders can be outfitted with various types of instruments to detect things like harmful algal blooms and oil or other contaminants. Sensors on these platforms were tremendously valuable in locating oil below the surface during the DWH spill and in subsequent tracking of its movement following the explosion.

“The Deepwater Horizon explosion illustrated the need for support to maintain and enhance our observing capabilities in the Gulf,” Kirkpatrick said. “The Gulf remains one of the world’s most important and productive bodies of water and we need assets in place to protect it.”

Greenpeace Urges Consumers and Investors Around the Globe to Avoid Thai Union Group Canned Tuna

Last week, Greenpeace has launched a global campaign demanding that the world’s largest canned tuna company, Thai Union Group (TU), take urgent and far-reaching steps to eliminate labor abuse and destructive, wasteful fishing practices from its supply chains. TU owns tuna brands in major markets around the world, which have also faced mounting pressure from both consumers and concerned environmental, labor and human rights advocates to clean up their acts.

“We can no longer allow Thai Union Group and its brands around the world to sacrifice the world’s oceans and jeopardize workers at sea,” said Greenpeace USA Seafood Markets Lead Graham Forbes. “For far too long, Thai Union Group has passed the blame onto others and hidden behind ineffective policies. Until this industry giant takes responsibility and demonstrates real leadership, we will work to ensure that every single customer knows it’s not just tuna that comes with purchasing one of its tainted brands.”

In response to investigations and media reports from the New York Times and Associated Press connecting TU to human rights abuses, forced labor and destructive fishing methods, Greenpeace USA contacted the company demanding a detailed work plan and schedule for moving toward lower-impact fishing techniques and increased oversight, traceability and transparency at sea. TU and its subsidiary brands primarily catch tuna using two fishing methods, purse seining with fish aggregating devices (FADs) and longlining. These methods result in high levels of bycatch of sharks, turtles, juvenile tuna and seabirds, and are often associated with illegal fishing and violations of human and workers’ rights.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia also sent an investor brief to Thai Union Group shareholders to inform them of the risks associated with the company. Implications in human rights abuses and forced labor have brought reputational and legal risks, as three class-action lawsuits have already named TU as the supplier of fish caught via forced labor and used in Chicken of the Sea canned tuna and pet food brands in the US. The brief also warned that destructive fishing methods and overfishing threaten the company’s ability to sustain revenue into the future.

The European Union (EU) issued a yellow card to Taiwan for its failure to take action against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which is often associated with labor abuses. Taiwanese flagged and owned tuna vessels supply Thai Union Group brands around the world. Earlier this year, the EU also issued a yellow card to Thailand for its failures on IUU fishing. As the largest seafood company in Thailand, TU’s actions could help determine whether the country is issued a red card, which would mean a complete ban of Thai fisheries products in the EU market.

In the US, the 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report maintained Thailand at the bottom-ranked tier 3 level and noted the Thai fishing industry as a problem area. The annual report places countries onto one of three tiers based on the extent of their efforts to comply with "minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking." In addition to action from Thailand’s government, industry giants like TU could help avoid future sanctions by taking steps to clean up seafood supply chains.

Greenpeace has ranked Thai Union G­roup brands in its canned tuna rankings for major markets around the world.

To view the Greenpeace tuna rankings, click here.

Nominations Open for 10th Annual Subsea UK Awards

Nominations have opened for the 2016 Subsea UK Awards. Now in its 10th year, the awards seek to recognize companies and individuals who are leading the way in Britain’s successful £9billion subsea sector.

Entries are being sought for the best subsea company of the year (large and small), the most promising young person in the sector, the most exciting new enterprise and an individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to the subsea industry. The awards will also recognize achievements and innovations in technology, sponsored by Simmons & Co International, safety and exports.

Entries can be made on-line at http://www.subseaexpo.com/ by 12th November. An independent judging panel of industry leaders will score each entry according to the agreed criteria and the shortlist of finalists will be announced in January 2016. Accolades will be presented at a gala dinner, organized by Subsea UK on 3rd February 2016 during Subsea Expo, Europe’s largest subsea conference and exhibition.

Several hundred business leaders are expected to attend the dinner which celebrates the hard work and outstanding achievements generated across the industry over the last twelve months.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: “The awards is our way of recognizing and rewarding the ongoing efforts that are being made to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the subsea industry.

“It has been a challenging year for many, however it’s vital that we continue to pull together and celebrate the expertise, leadership and innovation that the British subsea sector is renowned for and underline the strength of our sector both at home and on the global stage.

“Each year we receive a high caliber of entries demonstrating the strength of the subsea sector in the UK. It’s important that we continue to commend those who are making a significant contribution to the industry and helping to inspire the next generation who will drive it forward in the decades to come.”

Last year’s dinner, attended by over 800 guests from across the international energy industry, saw Proserv named company of the year in recognition of its continued growth and Alf Leadbitter of The Underwater Centre was named the recipient of the outstanding contribution award. Alan Muirhead of Ingen Ideas won the young emerging talent accolade and Tracerco scooped the award for innovation and technology.

Subsea Expo, which will be held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 3rd - 5th February 2016, will examine and debate key industry topics including global markets, ROV developments, subsea innovation and offshore renewables.

Expected to attract over 200 exhibitors and more than 6,000 delegates, the 2016 exhibition is an opportunity for those in the industry to showcase new technology, introduce different approaches and make their voice heard.

The Subsea UK Award categories are:

• Company of the Year (Large and small)

• Innovation and Technology, sponsored by Simmons & Co. International

• New Enterprise

• Global Exports

• Innovation for Safety

• Young Emerging Talent

• Outstanding Contribution

Subsea UK is a self-sustaining body that champions the UK subsea supply chain, representing over 300 members. It acts as a focal point for all stakeholders to promote the sector and maximize its opportunities at home and abroad and provides a national forum for collaboration, diversification and technology development.

For more information go to: www.subseaexpo.com

Fugro Integrates and Rebrands UK Based Geotechnical Specialists

The renaming completes the integration of key UK specialists - Fugro Seacore, Fugro Engineering Services, EM Drilling, Fugro Loadtest, Fugro Instrumentation & Monitoring and Fugro Aperio.

Renamed to reflect the depth and diversity of its offering, Fugro GeoServices Ltd employs close to 600 staff and undertakes seven key activities: nearshore geotechnical, offshore geotechnical, marine installation, onshore ground investigation, cone penetration testing, geophysics and instrumentation and monitoring. The company also has geotechnical laboratories and carries out a range of built environment surveys and testing.

Fugro GeoServices works worldwide undertaking site investigation and marine construction support projects-in challenging conditions.

The restructure is in line with Fugro’s continued integration of its global capabilities ‘without boundaries’ to deliver world class multi-service projects more efficiently in challenging market conditions.

The company works offshore and on land providing engineering and geotechnical services for clients in the energy, infrastructure and mining sectors worldwide. Projects include the Kribi port development (Cameroon), BP’s Azeri oilfield (Azerbaijan) and Flamanville nuclear power plant (France). Significant UK projects include Hinkley Point nuclear power station, Gwynt y Môr and Walney offshore wind farms, HS2, as well as the Garden Bridge, Shard and Thames Tideway projects in London.

Marcus Rampley, MD of Fugro GeoServices, said: “Our group delivers an amazing range of services to many sectors; we drill some of the biggest diameter holes in the ocean floor and test the foundations of the world’s tallest buildings, we inform the designers of offshore wind projects, tunnels and pipelines and we measure, test and monitor existing infrastructure throughout its lifecycle. We are making it easier for clients to contact us and work with us, and believe that restructuring as Fugro GeoServices makes us better able to deliver the complex multi-disciplinary projects that we are respected for.”

Willard Marine Awarded Contract by NOAA for Three Aluminum Survey Ships

Willard Marine, global leader in the manufacture of mission-proven boats, was awarded a contract to provide the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with three aluminum Hydrographic Survey Launch Ships.

The three 28-foot Hydrographic Survey Launch Ships (HSLs) will be used on the coastal waters of the United States to conduct oceanographic surveys with hull-mounted and towed sonar units. A Cummins QSC8.3 engine capable of 510 HP with a ZF Marine 305-2 transmission will be used to power the boats. Outfitted to support traditional manned survey operations, the HSLs will offer additional flexibility to add unmanned autonomous capability. Two Willard Marine HSLs will be built for the 208-foot NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson, and an additional Willard Marine HSL will be built for the 231-foot NOAA ship Rainier, reported by NOAA to be one of the most modern and productive hydrographic survey platforms of its type in the world.

Using advanced sonar technology, the crews of the Thomas Jefferson and Rainier conduct hydrographic surveys for the primary purpose of updating NOAA’s suite of nautical charts. Commercial shipping, commercial fishing and recreational vessels all rely on accurate NOAA nautical charts for safe navigation of coastal water in the United States.

“For 35 years, Willard Marine has built dependable, mission-proven vessels for American and international government agencies around the world,” said Ulrich Gottschling, president of Willard Marine. “NOAA has been procuring fiberglass SOLAS rescue boats from Willard Marine since 2004, and we are proud to continue serving them with larger, aluminum survey ships to support their very important charting responsibilities,” Gottschling added.

The customized HSLs for NOAA are derived from a former SeaArk Marine commercial boat design that Willard Marine acquired the licensing rights to last year. The HSLs are scheduled to be delivered to NOAA in Fall of 2016.

U.N. to Adopt Sustainable Development Goals: What do They Mean for Ocean Industries

WOC-Logo-

The U.N. is adopting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this week in New York. These 17 aspirational goals and their supporting targets intend to guide global efforts to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable development from 2015 to 2030.

The World Ocean Council (WOC) briefing report on the SDGs analyses their ocean industry implications and opportunities. The WOC has been the only multi-sectoral ocean business organization consistently participating in, monitoring and reporting on the SDG process for the ocean business community.

Ocean industries will be able to receive an insider briefing on the SDGs at the WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS), Singapore, 9-11 November, 2015, at the Ocean Policy and Governance session, where the WOC report will be made available.

The WOC and its efforts on ocean sustainable development are featured in “Scaling Up Sustainability Collaboration: Contributions of Business Associations and Sector Initiatives To Sustainable Development”, recently published by the U.N. Global Compact and International Chamber of Commerce.

One of the SDGs - the “Ocean SDG” – sets out the aim to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

Specific targets for the Ocean SDG address: reducing marine pollution, sustainably managing and protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, minimizing and addressing ocean acidification, restoring fish stocks by regulating harvesting, ending overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, conserving at least 10% of coastal and marine areas, prohibiting fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, increasing ocean economic benefits to small island developing states and least developed countries.

The WOC report also reviews the other SDGs applicable to the ocean business community, identifies key aspects of the applicable SDGs and notes which ocean industry sectors will be most affected by these goals.

With the Ocean SDG, as well as several SDGs that address marine related issues, it is important for the ocean business community to understand the opportunities and risks associated with this global policy that sets the sustainable development framework for the next 15 years.

The WOC report evaluates and outlines the opportunities and potential courses of action for ocean industries in relation the SDG 14 and all the SDGs in: ‪▪ Ensuring access to sea-space and marine resources‬‬‬

  • ‪Participating in multi-disciplinary dialogues‬‬‬
  • Ensuring a sound business environment‬‬‬
  • ‪Supporting long-term business viability‬‬‬
  • ‪Improving risk management‬‬‬ 
  • Addressing risks of engagement and non-engagement‬‬‬

Ultimately, ocean industry engagement in policy developments that may affect business activities is essential to successful ocean governance. As the SDGs have the potential to significantly influence the use of marine space and resources, it is in the interest of the ocean business community to develop and implement solutions for responsible ocean use.

UTEC Completes Challenging Project in Alaska’s Cook Inlet

UTEC Survey, an Acteon company, has further underlined its reputation for innovation thanks to the successful completion of a major harsh environment project in Alaska.

UTEC were asked to provide a positioning solution for the installation of a monopod liquid natural gas platform and 30km 10” LNG pipeline for a major operation located in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. A total of 24 field personnel were mobilized and engaged with Coda Octopus for use of their Echoscope technology to provide positioning and survey services for five vessels.

The cutting-edge project was the first monopod installation in the Cook Inlet for 25 years and was the first time that four Echoscope systems operated simultaneously. The intended use of the Echoscope sonars was a final verification of the deployment position, but due to poor visibility caused by tidal changes, 6-7 knot currents and heavy silt, UTEC chose to use multiple Echoscopes in combination with measurements for completion of the installation.

UTEC-Echoscope1Echoscope

The Echoscope provides a real-time 3D detailed, geo-referenced image of moving and static subsea hardware and features – even in low to zero visibility conditions. Three Echoscopes were installed on the pipelay barge (one on the bow, one on the aft and one on the end of the stinger). This combination allowed monitoring of touchdown and pipe position in the stinger as well as identification of potential hazards on the route.

UTEC-Dataset showing pipe being laid down1Dataset showing pipe being laid

Utilizing four Echoscopes simultaneously allowed the monopod to be seen as it was lowered to accurately position it onto a kingpile. By taking an innovative, solutions driven approach, UTEC and their client were able to see operations in real-time; rotate the viewing perspective and make measurements. Combining the measurements and on-screen images resulted in increased efficiency and accurate positioning of pipelines, mattresses and the monopod.

Commenting on the successful completion of the project, UTEC VP Sales and Commercial Doug Catenaci said: “Given the environmental challenges of this project, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Being able to provide first-class, customer-driven solutions which maximize and stretch the potential of our technology for installation and construction challenges are what motivates UTEC and is the core of who we are.”

Blair Cunningham, Coda Octopus President of Technology, stated “This was an exciting project. Working with UTEC to deploy four Echoscopes for concurrent operations in this harsh and complex environment not only allowed real time visualization and measurement in low visibility conditions, but also enabled the task to be done safely and within record time. The Echoscope technology allows service providers such as UTEC to deliver viable and efficient solutions to customers giving them an edge in these challenging times for the oil and gas industry.”

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