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The Underwater Centre Blog - Page 3 of 52 - Training you for the job, not just the ticket

North Sea set for £30bn investment in new projects

Operators will spend nearly £30billion on new North Sea projects over the next three years, with Norway’s Statoil leading the way, a new report said.

According to energy market researcher GlobalData, 30 North Sea projects are expected to start operations over the three years.

Twenty are planned for the UK sector, nine are in Norway, and one is in Denmark, GlobalData said in its latest forecast for the basin.

Despite the UK North Sea appearing to dominate, Norway won’t skimp on spending, accounting for £15.4billion of the total outlay.

Statoil’s capex will top £8.3billion between 2017 and 2020, more than any other company, the report said.

It has a 40% stake in Johan Sverdrup, one of the five largest oil fields on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Statoil also tops the charts in terms of reserves. The 30 projects boast recoverable reserves equivalent to 5.2billion barrels of oil, of which Statoil controls 1.6billion.

Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum is in second place with 635.9million barrels, followed by Petoro, Maersk and Aker BP.
Luis Pereira, upstream analyst for GlobalData, said: “Of the 30 upcoming North Sea projects, 21 are crude oil projects and nine are gas projects. Norway will dominate oil production, while the UK will dominate gas production.

“The key planned projects in the North Sea are expected to contribute around 690 thousand barrels of oil per day to global crude production and about 1,255 million cubic feet per day to global gas production in 2020.”
Mr Pereira said 10 more fields were lined up to start production in the North Sea between 2021 and 2023, boosting capex by another £17billion and reserves by a further 1.1billion barrels.

Original article available here: Mark Lammey, Energy Voice, 17/04/2017

VIDEO: Demonstration of Underwater Mobile Mapping

DOF Subsea, Sonardyne, 2G Robotics, and Seatronics successfully demonstrated a new underwater surveying technique that could significantly shorten the time needed to map underwater structures and offshore sites.



The new technique uses a 3D laser scanner fitted to an ROV to create highly detailed, point cloud images of subsea assets and environments. By combining the 3D laser data with precise underwater acoustic and inertial navigation information, it is now possible to generate centimetre resolution engineering models from which accurate measurements can be instantaneously and repeatably captured.

Read more about the demonstration at The Underwater Centre here. 

Alternatively, for more information about performing demonstrations at our subsea site visit our website here, contact us on +44 1397 703786, or email

Standout Dive Training Projects

Adam Townsend recently spoke to WaterWelders about his commercial air diver training at The Underwater Centre in Fort William.  In this section he talks about the standout dive training projects for him.

Seabed Survey: Measuring & Mapping

“First project I’d like to talk about would be the seabed survey on HSE SCUBA; we had to come up with a dive plan of how we could ‘map’ the seabed as well as a base-plate survey.

My team’s first plan was a shambles, but we were pointed in the right direction.

We did a grid-iron search pattern and jotted down on a slate what was found and lying on the seabed. We took measurements of the base-plate so we could work out volumes .

We then had to write a report, including a risk assessment, the briefing and our results, which in the end up was actually quite good and professional looking – thanks to my Italian buddy Pierre-Luigi DiDeo and his trusty laptop.”

Find out more about HSE SCUBA training here.

Burning & Welding

“The second project was on the surface.

We had to use oxy-acetylene gas cutting torches to burn holes into a large steel plate to attach a job-line to. Then in water, we used the cutting torch to burn a square hole (it was all marked up and measured on the surface).

This tool had a fair amount of danger associated with it, but it was the easiest to use.

The next day, with the square section we cut out, we welded it back on, as a “patch repair” I guess to simulate repairing a hull or leg structure. During this task, the class below us was using the air-lift and the visibility was pretty pants. But even then, it was really enjoyable.

Just the fact that I was using a torch hotter than the sun to melt through 8mm thick steel like it was butter – underwater – wearing a Kirby Morgan – I felt at home!”

Find out more about subsea construction training, including burning and welding, here.

Read more about former students on our website here.  Alternatively, for more information contact our Student Advisors on +44 1397 703786 or email


Original article on available here.

Potential Solutions for Assessing Pipeline Conditions

Assessing the condition of pipelines, especially as they get older, is an increasing task. John Sheehan surveys potential solutions.

The expansion of the offshore industry in recent decades has brought with it a huge growth in subsea pipeline infrastructure.  From the Åsgard Transport pipeline in the Norwegian North Sea to the West Natuna gas pipe line in the South China Sea, thousands of kilometers of offshore pipelines have been laid, all of which need regular inspection, repair and maintenance.

The focus on asset integrity management has also sharpened as operators look to increase the lifespan of mature assets.  Key to this are advances in both internal and external pipeline inspection technologies, which operators use to check for corrosion degradation and pipeline blockages.

Companies such as GE PII Pipeline Solutions, Rosen, TD Williamson and NDT Global among others are in the frontline in the battle against pipeline defects.

Tracerco Discovery

Another company providing clamp-on technology for pipeline inspection is Tracerco with its Discovery and Explorer offerings.

Discovery can perform a detailed high resolution CT scan of subsea pipelines, distinguishing between wax, hydrate, asphaltene or scale deposits, data that is paramount when planning any flow remediation campaigns. It can also detect wall thinning, corrosion and pitting.  Discovery is deployed using an ROV and clamped onto the pipe, with real-time communications allowing instant assessment of pipeline conditions. 

Explorer meanwhile, can fast screen pipelines (100m/hr) to locate restrictions. Explorer detects the location of deposit build-ups by measuring the density profile of the pipeline and then analyzing any detected anomalies. An abnormal density, in relation to the material flowing in the line, indicates a build-up of deposit.

Both devices work without the need to remove the pipe coating material. Once Explorer has located the area of the suspected blockage, Discovery can be deployed to accurately characterize its precise nature.  The technology has recently been deployed to Australia, where there are more than 4000km of subsea pipelines in operation.

“Operators who face flow challenges need to get their pipelines back to full operation quickly,” says Ken Pearson, Tracerco’s managing director in Australasia. “The speed at which we can deploy, coupled with the fact that coatings do not need to be removed from the lines before inspection, saves time and costs whilst mitigating the risk of damage to the pipeline.”

Excerpts from original article ‘Seeing in the deep’, Offshore Engineer.

Testing in a realistic, controlled, and cost-effective manner is crucial to the development of new technologies, such as Discovery, which trialled at The Underwater Centre.

To find out more about the subsea test facilities available in Fort William, visit our website here.  Alternatively you can contact us on +44 1397 703786 or


ADAS Changes to Commercial Air Diving Courses

PLEASE NOTE: The information in this blog post has now been superceded and these changes are no longer taking place.  For more information click here

The Australian Diving Accreditation Scheme (ADAS) has initiated changes in the way that occupational divers will be trained into the future. As a result, from July 2017 The Underwater Centre, Tasmania, will be changing our ADAS Occupational Air Diver training packages.

Summary of ADAS Changes

With the growing use and demand for Surface Supplied Diving, ADAS have made the following changes:


  • The removal of the existing 4 week ADAS Part 1 Occupational SCUBA course,
  • The amalgamation of the ADAS Part 1 and Part 1 Restricted programs into one 3-week training program. This course will result in an ADAS Occupational SCUBA qualification to 30m.
  • Removal of the ADAS Part 1 (Occupational SCUBA) prerequisite for the Surface Supplied Breathing Apparatus (SSBA) training stream.

In conjunction with the changes, ADAS has created a new SSBA to 30m (ADAS Part 2) course, extending the current 4-weeks duration to 8-weeks. This new ADAS Part 2 covers all of the tasks previously taught on the ADAS Part 1 SCUBA. The Underwater Centre is aware that because there are still industry sectors that require the use of SCUBA, the “Occupational SCUBA” course will be run as a standalone course. This course will be run on demand to cater for industry needs.

Operations Manager, Herb Mitton, said, “We see this as a major step forward in ensuring diver safety for the commercial diving sector.”

If you have any questions about the ADAS changes, or about our commercial air diver training in general, please contact our Student Advisors on +61 3 6383 4844 or email

Visit our website for more information on commercial air diver training