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Where next for the offshore marine industry? Including information from exhibitors on what they will be featuring

Published on 10 November 2014

This year’s International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Annual Seminar (Landmark Hotel, London, 19-20 November) has as its theme ‘Where next for the offshore marine industry?’ and focuses on the initiatives being employed to improve performance across all IMCA’s technical divisions – Marine, Diving, Offshore Survey and Remote Systems & ROV – as well as IMCA’s core activities – Competence & Training and Safety, Environment & Legislation and offers the opportunity to discuss and debate the initiatives throughout the two days.

“It will also, as always, enable our speakers, delegates, sponsors, endorsing companies and exhibitors to contribute to the important discussions which often determine IMCA’s ongoing work programme, and drive the development of IMCA’s guidance,” explains IMCA’s Chief Executive, Chris Charman.”With a matter of weeks to go we currently have close on 460attending from 30 countries; nine sponsoring organisations, 34 exhibiting companies, and the seminar is being endorsed by 14 companies – all-in-all a record for us.

“‘Where next…..’ is a very apt title for one of our keynote speakers on the opening morning of the seminar, for Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK has recently announced that he will be retiring in 2015, 11 years after joining the organisation, then known as UKOOA, the UK Offshore Operators’ Association. Obviously he has led the organisation through major change – it currently has a membership of almost 500 companies. We look forward to some interesting insights on the industry, and his personal glimpse into the future. Keynotes will also be delivered by Massimo Fontolan, of Saipem, IMCA’s current President; and Judith Hackitt, of HSE.

“We are delighted too that there is also to be a short keynote address from Mr Daiji Zhang, Executive Vice President of CDSA (the China Diving & Salvage Contractors Association) with whom we have recently signed an agreement” he adds.

“IMCA is the international trade association representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies, so complementary to Oil & Gas UK, but encompassing the global industry with over a thousand members in more than 60 countries. The IMCA Annual Seminar, which moves around the world – last year it was held in Singapore – brings together those in QHSE and operational management roles for contractors, oil and gas companies and suppliers involved in offshore operations. Although most of the delegates who attend are from IMCA member companies, those with an interest in the technical developments and QHSE in marine contracting from non-member companies are welcome to attend, and voice their opinions in the discussion too.”

Discussion is of vital importance both in the conventional Q&A sessions, which look at Marine, Diving, Offshore Survey and ROV issues – after formal presentations, but also in the Workshops being held as part of the programme each day. This year Workshop topics include DP FMEAs, Diving system FMEAs, Shared sensors: ROV/Offshore Survey; Learning from incidents; Key DP personnel: dilution of skills; DP incident reporting; Subsea lifting & rigging; Live high voltage short circuit testing; Competence assurance – 15 years on; and Exploring the deep post Macondo. The full programme is available on the IMCA website at along with registration information.

Networking is key to business relationships

Networking plays an important role at all IMCA events, and the 2014 Annual Seminar will be no exception. The welcome reception is being sponsored by Forum Subsea Technologies and held in The Gazebo at the Landmark Hotel on the evening of 18 November. At the end of the first day ‘Night at the Museum’ will see all delegates enjoying the dinner sponsored by Drass Energy at the Natural History Museum, after the pre-dinner drinks sponsored by Griffin Marine Travel. And then, following the completion of the Seminar on 20 November, it’s time for Night at the Circus Drinks Reception at the Jewel Bar at the heart of Piccadilly Circus, sponsored by SAFER Training.


Exhibitors at the IMCA Annual Seminar were asked for information on their exhibit, or what they would be featuring on their stand. here are responses from some of them in alphabetical order:

ADPS Ltd will feature their services, they participate in floatover solely in DP, by providing DP expertise on the vessel upgrade, marine consultancy, proving DP trials, FMEA audit and lastly crewing the vessel.
A major platform installation in Malaysia in June 2014 made a new world record: the heaviest platform (20,500t topsides) installed utilising the DP floatover method. Moreover, the vessel was converted to DP 2 for the purpose of this project prior to the installation, being the first conversion of its kind in the industry.

They will be particularly focusing on: data sheets, looping video with PowerPoint presentation, and first-hand experience from Capt Lee Brown who performed the floatover. A 20,500t topside was delivered to its installation site and deposited on its legs using 1 vessel and in DP, this is cost effective because it does away with the traditional mooring and support vessels with a heavy lift crane that would normally be used to install a topside. Naturally it is of use to oil majors, heavy lift vessel owners, industry leaders, and technical personnel. Other exhibits will include their crewing capability, Consultancy personnel & services and DP expertise.

Chambers Oceanics Limited will feature a new technologically advanced hot water suit, which differs to all other hot water suits currently within the subsea market. The suit has been designed and manufactured by Chambers Oceanic’s & O’three, and has a revolutionary shrink resistant neoprene, along with a newly designed 5 spool interchangeable valve assembly.

The suit has been redesigned internally to give the best ergonomically distributed open loop network, which has improved the distribution of hot water throughout the suit, maximising diver comfort.

Chambers Oceanics & O’Three will be showcasing the new Aquatherm hot water suit on their stand along with all product related literature, data sheets and fliers. Chambers Oceanics have the exclusive distribution / agency worldwide for the Aquatherm hot water suits.

“We decided to launch the O’three Aquatherm hot water suit to the subsea market via the IMCA Seminar, this is the first timethat the suit has been displayed or seen at a public event, the suit has only been seen via the companies that have actively been testing the suit for us.”

The Aquatherm hot water suit has been designed for all offshore oil & gas, and military use. It has had vigorous trials with many of the major leading subsea intervention companies worldwide, and has had rave reviews from all companies that have had the suits on trials resulting in the Aquatherm now been the preferred choice of suit.

Chambers Oceanics will also be exhibiting their wide range of subsea intervention equipment. They will also have fliers for their new build classed air diving systems on the stand; these systems will be built to both Lloyd’s and ABS classification.

They will also showcase and introduce their new Auditing division to the industry. Along with all their exciting products they will also have available the Kirby Morgan KM97 divers helmet including specifications and fliers of hyperbaric reception facilities that are designed and built by Mimir Marine.

All their equipment is designed and built for companies that are active in oil and gas intervention, all their products are aimed at companies who are active in air notation diving, nitrox medium, surface supplied mixed gas and saturation diving.

Chambers Oceanics has been actively supplying the worldwide commercial diving industry for over 25 years, they have set their standards to provide the highest quality of commercial diving equipment and excellent customer service. Chambers Oceanics is dedicated to all its customers old and new.

Chambers Oceanics is an ever-expanding company with new facilities now open within the UAE / ASIA. This operational-sales office is very successful and has many agencies including Kirby Morgan where in January a full testing / service centre will be operational. While further expanding their facilities within the UK, as part of their growth plans, they have invested heavily in their personnel both within the UK and Dubai. With their current commitment to growth, they have added several new divisions to their ever-expanding business.

They are dedicated to offering services such as, Auditing, Brokerage, Servicing to name a few. Chambers Oceanics is ensuring that they meet the demands of all their customers.

UK-based Chesterfield Special Cylinders(CSC) has launched a new integrity management team to work with owners and operators of high pressure gas storage vessels as installed in rigs and ships, and with gas majors and classification bodies to maximise vessels’ lifetime performance and safety.

The integrity team is now managing periodic inspections and tests at its Sheffield, England factory as well as delivering them worldwide while they remain installed. It is also delivering vessel life extension support services to high pressure gas users globally.

CSC’s managing director, Mick Pinder, explains: “CSC has a worldwide reputation for the design and manufacture of high pressure gas containment systems. They also conduct periodic inspection and testing for customers such as the Royal Navy and BOC. Following increased demand from customers, they have extended the scope of this service and formalised it within a central integrity management team.

“The integrity team’s remit encompasses everything from the provision of supporting certification and verifying a scope of work document, through to refurbishment and rectification work to extend a vessel’s working life.

“For the manufacture of new vessels, the integrity team can work alongside designers to ensure the specification delivers optimal performance for the end user and real benefits in terms of minimising costs and downtime.

“Existing customers are working with the integrity team to extend the safe operation of their systems by either monitoring them remotely or carrying out periodic inspections and testing while the vessels remain in situ. Achieving a better performance is still vital and we can reduce maintenance costs of long-standing installations through retrospective optimisation.

“This comprehensive approach is of particular benefit to people who are responsible for the safe operation of high pressure vessels, wherever they are installed.

“All of this addresses a critical, but sometimes over-looked, aspect of the management of high pressure gas vessels and is the most comprehensive suite of high pressure containment management services worldwide, delivered by the most experienced team.

“The aim is to take responsibility for installations worldwide, saving downtime and budget. We are already working onshore and offshore in hostile environments to ensure these critical installations can continue to perform to their optimum, economically and safely.”

They will launch the new Integrity Management service which sees Chesterfield Special Cylinders bringing together all its design, manufacturing, inspection and testing experience and capabilities and offering a global Integrity Management service. This featured exhibit is used by/of use to: end users of high pressure gas cylinders in the gas and oil sector; people responsible for plant, safety, design and management; owners and operators of rigs, DSVs, etc.

Divex will feature the COBRA (Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus) set, which has been designed to be as simple as possible to operate and maintain. The set is completely mechanical and relies on no complex electronics for its operation. Like all Divex breathing systems, the equipment is robust and reliable, has a very low work of breathing. COBRA is designed with the intent that the diver should not require to have to think about his life-support equipment, but to be allowed to focus on his task in hand, knowing the life support is always there when required.

The new COBRA set is being developed to provide a simple, highly reliable breathing system which will offer a diver up to 45 minutes of fully independent breathing gas to return to the safety of the bell.

The new COBRA set has the following advantages:

  • While the existing SLS set is a”parachute” as regards operation, the new COBRA set can be mechanically switched on and off by the diver as a pre-dive check.
  • The COBRA counterlungs are completely encapsulated on the divers back.
  • The COBRA uses disposable cartridge – type CO2 removal scrubber canisters, so no requirement for sodalime granular filling.
  • Increased positive pressure feed to allow more rapid descent.
  • Smaller than existing SLS Mk4 backpack.
  • Lightweight with easily detachable diving weights, to enable easy handling through locks and in workshop.
  • Composite or steel twin cylinders easily accessible for charging.
  • Single turn activation and no counterlung”ripcord”.
  • Safety indicator”Rotowink” mounted on divers helmet for easy reference.

The COBRA improves safety while diving in that it provides the diver with a bailout system should they lose their primary gas supply, ensuring they have enough gas to return to the safety of the bell. It is to be used primarily by commercial divers.

Divex are world leaders in diving equipment technology and have supplied a number of state-of-the-art saturation diving systems for some of the most advanced DSVs currently in operation; Skandi Arctic, Skandi Singapore, Seven Atlantic.

They have just been awarded a multi million pound contract to supply an 18 man saturation diving system to Keppel Singmarine for BP. Please see attached press release.

Divex have also recently supplied the US Navy with their advanced HeliCom Matrix Communications system which provides crystal clear helium unscrambling, a massive leap forward in safety (see release at

Franklin Offshore will feature FRANKLIN Flemish Lock ® , the registered name of cable laid slings manufactured by Franklin Offshore. The sling design includes cable laid rope manufactured under a patent process complete with a unique termination method which includes a Flemish Eye, locked and secured within a special engineered outer sleeve filled with MAKLOCK ® resin.

The manufacturing process of these slings is strictly controlled within the company’s ISO 9001: 200 Quality Management system with accreditation by Det Norske Veritas (DNV).

They will particularly focus on:

  • FRANKLIN OFFSHORE EUROPE RDM Rigging, Fabrication Base, Rotterdam
  • Flemish Lock cable laid slings
  • E- Mag rope inspection services

The exhibit opportunity provides a 100 % visibility to a very high number of international companies where”we all have an objective to think out of the box to enhance products and safety within our industry”.

The FRANKLIN RDM Base Rotterdam provides quayside facility to support turnkey projects from rope installation to special fabrication and mobilisation projects.

KB Associates (Europe) Limited will launch their Diver Medic Technician – Skills Training Kit, which is available for rental

Maintaining the ‘Medical Skills’ learnt during the IMCA Diver Medic Technician Course could one day ‘Save a Life’. The medical skills fade between the required IMCA DMT refresher training course can now be prevented by conducting the medical procedures and techniques ‘on-site’ while at work. They will have the product factsheet on their stand – detailing the benefits, features and available rental packages.

The DMT Skills Training Kit has been established to meet the ‘on-site skills’ training needs and encourage DMTs to stay current and familiar with the medical techniques that may be required in an emergency. The training manikins are provided to cover each skill set outlined in IMCA D020. It has been proven during recent accidents offshore that the IMCA Diver Medichas been pivotal in saving lives.


  • Practice medical skills onsite.
  • MaintainDMT’s operational readiness.
  • Enhance emergency drills by including the training manikin’s.
  • Continued competency development.
  • Safety on-site- Enhance emergency response and life saving ability for all worksite support requirements.

There will be a handbook guide (step-by-step guide while watching the videos) and a suite of training videos for each manikin.

Their exhibit is of use to: Diving contractors, irrespective of their locations and duration of project who have IMCA DMT on their dive teams.

Other exhibits will include:

Commercial diving related training such as

  • IMCA Training Courses (ALST, ADS, BDS, DMT/Refresher)
  • Kirby Morgan Technician Course
  • OGP Client Representative Training
  • Diving System Assurance Training
  • Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis

Safety Course such as

  • NEBOSH Training Courses from WSH Qualification to International Diploma levels
  • IOSH Training (Accident investigation, Directing Safely, Managing Safely, Working Safely)

These are of use to: safety team and commercial divers

KBA Europe has completed recent projects in The Netherlands, U.K. and Africa with new contracts and services developing. With a new course venue located in Portsmouth, along with their IMCA DMT training centre in Chichester, UK, both locations provide quality training facilities at a centralised location on the south coast of England. These additional venues supplement our training centre based in Aberdeen.

In addition, they can also announce a new training venue in Dubai, UAE this month (November) with the first launch of IMCA Trainee Air Diving

The Lerus Group will introduce its services in field of DP training, HLO and HDA training, Consulting in field of assessment of offshore employees and other services.

They will show a video presentation about the company, and photos of training facilities – they are the biggest training provider in Eastern Europe.

The Lerus Group is a fast growing company; they have extended the business activities through their new contacts at conferences such as the IMCA Annual Seminar to the whole world. They have opened a new office in Singapore to communicate with clients in Asia without any time difference.

Maritime Assurance & Consulting Ltd: MAC has successfully entered the marine warranty market and will be promoting the service at this year’s IMCA event alongside their core business streams. They are also looking to recruit team members for these business streams to strengthen our overall business profile, service current business and forecasted sales in the pipeline. These are exciting times at MAC as they look to expand the business.

They’ll be particularly focusing on the following: Core Business Streams: Dynamic Positioning, Engineering, Marine & Warranty and MAC Resourcing, recruitment business partners to the marine & crewing sector.

Last year their focus at the IMCA Annual Seminar was Expansion. This year it’s Growth.

MAC was formed in January 2011 and we have witnessed unprecedented growth since launch, statistics from this financial year ended 30th June 2014 include:

  • Almost 20% growth in revenue compared to last year.
  • MAC’s dynamic positioning (DP) offering has grown consistently on a local basis, and has also secured business in Norway, the US and Far East regions.
  • The naval architecture side of the business is also experiencing a high volume of contracts and this team has also expanded this year, having gained many new customers and contracts within Europe and as far afield as Australia.
  • The third business area – marine consulting is going from strength to strength, with current clients including BP and ongoing projects including some of the largest in the UKCS at present.
  • Meanwhile sister recruitment company – MAC Resourcing Ltd – has also recorded a record financial year, with revenue rising. It has been an encouraging start to this year – sales for the first six months are up by 80%.
  • The Resourcing team is focusing efforts on the marine and crewing sectors; permanent, contract and ad-hoc positions.
  • Since launching with a two man team in January 2011, MAC now employs 27 team members and 30 associate consultants.

They are looking forward to meeting existing and potential clients, talking to the industry about MAC”and the benefits of working with us”.

Key successes this year include:

  • settling into our new headquarters
  • winning ‘Service Business of the Year’ at the UK Startups Awards
  • launching our marine business
  • securing many new customers and contracts
  • extensive charity work
  • achieved silver award under the Healthy Working Lives scheme &

Nautronix will be demonstrating NASDive which is the latest generation fully digital Diver Communications system, providing permanently installed wired communications for Saturation Diving operations and represents the industry’s first, and only, truly digital diver communication system.

Through the use of digital electronics, digital telemetry and the latest generation of Nautronix Helium Speech Unscrambler, NASDive provides the clearest and highest intelligibility diver communications available today, while simplifying the wiring and installation requirements for both chambers and dive bells.

NASDive is a revolution in diver communications, a step change in performance and safety for the industry. They will have the NASDive equipment on the stand to demonstrate to people and will also have data sheets of the system.

NASDive is the latest generation, fully digital, diver communications system from Nautronix. The system sets new standards in wired communication performance in mixed gas diving environments. Key to providing industry leading communications clarity and intelligibility is the move to a fully digital system. All audio is digitised locally at communications points, prior to being transmitted.

As an example, within the bell, the bellman’s speech is digitised within an external bell electronics bottle prior to being transmitted up the umbilical. This ensures that the bellman’s speech is not affected by attenuation or noise pickup, which has been an issue with diver communications systems in the past. NASDive is unique in supporting digital signalling both over copper screened twisted pairs, and fibre umbilicals.

The move to a fully digital system has enabled a number of new benefits to be introduced to the field of diver communications. A few of these new benefits are covered below:

NASDive Core System Benefits

  • The clearest quality of speech, due to digitisation at source and digital telemetry.
  • Superior quality of helium unscrambling, due to the latest version of the Nautronix Helium Speech Unscrambler.
  • Increased safety in emergency situations, due to being the only system in the world to maintain communications between bellman and divers in the event of a communications failure to topside, for at least thirty minutes.
  • Superior entertainment, due to the system having 8 stereo inputs as standard, and individual users are able to select their own entertainment source, adjust volume and sidetone.
  • Simple to install, only requires two screened twisted pairs from Bell to DSV, and CAT5 grade cabling on the vessel.
  • Simple interface capability to other systems, due to industry standard audio interfaces, and telephone connection hardware being utilised.
  • Highly flexible, due to the architecture the system can be expanded in size with ease, enabling communications points to be added and removed as required.
  • No reduction in speech quality as umbilical cores degrade, due to the use of digital telemetry which adapts to maintain connectivity as the umbilical cores degrade.

NASDive will be demonstrated by the Nautronix team but it is of use to Divers.

Oceanwide Safety at Sea will not be focusing on anything specific, they explain”we mainly use the exhibition to see all of our customers, instead of visiting them all”, adding”the IMCA seminar and Exhibition is an efficient way to talk to our customers and get up-to-date with all the recent developments.”

Pommec TDE BV is a leading European manufacturer and world-wide supplier of commercial diving equipment. They provide a wide range of products, from consumables to entire dive-spreads. Manufacturing standard and custom built dive systems combined with their long experience as distributor for all the leading brands in the industry gives them the possibilities to bring the job to an end, successfully and safely.

Clients come to them for standard consumables and commercial diving equipment. But also when they need a specific, custom-made system, like launch and recovery systems or a containerised decompression chamber. Pommec advises on all necessary requirements. They handle quality control, technology, electrics, hydraulics, welding and logistics. All manufactured at their own premises in the Netherlands to keep control of quality and traceability.

Customers all have their own specific demands, but Pommec also ensures that their systems follow all international safety requirements. In addition, they always make sure that their products evolve. This is done by using the latest technologies, making logical design choices and listening to their customers’ needs.

You may encounter their equipment and installations in Vietnam, Mexico, the UK, South Korea and many other places. In all these locations, diving professionals need high quality equipment that is reliable and designed to meet all kind of offshore, marine and underwater situations.

Pommec stays competitive and leading, both nationally and internationally by producing systems made of high quality products. They realize fast delivery times worldwide, they provide support on location and continuously improve their production facilities and products. In the end, Pommec’s complete range of services is best described by just three words: care for detail.

Pommec will be showing its latest systems like Launch and recovery systems, decompression chambers, containerised systems, control panels and all kinds of diving equipment. But will also display equipment from one of their many represented manufacturers.

ROCOL: Over three years of research by industry leading chemists at ROCOL has led to the development of BIOGEN WIRESHIELD, a biodegradable lubricant for wire ropes and umbilicals. BIOGEN WIRESHIELD carries the Eco-Label (pending) and is therefore fully VGP compliant.

There has never been a greater need to choose the most environmentally acceptable lubricant for wire ropes and umbilicals. The Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels (VGP) is a US licence which works alongside the Clean Water Act. It serves to protect the US Coastline and inland waters by regulating discharge from vessels entering the sea. The first VGP was issued in December 2008; however on December 19th 2013, a second, more demanding version came into force. It is important that all vessel operators are familiar with this document as failure to follow the regulations can include fines and imprisonment.

One of the most significant updates between the two versions of the VGP is the requirement of all vessel operators to use Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs). Vessels must switch to EALs for use in oil-to-sea interfaces during their next dry dock.

EALs are formulated to ensure that their impact on the environment is significantly reduced when compared to that of a traditional lubricant. The VGP states that lubricants must meet stringent testing specifications against three main criteria in order to be classified as an EAL; these are biodegradability, eco-toxicity and bioaccumulation.

Biodegradability is a measure of how quickly a lubricant would break down into its harmless constituents if realised into the sea. In the instance of accidental discharge, a biodegradable lubricant will not remain in the environment for long periods of time which limits the damage it can cause.

Eco-toxicity is a measure of how poisonous a lubricant would be if released into the sea. As described by the VGP, minimally toxic lubricants have little to no impact on marine life. Lubricant manufacturers must ensure that all EALs are tested to and pass internationally standardised eco-toxicity tests, ideally performed by an external accredited laboratory.

Even low eco-toxicity chemicals can be dangerous when consumed by animals; this is due to a process called bioaccumulation. When a bioaccumulative chemical is eaten, it will begin to build up in living tissues and cannot be excreted. At the bottom of the food chain this does not generally cause a problem, since the chemical has low eco-toxicity. However as the chemical moves up the food chain, it increases in concentration to dangerous levels and can cause significant damage.

The VGP is one of the most stringent environmental regulations for lubricants ever issued and is driving forward the requirement for new cleaner lubricant technologies. Not only does the VGP state that all EALS must be tested to the standards above, but all components and additives must pass these standards too. This ensures that when the EAL biodegrades, the components are also safe for the environment.

Over three years of research by industry leading chemists at ROCOL has led to the development of BIOGEN WIRESHIELD, a biodegradable lubricant for wire ropes and umbilicals. BIOGEN WIRESHIELD carries the E