Real-time metocean data transmitted by a Fugro SEAWATCH Wavescan buoy is enabling energy industry construction expert Technip to plan its operations more effectively, leading to improved safety and cost-efficiency.
Work is well underway on Technip’s largest UK North Sea contract to date. Located West of Shetland, BP’s Quad 204 project involves replacing the existing Schiehallion production facility with a new, purpose-built FPSO (floating, production, storage and offloading facility) and installing extensive new subsea infrastructure.
Fugro understood Technip’s requirements from the outset, as Commercial Manager, Jonathan Ainley explains, “West of Shetland is well known as a harsh offshore environment with big waves and strong currents – conditions that are far from ideal in a construction setting.
“We have worked with both Technip and BP for many years and know that maintaining a safe operating environment is the number one priority. BP specifically required reliable real-time wave height, wind and current data to manage their installation criteria thresholds. Access to these metocean data is also critical for vessel management and safe and efficient operational planning.”
The SEAWATCH Wavescan buoy met these requirements in full. Manufactured by Fugro in Norway, the buoy is strong yet lightweight. At 2.8m in diameter, with a counterweighted keel to prevent capsize, it is large enough to cope with the harsh North Sea conditions. A 3.5m mast supports the buoy’s meteorological sensors and antennae, while a range of subsea sensors monitor oceanographic conditions.
In March, using the Fugro Symphony vessel, the Wavescan buoy was deployed in its designated position. During its nine-month deployment its sensors will collect oceanographic and meteorological data for a comprehensive range of parameters including, air pressure, air temperature, current velocity/direction and water temperature. Current profilers will be used in two locations (one just below the buoy and another further down the mooring) to build a current profile for the full water column depth. Wave data parameters to be measured include heave, surge, sway, direction, height and wave period.
The buoy transmits the data by satellite to Fugro, where it is presented in real-time on a website that uses a variety of user-friendly pages and options, including a graphic format (to display current velocity/direction information for the full water column depth) and tabular data.
In the event that the deployment period is extended, Fugro will service the buoy to ensure continued operation during the winter period.