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Monitoring System to Assist Baltic Sea Pipelay

17 March 2010

Saipem has contracted NCS Survey for pipelay support of the inshore phase of the Nord Stream project. Saipem is due to start work next month to install the two subsea pipelines taking gas from Russia through the Baltic Sea to countries in the European Union.

NCS’ is due to start work on its $2.75-4.13 million contract in mid-2010. NCS plans to useits real-time sonar touchdown monitoring (TDM) system, designed to eliminate the need for a DP-2 class ROV support vessel on pipe and cable lay projects in water depths below 50 m (164 ft).

The sonar actively tracks the pipe catenary during laying operations using the TDM software’s beam steering capability,This allows the contractor to establish where the pipe is being laid in real-time to reduce the risk of an incident when laying close to subsea structures or other live pipelines, even in zero visibility.

In deeper water, NCS adds, TDM transducers can be mounted on an ROV giving it the capability of monitoring touchdown in poor visibility or from 50 m (164 ft) away, which keeps it out of the high-risk area.