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Shingu, Japan, port call

Expedition 332 began at port in Shingu, Japan, on 25 October 2010. We remained in port conducting cargo loading until 1700 h on 27 October, when the D/V Chikyu left port to anchor 1 nmi southeast of Shingu. Plans were to continue loading operations via supply boat (R/V Kaiyo), but due to deteriorating weather conditions with the approach of Typhoon Chaba, the Chikyu left anchorage off Shingu to evacuate from the typhoon at 1200 h on 28 October. The Chikyu set a course for the region around Torishima Island, ~300 nmi to the southeast, planning to arrive around 1500 h on 30 October. The Chikyu reached 29°52′N, 144°40′E at 0500 h on 30 October, near Soufu-gan rock, when it was decided to reverse course and return to the Site C0010 region to rendezvous with the supply boat because Typhoon Chaba reached the Shingu area earlier than predicted.

Site C0010

The Chikyu arrived back at the rendezvous point at 0545 h on 1 November 2010, 6 nmi north of the planned position to avoid the main Kuroshio Current (Fig. F4). Loading continued from 0700 to 1500 h, after which the Chikyu moved to 1 nmi north of Site C0010 to install the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) cursor at 1900 h, preparatory to the ROV diving at 0145 h on 2 November. After deploying one transponder, the ROV was recovered on deck to troubleshoot telemetry problems with the ROV camera. After the problems were solved, the ROV dove again at 1400 h to set the three remaining transponders, and at 2045 h the ROV removed the corrosion cap and set it on the seafloor. The ROV was recovered to the surface at 2130 h, and the Chikyu resumed drifting to the well center for dynamic positioning (DP) calibration from 2300 h on 2 November. DP calibration was completed at 0300 h on 3 November, whereupon the Chikyu moved to the low-current area (LCA) 28.5 nmi northwest of Site C0010 (Fig. F5), arriving at 1230 h (Table T1). The casing packer retrieving assembly was run into the hole at that time, stopping at 1445 h to attach Accelerometer 1 ~460 m from the bottom of the bottom-hole assembly (BHA). The Chikyu continued running drill pipe into the hole to 1400 m drilling depth below rig floor (DRF). Meanwhile, the supply boat Kaiyo rendezvoused with the Chikyu at 1400 h to resume loading of cargo and supplies, finishing at 1600 h, after which the supply boat was released. Drifting continued while the BHA was run to 1800 m DRF, pausing to attach Accelerometer 2 to the drill pipe at ~1600 m DRF. No significant vortex-induced vibration (VIV) was observed, even while drifting in 6.0 kt current. The ROV was launched on 0215 h on 5 November when the Chikyu reached a position 1 nmi upstream of Hole C0010A, and the Chikyu reentered the hole on 1215 h. The BHA was run down in the cased hole to latch on to the bridge plug at 1730 h and then was pulled out of the hole, leaving the wellhead at 0220 h on 6 November. The BHA was pulled up to 1777 m DRF, whereupon drifting to the southeast commenced while being monitored by the ROV. Drifting continued until 1030 h, 5 nmi southeast of Hole C0010A, when the ROV was recovered and back on deck by 1200 h. Drifting to the southeast resumed in 3.6 kt current. Pulling out of the hole resumed at 0700 h on 7 November; Accelerometer 2 was removed from the drill pipe at 0821 h and Accelerometer 1 was removed at 1245 h. The SmartPlug was recovered on deck at 1403 h, removed from the bridge plug, and opened at 1500 h. Pressure data were downloaded in the Core Processing Deck laboratory at 1620 h. Once the SmartPlug was on deck, the Chikyu ended drifting and began moving to upstream of Site C0010 to begin the casing scraper run. At 2215 h, the Chikyu resumed drifting back to Site C0010 while running the scraper BHA to 480 m DRF. By 0215 h on 8 November, the scraper BHA reached 1526 m DRF; however, to avoid a slight seafloor rise, the BHA was pulled to 1000 m DRF. Running drill pipe resumed at 0700 h, reaching 2283 m DRF by 1030 h, stopping running 1 nmi upstream of Site C0010 to dive the ROV. Drifting resumed again at 1130 h, but an ROV camera malfunction (data transmission cable came loose and was cut by the ROV thruster) caused another delay while the ROV was recovered on deck, fixed, and relaunched at 2200 h. In the meantime, drill pipe was pulled back to 2000 m DRF until the ROV was back in the water. At that point, running drill pipe continued until the BHA was at 2400 m DRF (at 2330 h). At 2400 h, the scraper BHA reentered Hole C0010A, reaching 2542 m DRF (10 m above the wellhead), stabbing in and performing two scraper runs to 2933 m DRF by 0115 h on 9 November. The scraper BHA was pulled out of the hole to clear the wellhead while the ROV tried but failed to recover the corrosion cap. The decision was made to leave the present cap on the seafloor near the wellhead and install a new corrosion cap when Site C0010 operations were finished. The scraper BHA was recovered on deck at 1020 h on 9 November, whereupon the Chikyu moved to the LCA at 1302 h to begin running the GeniusPlug replacement into the hole. The GeniusPlug was connected to two joints of 3.5 inch tubing, and then the retrievable bridge plug and the entire BHA and running tool were rigged up and set to run into the rotary table at 1905 h. The tubing had bent while lying down, so after straightening the tubing it entered the moonpool at 1930 h on 9 November. At 0800 h on 10 November the ROV dove, and at 0952 h it inspected the BHA and GeniusPlug at 2359 m DRF. The Chikyu continued drifting toward Hole C0010A, and at 0904 h on 11 November was ready to reenter the wellhead. At 0930 h the ROV once again examined the BHA, including the GeniusPlug and the casing packer assembly. At 1035 h the GeniusPlug was run into the wellhead, and by 1100 h the entire BHA had been run into the wellhead. The drill pipe continued to be run into the hole, and at 1710 h the bridge plug was set and latched at 2928 m DRF (packer element center) and the running tool was released. Suspension fluid pumping (20 cm3) began at 1724 h, after which the running tool BHA was pulled out of the hole to 2550 m DRF. The anti-VIV ropes were removed as the BHA was pulled out of the hole to 1900 m DRF while the ROV was recovered on deck with the suspension cap at 0200 h on 12 November. The running tool BHA was recovered on deck at 1100 h on 12 November while the ROV was prepared to dive with the replacement corrosion cap. The ROV dove at 1500 h to set the corrosion cap and recover the transponders, recovering the last one (of four) and returning to the cage at 2135 h, and was on deck at 2330 h. The well was completed and the Chikyu moved off to IODP Site C0002.