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Chemicals Expert Aubin Launches Novel Product

04 October 2010

Aubin, a leading independent supplier of specialist chemicals to the oil & gas industry, has launched DeepBuoy, a ground-breaking new product that could revolutionise the subsea sector of the oil and gas industry.

A patented low density liquid gel capable of buoyancy up to 3,000m water depth, the DeepBuoy, can be used for lifting, supporting and lowering heavy subsea structures up to 2,000 T, said Aubin in a statement.

It has been four years in product development and offers a new approach to subsea installation and decommissioning work that will bring massive cost-savings by reducing the need for cranes and crane barges that cost up to $1million per day.

The DeepBuoy gel is pumped into tear-shaped bags attached to the infrastructure requiring to be moved creating an underwater lifting system, it added.

Aubin managing director Paddy Collins said: "DeepBuoy provides a way of placing large structures on the seabed in very deep water with a high degree of control that simply is not possible at present."

"It allows for manoeuvring on the seabed to be carried out by ROV rather than crane and is operational at far greater depths than traditional lifting methods."

"The market for deepwater lifting is worth billions of pounds every year so there is enormous potential for DeepBuoy. It could also be used to recover lost equipment and even vessels or aircraft and we are investigating opportunities in the renewables sector as well," Collins remarked.

“We have a great team of research scientists who come up with really clever chemistry and worked with Strathclyde University on testing. All of us at Aubin are extremely excited by DeepBuoy, which works using the Archimedes Principle, one of the oldest scientific discoveries," he added.

Formed in 1996, Ecosse Subsea Systems provides subsea technology, engineering consultancy and specialist expert personnel for the subsea oil and gas and offshore renewables markets around the world.

Managing director Mike Wilson said: "This enabling system will give a valuable alternative for many costly subsea procedures, not least because it can be used well beyond normal diving depths and has remarkably low density (550kg/m3) giving near pound for pound lift."