Oceaneering International has been granted a patent for a system and method that securely cradles a subsea pipeline. The system includes a gravity driven pile based device with a pile tower, roller carriage assembly, and jacking assembly. The device is designed to land on one side of the pipeline, embed into the sea floor, position the cradling structure, and lift the pipeline. GlobalData’s report on Oceaneering International gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Oceaneering International, Autonomous freight management was a key innovation area identified from patents. Oceaneering International's grant share as of September 2023 was 41%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Securely cradling a subsea pipeline using a gravity-driven pile device

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Oceaneering International Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11713833B2) describes a gravity-driven pile-based device for use in offshore applications. The device includes a pile tower with multiple legs arranged parallel to each other, along with rails that have outwardly exposed teeth. A skirt is secured to the outer surface of the legs and includes vent ports for venting seawater during the device's embedment into the soil.

The device also features a roller carriage assembly that engages the rails and includes a lead screw drive assembly for positioning the carriage assembly along the rails. A roller arm assembly and a jacking assembly are also included in the device, with the jacking assembly engaging both the roller carriage assembly and the rails.

Additional components of the device include a mud mat with anodes for cathodic protection, an anode for protecting the carriage weldment and legs, and a selectively removable cylinder in the roller carriage assembly. The cylinder can be removed subsea and is operated by a remotely operated vehicle. The lead screw assembly in the device has a specific size and provides a travel distance of approximately 59 inches.

The roller carriage assembly also includes a roller frame for supporting the load of a pipeline, a roller box assembly with rollers and bearings, and a machined plate with a bearing and hub for the roller box. The rollers are held together with mount plates that have bushings made of bronze. The roller box is designed to pivot up and down and yaw side-to-side but is constrained from rolling side-to-side.

The pile tower of the device has a first portion with a three-coat epoxy coating and a second uncoated portion below a certain length of the skirt.

Overall, this patented gravity-driven pile-based device offers a unique and efficient solution for offshore applications, providing stability and support for pipelines or other structures. The various components and features of the device contribute to its functionality and ease of use in subsea environments.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.