Saab Seaeye, a leading underwater e-robotics company, is assisting in the decommissioning of an oil platform in Angola – the first to undergo this work in the country.
EQS, an environmental quality services company, is leading the project with help from a Saab Seaeye Falcon underwater robot that has been deployed to help transform the platform into an artificial reef.
Chief Technical Officer at EQS, Carlos Rodrigues said, “By operating the Seaeye Falcon and all its related capabilities, EQS is supporting its aim to fulfil specific works in a safe and cost-effective manner delivering accurate and relevant information.”
The Falcon is assisting in the survey and mapping of all underwater components, including checking the wellhead, pipelines and the surrounding maritime environment.
Baseline environmental conditions are determined by taking water and sediment samples at several stations and at different depths, focussing on biological matter, namely zooplankton, phytoplankton, and benthos.
Significant marine growth already exists throughout the structure with abundant marine life already in the area for populating the rig when toppled on its side to become an artificial reef. Once decommissioning is complete, a series of surveys will be scheduled to monitor the evolution of marine growth on the newly created reef.
EQS selected the Seaeye Falcon for its ability to handle an array of cameras, sensors, tooling and complex data gathering systems that include a digital multi-frequency profiling sonar.
Future work involves clearing an area of fish nets, restoring platform signalling and marking, positioning of signal buoys and confirmation of pipeline locations along with the surveys to monitor marine growth.