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Marine Operations, Marine Renewables, News

Leask Marine celebrates drilling success! 

Leask Marine celebrates drilling success! 

International Marine Contractors, Leask Marine Ltd achieves another “World First”. The company has announced today that it has successfully installed their first offshore grouted pile with their revolutionary Raptor Submersible Drilling Rig (SDR) technology.  

This marks the final commercialisation phase of the Raptor SDR, from concept, design, manufactured, and full testing program complete with third party verification.   

The main characteristics of the Raptor SDR design is to make it more commercially viable the overall weight of the Leask Marine SDR was kept low, making the equipment easy to adapt and drill from medium sized work boats or barges increasing accessibility and reducing costs for customers. 

The Raptor SDR has now successfully installed a subsea anchor with a diameter of over 980mm weighing 12 tonnes, at a water depth more than 80m in basalt rock, in the Faroe Islands, for a Swedish tidal developer.

The unit includes hydraulic stabilisers, and its independent levelling systems, once reaching the seabed, allows the Raptor SDR to install anchors in a single deployment in tidal currents of up to 6 knots.

the SDR was launched from the Leask Marine multicat vessel, MV C-Force, using our in-house unique design, Launch & Recovery Skid system, and the vessel's 55 ton A-Frame.

The Leask Marine team were supported during the drilling operations by a team of specialist borehole drillers from Welltherm Drilling Ltd., headed up by Jason Laing.

The project was led from its inception by Leask Marine's Operations Director, Oliver Bethwaite.  Olly's visionary leadership and unwavering dedication and perseverance have been the driving force behind its success since 2019. His hands-on approach, and commitment to operational excellence have not only shaped the project's trajectory but have also been instrumental in overcoming challenges. Olly’s expertise has proven indispensable, making him the key player of this groundbreaking initiative and a driving factor in Leask Marine's continued success in the industry. Olly was supported by Elsa Ramirez, Leask Marine’s Lead Project Engineer, who played a key role in the concept design and development through her engineering team. 

While the SDR was primarily designed and developed to operate in the most extreme sea conditions as a solution for their tidal and wave clients, this drilling technology holds potential for the offshore wind, offshore solar, hydrokinetic and aquaculture markets. In addition, it has already proved itself successful at core sampling for offshore site investigation. Earlier this year the team managed to recover a 4.5m length rock core sample in a single drilled length. This marks a significant triumph in the realm of geotechnical exploration. This custom-made length surpasses conventional standards, unlocking a new frontier for scientific investigation and geological analysis. 

Using this technology offers the market a substantially lower carbon footprint solution and reduces installation costs as developers move into multiple device arrays. 

Leask Marine has been a world leader in marine renewable marine technologies, and the Raptor SDR is a combination of many years of investment by the company to provide a cost-competitive solution. 

Douglas Leask, Managing Director of Leask Marine commented: “This is a huge achievement for its first outing, drilling such a large size of pile, at over 80 meters water depth, on a tidal site. I am extremely proud of our team and once again the Leask team exemplifies why Orkney remains a world leader in the marine renewable energy sector in its experience and technical knowledge that is exported across the globe.”