Mission 1

Images | Videos

Location: Edvarda, Norwegian Sea, Norway
Position: No data
Depth: 1730m
Water Temperature: No data

Initial ROV survey: pilot (pre- & post-) and main well (pre-drill) April 2006
SERPENT visit: 17 22 May 2006 (main well after BOP down)
SERPENT Press visit: 19 20 June 2006.

Industry Partners  
Gas & Oil Company Statoil
ROV Operator: Oceaneering
Rig operator: Ocean Rig
SERPENT Representative:

Dr Janne Kaariainen


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Mission Plan

This Quick Look Report summarises the recent SERPENT work carried out at the Edvarda well in May 2006. The Edvarda well is located 245 km northwest of Kristiansund, in licence block 322 ( Figure 1 ). Edvarda represents the deepest of the five drilling locations included in the 2006 SERPENT programme. Knowledge of these deep sea communities is limited, and so SERPENT research specifically aimed to investigate variation in biological community composition and sedimentary characteristics (accumulation/particle size) both before and after drilling operations. ROV video surveys form a central tool in this investigation process as they help to establish the composition of the megafaunal communities, as well as to identify and map the impact of the drilling operations on the sediment environment.

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Data Collection & Analysis

The ROV onboard Eirik Raude ( Figure 2 ) was used to collect eight straight line video transects (centred on the well head) during each survey (pilot and main well, pre- and post-drilling). Transects length was generally 75m outwards from the well head. This video footage was used to assess and compare changes in the composition of the biological communities and to visually characterise the drilling related impacts on the sediment environment. Additional close up video images of the megafaunal organisms were collected to improve the identification process and to provide some important insights into behavioural patterns.

Attempts were made to assess levels of sediment accumulation using marker buoys labelled at 10 cm intervals ( Figure 3 ). Unfortunately, some marker buoy ropes slipped along the anchor weight, making it difficult to measure the amount of accumulated sediment. Marker buoy design has subsequently been re-evaluated. During the May 2006 SERPENT visit, a total of 17 push-cores were collected ( Figure 4 ): 7 for particle size analysis and 10 for biological analyses. Baited trap experiments ( Figure 5 ) were also set out to assess the composition of the local scavenging community.

Marker buoys

Marker buoys used to measure sedimentation rates.
Unfortunately the Edvarda buoys slipped along their anchor weights, making assessment of sediment accumulation impossible.

Push cores

Sediment push-core operations at Edvarda. Push-core apparatus are attached to the ROV cage.

Baited trap

A baited trap experiment conducted at Edvarda

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Eco Highlights

Some of the organisms observed around the Edvarda drilling site in May 2006 ( Figures 6-8 ).

Finned octopod

Finned octopod captured on video at Edvarda on 19 May.
This active octopus was busily making its way up the water column as the ROV tried to keep up with it.


Amphipoda (possibly Amathillopsis sp.) on a crinoid stalk at Edvarda.


Isopoda (possibly Storthyngura sp.) was observed to inhabit number of burrows around the well site. This may represent a new species. Again physical specimens are required for positive identification.

For further information please contact:
Dr Andrew Gates , SERPENT Project, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK.

or Dr Daniel Jones , SERPENT Project, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK.

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Edvarda location map Dr Janne Kaariainen

For more information about Janne, please phone the following number.
T: +44 (0)2380 596363