French Jifmar Offshore Services has ordered two Saab Seaeye Cougar XT ROVs for a new Algerian contract. This important new project will involve work at three different oil terminal points where the ROVs will be used for inspection, maintenance and repair (IRM) tasks on structures, pipes, manifolds and the umbilicals at five SPM buoys.
For Jifmar, reliability was paramount in their choice of ROV.
"We chose Saab Seaeye because we trust the reliability of their ROVs," says Jean-Michel Berud, president of Jifmar Offshore Services.
He explains that the Cougars will undertake a number of vital tasks that include checking the critical shape of the 'Chinese lantern' buoy structure and determining chain integrity.
To check the shape and location of these structures, the ROVs will be fitted with a 3D multibeam sonar. And the chain thickness measured using a Tritech Typhoon laser scaling system.
Jifmar is also planning to fit a water jetting cavitation cleaning system for blasting mollusc clear of the chains.
In addition the Cougars are equipped for a range of IRM tasks with equipment and tooling that includes low-light colour and black and white wide-angle cameras on a pan and tilt mechanism; a USBL Tracking System; and a dual five-function heavy duty manipulator skid.
The power of the 2000 metre rated Cougar XT design means it can operate heavy duty tooling and handle a wide range of work tasks including drill support, salvage, survey and IRM, at a much lower cost than using an hydraulic work ROV.
Different tooling options are easily added and changed, using the ROV's modular interface and bolt-on custom skids.
The ROV pilot gets unrivalled manoeuvrability from four vectored horizontal thrusters and two vertical thrusters, each having velocity feedback for precise control and built with drive technology that gives the Cougar the highest thrust-to-weight ratio in its class.
Winches and control cabin are supplied by Techsafe who have collaborated with Seaeye in the development of ROV support systems for over 20 years and are fully experienced in the rigours of offshore operations.
Their cabin interiors are custom designed, ergonomically efficient and can be easily altered. Uniquely, their winches are designed to take up little space yet can accommodate 1.5 kilometres of cable. They also have the unique feature of torque control which automatically stops the winch should ROV recovery be fouled.
Both systems will be ATEX, A 60 zone 2 certified.
For Jifmar, the benefit of incorporating the Cougars into their fleet brings the advantage of a light-work ROV resource that can fulfil a wide range of contractual needs at a low cost. They are easy to handle, need few crew, can be mobilised quickly and have a reduced demand for deck space.
"We also like that, using the Cougars, means we can offer a full service without putting divers at risk," concludes Jean-Michel Berud.