Houston, Texas-based Oceaneering has received the Subsea Innovation Award, sponsored by Maats Tech, at the 2019 Anual Offshore Support Journal Awards.
The subsea technology company beat stiff competition from Hampshire, UK-based Sonardyne International and Brøndby, Denmark-based NKT to win the award, in recognition of its innovative battery-powered remotely operated vehicle system, known as the E-ROV System.
Maats Tech director Lisa Edwards presented the award to Oceaneering’s ROV operations manager Arve Iversen, who quipped: “Thank you very much - first of all I would like to thank everyone who voted for us - good job.
He added: “It’s very much appreciated. The concept is very daring, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the effort of - I would say - the best team there could be, ever.
“I would like to emphasise the importance of Equinor’s contribution here. They believed in the concept and in us, making it possible to realise this as a commercial opportunity."
The E-ROV is based around an eNovus work-class ROV with modified battery technology optimised to handle peak power consumption launched from a subsea garage that includes a cage-mounted 100-kW battery pack and tether management system. The eNovus has a 227 kg payload and a depth rating of up to 5,000 m. It measures 2.7 m in length by 1.6 m in width and 1.8 m in height, with a weight in air of 3,400 kg.
The E-ROV can operate for extended periods of time without the need for surface recovery, and incorporates technologies such as machine vision learning and augmented reality. It is piloted using Oceaneering’s proprietary Remote Piloting and Automated Control Technology from one of the company’s Mission Support centres onshore, reducing or removing altogether the need for a surface vessel to remain on site.
Connectivity is provided by a data/communications buoy that transmits ROV control data and live, high-definition video over 4G mobile broadband via securely encrypted VPN. The buoy itself features a highly engineered, robust mooring system capable of handling inclement sea conditions.
The system produces efficiencies in a range of areas, including reducing vessel days required to complete operations, reducing carbon footprint and vessel mobilisations, expedited interventions and enhanced capability for operators to take advantage of favourable weather conditions.
Norwegian energy giant Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, agreed in August 2018 to a three-year contract with Oceaneering for subsea inspection, maintenance and repair activities based around the E-ROV system. Under the terms of the contract, the E-ROV would be deployed in water depths up to 1,000 m on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Oceaneering’s origins lie in World Wide Divers, a Gulf of Mexico-focused diving company founded in 1963. World Wide Divers merged with two other diving companies in 1969 to form Oceaneering International. Since then it has expanded its offerings to cover a range of products and services covering the full lifecycle of an offshore oil field, along with work-class ROVs, maintenance services, umbilicals, subsea hardware and tooling.