CATEGORIZED | News

SERPENT a great success but more help needed

Posted on 14 May 2009

“From a scientific point of view, we’re interested in everything,” said Mr Gates, who said SERPENT was a clear demonstration of how effective collaboration could be.

He pointed out that, whereas the scientific community possessed only about 20 remotely operated vehicles, the offshore industry has over 200 deepwater ROVs and more than 1,000 in total.

 Use of ROVs from drilling rigs has provided scientists many opportunities to view the deep-sea environment.

“As most of these vehicles are on site and used continually, there are at least 50 dives globally per day,” said Mr Gates. “This presents a huge amount of opportunity to view the deep-sea environment and its fauna.”

He said SERPENT was proving to be a very powerful tool, and even more so when combined with strategic sampling. This has enabled a substantial databank to be built over the past several years, generating valuable case studies.

Homing in on West of Shetland, where visual data gathering under the scheme has been relatively intensive, Mr Gates selected the TOTAL-operated Laggan gas discovery as a case study, comparing the impact of drilling disturbance on “megafauna” … basically fish and shellfish … over a decade or so.

He said there had been a high impact out to a radius of some 200 m on population densities immediately after drilling, and this brought an influx of scavengers. There were clear signs of recovery after two years and, beyond 100 m, little impact.

Ten years on from drilling, there was increased evidence of recovery, notably higher densities close to the well. Differences were not significant beyond 100 m, though cuttings were still obvious.

Mr Gates said everyone – scientists and the industry – still have a lot to learn and that ongoing visual assessments and continued presence was vital for understanding deepwater communities.

“Experiments will lead to future breakthroughs in understanding and, coupled with detailed knowledge of what is there, will eventually lead to prediction power.”

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 26 March 2015

    Wood Mackenzie: Falling costs to soften blow of slashed exploration budgets

    Exploration budget cuts in 2015 will average 30%, but that will be matched by an approximately equal fall in exploration costs...

  • 25 March 2015

    C&J Energy Services merges with Nabors’ completion/production services

    C&J Energy Services, (C&J) and Nabors Industries (Nabors) announced the completion of the combination of C&J with Nabors’ completion...

  • 25 March 2015

    Douglas-Westwood: Oilfield services expenditure to decline by 30% in 2015

    Global oilfield services (OFS) markets are facing difficult headwinds as a function of commodity prices...

  • 25 March 2015

    IOGP-sponsored human factors survey seeks participants online

    The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) is sponsoring a survey to assess the current extent and use of non-technical skills behaviors in well operations...

  • 19 March 2015

    Statoil, Halliburton establish Fast Track process to economically develop smaller North Sea fields

    To economically develop smaller fields in the North Sea, Statoil and Halliburton initiated the Fast Track project that aimed...

  • Read more news