ALSEAMAR, designer of the SEA EXPLORER underwater glider and provider of SEA EXPLORER glider services, completed last June a successful pre exploration survey with 2 SEA EXPLORER gliders fitted with MINIFLUO hydrocarbon sensors for an important oil player.

Driven by buoyancy variation, underwater gliders enable collecting autonomously data along the water column for weeks to months at a time, in a cost effective way. Underwater glider are piloted from shore by satellite telemetry and do not require surface supervising vessel saving substantial operational costs.

Data compiled include temperature, salinity, pressure, dissolved oxygen and hydrocarbon like components (phenanthrene and naphthalene) along 700m depth of the water column.

Main objectives were to characterize the ocean environment and assess natural oil seeps emanating from the seabed in the survey area, by using among others, the innovative MINIFLUO hydrocarbon sensor.

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The two SEA EXPLORER gliders accurately squared the survey area following pre-defined lines and cross lines while collecting ocean data with physical and bio-chemical sensors. Data files have been transmitted by satellite telemetry in near real time during the performance of the mission for real time events observation and appropriate gliders re-positioning.

SEA EXPLORER gliders have been recovered after three weeks of mission in autonomy with 45% energy remaining.

The SEA EXPLORER is the sole rechargeable underwater glider available on the market. This innovation has been introduced to increase reliability (leak risk free) and reduce gliders associated logistics in addition to overall operational costs.

The MINIFLUO hydrocarbon sensor has been developed by the French CNRS Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO) to particularly target representative contaminants of crude oil compounds. With its reduced size and power consumption, this innovating sensor is the sole hydrocarbon sensor able to be carried by an autonomous platform for persistent glider mission.

Laurent Beguery, head of SEA EXPLORER program at ALSEAMAR said “ALSEAMAR is delighted to have been awarded this contract having the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of using a SEA EXPLORER glider in the Oil&Gas industry. Our glider team showcased our capabilities in offering innovative services and providing valuable information for offshore exploration and production programs. We look forward to developing our services on future projects”

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