Fugro Geodetic Malaysia

Tropical oceans

Fugro Geodetic Malaysia was established in 1984 to support the Malaysian oil and gas industry.

Originally focusing on positioning and hydrographic survey services, the business has grown to include subsea services such as ROV, IMR and onshore/offshore geotechnical services. With its Kuala Lumpur office leading the strategic role as a geophysical reporting centre, it has regional offices in Jakarta and Thailand and a regional technical centre in Singapore.

Abdul Hanan, deputy general manager, introduces the survey services, which support the offshore oil industry: “The division has grown tremendously since it was established in 1984. From providing rig positioning and site survey services in shallow water, we are now also involved in deep water rig positioning, including subsea positioning services.” As the leading provider of deepwater geophysical survey services in the region, it also provides ROV and subsea services and geotechnical services.

Fugro operates two geophysical survey vessels in the region, namely Fugro Equinox and Fugro Equator; the fleet also includes the Fugro Supporter for marine survey services and Rem Etive and Toisa Paladin for subsea services. Offshore geotechnical services are supported by MV Mariner and the new geotechnical drilling vessel, Fugro Voyager. The company also operates two Hugin 1000 AUVs in the region.

For onshore geotechnical services, Fugro utilises a fleet of crawler vehicles. “In Malaysia this market sector is highly competitive with many local vendors. As Fugro regularly works on major and critical projects together with local contractors, our reputation and expertise in managing such projects has been instrumental in our success in this sector,” says Abdul.

In 2014, Fugro will mark 30 years of providing these specialist operations in Malaysia. “We are proud to have developed long working relationships with some of our major clients in Malaysia. At the beginning of 2014 we completed 22 years’ service without LTI with one particular long-term client. Another significant milestone has been the award of a five-year IRM service contract from the same client,” Abdul explains.

From Fugro’s geophysical centre in Malaysia, its team of geophysicists processes data from the region and conducts geohazard studies using data from worldwide locations including Brazil, West Africa and Australia.

“Over the last 12 months the market has shown some new trends with an increase in demand for deepwater survey work. We currently have orders for up to five deepwater survey contracts in Malaysia to be completed during 2014 with more expected. Enquiries for subsea maintenance projects have also increased in recent months,” Abdul points out. At the beginning of 2014, Fugro Geodetic was awarded two major contracts in Malaysia.

In a three-year deal, which includes an extension option, one of the contracts covers the provision of rig and subsea positioning services. It strengthens a decade-long working relationship in support of deepwater drilling and development programmes offshore Malaysia. Support services include the use of highly specialised subsea survey systems for accurate metrology measurements, along with the provision of accurate offshore surface and subsea positioning and navigation systems for drilling units and vessels, working in water depths of up to 2000 metres.

The second is a long-term contract with an oil major for the provision of underwater inspection, maintenance and repair services on subsea infrastructure across Malaysia. The contract, which will run for five years, will see Fugro establish a project office in Miri and a support facility in Labuan. Commenting on the contract Abdul says: “We expect to engage most of our Asia Pacific subsea fleet over the duration of the contract, which includes saturation and air diving, deepwater installation of trees/subsea hardware and pipeline and platform inspection.” In addition to the services provided from vessels, Fugro will also provide two permanently deployed ROV systems and operational personnel.

Having provided deepwater survey services since 2003, Fugro notes how the operations have developed. Abdul explains: “Initially we used a deeptow system, which required a long line turn and a second survey vessel for support. Now that we use AUV systems the time required to complete deepwater surveys is reduced by almost 70 per cent. Investment in the right technology has been vital to our success.”

Despite reduced operational time, the interpretation of data from deepwater geology has its own challenges compared to shallow water geology analysis. To ensure its workforce is equipped for these challenges, Fugro provides training both in the classroom and online. “Our online training facility – Fugro Academy – can be accessed by our staff anywhere in the world via the Internet. We are also collaborating with a local university to provide internship placements for students. The programme has been running for several years and we are in the process of refining it to support the development of future employees. We also employ graduates straight from university, providing on-the-job training. We find that this method of training can be specifically focused on the individual’s requirements and speeds up the process,” says Abdul.

Whilst offering services locally, Fugro Geodetic also benefits from an international link with Fugro’s worldwide experts. Should technical advice or guidance be required, a response is available within 24 hours. Its numerous capabilities help to provide a one-stop shop for offshore services with its people and their skills, dedication and professionalism being the main attraction for customers.

“We expect a busy year ahead, especially with deepwater exploration contracts. We have a good track record of accomplishment in subsea positioning for development activity and foresee a great deal of subsea work on platforms and pipelines, particularly as most of the existing infrastructure will require maintenance. As a business, we seek expansion in the next few years and will continue to develop new talent. Aside from the new technology that Fugro continues to bring to the industry, we view people and their contribution as our main asset, and their professionalism is key to our success,” concludes Abdul.

Fugro Geodetic Malaysia
Services: Survey services to South East Asia’s offshore industry