Mission 1

Images | Videos

Location: Morvin Prospect, Norwegian Sea, Norway
Position: No data
Depth: 230m
Water Temperature:  

Initial ROV survey (pre-drill): March 2006

SERPENT visit: 20 – 27 April 2006

Final survey (ROV team only): 9 July 2006

Industry Partners  
Gas & Oil Company Statoil
ROV Operator: Oceaneering
Rig operator: Smedvig
SERPENT Representatives: Dr Janne Kaariainen, Nina Rothe

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Mission Plan

This Quick Look Report summarises the recent SERPENT work carried out at the Uranus well in January-March 2006. The main aims of this work have been to familiarise the different partners with the project practicalities as well as to start to generate some scientific and environmental data from the survey area.

The background knowledge of the Barents Sea deep-sea communities is relatively limited and some of the specific aims of this program include increasing our understanding of the impact related disturbances and how to improve their management. Specifically we aimed to investigate variation in biological communities and some of the environmental controls in relation to drilling operations.

ROV video surveys form a central tool of the investigation process as they help to establish the composition of the local biological (megafaunal) communities as well as to identify and map the impact of the drilling operations on the sediment environment.

Eirik Raude rig

The SERPENT work was carried out from a semi-submersible drilling rig Eirik Raude (operated by Ocean Rig).

Magnum ROV

The Magnum work-class ROV onboard Raude was used to conduct the scientific work. The ROV was operated by Oceaneering.

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Data Collection & Analysis

The Oceaneering Magnum ROV onboard Eirik Raude was used to collect eight straight line video transects (centred on the well head) before and after the drilling operations. The lengths of the transects generally extended to about 80 metres 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.

Vertical sediment accumulation around the survey area was investigated by placing marker buoys (labelled at ten centimetre intervals) in strategic positions around the well head. In total four marker buoys were placed in the close vicinity of the of the well head (6 metres) with an additional marker buoy placed at 20 metres SE of the BOP.

Further information on sediment accumulation was obtained from the inspections of the ROV operated sediment push cores by recording the depths of distinct, vertical sediment layers at each core. In total 15 cores (3 at pre-drilling stage) were collected and these data will also be used for particle size analysis and examination of the infaunal community.

Pushcores on ROV and in use

Magnum ROV with push-core apparatus attached & ROV manipulator arm inserting push-core into sediment.

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Eco Highlights

Some of the organisms observed around the Uranus drilling site in March 2006.

Assorted Starfish

Asteroid starfish: (top left) undetermined asteroid; (top right) Ceramaster granularis; (bottom left) Henricia pertusa; (bottom right) undetermined asteroid.

Anenome and sponge

(top left & right) Bolocera type anemones; (bottom left) bryozoan (Reteporella sp.); (bottom right) undetermined sponge.

Gastropod, anemone, ray and redfish

(top left) gastropod with anemone on shell; (top right) unidentified foliose anemone with colonial hydroids (bottom left) Arctic ray Bathyraja borealis; (bottom right) redfish (Sebastidae) investigates equipment on the seafloor.

Hermit crab and sponge

(left) Hermit crab; (right) unidentified sponge species.

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Morvin location map Dr Janne Kaariainen

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

Nina Rothe

About Nina
T: +44 (0)2380 596358