New Wave Media

August 22, 2022

Oil Spill Response Limited to Use Saipem's FlatFish Drone

FlatFish  - Credit: Saipem (supplied)

FlatFish - Credit: Saipem (supplied)

Italian oilfield services giant Saipem and Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) have signed an extension of their existing Services Agreement to include the provision of FlatFish, Saipem’s underwater drone for environmental monitoring and inspection of asset integrity.

The existing contract between Saipem and OSRL provides for the storage, maintenance, training of personnel, and readiness including the remote emergency response of the Offset Installation Equipment (OIE).

According to Saipem, the OIE is a unique system designed to intervene in case of subsea well spills in shallow water (up to approximately 600 meters water depth), when direct vertical access is not possible.

The expanded Services Agreement encompasses the deployment of FlatFish, the subsea drone developed by Sonsub, Saipem center of excellence for underwater technologies and robotics, for a wide range of offshore tasks, including, among others, survey, leakage detection, through water column plume and dispersant concentration monitoring, environmental assessment, and patrolling.

The agreement allows Saipem to enlarge the fields of application of FlatFish, making a step towards its commercialization on a global scale. 

FlatFish (see the photo here) is part of Saipem’s Hydrone robotic development program, consisting of a series of subsea drones for automatic inspection, surveillance, maintenance and rescue operations.

Per Saipem, FlatFish is able to autonomously perform complex inspections of subsea assets, thanks to the robotic technologies it incorporates: from integrated artificial intelligence to advanced navigation functions. 

In addition, Saipem says, its hydrodynamic shape and electric propulsion allow the FlatFish to travel long distances in deep water with minimum energy expenditure and maximum respect for the environment.  


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