"We started by performing environmental baseline surveys in the North Sea and around UK waters, utilising a full range of grab samplers and sea-bed corers, plus water samplers and profilers, combined with high resolution digital video/ stills cameras and eyeball ROVs", explained Richard Walters, Environmental Survey Manager, based in Great Yarmouth. "However, over the last two years we have been increasingly active in the Middle East market".
In October 2006, Fugro was awarded a large standalone environmental baseline and habitat mapping project within a Marine Protected Area (MPA) offshore Abu Dhabi for Adma OpCo. This project involved 150 line-kilometres of sidescan sonar data acquisition, 40 grab sample stations, 10 water sample/profile stations, 50 line-kilometres of video footage (using a towed video camera), over 2000 high resolution stills photographs and 24 hours of eyeball ROV video footage. The work also involved the onshore survey of a small island surrounded by corals, seagrasses and mangroves. Sitings were recorded of turtles, dolphins, stingrays and dugongs.
A Fugro eyeball ROV surveys mussel-beds
Environmental science on a sub-tropical island
Other overseas projects during 2006 included Libya (Amerada Hess), Nigeria (Shell) and Gabon (CNR). Further Middle East work was forthcoming in January 2007 with a standalone Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Baseline Survey for ONGC Videsh offshore Qatar.
"In 2006 we were commissioned by Halcrow Group Ltd. to perform the environmental baseline and habitat mapping for the UK's first Wave Hub project offshore St Ives Bay in the Western Approaches", added Richard. "The Wave Hub project will be a test bed for experimental wave power generation".
The Environmental Department's nationally accredited macrofaunal laboratory is becoming increasingly important with the recent award to perform macrofaunal analysis for the UK Environment Agency as part of the sample collection for the National Water Framework Directive.
With increasing emphasis on marine ecological surveys, the Environmental Department of Fugro Survey is well placed to respond to the demands of this market. To this end, a new Abu Dhabi-based Environmental Business Development Manager is being appointed to assist with marketing and regional growth.