Winter 2014-15

Finding the TOTAL solution with JFMFE

James Fisher Mass Flow Excavation (JFMFE) receives a glowing endorsement from TOTAL after solving a seabed-clearing problem.

When TOTAL E&P UK needed to find a contractor to prepare the seabed for a proposed jack-up in the North Sea, it approached subsea excavation specialists, JFMFE (a collaboration between James Fisher and the owners of KDM Marine - now part of James Fisher Subsea Excavation).

It was a tricky job – the underwater site (three areas, 25m across and 3m deep, 92m below the surface of the water) was very undulating. Clearance had been attempted, unsuccessfully, by two other companies using various excavation tools. 

The team at JFMFE proposed a solution whereby it would use a new cutting and dredging tool (the Tusk DP600) which had been trialled and operated in the US. Confident this machine would be up to the job, the team calculated exactly how many hours the job would take and an estimated cost, then successfully completed the work within the prescribed timescale.

JFMFE managing director, Kenneth Mackie explains:

“The assessment of the equipment, staff and the soil produced a measurement of when the project could be delivered and in fact whether the job could be done at all. This turned out to be huge selling point for the contract. We were able to analyse exactly what needed doing, why the project had failed previously and to come up with a solution that worked. We base the deliverable on our capability and industry knowledge and do not guarantee work we can’t deliver.”

The contract was awarded to Bibby Offshore working in conjunction with JFMFE, using the Tusk D600, and the work was to TOTAL’s exact specifications. 

The TOTAL project manager was absolutely delighted with the work and provided a glowing reference.

Jerome Lucas, Wells operations manager at TOTAL E&P UK said:

“The Tusk DP600 tool was seen as a clear step change in the dredging method combining both mechanical cutting and pumping capability at the same time. It clearly met the promises made by JFMFE in terms of efficiency and reliability.”

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