Aberdeen company Nautronix is shipping £4million ($7million) worth of its equipment to the US Gulf of Mexico to provide subsea acoustic positioning services to Brazilian company Petrobras, which is opening up the Cascade and Chinook fields as a co-ordinated development.
This is the first time that Nautronix has hired its NASNet system direct to an operator, and to secure Petrobras is a coup as this is among the most innovative and forward-thinking of the world’s large petroleum companies.
The two-year deal, which is thought to be worth more than $6million, is also the first deployment of NASNet in the Gulf of Mexico.
Equipment being shipped from Aberdeen for the task includes 14 NASNet sleds, 22 MS units and all associated vessel equipment. The system will be deployed in water depths of some 2,900m (9,500ft-plus).
Nautronix says the system’s advantages in terms of performance and cost-saving in vessel time are merits that enabled it to secure the contract after a competitive tender process against companies offering traditional systems.
CEO Mark Patterson said: “This is a significant step in driving NASNet forward into the global marketplace. The initial contract is for the construction phase (of Cascade/Chinook); however, as this project moves on to several other phases, we hope to see NASNet fulfilling its design intentions as a life-of-field system. This really is fantastic news for the company and will be key to our further growth in the coming year.
“It is anticipated that all vessels deployed to Cascade/Chinook will be fitted with NASNet topside equipment and ROV (remotely operated vehicle) receivers.
“Having this equipment allows them to take full advantage of the field-wide signals with little or no set-up time – which, in itself, saves considerable vessel time.”
Nautronix says it has invested more than £12million ($22million) over the past seven years in developing a suite of acoustic-based technologies for subsea oil&gas projects. Successes to date include deployments on the Agbami field, offshore Nigeria, and the Frade project, offshore Brazil, where significant cost savings have apparently been achieved through its use.
Patterson added: “We are committed to continuing the investment in our core technology, with a further $2million earmarked for this year.
“To ensure we make the best developments, we have been working closely with our customer base to take onboard their requirements to improve the products and functionality.
“We see this continued investment in our technology as one of the significant advantages of renting the system, as all future upgrades will have these enhancements incorporated.”