Fugro Completes First Phase of Subsea Survey Work on Gorgon

Fugro Survey Pty Ltd in Perth, Western Australia has successfully completed the first phase of a contract for subsea survey work on the Gorgon Project.

The first phase of the contract has involved five months of survey work along a number of proposed sub sea pipeline routes and sites for the Gorgon and Jansz subsea gas fields.

The offshore facilities for the Gorgon Project will be located in 200 – 1,400 meters of water depth. These underwater pipelines will be used to transport gas from the greater Gorgon area fields to the Barrow Island facilities for LNG production and export to overseas markets.

The Gorgon Joint Venture participants are the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (50% and operator), ExxonMobil (25%) and Shell (25%). ExxonMobil is operator for the Upstream Jansz field.

The Fugro contract for the Gorgon project is worth more than 30 million Australian dollars (apprx. Euro 18 million) and draws upon the worldwide resources of Fugro with expertise coming from Australia, The Netherlands, and America.

"A concerted effort was made by Fugro to maximise local content and ensure technology was transferred where possible to Australian personnel," said Steve Duffield, Managing Director for Fugro in Australia. "This has added to the Australian skills base to the extent that personnel are being seconded to other operating companies to make use of the enhanced skills."

The work to date has been carried out using the MV Southern Supporter which covered the deep and shallower regions of the work area. The final geophysical pipeline route surveys in deep water were completed using Fugro's sonar Deep Tow 2 system which was mobilized from North America.

The shore approach, surveyed using the MV Samson Explorer, was examined using the traditional survey methods as well as the proprietary Fugro Refraction system. All information will be collated and used to select sites for detailed design level geotechnical investigations and to assist in execution of the proposed horizontal directionally drilled shore crossing.

Some of the impressive statistics for the contract to date include more than:

  • 130,000 man hours of lost time injury free work,
  • 6,800 kilometers of geophysical data gathered,
  • 140 Large Gravity Piston and Box Cores retrieved from depths up to 1400 meters.

The next phase for Fugro Survey contract is scheduled to commence during September 2005 with the mobilization of the deep water coring vessel Bavenit, which will collect detailed design level geotechnical engineering information at the proposed greater Gorgon sub sea structure locations and along the proposed pipeline routes.

The geotechnical data this phase will be augmented with coring done from a jackup in the shallow areas along the pipeline shore approaches and crossings. The next phase is expected to be completed in early 2006.