Reading the waves
In a history that dates back over 30 years Fugro GEOS has gained extensive experience in oceanography.
The company evolved from a joint venture between the Fugro Group and Wimpey, becoming fully owned by Fugro in 1996. Since then Fugro GEOS has extended its global footprint to strategic oil and gas locations across the world.
European Oil and Gas Magazine spoke to consultancy director Mark Calverley about the company following another year of growth. “Measurement services have always been at the core of our business offerings. We have invested in sensors and equipment to create the largest commercial equipment pool in the industry, and this allows us to react to our clients’ needs in a timely fashion. Clients use the measurements of environmental conditions, such as waves, currents and tides, to feed into offshore design and operational planning. We undertake the quality control of the measured data in-house and provide reports that are accessible to nonspecialists, as well as more detailed analysis for metocean engineers. We also analyse data to support engineering design activities from a combination of measured and modelled data, including our own regional and local models.”
The service portfolio includes the design, engineering, commissioning and maintenance of permanent, integrated offshore monitoring systems for major oil companies. Fugro GEOS integrates metocean sensors with other sensors and instrumentation in systems that provide a real-time data display, as well as data storage for other analysis purposes. The data can be used to improve the structural integrity of design – particularly important in understanding the level of fatigue that infrastructure has actually experienced when compared against the design. “Coupled with our ability to measure structural responses through our online monitoring system, we can offer a holistic service,” adds Mark. “Responding to clients’ concerns about well-head fatigue, Fugro GEOS developed its ‘Deepdata’ solution and has successfully sold it to a number of majors. This is an extension to existing response measurements that allow engineers to understand the actual structural behaviour compared against the engineering models used to predict fatigue, allowing safer, more reliable engineering in the future.”
Operating on a global scale Fugro GEOS has main offices in the UK, Singapore, Perth and Houston and has undertaken projects in all oil and gas basins. With business experiencing continued growth Mark explains the advantages of being part of the Fugro Group: “We can rely on local Fugro offices to support our operations worldwide, providing local knowledge and logistical assistance. Belonging to the group also assists us in rising to cost pressure challenges by addressing some of those issues through new technologies.
“Our strength as a quality contractor makes us an attractive solution. We have a very strong health and safety record and Fugro GEOS is also the largest company in this business with over 220 experienced personnel worldwide, enabling services to be delivered quickly and efficiently.” As a result of its strengths the company has recently renewed its longstanding contract with Shell to support its automatic weather station network and provide measurement and consultancy services for its operations in Malaysia.
Supporting the concept that a stronger future develops through investment in training, Fugro GEOS has identified gaps within oceanographic training and now runs an accredited course for its graduate employees; this has also led to requests from clients to provide training in a number of areas.
Mark goes on to say: “Across the Fugro Group the need for further investment in innovation has been acknowledged.” Fugro GEOS continues to develop new technologies and has been working with academic partners to obtain R&D funding from external sources. The MIDAS project was launched in November 2013 and Fugro GEOS has a specialist role to add a survey industry perspective with regard to assessment of the environmental impact of deep-sea mining on the ecosystem and to help promote standard practices for mining companies.
Mark adds: “We have also recently been awarded funding by the Technology Strategy Board, which promotes business-led innovation in the UK. Following this award we are focused on a project on vessel routing, aimed at improving vessel performance and efficiency. We are collaborating with the University of Southampton, which is providing vesselperformance knowledge, whilst Triskel Marine is providing some novel technologies for vessel data distribution.
“We have access to new technologies that will help move us forward, in particularmarine autonomous systems that can offercost savings whilst improving the quality of the data, providing much more of a geo-spatial picture than traditional measurements. We are integrating our data across our service lines and can provide a common operating picture, which is of interest to numerous oil companies.”
Looking to the future Mark acknowledges the potential of moving into new geographicallocations: “The Arctic could be interesting, if the requirements placed on the operators become clearer, whilst gas reserve discoveries in East Africa continue to grow, creating a strong demand for accurate data in the region.”
Services: Oceanographic measurement