Norwood, New Jersey — December 13, 2011 — Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey, the U.S. subsidiary of UK-based Gardline Group, has bolstered its marine data collection offerings with the addition of geotechnical services. Working in conjunction with Gardline Geosciences, a leading global provider of geotechnical services, Alpine is adding a significant new tool to its already impressive suite of services designed to deliver one-stop data acquisition solutions for North American renewable energy, civil engineering, and oil and gas projects. Research teams will leverage Gardline Geosciences’ global experience, equipment, and data processing technologies to offer cone penetration testing (CPT), offshore heave compensated drilling, and seabed sampling for projects ranging from nearshore surveys to offshore efforts in depths up to 3000 meters.
“Gardline’s extensive experience, combined with Alpine’s localized data acquisition knowledge, relationships with state and federal agencies, and work on a wide range of high-profile marine projects, enables us to offer North American clients state-of-the-art geotechnical services,” says Andy Barwise, business development director, Gardline Geosciences Ltd. “Because we leverage decades of experience in the offshore oil and gas sector, we can also bring cutting-edge geotechnical technologies, expertise, and safety practices to the renewables market, which providers moving to offshore renewables from land-based projects can’t match.”
“We’re excited to bring Gardline Geosciences’ suite of geotechnical services to the North American market. With these services in place, we’re able to provide the turnkey marine data collection services needed for fast-growing offshore efforts in our waters,” says Robert Mecarini, president, Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey. The suite of geotechnical offerings joins Alpine’s existing portfolio of geophysical, hydrographic, oceanographic, environmental, and positioning services.
Geotechnical services and technologies now available to Alpine clients include:
• Cone penetration testing: Provided through a choice of 16 CPT units, each designed for a specific application. These include Wheeldrive ROSON units (25 – 200kN), Neptune 5000 CPT units (10cm2 cones, 20m penetration), Neptune 3000 CPT units (2 & 5cm2 cones, 10m penetration), wireline CPT units, and T-bar and ball penetrometers.
• Offshore heave compensated drilling: Provided through seven drilling rigs for use in such applications as nearshore civil engineering projects, including wind farms; site surveys for exploration jack-ups; offshore structure studies; and geohazard evaluation. The systems use standard API steel drill pipe and can drill to 400m. Packages can incorporate a dedicated offshore soil and rock laboratory to enable realtime processing and testing of samples. Features include 3m heave compensation, Dando power swivel, 3m downhole CPT, 1m push Shelby samples, and downhole geophysics.
• Seabed sampling: Samples are captured through a range of technologies, including the Deep Water Sampler, which enables the capture of high-quality 10m samples in depths up to 2,500m; high-power vibracorers and specialty vibracorers that maximize sample recovery in deep-water soft soils as well as in denser shallow-water sands and gravels; piston corers suitable for all water depths; box corers for sampling surface soils with minimal disturbance; and a range of hydraulic clamshell grabs for obtaining bulk samples.
“We have a complete suite of tools designed to meet the water depths and ground conditions of any offshore project,” says Eric Zon, managing director, Gardline Geosciences. “Our full range of geosciences solutions, coupled with Alpine’s extensive geophysical, environmental, and oceanographic services, ensure clients get the accountability and cost benefits that come from working with one provider rather than multiple contractors.”
Depending on project parameters, drilling rigs can be mounted on dedicated geotechnical or multi-role vessels from Gardline’s and Alpine’s global fleet, which range from DP deep-water vessels to shallow-draft boats for nearshore work, as well as on client-provided vessels and floating barges around the world.
Offshore Projects Demand Best-in-Class Geotechnical Engineering
Geotechnical services — integral to renewable and civil engineering projects to determine optimal placement of offshore infrastructure — are in increasingly high demand as projects ramp-up in North American waters. Alpine’s decades of work in complex marine projects, coupled with Gardline Geosciences’ experience delivering geotechnical services for offshore projects around the world, ensure clients avoid the pitfalls encountered by less-experienced providers in the burgeoning offshore renewable energy market. Through these services, Alpine offers North American project developers an appealing value proposition that leverages economies of scale, data collection efficiencies, and the sophisticated equipment and technologies needed to capture high-quality geotechnical data.
About Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey
Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey provides marine surveying and data collection services, including geotechnical, geophysical, hydrographic, oceanographic, geotechnical, environmental, and positioning services, for offshore, coastal, inshore, and inland marine and freshwater projects. Founded in 1957 and now part of the Gardline Group, Alpine has completed thousands of projects for public and private sector clients all over the world. With a variety of research vessels and professional services, the company delivers turnkey data collection for a wide range of industry sectors, including offshore renewable energy, civil engineering, shoreline protection, submarine pipeline and cable, and oil and natural gas.
About Gardline Geosciences
Gardline Geosciences provides marine geotechnical survey services and is part of Gardline Marine Sciences Ltd., the largest independently owned survey group in the world. Gardline Geosciences combines significant engineering expertise and geotechnical resources with testing and processing capabilities to provide worldwide geotechnics and geotechnical services for all environments, from nearshore to deep water up to 3,000m. In addition to Alpine and Gardline Geosciences, GMSL comprises the following companies:
• Gardline Geosurvey Ltd. — Principal member of the Group, specializing in offshore geophysical integrated survey services
• Gardline Hydro – A division of Gardline Geosurvey specializing in hydrographic surveys and seabed mapping services
• Gardline Environmental Ltd. – Specializes in metocean studies, marine mammal observation, and nearshore, coastal, and environmental survey services
Norwood, New Jersey — August 19, 2011 — Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey has expanded its portfolio of environmental data collection services with the addition of a new suite of underwater video camera and sediment sampling technologies. Strengthening its status as a premier provider of geophysical, hydrographic, oceanographic, geotechnical, environmental, and positioning services, Alpine‘s expanded offerings now allow clients to take advantage of the latest environmental data collection technology on the market.
“With our team now handling everything from geophysical mapping to environmental data collection, we offer one-stop, turn-key services throughout North America and beyond,” says Robert Mecarini, president of Alpine. As part of the UK-based Gardline Marine Sciences Group, Alpine can now leverage both its own record compiled over more than 50 years in the offshore survey industry, and Gardline’s extensive resources and innovative technologies.
Superior Data-Collection Capabilities for Environmental Projects
Alpine’s data collection services apply to the entire offshore project lifecycle, from pre-consenting baseline characterization and impact assessment, through regular monitoring and post-construction surveying. Its market approach also makes Alpine an ideal partner for environmental consulting firms by complementing their offerings and/or supplementing their existing data collection capacity for such services as:
• Environmental baseline surveys
• Post-development surveys
• Habitat mapping
• Benthic surveys
• Deepwater surveys
As part of the expansion of its environmental services, Alpine is introducing to the US market a suite of innovative underwater camera systems that offers an impressive array of configurations and deployment options in a cost-efficient package. Developed by Gardline, the cameras can record real-time video footage of the seabed as well as capturing digital stills on demand or at preset intervals. They offer options for shallow (0-250m) and deepwater (0-3,000m) operation, and can accommodate auxiliary sensors, including high-definition video cameras, CTDs, fluorometers, altimeters, laser scale bars, and profiling/imaging sonars.
A key component in the suite is Gardline’s innovative freshwater lens camera, whose specially designed lens enables images to be collected in highly turbid environments where traditional underwater video and photography would be ineffective. This system allows scientists to overcome the challenges associated with high concentrations of suspended particulate matter, while still enabling relatively unintrusive sampling and habitat mapping.
“We’ve designed the camera with a distilled water lens, dedicated flash, and adjustable lighting to optimize results dependent on the level of turbidity,” says Jon Spink, environmental scientist with Alpine. “With projects in shallow waters there’s often poor visibility due to suspended solids, but our camera system’s lens creates the clarity needed to capture seabed images in these environments without reducing the visual footprint.”
Alpine is also introducing a suite of highly effective environmental grab samplers that are widely deployed in European markets but are not yet commonly used in the US. The grabs have been designed to gather high-quality samples across the range of nearshore and offshore marine environments. The samplers include:
• The 0.1m2 Modified Day grab – designed to be safer and more efficient than many of its counterparts
• The 0.1m2 Hamon grab — designed to recover samples in inherently difficult- to-sample coarse-grained sediments such as gravel areas
• The Multicorer – the premier sampler for truly undisturbed environmental sediment core recovery. Gardline is one of the few companies in the world with experience using these units.
In addition to introducing the samplers detailed above , Alpine will also offer a modified 0.25m2 USNEL box corer for deepwater surveys.
Although Alpine’s scientists can work from a variety of vessels, its clients can now benefit from its newly commissioned state-of-the-art research vessel, the Shearwater, which provides an ideal platform for offshore environmental data collection. This highly maneuverable 110’ twin hull survey platform has an azimuth thruster propulsion system, allowing it to conduct most sampling operations without the need to anchor. The vessel also features a laboratory with onboard data processing capabilities, two equipment moon pools, a two-ton stern hydraulic A-frame, a five-ton starboard fixed A-frame and a 14-ton (two-ton at 38’ extension) crane.
Norwood, New Jersey — July 14, 2011 — Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey, a provider of marine surveying and data collection services, announces the following changes to its executive leadership: Robert Mecarini has been promoted to President of the company, and Gino Mecarini assumed the role of Chairman. This planned succession enables Robert to take on all day-to-day responsibilities of the company, and for Gino Mecarini to provide ongoing consultation while transitioning toward retirement.
“As a father-and-son team, we have had the luxury of time to make this transition,” says Robert Mecarini, executive vice president, Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey. “Alpine Ocean has been a family-run company for more than 20 years, and I look forward to continuing on the successful path that my father has established.”
“The time is right for this transition. For all intents and purposes, Robert has been running the company, and it is time for us to make it formal,” says Gino Mecarini, Chairman, Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey. “The company is profitable, has a solid financial partner, and exciting projects on the horizon. Robert is ready to take the company to the next level.”
Gino Mecarini has been with the company for 45 years, and became President when he purchased it from its original owners more than 20 years ago. In 2009, he sold a controlling interest to Gardline Marine Sciences Group, a UK-based marine services company, to enable Alpine to expand its services portfolio and have access to capital for growth.
Robert Mecarini joined Alpine in 1991 as a deckhand, and has since worked for the company in every capacity, including as navigator and project manager, before most recently serving as Executive Vice President. “I give my father a lot of credit for requiring me to work in every part of the company,” says Robert. “I had to earn my stripes.”
The financial investment from Gardline enabled the company to launch R/V Shearwater, a 110-foot multi-use research vessel designed specifically to support the fast-growing US market for offshore renewable energy projects, including tidal and wind. The partnership also enables Alpine to expand its portfolio of marine services to include environmental data acquisition and geotechnical services.
“Our partnership with Gardline was a conscious decision to access the expertise and capital we needed to approach new markets and bring the company to the next level,” says Robert Mecarini. “Renewables represent the largest developing opportunity on the Eastern Seaboard. I am eager to take the company to these new markets and to continue to drive toward becoming the premier, full-services offshore marine services provider in the United States.”
“Having worked for many years with Rob and Gino, it gives me great pleasure to see both of them move into new and pivotal roles that will help to secure the long-term future of the business,” says Phil Durrant, Managing Director of Gardline Environmental Limited. “Gardline looks forward to continuing to work with them, and the rest of the team at Alpine, to build on its excellent reputation and portfolio of solutions.”
In operation since 1957, Alpine has global experience delivering underwater services for offshore and inland marine and freshwater projects. Now part of the Gardline Marine Sciences Group, a UK-based company with decades of expertise in marine services for renewable and other energy projects worldwide, Alpine is a key partner to companies with projects under development in the burgeoning U.S. offshore renewable energy market. In addition to providing the professional services that leverage the vessel’s superior marine capabilities for turnkey operations, Alpine leases the Shearwater and its crew to independent services providers.
Norwood, New Jersey — May 10, 2011 — Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey, a provider of marine surveying and data collection services, announces the launch of the multi-use research vessel, the R/V Shearwater. With the addition of this new vessel, Alpine can now further expand its offerings of turnkey data collection and other surveying services to offshore clients, including wind, tidal, civil engineering, shoreline protection, submarine cable, pipeline, oil, and natural gas project developers. With offshore wind projects totaling 6,800 MW in the works off the East Coast alone, experts say the demand for specialty vessels like the Shearwater will soar.
“The Shearwater is a state-of-the-art, multipurpose platform with fantastic maneuverability, and that means it’s a great choice for both offshore and near-shore projects,” says Robert Mecarini, executive vice president, Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey. “The flexibility means our customers can get a lot value for their money – we can deploy a variety of specialized equipment, collect data, and process it quickly right on board.”
The shallow draft (6.5’) 110’ x 40’ aluminum twin hull Shearwater has numerous advantages for offshore work. Its superior positioning and line-keeping performance provides the essential components for both research work and transfer and supply services to development sites and working installations. The hydraulic propulsion system results in impressive fuel-efficiency and excellent maneuverability while reducing vessel noise. The Shearwater also features two equipment moon pools, a crane, hydraulic stern A-frame, fixed starboard A-frame, dedicated equipment winches, laboratory and office space with onboard data processing capabilities, and can accommodate up to 20 people on a 24-hour basis.
Since its March commissioning, the vessel has completed several projects on the Gulf and East Coasts for clients including the US Army Corps of Engineers and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Clients tout the vessel’s unique configuration capabilities, spacious decks and workspaces, and a propulsion system that facilitates high-precision line- and station-keeping.
Key Features of the Shearwater
The R/V Shearwater is equipped with state-of-the art propulsion, lifting and lowering equipment, and hull customization that improve underwater data gathering, including:
• Hydraulic thruster propulsion with 360-degree rotation capacity
• Hydraulic crane with two-ton capacity at 38-foot boom extension
• One-ton hydraulic stern A-frame
• Five-ton fixed starboard A-frame
• Dedicated equipment-handling winches
• Equipment moon pools in port and starboard hulls
The R/V Shearwater provides numerous advantages for offshore work demanding extended periods at sea, including:
• Dedicated laboratory space
• Dedicated office space
• 14-day autonomy
• Redundant generators
• Desalination system
• Sleeping quarters for 20 people, including separate client quarters
Robert Mecarini, President
Chuck Dill, Survey Manager