Maritime Case Studies

Offshore Pipeline, Iraq – ERW / UXO Programme

Our client requested Consulting and QA / QC services related to mitigation works on the intertidal and offshore area for a proposed Offshore Oil Pipeline. The projected included RPS working with Client Rep and contractor to carry out a detailed review and assessment of all operational and project documentation and procedures, as well as undertaking assessment to determine the potential risk from Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) / Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) during the proposed offshore oil pipeline construction project.

RPS acts as specialist consultancy that acts on behalf of the client as subject matter expert to provide independent and unbiased ERW, UXO and Landmine consultancy.

It was determined that there was an elevated risk towards the proposed works, and as such mitigation options were recommended. RPS was subsequently commissioned to design, manage, and perform Quality Assurance (QA) / Quality Control (QC) for a magnetometer survey, data interpretation and investigation programme specifically tailored toward the identification of submerged UXO / ERW.

A large number of UXO / ERW were identified & investigated as a result of the works, as well as a number of other anomalies, which were able to be discounted as risk items towards the proposed works.

In addition, to date, the land clearance of minefields within intertidal areas has progressed well and, to RPS’ knowledge, the clearance team deployed to mitigate the environment is the largest marine ERW mitigation team ever assembled. 

North Sea - Blast Calculations / Assessments

Our client commissioned RPS to carry out Blast Calculations / Assessments on a number of anomalies potentially to be UXO in the North Sea in an area historically fortified by Sea Mines.

Previous to RPS involvement, it was known that metallic anomalies were present at the locations; however it was unknown how to deal with these, with the known potential for Sea Mines in the area.

RPS advised that it would be prudent to produce detailed assessment reports, to define recommended safety distances to be adhered to during proposed operations in the area, and adopt an avoidance policy during future works.

This procedure allowed the client to safely avoid the potentially hazardous items located on the seabed, without having to undertake full scale mitigation works, which may have dramatically impacted the project costs, and timescales.

Dredging Programme, Iraq - Safety, Awareness & Support

RPS was approached by our client, due to offshore dredging works being proposed in an area already known to be contaminated with ERW / UXO.

Due to strict logistical and commercial constraints, and after revision of the specific proposed works methodologies and conditions, RPS advised that an effective, and un-intrusive form of mitigation would be to deploy UXO / ERW consultants aboard the vessels to provide on the spot advice / support in the event of a suspected ERW / UXO encounter, in addition to providing statutory Safety & Awareness briefings to all personnel working aboard the vessels.

In this instance the procedures adopted allowed the client to work safely with the confidence that support was on hand offshore when required, without the works programme being delayed and thus causing cost impacts.

Oil Lakes, Kuwait - Hovercraft Survey

Although not strictly ‘offshore’ the RPS team was approached to determine an appropriate mitigation strategy for ERW Mitigation across areas contaminated with substantial ‘oil’ lakes.

Due to the nature of the liquids present within the ‘oil’ pools, one of the essential specifications for the mitigation programme was to avoid human contact with the liquid.

RPS proposed, and subsequently designed, a works programme which utilised equipment mounted upon a bespoke hovercraft to undertake survey for anomalies with the potential to be ERW.

The procedure designed, and adopted, allowed the client to achieve confidence that certain areas were free of ERW so that environmental remediation could proceed. Furthermore, the bespoke system designed allowed the survey works to be undertaken efficiently without any need for human interaction with the potentially harmful liquids within the lakes.


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