Industry downturn. No better time to get innovative

The “Innovation, collaboration, and cost-reduction” session was held on the first day of OEEC 2018 and focused on new technological advances in the offshore industry.

Jens Klit Thomsen, CCO Maersk Decom; Source: Navingo

As the session explained, every industry downturn calls on service providers and operators to come up with cost-reducing innovations and new forms of collaboration in various stages of the oil & gas life cycles.

During the session chief commercial officer of Maersk Decom Jens Klit Thomsen, senior inspection engineer of Bluestream Offshore Malcolm Newton, and Gusto MSC’s Han Tiebout presented innovations from each of their companies.

The moderator of the session was Robert Plat, the principal consultant offshore at Royal IHC, Dutch equipment, vessels, and services provider.

For the three speakers, this was the first time they filled these roles at OEEC while Plat reprised his moderator role from last year when he moderated another innovation-focused session named “Ten years of innovation, what’s next?“.

Last year’s session focused on challenging processes of innovations in the current market and attempted to predict the future technological innovations which could be applied in a rapid-changing offshore energy marketplace.

His appearance at OEEC this year was his fourth in a row as either a jury member or session moderator.


Thinking outside the box is key

Thomsen, former head of decommissioning business development at Maersk Supply Service and current chief commercial officer of Maersk Decom, a joint venture decommissioning company between Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service, took the floor first.

The CCO of the recently formed joint venture addressed the topic of integrated project and innovation.

He explained how Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Services collaborated on decommissioning even before the merger on the Janice and James fields as well as on Leaden.

Thomsen laid-out how each asset owned by the company was utilized so that they could provide an integrated solution for decommissioning of the fields.

He also presented several practical solutions Maersk Supply did on its vessels like a flexible riser cut table on the Maersk Achiever AHTS and a six-kilometer flexible riser spool transformed from existing parts aboard the Maersk Master.

Steel parts from the risers were 99,8 percent decommissioned while the plastic covers were converted to artificial grass now in place on a football pitch in Aberdeen.

Thomsen’s presentation suggested that the “think outside the box” approach and innovations never before considered in a traditional industry helped, accelerated, and cheapened the Janice decom job.


Smaller ROVs, smaller vessels

The mic was handed over to Malcolm Newton, a senior inspection engineer at Bluestream Offshore, a Den Helder-based subsea service provider.

Newton covered the issue of reducing the cost of subsea inspections utilizing the advances in compact ROV systems and inspection tooling.

An appropriate point of discussion for the Bluestream engineer since the company has an ROV fleet of 20 units and that Newton was initially trained as an ROV technician before his subsea inspection career.

Newton elaborated on survey and cleaning options which the company could conduct from its fleet of Seaeye Tiger and Seaeye Cougar ROVs.

Even though he described he company as predominately a diving company, Newton added that the use of smaller ROVs and innovative solution on the ROVs enables Bluestream to use smaller and smaller vessels and become cost-effective as a result.


Safety is paramount

The final speaker of the session was Han Tiebout, a business development manager at Dutch design and engineering company Gusto MSC.

He presented the technical development and project execution of the under cantilever crane Chela.

The Chela lifting and wireline operations smart crane was introduced in March this year. Chela, Greek for crab’s claw, can reach below the cantilever as well as elevate towards the main deck, providing crane access to an area usually blocked by the cantilever when drilling.

The double-jointed crane can, according to Tiebout, conduct a larger scope of work and, since it is remote operated, the crane operator will not do ‘blind’ lifts which was once the case and always a safety hazard.

This new crane design was immediately recognized by Maersk Drilling which contracted Gusto in May to install it on the Maersk Invincible drilling rig, operating on the Valhall field for AkerBP.


Best Innovation Award

The moderator then invited the three nominees for the Best Innovation Award given last night at the OEEC opening gala dinner on Monday to eventual winner ECE Offshore B.V. and the company’s OASYS solution. The solution improves monitoring of power cables during installation of wind farms.

The attendees at the session could hear presentations from the other two nominees, namely, Barge Master & GustoMSC for their jointly developed S. Offshore wind feeder solution, and IHC IQIP for its Combi Lifting Spread. All three nominees come from the offshore wind industry.

Following the presentation, the moderator lead a Q&A session during which the visitors could comment or ask questions to the nominees and speakers.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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