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UKOOA chief opens marine training centre

Article from The Press & Journal newspaper - 3/9/2002

Transocean employees Ed Anderson, front, and David Whittle, test out the firm's marine simulator

by Ian Forsyth

ONE of the world's most advanced marine training centres was officialy opened in Aberdeen yesterday by UK Offshore Operators' Association president Michel Contie, of TotalFinaElf Exploration UK.

An investment of more than £600,000 has been made by Transocean to develop and install the first simulator of its kind for training marine personnel who work on mobile offshore drilling rigs that the company leases to oil and gas companies.

Transocean's UK North Sea regional manager, Adrian Rose, said: "This superb facility is the marine equivalent of the pilot simulators used by the airline industry.

"Likewise, our goals are the same. We are training to achieve a safer and more effective working environment.

"This simulator is the only one in the world that combines marine and emergency response simulations with the most realistic marine causes and effects, from hurricanes to collisions."

The simulator is also multi-functional in that it can reproduce the environment of a jack-up rig and three classes of semi-submersible currently in use.

Jim Finlay, Transoceans North Sea regional training manager, said: "Trainees will experience the combined pitch and roll of a vessel, as well as jack-up 'punch-throughs' and collisions with external objects such as ships or rocks.

"It is very authentic, and can simulate inclination or wave motion on a floating vessel or the jolts, shudders and lurches that may occur in difficult or emergency situations on a jack-up through explosion, structural failure or other catastrophe."

Transocean will use the simulator to train its marine personnel from around the world.

It expects that around 300 of its people will benefit from the new simulator in the first 12 months of operation.

Pisys, an Aberdeen-based technical software company that specialises in emergency simulators, developed the sophisticated software that underpins the system.