BG Group & The Flatfish AUV

The development of AUVs capable of being launched from FPSOs or actually being docked at the seafloor next to the subsea systems has been an industry goal for some years and offers a solution to two major problems: making deepwater subsea inspection become a simple task and decreasing the related costs. MTR’s correspondent in Brazil spoke to Rosane Zagatti, BG Group’s Subsea Technology Manager, about its FlatFish AUV project, which promises to bring solutions to deepwater infrastructure inspection challenges.

Subsea systems are now an integral part of offshore oil production and vital to deepwater production. In deepwater developments, ROVs may be involved in both inspection and intervention services, with some operators using traditional AUVs for pipeline inspection, both requiring support vessels with day rates hovering between $100k and $200 k. Therefore, the cost of continuously inspecting subsea infrastructure can heavily impact an operator’s OPEX. The FlatFish project concept was created by BG Brasil, a subsidiary of Shell, with DFKI, SENAI-Cimatec and EMBRAPII as partners in the project. The prototype, currently in sea trials, is being developed to carry out 3D visual inspections in high resolution of subsea pipelines and infrastructure. “Bremen, Germany based DFKI, our partner in the FlatFish project, had a key role in the development of the AUV. As a global reference for artificial intelligence and robotics, they were responsible for training and developing the techni....

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