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David Sheppard May 2004
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An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003
TABLE OF CONTENTS
GENERAL HISTORY OF NORTH SEA DIVING.............................................................4
TYPES OF DIVING.............................................................................................................10
SURFACE SUPPLIED AIR.................................................................................................11
SURFACE SUPPLIED NITROX........................................................................................12
SURFACE SUPPLIED DIVE SPREAD.............................................................................13
BASIC DIVING PHYSICS..................................................................................................15
PARTIAL PRESSURE 1......................................................................................................19
PARTIAL PRESSURE 2......................................................................................................20
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An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003
TYPES OF DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS(DCS)..........................................................27
MIXED GAS DIVING..........................................................................................................31
LEGISLATION AND REGULATION...............................................................................35
DYNAMIC POSITIONING OF VESSELS........................................................................46
DEEP WATER STATION KEEPING RELIABILITY.....................................................50
APPENDIX 1 HAZARD IDENTIFICATION CHECKLIST............................................59
APPENDIX II DIVING HISTORY BIBLIOGRAPHY.....................................................66
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it must be recorded that. restrict man’s adventures beneath the waves. was used in the Mexican Gulf in 1966 to carry out the first commercial saturation dives at sea. diving physics. Whilst offshore activities began in the North Sea in the early 1960`s. Indeed. It has been recorded though that the first proper working saturation dives were carried out in August of 1965. It does seem that. Experiments had been carried out to try and find answers to the nitrogen narcosis and oxygen toxicity problems associated with deep air diving. there are still 300/400 divers registered for working in the North Sea with the main underwater contractors. but once the industry infrastructure was in place it was inevitable that the steely gaze of the legislature would turn on the diver and. Although the phenomenon of tissues saturating with gas had been known about since the early 1900`s. which was considered extremely hazardous in the early days of North Sea development. when it was fiscally important for the United Kingdom to have an oil industry of some kind. called Cachalot. There have been many claims as to who started the idea of saturation diving and given the different locations around the world where experiments had been going on. the removal of man from the water is written into the subsea handbooks of more than one oil ‘major’. during those heady days. much of the North Sea development would have taken significantly longer to progress. diving equipment and diving safety. owned by Westinghouse Electric. early 1990`s. Central and Northern North Sea. The advent of deepwater fields. Be that as it may. where diving will never be an option. a lot of the major development would perhaps only have been possible in the last few years. At the height of development. USA. it was better not to put them in the water. This is especially true nowadays when diving has become a bit of a rarity on most projects. at least as far as the North Sea oil industry was concerned. Indeed. there is probably no one single person who can lay claim to the idea. This same system. there were over 4000. that the cost in human life was bearable. there had been no driving force for men to want to spend time at depth in the oceans. A team of divers spent a total of 4 months clearing the debris chute of the dam at depths varying between -50m and -80m. pre 1986. Diving on the other hand had been marking time. Regardless of today’s view. given that the technology for useful workclass ROV`s has only been around since the late 1980`s. Looking back it seems that there was always a threat hanging over the industry. The oil crisis in 1973/74 partly paved the way for a massive effort but the oil majors had already put by large sums for North Sea exploration after the discovery of the huge Groningen onshore gas field in Holland in 1959. it was not until the late 60`s and early 70`s that the push for offshore oil and gas really gathered pace. The common theme was always that. It wasn’t long after this that the 82629652. to keep divers safe. in the Smith Mountain Dam in Virginia. the growth in the use of remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and the design of ROV friendly subsea hardware has seen a steady decline in the diving industry since the late 1980`s.doc Page 4 of 67 .An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard GENERAL HISTORY OF NORTH SEA DIVING It’s a fact that many people involved in the underwater engineering industry are not completely familiar with diving. without the diver. and the discoveries offshore from Great Yarmouth and the Humber seemed to point to the possibility of large scale deposits under the seabed in the Southern. under the guise of safety.
diving had been going along much as before. to cover all non-military aspects of men working underwater. `64 and `66 respectively. from the discovery of the Hewett. it will die out. Mixed gas saturation diving became the accepted method for all dives over 50m following the 1975 Submarine Pipelines act. Forties in 1970. Research and development of diving equipment has virtually stopped in the commercial sector and there is very little new blood coming through since government sponsoring of suitable candidates was withdrawn. Dive depths of 300m are now taken as technically routine operations. including hydrogen. These were “on the edge” dives very often and resulted in long periods of decompression. The limits of safe diving breathing air were reached and other methods were introduced. come together as a team in a way that most modern company leadership schemes would die for.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard forerunners of today’s diving systems were being built around the world in the drive to find and exploit offshore oil and gas reserves. although not carried out very often. Bell bounce diving. issued alongside it. The fast compressions and fast de-compressions to the first decompression stop were later found to be the worst possible things to do. in the -20m to -50m range. Air diving was limited to a maximum of 50m. The key notes of this 1997 legislation are the Accepted Codes of Practice. alongside members of the HSE Diving Inspectorate. Bell bounce diving is no longer carried out. culminating in the latest Diving at Work Regulations in 1997. This legislation was history making in as much as it was put together by a working party from the industry. using new gas mixes. up past Ekofisk. where the diver attempted to complete tasks before going into a saturated state were used. methods were needed to enable men to work for longer at deeper depths. supervisors and superintendents will leave the industry as they reach retirement age and this will leave a vast knowledge gap. located in `69 in – 80m. the older generation of divers. The depth trail blazed northwards. Throughout the early days of the North Sea exploration. Most divers are fiercely independent but when required. New legislation has followed. Argyll and Brent in `71. with a lot of the diving carried out using standard gear (the copper and brass helmet and equipment on the front page) but as the push toward the deeper waters of the Central and Northern North Sea came. with men sitting in chambers breathing oxygen from masks (built in breathing systems) for many hours.doc Page 5 of 67 . helium and oxygen (hydreliox) in an effort to further understand mans limitations at depth but to nothing like the levels of the 1960`s and 70`s. It appears that the North Sea diving industry will continue for the life of the existing fields and the smaller step outs and subsea completions from these fields but that in the end. which in hindsight now appears to have been the “golden age” for diving. The diving industry came a long way in a very short space of time. It will have been a two or three generation industry that allowed a few lucky men to not only have earned a good living but to have done so doing something they lived for and enjoyed. requiring 100m plus interventions and on up to Magnus in the far North at –180m. 82629652. Arpet and Leman in `63. In the very near future. not just Offshore Diving. A few experiments are still being carried out around the world.
This is only a brief history of commercial offshore diving. part of a wish to be out on the edge. It has much to do with a sense of achievement.doc Page 6 of 67 . A list of books containing more information is included in Appendix II. To overcome many problems and to succeed in completing complex tasks in a hostile environment is very often the greatest driving force and keeps people coming back for more. should you wish to know more. 82629652.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard It is certainly not only the money that makes men want to live in small cramped chambers and wander around in the cold dark waters at the bottom of the sea. It is job that carries a huge amount of satisfaction with it. of being somewhere that not many people go and perhaps.
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003
Offshore Diving has been an important tool in the development of the oil industry in the North Sea. It was not until a requirement existed for deeper intervention that money became available for commercial exploitation of diving techniques and equipment. Whilst there is not as much diving work as there used to be, it is still important for engineers and topside personnel to have an understanding of the different techniques and methods involved. An understanding of the basic physics and methodology can help advance safety and result in cost savings through better planning and design.
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An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003
This short familiarisation course will attempt to focus on the items listed below and should give anyone involved in subsea engineering a sufficient depth of detail to understand the problems involved in diving programmes, with a view to assisting in design, planning and safety. ♦ To give an overview of the types and limitations of Offshore Diving ♦ ♦ Surface Supplied Air & Nitrox Diving Saturation and Mixed Gas Diving
♦ To examine the basic physics and physiology of diving and the inherent risks involved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Pressure Atmospheric Diving Ambient Pressure Diving Partial pressures Oxygen & Nitrogen Decompression Decompression Sickness Mixed Gas/Saturation Diving
♦ To describe and explain the basic equipment and hardware that make up a diving system ♦ ♦ ♦ Surface Air Diving System Surface Decompression Chamber Saturation Diving System and Complex
♦ To look at the regulations and legislation involved in Offshore Diving ♦ ♦ Diving Regulations and Accepted Codes of Practice Major Legislation
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An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003
♦ To understand the risks to divers from outside influences and the methods of control of these influences ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Risk Assessment Platform Issues Diving Vessels Pressured Systems Controls
♦ To broadly examine the tooling, planning and access issues involved in diving ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ General Underwater Tooling Specialised Equipment and Design Planning Access and Design
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An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard TYPES OF DIVING In the North Sea we employ 2 basic methods of diving: These are: a) b) Surface supplied air or nitrox to -50m Saturation diving covering roughly -12m to -200m in the North Sea but usable down to -450m+ 82629652.doc Page 10 of 67 .
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard SURFACE SUPPLIED AIR Φ Used for shallow diving tasks Φ Limited by Regulation to a maximum of -50m Φ Really only useful in the 0m to -20m range due to decompression penalties Φ Weather dependent Φ Useful where space is limited. Systems can have a small footprint Φ Limitations from Dynamically Positioned vessels due to thruster proximity 82629652.e.doc Page 11 of 67 . platforms. i.
55b partial pressure of oxygen ♦ Same risks as air diving. 82629652. Deeper the depth the less oxygen to a maximum of 1.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard SURFACE SUPPLIED NITROX ♦ Oxygen/Nitrogen mixed in various ratios ranging from 25% to 50% Oxygen ♦ Allows longer bottom times with little change to decompression times compared with air ♦ Limits depth of usage.doc Page 12 of 67 .
This enables the divers to stand inside it with their heads in the dry and to change over to an onboard oxygen supply for decompression. When installing a system on a platform. or gas banks (racks or quads) will be used if Nitrox is being used. On some locations a modified system can be used which utilises a wet bell. It normally consists of two dive baskets on skids. communications etc. in case of a decompression incident. A method must also be available to evacuate the DDC in case of fire (PFEER regs).doc Page 13 of 67 . The supply of gas is regulated at the panel and sent down to the diver through an umbilical. One basket is for the standby diver and the other for one or two working divers. hat camera and light. Surface dive spreads can be made to fit into small areas. one winch will still be operable. containing the dive control panels. in the event of a power loss. There will be a dive control shack. the diver opens a valve on the helmet that closes the route to the surface hose and opens the route to the bailout bottle. 82629652. A further container will house the deck decompression chamber (DDC) and therapeutic gas bottles. The winches are independently powered so that. hot water hose. Compressors will supply the divers panel in the dive control with air. rig or platform. which make them ideal for platform and FPSO locations. the Safety case must be changed to take the system into account. If the surface supply should fail. a pneumo hose with which the Supervisor monitors the divers depth and an electric cable for communications. rig or FPSO. The umbilical will have a main air hose. The divers helmet is connected to the main gas hose and a further short hose is connected to the bottle on the divers back via a regulating 1st stage valve.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard SURFACE SUPPLIED DIVE SPREAD A surface spread does not differ much whether situated on a vessel. with man riding winches to lower the basket to the water.
doc Page 14 of 67 .An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard SATURATION DIVING ♦ Can be used in calm conditions as shallow as -12m ♦ Allows long dive times (6 or 8 hrs) ♦ Divers breathing a mix of oxygen and helium ♦ The normal method of diving if long bottom times required for complex tasks ♦ Requires good planning if more than one diving depth required as divers are limited to a depth band dependent on storage depth ♦ Limitations in shallow depths from vessels due to thruster proximity 82629652.
a long snorkel perhaps. In theory all that is required in order to remain underwater for long periods is a long tube between us and the surface. Therefore we can conclude that the main purpose of breathing is to supply our bodies with oxygen. It is the amount of carbon dioxide in our lungs that triggers the breathing mechanism. water and the bodies waste products. Its purpose. we only need the oxygen from the air. it is long while since our ancestors left the water and it is evolution that has adapted us to breathing air. If this were the only barrier that we need to overcome in order to explore the sea we would have discovered and solved many of the oceans mysteries a long time ago.doc Page 15 of 67 . If we enter the water and wish to stay there for any length of time. the first problem we are faced with is finding a means by which we can get the oxygen we need to stay alive. The nitrogen that makes up 79% of the air is.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard BASIC DIVING PHYSICS Just like all animals. Human beings are mammals. If we believe evolution. perhaps. to dilute the atmosphere. This is the problem of pressure. When we inhale our lungs extract oxygen from the air which is then used by our bodies for metabolism. into energy. and as such our lungs are designed to breathe gas. Unfortunately there is yet another problem that must first be solved before we can explore the depths safely. There are three by-products of metabolism. but unlike fish our bodies have no gills and so obviously we are unable to extract oxygen from the surrounding water in order to breathe. This is the most difficult to overcome. Metabolism being where our bodies convert the food that we eat and the oxygen that we breathe. As stated above. carbon dioxide. at surface pressures. 82629652. The carbon dioxide is eliminated whenever we exhale. inert. and rid our bodies of carbon dioxide. human beings need oxygen in order to survive.
4 psi. On the surface at sea level. Therefore the next time that we breathe in. This pressure is also defined by the scientific unit of measurement. at a depth of 10m / 33 ft beneath the surface of the sea.4mm). including the pressure exerted by the atmosphere.7 pounds per square inch (psi). All the gas molecules contained within that column of air would have a combined weight of about 1 bar. water is considerably denser (i. the further we descend.7 pounds. or absolute pressure. as. divers refer to pressure underwater using the term bars absolute. Like air. the greater the pressure becomes. and the problem worsens the deeper we go. The word ambient means “surrounding”. but there is absolutely nothing to force it further up the tube.e. This is not correct of course unless we never intend to venture beyond the first metre (3ft) or so of water. This means that on each square inch of our bodies we have an equivalent force of about 14.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard PRESSURE Earlier it was suggested that we could use giant snorkels in order to remain underwater indefinitely. Like all other gases. which means that gravity is pulling them towards Earth. plus a further 1 bar for the weight of the 10m / 33 ft column of seawater. and when we inhale our bodies expect pure air. the air that we breathe is composed of molecules of various different gases and in this case.1 bar of this pressure is due to the weight of the air in the Earth's atmosphere. Try to imagine a column of air.7 psi of pressure on our bodies at sea level. These gas molecules all have weight. This pressure is a force that acts on you from all directions. but rather than air this time imagine a column of sea water.7 psi). one square inch in cross-section (25. extending from sea level all the way to the edge of the atmosphere. When we exhale. The source of this pressure being due to the earth's gravity.4mm). When our bodies exhale carbon dioxide it will leave our lungs and be passed out into this tube.doc Page 16 of 67 . which is a unit measurement of pressure being equal to the pressure exerted by Earth's atmosphere at sea level (1 bar or 14. heavier for a given volume) than air. or 14. Absolute 82629652. In order to avoid any confusion. It is physically impossible to expand our chests against the water even at these shallow depths. If we again visualise our column. the "atmosphere" (abbreviated to "ATM"). Therefore. about 21% of these molecules are oxygen. This is called the ambient pressure. we would find that our column would only need to be 10m / 33 ft tall to weigh same 14.7 pounds. where ambient can be considered to be the total pressure on our body. As time goes on it will become harder and harder to breathe. water also exerts a pressure due to its weight. some 100 miles above. again with a cross sectional area of one square inch (25. the air will be mixed with some of the carbon dioxide that we have just exhaled. about 78% are nitrogen with the remainder being composed of various trace gases. and is a result of the weight of the air in our atmosphere. hence the pressure of 1 bar or 14. However. the total ambient pressure is about 2 bar / 29. or about 14. our bodies are ridding us of unwanted carbon dioxide. we are exposed to a pressure of approximately 1 bar.7 pounds pressing on it. This is because it's extremely difficult to inhale through very long tubes..
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard pressure describes the total. Remember that long tube that we were going to use to breathe from? In addition to carbon dioxide build up which we have already looked at. and so on. when using this sort of "Ambient Pressure Diving" technology. or in other words. or "absolute" pressure created by both the water and the air above the water. Now. the gas inhaled into the diver's lungs is pressurised. let's take our balloon diving. The pressure on the inside of a submersible vehicle is maintained at 1bar. and at a depth of 10m / 33 ft it will only be half the size that it was at the surface. which are in constant motion. it's important to firstly understand what effect this increased pressure has on gases. Our bodies simply are not designed to do that. or in other words a given volume will be occupied by a larger number of gas molecules. To understand the physiological effects of this. the pressure in the diver's lungs is balanced with the pressure of the surrounding water). the increased ambient pressure acts on the submersible's hull rather than the diver inside. become packed more closely together and therefore occupy a smaller volume. Now. Descending further. Another way we could overcome the problems presented by breathing under pressure is to supply pressurised breathing gas to the diver. As the pressure of this gas increases then the molecules within the gas. exactly the same pressure that we experience at the sea surface. and descending further. All gases are composed of molecules or atoms.e. the diver's body is directly exposed to the ambient pressure but more importantly. the muscles that our bodies use to expand and contract our lungs during the breathing cycle are not strong enough to overcome much pressure. now down to 30m / 99 ft our balloon would be one quarter the size. a submarine. One way to overcome this problem is to protect the diver's body from the ambient pressure. so therefore in order to re-expand it at depth we are going to have to fill it with four times as many gas molecules as were required 82629652.doc Page 17 of 67 . Let’s suppose we have a balloon that we inflate at the surface. and so therefore the person inside the submersible is protected from the ambient pressure at all times and has no difficulty breathing. while we are at 30m / 99 ft we will add some more gas to the balloon so that we can expand it back to its original size. Underwater. As we descend from the sea surface our balloon will start to shrink in size.. However. The pressure exerted by just a few feet of seawater is great enough to prevent these muscles from expanding our lungs against the water pressure in order to inhale a breath of air from the surface.. If this breathing gas supply can be delivered at exactly the same pressure as the surrounding ambient pressure then the diver's lungs do not have to work against the water pressure (i. whether it be a gas from which we can breathe or any other gas. Before adding this extra gas the balloon is one quarter the size that it was on the surface. To do this underwater involves using "Atmospheric Pressure Diving" technology. down to 20m / 66 ft it would then be one-third the size it was at the surface.
As we make our ascent back to the surface we will notice that our reinflated balloon is now expanding and on return to the surface it will actually be four times its original size (if it hasn't burst on the way back to the surface). Like our balloon our lungs would obviously over inflate. only to inhale so we don’t sense the damage until it is done. our lungs. They are like wet tissue paper when it comes to over pressure. with very serious symptoms as a result.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard at the surface. It doesn't require much imagination to visualise what would happen to a diver's lungs if he took a full breath at depth. This is why the golden rule of diving is "never hold your breath". a condition referred to as an embolism. 82629652. Lungs are not very strong. and then held it while ascending to the surface. Divers who forget this golden rule. the consequences of which could be catastrophic. This rupture will allow gas bubbles from the lungs to directly enter the blood. Our understanding of the relationship between pressure and volume is due to the research carried out by a seventeenth century Irish scientist by the name of Robert Boyle. maybe due to having a problem that has resulted in them panicking. Boyle's research determined that at a constant temperature the volume of gas is inversely proportional to the absolute pressure. or more correctly.e. let's replace our balloon with another expandable air container. Now. This is exactly what our balloon is demonstrating in the above example. the more tightly packed i.. more highly concentrated the gas molecules are. an Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE). Humans have no built in reflex to exhale. run the risk of suffering from ruptured lungs.doc Page 18 of 67 . An appreciation for this will assist in the understanding of the other aspects of diving physics and physiology. The key point to remember from this section is that the greater the increase in pressure.
the inspired air pressure must be the same as the ambient pressure. At a depth of 30m / 99 ft there are four times as many gas molecules (in both the nitrogen and oxygen) in a lung-full of air as there were at the surface. An easy way to consider partial pressures of gases is remembering that the partial pressure represents an absolute concentration of that gas. Therefore. 30m / 99 ft.2b. where the ambient pressure is 4bar. On adding together the partial pressures of all the different components of a gas mixture.. and a nitrogen gas molecule consists of two 82629652.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard PARTIAL PRESSURE 1 To understand the physiological effects of breathing gas mixtures under pressure it becomes very useful to understand the concept of partial pressure.8b.2b. Now we need to consider what will happen when we then descend down to a depth. At 30m / 99 ft the ambient pressure is four times greater than it is at the surface. their total would be equal to the total pressure of the mixture. that is. the oxygen partial pressure would be 0. at sea level we breathe air that contains (in "round" figures. regardless of the depth or the pressure. The oxygen partial pressure is 20% times 4b. multiplying 20% oxygen by the air total pressure of 1bar will result in an oxygen partial pressure of 0.doc Page 19 of 67 . In both cases (80% oxygen breathed at the surface and air at 30m / 99 ft).each gas acting as if it alone were present and occupied the total volume". or 3. who is also noted for being the first of the modern scientists to describe the structure of matter as being comprised of atoms. the gas molecules within the air are more closely packed when under this increased pressure. Similarly.8b. the ambient pressure at the sea surface is 1bar. As an example.8b.e. To arrive at the partial pressure of the nitrogen within this inspired air we simply multiply the fraction of nitrogen in the air (80%) by the total pressure of the air (1bar). The partial pressure of a particular gas constituent in a gas mixture is a representation of the portion of the total pressure of the gas mixture exerted by that constituent. the inspired partial pressure of nitrogen is 80% times 4b. This concept was first defined by the English scientist John Dalton. and the partial pressures of each of the gases is also four times greater than at the surface (although the percentages of each gas are the same in both cases). In order for us to be able to breathe at all. Dalton’s law states that "the total pressure exerted by a mixture of gases is equal to the sum of the pressures of each of the different gases making up the mixture . of say. This is exactly the same partial pressure of oxygen when breathing air at a depth of 30m / 99 ft. In their gaseous forms. As discussed earlier. or 0. and ignoring the trace gases) approximately 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. If a person were to breathe a gas mixture containing 80% oxygen at the surface. the concentration of oxygen molecules in the lungs (i. so therefore the total pressure of the air that we breathe is also 1bar. the total number of oxygen molecules in the lungs on each inhaled breath) is exactly the same. they are bound as pairs of atoms. As discussed earlier. both oxygen and nitrogen are what are termed as binary molecules. which gives us a nitrogen partial pressure of 0. An oxygen gas molecule consists of two oxygen atoms bound together.
This sweetening process comes about as a result of the sugar being reduced into particles that are small enough to be held in solution and distributed evenly within the drink. The chemical notation for oxygen is the letter "O". researched by English chemist William Henry. This means that the distance between the molecules within the liquid is greater than that of a solid.e. We add sugar to our drinks in order to sweeten them. In this state the gas is considered to be dissolved in the liquid. but less than that of gas. and although surrounded by liquid. Yes. A liquid. "oxygen partial pressure" is written as "PPO2".An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard nitrogen gas molecules bound together. Consider the effects of shaking a bottle of fizzy drink and opening it quickly. and due to this molecular distance. so oxygen gas is referred to as "O2". the gas notation is usually prefaced by two "P" capital letters. In this way a solid substance can be held within the molecules of the liquid. the gas exerts pressure inside the liquid. The amount of gas that can be dissolved within a liquid depends on a number of factors. or gas tension that continues to rise until the pressure within the water is equal to that of the gas at the surface. On coming into contact with a gas. Similarly. nitrogen gas is referred to as "N2". and "nitrogen partial pressure" is written as "PPN2". i. In conclusion to this research Henry’s law stated that "the amount of any given gas that will dissolve in a liquid at a given temperature is a function of the partial pressure of that gas in contact with the liquid. The pressure that is exerted within the liquid by a particular gas held in solution is termed the gas “tension”. and will be familiar with the chemical phenomenon of substances in solution. Let us suppose that we have a glass of water that does not have any gas dissolved in it. the subscript "2" indicating two atoms of oxygen. This demonstrates that gas can be contained within liquid. PARTIAL PRESSURE 2 Anyone who adds sugar to a cup of tea or coffee is experiencing the effects of Henry's law. Therefore the gas tension within this glass of water is zero. This also holds true for gases. or in solution. 82629652. into an area of low pressure. is a substance in a state that lies between a solid and a gas. The gas that enters the water exerts a pressure. as the gas molecules are flowing from high pressure. The reason that the drink generally ends up covering everything in sight is that gas bubbles form as the gas comes out of solution. similar to opening the valve on a diving cylinder. Although the gas is dissolved within the liquid it still retains its gaseous properties. When discussing partial pressures of gases. usually with dramatic consequences. or it can at least until the conditions are changed. the air surrounding our glass of water. Thus. scientifically analysed. most if not all of us have done this at sometime. the gas molecules will rush to penetrate the water. and carbon dioxide as "CO2”.doc Page 20 of 67 . it's easy for individual gas molecules to become trapped between the liquid molecules and electrically associated." Therefore the two factors here that control gas solubility are temperature and pressure.
As the number of gas molecules continue to dissolve into the water. our glass has been subject to the pressure of the air surrounding it.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard In accordance with Henry's law each gas that is dissolved within the water exerts a partial pressure of the total gas tension independent of other gases present. the pressure gradient would be increased. However. the oxygen partial pressure in contact with the water would be greater than the oxygen partial pressure within the water. When the pressure gradient is high the rate of absorption of the gas into the liquid is high. the gradient decreases and the rate at which the molecules are dissolved into the water slows down.2 oxygen (20% oxygen at a pressure of 1 bar / 14. However. So long as the pressure reduction occurs gradually and the pressure gradient is not too high the dissolved gas will come out of solution without forming any gas bubbles. Therefore the pressure gradient is now acting in favour of the gas dissolved within the water.8 nitrogen (80% nitrogen at a pressure of 1 bar / 14. The partial pressure of the gases in contact with the water will be less than the gas tension within the water.7 psi). if the pressure decrease occurs rapidly. creating a high pressure gradient. resulting in an increase of the partial pressure of the oxygen and nitrogen in contact with the water. or if there are other factors present such as agitation of the water (remember our 82629652. If we were then to place our glass of water in an environment where the air pressure is greater. at which point the water is said to be saturated. However. The air pressure surrounding the glass would increase. Eventually the gas tension within the liquid will reach equilibrium which is where the partial pressure of the gases within the liquid equal the partial pressure of the gases which come into contact with the liquid and no further net exchange of gases will occur. Therefore.doc Page 21 of 67 . Therefore the more pressure exerted by the gas in contact with the water the more gas will dissolve in the water until once again reaching saturation. Henry's law can be used to explain how more oxygen and nitrogen would become dissolved in the water until once again equilibrium exists between the gas tension of each gas within the liquid and the partial pressure of that gas exerted on the liquid. and once again the oxygen gas tension will start to increase. More oxygen molecules will enter the water. which has a partial pressure of approximately 0. which is said to be supersaturated until again the gas within the water has equal pressure with the gas surrounding the water. an equal number of molecules will continue to pass in and out of the water. If we now increase the partial pressure of the oxygen in contact with the surface of the water we wouldn't get any more nitrogen dissolving into the liquid because the nitrogen partial pressure within the liquid is in equilibrium with the nitrogen partial pressure on the surface of the water.7 psi ) and 0. only stopping when once again the partial pressure of the oxygen within the glass of water is in equilibrium with the partial pressure of the oxygen in contact with the surface of the water. The transient difference between the partial pressure of the gases in contact with the liquid and the gas tension within the liquid is called the pressure gradient. for instance in a recompression chamber. once again setting up a high pressure gradient. If the pressure within our decompression chamber is reduced then the opposite occurs.
doc Page 22 of 67 . and therefore the pressure of the gas in our lungs also increases accordingly. just as it did in our boiling water example above. Because the partial pressures of the gases in the lungs are now greater than the partial pressures of the gases dissolved in our blood and tissues. 82629652. Therefore the warmer the liquid. However. Therefore we have to adhere to the strict ascent rates laid down in the company guidelines and decompression schedules. just as the air diffused into our glass of water. or saturated. our bodies will be in a state of equilibrium. limiting the space which the gas molecules have to occupy. As we ascend back to the surface the opposite effect happens. the pressures of the dissolved gases in the blood and tissues will be equal to the partial pressures in the breathing gas. so the air diffuses into small gas pockets on the irregularities of the container to form small bubbles that will eventually rise out of the water. and as the molecules move faster they will require more space in which to move. The gas partial pressure in our lungs will now be less than the partial pressures of the gases dissolved in our blood and tissues and the dissolved gases will start coming out of solution. gas molecules will begin diffuse from the lungs into our blood and tissues. As well as pressure affecting the gas solution in liquids. breathing compressed gas from a bottle or a surface gas supply the ambient pressure increases. when a liquid becomes warmer molecular motion increases. forming bubbles in our blood and body fluids. When you boil water you will notice that the water releases small bubbles just before it comes to the boil. thus reducing the partial pressure of the gases in our lungs. If we ignore these guidelines. or in other words. in that the ambient pressure decreases. Here the accelerated water molecules are displacing the dissolved air. This gas absorption phenomenon has implications for divers in that gas molecules from the gas that they breathe will dissolve into the blood in proportion to the partial pressure of the gas in their lungs.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard discussion about shaking our bottle of fizzy drink?) the gas may come out of solution faster than it can diffuse into the surrounding air and bubbles will be formed. the fewer gas molecules it can hold in solution. Eventually. but in diving physiology temperature usually has little effect as our bodies normally regulate our temperature within quite narrow limits. When we breathe air at sea level the dissolved gases contained in our blood and tissues are in proportion to the partial pressures of the gases in our lungs. If we ascend too quickly these gases will come out of solution much too quickly. temperature also has an effect. As we descend underwater. otherwise known as the bends. bubbles could form in our blood and tissues and result in decompression sickness.
when it has occurred it has been known to result in the diver drowning when underwater. or at least not enough oxygen. which describes a state of oxygen deficiency in our bodies.5 bar for prolonged periods of time (many hours to days)..4 bar. there are two trends that do seem to be very consistent. a factor which appears to increase the probability of a convulsion occurring if this high CO2 level coincides with us simultaneously breathing a high PPO2 of oxygen. and a further.e. far more serious symptom is severe. we will begin to suffer from what is usually referred to as "pulmonary" or "chronic" oxygen toxicity. As we breathe at sea level we inspire approximately 21% oxygen from the surrounding air. If this PPO2 in our breathing air drops much below 0.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard OXYGEN Oxygen is the only gas we really need to breathe in order to stay alive. 10% oxygen at sea level). as the inspired PPO2 increases beyond this 0.21 bar). our bodies will begin to shut down. However. The effects of oxygen toxicity include a burning sensation or irritation in our lungs that can affect our breathing. However. a partial pressure of oxygen (PPO2 of 0. a condition known as hypoxia. Conversely. but the problem a diver could face when experiencing such convulsions goes without saying. convulsions and unconsciousness.1 bar (i. termed Central Nervous System (CNS) or acute oxygen toxicity presents itself.5 bar level towards levels of 1. commercial divers routinely breathe oxygen partial pressures as high as 1. and this is a significant problem.doc Page 23 of 67 . we can also breathe too much oxygen. If we don't breathe oxygen. Convulsions have occurred in divers breathing an inspired PPO2 level as low as 1. because it appears unpredictably and without warning when the increased PPO2 is available. muscular trembling. A second pre-disposing condition is our immersion in water which 82629652. resulting in symptoms of facial twitching.2 bar. and that will also cause us problems. or in partial pressure terms. A variety of symptoms such as facial muscular twitching and tunnel vision are attributed to acute oxygen toxicity (also referred to as the Lorrain Smith effect after one of the early researchers who investigated it).8 bar or more of oxygen without difficulty. there are theories suggesting the high oxygen concentration can temporary overwhelm the bodies defences and interfere chemically with enzymes used by the tissues for metabolism.2 to 1. a different kind of oxygen toxicity. Unfortunately medical science doesn't seem to have a clear understanding of the exact biochemical processes which take place under conditions of CNS oxygen toxicity. we would soon die. and hyperbaric chamber facilities regularly expose patients to 2. apparently as a result of oxygen-induced convulsions. but such cases usually involve extenuating circumstances such as medical conditions which pre-disposed the divers to these convulsions. By themselves these convulsions do not appear to cause any permanent damage. nausea. If we maintain our inspired PPO2 above about 0. However. This is perhaps the most serious of diving maladies. At the other end of the scale breathing a PPO2 greater than 0. Amid these ambiguities.21 bar of oxygen is generally fine up to a certain point. uncontrolled convulsions. Whilst in itself an unlikely event to occur. Neither is there a clear consensus on what the "safe" upper PPO2 limit should be.9 bar in the water. The first is that strenuous exercise whilst diving can result in high levels of CO2 within our blood.
Divers experience this form of narcosis most commonly with nitrogen. When immersed underwater. 82629652.2 bar. although other gases can also create this effect and so a more correct term is "inert gas narcosis" or simply "narcosis". sleepy.4 bar as a safe upper limit during periods of physical exertion. anaesthetic effect nicknamed "rapture of the deep" or "the narks". a euphoric. Although inert. However. nitrogen plays no part in our body's process of metabolism. Theories suggest that the nitrogen becomes dissolved in the lipids in neurons (nerve cells). as even though oxygen is not an inert gas.doc Page 24 of 67 . While oxygen absorption doesn't cause us problems. and what nitrogen we breathe in. it can still have narcotic properties. NITROGEN Eighty percent of the gas molecules in the air are nitrogen (N2). A further factor of note. and becomes most noticeable at depths of about 30m / 99 ft where the PPN2 has increased to about 3. followed by a hangover. and then interferes with the transmission of signals between these neurons. as during our dive this gas will saturate our body tissues. and the divers recollection of events during the dive may also be affected. which seem to differ from person to person and usually from dive to dive. This second condition explains why divers in recompression chambers and undersea habitats are able to breathe far higher concentrations of oxygen without experiencing CNS oxygen toxicity. and our bodies absorb this gas as a direct consequence of Henry's Law. The effects of narcosis can be described as being similar to those that follow a night of inebriation. and one that unfortunately cannot be avoided or necessarily explained is that there is an extremely large range of variation both between individuals. and may provide him or her with a false sense of security. providing of course it remains below oxygen toxicity limits. most training agencies regard a PPO2 of 1. Hallucinations and giddiness have also been reported. but almost any gas can cause anaesthesia when breathed at high partial pressures. When diving on ordinary compressed air nitrogen narcosis develops as the nitrogen partial pressure increases. nitrogen absorption during deep dives can result in nitrogen narcosis. forming bubbles and causing decompression sickness. Narcosis has many effects. we also breathe out again. nitrogen is by no means harmless. Oxygen absorption doesn't lead to decompression problems because our bodies metabolise this oxygen. Being an inert gas. and 1. A diver suffering from narcosis may also exercise poor judgement and become uncoordinated. such as during decompression stops.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard seems to reduce our body's tolerance to elevated concentrations of inspired oxygen. If at the end of our dive we make too fast an ascent. and within a single individual overtime. the nitrogen may come out of solution to quickly. The exact biochemistry behind the development of narcosis is not fully understood. nitrogen is physiologically inert and as such is not used by our bodies.6 bar during periods of rest. These effects may cause the diver to feel drowsy.
and which resulted in no symptoms of decompression sickness at all. no matter how conservative these schedules were. Haldane's initial work the U. Therefore it became clear that there were many other factors contributing to decompression sickness than simply depth and time.S. divers symptoms could be reduced or eliminated. These caissons used compressed air to hold back water while working on the river bottom. staged ascent patterns back to the surface after exposures to various depths for various lengths of time. Since then there has been a long and continuing effort to understand all the actual factors involved. an awkward but fashionable posture adopted by women of that period. The U. This is where the term "the bends" comes from. These tables were eventually released to the general diving public for use by commercial and recreational divers. this is an extraordinarily difficult undertaking. and the sickness that the labourers experienced on leaving these caissons became known as "caisson workers disease".D. In 1906 Professor John Scott Haldane M. The labourers soon learned that if they bent this joint the pain would subside.S..S.S. At this time nothing was known about decompression sickness.doc Page 25 of 67 . their simple solution to the joint pains that they experienced was to bend the joint to relieve the pain. As it turns out. They compared their contortions to the Grecian bend. Following J. more commonly known as the "bends". has been well documented for many years. and it was this work which led to the first dive tables being published in 1907. a process which today is termed decompression. they were not perfect. 82629652.R.e. decompression schedules). F. In addition it was also found that a great many dives were being conducted which followed ascent patterns much less conservative than the schedules suggested. They soon learned by developing theory from empirical data obtained from numerous experiments that by slowing down the rate of ascent back to surface pressure after exposure to elevated pressure. What these caisson workers were actually suffering from was decompression sickness due to the fast rate of change of pressure when leaving their caissons. and to produce a mathematical model that was better able to predict optimal ascent patterns (i. Unfortunately. Navy and other organisations spent a great deal of time and committed substantial resources to conducting experiments in order to better understand the physiological processes involved with decompression sickness. In many cases. people following the schedules would suffer decompression sickness symptoms anyway. At the beginning of the twentieth century it was found that labourers working in pressurised caissons whilst laying the foundations for the Brooklyn bridge piers suffered from pain in or near joints when leaving their pressurised chamber. a physiologist already interested in the effects of gas on the body turned his attention to decompression sickness in Royal Navy helmet divers. Navy produced a further set of decompression tables which detailed schedules that describe slow.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard DECOMPRESSION Decompression Sickness.
things start to get a bit complicated. at least not when the inspired PPO2 is within safe CNS oxygen toxicity limits. should we remain at depth for 82629652. The ratios of the gas partial pressures within these microbubbles compared with the partial pressures of the gases dissolved in the surrounding blood (plus a wide variety of other factors) determine whether or not these microbubbles will increase in size. the important biomolecule that transports oxygen throughout our bodies. we can prove this theory to ourselves by simply boiling up some water. In this situation. This type of dive profile is termed a "no-decompression dive". If while diving we stay shallow enough. When divers breathe air underwater. we are only considering the gases in the breathing mixture other than oxygen. as after all.doc Page 26 of 67 . or by causing clotting via the complement system. the nitrogen gas molecules would either form bubbles. our blood and tissues will have elevated concentrations of dissolved nitrogen in them. or (more likely) cause pre-existing and harmlessly small microbubbles in our blood to increase in size. by how much their size will increase. the pressure that held the nitrogen in solution would be greatly reduced. During a dive we do not become instantaneously saturated by nitrogen. A lot of the oxygen that dissolves in our blood is immediately bound by haemoglobin. In turn this will invoke a complex cascade of biochemical processes termed the "complement system" that leads to blood clotting both around the microbubbles and at the sites where the microbubbles have damaged the blood vessels. so that the dissolved concentrations are always somewhat lower than the inspired concentrations. For the purposes of this discussion on decompression. If we were then to suddenly ascend to the surface.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Since these early tables were produced there has been a great deal of hyperbaric research undertaken by many expert bodies. This clotting will block blood flow to certain tissues. If we spend sufficient time at depth. However. To begin with. If these microbubbles become large enough they may damage the walls of the blood vessels in which they are located. We can assume that Henry's Law describes the nature of how gasses actually dissolve in our blood reasonably well. Furthermore. it seems almost certain that it's these bubbles which are ultimately responsible for us experiencing decompression sickness. wreaking all sorts of havoc.(Investigation has shown that even at atmospheric pressure our blood and tissues contain these microbubbles). or only dive to depth for a very short period of time we can usually ascend directly back to the surface without experiencing any of the symptoms of decompression sickness. and we now know that the blood within our bodies already contain microbubbles even before we go underwater. it results in increased concentrations of nitrogen being dissolved in the divers blood and tissues. In order to avoid decompression sickness we need to avoid bubble formation and / or microbubble growth. oxygen is constantly being "consumed" by the process of metabolism. and if so. After that though. What follows is an outline description of what seems to cause decompression sickness. The nitrogen gas molecules are held in our blood by the ambient pressure acting on our bodies at depth. Whether these bubbles cause harm directly by blocking blood flow in capillaries. the rules that apply to oxygen are different from the rules that apply to other gas constituents. The process of nitrogen diffusing into the blood and tissues takes an amount of time. It is generally assumed that oxygen does not need to be considered in questions about decompression and decompression sickness.
The depth at which any required decompression stops are conducted is critical in that they must be shallow enough for the PPN2 in the lungs to be lower than the dissolved concentration of nitrogen in the blood. Thus we must "decompress". It simply means that the bubbles have not increased to a large enough size to display obvious symptoms. it doesn't mean that bubbles have not formed or are not forming in the blood supply. as well as cause mechanical compression and stretching of the blood vessels and nerves. DCS may be divided into 3 categories: (1) Type I (mild) (2) Type II (serious) (3) Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE).An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard a long enough period of time. the decompression stop depth must also be deep enough to ensure that the ambient pressure is sufficiently high to prevent significant bubble growth. Usually decompression is performed in stages. the ambient pressure acting on our bodies begins to decrease. Additionally. These stages allow us to incrementally return to the surface while the excess dissolved nitrogen to escapes from the body without having to set up a high pressure gradient within our bodies. They may act as emboli and block circulation. the blood-bubble interface acts as a foreign surface. 82629652. When ascending from such dives. we must spend time at shallow depths to allow the excess dissolved gas to escape. the circulation periods within the body vary. It should be noted that even if a diver surfaces from a no-decompression dive without experiencing any of the symptoms of decompression sickness. as decompression sickness may still be present even in the absence of symptoms. with 3m / 10 ft intervals between each stage. At this point the nitrogen gas molecules move out of the blood and tissues and return to the lungs to be vented from our bodies with our next exhaled breath. enough nitrogen will dissolve into our blood and tissues to prevent a direct return back to the surface. activating the early phases of blood coagulation and the release of substances from the cells lining the blood vessels causing vasoconstriction which can worsen the effects of a blocked vessel. Cerebro-spinal fluid can take 24hrs to fully circulate compared with the 1-2 minutes required for arterial blood. TYPES OF DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS(DCS) DCS results from the effects of these bubbles on organ systems. As we ascend at the end of a dive. However. which can therefore lead to a higher probability of decompression sickness symptoms developing. This will result in the pressure of the gas within the lungs (and thus the partial pressure of nitrogen in the lungs) decreasing.doc Page 27 of 67 . As a point and to try to show the complexities involved. The bubbles may disrupt cells and cause loss of function.
Nervous system The spinal cord is the most common site for Type II DCS. (3) Lymphatic involvement is uncommon and usually is signalled by painless pitting oedema which is a swelling of the lower limbs that a thumb when pressed in will leave an impression. whilst a neoprene contact dermatitis will be in areas where a suit rubs. Symptom onset is usually immediate but may be delayed as long as 36 hours. loss of sphincter control. Pain is the most common symptom of DCS and is often described as a dull. Some authorities consider anorexia and excessive fatigue after a dive as manifestations of Type I DCS. A suit squeeze will generally have a different pattern and look more like bruising. The shoulder is the most commonly affected joint in most divers after a shallower than 40 metre dive. Because of the anatomical complexity of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Pain is reported in only about 30% of cases. The pain is initially mild and slowly becomes more intense. (2) "skin bends" that cause itching or burning sensations of the skin. Because of this. paralysis. Upper limbs are affected about 3 times as often as lower limbs. such as the neck or cuffs. toothache-type pain.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Type I DCS Characterised by (1) mild pains that begin to resolve within 10 minutes of onset (niggles). On rare occasions. paraesthesia. skin has an orange peel appearance. pulmonary lung symptoms and circulatory problems such as hypovolaemic shock. Type II DCS Characterised by nervous system involvement. The mildest cases involve the skin or the lymphatics. and girdle pain of the lower trunk. The pain of Type I DCS may mask neurological signs that are hallmarks of the more serious Type II DCS. throbbing.doc Page 28 of 67 . many divers attribute early DCS symptoms to overexertion or a pulled muscle. 82629652. symptoms mimic spinal cord trauma. (4) Pain (the bends) occurs in the majority (70-85%) of patients with DCS. It is important that this is not confused with other causes of a rash whilst diving. signs and symptoms are variable and diverse. or skin rash. usually in a joint or tendon area but also in tissue. deep. Low back pain may start within a few minutes to hours after the dive and may progress to paresis. which generally is a mottled rash causing marbling of the skin or a violet coloured rash which is most often seen on the chest and shoulders. whereas the knees are affected more in deep divers.
Symptoms can start up to 12 hours after a dive and persist for 12-48 hours. 82629652. for example. and death can result. Multiple systems may be involved. Circulatory system Hypovolaemic shock commonly is associated with other symptoms. differentiating between them is not of great importance.doc Page 29 of 67 . For reasons not yet fully understood. beginning with dizziness. and changes in mental status. differentiating DCS from traumatic nerve injuries. Lungs Pulmonary DCS (the chokes) is characterised by (1) inspiratory burning and substernal discomfort. vertigo. during a breath holding ascent. This strange shifting of symptoms confuses the diagnosis. Coronary artery embolisation can lead to myocardial infarction or abnormal rhythms. fluid shifts from intravascular to extravascular spaces. This occurs in about 2% of all DCS cases and can end in death. The problems of tachycardia (rapid heart beat) and postural hypotension (dizziness when you suddenly sit or stand up) are treated by oral rehydration. and other systemic arterioles. cerebral. (2) non-productive coughing that can become paroxysmal like a coughing fit. Differentiating cerebral AGE from Type II neurological DCS is usually based upon suddenness of symptoms. vomiting. and profound anxiousness. dizziness. Neurological symptoms vary. These gas bubbles continue to expand as ascending pressure decreases. and (3) severe respiratory distress. Other common symptoms include headaches or visual disturbances. Labyrinthine or inner ear DCS (the staggers) causes a combination of nausea.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard DCS can be dynamic and does not follow typical peripheral nerve distribution patterns. and seizures can occur quickly. The treatment of DCS is less effective if dehydration is not corrected. Symptoms and signs depend on where the emboli travel to. AGE symptoms typically occur within 10-20 minutes after surfacing. Clinical features may occur suddenly or gradually. AGE (Arterial Gas Embolisation) Pulmonary overpressurisation. headache. Central Nervous System(CNS) DCS is clinically similar to AGE. and nystagmus in addition to tinnitus and partial deafness. can cause large gas embolisation when rupture into the pulmonary vein allows alveolar gas to enter systemic or arterial circulation. The blood-bubble interface may act as a foreign surface causing this effect. tunnel vision. More dramatic symptoms of unresponsiveness. if the patient is conscious or via an IV if unconscious. shock. Gas emboli can lodge in coronary. Thrombi or clots may form from activation of the early phases of blood coagulation and the release of vasoactive substances from cells lining the blood vessels. thus increasing the severity of clinical signs. Since the treatment of either requires recompression. Cerebral artery emboli can cause stroke or seizures.
We will now look at the ways around these problems that have culminated in the use of mixed gases and saturation diving. 82629652.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard SYNOPSIS ν We have so far seen the following:- ν How pressure causes problems to the diver breathing air. in the following ways:- Φ Φ Φ Φ Φ Narcotic effect of nitrogen at raised partial pressures. Limited time at depth due to decompression requirements Problems returning to the surface unless decompression stops are carried out.doc Page 30 of 67 . Oxygen toxicity at raised partial pressures. Nitrogen causing decompression sickness.
narcosis can be likened to having had three or four very large drinks and unless a person is aware of narcosis and the effects it can have. The problem is. We also increase the amount of nitrogen available to flood the tissues and bloodstream.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard MIXED GAS DIVING The maximum depth limit for diving on air in the North Sea oil & gas fields is -50m. One that does not have the same narcotic effects as N2 and removes any toxicity problems. we could also look for something lighter. not very far from our 1. even at very high inspired partial pressures. the decompression penalty is likely to be between 3min-6min. requiring less effort to breathe at great depths. For every minute of time at this depth. The best way to do this is to use another gas in place of the nitrogen. The most usual gas for this is Helium. It is less dense at -100m depth than nitrogen is at the surface! 82629652. along with many other changes for gas handling etc. depending on which table is used. Even at -50m. Commercial tables are likely to give less penalty than sports diving clubs.26b. Hydrogen has been used in tri-mixes and work is still ongoing exploring the use of these mixes in very deep diving. that has a smaller molecule. To start trying to sort out our problems with air.55b upper limit in the safe zone and in the zone where the variable aspect of toxicity could have an affect on a person with a low susceptibility to oxygen.4b partial pressure. we increase the effect of the narcosis. By reducing the O2 to 10%. We could choose Hydrogen but the explosive combination of Oxygen and Hydrogen would mean re-designing our diving systems to make them spark proof. Helium It has two fundamental advantages over nitrogen:Φ Does not cause narcosis. so that we can breath it more easily at depth. While we are choosing our new gas. So. but at a shallower depth. we can go down to -120m before reaching 1. the trade off risk against incident for the working time against decompression penalty is unrealistic and only rarely is surface supplied air diving used at this depth. Φ It has a much smaller molecule and is consequently much less dense. if we replace the removed O2 with N2.doc Page 31 of 67 . The PPO2 at this depth is 21% x 6b/100=1. we need to reduce the quantities of both gases. it could put them at risk during a dive. However. we can quite easily overcome the oxygen toxicity risk by reducing the amount of oxygen in our breathing mix. It does appear though from early results that hydrogen does produce narcosis but of a more cerebral/hallucinogenic type than that produced by nitrogen. Most people are of the opinion that –30m is a more realistic maximum for surface supplied air.
more dissolved helium in less dive time. (also used by sports divers). Because. ie. Φ Less worktime for more decompression time Φ Its use also results in a faster loss of body heat because it conducts heat better than O2 or N2 Φ Creates communication problems (mickey mouse voice) 82629652. an explanation of some of the other mixed gas diving that you may come across:Φ Nitrox Commonly used these days. and increases bottom times for little or no increase in decompression penalties. Because of its small molecule size. Because air is not a good decompression gas because of its nitrogen makeup. oxygen does not factor in decompression dynamics. Helium is not a good gas for the kind of decompression we do in surface supplied diving. making it a much less commercial proposition than air or nitrox for surface supplied diving. this gives us a wider leeway in nodecompression dives. Φ Trimix Normally Helium. Not normally used by the commercial industry but becoming more and more used by “technical” sports divers. we remove some of the nitrogen and add oxygen. Unfortunately.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Before we go further into saturation and deep diving. for all its plus points. This means that the ratio of dive time to decompression time would be lower. Heliox. Achieves all our requirements:Φ Reduces the concentration of oxygen Φ Eliminates the nitrogen and risk of narcosis Φ Reduces the overall gas density making it easier to breathe at great depths.Helium and Oxygen.doc Page 32 of 67 . it dissolves in blood and tissue faster than nitrogen. as stated earlier. Oxygen and Nitrogen. Obviously this mix can only be used at depths where CNS oxygen toxicity is not a concern.
We have seen in earlier text how tissue saturation is reached. The divers then transfer through the trunking into the bell and secure the door of the bell.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard SATURATION During experiments aimed at isolating gas absorption rates in tissue. It would make no difference if we stayed at that depth for a week or a month. the time taken for the gas to transfer became fairly standard. 2 go out into the water and work together with the 3rd carrying our standby diver duties in the bell. It took quite some time for the theory and practice to come together but once there was a commercial driving force and a reason to want to spend extended times at deep depths. i. if we have a tissue with a 30-minute period. it is possible to stay at. Saturation curves for exposure at depth are not linear but exponential. as there was always a tendency to decompress to 82629652. Consequently we measure the time taken for a gas/liquid system to saturate as a period. the bottom door of the bell can be opened and the diver can exit to the worksite.. It was then realised that once the body and bloodstream were saturated with gas. until tissue saturation is completed. A diving bell takes them from the saturation complex to the worksite. saturation diving became a viable concern. we would still only require the 29 hours of decompression. If 2 men go. when the tissue was saturated with gas. they will work in the water for 3 to 4 hours each. in essence. regardless of the length of time spent at depth. there was no holding back. it is a tissue which will be 50% saturated in 30 minutes. say 100m for 8hrs. The pressure in the lock on trunking is equalised to that of the internal pressure of the saturation complex. stored at a depth slightly less than the required working depth.e. The bell is then moved to the moonpool and lowered to the working depth. Depending on the work. no further decompression penalty was incurred. bell runs can be contain 2 or 3 men. There are now regulations restricting how much intermediate decompression is allowed during the saturation trip. At the working depth. At this point we have 29 hours decompression to complete to allow the gas to dissipate from our tissues and bloodstream. Bell runs are regulated to 8hrs or 6hrs dive duration. enabling the bell to be locked off.doc Page 33 of 67 . Hence the term Saturation Diving. So. at a certain point. Divers are only allowed 8hrs in water time during a 24hrs working period. it was noted that. when the pressure equalises. Personnel in the complex close the door of the complex and the trunking is de-pressurised. Divers live under pressure in chambers for up to a month at a time. Once all the information was available and decompression tables had been built and tested. one man remaining in the bell while the other carries out the tasks required in the water. This does not mean it will be fully saturated in double the time (60 minutes). The bell is locked onto the system by a clamp. On 3 man dives.
humidity. It is impossible for the man in the chamber to pop out for a few minutes to get a briefing for the next job! 82629652. At extreme depths this gives only a few minutes for him to return to the bell. This resulted in divers spending days in transit between depths. Although saturation has become a very normal and commonplace item in the offshore industry.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard shallower depths to keep options open. (The shallower the diving depth. Regular abandonment drills are carried out. Internal chamber partial pressures for oxygen are normally kept around 400mb. gained by passing examinations set to IMCA/UKOOA standards. at current rates). Whilst a few millimetres of steel separate the man on the inside of the chamber from a man on the outside. (Helium breathing without reclaim would cost approximately £800-£1000 per hour at 100m. These days a hyperbaric lifeboat is normally supplied. The saturation system and internal environment are monitored and run by Life Support Technicians from Saturation control. Other responsible persons can insist that he ends a dive but no-one can insist that he start one. This is normally increased to 600mb for decompressions. They are responsible for the divers while they are in the chambers. This is a pressure chamber fitted inside a lifeboat hull and attached to the saturation dive complex. Depth excursions are also now limited. The gas can be then be scrubbed clean and re-used cutting down on expensive helium waste. It has a gas supply built in and must be big enough to take the maximum number of divers held in saturation. due to the decompression requirements. The water temperature is regulated from the surface and flow regulated from the bell and by the diver at the suit. The chambers are mini environments and have to be monitored constantly for gas content. All saturation systems must have a secondary means of escape for the divers. it must be stressed that it is very similar to being in space. The diver wears a hot water suit and the gas is normally heated by utilising this system. temperature and bacteria. Supervisors are required to have a certificate of competence. No-one else on the worksite is recognised by law or legislation in so far as being in charge of the divers. Breathing gas is reclaimed through helmet valves and return hoses to the surface. The Dive supervisor must have a letter of appointment from the company he is working for before he can run a diving programme. The diver is equipped with a bailout bottle on his back for emergency use. Below –150m the gas has to be heated to reduce body temperature loss.doc Page 34 of 67 . the less excursion above and below the bell allowed). Once in the bell. He is the only person that can start a dive. It contains life saving equipment for the divers and is normally manned by the life support technician crew in the event of abandonment of a vessel. they are in fact many hours apart. the divers come under the direct control and responsibility of a Dive Supervisor.
shall take such measures as it is reasonable for a person in his position to take to ensure that these Regulations are complied with”. Regulation 4. There is the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). This quote is from the ACOP. planning. Included below is a list of the major legislation that may have an effect on an underwater work campaign. formerly the Association of Diving Contractors (AODC). 2 3 82629652. The main legislation involved is the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 2776) and allied Accepted Codes of Practice.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard LEGISLATION AND REGULATION The diving industry in the North Sea is regulated in several ways. 1 The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. has control over or is engaged in a diving project or whose acts or omissions could adversely affect the health and safety of persons engaged in such a project. (ACOP) All offshore diving is carried out under these regulations and anyone involved in an offshore diving project would do well to read this legislation and the accepted code of practice that goes with it. Anyone not sure as to whether a certain part of some legislation affects the job being planned is advised to check with the contractor involved or specialist diving consultant for advice. execution and reporting of diving and subsea programmes.doc Page 35 of 67 . make arrangements to implement necessary measures. This short familiarisation course cannot go very deeply into the legislation and regulations affecting not only diving but the offshore industry in general except to say that nearly all major legislation affects in some part the preparation. appoint competent people and arrange for appropriate information and training. In the past there have been many grey areas in diving regulations as to responsibility and accountability. through the Health and Safety Executive and their own Diving Inspectorate. There are selfimposed rules that vary from company to company. Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 requires employers to take out insurance to cover their liability for accidents and ill health sustained by their employees Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 require employers to carry out risk assessments. There are guidelines produced by the United Kingdom Offshore Oil Association (UKOOA) for various standards within diving and there is the Government. “Every person who to any extent is responsible for. This legislation actually outlines all those who may be accountable and the net is fairly wide spread.
The Regulations now apply offshore. The Regulations now apply offshore. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 82629652. Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 cover safe systems of work on construction sites. Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990 set out how certain people being trained for employment should be treated for the purposes of health and safety law. Reporting of Injuries.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard 4 5 6 7 8 9 Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 cover the moving of objects by hand or bodily force. Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 1994 require suppliers to classify. Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 1992 require the duty holder of an offshore installation to submit at various stages in the life cycle of the installation a safety case for the management of health and safety on the installation. Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion. Offshore Installations and Pipelines Works (Management and Administration)Regulations 1995 require co-operation between everyone who has a contribution to make to ensuring health and safety on the offshore installation or in activities involving the installation. The Offshore Installations and Pipelines (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 cover requirements for first-aid offshore.doc Page 36 of 67 . Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 require employers to notify certain occupational injuries. diseases and dangerous events. Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require people in control of electrical systems to ensure they are safe to use and maintained in a safe condition. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 require that equipment provided for use at work including machinery is safe. Noise at Work Regulations 1989 require employers to take action to protect employees from hearing damage. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 require employers to assess the risks from hazardous substances and take appropriate precautions. and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995 provide for the protection of persons from fire and explosion and for securing effective emergency response. label and package dangerous chemicals and provide safety data sheets for them. Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 require employers to provide appropriate protective clothing and equipment for their employees.
He invariably runs all aspects of the dive including control of the deck and cranes. He used to be called a Diving Superintendent but is now normally given the title Offshore Manager. He is there as the diving company worksite and vessel representative and is normally the contact between the diving company and the contracting company representative He is normally an ex diver or diving supervisor and will have a letter of appointment from his company. 82629652. will authorise the diving programme and monitor its progress. He is responsible to the OIM and the company that is having the diving work carried out. Diving Supervisor The diving supervisor is the person who actually runs the diving programme. safety and welfare for all personnel working on his installation or within its 500m zone. legislative and regulatory requirements. He will normally have passed the Diving Supervisors examinations and had considerable experience in all the different types of subsea work carried out by divers. If the diving site is on a fixed platform. risk assessment concerns. He is the first person responsible for the health. He is normally a diving specialist with firsthand knowledge of diving techniques and is responsible for ensuring that the diving programme is carried out to company. the following persons have the responsibility to ensure the diving is carries out to legislation and regulation. permit to work and work progress.doc Page 37 of 67 . deployment of equipment. In the North Sea area. He will be aware of all activities being undertaken and through his managers.Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) He has the overall responsibility for the health. he will have to have a letter of appointment and have passed a set of examinations before being able to run a dive. safety and welfare of the diver. He is the only person in law who can start a dive. Offshore Manager (OM) Most vessels or diving worksites have a diving company representative onboard. Client/Company Diving Representative He is the eyes and ears of the OIM and is involved with the dive programme and dive team first hand.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Controls The hierarchy on a diving site varies depending on the location.
there should be no reason why anyone gets hurt or for collateral damage to be inflicted on hardware and assets if a project is planned correctly and all aspects of its impact are taken into account and catered for. build redundancy into the system for those items that we see as being potentially vulnerable. pipeline and platform work it is necessary to rely on a location remote from the worksite to supply isolations and information about the system being worked on. It is more difficult underwater. as we have seen from the earlier parts of this course. especially in wellhead. there is the physics to deal with. There is no reason why a diving project should be any less safe than a normal everyday project carried out. say. 82629652. etc. lack of physical weight. Buoyancy. We can vet the whole support team on the surface to ensure they are doing everything they can to keep the man in the water safe and we can give them the best equipment to work with. A valve changeout there is really no different to the same job below water. Good safety is good for business and a robust safety management system is as necessary to a company as a good fiscal policy or product quality assurance. We can train people to rig properly. etc. ensure they are competent with the tools of the job and the equipment they are using. But all of these things are understood and can be catered for. anything that is not under the control of those at the immediate worksite and failure to follow supplied procedures”. getting to the worksite may involve expending more energy. and do.doc Page 38 of 67 . These items are more often than not the root causes of incidents. They have a rigorous medical every year to ensure they are. Breathing is more difficult as we go deeper. How do we control the above items or minimise them to an extent where they cannot present a major risk? Very often. The total cost of a serious incident can run into millions once all the external influences have been taken into account but on a more simple note. Divers invariably stay fit. Diving is only the means of transporting someone to the worksite so that he can carry out a particular task. hazards that may not have been picked up at the planning stage of the project and situations where people do not follow the procedures supplied. as we have seen. and of course.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard SAFETY In this day and age I am sure everyone is aware that safety is of paramount importance. rigging to get the tools to the job may require more effort. in the plant on a platform. So we are left with items controlled by outside agencies. We can engineer back-ups for plant and ancillary equipment and ensure that there are no potential single point failures that will put our diver at risk. so what can possibly go wrong? I think the answer to that question is “anything that has not been taken into account. etc. Of course there are always unforeseen and unexpected breakdowns of equipment but we can.
When working alongside a platform where intakes and outfalls may be a hazard. Short cuts. to make sure that all previous items have been taken into account. There are many excuses for something that there can be no excuse for. We now come to the most difficult item to control. There are many cases of divers being hurt by unauthorised changes to programmes. It may be that someone else will spot something on a P&ID that makes the job safer or conversely. When dealing with risk assessments or hazard identification. at the end of a task. 82629652. The checklist should have undergone scrutiny at risk assessment level to ensure that all the required information is included. examine the generic and see if it is fit for the purpose in hand. trying to save money. it is imperative that all information is available in the workscope or procedure. When carrying out a risk assessment. We can control part of this by making sure we have a robust management of change policy but people must be aware of it and how to apply it. The permit to work must ensure that the isolations are carried out and that all other personnel on the platform are aware of diving operations.doc Page 39 of 67 . Likewise. No overside work or tubular lifts are going to be allowed and inboard lifts of scaffolding and drill tubing are controlled or stopped. that’s generic” philosophy. procedure. It is a good idea to have a list to check through at the end of a risk assessment. it may be useable as a basis for a new procedure tailored to your requirements. etc. However. I have included such a list in Appendix I at the back of the notes as a starting point. it is good to have a checklist so that the dive vessel can supply the as left status back to the source or remote location. That way we can ensure they are aware of our concerns and that we have considered other options but picked this option as being the best. that of someone not following procedures. Using these. just as there are in many other areas of industry. job pack. checklists are the most useful items to have. If it is generic. The list should be updated each time a new item is discovered at a risk assessment. risk assessment or task plan to make sure they are taken into account. all well and good. they must be brought to the attention of the correct personnel in a workscope. make sure all available information is presented. stops a bad mistake from being made. We should also make people aware of the reasons for doing a particular task a particular way. it is possible for non-experts to interrogate the source of the information with a view to ascertaining whether the status is as expected. If they are not included they may be forgotten. etc. trying to save time.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard To ensure the information given is correct and that the isolations are correctly in place or that the information about the status of a system is correct. to assist the dive supervisor in ensuring that the correct hardware has been isolated and that an isolation certificate is in existence for that equipment. “thought it was a better way to do it” etc. If it is. If it isn’t. All of these items are very controllable. never rely on the “oh.
doc Page 40 of 67 . We should be prepared to change things if concerns are voiced and a safer way is available.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard We should utilise the onsite risk assessment and “toolbox” talks/risk assessments effectively. Chemicals. to listen to other methods and to explain why we have chosen the path we have. Oily Water) Φ Hanging Debris Φ Scaffold/Seabed Debris Φ Redundant Rigging Φ Redundant Platform Services(Grout pipes etc) Φ Impressed Current Systems Φ Aerated water Φ Dropped Objects Φ Crane Movements Φ Tubulars/Heavy lifts Φ Explosives(Perforations/Completions) Φ Flaring Φ Underwater Tasks Φ Hand Tools/Fitness for Purpose Φ High Pressure Water Jet Φ Grit Entrainment System(Clogging helmet Valves) Φ Explosives Φ Equipment Deployment/Recovery Φ Reduced Visibility Φ Cold Cutting Equipment 82629652. HAZARD LISTS: Φ Marine Issues Φ Supply Vessel Movements Φ Cargo operations Φ Crane Operations Φ Seismic vessels Φ DP Failure Φ Fishing Vessels/Interaction with fishing gear Φ Platform exhausts Φ Tidal Flow Φ Weather Conditions Φ Surface Visibility Φ Platform Alarms/Emergency Response Φ Weather Vaning/Hunting Φ Platform/Rig Issues Φ Intakes Φ Intake Grilles/Guards Φ Polluted Water Discharges(Sewage. We should also ensure that everyone in the chain of command knows that changes to the procedures must be agreed by all parties prior to implementation and that ad hoc changes will not be acceptable.
82629652. entrapment in equipment) Φ Air Bags for lifting/Movement Φ Confined space entry(Wellheads.doc Page 41 of 67 . igloos. protection frames) Φ Entrapment Φ Snagged Umbilical Φ Falling Debris Φ Extended Umbilical Tasks Φ Unexpected pressure events during wellhead/pipeline works Φ Hydrocarbon leakage into diving bell Φ Contamination(Chemicals or Oil) See Appendix I for complete list. Torque Converters.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Φ Hot Cutting Equipment(Broco & Oxy Arc) Φ Verification of correct worksite(Plans/Drawing correct and updated) Φ Habitat Work Φ Hydraulics(Grinding. Drilling. Impact Wrenches. Cleaning. bolt tensioning) Φ Heavy Equipment movement Φ Excavation/Dredging Φ Air Lifts(Loss of visibility.
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard DIVING EQUIPMENT Divers personal equipment is pretty much the same for most diving operations. A woolly bear or neoprene undersuit. which fits around the head and onto pegs at the front edge of the helmet. A nose-blocking device is also fitted to enable the diver to equalise the pressure in the eustachian tubes as he changes depth. A padded hood is worn under the helmet for comfort. That’s about it for diving equipment. dry suits are used instead of hot water suits. fins or wellingtons depending on whether the dive is mid water or on the seabed. These aid buoyancy as they hold air inside and can be inflated/deflated if fitted with a whip to the suit valve. The air version dumps the expelled air straight out to the sea via a one way flap valve. giving the head plenty of protection. Mid-water saturation divers also use buoyancy these days in the shape of stabilisation jackets. This is equipped with a weak link to break in the event of a vessel run off. Most divers also have a climber’s “friend” to use to secure themselves to mid-water worksites. Breathing in the helmet is through a fitted oro-nasal cup. The demand valve on the front of the helmet is used to adjust the gas flow to the comfort of the diver. whether air or mixed gas/saturation. These helmets are held secure to the head by a rubber “spider”. The saturation version of this helmet is fitted with a gas reclaim valve for connection of the flow and return hoses to the reclaim system. hot water suit. They assist the diver. They are very often used by the standby diver in a diving bell as they are easier for one man to put on in a hurry. neoprene boots and gloves. On some air diving jobs. These are called “band” masks and have a hard plastic front onto which a neoprene hood is held by the “band”. especially in long mid-water swims to the worksite. These are similar to those used by scuba divers but modified for the more rigorous demands of commercial saturation diving. It has a yoke with a neoprene neck seal that fits over the head and locks onto the helmet itself. There are also soft neoprene helmets. 82629652. There is also a valve for de-misting the view plate when it gets fogged over.doc Page 42 of 67 . At the side of the helmet is the emergency supply valve. It tends to be much the same across the North Sea and won’t differ much from company to company. This allows the diver to access the gas in his bailout bottle and to close of the main supply. The helmet is normally a full head helmet these days. A harness is worn to attach the umbilical and which has a lifting eye in the top in case the diver needs to be lifted into the bell.
Perhaps the only way to get the tool there is to swim with it or to rig to several points and leapfrog it from one point to another. Very often a heavy cumbersome piece of equipment is supplied for say. it is very often worthwhile getting a diver or dive supervisor involved at an early stage. The same can be said for good quality drawings and P&ID`s especially of wellheads and ancillary equipment. Most of these items are used and function in the same way. it may be possible to re-plan the task to save having more divers in saturation or on the site than required. jacks. As we have seen earlier. a mid-water task. in swell conditions. This helps enormously if discussion is required. 43of67 . flange pullers. Most dive sites now have laminators so that detailed drawings and instructions can be sent to the site with the diver. the diver is limited as to the amount of upward and downward excursion he can make. Drills. especially mid-water. In all cases the tool has to do the work. Planning for the use of tooling is critical for the diver. it may found that a smaller unit or different tool has been used for a similar job and would be adequate for the task being planned. etc. with a bit thought and by going to the companies involved. flange splitters. nut splitters. If this is made known at the earliest opportunity. both at the design and work stages. hydraulic flange equipment. cold cutters. whether underwater or on the surface and their use will continue as long as men are working underwater. cutting discs. at certain depths.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard TOOLING/PLANNING/DESIGN Apart from the obvious electrical hand tools available on the surface. where it can be very easy to get onto the wrong component or valve. where time could be saved. Hydraulically and pneumatically powered equipment of all types has in the past been marinised or just deployed for use as is. If designing equipment for heavy tasks like choke or valve changeouts. angle grinders. Clarification should also be sought if there are likely to be different depths to be worked at as part of the same task. where there are many different components to be fitted together or tooling that no-one has used before always go more smoothly when time has been taken to show people the equipment and let them have a go in the dry before taking the equipment underwater. chipping hammers. Tools need to be designed with awareness of the limited weights and torque a diver can apply. needle guns. torque wrenches & multipliers. or the work will proceed very slowly and be very tiring. where the diver is at the limits of his umbilical. grit blasting equipment etc. Obviously there are jobs where this will be necessary and only one particular tool or piece of equipment will be available for the job but very often. nearly all types of tools can be used underwater. especially if the as-found situation differs from that expected. WASCO cutters. saws. Complex tasks. The tool has to be able to used in whatever situation is demanded by the workscope and understanding the difficulties involved enables the correct tool and rigging to be supplied.
anything that needs cutting at all. it is no good planning a project with a particular vessel only to find out that the maximum allowed umbilical length will not access the worksite. they will deploy it at the drop of a hat. The problem being that. This invariably has a knock on effect to the distance that he can penetrate a platform. cutting of pipe. in fact. It is the one underwater task that is in its very essence almost impossible to control. if you speak to any diver or dive supervisor. in the wrong hands. That extra metre could also get the diver into the thruster zone. Another problem is that the diver will have a welding screen on his helmet that decreases his vision and burning makes the water surrounding the job very dirty. It is in this band where the diver is subject to only the waves. These shallow diving schemes invariably require two divers in the water. 44of67 . A major problem when shallow diving from vessels is that of umbilical length. the likelihood is that the dive crew will try and persuade you that “we can just nip that off in no time”.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Shallow water work presents a set of problems of its own. Planning for work on or around the centre line of a platform needs careful consideration. the resultant energy release can be fatal. The challenge is to find ways of cold cutting that stops this equipment from being deployed except in very rare and very controlled circumstances. around wellheads and structures there are voids that fill with oxygen and the by product of underwater burning. If the project you are involved in requires removal of any items from a platform or wellhead. whether from a vessel or platform. sheet metal. Most of the above items are common sense when viewed after a project is completed and yet. Consequently the diver may not see where all the gas is going. This next part will not be very popular with divers or supervisors or superintendents but it is something I feel should be a major challenge to all engineers involved with divers. it is a bomb. However. one tending the others hoses or having the umbilical routed through a ring or basket that stops the diver from proceeding further than the prescribed umbilical length. they get forgotten for the job. where removal of items from a subsea component. Once a void is filled. the umbilical is marked and tied off inside the bell so that the bellman will not pay out more than the required amount. hydrogen. However. and a spark applied. Be it a Broco system or OxyArc. One of the most dangerous items of tooling on a dive vessel is the hot cutting rig. This must be carefully controlled as there is a tendency to give that “extra metre” just to get to the site. any thick section girder or beam or. waiting to explode. When shallow diving from a diving bell. The diver cannot have an umbilical length that would allow him to go into the area around a vessel thruster. in the wrong place. very often. Most vessels have a plan for the use of shallow diving that allows the maximum umbilical length to be used but this must be checked to ensure that it is safe and robust enough to stop the diver from reaching a thruster in the event of unforeseen problems. apart from open water where the gas trail can be seen. wind and weather but he can be directly affected by the actions of those above him.
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Most underwater contractors now have very specific risk assessments in place for underwater burning and cutting but it is far better to find other ways of doing these jobs. a safe place of work. 45of67 . if the available knowledge is sought out and used correctly it helps to supply the man in the water with what we should all be looking to supply. there are only a few considerations to make with regard to tooling. At the end of all this. planning and design and to understand those considerations and make use of them saves money. time and effort but above all.
that would enable the vessels thrusters to react to movement and to keep the vessel in a particular set position. TYPES OF D.P. should anyone wish to pursue the subject to gain a better understanding. As the vessel moves from its desired position. During pipelay. very often a dive vessel was required to lay protection over theses areas prior to the anchor being run out. surge.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard DYNAMIC POSITIONING OF VESSELS Since the early days of the North Sea boom and the requirement for vessels to take up station alongside platforms or to stay in one place over a subsea worksite. the tautwire provides details (via a change in voltage) of an alteration in the tension of the wire. The system works by the ship's on board transducer determining its range and position from the underwater transponder(s). The system is ideal for positioning the vessel relative to a subsea-loading base. waves. To counteract the forces that affect the positioning of the vessel (the yaw. Several different types of taut wire system exist. Position can be adjusted by the outside forces (wind. current) on a vessel. sway. By necessity this is a complicated subject. WHAT IS DP? Dynamic Positioning (DP) is the term given to the process of positioning a vessel in a fixed location using dynamic forces (thrusters). sway and surge). They require another vessel to help run them. There are various courses available. thrusters need to be deployed to reposition the vessel to its desired location. Below is an outline of dynamic positioning and how its works. REFERENCE SYSTEMS Hydro Acoustic Systems The system uses an underwater transponder(s) as a reference for the positioning of a vessel. Taut Wire Systems The traditional taut wire system is based on a weight that is lowered to the seabed on a thin wire that is kept under constant tension. A system of positioning was developed that relied on various types of sensors. to different levels. mariners sought to find a way to negate the use of anchors for this task. This is only a very cursory look at a wide and varied subject. They have to have anchor handling tugs standing by to re-position anchors as the vessel moves along laying pipe. because of the risk of damage. They require calm weather for deployment and can only be laid in areas where there are no subsea structures. 46of67 . like other wellheads and pipelines. The problems with anchors and chains or cables are numerous. vessels using anchors are very slow. If an anchor is required to be laid in an area where existing subsea architecture is at risk. each suiting a particular situation. pitch and roll. swell. It can also accurately determine the position of any remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The resulting effects of these forces are yaw.
Moon Pool Taut Wire This system uses potentiometers to determine the tension on the wire. The clock simulates the triggering signal from the master base station such that the time from when the clock starts to when the signal is received is as near as possible to the true time elapsed. except it operates over the side of the vessel and is limited to 300 metres. 47of67 .An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Surface Taut Wire Instead of utilising a weight placed on the seabed to keep the wire taut. Pseudo Circular This is a hybrid hyperbolic system which incorporates a stable clock on the vessel. a gimbal head containing the potentiometers. The system consists of a winch with a constant tensioner unit. The wire rope is lowered through a moonpool until the depressor weight is on the sea bed. a wire and the depressor weight. Any movement in the vessel would alter the tension in the wire and would be detected via the potentiometers in the gimbal head. The wire is then tensioned to a predetermined level. the information being fed back to servo controls which maintain a constant position. (via a voltage reading) the DP system will adjust accordingly to keep the vessel in position. Example of these are: Hyperbolic This is based on measuring the time differences between radio signals received from three or more fixed radio transmitters. Azimuth or Azimuth Bearing This method relies on measuring the bearing of the vessel from two or more fixed reference points. By retaining a constant tension. The vessel's displacement is measured from the angle and the length of the wire. Circular or Range-Range This system calculates the position of the vessel by measuring the time required for a radio signal to be transmitted to two or more fixed transponders and back again. the distance from each transponder can be determined. the surface system is based on attaching the wire to a fixed point above the sea surface and then tensioning it. Surface/Radio Systems Radio/Surface systems come in a variety of forms. Light Weight Taut Wire The Lightweight Taut Wire System works on the same principles as the Moon Pool Taut Wire System. From these times. The point of intersection of these two (or more) distances determines the position of the vessel.
48of67 . To reduce the error the vessel receives corrections from land based radio stations which by the virtue of knowing their position exactly and compared with the satellites are able to calculate the satellite errors. commonly where the divers live in chambers kept under pressure close to the working depth of the diver.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Satellite Systems The satellite system of positioning offers high accuracy. TYPES OF DP VESSEL Drilling Vessel Operations performed by ships or semi-submersibles. The system requires only simple reflector devices to be installed on a fixed installation such as a drilling rig. The system consists of a laser unit mounted on the vessel and controlled via a PC. Diving Support Vessel Vessels engaged is diving operations. Any movements off position are relayed tot he DP computer so that corrective action may be taken. however these satellites contain an in-built error. reliability and security. These corrections are transmitted to the vessel either by HF radio or by a communication satellite. A separate unit is placed on another structure in the vicinity of the working area and once calibrated the two stations (vessel and REMOTE) track each other. DSVs due to the potential for loss of life have the highest capacity for DP where 'REDUNDACY' of systems is paramount. DGPS (Differential Global Positioning) DGPS works by obtaining fixes from at least 4 satellites to obtain a position. DP is being used more extensively as the search for oil extends further off the coast. This called saturation diving and the divers may spend several weeks in the chambers and working from a diving bell lowered from the parent vessel. Laser Radar Systems This system is a high accuracy system with a working range of more than 2km (weather dependant). Artemis A microwave range and bearing system. DP is especially effective is DEEPWATER as it may nit be practical to anchor the vessel. DGPS is often invaluable in these circumstances. Typically depths of 1500m are being worked. Specialised reference systems are required to enable the DP to perform at these depths such as deepwater transponders (beacons) and riser offset measurement systems. The vessel position can be determined using either satellite and land based stations (relative positioning) or purely satellite stations (absolute positioning). (Backup of systems to ensure that no single failure may result in loss of positioning). DP is used to maintain the vessels position over the worksite. DP is used to keep the vessel in position close to platforms and structures on which the divers work.
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Offshore Production Vessel. This is achieved by 'weather vaning'. tide and current). The anchors run out from the vessel through a carousel located at the centre of rotation of the vessel. DP is used to anchor assist (help counteract the effects of wind. DP is used to carefully manoeuvre these vessels into position and hold station whilst the lift is completed. Heavy Lifting Vessel Some of the largest cranes may lift 12 -14000 tons. that is altering the vessels head close to the direction of the prevailing weather. Large Vessels used for the storage of product from wells. 49of67 . The vessels are often kept on location by an anchor pattern (up to 8-12 anchors).
such that in the event of a total loss of reference systems the vessel can remain on station. large gust of wind or large wave hits the vessel and the vessel tends to be pushed out of position. The DP control system uses the information from references to evaluate the relative position and outputs command signals to the thrusters to activate and return the vessel to the desired position. DP models are now well developed and considered to be fairly reliable. it is more than the DP control system and the position references. Depending on the gain the vessel will oscillate about the desired position. that in the absence of positioning or heading references would provide a "dead reckoning" mode of operation that should allow accurate positioning for a few minutes until position references were re-established or an orderly shutdown and disconnection was carried out. i. i. The DP system The DP system needs to be considered as a whole. In low gain it will respond slowly to being pushed off station. The reaction of the system can be varied from slow in calm weather to high in rougher weather to allow the vessel to react quickly in the event of loss of position.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard DEEP WATER STATION KEEPING RELIABILITY DYNAMIC POSITIONING The DP control system The DP control system utilises position reference sensors to establish where the vessel is in relation to say a wellhead. Very quickly the DP can build up a model of the situation. platform etc. The DP system includes generators. Sometimes an unexpected large environmental force occurs. medium gain and the response shall be quicker but some small overshoot may occur. As well as sending output signals to the 50of67 . The unlikely event of failure of all position references is therefore not immediately critical once a good mathematical model has been established. subsea obstruction. The DP quickly reacts and activates the thrusters accordingly to counteract this force. For example in calm weather conditions in high gain there will be a lot of activity to keep the vessel within a very small range which is not really necessary. thrusters and associated utilities. The control system utilises the thrusters to keep the vessel at the desired heading and relative position.e.e. current etc from the drift off from the desired position. The control computers constantly calculate the environmental forces on the unit caused by winds and can estimate the other forces. The computers build up a mathematical model of the vessel. In high gain the overshoot will be larger and rather more thruster activity will take place. The computer basically applying the same output commands to the thrusters. The DP operators monitor this at all times and can adjust the gain as necessary to keep the unit in station.
however they are affected by interference. For this reason the US government deliberately introduce error signals to reduce the accuracy of the system. In order to reduce the errors the Differential Global Positioning System was developed for DP operations. The system was developed for military purposes and is still utilised strategically. All vessels are tested to ensure that thrusters are set to fail safe (i. The system is very accurate. say on a jacket and a mobile station on the vessel. zero pitch or last command) in the event of a signal failure. There are also high frequency inputs and several other earth station inputs that can increase the reliability of DGPS. Thruster malfunction is particularly critical as it may drive the vessel off position. The accuracy is generally around 150m and thus is no use for Dynamic positioning in its raw form. This is accurate to 1 m. however is prone to interference from radar transmissions. but we nevertheless expect all DP vessels to have at least one additional reference selected in DP at any time to provide redundancy. it is only used West of Shetland for Schiehallion’s shuttle tankers. If the vessel drifts off slowly action can be taken to mitigate the situation. however if a thruster starts to drive the vessel off position then things tend to escalate quickly.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard thruster the unit the DP control system monitors the power generation system and will initiate pitch reduction on the thrusters if the loads are becoming excessive. Experience West of Shetland has shown DGPS to be exceptionally reliable as the prime reference. 51of67 . Surface systems Artemis Use microwaves to identify the distance and range between a fixed station. The Russian system currently has no inbuilt errors. so the chances of a drive off nowadays are remote. The thrusters are continually monitored so that in the event of a large difference between requested thrust and actual thrust an alarm can be initiated to alert the operator that a thruster has malfunctioned. The only exception to this rule is for pipelay outside 500m zones. The DGPS utilises shore stations with fixed known location to identify the errors that are in the signals and transmit a differential signal to the vessel which is used to establish a more accurate position. whereas other types of DP failure cause the vessel to drift off. The satellite systems are accurate. satellite unavailability and quality of transmission data.e. Types of position reference systems Satellite systems Global Positioning Systems (GPS) utilises satellites to establish the position of the vessel. This will prevent blackouts and subsequent loss of operational working time. The system has evolved further with twin DGPS systems being used and the Russian Glonass satellite system is expected to be available to commercial users shortly.
The VRU detects vessel pitch. i. however prone to failure in poor weather conditions.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Fan beam laser Utilises a laser signal from the vessel to a target reflector located on a fixed position on a jacket or some other surface structure. roll and heave in order that the DP can eliminate errors caused by vessel motions which affect reference systems. The system is quite accurate. Recent developments are reported to have improved the performance of acoustic systems in deeper water.e. both DP and Non DP for establishing position and location of wellheads. In duplex systems there are two UPS units. in deep drafts the wind will have less effect on the structure whereas current will have a larger affect. Environmental sensors The environmental sensors include wind sensors which indicate wind speed and direction to the DP such that the DP can apply additional thrust when there is sudden wind changes. It is essential that the power distribution from the 52of67 . On many units the draft is manually entered at the DP console Reference systems redundancy As all reference systems are prone to errors and faults DP operations on a single reference system are not to be recommended. HPR The system currently being used by drilling rigs. Some software has been written to overcome this however this will lead to additional uncertainty within the system. Industry guidelines recommend at least two and preferably three reference systems have to be on line to enable safe DP operations. ROVs etc. This is not suited for deep water as the wire will deflect over such a length. One of the problems with the taut wire is that it may have to be re-deployed when heading changes are made. Sub surface systems Traditionally the most effective position reference has been the taut wire. To enhance the reliability of the reference systems they are generally powered from at least a pair of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). (Known as wind feed forward control) The other environmental sensor is the vertical reference unit (VRU). At lights drafts current will have less of an effect on the structure and wind a larger affect. The HPR units are affected by noise and turbulence in the water column. but this is the main back-up system WoS. There are also draft inputs to some DP systems which the DP uses to update the model. It is in any case unsuited to the complex subsea structure of WoS drill centres.
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard UPS are split in a logical manner such that loss of a UPS unit will not result in loss of DP control or loss of all reference systems. Regulatory aspects The initiatives taken by the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD). A key objective of an FMEA is to ensure that there are no failures which can result in unexpected loss of position. Modem DP control systems can display the footprints on the graphic display screen. Footprint A footprint shows the actual deviation of the vessel position from desired position over a period of time.e. The FMEA is verified by proving trials to establish the accuracy of the study. The DP operator can use these plots derive the operational envelope for the vessel and assess the envelope when a thruster fails etc. or in lower class vessel from separate cells within the same switchboard. Subsequent changes to any system are normally assessed in the same way and the FMEA revised accordingly. The main difference with previous guidelines was the change from consequence class to equipment class. The plots are in polar graph format and normally there are several plots calculated for each expected environmental condition (winds and current ) as well as with various combinations of thrusters. The definitions are as follows: 53of67 . loss of a critical thruster at any time and warns the operator accordingly if this might result in a loss of vessel position. The analysis describes the system. the DPO therefore gets adequate warning of such a potential and can take remedial action. for instance.e. a pair of pumps which supply a critical system should be powered from separate switchboard. sub systems and components and identifies the failure modes of each of these components and predicts the effects of these failures both at local level and at global level on the DP system and thus the vessels station keeping ability. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) In order to assess the capabilities of the DP system of a unit it is necessary to carry out a detailed study known as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. To re-enforce this. i. worst case failure etc. After the proving trials the FMEA is updated accordingly. and if any are present that it is identified by alarm or other warning in order that the DP operator can take corrective action. the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOAA) and the Dynamic Positioning Vessel Owners Association (DPVOA) in producing early guidelines to rationalise the methods of designing DP vessels and the implicit need for self regulation led to an agreement with IMO and issuance of IMO guidelines for DP vessel operations. It is important in a fully redundancy system to ensure redundancy is maintained on all components. all thrusters. DP system capabilities The capability of the DP system in a particular environmental condition can be calculated and shown on a capability plot. the computer also calculates the effect of. loss of one thruster. i.
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Class Equipment Class 1 Equipment Class 2 Equipment Class 3 Definition Failure of a single component can cause a loss of position Single failure of any active component shall not cause loss of position Suitable for DP drilling & construction ops? No Yes Single point failure of any active or passive Yes component including fire or flooding in any compartment shall not cause loss of position Active components can be considered as pumps. 54of67 . structure etc. generators etc. shell plating. thrusters. Passive components are pipes.
The engine rooms are separated by fire rated bulkheads (generally A60). even in the event of a major fire in one compartment. Generally a Class 3 vessel will have two engine rooms with 50% of the power generators in each engine room. for enough time to recover divers. These are allowable nonconformances under IMO or NMD guidelines and have little impact on DP station keeping as they are configured to require manual operation and utilise normally de-energised circuits. would result in not complying with international regulations thereby creating a conflict. single sea water system but with two pumps fed from redundant supplies with auto start of offline pump in the event of failure of the on-line Note: DP vessels may have some non redundant circuits for safety reasons such a fuel pump emergency stops for fire protection. e. Must be totally separate systems with dedicated pumps. Crossovers are allowed providing there are isolation valves so that systems can be operated totally independently in Class 3 mode. Cable runs throughout the vessel are to be segregated. Sea water supply Fresh water cooling Fuel storage & supply Lub oil systems Fire fighting systems Separate switchboards supplied by dedicated generators.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard The main differences between Class 2 and Class 3 vessel are as follows: DP control station Engine/thruster rooms Equipment Class 2 Duplex system Single machinery spaces Allowed (though many Class 2 vessels have separate spaces) Common system allowed (though many Class 2 vessels have separate switchboards Common systems allowed with redundant active components Equipment Class 3 Duplex system with back. The intent of the arrangement is to enable the vessel to remain in position. Interconnection is allowed via bus tie breakers which can allow the systems to be run independently in Class 3 mode.up single system in separate space from main system.g. Such circuits are allowed under the guidance as they are required to conform with International Regulations (SOLAS or IMO MODU code) and separating supplies etc.g. Power generation and distribution Utilities e. disconnect risers etc. Must be segregated by fire rated bulkheads. 55of67 .
Therefore a relatively minor single point failure can result in an escalating situation. i. loss of half the propulsion. minor failures (relatively more frequent) may have a greater effect on Class 3 than on a vessel operating in Class 2 mode and this can lead to increased downtime". In fact switchboard short circuits are extremely rare events. a worst case failure situation. This may create a dilemma on some DP vessels. There has been much discussion regarding whether Class 3 actually is better from an operator's perspective. Therefore a worst case failure would occur and half of the vessel thrusters would be lost. but a DP drilling vessel would obviously be in a far worse situation. auto changeover alarms operating. the generator will fail and the reverse current trip will activate and clear the generator from the net.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard An example of the Class 2/Class 3 dilemma On Class 3 vessels the independent switchboards are connected together via bus tie circuit breakers. If operating at a location where Class 3 operations are required then the bus tie is opened. loss of power supply to various pieces of machinery. Three other generators will be on line easily meeting the additional power demand and operations will continue undisturbed whilst a standby generator comes on line. The scenarios of the effect of a relatively minor failure (and thus more frequent failure) on a Class 3 vessel fitted with multiple generators feeding twin switchboards in Class 2 mode and Class 3 mode is given below as an example. however. Class 2 Mode (Closed bus ties) A failure of one generator will result in little disturbance to the net. one UPS unit power supply loss and the DP operator trying to keep the vessel on station. whilst attempting to establish what has gone wrong and deciding whether the situation will escalate. In the case of a construction vessel he would stop ROV ops & the vessel would make a controlled departure from the 500m zone. a vessel can hold position in the event of a major (and thus relatively rare) failure. numerous alarms activating.e. The intention of operating with open bus ties is to protect a healthy switchboard in the event of a short circuit of another switchboard. The example above demonstrates that the reliability of a vessel in Class 3 mode may not always better than a vessel in Class 2 mode. 56of67 . loss of power in one engine room. To summarise: " In Class 3 mode. Class 3 Mode (Open bus ties) In a class 3 situation with open bus ties there is a possibility that the failure will result in instability and loss of the healthy generator due to overload. On some of the well known Class 3 vessels operating in the North Sea there is a great reluctance to operate with open bus ties because of the negative effect that it can have on operability and therefore production.
The problems associated with Dynamic Positioning at deep water locations are: In Northern Europe the operational locations are often remote and weather conditions tend to be less favourable at these remote locations. A full Class 3 vessel with no exemptions is a rarity. In general it is desirable to maintain a range in DP of about 2.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard Many Class 3 vessels have non conformances with the requirements. The deeper water may have large subsea currents as well as vertical waves which tend to push the vessel off position. In drilling mode the riser will be deflected by the currents and therefore the envelope of operation may be reduced to an extent that drilling has to be terminated after relatively small vessel excursions. The operators change out every 6 hours which allows for meal relief s etc and ensures that the oncoming DPO is paired with a DPO who has already been on watch for 6 hours and is wholly familiar with the status of any operation that is being undertaken. In 1994 IMCA published a representative study on collision risks of DP vessels with offshore platforms world-wide entitled : 'Risk Analysis of Collision of Dynamically Positioned Support Vessels with Offshore Installations' One of the main conclusions of the study was that there was "little difference in contact frequency between the various classes of DP vessel. On the other hand at least one Class 3 vessel (Not a drilling unit) is equipped with four separate switchboards and generator rooms and has large amounts of redundancy. 57of67 .5 5% of water depth for vessels operating in DR Therefore in 1400 m of water there is a large range and the range in shallower water is significantly less. In drilling mode the range of the slick joint may reduce the allowable excursion significantly The reliability of traditional subsea position references deteriorates due to the effect of the water column. In like for like environmental conditions the DP operation in deep water carry significantly less risk than the same operation in shallow water. sub sea currents and temperature changes. drive off and large excursions were almost independent of vessel type DEEP WATER DP OPERATIONS Station keeping on DP vessel becomes relatively easier in deep water as there is a much greater margin for error. normally on twelve hour shifts. particularly the requirement for cable segregation. Human Factor issues in DP drilling Traditionally there are two DPO's assigned to each watch.
When the operator is used to frequent moves and heading changes he will be well aware of the system capabilities and responses. nor the drilling unit affected as a result of an incident on either unit. With drilling units in production mode there will be long periods of inactivity as the drilling unit is intended to remain in the same location all year round. A shuttle tanker is a large potential threat due to its size.e DGPS and acoustics as the drilling unit therefore failure of the reference systems may result in a common fault on both units which could lead to a dangerous situation. This problem increases in deeper water where there is scope for larger excursions before operations are affected. it can escalate rapidly if action is not taken immediately. There will also be a shuttle tanker in close proximity to the drilling unit. 58of67 . then the more likely that the event will be brought under control and the lower the consequence. mass and hydrocarbon inventory.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard DP operations are such that there is long periods of inactivity and short bursts of high activity. Operator concentration will be a significant factor in station keeping reliability. In DP when an event occurs. once the vessel is set up on station there is an exceedingly long period of inactivity. providing the DP system is functioning well. The tanker may be using some of the same reference systems i. therefore more attention will have to be given to station keeping and care taken to ensure that the tanker is not affected. moving position etc. In a situation where the vessel will sit in one place for long periods without significant DP activity. the operators actions in the first few minutes of an event are crucial. In drilling (or DMaC) mode. complacency may set in thus remedial action in the event of a rapid position loss may not be instant. Therefore operator motivation and training is a key factor in successful DP operations in deep water. Therefore the earlier the operator is alerted of a potential problem and the more rapid the response of the operator.
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard APPENDIX 1 HAZARD IDENTIFICATION CHECKLIST 59of67 .
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard HAZARD ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST GROUP MOBILISATION TOPIC TRANSPORT CRANES VEHICLES FORK LIFT OPS USE OF TUGGERS TO SKID LOADS COMMENTS Y/N DYNAMIC POSITIONING DECK PLAN REFERENCE SYSTEMS ARTEMIS INTERFACE (RADAR) ARTEMIS INTERFACE (P/FORM) HPR INTERFACE (BUBBLES) SPOTTING OF TAUT WIRE COMPETENCE OF DP OPERATORS WORST CASE FAILURE WORKING UPWIND OF STRUCTURE WITHIN ANCHOR CATENARY SHALLOW WATER OPERATIONS STAND OFF FROM STRUCTURE CAPABILITY PLOT POWER CONSUMPTION LIMITS MARINE ISSUES LOSS OF POSITION THRUSTER WASH SUPPLY VESSEL MOVEMENTS CARGO OPS CRANE DISTANCE TO PLATFORM STANDBY VESSEL SEISMIC WEATHER STRONG TIDAL FLOW COLLISION HELI OPS RIGGING DP FAILURE DROWNING SEA FASTENING POLLUTION/SPILLS POWER FAILURE FLOODING MAN OVERBOARD MAN RIDING EQUIPMENT FISHING BOATS MERCHANT VESSELS USE OF INFLATABLE BOATS HOT WORK ON DECK DIESEL ENGINE EXHAUSTS WEATHER VANING TANKER LOADING SURFACE VISABILITY WEATHER FORECASTS ALARMS-PLATFORM RESPONSE 60of67 .
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 GROUP SUBSEA INSTALLATIONS TOPIC WELLHEADS SSIV PIPELINES RISERS UMBILICALS HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEMS BRIDGES GROUT BAGS CABLES ANODES PIG CATCHER PIG RECOVERY (NET) SLUG CATCHER BUNDLES HYDRAULIC V/V OPS TEMPLATES TEES SPOOL PIECES OBSTRUCTIONS HYDROCARBON LEAKS PRESSURE VESSELS ACCUMULATORS REMOVE PROTECTION COVERS MATTRESSES .REMOVAL CONDUCTOR / GUIDE MOVEMENT Dave Sheppard COMMENTS Y/N PLATFORM ACTIVITIES COMPLEXITY OF STRUCTURE SCAFFOLDING OVERSIDE WORK PAINT SPRAYING GRIT BLASTING PIGGING PILING DRILLING WIRELINE HELI OPS FLARING RADIATION FLARING CARRY OVER AVIATION FUEL SAMPLING PERFORATING RADIO SILENCE REQUIREMENTS VENTING CEMENT ETC DECK DRAINS PROCESS VENTS DUMPING LSA SCALE TURBINE EXHAUSTS IMPRESSED CURRENT FIRE AND GAS OVERRIDE LIFEBOAT LAUNCHING EMERGENCY EXERCISES ALARMS .DSV RESPONSE BASKET TRANSFER GANGWAY OPERATIONS 61of67 .INSTALLATION MATTRESSES .
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 GROUP PLATFORM HAZARDS TOPIC INTAKES INTAKE GRILLS/GUARDS OUTLETS OILY WATER DISCHARGE SEWAGE DISCHARGE DEBRIS SCAFFOLD REDUNDANT RIGGING IMPRESSED CURRENT CP AERATED WATER DROPPED OBJECT OUTBOARD INBOARD DROP LOAD HEAVY LOAD SWL PRE DIVE DEBRIS SURVEY PROPELLER GUARDS HAZARD TO DIVER COMMUNICATIONS WITH DIVERS DAMAGE TO S/SEA COMPONENTS TESTING ON DECK (HOT WORK) LAUNCH AND RECOVERY RECOVERY OF FOULED VEHICLE Dave Sheppard COMMENTS Y/N LIFTING OPERATIONS ROV OPERATIONS UNDERWATER TASKS HAND TOOLS CLEANING WATER JET GRITTING JOB SPECIFIC TRAINING COMPETENCY EXPLOSIVES DEPLOYMENT / RECOVERY REDUCED VISABILITY COLD CUTTING OXY ARC BURNING BROCO BURNING O2 BUILD UP VERIFY CORRECT LOCATION HABITAT WELDING WET WELDING HOT LINE HYDRAULIC GRINDING HYDRAULIC BRUSHING HYDRAULIC DRILLING HYDRAULIC IMPACT WRENCH BOLT TENSIONING HANDLING FRAMES TRENCHING/PLOUGHING RADIOGRAPHY EXCAVATION/DREDGING AIR LIFTING AIR BAGS 62of67 .
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 GROUP U/W TASKS TOPIC CROSS HAULING CONFINED SPACE ENTRY COLLAPSING/OVERRUNNING J-TUBE PULLS DMA DEPLOYMENT WET STORING MONITOR (ROV) MONITOR (HAT MOUNTED TV) ENTRAPMENT PERMITTED UMBILICAL LENGTH UMBILICAL SNAGGING HAZARDS Dave Sheppard COMMENTS Y/N DIVING HAZARDS DECK WORK MOORING FALLING DEBRIS EXTENDED UMBILICALS MID WATER SWIMS DEPTH CONTROL/BUOYANCY STRONG TIDAL FLOW IN WATER TENDING THRUSTERS ACCESS/EGRESS SHARP EDGES AND POINTS HOT SURFACES SACRIFICAL ANODES REDUCED VISABILITY DECOMPRESSION 2 BELL OPERATIONS OVERSIDE HANDLING HABITAT OPERATIONS RESTRICTED AREA MANUAL HANDLING WORKING AT HEIGHT PORTABLE EQUIPMENT CUTTING AND WELDING ARC EYE POWER TOOLS HAND TOOLS MACHINERY STACKING AND STORING BARRIERS WARNING SIGNS ROTATING MACHINERY DECK OBSTRUCTIONS FLYING DEBRIS VHF/UHF RADIO RELIABILITY EYE PROTECTION CATENARY CHAINS WIRES SLACKING WIRES ANCHOR PATTERN WATER DEPTH BOTTOM CONTOUR SEABED OBSTACLES 63of67 .
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 GROUP SYMOPS TOPIC PRIORITY OPERATION INTERACTION ROV AIR DIVING SAT DIVING RAT PRESSURE TESTING PIGGING COMMUNICATIONS HARD WIRE COMMS CRANE OPS FROM SUPPLY BOAT Dave Sheppard COMMENTS Y/N PERMIT TO WORK WORK CONTROL CERTIFICATE PPE AWARENESS WORKING ENVIRONMENT HARMFUL SUBSTANCES COSHH OTHER DSV OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY MECHANICAL ISOLATIONS ELECTRICAL ISOLATION PROCESS ISOLATION CONFINED SPACES FAX AVAILABILITY TEMPERATURE WORK VEST HARNESS CHEMICAL PROTECTION SAFETY GLASSES POLICY SLIPS/TRIPS MOVING OBJECT MANUAL HANDLING USE OF MACHINERY COMPETENCY EJECTION OF MATERIAL TEMPERATURES EXTREMES VIBRATION NOISE STRESS MOTION SICKNESS REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY POSTURE INADEQUATE LIGHTING FATIGUE MAXIMUM WORKING HOURS INDUCTION TRAINING ASPHYXIA DRILL MUD BIOCIDE CUTTINGS BRINE LSA SCALE DUST AND POWDER BIOLOGICAL AGENTS SOLVENTS COSHH ACID TOXIC CHEMICALS HARMFUL CHEMICALS IONISING RADIATION NON-IONISING RADIATION 64of67 .
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 GROUP TOPIC CONTACT WITH STORAGE OF USE OF POOL FIRE EXPLOSION PLATFORM BLOWOUT JET FIRE IGNITION SOURCE MACHINERY SPACE FIRE ACCOMODATION FIRE TESTING-TOPSIDE TESTING-SUBSEA RELEASE U/W PRESSURE VESSELS AIR PRESSURE HYDRAULIC PRESSURE PRESSURE CHANGE EXHAUST H2O FUMES TRANSFER STORAGE MIXING SMOKE QUADS KELLY OXYGEN/NITROX FLAMMABLE VAPOUR INERT GAS GAS BUILD UP STORED ENERGY COMPRESSED GAS BREAKING FLANGES TIE INS (JUMPERS) STATIC LIGHTING WIRING REMOTE OPS HIGH VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL ISOLATION STRUCTURAL FAILURE DESIGN CORROSION FATIGUE EXTREME WEATHER SMS BRIDGING DOCUMENT PROCEDURES PROCEDURE CHANGE AUDIT REGULATIONS INDUSTRY GUIDANCE CERTIFICATION EMERGENCY PROCEDURE OPERATION MANUAL CONTINGENCY PROCEDURE ACCURACY OF DATA Dave Sheppard COMMENTS Y/N FIRE PRESSURE GAS BREAK CONTAINMENT ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING DOCUMENTS 65of67 .
An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Dave Sheppard APPENDIX II DIVING HISTORY BIBLIOGRAPHY 66of67 .
1956) Early designs and the history of helmet diving: Sir Robert Davis: Deep Diving and Submarine Operations. 1988) History of Underwater Vehicles James Sweeney: A Pictorial History of Oceanographic Submersibles (Hale. 9c King St.] Dave Sheppard John Bevan: The Infernal Diver (Submex Ltd.An Appreciation of Offshore Diving February 2003 Diving History A Selected Reading List J ames Dugan: Man Explores the Sea (Hamish Hamilton. FL 32084-4451) ISBN 962-7256-01-3 Other popular and general surveys of diving history include: Egan Larsen: Men Under the Sea (Phoenix House. 1956) Reg Vallintine: Divers and Diving (Blandford. 21 Roland Way. California. 1975) ISBN: 0 7091 5670 7 Janes Ocean Technology (Jane's Publishing Company) Published annually from 1974. 67of67 . St Augustine. 1955) Gilbert Doukan: The World Beneath the Waves (Allen & Unwin. SW7 3RF) ISBN: 0 9508242 16 Leon Lyons: Helmets of the Deep (1998. 1981) ISBN: 0 71370855 7 Pierre de Latil & Jean Rivoire: Man and the Underwater World (JarroIds. 1978) Art Bachrach (Editor): A Pictorial History of Diving (Best Publishing. London. (Seventh edition. 1978) ISBN: 0253 318246 Robert Burgess: Ships Beneath the Sea (Hale. 1972) ISBN: 0 7091 28649 Alex Roland: Underwater Warfare In the Age of Sail (Indiana Press. 1967) Robert Marx: Into the Deep (Van Nostrand. 1957) Robert Marx: They Dared the Deep (PeIham Books. Lyons. 1962.
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