Blue Ocean partners with Woodside for sea floor surveys

A Perth outfit set up just five years ago to develop offshore survey technologies has hooked a whale, enticing Woodside Petroleum into a partnership that aims to make the acquisition of seismic data from the ocean floor cheaper and safer (reports The West
20th September 2019
Resources Rising Stars

A Perth outfit set up just five years ago to develop offshore survey technologies has hooked a whale, enticing Woodside Petroleum into a partnership that aims to make the acquisition of seismic data from the ocean floor cheaper and safer (reports The West Australian).

Under a deal with Blue Ocean Monitoring, Woodside will take a 35 per cent stake in a joint venture developing the technology. The deal comes after a two-year collaboration with Woodside.

The joint venture, Blue Ocean Seismic Services, will use mini-submarines instead of remotely operated vehicles to place nodes on the ocean floor that capture and record sound waves.

The data is important in understanding geological formations and identifying whether they contain oil and gas.

About $12 million has been invested in Blue Ocean Monitoring since the firm was founded in Perth in 2014 by managing director Simon Illingworth and Northern Star Resources’ founding chairman, Chris Rowe.

Mr Illingworth said yesterday the company had about 70 shareholders led by Mr Rowe and including staff, British and Australian high net-worth investors and small funds.

He said Woodside had been “very proactive and supportive” over the two-year collaboration.

“Substantial amounts have been jointly invested, and it’s fair to say that we’ve attracted a lot of international attention ... and other support, which is a real vote of confidence.”

Woodside’s executive vice-president of sustainability, Shaun Gregory, said the joint venture reflected the group’s technology priorities.

“We see ocean-bottom monitoring playing an important role in helping us to understand more complex geological settings,” he said.

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