Technically sound

Fugro has over 30 years’ experience of delivering meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) and environmental services worldwide, continually developing and enhancing its integrated solutions to support the oil and gas industry.

The metocean business line maintains a global footprint, actively modelling, measuring and analysing metocean data and structural responses to environmental forces in strategic locations worldwide.

With a large equipment pool and a global office network, Fugro is able to mobilise equipment quickly for its clients, delivering reports on collected data and providing further analysis and guidance on what should be measured in a particular location and how this should be performed. “One of our key skill sets is our knowledge of regional metocean conditions across the globe. Knowledge of the impact of metocean conditions on our clients’ activities during the operational planning, execution or design stages is particularly useful for companies that don’t have in-house metocean expertise, as we can help them to formulate cost effective metocean strategies,” highlights Mark Calverley, Global Metocean R&D manager.

Fugro is known as an innovator and has recently taken steps to enhance this reputation. Explaining recent progress Mark adds: “We are improving delivery of R&D across the Fugro Group. A key area of focus is on cross-divisional synergies in point cloud data and its application in oceanographic projects.” This initiative has already led to successful bids. “We have won two Technology Strategy Board (TSB) grants, which makes funding available in areas that are of great interest to the oil and gas industry, such as robotics.”

In partnership with Sonardyne, Fugro is leading a three-year, all-British project for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to develop a carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring system using marine autonomous systems. The project aims to provide assurance that CO2 stored deep below the seabed in carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites is secure. The safety of such a method is of paramount importance, with feasibility studies currently underway in the UK and overseas on a number of CCS projects. A consortium of British multi-discipline partners will examine the requirements for the measurement, monitoring and verification (MMV) system. The project will result in the construction of a technology demonstrator with sea trials; a comprehensive review at the end of the three-year period; and a solution to a legislative requirement to monitor potential CO2 leaks and the subsequent effect on the environment.

Recognising the impact of deep sea resource exploitation, the European project MIDAS was developed with the objectives of establishing a set of environmental regulations and guidelines for subsea mining. The partnership represents a unique combination of scientists, industry, social scientists, legal experts, NGOs and SMEs from across Europe with Fugro as a leading commercial entity within the group. “We are providing a certain amount of realism to academic thoughts, ensuring that costs and technologies are correct and reliable,” explains Mark. “By working closely with a number of people in the international seabed authority and attending parliamentary scientific meetings we have been able to secure positive representation for the MIDAS initiative. That particular market is in its infancy and currently only exploration licences exist. Fugro is very much at the forefront.

“One of our great strengths is that we have matured with the oil industry, moving from working in very shallow water to deep water and developing methodologies to ensure that we obtain the right data for deepwater activities. We have an excellent internal training scheme and, thanks to our highly skilled staff, we have developed close, long-term relationships with clients who continue to return to Fugro,” he adds.

The breadth of Fugro metocean services can support clients throughout offshore development, offering cost-effective delivery by combining services such as measurement survey, real-time offshore systems, weather forecasting, consultancy services and structural monitoring into one contract.

“Interest in our structural response service has increased over the last couple of years due to events such as the Macondo blowout, where the importance of riser and wellhead monitoring capability is in the spotlight,” notes Mark.

Fugro’s wellhead and riser instrumentation service (WARIS) uses its innovative DeepData pods to deliver high-quality motion data from the BOP stack and lower riser. These are used to verify the integrity of subsea assets during a drilling campaign, recording motion and strain to quantify fatigue damage incurred by the wellhead.

“We are planning to introduce real-time capability to our deep data products – something in which our clients have shown a lot of interest. For offshore monitoring we are continually extending the suite of sensors that we include in our software and distribute either in real-time or to clients’ management systems.

“Over the coming year we expect our measurement business to remain strong and we will continue to service clients using traditional techniques with additional services. We intend to provide greater value through the addition of environmental measurements alongside our traditional metocean measurement services.

“Our strong consultancy division continues to expand. As our modelling capability grows, we are building a suite of regional models, nesting into those for specific activities, whether they are oil spill modelling or coastal sediment transport,” concludes Mark.

Fugro creates value by acquiring and interpreting Earth and engineering data and providing associated consulting services to support clients with their design and construction of infrastructure and buildings. Fugro also supports clients with the installation, repair and maintenance of their subsea infrastructure. Fugro works around the globe, predominantly in energy and infrastructure markets offshore and onshore employing approximately 12,500 employees in over 60 countries. In 2013 Fugro’s revenue amounted to €2.4 billion, it is listed on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam and is included in the AEX-index.

Services: Oceanographic measurement