24 / Mar / 2023

Welcome to the Splashzone

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Understand the environments – explore the differences

Fixed and floating offshore oil and gas structures, wind turbine foundations, and civil structures in coastal or offshore locations, all have elements of their structure situated subsea, topsides, and in the uniquely challenging area in-between: the Splashzone. There is a common need to understand these critical differences and properly manage the needs of assets in this constantly changing environment.

Conditions in the Splashzone create a set of challenges for an asset that demand special consideration, not least the significant lateral forces from repeated wave action that result in damage to caissons and conductors. Their location for inspection, maintenance and repair is challenging due to weather delays, expensive vessel rates and safety risks for personnel.

Inspecting and maintaining structures

Traditional methods and equipment can struggle to manage the work in a safe and efficient way.

Build-up of significant levels of both hard and soft marine growth, structural fatigue and hastened corrosion of visible surfaces are just some of the potential hazards that become challenging to manage within the Splashzone area of assets.

Unchecked maintenance issues caused by these challenges frequently become extremely costly and are more challenging to arrest and repair as time goes on.

Operations in the Splashzone

For Asset owners and Integrity managers, planning and executing work in the Splashzone must take into account a number of factors that can have an acute effect on the successful outcome of a scope:

  1. Safety Hazards: workers and equipment in the Splashzone are exposed to a variety of safety hazards, including rough seas, high winds, and strong structure-induced currents. Working at heights within splashzones can also present additional risks.
  2. Weather Conditions: In anything other than flat calm weather conditions, the Splashzone is tricky. Storms, rough waters, and heavy rainfall all make it difficult to perform the work safely and cost-effectively.
  3. Limited Access: Whether you are accessing the structure from the topsides or using divers from a DSV, accessing the splashzone can be a challenge, requiring additional safety precautions, equipment, and highly skilled personnel to even reach the area. With the cost of dive support running into tens of thousands, this is an expensive, time consuming prospect.
  4. Corrosion, Marine Growth, and Salt Build-Up: The saltwater marine environment means that structures within the Splashzone can be highly impacted by corrosion and marine growth. This can weaken the structure and impact overall safety, reinforcing the need for routine inspection and maintenance, while impeding it by concealing critical areas.
  5. Working Conditions: Working in the oceanic environment of the Splashzone can be harsh. Water, salt, and wave actions can create slippery surfaces, reduce visibility, and make it difficult to maintain footing. This can lead to discomfort, fatigue, and pose the risk of injury.

AquaTerra Group are specialists in the Splashzone.

Driven by our commitment to innovation and providing the best solutions for our clients, we have developed a complete range of specialist products and procedures to enable efficient, productive and safe underdeck and Splashzone inspection, repair and maintenance.

Our dedicated Splashzone technologies provide a remotely-operated solution, that innovatively mitigates these challenges, offering multiple inspection techniques that enable real-time assessment and intervention.

Read more about our projects with AquaClam here, or visit the product page here.