World's largest AUV survey successfully completed

Projects and Operations - March 23, 2006

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Fugro's Echo Surveyor AUV.

Fugro has completed what it claims is the world's largest ever AUV survey.

The company was contracted by BP Exploration (Egypt) Ltd to undertake a regional site investigation at Raven, located in the West Nile Delta using Fugro's Hugin 3000 Echo Surveyor AUV. Fugro drew together the special skills of the local operating companies, Fugro SAE and UK's Fugro Survey Ltd.

Fugro Survey Ltd provided the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), its payload and support vessel to carry out much of the geophysical survey work. A total area of just under 1,000km2 was surveyed.

The purpose of the AUV survey was to obtain seabed and sub-seabed hydrographic and geophysical data to aid in the design of subsea facilities, route selection for flow lines, pipelines and umbilicals and to detect and delineate all geo-hazards that might have an impact on facilities installation or well drilling. The survey took place during the latter half of 2005 using the survey vessel Geo Prospector.

An AUV was chosen as the platform from which to operate the geophysical systems because it provides several significant advantages:

•  The smooth track, constant speed and optimum height above sea bed provide data of the highest quality that it is possible to obtain, particularly in deep water.
•  The tightly coupled Inertial Navigation System adds rigour to the positioning of hazards and features.
•  The tight turning circle - 'Echo Surveyor' can turn almost in its own length - which reduces the time to change between survey lines.
•  Improved data quality and positioning accuracy enables a confident interpretation of seabed and sub-seabed conditions.
•  Confident interpretation permits assured engineering that reduces risk and reduces cost.
•  Faster data acquisition combined with tried and tested onboard reporting routines with high-speed satellite data link deliver faster results to the asset team.
•  Faster results delivery can reduce development time and bring forward oil field revenue

Fugro's client was extremely pleased with the data and commented: ''We have just seen the seabed bathymetry for the southern half of the survey area as processed onboard personnel. The results are stunning. We wish to express our admiration for the team onboard the survey vessel. They carried out the survey in a truly professional manner and the deepwater data is nothing short of spectacular. Very well done.''

Having completed another very successful in Indonesia, the survey spread is en route for other projects in South America and West Africa.

 

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