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General news
Wednesday, 10 August 2022

bp and EnBW‘s biggest offshore integrated site survey

This quarter we broke the 2,000sq km threshold for our offshore surveys for Mona, Morgan, and Morven - in the Irish Sea and North Sea. It’s our biggest offshore integrated site survey ever, with 7 crewed vessels totalling over 450 working days, and over 200 people offshore this year across all 7 vessels, along with a further 5 uncrewed vessels. These surveys will guide the further planning, design, and installation of our wind farms. 


Our Morven offshore survey campaign commenced earlier this year in which more than 10,000 line kilometres of data will be acquired, and more than 200 days of vessel time will be required to complete the range of planned work. 

Morgan and Mona 

Morgan and Mona are one year ahead of Morven with phase 1 site surveys running last year from June to September. Phase 2 surveys began in April and will see a further 5 vessels and multiple USVs begin a survey campaign that will run through to October.  

What data will we be collecting?  

During Morven’s 120 day geophysical site survey, we’ll be looking at a range of data to map the seabed, using geophysical techniques to acquire high-resolution images of the top 100m below the seabed, and collecting environmental benthic data and geotechnical data to map different habitats and determine soil characteristics for our environmental and engineering teams.  

Morgan and Mona’s 150 day survey will involve gathering critical datasets along potential export cable routes and conducting deep geotechnical investigations up to 100m below the seabed, to determine soil characteristics for foundation design. 

Aside from the data, we’ve also come across shipwrecks and seabed objects that could be unexploded bombs. Although many shipwrecks we’ve come across are already known, such as the Linda Blanche, there are still surprises. Such as a wreck in our Morven wind farm survey area, of what appears to be a previously unknown wooden lifeboat vessel. 

How are we collecting this data? 

We’re working with Fugro, Gardline and XOCEAN to gather data. Vessels operated by Gardline are carrying out shallow geophysical and benthic grab sampling of the seabed. XOCEAN are using Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs) to conduct carbon neutral surveys to collect seabed imaging data, and Fugro are undertaking deep geotechnical surveys whilst also collecting wind resource data for us. 

Why do we need to collect this data?  

Collecting this data will enable us to build the most efficient offshore wind farms we can, with the least environmental impact, and help in obtaining consent from the UK and Scottish governments to develop our project.   

How do we use this data? 

We receive data in real-time which means we can start to process it as we go. As we learn more about the sites, we adjust our model accordingly. 

What’s next? 

This is crucial data in securing the consents for the project and defining the structure and location of the individual turbines. This year’s work is due to be completed in October, but survey activities for the projects will continue for several years yet.