Below is an update as of early November on TDI-Brooks’ activities focusing on vessel deployments/availability for GoM/Mexico, northern South America (NSA) / Caribbean / Brazil and NW/W Africa.

R/V PROTEUS  

The R/V PROTEUS has been working continuously the last six (6) months on a series of projects in Grenada, Aruba, Colombia, Mexico, US and Fr. Guiana.  Since the last report in August, the PROTEUS has completed a series of three (3) environmental baseline survey (EBS) projects in the Perdido area of Mexico as follows:

  • BHP through AMECFosterWheeler – Trion development (2 blocks)
  • Chevron – Block 3
  • Total through Creocean – Block 2

After completing the three (3) consecutive EBS projects in Mexico, the vessel returned to Texas in August and acquired Jumbo Piston Cores (JPC) and heat flow sites as part of the TGS OTOS multi-client program in the northern GoM.  It departed the Gulf in early October and is currently conducting a six (6) week-long EBS and survey project in Fr. Guiana for TOTAL through Creocean.  Following completion of the Fr. Guiana project in early to mid-December, it will transit to Agadir, Morocco for a 2-3 month-long MBES/surface geochemical exploration (SGE) coring and heat flow project for KOSMOS in Morocco.

The next availability of the R/V PROTEUS is March 2018. At that point in time it may remain in the West/NW Africa region or return for projects in Mexico, Northern South America (NSA) which are still in play. The PROTEUS is outfitted with TDI-Brooks’ complete geotechnical tool kit including 20-m JPCs and 40-m CPT-Stinger/Sampler capabilities along with other TDI-Brooks standard SGE, HF, survey, EBS, etc. services.  The PROTEUS has a Kongsberg EM-710 (1×1) hull-mounted MBES for surveys to ~2,500-m wd.

R/V BROOKS McCALL

The R/V BROOKS McCALL (BMCC) remains operational in the Gulf of Mexico and available for spot charters in the Gulf of Mexico and/or the US East Coast/Caribbean out of its homeport of Freeport, TX. In mid-August it conducted an 11-day metocean buoy rotation project for GERG at Texas A&M University.  After this cruise in early September, it came into Galveston and conducted through TerraSond a bathymetric channel survey for the US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) for the reopening of the harbor following Hurricane Harvey.  This was followed by offshore pipeline survey projects for Williams in the Breton Sound /Mobile Bay area along with underwater inspections of sections of the Gulfstream pipeline. The Gulfstream component involved MBES and SSS acquisition.  The Brenton Sound and Mobile Bay components also involved SBES, SSS, SBP and mag acquisition along the survey routes.

 

Since late September the BMCC has been involved in the acquisition of three hundred and fifty (350) SGE piston cores for the TGS OTOS seep-hunting project in the northern Gulf.  This project is an analog to last year’s TGS Gigante project in Mexico.  The figure below shows the general locations permitted through BOEM.

The BMCC’s primary market niche in the Gulf/US East Coast is geotechnical coring including 20-m JPC and 40-m CPT-Stinger acquisition.  TDI-Brooks has added to our geotechnical tool kit the ability to take Shelby tube samples to 40-m with our CPT-Sampler.  The BMCC is also available for pipeline hazard, cable route surveys, debris mapping, P-Cable, MBES, metocean, sand search, and environmental studies. The next availability of the R/V BROOKS MCCALL is looking like December 2017.

R/V GYRE

The R/V GYRE is currently back in Texas after working the spot market conducting mostly EBS, site survey and geotechnical projects the last year in West Africa.  The GYRE is currently in the shipyard in Port Arthur, Texas for its 5-year ABS class/loadline inspection/maintenance period and may return in the 1st Qtr. to Africa or possibly Mexico. The GYRE is outfitted for 2-D HR and analog site surveys, MBES (EM-1002), 20-m Jumbo Piston Coring (JPC), 40-m CPT-Stinger acquisition, regular geochemical and geotechnical coring, metocean, heat flow and environmental baseline studies (EBS).

In Mexico following deepwater bid round 2, TDI-Brooks expects to conduct additional EBS projects this winter/spring either with our vessel the R/V GYRE or with our EBS kit on a Mexican 3rd Party vessel.

Small Vessel Coastal Deployments

TDI-Brooks operates several small vessels for coastal surveys and environmental projects.  Below are pictures of the BARNACLE (left) and NORMA JEAN (right) that TDI-Brooks has operated over the last month on four (4) separate WILLIAMS pipeline surveys in the Mobile Bay and Benton Sound areas.  These vessels are outfitted with Edgetech 4600 MBES/SSS, Edgetech 216 SBP, EA 400 fathometer, Geometrics 882 Cesium Magnetomer and C-Nav 3050 DPGS systems.  The BARNACLE is a 27-ft, V-hulled, inboard motor tender vessel suitable for offshore work in wd >4-ft.  The NORMAL JEAN is a flat-bottom aluminum hulled vessel more suitable for working in bays and estuaries inside the barrier reefs of the GoM.

 

BOEM and NOAA/NS&T Federal Projects

NOAA NS&T Project – TDI-Brooks is the long-standing contractor for NOAA’s National Status and Trends (NS&T) Mussel Watch project.  This is the premier, 28-year monitoring program in coastal bays and estuaries along all three US coasts (East, West/Alaska and GoM).  In October/November TDI-Brooks is sampling with our small coastal/bay boats about sixty (60) of these long-term monitoring stations along the Gulf coast.  More info here: https://www.tdi-bi.com/tdi-brooks-awarded-national-status-and-trends-nst-program-mussel-watch-and-bioeffects-programs-analytical-chemistry/

NOAA/NRDA Award – TDI-Brooks as part of a team lead by ABT Associates Inc. (prime contractor) was awarded the NOAA Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Support Services BPA 5-year contract.

 BOEM/NOAA Canyons II Project – TDI-Brooks is the prime contractor for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) funded study entitled “Deepwater Atlantic Habitats II: Continued Atlantic Research and Exploration in Deepwater Ecosystems with Focus on Coral, Canyon and Seep Communities.” This interagency five (5) year, multi-million dollar study focuses on the exploration and investigation of deepwater biological communities located in U.S. federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including offshore Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia). The program focus is on hard substrate habitats, with some work related to soft bottoms and within the water column. Results of the completed program will provide energy resource information needs for future offshore leasing of the Outer Continental Shelf in the mid and south Atlantic regions and information on the continental slope ecosystems.

The first cruise on this project was an 18-day cruise on the NOAA ship PISCES (picture on left below) in September with our multi-disciplinary team of scientists from Temple University, University of Georgia, Nova University, Florida State University, Harvey Mudd College and University of New Hampshire as well as experts from numerous international universities.  Additional details on this program can be found at the following URL:  https://www.tdi-bi.com/tdi-brooks-international-awarded-deepwater-atlantic-habitats-ii/

The cruise was hampered by three (3) hurricanes – Maria, Irma and Jose – that affected the East Coast in September.   This was the first of up to five (5) expeditions as part of this project.  Despite the weather delays, the cruise accomplished a great deal in the short time at sea. Sentry dives (see picture of AUV Sentry above right) have explored the seafloor and amassed images of the seafloor never seen before. Multibeam and sidescan sonar data and subbottom profiling data are being merged by scientists to provide a picture of the seafloor terrain. So far, the dives have verified several seep habitats that were never imaged before.

3rd Party Deployments

TDI-Brooks can offer our coring/CPT, HF, EBS and other services off 3rd party vessels.  We have 3rd Party vessel kits for all the services we offer for deployment worldwide on projects where our vessels are not located or otherwise committed. Below are some current 3rd Party projects that TDI-Brooks has recently or will shortly conduct.

  • Black Sea/GeoQuip – TDI-Brooks was awarded the EBS sampling component of an ExxonMobil project in the Black Sea conducted as a subcontract through GeoQuip Marine.  The project involved a six (6) week deployment in Sept/Oct of a five (5)-person TDI-Brooks team on a Romanian vessel acquiring box cores and water samples for the EBS study.
  • TerraSond/Alaska – Between 05-18 October, TDI-Brooks deployed its gCPT and PC geotechnical kit as a subcontractor to TerraSond Ltd. on the SVA WOLDSTAD as part of a GCI cable route survey between Dutch Harbor and various sites on the mainland of Alaska.  The team acquired over 70 PCs and gCPTs.   
  • Oceaneering/GoM – In early November, TDI-Brooks will deploy a three (3) person geotechnical team with our cyclic T-Bar and geotechnical kit on an Oceaneering vessel for the geotechnical project component in Alaminos Canyon for a major IOC Client.
  • Canadian Seabed Research Ltd. (CSR)/Lake Ontario – TDI-Brooks will also deploy in early November its PC and gCPT geotechnical kit with operator for CSR as part of a cable route survey in Lake Ontario.

New Developments

TDI-Brooks has had booths at the first three (3) conventions below since the last report as well as the upcoming SETAC conference in Minneapolis:

  • 31 Aug/1 Sept, PESGB-HGS Africa Conference, London
  • 24-27 September, SEG Annual Meeting, Houston
  • 15-18 October, AAPG/ICE International, London
  • 12-16 November, SETAC North America, Minneapolis

A new area that TDI-Brooks is now pursuing is geotechnical studies including shallow borings both onshore and coastal primarily with a focus on the Gulf/East Coasts.  Examples of these projects include recent post-hurricane clearance surveys / geotechnical studies in Galveston Bay and Brownsville, TX for dredging and semi-submersible rig layup as well as our recent LEEDCo wind farm project in Lake Erie.

Summary

TDI-Brooks operates all of our vessels on the spot market for various research and oil company service projects.  All the TDI-Brooks vessels are outfitted for our market niches of geochemical, geotechnical and environmental sampling and heat flow acquisition.  Most are also available for hazard, bathymetry and metocean projects.   The vessels are available for charter by Clients for other purposes. TDI-Brooks operates these vessels under its own Safety Management System and DOC.

Additional details on the vessels and our services can be found on our web site: www.tdi-bi.com.  Please let us know if you would like to schedule a meeting to learn more about our services and/or discuss chartering services on any of our TDI-Brooks’ research vessels, James M. Brooks (jimbrooks@tdi-bi.com) or Melissa Wood (melissawood@tdi-bi.com).