Thales and Sonsub Assist with Prestige’s Aftermath

Monday, September 08, 2003
The solution to the pollution problems caused by the wreck of the Prestige oil tanker could be at hand. The main Spanish Oil Company Repsol YPF was appointed by the Spanish Government to find the best solution to extract the remaining fuel in the Prestige wreck. Repsol YPF selected and awarded contracts to the industry experts Thales GeoSolutions and Sonsub to design and build ROVs for the deepwater survey and investigation, and a further contract to Sonsub, in partnership with Thales GeoSolutions, to carry out a deepwater survey, investigation and evaluation study on the wreck of the Prestige oil tanker, which sank in deep water off the coast of Northern Spain in November of 2002 still carrying a substantial amount of heavy fuel oil. Under the terms of the contracts, worth several million dollars, a team of experts has been brought together by Repsol YPF, Thales and Sonsub to fulfill this project deploying the very latest in work class Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) designed, developed and built for physical intervention work at depths previously not attempted in the industry (4,000 m).

As prime contractor, Sonsub's project team based in Aberdeen maintains operational control as well as being responsible for the overall operation aboard its dynamically positioned vessel the DPV Polar Prince, which is staffed by a full team of both marine and construction crews.

Thales GeoSolutions, is providing seabed mapping, geotechnical engineering and precise DGPS and acoustic positioning in support of the project as planned by Repsol YPF.

Thales GeoSolutions is also charged with presenting the information gathered in a GIS database to ease access and analysis for planning further work at the site.

Repsol YPF contracted Sonsub and Thales GeoSolutions to design and build ROVs for the deepwater survey and investigation, together with the physical intervention and evaluation work. In addition, Thales GeoSolutions has made available deepwater survey and inspection equipment, as well as its data processing expertise and facilities.

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