Real-time helideck monitoring aids operational planning, safety on Ocean Guardian

Posted on 01 August 2014

A Fugro service engineer installs a real-time helideck and environmental monitoring system to aid operational planning and safety.

A Fugro service engineer installs components for a real-time helideck and environmental monitoring system to aid operational planning and safety.

Fugro has developed and delivered a fully integrated helideck monitoring system to Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Guardian in the North Sea. Severe weather conditions in the North Sea can cause major disruptions to offshore operations, so Diamond Offshore and its client wanted to better understand the direct correlation between the wind, waves and the performance of the rig anchoring system, as well as accurate station keeping, particularly during storm events.

Fugro integrated rig positioning and anchor tensioning to bring together multiple sources of information to correlate real-time data within a single system. “Our standard helideck weather and motion monitoring system was already onboard the Ocean Guardian, and recently we’ve expanded this to include wave monitoring and made live data available online to support oil and gas UK helicopter operations,” Fugro GEOS Managing Director Anthony Gaffney said. “All our monitoring systems are flexible and expandable, so when Diamond Offshore asked us to add further functionality to the system, we were well placed to provide a solution.”

The Ocean Guardian’s enhanced monitoring now includes helideck monitoring of weather, cloud, visibility and helideck motion, as well as wave and air gap data for ballasting operations. It produces data on positioning, anchor mooring tensions, rig motion (heave, pitch and roll at the moon pool) and excursion monitoring around the wellhead. It also provides tidal predictions and compares weather forecasting with live observations.

The integrated system provides user-friendly and intuitive display screens that give offshore drilling managers an at-a-glance overview of rig performance based on real-time information. It also provides warnings when readings go beyond agreed thresholds, including emails to key individuals. All historical data are archived offshore and onshore for online access, plotting or export for further analysis.

“A big plus point for us is that Fugro’s support extends beyond developing and installing the system,” Derek McLauchlan of Diamond Offshore added. “There’s also an annual routine offshore visit to service and maintain the system, when any non-critical issues are addressed.”

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