“There is a universal drive to undertake tasks more efficiently, to retain high safety levels, and to squeeze out waste and unnecessary costs,” explains Jane Bugler, IMCA Technical Director. “It is true to say that no clients, and no contractors have money to waste. Cost effective, safe working practices are all-important throughout the industry – every pound or dollar really counts. Our seminar will address this by means of plenary sessions, dedicated streams on marine, diving, ROV and survey issues, workshops that help determine our ongoing work programme, and a programme of social and networking events.”
Following opening morning plenary sessions which see Roy Donaldson, Topaz Marine, IMCA Middle East & India Section Chairman welcome delegates; IMCA President Johan Rasmussen, Acergy, lead a discussion on the conference theme with senior oil company representatives; and three presentations – ‘Delivering value by better integration of ROV operations’, by Neil Milne, Chairman, IMCA Remote Systems & ROV Division; ‘Caspian Sea – operational challenges’, Fazel Fazelbhoy, CEO, Topaz Marine; and ‘Yours, theirs and mine: complexity or chaos in marine offshore management systems?’, Lance Birdsall and Tanya Vernon of Veolia, the conference then splits into three streams.
Dynamic positioning (DP) is high on the agenda in the marine session with presentations on ‘DP station keeping capability’; ‘Ensuring safety, reliability and effectiveness – experience with testing of maritime control systems’; and ‘New DNV approaches to DP systems’. The diving session will look at ‘The use of medical equipment in saturation’; ‘Monitoring H2S in the diving bell’; and ‘Beyond the launch of the hyperbaric lifeboat – are you prepared, do we need a coordinated global response’. The final stream, aimed at delegates interested in ROV and survey matters addresses AUVs in three presentations – ‘Sharks have pilot fishes: WOROVs now have pilot AUVs’; ‘The hovering AUV’; and ”The use of computer simulation in the development of AUVs”.
These presentations are followed by a choice of five workshops on AUVs, CMID, crewing management, SPS code and hyperbaric evacuation followed by summaries and feedback from those workshops.
The second day of the conference begins with a plenary session chaired by Guy Odell of Fugro Survey who is Vice Chairman of the IMCA Middle East & India Section in which ‘Delivering value in lifting operations – the current issues’; ‘New vessels and equipment for subsea operations’; and ‘Stereoscopic 3D visualisation tools for offshore construction projects’ come under the conference spotlight.
Simulators figure heavily in the three parallel sessions that follow the plenary session with ‘Simulator time vs sea time’ in the Marine stream; ‘The development of an offshore diving supervisor simulator’ in the Diving stream; and the ROV and Survey stream hearing that ‘Fiction beats reality (ROV simulators)’ – one of the day’s workshops will, not surprisingly, be devoted to simulators in training, and so too will an afternoon plenary session when ‘Offshore crane operator training using simulators’ is one of three presentations.
Simulators are not the only issue being addressed. Other marine topics are ‘Dynamic positioning, tensioner and layspan dynamics’; and ‘Selecting appropriate GNSS for DP operations’; while those in the diving session will hear about ‘The standardisation of training tasks used at diving schools for the application of competence assessments’ and ‘Submarine escape & rescue – the medical lessons learned’. Meanwhile, those attending the ROV and Survey stream will consider ‘Deepwater LARS challenges’ and ‘Tooling operations with fifth generation work class ROV capability’.
Another plenary session then follows. Chaired by Andy Bolton, Technip Oceania and chairman of IMCA’s Asia-Pacific Section, it will look at security issues with two presentations ‘Operating in high risk areas – the Dockwise strategy’ and ‘Convoy management – offshore East Africa’ as well as the crane operator simulator presentation.
The final round of workshops at the 18th IMCA Annual Seminar will consider simulators in training; security emergency response; DESIGN/DSAA; installing ROVs on vessels and ‘Delegates choice’ a topic chosen, as the title implies, by delegates themselves. “These workshops are vital in helping to formulate our work programme at IMCA,” explains Jane.
Social events and the opportunity to network figure high on the list of features of IMCA Annual Seminars. A welcome drinks reception will be held on Monday 22 November in the gardens of the Grand Hyatt Hotel; at the end of the first day the Seminar Dinner will be held in the desert with entertainment from Dubai Drums; and the Seminar closes with a drinks and buffet reception on 24 November. Coffee and lunch breaks on both days are taken in the exhibition area and provide opportunities for networking.
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