MEASUREMENT, CONSULTANCY AND FORECASTING IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT NO. 12
From darkness at noon. . .
. . .to midnight sun WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO
Answer: see p4
Also in this issue...
Your Gulf of Mexico guide p2
These pictures demonstrate only too and their recovery in the midnight sun
of summer. Welcome InstallOcean p4
clearly the widely and wildly varying
conditions that attended a six-month Near-seabed current meters were set out Forecasting goes worldwide p4
metocean study in the Barents Sea. at 12 locations in depths from 40 to 400m
along the proposed route. The current Waves key to LNG plant design p5
The study provided oceanographic data meters were positioned to better than Second look at Qatar platforms p6
along the 162km proposed pipeline route 10m accuracy by ranging to acoustic
from the Snøhvit Field to Melkøya, close to transducers that were part of each mooring. Chartered Marine Scientist soon p7
Hammerfest on Norway’s northern coast. Profiles of salinity and temperature were
It involved the deployment of oceanographic taken to characterise the structure of the Fugro GEOS people p8
moorings in the all-day darkness of winter water column. (continued on page 3)
YOUR GUIDE TO THE GULF OF MEXICO
Wind forcing is a major source of energy
in the Gulf. Annual wind stress is a possible 30N
driver for Loop Current variability, while
higher frequency fluctuations also modify
Readers enjoyed the the circulation. Hurricanes and “northers”
100o W 95o W 90o W 85o W 80o W 75o W
generate strong episodic currents to
Guide to the Caspian in considerable depths: hurricane-driven
the previous issue of Aqua. surface currents of 1.0-1.5ms -1 are not 26N
30o N 30o N
This time we feature unknown and when combined with wave
orbital velocities may be twice this.
highlights of the Gulf of
The resulting flows are traceable to depths
Mexico Regional Guide, of 700m (0.15ms -1) or more over the
an entry-level introduction continental slope.
to the main metocean 25o N 25o N SUBMERGED CURRENTS 22N
processes that have an Observations suggest that there is a basic
impact on offshore two-layer structure to the deep Gulf. The
hydrocarbon activities. upper 800m or so is controlled by the Loop
Current in the east, with LCEs and other
Copies of the full version 20o N 20o N eddies dominating the central and western
(which includes references) are
100o W 95o W 90o W 85o W 80o W 75o W parts. Beneath this upper layer the currents
available on request from your 98W 94W 90W 86W 82W
are nearly depth-independent.
local Fugro GEOS office - see p8
A general look at the Gulf of Mexico showing the main exploration and production areas As well as the eddy and wind-forced
Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico showing a loop eddy spinning off the main loop
submerged flows, intense jets over the
current (CUPOM model) and the loop current emerging from the Yucatan Peninsula and
continental slope affect the water column
exiting through the Florida Strait
between about 150m and 600m. Their
The Gulf of Mexico produces 25 per cent Hurricanes initially move west at around (CUPOM) velocity field show a Loop
vertical extent is typically less than 100m
of US crude oil and 33 per cent of gas. Main 5ms -1 but tend to follow a parabolic path Current Eddy (LCE) detaching from the
but they can produce speeds in excess of 95o W 90o W 85o W 80o W
producing areas are off Texas and Louisiana. towards the north-west, accelerating to main current itself. LCE’s are major warm
There are major discoveries in water depths 10ms -1 as they do. As well as extreme wind core features of some 300km diameter that 2.0ms -1 for about a day.
of over 2000 metres; development is speeds (32 to over 67ms -1), hurricanes rotate clockwise (anticyclonically). They In the lower layers, below about 800m, 30o N 30o N
underway in depths of 1400+m (see p7). produce mountainous seas (see below), transport huge quantities of salt, heat and, observations of currents in 2000m of water
Innovative systems are developing and extreme storm surges in coastal regions and most importantly here, momentum across at about 90 deg. W show a gradual periodic
bringing to market these deepwater reserves, strong currents (>1.5ms -1). the whole western deepwater region. intensification towards the bottom at a
including tension leg platforms and FPSOs. frequency of about two weeks. High-speed
WAVES The LCEs move west or south of west at
The mainly benign but sometimes violent events of 0.85ms -1 at 10m above the bed
around 4 km day -1. Each has a life of up to
metocean environment calls for constant Most waves in the northern Gulf are less have been recorded. Topographic Rossby 25o N 25o N
a year and its path across the deep Gulf is
monitoring: Fugro GEOS has gathered a than 3m in height with periods below eight waves (TRWs) triggered by the Loop
characterised by sprints and stalls.
wealth of Gulf of Mexico data over the past seconds. Severe storms produce wave heights Current may control the lower layer dynamics
20 years. In summary, the main metocean of over 9m, although hurricanes can generate The Loop Current and the LCE’s are of of the central and western Gulf. TRWs are
features are: confused and mountainous seas (~15m). critical importance to the offshore industry: Rossby waves (waves that oscillate about
they have high surface speeds (1.5 - 2.0ms -1) an equilibrium latitude) that have been
WIND CURRENTS and strong currents through large segments modified by the local topography. They show 20o N 20o N
Wind forcing is an important influence on The Loop Current. Of considerable of the water column (0.1ms -1 at 500m depth little change in speed and direction with
surface circulation. Severe conditions are importance to offshore operations in the is not uncommon). elevation above the seabed but intensify as
brought about by: Gulf is the Loop Current and its associated the seabed is approached until friction at
eddies. A strong, persistent current enters the seabed reduces the speed. 95o W 90o W 85o W 80o W
“Northers”. Cold air from the Rockies moves
through the Yucatan Strait and exits by the
out over the Gulf, is heated by the warm SEA TEMPERATURE
Florida Strait. The clockwise flow that joins
waters and produces strong (up to 23.5ms -1)
the two is known as the Loop Current. There is little annual variation. Typically in
gusty winds and frequent showers between
It has a mean surface speed of around winter the surface temperature is around 21
October and February. In December, gales Continued from page 1
0.5ms -1, but 3ms -1 has been observed; it deg. C in the north and 25 deg. C in the south.
may last up to three days.
is detectable to around 800m water depth. The initial deployment was not as straightforward as the final recovery:
Hurricanes. These intense revolving storms
The Loop Current intrudes north into the “There could not have been a greater contrast between the endless cold nights of the
may hit any part of the Gulf coast between
eastern Gulf where it may shed a Loop deployment, when the vessel’s deck was certainly Snøhvit (snow white) and the 24-hour
June and November. They start as a shallow Copies of the full Fugro GEOS Technical
Current eddy. It also affects circulation closer sunshine of the recovery,” commented Alastair Stagg, Fugro GEOS’ project manager.
trough of low pressure in the tropical Reference - Gulf of Mexico Regional
inshore, as shelf water in the eastern Gulf
Atlantic. It becomes a hurricane if the Bathymetry of the “However, data results match our consistently high returns from warmer climes and a
becomes entrained within the main current. Guide - from your nearest Fugro Office
associated winds reach 32ms -1, sea Sigsbee Escarpment - a striking Gulf of preliminary look shows we’ve got some very interesting data that capture the great variety
temperature is over 27 deg. C and the Loop Current Eddies. The map and the Mexico feature that could be seen from - see p8 for contact details. of oceanographic conditions along the proposed pipeline’s route.”
latitude is at least 5 deg. N. Colorado University Princeton Ocean Model the moon if the water wasn’t in the way!
Page 2 Page 3
FORECASTING GOES Waves are key to
WORLDWIDE LNG plant design
The London Eye, film sets, tower cranes. With the acquisition of the Fugro GEOS Inc, USA, has gained the contract to provide
Weather Forecasting Division of Noble Denton, Fugro GEOS gained some Forecasting extreme weather events like this essential metocean design criteria for a new liquefied natural
are part of the global plan.
out-of-the-usual contracts. gas (LNG) export terminal on the coast of Peru.
Picture courtesy Fugro Geoteam
“Around two-thirds of our business is rigs, barges and in overseeing heavy-lift The gas is being produced by the Camisea Fields in the southern
offshore oil-related,” explained Trevor work offshore. The Pitt team provides Peruvian interior and will be piped to a coastal location to be selected
Pitt, the Forecast Manager, “but over forecasts for these operations and will after an initial survey by Fugro GEOS. The work is being carried out
the years we have taken on other continue to do this under a long-term for Hunt Oil on behalf of the Camisea LNG (Holding) Company.
work which has mostly come through frame agreement with Noble Denton.
recommendation.” A prime focus for this major study is the wave climate. Local currents
“The acquisition of the Noble Denton and waves may affect the accretion and erosion of sediments while
For example, from his present location weather forecasting division is part of long-period swells arriving on the Peruvian coast may affect LNG
on the top floor of Noble Denton House our intention to offer a global forecast vessel operations, especially as the narrow continental shelf does little
alongside the Barbican complex in service,” explained Mark Wimshurst, to reduce the energy of waves coming in from the Pacific.
London, Trevor Pitt can see a number of Fugro GEOS’ Southampton-based We have acquired InstallOcean Ltd, UK, a
the tower cranes that seem permanently Weather Services Director. “With centres major supplier of marine environmental The Fugro GEOS study will enable the terminal to be designed to
to dominate the City skyline. in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi minimise these effects. “We need a greater understanding of the local
data acquisition systems to the offshore
and the UK we are close to achieving wave climate,” said Fugro GEOS project manager Cathy Primrose.
“We provide wind and rain forecasts for industry. The move will enhance our “We are analysing existing and hindcast data, data from numerical
that aim.” Setting up a met. station on the coast of Peru is easier than on
the cranes themselves and for the real-time systems business by building on modelling of the nearshore wave climate and observations made as
building sites they serve,” he said. “The The UK team headed by Trevor Pitt will the West Wales coast - see p6
InstallOcean’s experience and reputation part of the study.”
wind forecasts are for obvious reasons; have moved out of London to the Fugro
the rain forecasts are because you can’t GEOS offices in the Southampton in this sector.
assemble steel if the conditions are wet. Oceanography Centre (SOC) by the
And we were closely involved with time this is published and instead of InstallOcean was founded in 1989 to
providing forecasts for the critical period serving its present global market will provide specialist marine environmental
when the London Eye was lifted into concentrate on more local areas. That’s data acquisition and interpretation skills.
position on the South Bank of the if you can count as “local” all European Since then its high level of service and
Thames and for the construction of the waters, the North and South Atlantic
expertise has established its systems as
Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.” (including the Gulf of Mexico/West
Africa/Brazil “golden triangle” of “industry standard” for many offshore
Film companies, too, require accurate
deepwater development), the western applications, such as new-build platforms,
forecasting for expensive shoots, and
Mediterranean and the Caspian! FPSOs and rig refurbishments.
Trevor Pitt’s team has worked on James
Preparing to deploy the ADCP mooring The concrete frames for the ADCP A frame with instrumentation installed
Bond movies and a number of TV Trevor Pitt is enthusiastic about the
series, including Band of Brothers and move to Southampton: The move will build on this reputation.
Dr Zhivago. For the latter, the film crew InstallOcean will also gain access to the
“We will have better access to data, a The data collection programme begins with
was anxious to know when it could Fugro GEOS office network and its data an onshore meteorological station. Then,
expect snow in Prague.
The five-man team is also involved in
real-time met. station and a longer view
of polar-orbiting satellites as they cross
uncluttered skies - this is something that’s
integration, analysis and distribution
expertise, as well as the worldwide
nearshore, Fugro GEOS are deploying tide,
wave, temperature, salinity and current
PRESTIGIOUS SAFETY AWARD
hindcasting, or what Trevor Pitt calls not available to us in central London. infrastructure of the Fugro Group. recorders. Further offshore in the deep water Fugro GEOS has won the prestigious National Safety Award from the British Safety
“forensic meteorology.” This is often at the edge of the narrow continental shelf
“Then there’s the local view that the UK Council in recognition of its outstanding Health and Safety record (see Aqua No. 11).
called for in the case of ship damage, Fugro GEOS will now be able to offer clients is a Waverider buoy, data from which
cargo loss or seemingly inexplicable Met. Office’s move from Southampton contributes to the “tuning” of a shoaling /
some time ago has left a gap which we an enhanced service based on the best from “We are one of only 1000 winners from large and small enterprises throughout the
voyage delays where the weather has been refraction model of the area.
can fill with forecasts for yachts, ferries InstallOcean’s Weather Windows and Fugro UK,” said Karen Childs, Fugro GEOS HSE and QA manager. “We faced a tough test in
blamed and confirmation is sought by
and cruise ships.” GEOS’ Weather Monitor software packages, Previous Fugro GEOS projects that have order to satisfy the independent Awards Panel but our record of never having had a
shipowners and insurers.
produced design and operating criteria reportable injury or accident was, of course, a major contributory factor in us
But the main work is in forecasting for and the combined real-time systems for coastal LNG facilities have been in
More details of the Fugro GEOS weather
offshore oil work. Noble Denton forecasting services from Mark Wimshurst, expertise of engineers from both companies. India, Oman, Yemen, Sakhalin, Indonesia being given the award.”
specialises in planning tow routes for Southampton office. and Mexico.
Page 4 Page 5
SECOND LOOK AT
13 QATAR PLATFORMS
Impression of the Magnolia TLP, courtesy Conoco. This follows a
There’s a major re-assessment of metocean logistical support is provided by Petrotec pioneering trend Conoco began in 1984 when the company installed
and getotechnical conditions underway on (Petroleum Technology Company WWL). the world’s first TLP in the UK’s Hutton Field. Other firsts included
Qatar Petroleum’s Maydan Mahzam and Bul the first tension leg well platform in the Conoco-operated Jolliet
The desk study derives updated estimates
Hanine offshore fields in the Arabian Gulf. Field in 1989 in the Gulf of Mexico and the first concrete TLP in the
of the engineering design values for wind
Two Fugro companies in conjunction with
speed, wave height, surge level and Heidrun Field in 1995 in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
Qatari company Petrotec are involved.
currents for the fields from new and Picture courtesy Conoco.
Fugro GEOS’ metocean work builds on its existing measurements.
design criteria re-assessment of the two Fugro Limited’s geotechnical re-assessment
fields last year. of 13 platforms in the fields uses methods
The year-long metocean survey and desk
study evaluates available data.
similar to those for platforms in the Arabian
Gulf. Data for the re-assessment comes from
Qatar Petroleum as well as from Fugro’s own
Magnolia blooms in deepwater Gulf
The measurement survey includes the database. The re-assessment applies present
installation of an automatic meteorological design practice for deep foundations in Fugro GEOS Inc, Houston, has completed Conoco called on Fugro GEOS to provide estimate extremes and occurrence statistics
station, tide gauge and wave radar on a calcareous soils to re-evaluate the pile an investigation of key environmental forces the essential metocean data from which for surface currents.”
platform in the Bul Hanine field. Fugro capacity at each platform. Soil resistance at at the site of Conoco’s Magnolia tension leg design criteria could be derived for the
Storms and hurricanes are another concern
GEOS’ Weather Monitor system displays time of driving (SRD) is being calculated platform (TLP) development in the Garden development: “The design team was
and so storm-based wind and wave hindcast
and logs these data. Water currents are from pile driving records and hammer Banks area of the Gulf of Mexico. particularly concerned with data on
data were used to calculate the operational
recorded by ADCP and conventional instrumentation data collected by Fugro storms and loop currents in the area of and extreme statistics, analysed by month
meters moored close to the platform. Local during the original installation. Magnolia is about 180 miles south of the development,” said Fugro GEOS’ and direction: “By comparing the two data
ADCP deployment from a Qatar platform Cameron, Louisiana, in 1400 metres of Graham Feld. sets we were able to assess their validity”
water - a world depth record for a TLP Graham Feld explained.
“Magnolia is close to the northern edge of
development. Initial estimates call for the
influence of Gulf of Mexico loop current The study also used the data to compare
$600 million project to deliver over 100
No paintballs on this weekend
eddies and so we were able to analyse the wave heights, wind speeds and current
million barrels of oil equivalent. likely effects of these by using data sets from speeds during hurricanes.
The innovative TLP, which is being the Climatology and Simulation of Eddies
(CASE) project’s Gulf Eddy Model (GEM),” Fugro GEOS is providing a range of
designed and constructed by ABB Lummus
he explained. metocean consultancy services at a number
Global Americas, Houston, will have four of deepwater locations in the Gulf of
This was no paintball and bonding weekend! student-esque accommodation and a healthy circular columns connected at the bottom “We determined the maximum surface Mexico. These include development of
Latest in the series of Fugro GEOS training input of finest Welsh ale all contributed by rectangular pontoons which in turn current speed and direction and the number design and operational criteria, analyses
weekends in West Wales, UK, was a client/ towards staff from both UK and overseas support tethers linked to pile foundations of days exposure for each eddy in our of downtime and advice on operational
contractor set-up with the “contractor” team offices “getting to know each other”. on the ocean floor. database. We used the whole data set to windows for weather-sensitive operations.
setting up wave, current, tide and met.
By the end of an arduous but good-natured
recording stations, downloading data and
(and at times very entertaining) weekend,
establishing QA and HSE procedures before
new friendships had been forged and strange
reporting to the “client” team.
Chartered Marine Scientists soon?
names had faces put to them. Most of those
One of the objectives of the weekend was to involved are hoping to be selected for the
broaden the hands-on experience of new and next event, but - alas - the priority is for
old oceanographers. This included review of others to be given the same opportunity.
the client specifications and
The Institute of Marine Engineers has anticipate that the designation Fugro GEOS is now working towards
carrying out specific tasks
to meet these specifications now become the Institute of Marine ‘Chartered Marine Scientist’ will become formal accreditation of its training and
and the set time allocations. Engineering, Science and Technology an internationally recognised seal of development scheme by IMarEST.
Contractor and client (IMarEST), and is now permitted to grant competence and a basic expectation of
teams both learned “Our commitment to the Institute is also
chartered status to marine scientists our clients,” says Robin Stephens, Fugro
valuable lessons from the shown by our involvement in other
and technologist. GEOS’ Director of Consultancy Services,
experience, not least the activities,” Robin Stephens added. “For
need for communication. who was recently elected Fellow of
“This initiative offers excellent IMarEST as well as being a member example, our Dr Mark Calverley is a
The second, and perhaps A met. station on the West Wales coast professional development motivation to member of the Institute’s Technical
of the Institute’s Professional Affairs
more significant objective put up a good fight compared to the
was that of team-building. our technical staff. Over time I would Working Group. Advisory Committee.”
The full team one on the coast of Peru - see p5
Page 6 Page 7
FUGRO GEOS PEOPLE
UK ADDITIONS SINGAPORE ADDITIONS THROUGH ACQUISITIONS
• Lisa Feighery oceanographer • Paul Jones marine weather forecasting 1. Noble Denton Europe Ltd
• Christiaan Harragin oceanographer support engineer • Martin Akery senior weather forecaster
• Nathan Hiscock contracts estimator • Clay Chartier senior weather forcaster
• Pam Jones information management • Des Malone senior weather forecaster
• Mike Connatty UK to Houston, 3 months • Trevor Pitt forecast manager
• Adam Leonard-Williams oceanographer
• Derek Thomas senior weather forcaster
• Stuart Long senior weather forecaster TRANSFERS
• Rob McSavage oceanographic engineer 2. InstallOcean
• Jane Merritt departmental secretary • Pierre Foucaud Abu Dhabi to Singapore • Nicholas Cheesman senior software engineer
• Peter Millership oceanographic engineer • Mark Wimshurst Singapore to • Alan Greig business development manager
• Michelle Penny reports secretary Southampton
• Derek Jordan senior oceanographic engineer
• Mark Palmer senior oceanographic engineer
US ADDITIONS PROMOTIONS
• Jason Pearce oceanographic technician
• James Loftin oceanographic technician • Ian Lucas senior oceanographic engineer • Nick Philp operations manager
AMERICAS, NORTH AND SOUTH EUROPE AND AFRICA SOUTH-EAST ASIA
Enquiries Enquiries Enquiries
Written and produced by Barton Marketing Services. Tel: +44 (0) 1684 892819 Fax: +44 (0) 1684 560006 e-mail: email@example.com
General: Rob Smith General: Peter Owrid General: Greg Bush
Consultancy and Criteria: Graham Feld Consultancy and Criteria: Mark Calverley Consultancy and Criteria: Gao Hongmin
Measurement: Andy Brown Measurement: Alastair Stagg Measurement: Greg Bush
Real-time Systems: Jan van Smirren Real-time Systems: Anthony Gaffney Real-time Systems: Greg Bush
Mathematical Modelling: Dave Szabo Mathematical Modelling: Robin Stephens Mathematical Modelling: Gao Hongmin
Fugro GEOS USA Fugro GEOS UK Fugro GEOS Singapore
PO Box 740010 Hargreaves Road Loyang Offhore Supply Base
61000 Hillcroft (77081) SWINDON 125 SOPS Avenue
HOUSTON SN25 5AL Loyang Cresent Box No 5187
Texas 77274 SINGAPORE 508988
Tel: +44 1793 725 766
Tel: +1 713 346 3600 Fax: +44 1793 706 604 Tel: +65 6543 4404
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M E T E O RO LO G Y
AMERICAS, EUROPE AND AFRICA MIDDLE EAST SOUTH EAST ASIA
Enquiries: Trevor Pitt Enquiries: Alan Douglas Enquiries: Trevor Griffiths
Fugro GEOS UK Fugro GEOS UAE Fugro GEOS Singapore
Southampton Oceanography Centre PO Box 43088 Loyang Offhore Supply Base
Empress Dock ABU DHABI 125 SOPS Avenue
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