The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP). The recommended practice developed by DNV GL, the leading technical adviser to the oil & gas industry, provides guidance on the proper design and correct operation, as well as regular inspection and maintenance, of subsea cranes and lifting appliances. The aim is to reduce the overall risk and safeguard personnel during lifting operations and to improve the integrity and efficiency of equipment throughout its lifetime.
Demand for subsea lifting operations is increasing and becoming more complex with more activity taking place in deeper and harsher environments resulting in stricter lifting requirements. The rapid development of subsea cranes and lifting appliances to keep pace with the market has subsequently introduced several technical challenges around safe and efficient deployment and recovery of objects to and from the seabed.
“Existing standards and regulations don’t cover modern subsea lifting operations sufficiently,” says Ivar Kvaleid, DNV GL project manager for the RP. “Subsea lifting is a complex area as it involves many technical, environmental and management aspects. This is currently defined by clients’ specifications, technological boundaries and manufacturers’ considerations, rather than regulative processes and procedures. The RP will ensure a unified safety approach and increase the overall awareness of risks from subsea lifting activities and how to best manage these risks.”