Bayou Bend CCS selects Sulmara for offshore geophysical survey

Bayou Bend CCS selects Sulmara for offshore geophysical survey

Subsea specialist Sulmara has played a pivotal role in advancing Bayou Bend CCS LLC’s efforts through the utilization of technology. During a recent high-resolution geophysical survey for the Bayou Bend carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, Sulmara facilitated the extraction of invaluable data via an uncrewed surface vessel (USV). Tasked by Bayou Bend CCS, Sulmara conducted a comprehensive archaeological and geohazard assessment along the proposed pipeline route. The overarching goal is to mitigate emissions from regional industrial facilities by safely storing carbon dioxide underground.

To minimize environmental impact, Sulmara opted for an electric WAM-V 16 USV for offshore data acquisition. This approach not only replaced conventional diesel-burning vessels but also expedited the survey process, optimizing time efficiency. The collaboration between Bayou Bend and Sulmara exemplifies a significant stride towards leveraging advanced technology to drive sustainable practices in the energy sector.


Sulmara project manager Darius Rivera said: “The quality of the data gathered is some of the best we’ve seen from a USV. That quality of information, as well as the operability of the equipment and relationship that has been developed, have been key to the project’s success.” He added: “Launching the USV proved challenging given the time of year with the higher winds and seas. However, I am delighted we were able to overcome these issues and provide Bayou Bend CCS with such valuable data.”

The collaborative project utilized the SpaceX-backed Starlink satellite system to ensure strong communications between the shore and the USV, allowing the Scotland-based company to push the technology further than ever before.

Rivera added: “With the survey area around 15km from shore, we integrated the WAM-V with Starlink to achieve higher speed communications with the mobile remote command centre. This is the first time we have been able to go beyond the 3km mark with this size USV, ensuring improved quality of data and reducing the time needed to collect the information when compared to a conventional survey vessel.”

Andy Nicol, regional director for the western hemisphere, said: “We are proud to partner with Bayou Bend CCS on this important project. Our development of towed sensor capability from an uncrewed platform is a clear demonstration of our commitment to both sustainability and innovation. We look forward to working with Bayou Bend CCS again in the future to help them push towards net zero.”

Formed in 2019 and employing more than 200 people worldwide, Sulmara has grown rapidly to become an international services provider with offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

A Chevron, Talos Energy and Equinor joint venture, Bayou Bend aims to develop a carbon capture and storage facility in southeast Texas. It is the first offshore stratigraphic well for carbon capture and storage in U.S. state waters, with the goal of reducing emissions from regional industrial facilities by safely sequestering carbon dioxide underground.

Subsea specialist Sulmara has assisted Bayou Bend CCS in uncovering valuable data from an uncrewed surface vessel (USV) during a high-resolution geophysical survey at the Bayou Bend carbon capture and storage project. (Image courtesy: Sulmara)
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