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Sonardyne to Provide Positioning for North Sea Pipe Bundles

12 October 2010

Sonardyne International has been awarded a contract by Subsea 7 to provide its latest Sixth Generation (6G) acoustic technology for monitoring the position and status of towed offshore pipeline bundle systems.

The bundles are manufactured at Subsea 7’s facility in Wick, Scotland and towed to their final location in the North Sea suspended between two tugs; a technique known as Controlled Depth Tow Methodology (CDTM).

Under the terms of the new contract, the first tow will take place in the first quarter of 2011 when a 7km bundle will be towed out to the Bacchus field for Apache North Sea Limited. Later in 2011, four 7km bundles will be towed to BP’s Andrew field in the North Sea.

The 6G acoustic equipment installed on each bundle will provide the towmaster with real time information on the pipeline’s position, depth and shape along its entire length.

This data will help ensure that the bundle is not allowed to sag or snake excessively during the tow due to the effects of tow speed, tide and sea state and that it is ‘flying’ at the required depth to avoid submerged objects. Should corrective action be required, the towmaster is able to alter the depth profile of the pipeline bundle by various methods including varying the tow speed.