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Home Aquamen at work. Get to know the life of saturation divers.

Aquamen at work. Get to know the life of saturation divers.

7 from 2018 to 01 at 18: XNUMX
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Aquamen Chevron in operation
Aquamen Chevron in operation

Aquamen may be a comic book hero, but Chevron has hired real-life “aquamens” called saturation divers on two of our major offshore capital projects.

Saturation diving allows divers (Aquamen saturation divers) work at great depths for long periods of time. Divers live in a pressurized system on a specialized diving support vessel (DSV) for up to 28 days, traveling to the bottom of the sea in diving bells – separate chambers that are placed deeper in the water to the work site. Several three-person dive teams live in this pressurized system.

“Bell runs” are designed to transport divers (usually three people at a time) to the subsea job site. The duration of each bell lasts no more than six hours, during which two divers work on the sea floor, while the third diver remains in the bell to support the other two.

Divers working under the wheatstone project

Incident Free Diving at Wheatstone

The Wheatstone Project, offshore Northwest Australia, and the Mafumeira Sul Project, offshore Angola, achieved exceptional safety performance in these high-risk activities, allowing the projects to progress towards first oil and gas delivery. Time to get technical: The Wheatstone subsea system consists of six field flowlines that connect the north and south drill centers at Iago and Wheatstone through risers on the platform. A 44-inch trunkline connects the platform to the onshore gas plant at Onslow, 120 nautical miles away.

Between November 2015 and February 2016, at depths of 72 to 80 meters around the Wheatstone platform and 119 meters to 243 meters in the drill centers, a total of 68 spools were deployed and installed to connect the subsea system and the plant of gas. to the platform. While working-class remotely operated vehicles completed reels without dives at the drilling centers, saturation divers on the DSV Wellservicer successfully clamped onto 38 flanged spools and installed four hydraulic/electrical control umbilicals on the rig.

Divers' safety

Subsea installation coordinator Douglas Hunter said, “Diver safety was the highest priority for all parties during the planning and execution of this work. Completing the DSV work was a huge success story involving hundreds of people on and off shore to support divers.” Much of the work was done close to the platform and it was not uncommon for the DSV and divers working below to be within 10 meters (33 feet) of the platform legs. It was therefore essential that regular and detailed reviews of the platform and subsea work were carried out and work permits were rigorously checked to reduce the risk of objects falling from the topsides of the platform.

“Well defined communication protocols were established between the DSV, the platform and the heavy construction vessel that lifted the barge spools into the water and other vessels working within the platform's 500 meter safety zone,” added Hunter. “Combined with the platform's Permit-To-Work system,* this provided a robust framework to undertake detailed concurrent operations plans to ensure the safety of all crews. The crystal clear water also helped. ”

Upstream Health, Environment and Safety Manager Andy Turner noted, “We recognized that this would be a high-risk activity, but the outcome was a testament to the planning and execution of both Chevron and our subcontractors. It was not without its challenges, but with an excellent safety record across the DSV crew and support team, we have had no incidents or injuries on record. ”

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