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    New Frontiers In Marine Contracting – IMCA Annual Seminar

    News // July 31, 2007

    ‘New Frontiers in Marine Contracting’, the theme of this year’s International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) annual seminar ensures that a wide range of  topics come under the conference spotlight. They include a variety of 'new frontiers' including deployment in newly developing areas of the offshore oil and gas world; working in ever-deeper water; increased use of sophisticated technology; rising to the challenge of skills shortages; and coping with terrorist threats.

    The annual seminar, organised by all four IMCA technical divisions – Marine, Diving, Offshore Survey, and Remote Systems & ROVs – returns to Paris after eight years touring the world, in locations as diverse as Houston, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
    Being held at the Paris Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Centre on 6-7 November it will bring together engineers, managers and offshore personnel from contractors, clients, consultants, equipment manufacturers and others from around the global industry. The seminar is endorsed by IADC and OGP.

    “We’ve a packed two days for delegates, with compelling plenary sessions on both days; parallel marine and diving sessions and workshops; a small exhibition and social events designed to maximise networking opportunities,” said Jane Bugler, IMCA’s technical director. “The conference will get off to a flying start with keynote addresses on ‘New frontiers in marine contracting – challenges and opportunities’ by Knut Boe of Technip, IMCA’s current President; Tim Bass, Director PSCM, Projects and Engineering, E&P, BP; and Michel Contie, Senior Vice President, Northern Europe, Total.”

    Day One

    On the first day of the seminar, the marine session will cover topics as varied as Topology of thruster and propeller systems (Steve Cargill and Paul Marshall, Poseidon Maritime (UK) Ltd); The effects of failures within thruster control systems (Ian Bacon, Noble Denton); High IQ consequence analysis (Lew Weingarth, Transocean); Pipelay from the Arctic to Africa (Sylvain Denniel, Technip); Thruster losses in DP operations (Reinert Nordveit, Teekay and Bjørn Nygård, Kongsberg Maritime); and Fault-tolerant power systems (Edward Bourgeau, Transocean).

    Meanwhile, those attending the diving session will be hearing about Chain lever hoists - their use and abuse (Sandy Gowing, Grampian Test & Certification); Recent developments and the use of telemedicine (Euan Thompson, Abermed and John Greensmyth, Technip); US diving systems safety certification (Rob Warren, US Navy); Diving incidents – lessons learnt (Steve Short, Technip); Training, recruitment and personnel resources (Darren Brunton, KB Associates); and Learning from a fatality involving hazardous marine life (Dan Schultz, Cal Dive International).”

    Workshops on the first day will look at Failure modes of thruster systems; DP incident reporting; Wire rope discard criteria - all under the ‘marine’ banner; while those involved with diving can take part in workshops devoted to Medical support needs; or Diver competence assessments.

    Day Two

    The second day of IMCA’s annual seminar begins with a joint plenary session with a case study on R2S visual asset management solution: lessons learnt from the Bibby Sapphire (Brian Dillon and Evan Watson, R2S); followed by a presentation by Colin Mackay (Acergy) on Advances in ROV intervention system design; and Caspar Berends (Heerema Marine Contractors) speaking about The importance of communications in lifting operations.

    Parallel marine and diving sessions follow with the marine session looking at Technical challenges in platform removal (Jan Groot, Heerema Marine Contractors); HiLoad DP: the DP challenges (Paul Shotton, Grenland Group); and Subsea rock installation in deep water (>1,000m) (Steve de Koning, Van Oord Offshore); and the diving session featuring presentations on Hyperbaric evacuation system recovery (Joar Gangenes, Acergy); Developments in personal diving equipment (Mikal Sjur Lothe, Technip); and Saturation dive systems for the 21st century (Derek Clarke, Divex).

    The second joint session of the day starts with Andy Morse of Fugro’s presentation -  ‘Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for survey – nice technology, but what’s the benefit for marine contractors?’; followed by ‘Security assessment: working in West Africa’ (Anthony Degres, Acergy and Nigel Hope, Technip).  Then the conference switches again to workshop mode looking at four of the key issues currently facing the industry – Security issues: supply chain management and security planning in reality; Skills shortages: the challenges of bringing new personnel into the industry; Use of the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID); and Improvements in the working environment of the diver.

    A wrap up session will bring all delegates together for a summary of the workshops, seminar conclusions and a look ahead. “The discussions at the workshops and the seminar conclusions often reveal topics that will find their way onto the packed IMCA work schedule,” explains Jane Bugler.

    A small exhibition featuring the latest technological developments and the products and services on offer from IMCA members runs alongside the seminar and this year includes Abermed, C-MAR and The DP Centre; Divex; Drass Galeazzi; Fugro Seastar; Hytech; Marine Cybernetics; Noble Denton; Poseidon Maritime (PML); Sonardyne; and Veripos.

    Social events

    IMCA seminars are renowned for the social events that provide plenty of opportunities for networking. The first will be a buffet reception held on the evening of Monday 5 November at the Paris Rive Gauche Hotel; the Seminar Dinner and Cruise along the Seine will take place on 6 November, with boarding taking place at the Port de la Bourdonnais; and the event closes with a drinks and buffet reception at Tour Montparnasse on the evening of 7 November.

    Further information on all aspects of the IMCA Annual Seminar is available from and from IMCA at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK; Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; email:  


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