The project was completed using a cost-effective, time-efficient suite of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) conveyed technology, comprising of UTEC’s patented geoROV™ seabed cone penetration test (CPT) and sampling system, geoREACT suction skid, and a specially developed rotary core drill.
UTEC Geomarine’s geoROV™ technology is an ROV-compatible, CPT, T-bar and push sampling tool. Key benefits include portability, cost-effectiveness and productivity. The geoROV™ returns high quality soils data at any water depth (depending on ROV). The geoROV™ drive unit mounts to all work class ROVs and after initial mobilisation takes less than one hour to fit or remove. It can be deployed alongside or in between other subsea ROV works, and provides real-time data transmission. Additionally, geoREACT, an ROV tool skid designed to provide additional stability and reaction force for seabed investigation, enabled testing and sampling to take place over the full range of seabed types on this project.
The geoROV™ has a well-established track record in investigating drill cutting mounds beneath live platforms; establishing geotechnical parameters for design of subsea infrastructure in congested brownfield sites (adjacent to or beneath existing infrastructure); grid-style investigation to provide assurance of ground conditions for gravity base design; investigating geohazards; and conventional route surveys.
Jim Edmunds, Technology Director, UTEC Geomarine, said, “This integrated system has huge cost saving potential for clients requiring geotechnical information. Current challenges in operating conditions means that our clients focus on methods and solutions that deliver significant cost and time reductions. As a result, there is growing interest in UTEC Geomarine’s technology, which removes the need for mobilisation of a dedicated survey vessel when collecting geotechnical survey data. The geoROV™ has proved to be an extremely valuable and flexible tool, and underlines UTEC Geomarine’s reputation for delivering reliable, efficient solutions to a growing client base, both in the Caspian Sea and globally.”
During 150 hours of operation in March and April 2015, the programme of testing and sampling involved 91 cone penetration test locations using geoROV 5 cm² PCPT cone; 26 static and cyclic T-Bar test locations using geoROV 50 cm2 T-Bar probe; 60 force probe test locations using geoROV 5 cm² PCPT cone with 2 cm² x 150 mm hardened spike extension; 13 push sample locations using geoROV™ P76 Piston Sampler; 11 rotary core locations using an HD400 drill with 1.0 m x 56 mm core barrel, with real-time logging of drilling parameters. The Caspian Sea has recently experienced significant growth as an oil-producing region, as more countries and oil and gas operators seek development opportunities. UTEC Geomarine has completed Phase 1 of a multi-phase programme in the region and has supported major operators in the Caspian Sea for the past three years.