The 100m long, 24m wide BGP Prospector is a seismic vessel owned by BGP, a Chinese National Petroleum Corporation subsidiary. Image courtesy of BGP Inc, China National Petroleum Corporation.
Launching of the new 3D, 12-streamer seismic vessel, BGP Prospector, in September 2011. Image courtesy of BGP, CNPC.
The BGP Prospector seismographic research ship was built at the Nassau port in the Bahamas. Image courtesy of ebodie.

BGP Prospector is a new seismographic research ship built at the Nassau port in the Bahamas. It is owned by the geophysical service company BGP, a subsidiary of the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation.

The company operates a fleet of seismic vessels to provide marine seismic data to global clients. Its 2D, 3D, 4D and OBC Marine Seismic Data collecting and processing vessels are operational in Southeast Asia, the Red Sea, the Bay of Bengal, South America, the North Sea, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.

The BGP Prospector ship was launched in September 2011 at Sekwang Heavy Industries in Korea. In February 2011, Rolls-Royce was awarded a £20m ($32m) contract to design and supply seismic equipment, including power and propulsion systems and automated handling systems for the research vessel.

The flagship vessel is equipped to provide advanced 3D marine seismic services to global oil and gas companies.

The vessel has a crew of six members and can carry 12 people onboard. It conducted 3D seismic acquisition operations covering 2,022km2 in Benin in December 2013. It acquired the seismic data with a 10-streamer-configuration.

Thome Offshore Management will manage the ship for BGP Marine.

Design and accommodation of the research ship

"It is owned by the geophysical service company BGP, a subsidiary of the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation."

The ship, designed under the project Lloyds NVC 830 CD, is one of the most environment-friendly seismic vessels in the industry. The vessel is 100m long and 24m wide. Draught of the ship is 6.4m.

The BGP Prospector has a fibreglass reinforced polyester hull. It is protected by a 50cm high pur-fender to withstand rough treatment. Its speed, stability and traction are enhanced by the V-shaped keel and tunnel.

The ship has a 23m helideck. It was inspected in September 2011 and certified to meet the Helideck Certification Agency (HCA) and CAP 437, BSL D 5-1 standards for offshore vessels.

The certification is valid until August 2014. The maximum take-off weight limit of the single rotor helicopter of 22.8 D value is 15.6t.

BGP Prospector also mounts a streamer winch and a cable lift on deck. She can accommodate 66 crew members with 28 single and 19 double cabins and a hospital. The ship is equipped with two 30 Norpower work boats.

Navigation and communications systems of BGP Prospector

The vessel is equipped with one Furuno FR-2115 with RP250 AIS Interface navigation system and Furuno FR-1510MK3 marine radars.

"The BGP Prospector ship was launched in September 2011 at Sekwang Heavy Industries in Korea."

It has an Inmarsat C and F maritime satellite communication systems. Other systems include a Sperry Marine NAVIGAT X MK1x 2 digital gyrocompass system and Kongsberg autopilot system.

BGP contracted Marlink in November 2011 to provide its VSAT satellite communication systems for its entire seismic vessels fleet.

The BGP Prospector is installed with Sealink C-Band, SCPC VSAT. The ship supports several applications through its 1MB full duplex and dedicated satellite communication service onboard.

In October 2011, ION installed an Orca Command and Control system on the vessel for managing data acquired by the towed streamer seismic vessel.

Each of the 12 streamers of the vessel is about 8,000m long. They are separated by 100m. The streamer winches have a towing capacity of 12,000m.

Data acquisition and processing system of the seismographic research vessel

The 12-streamer 3D seismic vessel was specifically constructed for serving the high-end 3D, 4D and wide azimuth marine seismic survey market.

Seismic waves are passed to the seabed to acquire data from the reflected waves captured by hydrophones of the streamers network.

The information is used for the 3D profile of the geology and to detect oil and gas reserves.

The vessel is outfitted with ION’s DigiSTREAMER seismic data acquisition system. It has a solid gel design that reduces the risk and noise during broad bandwidth data recording.

Ship engine / propulsion

The BGP Prospector is powered by two Rolls Royce Marine Bergen B32:40L8P CD diesel engines, each of 4000kW capacity.

The bow thruster is a Rolls Royce Type 2200 DPN producing 883KW. It has two 2,880kW generators, two RRM Bergen C25:33L9A auxiliary engines and two RRM Kamewa Ulstein propellers.

The fuel capacity of the vessel is 3,400m3 and water capacity is 300m3. The propulsion system provides a cruising speed of 15kt. She has an endurance of 80 days.