Aker BP and DeepOcean collaborate on unmanned vessel operations

  • October 23, 2023
  • News

DeepOcean, a Norwegian ocean services provider has closed a deal with oil and gas company Aker BP to make use of an unmanned surface vessel (USV) for subsea inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) and survey work. Both companies have a long-term working relationship under the framework of Subsea IMR and survey work, but now want to move 30% of IMR work from traditional vessels to USVs.

Torbjorg Opedal, vice president of subsea at Aker BP stated that they have been working with DeepOcean for many years for the development of remotely controlled subsea operations. The next step is unmanned operations which are under development and come as a natural step. The technology strategy is to look at reducing both emissions and costs. He added that the USV solution can reduce carbon emissions by over 90% when compared to a conventional offshore vessel. This was known when conducting subsea IMR operations.

The first USV is scheduled to be ready for offshore operations in 2025 when it will be on an eight-year charter agreement with DeepOcean. It will be remotely controlled from shore and will have multiple autonomous features to ensure the integrity of the spread. The unit will be armed with a newly developed launch and recovery system allowing work-class ROVs to function from relatively small vessels. It will be power-driven by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system and sport a battery package that enables the unmanned vessel to function offshore for up to 30 days even without charging or refuelling.