ABSTRACT

This paper will briefly review the development of the offshore geophysical site investigation industry over the past forty years in order to better understand the skills, capabilities and shortcomings of the industry as it now stands.

These will then be placed into context against the problems the author predicts the industry will be facing in the next ten years.

The paper will then focus upon the very shallow section and the problems now arising in this area. The shortcomings of available tools for cost effective, and resolute, investigations of the shallow section will be reviewed prior to turning to the problems that are being faced and why better data is required.

For drilling hazards the paper will emphasize how focus on the subject of shallow gas over the past years has taken attention away from the importance of accurate prediction of top-hole sedimentary conditions. The paper will demonstrate that Improved top-hole W n g performance now will only be achieved through improvement in this area. This is particularly well illustrated by the problems being faced from shallow water flow.

The paper will then turn to a major change in the supporting role of geophysical site investigation.

Traditional site, or hazard, surveys have always been considered to be a support to the Safety of operations. Although in operational performance of the surveys, quire correctly, there has been a major improvement across the whole spectrum of HSE awareness and performance, the results gamed have remained primarily focused on supporting the S% part of the HSE equation. This has now changed, and the results of these surveys are increasingly being used for environmental screening. This in turn brings with it a new series of needs and problems which need to be addressed by the site investigation specialist both in terms of the data gathered and the report generated.

Finally the paper will highlight that for improvement in all these areas the feedback loop between client and contractor needs to be improved Progress and improvement will not occur If the client does not emphasize to his contractor his changing needs, and is then not prepared to provide feedback on the quality of the predications made by the contractor

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