Promote the Subsea Equipment Australia Reliability Joint Industry Project

Phase 1 (2014)

In 2014 Wood Groupidentified subsea equipment that was failing prematurely and estimated the cost impact of poor equipment performance. With five fields in Australia having more than 100 failures over a six year operating period, the associated cost of the intervention campaigns was around AUD150 million.  

Phase 2 (2015)

The SEAR JIP Phase II focused on expanding data collection and initiating engagement with vendors. In consultation with the JIP participants, Wood Group identified potential causes of the observed equipment failures. During this phase it was highlighted that current failure reporting procedures where generally inadequate, contributing to the lack of progress regarding equipment reliability. To resolve this issue, SEAR JIP proposed to develop  a reliability database tool to provide operators with an efficient mechanism to capture their failure data and allow for reliability analysis.

Phase 3 (2016)

During SEAR JIP Phase III, the steering committee decided to address two challenges, which were considered critical to operators:
Marine fouling  has been found to occur in Australian waters up to approximately 250m , especially in the northern waters (sub-tropical and tropical), and has significant impact, including the expense of maintenance  and premature equipment failure. Wood Group issued an expression of interest (EOI) to the industry, seeking for vendors willing to collaborate on improving equipment reliability in Australian waters. Over 70 vendors responded to the EOI. They presented technologies with the potential to considerably improve existing marine fouling problems; e.g. new materials, coatings and improved designs concepts.
Gas generated within umbilicals in operation can lead to safety risks and failures. The origin and consequences of this gas are not well understood, raising concerns that unwanted gas could lead to poor performance of electrical systems, which is exacerbated in warm Australian waters. Wood Group approached representatives of the umbilical manufactures federation (UMF) to discuss opportunities to improve the reliability of umbilicals and address existing challenges.





All JIP participants have operating assets or major oil and gas developments in Australia. All participants have a high level of commitment in trying to improve the reliability in their Australian area of operation. The SEAR JIP project provides a unique opportunity for operators to collaborate, sharing technical experiences and lessons learned in order to improve their ability to improve the performance of subsea equipment.




The SEAR JIP is currently on its Phase IV (2017)
Scope of the work consist:
Delivering a cloud-based reliability database which will allow assessment of operators’ equipment performance and comparison of vendors’ performance for equipment installed in Australian waters. The database is in compliance with ISO 14224:2016 and captures equipment description, main operating parameters and failure events. The database encompasses Subsea Control Module, Electrical Flying Leads  and umbilicals.
Facilitating a ‘lessons learned’ forum , where operators share experience about equipment performance. All learnings will be captured on the SEAR cloud-based reliability database.
Developing a testing program to evaluate performance of new technologies to prevent calcareous deposition and marine growth in subsea hardware.



SEAR Reliability Database

The SEAR Reliability Database was developed to collect asset and failure information from SEAR members with operationsin Australian waters. The database is in compliance with ISO 14224:2016 and permit comparison of Australian subsea equipment performance with other industry data sources. At present, it features Subsea Control Module, Electrical Flying Leads  and umbilicals, but will be expanded as project progresses.
The database also present lessons learned that are shared by the steering committee. The aim is for designers and engineers to access a list of lessons learned over the years and identify technical solutions to industry challenges from collective experience.



SEAR Testing Program

The SEAR JIP will create ‘Living Laboratories’ at locations offshore Northern Australia to assess innovative coatings, materials and technologies for their performance against calcareous deposition and plant/animal growth.

More than one hundred different samples and subsea assemblies will be tested from 9 major subsea manufacturing organisations and research institutions to support this joint program. These test samples will undergo a number of different testing and observation activities throughout the test lifecycle over a period of several years.

In addition, oceanographic conditions will be continuously monitored to ensure that the test results are cross referenced with a thorough understanding of the environment behind their occurrence. Ocean conditions that will be measured will include:

  • Conductivity
  • Pressure & Temperature
  • pH levels
  • Dissolved oxygen levels
  • Turbidity
  • ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) levels
  • Chlorophyll levels
  • PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) levels