Oceaneering International, Inc. is a subsea engineering and applied technology company based in Houston, Texas, U.S. that provides engineered services and hardware to customers who operate in marine, space, and other environments.
Oceaneering's business offerings include remotely operated vehicle (ROV) services, specialty oilfield subsea hardware, deepwater intervention and manned diving services, non-destructive testing and inspections, engineering and project management, and surveying and mapping services. Its services and products are marketed worldwide to oil and gas companies, government agencies, and firms in the aerospace, marine engineering and construction industries.
Oceaneering was founded in 1964.
In the early 1970s, Oceaneering supported a considerable amount of research into techniques to increase safety of their divers as well as general operation efficiency including their collaboration with Duke University Medical Center to explore the use of trimix breathing gas to reduce the incidence of high-pressure nervous syndrome.
Oceaneering purchased the rights to the JIM suit in 1975. By 1979, a team from Oceaneering assisted Dr. Sylvia Earle in testing the application of Atmospheric diving suits for scientific diving operations by diving a JIM suit to 1,250 fsw. Oceaneering also used WASP atmospheric diving suits.
A dive team from Oceaneering salvaged three of the four propellers from the RMS Lusitania in 1982.
From 1984 to 1988, Michael L. Gernhardt worked as Manager and then Vice President of Special Projects for Oceaneering International. During this time he led the development of a telerobotic system for subsea platform cleaning and inspection as well as a variety of new diver and robot tools. In 1988, Gernhardt founded Oceaneering Space Systems, a company formed to transfer subsea technology and operational experience to the ISS program.
Following the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Oceaneering teams recovered the Solid Rocket Booster that contained the faulty O-ring.
Oceaneering was a NASDAQ listed company until 1991 when they moved to the New York Stock Exchange.
Oceaneering ROVs were used to determine what happened to the cargo ship Lucona in the 1991 murder and fraud investigation that claimed uranium mining equipment was lost when the vessel went down.
Recovery of the airplane cockpit voice recorder in the loss of ValuJet Flight 592 was a priority in early 1996. In the days following the loss of TWA Flight 800 later that same year, Oceaneering was contacted to provide ROV support to the US Navy lead search and recovery effort.
Boeing and Fugro teamed up with Oceaneering in 2001 to begin integration of their advanced technology solutions into deep sea exploration.
The company helped recover the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, which sank in 1864. Several plans for the recovery were evaluated with the final recovery including a truss structure with foam to surround the body of the submarine. On August 8, 2000, at 8:37 a.m., the sub broke the surface for the first time in more than 136 years.
On August 2, 2006, NASA indicated plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design, development, certification, production, and sustaining engineering of the Constellation Space Suit to meet the needs of the Constellation Program. On June 11, 2008, NASA awarded a USD$745 million contract to Oceaneering for the creation and manufacture of this new space suit.
NAVSEA awarded Oceaneering a maintenance contract for the Dry Deck Shelter program in 2006. Dry Deck Shelters are used for transport of equipment like the Advanced SEAL Delivery System or a Combat Rubber Raiding Craft aboard a submarine.
In 2009, a demonstrator crane was installed and integrated aboard the SS Flickertail State to evaluate the crane's performance in transporting containers between two moving ships in an operational environment using commercial and oil industry at-sea mooring techniques in the Gulf of Mexico. Developed by the Sea Warfare and Weapons Department in the Office of Naval Research along with Oceaneering International, the crane has sensors and cameras as well as motion-sensing algorithms that let it automatically shift with the rolling and pitching of the sea, making it much easier for operators to center the crane over cargo and transfer it.
Oceaneering teamed up with the Canadian company GRI Simulations to design and produce the ROV simulators they utilize for training, development of procedures, and equipment staging. After a dispute over theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement that lasted several years, Oceaneering now licenses the VROV simulator system from GRI Simulations.
A 2009 collaboration with Royal Dutch Shell saw the installation of a wireline at a record 2,673 ft of water for repairing a safety valve.
On April 22, 2010, three Oceaneering ROV crews on board the Oceaneering vessel Ocean Intervention III, the DOF ASA Skandi Neptune, and the Boa International Boa Sub C began to map the seabed and assess the wreckage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The crews report "large amounts of oil that flowed out." Oceaneering ROV Technician Tyrone Benton was later called as a witness to provide information on the leaks associated with BOP stack investigation but gave no reason why he later failed to appear in court.
Petrobras, the biggest deepwater oilfield company in the world, placed the largest umbilical order in company history in 2012.
As of 2012, eighty percent of Oceaneering's income was involved in deepwater work. They are also the world's largest operator of ROVs.
BAE Systems was contracted in October 2013 to build a support vessel to supplement their "subsea intervention services in the ultra-deep waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico". Delivery is expected in 2016.
Oceaneering, through its Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) division, is also an active developer of educational and entertainment technology such as the Shuttle Launch Experience at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. The OES division is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, with an additional site in Hanover, Maryland.
In 1992, OES was formed when Eastport International, Inc. was purchased by Oceaneering International. Eastport specialized in underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and had recently been contracted by Universal Studios Florida to redesign and build the animatronic sharks for its Jaws attraction. The original animatronics, ride system and control system had malfunctioned, causing the attraction to close soon after its grand opening. After acquisition by Oceaneering, the themed attraction work was moved to a new division, Oceaneering Entertainment Systems, which completed the Jaws contract.
Oceaneering has since developed motion-based dark ride vehicles for Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios Florida, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis at Six Flags parks, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin at SeaWorld, and Speed of Magic at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, among others. The company also developed animatronics for Universal Studios' Jurassic Park and Jaws rides. The company also provides custom show action equipment for various entertainment projects, including Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando, and Curse of DarKastle at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
In 2014, The Themed Entertainment Association awarded their Thea Award to Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) for their Revolution™ Tru-Trackless™ ride system In 2013, OES won the THEA for Transformers The Ride 3-D at Universal Studios Hollywood and Singapore, for Ride & Show Systems. In 2008, they won the THEA for the Shuttle Launch Experience.
Oceaneering donated a hyperbaric chamber to assist with the treatment on the Miskito Indian population in 1986. The company donated a compressor in 1997 that along with money from the Divers Alert Network supported the continued medical coverage of the Miskito population.
The Stavanger offshore tekniske skole, a Norwegian technical college, received a donated ROV in November 2009 to facilitate qualification examinations for their learners. An ROV was donated to the South Central Louisiana Technical College in 2011 to support their unique ROV maintenance curriculum.