Asset ID in the oil and gas industry: What are your options?

What types of subsea asset identification are available?

We’re often asked about the kinds of materials that can be used in the manufacture of asset identification markers. And it’s true: there’s a whole long list, all with their own pros and cons.

But actually, rather than focusing on the materials themselves, we tend to work it backwards from what our clients need.

And ultimately, that usually comes down to one of three things:

Read on to find out how these key drivers can determine which material could best meet your asset identification needs.


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We all like to make savings when possible — but not if it’s going to be a false economy.

Buying budget markers for a 30-year project is a terrible idea: you’ll end up with signage that falls off or becomes completely obscured by marine growth, which means someone (or some ROV!) will need to go down and clean it regularly.

But, if you’re buying markers that will only be used once and marine growth protection is not an issue, there’s no point in buying more expensive signage with antifouling technology.

Likewise, if your markers are simply decorative items designed to promote your brand before the asset is deployed, and you’re not bothered about them remaining visible underwater, you may want to consider a less pricey material.

Budget asset identification methods

  • Paint – very cost-effective because you can do it yourself using a stencil
  • Plastic – comes in a range of colours and sizes, very cheap to engrave
  • Printing – printing onto metal, vinyl or plastic is also very cost-effective

Related content: Anti-fouling Subsea Markers vs. Paint – An Honest Comparison

The downsides

  • Limited anti-fouling properties
  • Limited thermal/chemical resistance
  • Poor visibility
  • Not suited to installation on uneven surfaces


There’s a lot of stuff that comes under the umbrella of ‘function’. After all, asset identification markers can be used for a whole range of reasons, on any number of assets, in any number of environments.

And what that means is that your specific requirements will be unique.

Some of the factors that can dictate the functionality of your ID markers are:

  • Lifespan – is the subsea marker needed for a long period, or is it just temporary?
  • Purpose – is the marker there for critical safety reasons, or for aesthetic / certification reasons?
  • Installation – will the marker be installed on a flat, even surface? Or a curved, flexible one?
  • Depth – is the marker needed for a deepwater application or will it be in shallow water?
  • Data – is it a certification marker? Does it need to accommodate a large volume of data?
  • Location – what’s the environment like? Does the marker need thermal or chemical resistance?
  • Visibility – does the marker need added visibility? Is it small or only viewable from a distance?

Asset ID in the oil and gas industry - What are your options - quote image

Specialist asset identification methods


Premium, 60-year guaranteed antifouling markers with high visibility, suited for use in any marine environment. UV-resistant, quick lead-time (less than one week).

Aquasign Lumino

Deepwater product designed to be seen clearly from long distances in very low visibility environments. Developed for hazard identification and awareness.

Aquajet plates

Water-cut carbon steel plates coated in anti-fouling paint. Robust product, but much longer lead-time due to the coating process (typically six weeks).

RFID/QR Code markers

Ideal for certification/traceability purposes, these smart markers can store a wealth of information digitally.

Laser/Vibro etching

Etches information straight on to equipment, an excellent choice for traceability. Can be less convenient than individual markers, not suited to some substrates. A good choice for equipment certification plates.

Etched or engraved nameplates

A cost-effective solution for storing data in a small area. Engraved plastics over different colours cores whilst steel nameplates offer what is deemed a permanent solution.


What can we say about lead-time? It’s simple, really: some materials take longer to source and prepare than others.

So if you’re working on a short deadline, we’ll be able to provide you with asset identification for your project, but there may not be the same breadth of choice as there is for projects with a longer lead-time.

Asset identification methods available on short lead-times

  • Aquasign
  • Aquasign Lumino
  • RFID / QR Code markers
  • Paint
  • Engraved plastic/metals
  • Printed plastic/metals/vinyls


The key thing for us here at AQUASIGN is to get a proper understanding of what you need.

You may well have several challenges to overcome with your asset identification, and we’re here to offer you the best solution. We tailor both material and manufacturing process to your project requirements, and we’ll always try and get you the best deal for your money.


Find out about the asset identification solutions that suit your project today. Contact a member of the AQUASIGN team on for a no-obligation chat.


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