Saturday 4 May 2013

Seismic Survey Ship VANTAGE

I could be wrong but I thought when people take a winter Caribbean cruise, they do it to relax and bank rays by the pool, schmooze with the ship captain at dinner and try their luck at the casino or in a game of shuffleboard. WRONG-O!! - for John & Carmel from up at Paterson Lake and Kevin from nearby Stittsville who have all done a wonderful job snapping shots of some pretty interesting boats during their cruise last February. Another great example is seismic survey ship VANTAGE that John (or maybe Carmel) snapped while their ship, CARIBBEAN PRINCESS was docked in Oranjestad, Aruba. Owned by CGGVeritas, the 307' VANTAGE is a Viking-class high-capacity 3D seismic vessel. No, 3D glasses are not required for viewing this great looking ship with a helipad large enough for Super Puma and Sikorsky's S-92 helicopters. And neither does this ship head out looking for earthquakes, but instead seismic surveys are used to locate and estimate the size of offshore oil and gas reserves. To carry out such surveys, ships like the VANTAGE tow multiple air-gun arrays that emit thousands of high-decibel impulses to map the seafloor. Built in Bergen, Norway in 2002, the VANTAGE can tow ten streamers of 6,000 metres ideally suited for 3D & 4D surveys. She is also equipped with advanced integrated geophysical acquisitions and inboard processing systems. 

Pretty complicated stuff for a neophyte like myself but according to a recent Associated Press article, many island countries in the Caribbean are very keen on obtaining a 'black-gold bonanza' if a rich offshore deposit can be found. Such a find would ease import demand and diversifying their economies. Apparently Cuba is especially concerned because with Hugo Chavez recently deceased, there's been threats that the preferential terms provided by Venezuela's PetroCaribe program could be cancelled under the new regime. Currently Cuba is providing doctors and teachers in exchange for Venezuelan crude that's refined across from Old Havana. However oil refining can also be done in Trinidad and Tobago which is much loser to Venezuela than Cuba.

Though the air may not be cleaner or easier to breathe anytime soon for Cubans living in the high-rise apartments east of the Havana refinery (below), their lively-hood may be very much at risk if Cuba's pristine beaches that draws millions of European and Canadian tourists annually, becomes cluttered with oil rig platforms or blacked from a big spill. And who needs that when you already have so little. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for explaining how this ship works. It is so nice to see what a modern ship would look like with the wheelhouse back on the bow.