Operators and contractors agree that one of the top six removal risks for decommissioning is poor weather conditions and the impact on a project, for example, delays and rising costs. 

Unlike oil and gas operations, decommissioning is less schedule-driven, but weather conditions can impact all offshore operations. 

Weather downtime can present operational challenges and financial risks for companies for offshore operations, including subsea lifting. Weather-related issues introduce risk and uncertainty and have a significant impact on the operational costs and safety at sea. 

Wind, wave and visibility limit operations and could reduce a vessel’s crane operations.  Companies would benefit if downtime, due to poor weather, could be reduced, ultimately leading to shorter and more accurate offshore schedules and associated cost savings.

Ecosse IP (EIP) subsea lifting technology – Ambient Lifter, operates from standard vessels rather than with the need of a heavy lift vessel, therefore making it operational when wind speeds may prevent cranes from working.  The Archimedes inspired technology removes the usual reliance on surface borne vessels and their fragile lifting systems. 

Ambient Lifter provides operators and supply companies with the ability to work outside the regular North Sea season, opening up an operational window during five months of the year where the weather conditions may make it out of limits in places such as Norweigan waters and UKCS north of Shetland.  

The Ambient Lifter can be lowered to the seabed using ROV or AUV, deployed from a vessel, platform, drillship or FPSO and decoupled from the surface vessel using either an ROV or AUV to continue operations irrespective of the surface wave conditions. 

Prolonged bad weather can lead to a tired boat crew that could attempt operations in marginal weather conditions with all its associated dangers, EIP’s Ambient Lifter offers a safe way to move subsea tooling and objects around the seabed using either ROV or AUV.

Prevailing weather conditions, snow and ice, heavy rain, lightning and poor visibility  can restrict operations limiting or removing overside working is beneficial. The Ambient Lifter is capable of operating subsurface in reduced weather conditions – providing clients with an opportunity of lengthening their operations during the months that may have traditionally been impacted by poor weather, leading to shorter and more certain offshore schedules.