September 15, 2022

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Rodolfo Sancio to Present on Geotechnical Characterization Offshore of East Africa at SUT-US

Rodolfo Sancio, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE. (Texas) will present "Geotechnical Characterization of an Offshore Frontier in East Africa" during a webinar hosted by the Society for Underwater Technology—U.S. Branch (SUT-US).

This hour-long event will be held at 9 a.m. CST on Thursday, September 22, 2022, and can be accessed at Geotechnical Characterization of an Offshore Frontier in East Africa - Society for Underwater Technology in the U.S. (

Rodolfo Sancio is a Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer based in Texas with more than 20 years of experience identifying, characterizing, and mitigating geohazards. He brings his deep knowledge of soil and rock mechanics, geomorphology, and earthquake engineering to his work conducting geotechnical site investigations, finding site development and ground improvement solutions, and analyzing foundations for large industrial facilities and civil construction. Rodolfo's practice focuses on onshore and offshore projects for the upstream and midstream oil and gas and petrochemical industry. He is the lead author of the 2018 Pipeline Research Council International's "Guidelines for Management of Geohazards Affecting the Engineering and Construction of New Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines."

A multidisciplinary learned society, SUT brings together organizations, engineers, scientists, students, and others with an interest in underwater technology, ocean science, and offshore engineering. The SUT was founded in 1966 in London and has members from more than 40 countries. The SUT promotes the further understanding of the underwater environment and encourages the exchange of ideas, experience, and information between academic and applied researchers, industry practitioners, and government workers as they explore and study oceans. The society emphasizes proper economic and sociological use of resources in and beneath the oceans and further education of scientists and technologists to maintain high standards in marine science and technology.

Rodolfo's presentation is sponsored by Innovative Geotechnology, a firm that provides a range of geotechnical engineering services, including laboratory testing, engineering design, and consulting.


In this day and age, most offshore areas of the world where oil and gas resources are available have been investigated. The depositional environment, characteristics of the seafloor, natural hazards, and the behavior of the soils native to the area are typically understood following many years of extensive studies and research. Examples include the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, West Africa, and the Western Australia Shelf. Thus, there are few remaining offshore oil and gas frontier areas.

About 12 years ago, significantly large natural gas reservoirs were discovered offshore East Africa in water depths exceeding 1,000 meters. Studies led to the determination that it was commercially viable to develop the gas field by transporting the product via pipeline to an onshore facility for liquefaction and export. Field development would require the installation of wells, on-bottom structures, pipelines, and other facilities. This led to the first geotechnical investigations of the area, which showed that the marine clays exhibited surprisingly high undrained shear strength at shallow depths.

Many geotechnical investigations followed, allowing the characterization of the seafloor morphology, identification and characterization of geohazards, and characterization of the unique marine clays in the area. Some findings have been summarized in four papers published in ISFOG 2015 and ISFOG 2020 and OTC papers. This presentation will summarize some of the most relevant characteristics of the marine clay identified offshore East Africa and will compare its characteristics and engineering implications to the clays found in some other offshore areas. Geohazards affecting the development will also be presented and discussed.

More Information

About the event: Geotechnical Characterization of an Offshore Frontier in East Africa - Society for Underwater Technology in the U.S. (
About SUT-US:
For consultation regarding geotechnical characterization, contact Rodolfo at
Learn more about Rodolfo: Rodolfo Sancio (