North Sea FPSO Goes on Remote Control

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Fugro said it has provided remote positioning services on board a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for Bluewater during a scheduled subsea inspection, repair and maintenance campaign in the North Sea.

The recent week-long operation included remote configuration of the positioning systems on board the FPSO, the assisting anchor handling vessel and the dive support vessel, with no Fugro survey crew offshore. This is the first fully remote FPSO heading control operation in the North Sea, enabling operational cost savings and de-risking through a reduction of offshore personnel.

Fugro managed the remote operation from its center in Aberdeen via a robust low bandwidth connection, enabling command and control of the integrated survey system on board the vessel and communication with the FPSO marine crew. Bluewater was able to monitor operations in real time from shore via a web browser link.

Fugro said it has now provided more than 100,000 remote service project hours for rig and FPSO positioning around the globe from its seven key remote service centers, with 24/7 onshore supervision in Aberdeen, Bergen, Houston, Macaé, Perth and Singapore. Its scalable tiered service ranges from excursion monitoring to remote rig and FPSO positioning solutions.

Alastair McKie, Fugro’s Director for Positioning and Construction Support Europe, said, “Fugro is pleased to have assisted Bluewater and the end operator with this key FPSO project and offer increased efficiencies via our remote service solutions. This critical positioning operation demonstrates the reliability and trusted performance of Fugro’s remote services and builds on the increasing demand we are seeing from energy operators and vessel owners to embrace remote operations and digital technology. The goal is not only to reduce total spend but also to optimize the number of personnel working offshore, simplify mobilizations and reduce health, safety and environmental exposure.”

Murray Burnett, Bluewater’s Subsea and Pipeline Superintendent, said, “Fugro is offering a highly accurate positioning system that does not require someone in the field and is remotely accessed from onshore via a virtual private network (VPN). This offers considerable financial savings and we were impressed with how smoothly the operation ran.”

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