James Fisher Subsea Excavation assists in successful seabed preparation for a jack-up placement in the North Sea.

Chosen by TOTAL E&P UK, the offshore team operated the Tusk DP600 Cutter Suction Dredge at one of its operating fields in the North Sea, UK. The hydraulic dredge tool mechanically cut the hard soils and deposited the spoil in areas remote from the excavation site.

Excavating new holes for the rig's spud cans, the team worked from the Olympic Triton. The site had depressions from a previous rig which resulted in a requirement to excavate three areas each approximately 25m diameter by 3m depth. Water depth in the area was 92m.

Graham Murdoch, operations director of James Fisher Subsea Excavation, said:

This was a very challenging project due to the soils and scale of excavation required, which other methods had previously tried and failed to overcome. This was also the first time the Tusk DP600 had been used in the North Sea but we were confident when looking at the scope of works that it was the tool for the job and we proved this to be the case.

James Fisher Subsea Excavation operates a suite of excavation tooling and services, including the innovative TwinProp mass flow excavator, single prop excavators, suction dredges, pile cleaners and MudBugs.

Kenneth R Mackie, managing director of James Fisher Subsea Excavation, said:

We are delighted with the outcome of this project for TOTAL E&P UK and thank the team there for believing in us and the equipment. We look forward to developing this tool's position in both the North Sea and international marketplaces. We have a strong relationship with Tusk Subsea Services allowing us to offer an integrated solution for a large range of subsea excavation requirements.

Jerome Lucas, wells operation manager at TOTAL E&P UK, said:

Following the various issues experienced earlier this year to dredge the location in the vicinity of a producing platform, the Tusk DP600 tool was seen as a clear step change in the dredging method combining both mechanical cutting and pumping capability at the same time. The tool clearly met the promises made by James Fisher Subsea Excavation in terms of efficiency and reliability. This tool is now considered field proven for harsh environments and this water depth. I would personally recommend it for such dredging operations. I also greatly appreciated the professionalism and commitment of James Fisher Subsea Excavation in making this first trial in the North Sea a success with operations performed safely and efficiently.