"Testing is a key issue for subsea companies in getting new technology to market and there are reports of difficulties in finding suitable test facilities and backlogs building up," explains Subsea UK chief executive, David Pridden. "To address this we have launched Subseatest.com - a website which aims to become a central directory for subsea test facilities around the world.
"There are over 140 facilities worldwide that perform some sort of role in subsea testing and companies in the UK are currently using over one hundred of these but until now there has been no central resource holding information on these facilities.
"Subseatest.com is a valuable resource which holds information on UK and global subsea testing and will be of real benefit to our members, saving them time and enhancing the scheduling of testing to meet critical project timelines."
The initiative was prompted by the results of a study commissioned by Subsea UK last year which revealed that there was a gap looming in the testing of subsea technology based products and services. Subsea UK, set up to represent and help grow the subsea sector, initially organised the study to determine the requirement for a national subsea test centre that would help bring new technology to market more effectively and reaffirm the position of the UK as the world's leading provider of subsea technology based products and services.
The study identified that subsea testing is performed in the oil and gas, defense, oceanology and marine renewables sectors. Together, these sectors represent a global testing market of $300 million per annum.
Pridden says: "The users consulted during the course of the study enabled us to identify a gap in the current capability for a large scale, high pressure hyperbaric chamber to test at water depths of at least 4,000 meters.
"With oil and gas fields moving into increasingly deeper water, the existing facilities both in the UK and around the world may become inadequate and hinder the progress of new technology. Subsea UK is now using these findings along with other research and information from members to find out if such a test facility is required and how it could be delivered."
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