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Italian oilfield contractor Saipem has contracted UTEC, a global survey company in subsea services group Acteon, to support Saipem’s operation for deepwater Zohr gas field development project in Egyptian sector of the Mediterranean sea

The contract is expected to last for five months.

In its statement, UTEC said that the company will support Saipem with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for the development of Zohr project where Saipem provides engineering, procurement, construction and installation solutions.

The Zohr field development project is expected to be one of the biggest gas field discoveries in the Mediterranean sea, with an estimated 850bn cu/m of gas in place.

Cory Goodyear, director of business unit at UTEC for Europe and Africa, said, “UTEC has built up a strong relationship with Saipem utilising AUV solutions in Africa, and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship to remain at the forefront of emerging technology and ensure that all of our customers continue to receive world-class service and solutions.”

As per the partnership programme, UTEC will work with Saipem in performing surface positioning on-board the Saipem operated barges, Bautino and Castoro 10, and associated anchor handling vehicles (AHVs).

In addition, UTEC’s Teledyne Gavia AUVs will provide Saipem with trenching support which includes trench monitoring services and as-trenched surveys in water depth ranging from 2.5 metre to 20 metre.

Paul Smith, global director for projects and operations at UTEC, added, “At a time when our industry is challenging conventional methods of survey, the use of low logistic AUVs is a great example of how our global clients can optimise their offshore operations and reduce costs to projects.”