Fugro Says Upgrades to Markab Completed

In the summer of 2006 Fugro successfully carried out a major upgrade program on the geotechnical drilling vessel, MARKAB. The upgrade is a result of Fugro's commitment to continual improvement and investment in its offshore geotechnical capacity. The main aims of the upgrade program were to improve the operating efficiency and safety onboard while at the same time increasing the depth capability of the MARKAB in both downhole drilling and seabed operational mode.

The main upgrades included (but not limited to):

--Drilling derrick converted to a free standing design enabling it to be easily removed or laid flat for long distance transits.

--New drill floor structure and pipe deck.

--New driller cabin with remote electronic drilling controls, CCTV and sensors.

--New moon pool with hydraulic hatch.

--New seabed frame and heavy lift winch.

--New line tensioner and high pressure air compressor.

--New mud tanks and mud mixing system.

--Four new diesel generators.

The upgrades have resulted in a safer working environment onboard the vessel, with all permanent equipment and systems moved below decks allowing for more efficient, streamlined operations on and around the drill floor. The working depth in drilling mode has been successfully extended to 650m of total drill string length, and in seabed mode to 1000m water depth (with 2000m planned in the near future).