Topic: Digital Transformation

Blue Ocean to transform seismic acquisition

Region: North Sea
Content Types: Report
Date: Nov, 2022

Sea trial 1Blue Ocean Seismic Services, the marine seismic survey disruptor, has completed a series of passive and active seismic trials proving the quality of seismic data collection, putting the company on track to commence pre-commercial trials during the second half of 2023.

Backed by industry leaders bp Ventures, Woodside Energy and Blue Ocean Monitoring, the UK/Australian tech company is developing the world’s first fleet of autonomous low-impact subsea nodes for capturing high-quality seismic data from the ocean floor for multiple applications such as offshore wind, oil and gas, and CCS. These underwater vehicles will transform the offshore seismic sector to become more affordable, faster, safer, environmentally friendly and significantly less carbon intensive.

Since its last update, the company has undertaken substantial further testing in Plymouth, the North Sea and Australia towards confirming the effectiveness of command and control systems, underwater flight performance, seismic coupling and active seismic data acquisition.

Focusing on the recent North Sea active seismic trial, the company achieved its technology and data collection objectives, including:

*Acquiring additional cycles of active seismic data with its alpha vehicles (AP-OBSrV) alongside conventional ocean-bottom nodes (OBNs)

*Testing engineering solutions for optimisations identified in the previous (August 2021) trials

*Confirming the ability of the AP-OBSrV to maintain a close seismic coupling with the seabed, especially where cross currents exist.

These objectives were all achieved in the active seismic survey, in particular confirming that the geophysical performance is on track. With this confirmation, the company will continue its rapid progression towards the commencement of commercial operations in 2024, starting with the assembly of up to 250 OBSrV version 1 nodes (based on the AP-OBSrV design) in batches, with pre-commercial trials in H2 2023.

Before commencing pre-commercial trials in H2 2023, the company is progressing discussions with industry partners regarding their strong interest in our services and pre-qualifying for future tender opportunities. In addition, following substantial interest from potential customers, the company also plans to open a new office in Houston, Texas, in Q1 2023, in line with its strategy to establish a presence in key markets.

Blue Ocean Seismic Services is delighted to announce the appointment of Fabio Mancini, PhD, as Chief Geophysicist. Fabio joins Blue Ocean Seismic Services from Woodside Energy where he was Chief Geophysicist from 2018. He has extensive industry experience; he spent five years at TotalEnergies in R&D and operations, working on projects covering both seismic processing and acquisition. He subsequently moved to Hess, where he worked in the Exploration and Production Technology team and was in charge of Hess’s seismic activities for the Eastern Hemisphere. He then moved to Australia to join Woodside where he covered several roles over 10 years.

Simon Illingworth, Managing Director and CEO, Blue Ocean Seismic Services, said, “The successful results of the various pre-commercialisation trials over recent months are the culmination of a huge amount of work by the Blue Ocean Seismic Services team and represent a massive leap forward on our path to full commercialisation. We are now in an excellent position to continue with the operational scale up of the business, engaging with government regulators in our key initial markets and begin commercial operations in 2024. Substantial investment is also being made in securing components for our initial inventory of pre-commercial vehicles.

“As a leading figure in the subsea exploration sector, it is a huge endorsement to have someone of Fabio’s calibre join the business, he will bring considerable expertise and experience to the team as we move to the next phase of our development.” 

Mancini said, “I am very excited to be joining the team at Blue Ocean Seismic Services.  As one of the co-inventors I look forward to realising the vision of transforming seismic acquisition in the years ahead.”