Benthic, a global geosciences company, broke its own water depth record using the Portable Remotely Operated Drill unit 3 (PROD3) seabed drill. The previous record of 2,754 meters (9,035 feet, 1.7 miles) was set on a Statoil project in Tanzania, and was beaten with two deployments to 2,776 meters (9,108 feet) a few weeks later on the Anadarko project off the coast of Mozambique.
PROD is a fully self-contained, remotely operated seabed drilling and geotechnical testing system, capable of operating in water depths to 3000m and investigating subsea bed depths in excess of 130m.
PROD is lowered from its support vessel; as it descends, support arms extend. As PROD approaches the seabed, operators view the landing zone, and orient PRD with thrusters. PROD is lowered carefully, until the footings on the support arms support its weight. The central base plate is then lowered to the mudline without picking up any significant bearing load.
PROD can switch between piston sampling, rotary coring and in situ testing.
The record-breaking dive was one of a series of 5 deepwater investigations carried out over a 4 day period in June that included in-situ testing and sample recovery. PROD3 has carried out geotechnical and geohazard investigations on more than 200 sites for Anadarko in Mozambique and recovered more than 20 tons of seabed material including sediments and carbonate rock cores.
Benthic reestablished its headquarters in Houston, Texas in January of 2013 under Benthic USA LLC to be closer to the worldwide Oil and Gas customer base, transferring from Sydney, Australia. The company has operated the PROD systems for 15 years, initially for academic research, and later developed the system and tooling for the subsea mineral and oil and gas industries.
The company now operates three PROD systems throughout the world and is currently constructing the fourth system for delivery in late 2015.