Mission 4

Images | Videos

Location: Enfield Prospect
Position: North-West coast offshore Australia
Main well location (5 well batch series)
Depth: 400m - 550m
Water Temperature: No data
Dates: 24 May - 27 May 2005
Industry Partners  
Gas & Oil Company Woodside Energy
ROV Operator: Subsea7
Rig operator: Transocean
SERPENT Representatives:

Dr. Ian Hudson
Peter Hill (Cameraman)


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Mission Plan

The plan for this trip was to film for a new documentary about SERPENT project, which would have the Jack Bates and Enfield as its finale piece, showcasing how the project has expanded over the 3 year duration. In addition the new digital camera that has been installed in the ROV was configured and the first digital images from the Enfield location were starting to be collected. The ROV team were shown the new ROV information packs to help collect the baseline drilling impact data required for the assessment and monitoring programme at Enfield.

Mission Outcomes

The filming for the documentary went very well. The Earth Report film was broadcast globally on BBC world to over 450 million people worldwide on the 18th June and it will now continue to be distributed throughout the world through independent and network broadcasters. The footage from the Jack Bates showed the ROV control room at work as they examined the shark populations around the riser area. It also showed back drops of Enfield and the Jack Bates from the helicopter and the deck areas at sunset. It also provided the back drop for an interview with Adrian Rose Vice President QHSE of Transocean.

A new digital stills camera system has been mounted on the ROV system. This camera system takes 5 megapixel digital images on the seafloor and the species around it to help examine the biodiversity present in the area. The camera remains mounted on the ROV and we hope to have the first images sent back to be posted on the website very soon. Interesting populations of sharks were found at around 70m below the rig hanging around the riser. These appeared to be Scalloped Hammerheads, and despite the name they are not actually hammerheads. These sharks seemed to be attracted to the riser area and potentially the smaller bait fish that also reside in this area. These observations were covered in the end sequence of the SERPENT Earth Report film.

On the seafloor a strange frogfish was observed. This species is very small, around 5cm across, and it does not swim, it uses its feet to walk across the seafloor as it sits in wait for prey to swim by. Red in colour the same fish was noted in the BOP area over the course of a few days. Images were taken of the fish on the new digital camera and will printed out and forwarded soon.


We will conduct the same habitat mapping and bait trap experiments at other Enfield drill sites. This will allow us to compare biodiversity and processes between the locations. We will prepare a report for Woodside Energy Ltd. after analysis of all the data. We expect to publish these results in leading peer reviewed journals such as Marine Ecology Progress Series or Deep Sea Research.

Looking forward…

New ROV protocols and record sheets have been sent to the Jack Bates ROV team so that future video transects and species observations can be made on behalf of Woodside Energy Ltd. and SERPENT. These have already been used and the first tapes are on their way back, so thanks to the ROV team for their continued help. The digital images have benn sent to SERPENT UK and have been added to our archive.

The successful filming for the documentary resulted in the Jack Bates being used at the finale section of the Earth Report film. It showed interviews on the deck of the rig, the rig itself in situ at Enfield and some footage of the ROV team engaged in SERPENT work and some footage from below the rig. The film has also now been made into a DVD.

In addition a short version using more footage from the Jack Bates at Enfield had been produced for further offshore awareness by Transocean.

Once analysis is complete from this area a further progress report will be filed.

For further information please contact:
Dr Adele Pile, SERPENT Project, Australia Region, University of Sydney. apile@bio.usyd.edu.au

Thanks as always to our valued project partners

Australia Enfield location map Dr Ian Hudson

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E: ihudson@mail.deepwater.com