Fugro is deploying three of its multi-purpose offshore survey vessels, ‘Fugro Americas’, ‘Fugro Brasilis’ and ‘Fugro Gauss’ to help complete the world’s largest seep-hunting survey offshore Mexico on behalf of the Norwegian global geoscience data company, TGS.

The vessels are using hull-mounted multibeam echosounders and sub-bottom profiler systems to map an area of approximately 625,000 square kilometres covering the entire Mexican offshore sector.

Data acquired during the 18-month project will assist in identifying sites where deep hydrocarbon-rich fluids are escaping to the seafloor and will be used to target hundreds of sites for coring and geochemical analysis. Hydrographic operations are being conducted for TGS as part of its industry-funded multi-client “Gigante Survey” which also includes a regional 2D seismic survey of approximately 186,000 kilometres in addition to gravity and magnetic data as well as structural interpretation. The survey is designed to assist exploration and production organisations in their evaluation of prospects offshore Mexico during forthcoming licensing rounds.

Fugro, the Dutch survey organisation, maintains dedicated seep-hunting facilities at its subsidiary Houston premises and has recently completed a number of other projects in the Caribbean and South East Asia. Techniques involved include advanced methods for processing and analysis of multibeam data for bathymetric, backscatter and water column anomaly information to uphold client decisions about where best to acquire 3D seismic data used to support exploration drilling.

By David Goodfellow