On 11 June 2015, Fugro’s premier geophysical survey vessel, the Fugro Americas, successfully completed a data-collection project for a geochemical coring campaign in the Caribbean. The project marks the maiden voyage of the new-build vessel, reports Fugro.
Fugro accepted delivery of the new shallow-draft survey vessel in March. The vessel was custom designed to Fugro’s specifications and fitted with the latest geophysical survey equipment, including some of the most advanced instrumentation in the field, according to Fugro.
The Fugro Americas was designed for optimized work in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), but is capable for other regions. The SOLAS-class vessel is 59m long with a beam of 41m and gross tonnage of 490. Its operating range is 8000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 10 knots (max 12 knots).
The vessel can acquire high-resolution geophysical and light geotechnical surveys in water depths of up to 4500m. Fugro Americas is built to operate Fugro’s new 4500m-rated Hugin 1000 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Echo Surveyor VII, which was delivered in December 2014. Specialist equipment on the new survey vessel includes a dynamic positioning system, state-of-the-art survey systems (2D seismic multi-channel) and a deepwater EM302 multibeam echosounder to be used for gas seep surveys. It was built by Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors in Louisiana.
The Fugro Americas was mobilized for the new project immediately following the vessel’s departure from the construction shipyard in in April. The integrated project was comprised of 141 piston cores and 7 heat flow measurements that yielded more than 1500 biological and geochemical samples.
The vessel is the result of Fugro’s announcement in 2014 that it would expand its survey fleet in the GOM.
“We already operate three AUVs in the GOM – one Hugin (Echo Surveyor II), and two Bluefin (Echo Mapper), and our new multi-purpose Fugro Americas vessel enables us to have three vessels capable of operating AUVs in the Americas," says Melissa Jeansonne, vice president for Fugro GeoServices.
Jim Grady, asset manager for Fugro GeoServices says, “At 193ft, she is bigger and faster than our current vessels in the GOM, has more berths as part of our purpose-built design, and is both quiet and fuel efficient. SOLAS-classed, she is capable of undertaking seismic, conventional, AUV and geotechnical surveys, thus providing the advantage of just one mobilization.”
Image: Fugro Americas / Fugro