Sea Technology

JUN 2014

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Page 9 of 76 June 2014 / st 9 soundings )) Nereus Implodes Under Deep-Ocean Pressure. On May 10, the hybrid ROV Nereus was confrmed lost at 9,990 meters depth in the Kermadec Trench northeast of New Zealand. It was working as part of a mission to explore the ocean's hadal region from 6,000 to 11,000 meters deep. Scientists say a portion of it likely imploded under pressure as great as 16,000 pounds per square inch. Nereus was built in 2008 by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to undertake high-risk, high-reward research in the deepest parts of the ocean. At the time it was lost, it was 30 days into a 40-day ex- pedition to carry out the frst-ever systematic study of a deep-ocean trench as part of the Hadal Ecosystems Study (HADES) project. Nereus had successfully traveled to Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench—the ocean's deepest point—and explored the world's deepest known hydrothermal vents along the Cayman Rise in the Caribbean Sea. )) NATO CMRE to Host Student Competitions. From September 20 to October 3, the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) will host the Student AUV Challenge—Europe (SAUC-E) and the euRathlon sea robotic com- petition. SAUC-E challenges university teams to design and build AUVs to perform tasks autonomously, facing real-life conditions, i.e., limited visibility, with no control, guidance or communication from a person or offboard computer. For the euRathlon, there will be fve marine scenarios: long-range autonomous underwater navigation, environmental survey of the accident area, leak localization and structure inspection, interaction with underwater structures and a combined scenario. )) Turbulator Testing Effective for Diesel Decontamination. SurePure, Inc. (Lagoon Beach, South Africa) has made a break- through in the microbiological purifcation of contaminated marine diesel fuel, offering an alternative to biocide addition or excessive microfltration. SurePure's Turbulator technology was tested in April at Stellenbosch, South Africa. A simple ini- tial centrifuge frst separated the slurry byproduct of microbial growth in the marine diesel fuel on the diesel/water interface and split the bioflm microweb that had formed inside the fuel. The fuel was processed through Turbulator to kill the micro- organisms. The results showed a total log reduction of 3.40, from a starting total viable count before centrifuge at 24,800 colony forming units per milliliter (cfu/ml) to only 10 cfu/ml after treatment. The industry average of refnery fresh diesel is 480 cfu/ml. Full color restoration to the normal yellow diesel color from a black contaminated color was also observed. Simple burnability and in-use, in-engine testing showed no defciency in the rejuvenated diesel samples. )) Subsea Pumps Market Bolstered by Push Into Deepwater. The subsea pumps market was valued at $996.1 million in 2013 and is forecast to grow 16 percent from 2013 to 2018 to reach $2 billion by 2018, according to Markets and Markets. The long-term drivers are the focus on deepwater areas, reinforced by operators who prefer to leverage their technological capabilities in deeper waters rather than engage in places such as Iran and Venezuela that have an unpredictable business environment for investors. )) Natural Gas Grows Market Share. A shift in how nations generate electricity is causing a rise in natural gas demand following the Fukushima 2011 accident and the ever-growing need for cleaner-burning fuel. Douglas-Westwood expects much natural gas market growth in Asia-Pacifc, where LNG export opportunities to Japan and South Korea, coupled with high decline rates, will see well completions exceed 1,000 by 2020, up 44 percent from 717 in 2013. This is in stark con- trast to the Middle East, where highly productive gas wells allow for small numbers of annual well completions. Also set to boost shallow-water gas production is the continuing emergence of FLNG projects. Such activity will see gas wells drilled in less than 500 meters of water rise by nearly half to 1,845 by 2020. )) SAFE-BAND P-Cable Acquisition Begins. Acquisition of the frst phase of the SAFE-BAND project has begun. The group consists of NCS SubSea (Stafford, Texas), Geotrace (Houston, Texas) and Spec Partners (Bedford, England). P-Cable mul- tistreamer high-resolution technology will provide an unprecedented 3D resolution of the upper 1 to 1.5 seconds below seafoor, on a broad and regional scale, offering a new level of detail for drilling and development planners, and explora- tion teams. The P-Cable System comprises 18 Geometrics (San Jose, California) GeoEel Solid Streamers, with a towing depth of 4 meters. )) MBARI Surveys 'Lost' Deep-Sea Container. In 2004, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) discovered a lost shipping container 1,300 meters below the surface of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In the frst-ever survey of its kind, researchers recently described how deep-sea animal communities on and around the container differed from those in surrounding areas. The hard surface of the container acted like a rocky reef, attracting animals such as tubeworms, scallops, snails and tunicates. Surprisingly, several types of animals found on nearby rocky reefs, such as sponges, soft corals, and crinoids, had not colonized the surface of the container. They might not have had enough time, or they may be sensitive to the potentially toxic effects of corrosion-resistant coatings used on shipping containers. The muddy seafoor within about 10 meters of the container had deep-sea snails, crabs and fsh. The container may have caused shifts in animal communities by providing a hard surface that sessile (attached) animals colonized, a physical obstacle that af- fected local bottom currents, a high spot on the seafoor that attracted predators and a possible source of toxic materials. n JUN2014.indd 9 6/4/14 3:36 PM

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