Our latest news and subsea integrity insights.

Clarus Hosts Life Extension Seminar

Clarus hosted the latest Acteon Group knowledge sharing seminar on Thursday 12th November in Houston. The event focused on offshore asset life extension and featured some great presentations from sister companies Intermoor, Pulse and Seatronics. Clarus VP John MacDonald also presented. 

The four Acteon group operating companies have successfully enabled life extension for a diverse range of offshore assets around the world. Their technical experts shared their thoughts on the challenges and emerging trends in the fields of life extension and integrity management, and an operator shared lessons learned from one of their offshore projects. 

The technical and networking event attracted participants from a range of Gulf of Mexico operators, and highlighted multiple examples of unique, cost effective and successful approaches to life extension. 

If you are interested in seeing any of these presentations, or to register for future technical events, please get in touch


Condition Assessment in Life Extension
Presented by John MacDonald, VP, Clarus Subsea Integrity
An overview on the existing and emerging technology in today's market available for condition assessment. Maturity and applicability of different methods will be reviewed along with suggestions for ways technology and engineering assessment can be used to increase confidence in life extension.

BP Wet Spool Monitoring System
Presented by JD Lan, Pipeline Integrity Engineer, BP 
A BP case study of a structural monitoring system to measure fatigue damage of a Wet Spool riser system. The monitoring data is used to assess and verify the integrity of the wet spool system for the life of field.

Autonomous Ship Hull Inspection with the Hybrid Predator/HAUV
Presented by Alistair Coutts, Senior VP, USA Region, Seatronics
An overview of how Bluefin and Seatronics are partnering to integrate the HAUV's autonomous ship hull inspection capability into the Predator ROV to create a powerful new tool for UnderWater Inspection in-Lieu of Drydocking.

Zafiro Mooring Replacement for Life Extension 
Presented by Jim Macklin, VP Engineering & Projects, InterMoor
An case study on how careful recovery, replacement, testing and inspection have allowed for recertification of the 20-year mooring system of an FPSO, without any interruption of its operations.

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Things to consider if your pipelines are spanning

Things to consider if your pipelines are spanning!

Here are a few things your should take into account if you find that your pipelines are spanning:

Pipelines and flowlines are typically designed to handle spans up to specified lengths. Checking your original design documents may show your spans are within design tolerances. No further action is required!

Driving factors for spanning integrity concerns are inspection data reliability, bottom current speeds or ultimate limit state stress. Be sure the right data is gathered and evaluated before declaring a span an integrity threat.

If pipeline spans are outside of the limits, an engineering assessment can be conducted to confirm whether the spans are integrity issues (DNV-RP-F105 and DNV-OS-F101)

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Jennifer Osterholt - Office Manager

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hello!  My name is Jennifer Osterholt and I am the Office Manager for Clarus Subsea Integrity. I received my B.A. in Marketing from the University of Houston – Downtown.  After a few years working in the marketing field, I decided a change of pace was needed and found what I was looking for here at Clarus. I am originally from Akron, Ohio and moved to Texas about 10 years ago.  I currently reside in Katy, TX with my son. 

What 3 words describe you best?

Thoughtful, Generous, Friendly

What do you do at Clarus?

As the Office Manager, I manage all administrative roles including human resources, quality, health and safety, and project controls.


What’s your favorite thing about working at Clarus?

My favorite thing about working at Clarus is my co-workers! There is not a day that goes by where we are not laughing!

What’s your most memorable Clarus moment?

My most memorable moment with Clarus is probably April Fool’s Day 2015. After a small amount of coaxing from my co-workers it was decided that I was going to, as a joke, turn in my letter of resignation stating I was going to pursue my dream of becoming a pirate. For a moment, John our VP thought it was serious. Needless to say it was both stressful and hilarious. It will never be forgotten (or recreated) again!

Tell us a bit about life outside work.

When not at work, I am spending time with my son. We enjoy being outdoors as much as possible, which is tricky in the Houston summer heat!! When we can, we are swimming, hiking or finding a new adventure to tackle. 

Fun fact!

I have lived in the following states: Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia and finally Texas! 

Categories: meet the team,

Subsea Integrity Conference 2015

Clarus was bronze sponsor for this year's Subsea Integrity Conference in Houston. VP Dharmik Vadel presented in the Brownfield IM session. View his presentation entitled A Logical Path to Life Extension in our technical paper section here: http://www.clarusintegrity.com/#papers

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Global FPSO Forum 2015

Clarus VP, Dharmik Vadel, presented at the Global FPSO Forum in Galveston this week. His presentation 'A Logical Path to Life Extension' can be viewed here:


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Rising to the Challenge - Read the Clarus article in Oilfield Technology

John MacDonald, Clarus Subsea Integrity, Ricky Thethi, 2H Offshore, and Jonathan Deegan, Riskbytes, provide an economic and risk assessment of single and dual casing top tensioned risers.

The use of single or dual casing top tensioned risers (TTRs) is a key decision in the design of a dry tree system. The decision is risk based between the decreased cost of a single casing top tensioned riser and the additional barrier provided by dual casing risers. However, without any recorded incidents attributed to either riser system and very few incidents with TTRs in general, there is a general lack of industry data for direct use in a risk analysis. This paper presents a quantitative risk assessment methodology using historical data from blowouts combined with a typical planned riser configuration and assumed time on well. When combined with the cost between single and dual cased systems, the approach can be used to develop a basis of decision between the two riser configurations.

Read full article.

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Life Extension or Decommissioning? Read the latest Clarus article in Offshore Engineer.

Understanding your asset is vital before making the big decision. Clarus Subsea’s Vinayak Patil and John MacDonald explain the key challenges of subsea integrity management in the Gulf of Mexico.

Operators in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) must remain as proactive in the approach to subsea integrity as they have been in pioneering deepwater. Many of the early deepwater facilities are nearing the end of their design life, bringing to light the decision of what is next. However, making confident decisions in terms of life extension or decommissioning requires a thorough understanding of the asset history. For example, events such as high eddy current speeds are often not the priority during operations but may become a driver of life extension. Also while pushing designs for deepwater requires bespoke systems and flexible regulations, there are few prescriptive requirements to guide best practice. These leave operators and subsea integrity management (IM) contractors to determine the best practices for their asset IM.

Read the full article here: http://www.oedigital.com/subsea/item/10179-life-extension-or-decommissioning

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Are your strakes foul? 9 commonly asked questions.

Having spent the past 11 years or so working on integrity management projects as part of riser engineering experts 2H Offshore, we have encountered a lot of strakes and have seen it all. Here are the most common queries that we have received from clients over the years, along with some guidance on what to keep in mind.

1. The risers were designed for VIV, so why should I worry?

- ​​Most riser designs assume perfectly clean strakes with little to no marine growth.

- Marine growth has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of VIV strake suppression efficiency in high current regions.

- In recent months loop currents in excess of 4 knots have been observed in the GoM – on the order of a 100+ yr event. Can you remember what your design current speed was?

2. What about anti-foul strakes?

Unfortunately, the design premise that ‘anti-foul strakes will be used to mitigate VIV’ just does not hold up. In similar marine environments, ships have to regularly maintain and renew their anti-foul coating and, in our experience, significant marine growth even with anti-foul strakes does occur – albeit at a slower rate than strakes without anti-fouling.

3. Is marine growth a problem?

Maybe not. Some risers are less susceptible to VIV anyway and strakes were only added as additional insurance. The engineering design, specifically the predicted fatigue life, can be used as an indicator of whether VIV will be an issue when strakes lose efficiency due to marine growth.

4. Does the marine growth roughness help reduce VIV (like golf ball dimples)?

No, quite the opposite. Hard marine growth reduces a strakes ability to stop VIV as the depth of marine growth approaches the height of the strake fin. According to a study done by MARINTEK [OMAE2008-57587], strake efficiency reduced inversely to increased marine growth. The simulated hard marine growth took more height (>60%) compared to soft marine growth (>35%) to reduce the efficiency, but both have their limits.

Riser strakes

5. How much is too much marine growth?

If the actual growth is more than predicted in the original design calculations, then your design predictions are no longer valid and you should consider cleaning. Marine growth over 1/3 of the fin height is a good rule of thumb for deciding when to clean. When the fins can no longer be distinguished from the growth, they are past due for cleaning.

6. But isn’t VIV analysis conservative?

Maybe. Riser specialists 2H Offshore [OMAE2008-57046] and others have written papers on the topic which indicate that analysis predictions are conservative. However, VIV is not a linear phenomenon and system specific responses are based on the structural natural frequency and damping in a particular current profile.

7. What can I do?

First off, gather information regarding the extent of marine growth coverage during the next inspection, specifically the height of the growth compared to the height of the fin. Secondly, confirm if the design evaluated the effect of marine growth on VIV fatigue performance, or commission a short engineering study to do so. Finally, review the current data that is collected at the facility via the ADCPs. Evaluating current speed against the design predictions will at least give an indication of over or under conservative design. If after doing all the above, you’re still worried or the analysis suggests there will be a problem, then a strake cleaning program can be implemented, or a monitoring system can be retrofitted to determine if VIV is occurring.

8. How do I clean the strakes?

Cavitation blasters seem to do less damage to the strakes (or strake bands) than water jets but both have been used effectively. Try and plan the cleaning with your UWILD inspections as the tools will already be onsite.

9. But the risers have fairings; is this still an issue?

Fairings also suffer from degradation of VIV suppression due to marine growth [OTC 19373]. But fairings seem to perform better overall than strakes until the marine growth restricts the ‘weather vaning’ of the fairing. Fairings that are stuck perpendicular to the current flow increase the apparent diameter and may lead to galloping. Make sure the fairings are not only clean, but also free rotating during inspections.

In summary, keep an eye out for marine growth on your strakes, maintain and clean when necessary, and this should help secure the long-term integrity of your system.


John-MacDonaldJohn MacDonald is vice president at Clarus Subsea Integrity. He holds a BS in ocean engineering from Texas A&M University and is both a Chartered Engineer and a certified project management professional. He has accumulated 14 years of engineering experience in riser analysis, naval architecture, verification, acceptance testing and integrity management.

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Internal Corrosion Management Tips

When was the last time you updated your Corrosion Management Strategy Document?

Ideally, it should cover the following elements: data collection, data validation, retrieved components, scope, relevance and quality.

Take a look at our infographic below for some more guidance.

For advice on your existing corrosion management strategy, or for help preparing a new one contact us!

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Are you planning for subsea control system failure?

subsea control system failure infographic

A majority of time, effort, and money in asset management is spent on subsea control systems. Failures with SCMs are typically handled reactively, causing long downtimes or quick, expensive solutions.

We asked ourselves: "Can we take existing SCM data and variables and predict, with a certain level of accuracy, when a failure will happen?" Our goal was to give operations teams the ability to forecast failures, and plan properly and efficiently for them. 

As a result, Clarus has developed a robust set of subsea KPIs which help do just that. Our algorithms are configured to predict issues with DCVs, hydraulic fluid leakage and communication before they become downtime.

To learn about how our KPIs can help you take preventative steps with your subsea control system, contact us!

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Splashzone Corrosion - Do you have the complete picture?

Here is what to look out for to get a clearer picture of what’s going on in your splashzone:

  • Corrosion and damage around entire pipe (on close up visual inspection).
  • Water build up at transition of splashzone and standard pipe coating layers.
  • Blisters over time, which can form excessive wear and damage in localized areas.
  • Disbondment of the splashzone coating layer.


Click image to expand.

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Read the latest Clarus article in Offshore Magazine - Improved Risk Assessment Enhances IM

Clarus' Claire Zhao and Dharmik Vadel share their tips on how to maximize value from your IM risk assessment in this month's Offshore magazine.

A risk assessment is a tool commonly employed by operators during the stages of an asset’s life cycle, and can be used to varying degrees of depth and detail. Whether it is qualitative, quantitative, safety case or anomaly based, most operators use risk assessment techniques to identify critical components and prioritize inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) work. 

To maximize the value of risk assessments there are a number of practical improvements that can help overcome challenges frequently faced during the application of risk assessment techniques. These allow the risk assessment process to be a multi-purpose tool to improve the overall performance of the integrity program.

Read the full article here: http://digital.offshore-mag.com/offshoremag/201506?sub_id=Bi6NUd7tNssZX#pg62

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Integrity Checklist for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season officially starts today! NOAA has predicted 3-6 hurricanes during the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season. Use our integrity checklist to make sure you’re prepared!

  • Prepare your post-hurricane inspection workscope
  • Be aware of existing anomalies and issues
  • Confirm that your back up monitoring system works
  • Communicate your response plan

Click image to enlarge.

For help preparing your hurricane plan, get in touch!

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Clarus @ OMAE 2015

Clarus will present a paper at OMAE 2015 with sister company Intermoor on the Global Benefits and Operational Challenges of Vessel Relocation. OMAE 2015 is ASME's 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering and will take place in St John's, Newfoundland, Canada from May 31 until June 5, 2015.


Movement of moored floating production vessels, such as Spars, Semi-submersibles, Deep Draft Floaters and Floating Production Units, due to environmental loading is often considered a design challenge that needs to be addressed during the design phase of a structure.  Proactive vessel relocation through mooring line adjustment can be integrated as part of an operational method to improve and extend component lives. This method may be implemented during the initially planned life of the structure to overcome riser fatigue life challenges, or as one of the methods to extend service life. The benefits are particularly noteworthy for steel catenary risers and mooring systems and have been discussed in previous works.  However, vessels often deviate from the original relocation plan in practice.  This paper assesses the benefits of a vessel relocation program with conscientious focus on the associated operational challenges.  Risks associated with vessel relocation are also investigated.  Suggestions are made to optimize such a program and to minimize interruption to production.

Open full technical paper.

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Read the latest Clarus article in Offshore Engineer - Enhanced IM of Subsea Control Systems

Claire Zhao and Dharmik Vadel discuss condition monitoring as a proactive approach to minimizing downtime in this month's Offshore Engineer.

Control system failure is one of the top contributors toward unplanned shutdowns in offshore subsea production systems. Current practice includes a reactive approach to failure management including equipment replacement or a retrofit solution, which can be costly. Condition monitoring of control equipment using existing operational data can provide leading indicators of equipment degradation and potential failure. This approach enhances visibility of equipment health, estimates time to failure and increases production uptime via planned equipment replacement. Three key performance indicators are discussed below including hydraulic pump performance, subsea control valve utilization and digital communications efficiency to demonstrate the benefits of condition monitoring.

Read the full article here: http://www.oedigital.com/production/item/8923-enhanced-im-of-subsea-control-systems 

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