DeepOcean Deep Water Operations in Brazil

By Claudio Paschoa

DeepOcean was established in 1999 and is dedicated to subsea services and operations in deep waters, able to take on deep-water assignments anywhere in the world. The company is an integrated service provider for the subsea industry. DeepOcean has a global track record of subsea services including Survey and Seabed-mapping, Subsea Construction and Installation, Seabed Intervention, IMR, and Decommissioning. Since its entry into the Brazilian offshore market, DeepOcean has accumulated extensive experience in deepwater operation, having become a preferred partner to national operator Petrobras, which is one of the few super-majors still awarding long-term contracts for subsea IMR and subsea construction & intervention.
The DeepOcean Group itself was only established in May of 2011, through the merger of the survey, IMR and decommissioning services of DeepOcean, the seabed intervention company CTC Marine Projects and the towing and supply services of Trico Supply. These three divisions provide the company with a set of complementary skills and expertise, which in turn, have positioned DeepOcean Group as a worldwide provider of deep-water subsea construction services and operations.
Now operating as one company under the name DeepOcean, it offers five main service streams including Survey and Seabed-mapping, Subsea Installation, Seabed Intervention, Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) and Decommissioning. “DeepOcean came down to Brazil in the beginning of 2008 to establish an operational office. Our first challenge was to recruit the team for the offshore operation and the onshore organization. This was a new learning process for us trying to establish a new organization in a foreign country and trying to understand all rules and regulations that applied. But already in May of that year, Trico Marine came in and bought up the company just before the startup of our first contract with Petrobras,” said Per Thuestad, Regional Manager for DeepOcean in Brazil.
In 2013 DeepOcean acquired a 50% interest in ADUS to form ADUS DeepOcean Ltd. ADUS DeepOcean’s subsea 3D visualizations can be used to provide high quality 3D images of subsea structures such as offshore facilities, wind turbine foundations and seabed architecture. DeepOcean’s robust services portfolio, combined with its modern fleet of wholly owned specialized vessels and large number of subsea assets, such as WCROVs and trenchers, have allowed DeepOcean to link important subsea maintenance and deep-water IMR contracts in Brazil. “Subsea operations are important to the group as they allow us to bring in vessels to Brazil which supports the rest of our operations as a local subsea company. DeepOcean has focused into a specialized subsea-centered business, and our experience in deep water has grown a lot in the last five years in offshore Brazil,” said Thuestad.
DeepOcean has a number of state-of-the-art subsea service vessels, WCROVs and deep water Module Handling Systems specially set up to perform IMR work in Brazil. The vessels carry experienced offshore crew familiar with IMR operations and the majority of the crewmembers are Brazilians, which is vital to maintain high local content levels, which in turn facilitates securing contracts locally. High local content levels can even be found among shore-based engineers who work with operational planning and engineering of IMR operations. Globally, DeepOcean has more than 10,000 vessel days of IMR type operations, and the company is proficient in handling hundreds of call-offs per year under long- term contracts with oil & gas majors and super-majors in Brazil the North Sea, the GoM, APAC region and West Africa. Offshore Brazil, DeepOcean has been performing various construction and maintenance jobs in addition to typical IMR tasks. This is achieved by flexibly designed DP vessels using powerful Active Heave Compensated cranes, 2 or 3 WCROVs, and large deck spaces suitable for mobilizing the required equipment and products for the job. “All of our operators are Brazilian and it’s been a main focus of our company to hire Brazilian staff to work in their own country. We understood that we could not compete in the local market with foreign staff operating our equipment. This meant developing a training program with several experienced instructors to teach our team here how to properly operate the equipment,” said Thuestad.
 Since 2012, DeepOcean has a contract to repair deep-water flexible risers serving various fields offshore Brazil. The company is providing a vessel equipped with an A-frame and WCROVs to recover to the vessel’s deck, risers in need of repair. A team from a specialist riser manufacturer normally goes aboard to implement the repairs. The Norwegian-based contractor is currently bidding to provide further IRM vessels for projects offshore Brazil. Over time, the company hopes to replicate in Brazil, with Petrobras, its current arrangement with Statoil in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, where it is supplying three vessels for IRM/intervention duty on long-term contracts.
In September 2013 DeepOcean and CBO (Companhia Brasileira Offshore) were awarded two-year contract to conduct subsea IMR on Petrobras’ subsea installations offshore Brazil. The work is being managed by DeepOcean and executed by a team of WCROV operators, survey personnel and offshore management. DeepOcean will use the MV CBO Isabella, a multipurpose offshore subsea support vessel for the contract. The vessel will be equipped with two underwater remotely operated vehicles, a WCROV and an OCROV. “This contract award demonstrates that our customers value our high quality subsea services, and prove our company’s competitive performance in deep water operations,” said Mads Bardsen, President of DeepOcean AS. “DeepOcean has the unique deep water experience and the expertise needed for Brazilian subsea operations. 90 percent of Petrobras’s reserves are nestled in deepwater, which is our specialty. In 2007, DeepOcean was awarded its first long-term subsea services contract by Petrobras. In 2012 we won a two-year contract with the flexible repair vessel Deep Endeavour. With the award of this second long term contract with the MV CBO Isabella for Petrobras in Brazil, we are well-positioned to further develop our strong position in this region,” Bardsen said.

(As published in the February 2015 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News -

Marine Technology Magazine, page 24,  Jan 2015

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