Saipem S.p.A. 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). The OIE is a unique system designed to intervene in case of subsea well spills in shallow water (up to approximately 600-metre 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 centre 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 expanded Services Agreement is part of OSRL’s focus on continuous improvement. This strategy includes innovative third-party solutions that widen OSRL’s existing response toolbox and add value for their members. OSRL Subsea Subscribers can now access advanced, drone-related capabilities for environmental monitoring.
Furthermore, the Agreement allows Saipem to enlarge the fields of application of FlatFish, making a fundamental step towards its commercialisation on a global scale. Saipem is engaged at the forefront of developing such drones and stands out the Italian scene for its high technological maturity.
FlatFish is part of Saipem’s Hydrone robotic development program, consisting of a series of subsea drones which are able to perform fully automatic inspection, surveillance, maintenance and rescue operations efficiently, safely and in an environmentally friendly manner. In particular, 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, 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. The activities related to submarine drones are headed by the Robotics and Industrialised Solutions business line and represent one of the development axes confirmed in the Strategic Plan 2022-2025 by Saipem.