April 21, 2022 | Renewables | Energy Facts Staff Writer | 2min

Benthic, a product and service line brand within Acteon’s Geo-services segment, is launching the next generation of its portable, remotely operated drill: PROD5. To increase productivity and cut costs for the offshore renewable energy industry, PROD5 has radical new functionality, including nearly double the tool load of previous systems and a drill enhancement package (DEP). First deployment is expected in Q3 2022.

The larger tool load enables casing to approximately 100 m below seabed when sampling and about 150 m below seabed when performing cone penetration tests (CPT). This has been achieved by increasing the size of the two magazines which hold a range of geotechnical tools that can be withdrawn by a loading arm and pushed or drilled into the seabed.

The DEP is the main technological advancement over previous PRODs and competitor systems. The DEP sits under the drill module and provides a second drive head, elevator cylinder, cuttings pump and clamp set (like a PROD within a PROD). The DEP enables simultaneous casing and drilling to ensure the borehole is always supported. Casing can now be set at any depth, rather than an integral of the standard casing length, which provides greater flexibility when encountering challenging soils, whether during sampling or performing CPT.

PROD5 retains the advantages of CPT acoustic data transmission of earlier systems. Wireline tools support the borehole, but without the acoustic link, so it is necessary to disengage and re-engage the wireline each time another drill rod or casing is added to the string – a much slower and problematic operation.

Collectively, acoustic CPT data transmission, casing height flexibility and simultaneous casing while drilling represent a major advancement over competitor offerings, especially in challenging soils and shallow waters. Customers will benefit from greater certainty over their project durations and overall reduced costs while delivering the superior data quality for which the PROD technology is known.

Although designed for shallow-water wind developments, the PROD5 drill module is also suitable for deepwater operations, as the depth rating is increased from 3000 to 4000 m. The system has been operating successfully for two decades. Three other PROD systems are currently in service around the world.

“PROD5 is designed to provide customers with the superior geotechnical data they need, in challenging environments, with greater productivity, to enable offshore energy transition projects specifically positioned to leverage the emerging renewables market,” says Sudhir Pai, Acteon Geo-services segment Managing Director.