Offshore Geological, Geotechnical and Geohazard Modelling and Design for Abu Dhabi

Matthew, Free (Arup) | Esad, Porovic (Arup) | Jason, Manning (Arup) | Yannis, Fourniadis (Arup) | Richard, Lagesse (Arup) | Charlene, Ting (Arup) | Grace, Campbell (Arup) | Areti, Koskosidi (Arup) | Andrew, Farrant (BGS) | Ricky, Terrington (BGS) | Gareth, Carter (BGS) | Tarek, Omar (ADMA-OPCO)



This paper presents a new purpose-built digital interface for obtaining location-specific geological and geotechnical ground conditions for four oil and natural gas fields offshore of Abu Dhabi in the UAE. The geological model was developed using the software package GSI3D which was applied to an offshore study area for the first time. Statistically derived geotechnical parameters were used to apply a probabilistic approach for the design basis of geotechnical elements for offshore structures. In addition, geostatistical methods were applied in the treatment of geological uncertainty in the model. The model also includes a detailed review of local and regional natural hazards, including seismic, tsunami and submarine geohazards, with the potential to affect existing and proposed offshore infrastructure.

The tool comprises a fully interactive 3D geological and geotechnical ground model for each oil and gas field based on a geodatabase containing nearly 60 years of ground investigation data. The interface is operated through ESRI ArcMap but the geodatabase can be integrated into any online or offline GIS- based platform. Application of the tool enables effective decision making on key oil and gas development issues related to the siting of new exploration and development platforms and related infrastructure. The costs associated with offshore ground investigations are significant and mobilisation of works are heavily constrained by access, health, safety and environmental requirements. This digital tool will allow these works to be optimised at the advanced stages of planning, saving on time, cost and significantly reducing health, safety and environmental risks.