Subsea Europe Focuses on 'Game Changing' Technology

Retaining the UK's position at the cutting edge of the subsea industry will be a key focus of a pioneering subsea industry event taking place in London tomorrow.

Subsea Europe, which takes place at the Business Design Centre in Islington will bring together leading representatives from the subsea industry while also showcasing subsea companies from around the world.

The cash saving benefits technological developments can bring to the subsea sector as well as the challenges it currently faces will be hot topics of debate during the one-day event, hosted by Subsea UK. Speakers will include: Dave Brookes of BP, Roland Festor of TOTAL, Klaire Evans of Brinker and Gavin Rippe of JDR Cable Systems.

Alistair Birnie, Chief Executive of Subsea UK said, "The UK's subsea industry prides itself on its game changing approach to technological developments and it’s fantastic to be able showcase so many great examples of our sector leading the way. Subsea Europe will bring together the key players from within the industry and promises to spark some lively debate on the key challenges facing the European and West African regions."

David Brookes, BP's Chief Engineer for Subsea will look at how the industry can overcome the cost/benefit conundrum of subsea technology while Roland Festor, managing director of E&P at TOTAL will outline the significance of developing technology to the UK's subsea industry.

Brookes said, "The industry has seen tremendous demand leading to very significant cost and schedule pressures. The challenge for large operators is how do we mitigate these by greater standardization and better relationships with suppliers over longer periods and several projects."

During his presentation Roland Festor, of TOTAL will tell delegates that the global subsea sector is being presented with more opportunities but against a background of increased difficulty in sourcing the right people and equipment to make those opportunities viable.

Festor said, "There is a balance to be struck between developing technology and sourcing the right people and equipment to make the most of the opportunities. The rapid development of technology being pioneered in the North Sea is not reflected by the number of skilled people entering the sector. Together with increases in the cost of basic materials and essential equipment to record levels, this is posing unique challenges for the industry."

The conference will also hear from a number of companies who have enjoyed significant success with their pioneering technology. Klaire Evans of Brinker will showcase the company's innovative Platelet and Plasma solutions for integrity management while Gavin Rippe, of JDR Cables, will explain the major benefits their umbilical system brought to a subsea project off the coast of New Zealand.

Brinker has enjoyed phenomenal success since the first field deployment of Platelets in August 2004. Klaire Evans will give an insight into this exciting technology while also presenting their recently launched Plasma product. Platelets are a unique means of sealing leaks in fluid flow applications such as pipelines, umbilicals and other items of system infrastructure.

Platelets are free floating, discrete particles which are injected into a system which has a known or suspected defect. This innovative concept is based on the method the human body uses to heal wounds and can be optimised for a wide variety of fluid flow applications. Plasma is a development of this technology and is a dynamic sealing solution consisting of fine particulate Platelets suspended in a gel carrier medium. It effectively fixes very fine leaks and cracks such as those that result from fitting failures of faulty valves.

During his presentation Gavin Rippe will outline the technical issues the company faced during work on the OMV Maari project offshore New Zealand this year. With the rising demand for power and chemical solutions worldwide Gavin will highlight the technology used by their regional project team.

Despite being little-known, the Maari Project is designed to withstand some of the most environmentally demanding conditions known within the industry. The process oil on Maari is of unusually low viscosity and flow assurance dictates both substantial heating and chemical injection to ensure smooth and interrupted flow from the wellhead platform to the FPSO. The umbilical, designed to provide these critical function, had to incorporate a number of complex features to be rated for the design life of the project.

Almost 40 companies from the subsea industry will be exhibiting at Subsea Europe. It is the first time the highly respected event has been held in London. The exhibition and conference which brings together key players within the subsea sector will showcase the wealth of opportunities and technologies in the booming subsea sector with a focus on the European and West African oil and gas markets.

Subsea Europe will take place on October 30, 2008 at the Business Design Centre in Islington. The event is organized with the support of Oil and Gas UK and BERR (Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) and will be preceded by a networking dinner at the London Aquarium on October 29, 2008, which is now sold out.

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