Saipem continues with Shell license for subsea robotics development

Source: press release, 9 January 2019

FlatFish is a resident subsea autonomous vehicle able to perform complex inspection tasks of subsea assets
FlatFish is a resident subsea autonomous vehicle able to perform complex inspection tasks of subsea assets (photo: Saipem)

Saipem’s commitment to sustainable technological development continues with its progress made in subsea robotics, which fosters Saipem’s constant search for competitive and cost-effective solutions, able to monitor and maintain subsea fields in an innovative manner.

Since March 2018, Shell has entrusted Saipem with the license to develop the FlatFish Technology, which will be qualified for commercial application by 2020. The FlatFish is a resident subsea autonomous vehicle able to perform complex inspection tasks of subsea assets. It was previously developed by SENAI CIMATEC in partnership with DFKI over 4 years, funded by the ANP R&D program and EMBRAPII.

In the process of such a license and in line with its continuous improvement of its technological plans, Saipem will further enhance its FlatFish features with capabilities for risers inspection, data harvesting from subsea sensors, contactless monitoring of the cathodic protection systems and a flying-hanging garage for the launching/recovering and subsea recharging/reprogramming of the FlatFish from offshore platforms.

These further enhancements are obtained thanks to the support of SENAI CIMATEC which, together with Saipem do Brasil, entered into a contract with Shell Brasil on 3 December for the development of the advanced functionalities for the FlatFish.

FlatFish is a project entirely developed in Brazil within the framework of the ANP R&D program, which thus casts the basis for the promotion of Saipem’s technological footprint in the country through the creation of a skilled team of engineers who are highly specialised in subsea robotics.