Chevron North Sea Ltd, as operator of the Rosebank discovery on behalf of its coventurers Statoil (U.K.) Ltd, OMV (U.K.) Ltd and DONG E&P (UK) Ltd has contracted Fugro Survey Limited of Aberdeen, UK to undertake geophysical, geotechnical and environmental surveys for the potential Rosebank development project in UKCS blocks 205/1, 213/26 and 213/27, West of Shetland.
Fugro will use one of its specialist autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), Echo Surveyor 1, to provide precise engineering grade shallow geophysical data (multibeam echosounder, sidescan sonar, subbottom profiler) in water depths down to 1,200m. The use of AUV technology is normally associated with deep water developments in other parts of the globe and, while Fugro has previously conducted small AUV surveys in North West Europe, this is the first time that AUV technology will be used for a major UK deepwater project.
Fugro is providing two of its dedicated survey vessels, M/V Geo Prospector and M/V Fugro Discovery, for this project. In addition to the geophysical data acquired from the AUV, Fugro will also collect seabed samples using a 6m piston corer and a box corer. In-situ piezo-cone penetration tests for soil stability will also be undertaken, using Fugro developed equipment. F urther geotechnical laboratory analysis of samples will be undertaken in a specialist onshore Fugro facility.
Sidescan sonar survey by AUV is an efficient method of habitat assessment in deep water and the onboard analysis of this data will guide the environmental survey. High resolution colour photographs will be taken and the seabed soils sampled. Laboratory based analysis for chemistry, trace metals and benthic fauna identification will be undertaken by Fugro.
Fugro has considerable experience in conducting such deep and ultra deep water field developments around the globe. Our AUVs have clocked almost 80,000 km of survey (twice the distance around the equator) in water depths as deep as 2,850 metres.