When Aberdeen-based Diamond Offshore wanted to add new functionality to the existing helideck monitoring system on the Ocean Guardian drilling rig in the North Sea, Fugro developed and delivered a fully integrated, user-friendly solution to fulfil the requirements.
Severe weather conditions in the North Sea can cause major disruption 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 GEOS Managing Director Anthony Gaffney said: ‘Fugro has been working with Diamond Offshore for more than 10 years providing systems and services to many of their offshore drilling rigs. Our standard helideck weather and motion monitoring system was already on board 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.
‘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.’
Diamond Offshore wanted to add high-accuracy positioning and anchor tension but didn’t want three different systems. Fugro integrated rig positioning and anchor tensioning, bringing together multiple sources of information so real-time data was correlated within a single system.
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 highly accurate 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 new, integrated system provides user-friendly and intuitive display screens that give offshore drilling managers an important, 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.
Derek McLauchlan from Diamond Offshore added: ‘We have partnered with Fugro for many years and remain impressed with the team’s expertise and client-centred response. Over the years, the team has responded to our requests by continually developing and enhancing the functionality of the system.’
‘A big plus point for us is that Fugro’s support extends beyond developing and installing the system. There’s also an annual routine offshore visit to service and maintain the system, when any non-critical issues are addressed.’