The paper gives a background, organisation etc of the norwegian R&D project in diving technology, which is a multi company project

1. Introduction

For at least the last 15 years, the use of manned underwater operations versus the use of remotely operated vehicles has been discussed Throughout this period, it has been proven that diver assisted operations are skill needed and will be needed for an indefinite period Development has, however demonstrated that divers now are more often supporting unmanned operations, rather than the opposite, as it was some years ago Detailed evaluations must be carried out, in order to select the most cost effective sub sea intervention method, m connection with the development of offshore oil and gas fields However, even if unmanned intervention methods are to be used, it is still necessary to qualify the manned intervention method, ie, the use of divers This is due came Into force 01 01 91, explicitly states that the oil companies must qualify the use of divers, if it cannot be documented that it is unlikely that divers are to be used in the oilfield's lifetime

Currently, the development plan for the norwegian continental shelf, includes several fields located in water depths greater than 180 meters, which is the defined by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) as "deep diving" Hence the volume of deep diving on the norwegian continental shelf will increase in future, whereas, only a very few operational dives have previously been carried out to these depths Further, the pipelines from offshore fields may have to cross the norwegian trench, therefore, intervention methods down to 360 meters may need to be qualified, although the offshore installations themselves are located in relatively shallow waters

2. History

Previously, Statoil financed several diving related research and development projects These projects were not satisfactorily coordinated Consequently, the central diving unit m Statoil started a project which was named "FUDT" (Forsknings-ogutvlklmgsprosjekt 1 dykketeknolog = Research and development project and diving technology)

The intention of this project is to coordinate the existing projects, to improve the internal management, to improve the selection process of R&D-projects and to improve the utilisation of the resources

In 1989, Norsk Hydro and NPD joined the project with Saga Petroleum entering the cooperative effort in 1990

3. Organisation

The financing bodies (Statoil, Norsk Hydro, Saga Petroleum and NPD) are represented on the board of FUDT (A sub project may in addition be supported by other companies and 1nShtUhOnS such as BP Norway, Stolt-Nielsen Seaway AIS, the norwegian research foundations NTNF and NAVE The Norwegian Oil Industry Association OLF etc) NUTEC is defined as the main cooperative Piason institution, but other institutions such as SINTEF, the University of Bergen, various diving contractors and development companies, etc, have been given separate work packages

4. Background

In spite of world-wide efforts and relatively large R&D-projects in Norway such as Statpipe, Troll (DSIS) and the Oseberg Transportation Project etc, satisfactory solutions to central and other important areas skill do not exist

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