Brazil’s first-ever remote subsea inspection survey completed

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Dutch geo-data specialist Fugro and Brazil state-owned Petrobras have completed what they said is the first-ever remote subsea inspection survey off the coast of the South American country.

Fugro said the technology trial was carried out in collaboration with Petrobras under an existing multiyear contract. It was aimed at minimising risk and improving sustainability during inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) projects. 

Fugro utilised a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) deployed from the Fugro Aquarius to conduct the survey.  Office-based personnel piloted the ROV from an operations centre in Aberdeen, Scotland, instead of from the vessel itself. 

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The approach was informed by Fugro’s remote ROV piloting experience in other parts of the world and was accomplished using a high-speed datalink provided by Petrobras. For future projects, remote ROV piloting may help Petrobras limit the number of crew deployed to the field, resulting in safer operations with a reduced carbon footprint.

“This landmark project represents a significant achievement in our ongoing work with Petrobras to support safer and more sustainable offshore energy production in Brazil,” said John Chatten, Business Development Manager for Fugro’s marine operations in Brazil. “As the country’s foremost provider of ROV services, we look forward to implementing this approach on future surveys

 and to bringing additional remote and autonomous innovations to the region.”

Petrobras has been bumping up the use of new technologies in its offshore operations. The company recently entered a deal with Alcatel Submarine Networks and Maersk consortium to build and install a permanent seismic monitoring system (PSMS) in the offshore Mero Field, Santos Basin.

The company also has its eyes set on replicating the success of Guyana’s Stabroek Block. It is looking to focus its exploration efforts on the potential of the equatorial margin later this decade, according to Rystad Energy. 

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