There are secrets lying deep on the seabed, and Steven Gray is finding out exactly what they are.

Image courtesy of Subsea Technologies
Image courtesy of ROVOP

An explorer of hidden, subsea worlds, Steve Gray founded ROVOP in 2011. The company operates a fleet of 50 state-of-the-art remote operated vehicles (ROVs), which explore the seabed and send the information back to those on shore. 

The company has grown dramatically and now employs more than 250 people across the US, the Middle East and at its headquarters in Aberdeen’s centre of subsea engineering, Westhill. It serves many industries, working with offshore wind farm developers, deep sea oil and gas producers and to scope the groundwork for international pipelines.

 “I think what we do is incredible, like space exploration. We take robots and operate them in a hostile environment that can be three kilometres deep in the sea. In the last year we have been working in Brazil, Turkey, Nigeria, Russia, the US, UK and at least another ten countries.”

Neil Gordon, CEO.
Neil Gordon, CEO. Image courtesy of Subsea UK

Neil Gordon, Chief Executive of trade body Subsea UK, sees ROVOP as an ideal example of the ambitions of Aberdeenshire’s wider subsea engineering sector:

“ROVOP has expanded globally, despite the downturn in the oil and gas industry, through its diversified approach, focusing on offshore wind farm development as a key specialism. 

“Companies based here form the major part of an industry with exports worth £7.5 billion per year and supporting over 45,000 jobs in the UK. From Westhill, Aberdeenshire’s ‘SURF city’ – which refers to subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines – ROVOP, like many of its entrepreneurial counterparts, has taken on the world.”