Photo: The ROVcone system. Source: Bluefield Geoservices

Bluefield Geoservices completes ‘deepest-ever cone penetration test’

Bluefield Geoservices has completed what it believes to be the deepest-ever offshore cone penetration test (CPT), carried out in water depths of more than 4,000 meters in the Pacific Ocean.

Bluefield operators completed 23 seafloor CPTs to a push depth of two meters as part of an ongoing geotechnical site investigation campaign to assess the ocean floor conditions that characterize the abyssal plain.

According to the company, ROVcone, a proprietary CPT system that can be paired with any work-class ROV, trenching machine, or similar subsea asset, was deployed.

The CPTs were carried out in conjunction with Bluefield’s BOXcone, a custom-built in situ testing tool designed to interface with a box core sample box, to enable the survey team to correlate the acquired seafloor data.

“This is an exciting milestone for the entire Bluefield team, both the skilled operators in the field and the subsea engineers that have worked so diligently in recent years to develop our exclusive toolkit of deep-sea geotechnologies, including the ROVcone CPT system,” said Bluefield managing director Jim Edmunds.

“Most CPT systems, like the heavy duty 100 kN ROSON, are depth rated for 3,000 meters, so to see the ROVcone perform as designed at these unprecedented depths is hugely rewarding. And while we believe this to be the deepest offshore CPT on record, the ROVcone is in fact depth rated for operations to 6,000 meters below the surface, so the application of this equipment extends beyond these waters.”

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