This paper describes an ROV-related development project undertaken by the author's company with the assistance of external funding support. It will outline the project aim and discuss the source and level of funding, how application was made, criteria for acceptance and the project monitoring and administration requirements, etc

THE PROJECT

The project was conceived in 1984 when we recognized that a technical gap existed in the equipment fit and general capability of our work-class ROV systems To fill this gap a number of component subsystems were identified and it was decided that development of this equipment as a module for use with the Rigworker ROV would be a worthwhile project. Hence the name ‘drill support tooling module’ (DSTM) In defining the project concept two principal criteria were applied

  • that the module would enable a range of drill-support tasks to be accomplished by the vehicle on one dive without need to recover and reconfigure, and

  • each one of the DSTM components would be designed to stand alone if Required

The DSTM components identified were classed as either subsystems or tooling.

Subsystems included the DSTM control console, an electronics bottle to interface the ROV telemetry system to the DSTM (Fig I), a solenoid valve pack (Fig 2) and a proportional flow and control valve pack (Fig 3)

Tooling included a range of guidewire and overshot tools (Figs 4, 5 and 6), torque wrenches (Fig 7), AX ring tools (Fig 8), HP pump, LP seawater pump, hot line stab-in (Fig 9) and a grabber

Figure 10 shows what the DSTM looked like when put together in a sealedtube Chassis (The Figures are available in full paper)

SOURCE OF FUNDING

An outline concept and general arrangement with estimate of project timescale and costings was prepared. This was used in house to convince management the DSTM was worthwhile. However, it also highlighted the cost and technical risk of undertaking such a project, and for this reason we approached the Offshore Supplies Office (OSO) to enquire whether any support schemes were available After some discussion we were told that funding of up to 50% of the project capital cost was available and were given a ten-page set of explanatory notes describing how to apply for it'

MAKING THE APPLICATION FOR OSO FUNDING

To qualify for OSO funding support a project must first meet one or more of the general requirements set out by the Offshore Energy Technology Board (OETB) as advisors to the Department of Energy These are that any technological development must lead to

  • improvements in the efficient and economic exploitation of the oil and gas resources on the UK Continental Shelf,

  • improvements in the standards laid down by the Department of Energy in pursuance of its statutory responsibilities for safety,

  • improvements in the competitiveness of British Industry in the field of offshore oil and gas

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