Kommandor Stuart, Calesurvey's multi-role site investigation survey vessel, is now back in the North Sea after successfully completing an extensive programme of works offshore Greenland for Cairn Energy.
The vessel mobilised in March in Calecore's home port of Sunderland and has successfully completed a series of geohazard, bathymetric, geochemical and environmental surveys. Operations were undertaken in water depths of up to 3000m in sometimes challenging conditions in support of Cairn's 2011 drilling campaign.
In order to prepare for this project Calesurvey purchased and mobilised Reson SeaBat 8160 and R2Sonic 2024 high-resolution shallow multibeam echo sounders to acquire data across the range of water depths. Calesurvey also worked extensively with iXSea to integrate a ROVINS subsea inertial, gyro and motion reference unit into the survey spread. The close coupling of the subsea inertial and multibeam sensors together with inertial aiding of GPS in high latitudes is a strategy that worked well and Calesurvey will be continuing to develop.
Preparations also included extensive 'winterisation', including mechanical and procedural amendments. Kommandor Stuart arrived in Nuuk in early April with the temperature not climbing above zero degrees until May. The crew certainly appreciated the cold weather PPE along with additional supplies of 'British' teabags put onboard before leaving the UK.
Over 3200km of geophysical data were acquired and over 150 camera and core locations in support of the detailed programme, successfully maximising working windows.
The project also required deployment and operation of an innovative rock dredge designed and built by Benthic Solutions Ltd. Calesurvey's team supported the collection of seafloor rocks to further the relatively limited understanding of the seabed surface geology.
The vessel clocked an impressive 48000 man-hours over this project without incident or injury to personal or the environment. The Kommandor Stuart travelled over 5000 nautical miles up to 76° North in what is one of the most challenging places for hydrocarbon exploration.