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Yokogawa Acquires Norwegian Company with Advanced Chemical Injection Technology

- Strengthening its solutions targeting the oil and gas upstream and midstream sectors -

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces the acquisition of TechInvent2 AS, a Norwegian enterprise that holds the rights to FluidCom™, a chemical injection metering valve (CIMV). FluidCom prevents blockages and corrosion in oil wells, pipelines, and other facilities and employs a patented technology for thermal control. It incorporates the functions of a mass flowmeter, control valve, and valve controller and has very few moving parts.

FluidCom has already been delivered to several international oil and gas majors. With TechInvent2 joining the Yokogawa Group, Yokogawa will now target delivery of this solution to the oil and gas upstream and midstream sectors, thereby helping to improve operational efficiency, reduce operational costs, and enhance health, safety and the environment (HSE).

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Background Information

Based on its Transformation 2017 mid-term business plan, Yokogawa will continue to focus on the oil and gas industries, and will strive to strengthen its solutions targeting the upstream and midstream sectors, in addition to its forte downstream sector businesses. Following its April 2016 acquisition of KBC Advanced Technologies, a provider of consulting services that are based on its own advanced oil and gas simulation technologies, the company has been striving to work with its customers to create value through the provision of solutions that address every aspect of their business activities.

At oil wells and pipelines, efforts to ensure a secure oil flow path (flow assurance) play an important role in maintaining production efficiency. The adherence of various chemical substances to the inside walls of a pipe can reduces its internal diameter and causes corrosion. To prevent the accumulation of substances and corrosion, certain chemicals must be injected in the pipes. Improving the efficiency of this process is a major challenge in the upstream and midstream sectors.

FluidCom’s CIMV

Chemical injection valves have traditionally been manually operated in the upstream sector, although there are cases where chemical injection has been automated using an actuated solution. In the former case, the valves must be frequently opened, closed, and adjusted by plant personnel. This is costly as it necessitates the hiring of additional staff, and it is work that must be done under very harsh environmental conditions in the field.

It is also a well-known problem that inaccurate and unstable dosing of chemicals leads to additional operational costs and challenges with specific processes. To address and resolve such problems, there is an increasing demand for integrated automatic injection solutions that perform stably and offer a high level of precision in the dosing.

FluidCom’s CIMV has a unique design which is based on a patented technology, providing integrated flow control and metering using a unique combination of material and thermal effects. FluidCom is a fully automated and reliable device with a simple design that performs autonomous valve control and continuous flow metering. The device is able to stably inject chemicals in the required small amounts. It has few moving parts and has proven to be an accurate, reliable solution for the control of chemical injection applications. No regular maintenance is required and remote control features are provided.

The device features a self-cleaning mechanism that reduces maintenance workload, and the automatic injection of chemicals in the correct amounts eliminates the need for manual interventions by plant operators and maintenance workers, thereby enabling personnel to lessen their exposure to harsh environmental conditions in the field. Chemical injection valves have traditionally been operated as manual systems in the upstream sector under harsh conditions. The FluidCom can automate chemical injection operation and reduce times that plant operators and maintenance workers go to field and operate in harsh environments. So using FuidCom improves healthy and safety.

FluidCom is also a valuable solution for downstream operations, where corrosion prevention is always a pressing concern. An ISA100 Wireless™ version is planned. The ISA100 Wireless™ technology is based on the ISA100.11a standard. It includes ISA100.11a-2011 communications, an application layer with process control industry standard objects, device descriptions and capabilities, a gateway interface, infrared provisioning, and a backbone router.

Commenting on the acquisition of this company, Shigeyoshi Uehara, head of Yokogawa’s IA Products and Service Business Headquarters, says:

“FluidCom will improve flow assurance, which is a key concern of our customers in the oil and gas industry, and it will make a major contribution to their operations by helping them not only improve production efficiency and reduce operational costs, but also enhance HSE. The combination of FluidCom, KBC’s simulation technology, and Yokogawa field devices will allow us to expand the range of our upstream and midstream solutions and enable the delivery of value in new ways to our customers.”

About TechInvent2

TechInvent2 is a fully owned subsidiary of TechInvent AS, a Stavanger, Norway-based company founded in 2008. TechInvent is owned by the founder and CEO Alf Egil Stensen, the venture capital firm Statoil Technology Invest AS, Aarbakke Innovation AS, and Ipark AS. The company has been supplying its FluidCom chemical injection technology to major oil companies since 2016. Alf Egil Stensen will continue as CEO of the company now that it is part of Yokogawa.

About Yokogawa

Yokogawa's global network of 114 companies spans 59 countries. Founded in 1915, the US$3.7 billion company engages in cutting-edge research and innovation. Yokogawa is active in the industrial automation and control (IA), test and measurement, and aviation and other businesses segments. The IA segment plays a vital role in a wide range of industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, and food. For more information about Yokogawa, please visit http://www.yokogawa.com

About Yokogawa Europe B.V.

The European headquarters of Yokogawa were founded in Amersfoort in the Netherlands in 1982.  Throughout Europe Yokogawa has its own sales, service and engineering operations.  This dedicated network has been extended to Central and East Europe to further enhance the coverage and support associated with serving the process control and automation market place.  Yokogawa develops and produces flowmeters at Rota Yokogawa in Germany and liquid analysers and industrial safety systems in the Netherlands.  In addition to this dedicated network of Yokogawa subsidiaries, a select organisation of Test & Measurement (T&M) subsidiaries and distributors is established in certain areas to support the specific customer needs of this continuously developing and specific market of T&M instrumentation.

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BP’s plan to deal with blowouts and spills near the Amazon Reef is unworkable

BP’s oil spill response plan – a key part of their application to drill for oil near the Amazon Reef in the Amazon Mouth Basin in Brazil – relies on methods which are  either untested or unusable in the area.

Capping a blowout in deep water requires the use of Remote Operated Vehicles, which may not be able to function in the strong currents in the Amazon Mouth basin. Furthermore, the chemical BP intend to use to disperse a spill, Corexit, has been shown to be highly damaging to coral, and the Brazilian environment agency, IBAMA, have told the oil company Total that they are not allowed to use it in the area.

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Sara Ayech, oil campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said –

“From these documents, it appears that BP’s solution to a blowout in the area may not be possible to implement in these waters, and their solution to a spill is likely to damage the coral reef it is intended to protect, and is unlikely to be allowed.  It would be incredibly reckless to license them to drill in this area under these circumstances. What we are risking –a new, largely unexplored and apparently biodiverse ecosystem – is far more valuable than whatever oil BP might be able to extract.”

BP controls a block in the Amazon Mouth basin, and intends to drill in August 2018. The company’s environmental impact assessment (EIA), submitted to the Brazilian authorities for the project states it will use Corexit 9500 to clean up potential spills.

●        Corexit is a chemical dispersant which was used extensively during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, when 11 workers died and roughly 200 million gallons of crude oil were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

●        In 2013, scientists found that the chemical had a negative impact on coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.

●        Researchers from Mote Marine Laboratory found that the chemical made the coral less likely to survive, with the chance of death increasing according to the level of concentration the organisms were exposed to.

●        Even at low levels of concentration the scientists found that some coral had significantly lowered survival rates.

●        The branch of the Brazilian environment ministry, IBAMA, in charge of regulating oil drilling in the Amazon Mouth Basin has prohibited French company Total from using Corexit in the event of an oil spill, citing the damage it could cause the reef. Link: http://www.mma.gov.br/port/conama/legiabre.cfm?codlegi=718

BP’s plans are also dependent on the use of ROVs to cap a blowout in the deep water where they would be drilling.

●        Both BP and Total’s plans to clean up a potential oil spill in the area have been further cast into doubt by a study which found that remote operated vehicles (ROVs)  would struggle to operate in the Amazon Mouth Basin.

●        During the Deepwater Horizon disaster, ROV teams worked non-stop to try and contain the spill, as this piece in National Geographic from 2010 explains.

●        But a technical paper prepared for the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2014 casts doubt on the ability of oil companies to use existing ROVs to clean up an oil spill in the Amazon Mouth Basin. The report, which you can read a summary of here and which was led by engineer David Frantantoni, suggests that is it uncertain whether ROVs and other vehicles could operate in the intense currents found in the Amazon Mouth Basin.

●        A section reads: “Opportunities exist to apply recent technological innovations such as high-endurance autonomous underwater and surface vehicles. However, the ability to effectively operate robotic vehicles in a western boundary current regime such as the NBC has yet to be demonstrated.” 

Earlier this year, Greenpeace launched a campaign to protect and explore the Amazon Reef, working with a team of researchers to produce the first underwater images of the ecosystem. More than one million people around the world have already pledged to defend the reef, demanding that Total and BP drop their plans to drill nearby.

IBAMA are due to make a decision on whether to license Total and BP’s exploration projects in the coming weeks.

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ELA Container Offshore GmbH delivers special Offshore Control Room for VBMS Ndeavor

ELA Container Offshore GmbH has recently delivered an ELA Offshore Multipurpose Room to VBMS, which will be used on board their MV Ndeavor, a 7,500 DWT DP-2 vessel, built and outfitted for cable-lying in 2013 by Boskalis. VBMS is a subsidiary of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., specialized in subsea power cable installation, Balance of Plant maintenance for the renewable market, SURF installation for the oil & gas market and installation of interconnectors.

After delivery of the Multipurpose Room to the VBMS warehouse in Moerdijk in The Netherlands, the container was transferred to a state of the art control room to be used to operate their ROV Trenchers, which lay and bury power cables in shallow and deep water. The control room provides capacity for two persons who can monitor the ROV on multiple screens.

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The customer was looking for a high quality room to accommodate their ROV monitoring systems and crew in a comfortable and safe environment. ELA Offshore containers are ‘’Made in Germany’’ and are compliant with all necessary health & safety regulations to provide high quality accommodation. “Since the lead time was very short and the deadline of the project was approaching rapidly, we were able to deliver the container from stock on very short notice. The container was painted in VBMS house colours, enabling our customer to install all their equipment and run tests before starting the project on board”, says Frank ter Haak, Business Development Manager at ELA Container Offshore. “After arrival of the container we were very pleased with the high quality finishing and the superb insulation. We were particularly pleased with the fact that both A60 marine doors were equipped with a window, in order to have day light entering the room during work shifts”, says Jan Bes, Subsea Equipment Supervisor at VBMS.

ELA Container Offshore has already gained diverse experience in the Offshore-Wind and Offshore Oil & Gas Industry. Whether on pontoons, transformer platforms, rigs or supply vessels - ELA Container is the ideal partner, offering tailor-made concepts for all requirements in the form of Living Quarters, Offices, Dining Rooms, Galleys, Laundries, Recreation or Locker Rooms and all types of Carrying Units. ELA Offshore containers are equipped with all the necessary utilities. This guarantees, in combination with all ELA Offshore features, a long service life, functionality and comfort.

The high quality Containers are “Made in Germany” according to German quality standards and possess all necessary certifications such as DNV 2.7-1 / EN 12079-1, DNV 2.7-2, based on SOLAS, IMO FSS Code and MLC as well as CSC and are approved from several IACS-companies. In terms of fire resistance, an A60 insulation provides high safety standards. Every container will be checked before delivery. Depending on customer requirements, ELA Offshore Containers are individually customized, immediately operational and are available at short notice.

The main features of ELA offshore accommodations include: • Flexibility on demand • One base type with various accommodation solutions • Easy handling thanks to standard 20ft High-Cube ISO standard dimensions • Highest quality standards

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Subsea UK unveils new teaching resource for schools in England and Wales

Primary school pupils across England and Wales will benefit from a new teaching initiative that aims to encourage youngsters to take an interest in science and the natural world around them.

Subsea Channel is a set of resources that aim to capture the interest and imagination of primary pupils in science subjects, supporting teachers to deliver the science curriculum in a way that makes it relevant and accessible to more young people.

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Developed by industry body Subsea UK, in partnership with teachers from North Tyneside Learning Trust (NTLT) Subsea Channel is now available to access by teachers across England and Wales from Wednesday 12th July.

Aligned to the National Curriculum, this addition to the Subsea Channel suite of resources will provide teachers with lesson plans and videos that bring to life the real-life applications of the scientific principles they teach. 

The resource is made up of five topics: Marine Biology, Surveying the Seabed, Vessels, Diving, ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) and Robotics. The lesson plans have been developed to enable teachers to deliver the lessons in sequence, as a scheme of work or as individual programmes. Each come with teaching notes, information sheets and videos.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “The industry’s continued success is, to a large extent, dependent on having the scientists and engineers who will meet the ongoing and future technological needs of the UK subsea sector. In order to inspire the next generation, we must start that learning journey as early as possible, given that research shows that primary school is the best place to start nurturing an interest in science and technology.  The challenge therefore is to capture young people’s imagination and interest before they make those important subject choices.

“The resource is a combination of technical knowledge from industry professionals and the educational objectives of teaching professionals. At Subsea UK, we understand that we have an important role to play in supporting education and this initiative demonstrates what can be achieved by industry working in partnership with education.”

Prior to developing the resources, Subsea UK asked teachers what would help them to deliver the science curriculum more effectively. Their feedback included: putting science into context, showing how it solves real world problems, captures children’s imagination and material that is flexible enough to incorporate easily into schemes of work.  Subsea UK therefore set about working with teachers to develop materials that combined examples of the fascinating environments, technologies and equipment the industry experiences everyday with the scientific principles and concepts that underpin them and that teachers are required to explain. 

Kehri Ellis, chief executive of North Tyneside Learning Trust added: "Working with Subsea UK has presented a fantastic opportunity for North Tyneside Learning Trust to transform science teaching and learning in our schools. The new resources that have been developed are a brilliant example of what can be achieved when education and industry work together to bring Science teaching and learning to life

Hannah Osueke, science and STEM leader at King Edward Primary School in North Tyneside, said: “As a science leader I was very excited about developing the resources as they provide children with an opportunity to develop their understanding of scientific concepts in a real-life context.  

“The schemes of work will be extremely useful to teachers when delivering elements of the science curriculum as we have provided detailed lesson plans alongside practical activities that can be carried out in the classroom environment.”

The resources enable teachers to use examples from industry to explain key scientific principles in a clear and meaningful way and in doing so capture interest of children and stimulate their imagination.

Vicky Raynor from Stephenson Memorial Primary School who also developed the resource commented: “The Subsea resource is an ideal tool to support experienced and newly qualified teachers alike.  It provides a context for the children’s learning, it covers several areas of the National Curriculum and will inspire and engage the children, making their learning both relevant and fun”

The resource is free and available to all schools throughout England, Scotland and Wales and can be accessed via a dedicated page on the Subsea UK website. Teachers will be asked to register by providing their details, which will also allow Subsea UK to inform them of any updates, send on additional materials and gather feedback.

Subsea Channel is now available to access by teachers across England and Wales. For more information, visit the Learning Resources page at www.subseauk.com 

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Xodus wins subsurface contract with Cairn Oil and Gas in India

Xodus Group has won a contract with Cairn Oil and Gas of Vedanta Ltd to conduct exploration and appraisal work on its Rajasthan block in north-west India over the next two years.

2017 08 07 104126The first stage of the work will focus on delivering new drilling prospects and an exploration drilling plan, in partnership with Cairn Oil and Gas’ in-house team. Subsequent stages, which will likely commence in 2018, will require project management of the drilling programme in the field as well as subsurface analysis of drilling results.

The work will largely be undertaken from Xodus' offices in London and The Hague with regular visits to Cairn Oil and Gas’ offices near New Delhi for workshops.

Xodus Group CEO, Wim van der Zande said: “We are pleased to be supporting Cairn Oil and Gas in the pursuit of increasing discovered hydrocarbon resources in the Rajasthan block, which is of major significance to the country. At Xodus, we continue to build our experience in India and this work will be delivered with the expertise of our fully integrated team and specialised technology.”

Cairn Oil and Gas operates over a quarter of India's domestic crude oil production. The Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya (MBA) are the three largest finds in Rajasthan. The oil and gas fields in the Rajasthan Block constitute Cairn's key assets in India. The Mangala field - considered to be the largest onshore hydrocarbon find in India in the last two decades - was discovered in January 2004. This was followed by the discovery of the Aishwariya and Bhagyam fields.

Through its affiliates, Cairn has been operating for more than 20 years playing an active role in developing India's oil and gas resources. To date, Cairn has opened four frontier basins with numerous discoveries, 38 of which are in Rajasthan.

Aberdeen headquartered Xodus Group offers engineering and advisory support for oil and gas upstream operators worldwide from conceptual studies, FEED and detailed design into operation and through to life extension and decommissioning.

Xodus offers engineering and advisory support for oil and gas upstream operators and renewable energy developers worldwide as they seek to overcome the challenges they face throughout the life of their assets.

From conceptual studies, FEED and detailed design, into operation and through to life extension and decommissioning, Xodus provides the clever and innovative thinking needed to maximise the return on our customers' investment.

Xodus’ uniquely integrated services, backed up by specialist tools and training, span the numerous disciplines involved in delivering complex energy projects: subsurface, process and facilities, subsea and pipelines, flow assurance, wells, integrity, vibration, safety, risk, environment, and commercial and fiscal advice.

For more information please visit www.xodusgroup.com