Metocean monitoring milestone

Paul Boughton
Reaching a ‘century’ is always a significant milestone. Fugro GEOS has gone even further, for in the first quarter of 2010, for the first time in the history of the company, they reached a record total of a hundred simultaneous deployed oceanographic moorings and real-time metocean monitoring systems, which means there were 400 recording instruments on contract in the water simultaneously around the world.
“The hundred moorings were a combination of 70 underwater moorings and 30 rig based systems with recording instruments measuring mostly currents,” explains Fugro GEOS Operations Director, Garry Mardell. “Our global reach is just as dramatic as the overall number of systems and instruments. Data was being collected for 50 clients, around the world stretching from Perth (Australia) to Houston (USA) and covering all oceans. This certainly illustrates client confidence in our global capabilities.
“Depth ranges were similarly impressive, they covered depths from 10m in Australia and the UK to 3500m in East Africa and India,” he adds. “The latter graphically demonstrates that our clients are moving increasingly into more remote and deeper areas of the oceans, with harsher environmental conditions, where virtually no measured current data exists. Some of the moorings are highly complex and are providing 1,000m current profiles in real time in ultra deep water remote locations.
“Working in such challenging environments poses a high risk in terms of loss or failing of equipment. Armed with our knowledge of the oceanography of the regions where we work, careful planning, well designed moorings and capable technical staff ensure a high return of quality data to our clients. This data return currently stands at greater than 94% which we consider to be exceptional given the high number of recording instruments that are left unattended for long periods.  However, it also gives us room for improvement, which is what we continually strive for.”
Fugro GEOS owns the largest commercial pool of oceanographic equipment in the world and use their own in-house specialised expertise which they employ around the world. The majority of the measurement systems are deployed for a year with three to six monthly service visits. Logged data from recording instruments are analysed by experienced, professional oceanographers using new innovative Matlab based analysis software, which can also be used remotely for instant processed data. Real-time data are also available online through a web interface. 
“We focus on a client’s specifications and requirements, while also adopting industry best practice approaches and adhering to strict safety, quality control and technical procedures,” explains Garry Mardell. “The quality of the data collected for our clients is maximised thus increasing the cost effectiveness of our services.”
Fugro GEOS worldwide is certified to ISO 9001:2008, OHSAS18001 and ISO14001 standards and is regularly audited by clients and external auditors.   The UK office is also a Level One safety training centre for the British Safety Council and was recently awarded the International Safety Award for the 7th consecutive year together with a ROSPA (Royal Society of Protection of Accidents) award in 2010.
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