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Texas Spotlight

Woods Hole Group personnel in Texas were pleased to welcome Rob Smith, who joined Woods Hole Group on October 20, 2016 as the new Business Development Manager/Senior Oceanographer. We will also be preparing to celebrate Dave Szabo’s wonderful career in oceanography as he prepares to retire in 2017, after 11 years with Woods Hole Group and 36 years in the industry as a whole. Rob will lead the Houston Office, following Dave’s retirement, and support the company’s domestic and worldwide activities.

Rob comes to Woods Hole Group with nearly 30 years of expertise in applied, commercial oceanography and marine environmental science in support of offshore and coastal engineering and marine environmental operational challenges. His career development commenced from laboratory analysis of marine sediments to undertaking coastal and offshore oceanographic and meteorological field studies and data analysis, and on to project management. He moved into a commercial and sales management capacity before transferring to the US in 2001, where his focus was the provision of metocean services for offshore oil and gas, coastal engineering and offshore renewable projects from a commercial management, business development and overall business management perspective as Managing Director of Fugro GEOS Inc.

Woods Hole Group RTMM System Safely Deployed and Operational

“I am delighted to be joining the Woods Hole Group Team. I have been aware of the strong technical capability and integrity of the Woods Hole Group oceanographers, engineers and environmental scientists for many years,” Rob said. “I am looking forward to working with the team to further develop the Woods Hole Group markets and capabilities and to meet and exceed their Client expectations."

Not surprisingly maintenance work on ADCP systems on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico decreased this year as the deepwater rig population decreased significantly. On the positive side though, we have started providing maintenance services for the ADCP system we installed last year on the Helix Q5000, a new-build well intervention vessel. All of these systems use the new OO38 Underwater Electronics Assembly (UWEA), which results in using fewer personnel in much safer situations to launch and recover the systems with little risk of equipment damage.

Annual maintenance was recently completed on the BP Real-Time Metocean Mooring (RTMM) first installed in Green Canyon 782 in 2013 (see Newsletter for June 2016). Annual maintenance has also been completed on the EcoPetrol RTMM (ECP-Boya-01) offshore Colombia in the Caribbean Sea. A third RTMM was deployed this year (June 2016) offshore Brazil to support Chevron FPSO operations. A new project with the joint industry group, CASE, began this year to investigate the accuracy of the newest HYCOM Loop Current Eddy simulations in the Gulf of Mexico. Data inter-comparisons between HYCOM, the simplistic Gulf Eddy Model (GEM), and buoy and rig observations are being performed to provide the offshore industry recommendations to improve on their designs.

Submitted by:


David Szabo
Senior Oceanographer
Woods Hole Group
12705 South Kirkwood Road, Ste 100
Stafford, TX 77477

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