Subsea asset identification: what it is and why it matters

What is asset identification and why is it important?

We talk a lot about asset identification here at AQUASIGN — what with us manufacturing asset ID markers for the oil and gas industry, and all.

But what exactly is asset identification, and why is it such a big deal for subsea structures to be labelled in this particular way?

In this article, we look at the primary reasons for asset identification and the dangers it prevents.


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Equipment identification

If you had to choose one main reason to install identification markers on your subsea structures, this would be it.

Without ID markers, subsea structures are basically a puzzle of valves, flowlines, cables, risers, connectors, umbilicals, hatches… you get the picture.

These are vital to help a diver or ROV safely identify and operate specific equipment, particularly down in a low visibility environment.

Brightly coloured Aquasign ID markers, with their anti-fouling technology, mean equipment can be identified quickly and easily, with no room for mistakes.

Ideal during installation, repair, maintenance, checks and decommissioning.

Equipment traceability

Coming a close second to equipment identification is equipment traceability.

The oil and gas industry is a critically high-risk arena. Manufacturers of equipment used subsea have a responsibility to guarantee the quality of every item they produce and to ensure everything is fully traceable.

Asset identification captures key information such as the product’s manufacturer, not to mention the date it was made, when it was tested and who it was qualified by.

There’s a lot of information that needs to be recorded along the supply chain, and asset identification is the perfect way to do that.

Typically traceability information would be recorded on the equipment itself, usually by stamping on stamped metal plates. This is a cost-effective method that allows the equipment manufacturer to order in bulk and add specific details on-site as they go. Learn more about this from our oilfield signage pages.

But at AQUASIGN we can also offer QR code and RFID tagging. These small markers can be read instantly, all traceability and qualification data stored digitally, and their data updated remotely whenever necessary.

Subsea asset identification - what it is and why it matters - quote image


Moving on, let’s talk about orientation.

Subsea production systems can be massive and complex, a network of twisting metal that goes on for tens of metres.

So when you send a diver or an ROV down there to take a look, there’s a good chance they’re not just going to need help identifying which component is which — they may also need help working out where they are.

Asset identification markers can be used to improve orientation, showing which side of a structure you’re on, whether you’re at the right elevation, which direction you’re facing, and which quadrant you’re working in.

Pillars will often be numbered as well, helping to eliminate the potential for errors.

⚠️ Positioning and warnings

Not all subsea equipment is designed as giant, static objects. Assets like manifolds comprise a network of complex working parts, some of which can be moved from one position to another.

Asset ID markers are used to show whether a valve, for example, is in the OPEN or CLOSED position — crucial information for any diver or ROV performing checks and maintenance on the structure, and vital for the ongoing safety of anyone near or on the structure.

Likewise, subsea signage can be used to draw attention to particularly hazardous areas of a structure, where extra care is needed to keep personnel and ROVs out of danger.

Aquasign asset identification markers

Aquasign subsea markers are the anti-fouling asset identification your project needs. Guaranteed to stay visible and in place for 60 years, our signage ensures your assets are easy to identify and 100% traceable.

We’ve got a range of specifications suited to shallow and deepwater applications and can create bespoke markers to suit your particular requirements.

We’re committed to delivering the best quality products and services to our clients across the oil and gas industries. Contact a member of the team to find out how we can help keep you safer.


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➡️ Related content: Read up on our range of RFID markers or visit our Download Centre for access to all our test reports, specification documentation and product guides.

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