The complete package

The Marin Group offers a one-stop subsea service to the oil, gas and renewables sectors through five specialist companies specialising in excavation, deepwater troubleshooting and drilling support.

MG 9 2011 bOver the past 12 months, the group — which is based in Ellon, near Aberdeen, with further operations in Asia — has both built on existing markets and widened out to offer clients worldwide an exceptional level of integration.

Currently comprising the Marin Group are:

  • Marin Subsea, the founding group company specialises in advanced excavation and troubleshooting
  • Marin Vortex, an expert in diver and ROV-mounted excavation tooling
  • Samson Marin, provides specialist jet-sled equipment for inshore excavation
  • Marin Aurora, supplies drilling support technology and expertise
  • Marin JMS, supports all areas of Marin activity with customised containers and modules

Leading the Marin Group is the team responsible for pioneering and refining two pivotal subsea excavation techniques: MFE (mass-flow excavation) and claycutting. Group CEO George (Boris) Stroud and chief technical director Nick Sills between them designed, developed and built more than 90 per cent of the MFE and claycutting equipment in use today, and they continue to take the lead with new technology and expertise.

The Marin Evo and JetProp systems represent today’s most versatile MFE and claycutting equipment, and they allow specialist excavation across a broad range of operations — from complex shallow water locations to projects where full ocean depth (FOD) capability is needed.

Operated and supported by group company Marin Subsea, the Evo and JetProp range includes the powerful FOD Evo 2500/JetProp 250000, used at depths of 4500 metres on a range of complex projects, including the Heidrun template clearance in 1993 and the Troll Tunnel piercing in 1994. Also operating at FOD is the precision Evo 80 BTE (balanced thrust excavator), which is ideally suited to freespan rectification operations and trenching on projects like the Saipem 1999 Blue Stream Russia-Turkey gas line project. In between the two are:

  • Evo 750/JetProp 75000, for specialist applications including BOP recovery
  • Evo 300/JetProp 35000, for UXO and other inshore operations
  • Evo 250/JetProp 25000 STE (standard thrust excavator) and Evo 250 HTE (high thrust excavator), for firm clay excavations and rock dump removal
  • Evo 150 STE, for a wide range of inshore water excavations
  • Evo 180 WD UTE (water-driven ultra-excavator), a lightweight ROV-handled tool for deepwater support

The Evo Mono-Jet and V-Jet jetting tools further broaden the Evo 150’s scope, allowing for excavation in harder subsea soils.

Towards the end of 2010, Marin Group unveiled the new Evo Claycutting system. This a more versatile, faster and more powerful design than the previous generations of claycutting technology MG 9 2011 csuch as that which was successfully deployed in 2004-2005 to remove some 15,000m2 of soil on the initial Ormen Lange North Sea gas field development phases.

CEO Mr Stroud said: “Marin Group’s key strengths are without a doubt the versatility and range of our tooling — all of it designed in-house and much of it patented proprietary technology — and the exceptional breadth of experience of our team. They know exactly how to maximise our MFE and claycutting tools through years of working on excavation projects worldwide, and in many cases they have also been involved in the design.

“Since the early days of MFE in the 1980s, Marin’s senior team members have been involved in completing at least a thousand separate projects worldwide.”

New technology in the pipeline includes fresh approaches to subsea cutting, shearing and asset removal to FOD — tooling of particular interest to the offshore decommissioning sector. All three tools are in the latter stages of development.

Mr Stroud added: “Every company our management team has been involved in over the past 30 years has been in the business of setting industry milestones, and the Marin Group companies are no exception. We have a long history of delivering cost-effective solutions, often to the most difficult of challenges in the toughest of locations.”

He added: “We’re not fixed to operating in one specific sector or with one specific type of customer. Our clients tend to be the bigger players that work across all areas of the oil, gas and renewables sectors, those that also lead the way.” Key Marin clients include Saipem, Halliburton, Technocean, Subsea 7, Fugro, and DOF Subsea.

Mr Stroud also personally leads Marin Subsea’s elite emergency dropped blow-out preventer (BOP) and asset recovery team. Between them they have completed more than 25 successful operations over the past 20 years with a capability built on extensive drilling experience at senior level and their unique position as the pioneers of mass-flow excavation and claycutting. They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are able to respond to a crisis within hours.

“We understand the subsea environment from every angle and are fully familiar with all the elements necessary for a successful asset recovery. We have the right resources available, in terms of equipment and people and that means we are able to respond very rapidly,” said Mr Stroud. “On our last BOP recovery, we were on site offshore Brazil less than 48 hours after the client called.”

Mr Stroud’s personal experience as a driller prompted him to found Marin Aurora in 2010 to provide specialist tooling and technical support within the drilling sector. Marin Vortex and Indonesia-based Samson Marin both widen Marin’s excavation capability to cover diver and ROV-mounted tooling and jet sled trenching. Marin JMS — which is based in Singapore — delivers a competitive range of quality customised modules, containers, and deployment/launching devices.

Underpinning Marin Group’s success and rapid growth is a highly skilled 12-strong workforce, including a management team with extensive experience of the energy sector across a range of disciplines, in particular drilling, excavation and asset recovery. They are supported by engineers, technicians, and admin staff.

Mr Stroud said: “Our senior excavation and asset recovery team members have between them more than 80 years’ experience of working in some of the world’s most remote and harsh marine environments, and this gives us the confidence to keep pushing our own horizons.”

Marin Group will be moving to new, custom-built headquarters in the next 12 months, offering a springboard for further growth and innovation. “The market for our technology and skills is growing all the time and our aim is always to stay one step in front so we can anticipate our clients’ needs and meet them as rapidly as possible.

“Overall, our goal for the both the medium-term and longer-term is to continue to deliver everything we do better, faster and more competitively than our competitors and to build on and further integrate what we are already offering to supply an even stronger one-stop service.”

The Marin Group
Services: Fully integrated subsea services