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Seafloor Drills

We own and operate robotic offshore geotechnical seafloor drills that provide a solution for deep water seabed investigation. Our seafloor drills are modular to enable efficient shipping around the globe and integration onto local vessels.

Our seafloor drill units combine proven drilling and in-situ testing technology with ROV telemetry for offshore geotechnical and geohazard site investigations with systems rated up to 4,000 metres water depth.

The OPD was designed and built to be rapidly deployed in a single 6 metre borehole. The OPD system can be operated in three different modes:

  • Rotary Mode – continuous 6 metre core
  • Reverse Circulation Mode – sample/collection of drill cuttings in 1 metre sections to a maximum depth of 6 metres below seafloor
  • Vibrocore Mode – continuous 6 metre core

The OPD can work in up to 4,000 metres of water and is controlled remotely from the surface. An umbilical provides electric power to an onboard 40 HP hydraulic system. The system uses proven drilling components controlled with proven work class ROV telemetry.

The OPD is equipped with a self-leveling base that permits the system to be used effectively on slopes up to 20 degrees. The unit is equipped with three articulated outrigger legs to provide additional support to the system when landing on slopes. For soft seafloor conditions, the OPD can be outfitted with a suction base to provide stability. After completion of the test, the suction pump reverses flow and 'pumps' the drill off of the bottom.

Designed by geotechnical engineers, the SFD can obtain high quality soil samples up to 150 metres below the seafloor. The SFD uses wireline coring (N- through P-sized tooling) with aluminium core barrels to reduce weight.

The unit can conduct wireline real-time Piezocone Penetration Testing (PCPT) in conjunction with drilling operations. Fugro’s full suite of in-situ testing tools (PCPT, seismic CPT, ball probe, T-bar, vane shear and piezoprobe) are fully integrated for use with the SFD.
  • Modular equipment for efficient shipping to global destinations
  • Integration with local vessels of opportunity 
  • Improved productivity in deep water
  • Excellent depth control for drilling/sampling/testing

Seafloor Drill

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