Congo mission for Fugro Seacore

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Falmouth’s Fugro Seacore is sending hundreds of tonnes of marine drilling equipment to West Africa, ready to lay foundations for two oil and gas platforms off the coast of Congo.

The company has spent weeks designing and building the drill assemblies at its Falmouth facility, ready to sail to the Nene Marine and Litchendjili sites, near Congo’s South Atlantic shore.

Engineers at Fugro Seacore’s Falmouth facility build specialist drilling equipment for the firm’s challenging Congo project
Engineers at Fugro Seacore’s Falmouth facility build specialist drilling equipment for the firm’s challenging Congo project

Teams of engineers from Falmouth will join up with the equipment once it has arrived, to drill foundations piles for the production platforms, each weighing more than five jumbo jets and connected to the mainland by 40km of pipeline.

The project involves drilling deep into the seabed, under 30m of water, at a precise, 8-degree angle – a technical challenge that very few companies worldwide could undertake.

Fugro Seacore senior drilling manager, Matt Ford, said: “This project is just the kind of engineering challenge we love.

“Having to drill at such an angle into open seabed, without the socket walls collapsing, is a particularly tricky task. We’ve had to design and build a lot of new equipment at our main facility in Falmouth especially for this operation.

“It’s all being shipped out now, and we’re looking forward to getting underway in Congo later this year.”