Jennifer Pallanich, senior technology editor, Hart Energy: I’m Jennifer Pallanich, senior technology editor, and this is Tech Trends with Hart Energy LIVE. 

Autonomous technologies are picking up steam all across the industry, and subsea is no exception.

The potential is huge. Autonomous subsea inspections could be more cost effective and provide more precise data than data gained through traditional subsea inspection methods. To find out if that was the case, Aker BP provided funding for an autonomous inspection drone project. That project is a partnership of DeepOcean, Argus Remote Systems and Vaarst, and they’re aiming to disrupt the way subsea inspections are carried out.

They put the autonomous inspection drone to the test in a 10-day subsea trial at Aker BP’s operated Alvheim Field in the Central North Sea. The drone is based on a Rover M-K-2 ROV from Argus Remote Systems, with upgraded hardware and software packages. Argus is providing the drone platform and the navigation algorithm.

DeepOcean is handling the digital twin platform, mission planner software and live view of the drone in operation, while Vaarst is handling the machine-vision camera for autonomous navigation and data collection.

DeepOcean’s technology manager, Kristoffer Johansen, called the first trial highly encouraging and said the subsea infrastructure at the field could be inspected noticeably faster next year.

And that’s Hart Energy LIVE’s Tech Trends with me, Jennifer Pallanich. Check back Tuesdays for new episodes drilling into the tech that fuels the oil patch at