A cable route desk top study (DTS) is a key part of the initial planning phase of a submarine cable system. For Hydrocarbon developments it often forms part of the FEED process.
Properly executed, a DTS should detail all the influences on cable route safety and provide sound engineering solutions for the environment encountered. It should also specify the amounts of submarine cable and the plant required to build the system.
The DTS provides a technical reference for the entire project and throughout the life of the cable system, detailing factors likely to influence all subsequent activities, from survey through to installation, and then throughout the system’s operations and maintenance lifecycle.
Summary of the typical scope of a cable route desk top study:
- Visit potential landing sites to assess the engineering requirements, then meet with local representatives of relevant marine authorities and visit industry representatives and other entities whose actions may affect the integrity of the cable (e.g. fishing, shipping, planning and port authorities).
- Research bathymetry, seafloor and shallow seabed lithology, currents, weather, seismology, tides, permits, other seabed users, fishing, and shipping.
- Identify areas of potential difficulty for survey, installation and subsequent maintenance.
- Investigate and detail environmental and cultural factors relating to the cable route, highlighting relevant statutes and regulations of the various authoritative bodies.
- Identify possible sources of risk to the cable - and the extent of that risk for the cable system.
- Identify permits, licences and other regulatory requirements necessary to install the cable and for the cable to remain in situ along the proposed route.
- Recommend routes that do not conflict with existing subsea infrastructure.
Global Marine also provide risk assessments and remedial work studies to help in-service system owners to better understand how to improve system reliability.