and GL to Merge as DNV GL Group
An agreement has
been signed to merge DNV (Høvik, Norway) and GL Group (Hamburg,
Germany), GL announced last Thursday. The new entity, DNV GL Group,
will have more than 17,000 employees, with its headquarters in Høvik,
Norway, and an extensive global network of offices. It will operate in
the maritime, oil and gas, energy and business assurance sectors.
The DNV Foundation will hold 63.5 percent of the shares, and GL's
owner, Mayfair SE, will hold 36.5 percent. The new company will have a
€2.5 billion combined turnover.
The maritime business unit will be headquartered in Hamburg, Germany,
while maintaining its commitment to the Norwegian maritime cluster. The
oil and gas unit will be headquartered in Høvik, the energy unit in
Arnhem, Netherlands, the renewables unit in Bristol, England, and the
business assurance unit in Milan, Italy.
Caption: (From left to
right) Hinrich Stahl, of Maryland GmbH; Erik van der Noordaa, CEO of GL
Group; and Henrik O. Madsen, CEO of DNV.
Source: GL Group
and Bluefin Collaborate on
Pipeline Inspection Solution
(Edinburgh, Scotland) and Bluefin Robotics (Quincy, Massachusetts)
announced last Thursday their collaboration to provide enhanced
software solutions for deepwater export pipeline inspections.
The collaboration is aimed at equipping
Bluefin’s 21-inch AUV platforms with SeeTrack AutoTracker. This will
combine Bluefin’s vehicle stability and navigation capabilities with
SeeTrack AutoTracker’s ability to accurately guide the AUV at a
predefined offset from the pipeline.
The Bluefin-21 AUV.
Source: Bluefin press release
to Leave NOAA in February
NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco (pictured)
announced earlier in December that she is stepping down at the end of
February, The Washington Post
In an e-mail to her staff, she wrote: "I have decided to
return to my family and academia ... on the West Coast."
Lubchenco was formerly a professor at Oregon State University.
She praised her staff in the e-mail and listed her team's top
achievements, including strengthening the U.S. environmental satellite
infrastructure, delivering life-saving weather forecasts and warnings,
helping create the National Ocean Policy and dealing with the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in
NOAA said they have no personnel announcements at the moment
for Lubchenco's successor.
Source: The Washington Post
Finds No Hydrocarbons Leaking From
Macondo Well After ROV Survey
BP plc (London, England) confirmed last Tuesday the
integrity of the Macondo well and its associated relief wells following
a subsea survey to identify potential sources of a surface sheen near
the Deepwater Horizon
accident site in the Gulf of Mexico.
The well was permanently sealed in September 2010, and this is the
fourth time since then that it has been visually inspected by ROV at
the seafloor and confirmed not to be leaking.
BP and Transocean (Geneva, Switzerland), owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, deployed
ROVs earlier in December under a plan approved by the U.S. Coast Guard,
which said the sheen is not recoverable and poses no risk to the
ROVs inspected the rig, portions of the riser and BP’s
cofferdam, an 86-ton steel container. Although no evidence of
hydrocarbons leaking was observed, a white, cloudy substance appeared
to be emanating from several places on the overturned rig, and samples
of the substance were collected. BP will review the results of the
investigation with the Coast Guard.
The survey was conducted with Coast Guard oversight and the presence of
representatives from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental
Enforcement, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the states of
Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
BP will continue to work with the Coast Guard and Transocean on any
further steps, as needed, to address the results of the survey.
Caption: Deepwater Horizon as seen from
space by NASA's Terra satellite in May 2010. (Photo Credit: NASA)
Source: BP press release
Survey and NASA Test Watercraft
For Future Use in Space
Aqua Survey Inc. (Flemington, New Jersey) is working
with NASA to perform a bathymetric survey of a volcanic crater lake in
the Chilean Andes Mountains as part of a three-week NASA
One of the mission's primary goals was to test a new prototype
autonomous watercraft called the Planetary Lake Lander. The lake
needed to be surveyed for navigational obstacles before the lander
prototype could be deployed.
The hope is that one day a craft like the prototype can be remotely
delivered and parachuted to the surface of a large nonwater lake on
Titan, Saturn's biggest moon. Once there, it would be able to
float across and measure what the lake is made of, as well as recording
the winds, waves and changing weather patterns.
Titan is thought to have conditions similar to those of Earth when life
first evolved. Some scientists view it as a potential host for
extraterrestrial microbial life.
laboratory tents in the Chilean Andes.
Source: Aqua Survey press
Photographic Coincidence of
Hydrographic Survey in Google Earth
Surveyors from Select Energy Services of Texas were
surprised earlier in December to see one of their ROV's hydrographic
activities photographed and incorporated into Google Earth. The team
was preparing to do a hydrographic survey of a water holding pond for a
natural gas fracturing operation using the Oceanscience (Oceanside,
California) Z-Boat 1800. The
Z-Boat incorporates a single-beam echosounder, GPS and telemetry
Prior to leaving for the survey site, the Select Energy
Services process calls for the Google Earth map of the pit to be
uploaded to the acquisition software to provide a background image for
the survey plan and to offer clients a familiar perspective when
viewing the final survey product. The Google Earth image showed a small
yellow dot in the middle of the frac pit that seemed to have a wake
behind it. When the image was zoomed in, the Z-Boat was clear in the
The photograph in Google Earth was taken exactly when the boat
was at the pit during the previous time it was surveyed a few months
earlier. Using a three-year average age for Google Earth imagery, the
odds of this coincidence are about 1 in 25,000.
Caption: The Z-Boat in a
Google Earth image.
ROV Films Deep-Sea Species for Oceana
Conservation organization Oceana has explored undersea mountains in the Atlantic and Mediterranean using
the Saab Seaeye Ltd. (Fareham, England) Falcon DR ROV. The
1,000-meter-rated ROV was used to record many species and habitats, including carnivorous sponges,
lobsters and sharks.
Oceana bills itself as "a pioneering NGO [nongovernmental organization]
in the use of ROVs."
The project began 240 kilometers off the Portuguese coast in the
Gorringe Bank marine mountain range. Here, scientists filmed algae
forests and hundreds of species, and noted the ecological value that
seamounts offer to many species, including whales, dolphins and
They have found species whose existence on the Gorringe Bank was
previously unknown. When they later explored the Chella Bank, offshore
Almería, Spain, they found protected species such as a carnivorous
sponge and an angular rough shark at risk from damage to their seamount
habitat by recreational and commercial fishing.
Hundreds of hours of ROV filming has enabled Oceana to gather essential
scientific data. Being able to use transects that move the ROV along a
path, rather than directly up and down, has given more comprehensive
The high-definition cameras were manufactured and supplied by Marine
Vision (Málaga, Spain), which also supplied the ROVs.
The Falcon DR came over from the Gulf of Mexico, where Oceana had used
it to assess the long-term impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on
Caption: Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) on a
Source: Saab Seaeye press
in Sea Technology...