Rolls-Royce has won a £20m order from Chinese conglomerate Sinopec to design and equip a specialist seismic research vessel.
When operational, the UT 830 CD will carry out surveys of the seabed to identify oil and gas reserves. This will involve criss-crossing large sections of the seabed at low speed, often requiring several weeks of continuous operation.
During research missions, the 100m-long vessel will tow up to 14 10km-long cables, also known as ‘streamers’.
Seismic waves are sent deep into the seabed and the reflected waves are detected by hydrophones spread along the network of streamers. This data is then used to give a 3D profile of the geological features, including the location of oil and gas.
Shanghai Shipyard will build the vessel for Shanghai Offshore Petroleum Geophysical Corporation, part of the Sinopec organisation, with delivery scheduled for 2013.
During the last three months, inclusive of this contract, the group has secured seismic equipment orders totalling more than £50m.