Managing Offshore Cable Operations

There are a few different offshore cable operations that are performed, each with very specific requirements, direction and inherent dangers. Managing these operations to ensure the integrity and safety of all assets requires accurate and time sensitive data and information. Without that, it can become a tiresome and difficult operation to complete without some form of damage being felt by the vessel, cabling or personnel. Any offshore project has dangers that need to be managed carefully and accurately, and cable operations are no different, but what are the three main cable-handling operations to be aware of in terms of asset protection and management?

Laying Offshore CableĀ 

The process of laying off cable offshore is a dangerous one, and the primary focus is on the need to control both the speed and the tension of the cable as it leaves the vessel. Cable machines (either a Linear Cable Engine (LCE) or a Cable Drum Engine (CDE) are used to help control this process. There are variations on how this process works, but both are vital to accurate laying off of cable.

Burial of Cable

The integrity of offshore cable can be questioned by a number of incidents, such as fishing, landslips, earthquakes and other offshore activities. The most effective way to prevent this from happening is through cable burial, up to a depth of 10m under the seabed in areas where there is soft silt.

Repairing Offshore CableĀ 

During a repair operation the cable is raised and lowered from the ocean floor using machinery that hauls grapnel rope over large sheaves. Large roller sheaves are used in this process to reduce the amount of friction felt by the cabling and to protect it from sharp bending.

There are a number of ways in which an offshore cabling project can be managed to reduce the associated risks. Data is key to any offshore programme, and with a balance of experience in asset management offshore, and data management and online mapping solutions, a project can become that much stronger in the process. Accurate and time sensitive data is vital to this process, with all information needed to be displayed coherently and fluidly for all necessary personnel to view.

All locational factors and important information regarding assets should be displayed. Spatial asset management allows for easy to visualise displays, with all information being dispenses quickly and effectively to the relevant parties. With the ability to view all relevant information regarding the cabling project at hand offshore, a project manager and personnel have the ability to become more aware of any issues that have plagued the project previously, and have a foundation from which to build a proper observation and maintenance plan as a result of this information.

For any project the better a head of a task can read and utilise information, the smoother the entire process for everyone involved. An asset management system for offshore purposes requires this as a minimum due to the inherent dangers associated with offshore work of all scopes and sizes. In terms of cabling for myriad reasons, the balance between safety of personnel and the assets, and putting them in danger, becomes that more intense. This is why it is vital to have up-to-date information, statistics, asset history and all relevant documents within one, easy to use central asset management system.

Utilising extensive asset risk management experience through a thorough and accurate offshore asset management system allows you to reduce the risks related to offshore cable operations. The above systems of information retrieval allows for concise and precise planning of operations when working with an offshore cabling project. The more that can be done to reduce risks linked to all assets, both human and otherwise, will make for a smoother transition between projects and a smarter timeframe and budget overall for current and future offshore projects. The bottom line and safety are always the two priority issues for any offshore project, and an accurate system of offshore asset management works towards both these ends.

Content written By Lianne Fryer