“Development is rapid, and we see a huge potential within drone technology that could transform the way we operate, both under and above the sea surface. Equinor aims to lead the way in utilising new technology on the Norwegian continental shelf,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.
“Drones could reinforce safety, boost production efficiency and contribute to lower CO2 emissions from Norwegian oil and gas. Drones will also play a role as we shape new energy solutions on the Norwegian shelf,” Nylund continues.
The flight spanning around 80 kilometres to the Troll field took about one hour, at an altitude of approximately 5000 feet. The flight was a test, the world’s first of its kind, where an actual freight operation was conducted over a lengthy distance to an operating offshore installation. The drone was a Camcopter s-100 model, manufactured by Schiebel.
The operator of the drone is the Sandnes-based company Nordic Unmanned, a leader in drone services in Europe.
“Over the longer term, we expect to see new infrastructure for logistics and support operations, which can reinforce what we already have within vessels and helicopters,” says Alena Korbovà Pedersen, who heads the work on developing logistics solutions in Equinor.
Drones will also play a role in new energy solutions on the NCS. Drones can inspect wind turbines, deploy equipment to be used by personnel performing maintenance and repairs, and they can deliver critical parts, fast. Using drones will also enable us to avoid some vessel lifts that can be both more costly and leave a greater environmental footprint.
Read the full press release here.