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Fugro GeoConsulting

Lancaster GIS-Hosted Ground Model

Case Study

Geological and Geotechnical Desk Top Studies



Please see our article Desktop study: the un-exploited resource, as published in World Pipelines magazine.


Desk top studies are low cost, high value products which can identify potential hazards in the early stages of offshore field development. Furthermore desk top studies may aid the costing, site selection optimization and design processes.

Fugro GeoConsulting undertake detailed geological and geotechnical desk top studies (DTS) in the exploration phase of a field development, preferably prior to exploration drilling, to provide a preliminary assessment of both surface and subsurface conditions. This delivers rapid screening for geohazards which may affect wells, pipelines and facilities.

Deepwater field developments require a more detailed approach as foundation-zone soil and geological conditions and processes are more complex and relatively unknown in many regions.

Many high-profile deep water developments have encountered major geological hazards (geohazards) on increasing scales.


Standard Desk Top Studies
A Standard Desk Top Study integrates regional geological and geotechnical knowledge. The data used to perform a standard desk top study usually comprises:

Public Domain Data (including bathymetric charts, and geological maps)
Academic Data (geological and geotechnical literature and books, scientific drilling data)
Client Data (exploration surveys, regional experience)
Fugro’s unrivalled in-house (geo) databases
The study delivers a preliminary geological and geotechnical site model, covering areas up to thousands of square kilometres. If potential geohazards have been identified, then an initial risk register may be compiled, containing the identified hazards and the possible risk they pose to field development.


Enhanced Desk Top Study
3D exploration seismic data is incorporated to provide valuable insight into seafloor topography, subsurface stratigraphy and geological hazards such as buried landslides, faults, shallow gas and evidence for shallow water flows can be gained. Despite the resolution limitations, this data is essential for understanding the geological development of the area and is of great benefit in the geohazard mapping process.


Resources and Experience
Fugro GeoConsulting has a wealth of experience in understanding the geological conditions and processes acting on the seabed and sub seabed environments of hydrocarbon provinces throughout the world. This experience extends to encompass many other offshore regions identified for potential renewable energy sources.

Through Fugro GeoConsulting, development projects have access to the Fugro Group’s vast range of expertise and resources around the globe.


> Contact Fugro GeoConsulting