Offshore surveyors are involved throughout the exploration and development phases of offshore oil and gas production. There are two important market segments: i) hydrographic surveying, which involves mapping the seafloor, measuring soil conditions, tides, waves etc.; and ii) positioning services, which are essential for the accurate installation of equipment during the construction process. This is a high-tech part of the industry which makes extensive use of high accuracy satellite navigation systems and advanced software.
Specific tasks can include high-resolution geophysical and hydrographic surveys for the route of a proposed pipeline and geotechnical surveys in order to design the foundations of structures to be installed on the seabed. A variety of complex equipment is used for this work, including ROVs and AUVs, with advanced techniques including acoustics, seismic, magnetic and electrical surveys, and using a wide range of survey vessels.