Energy and Natural Resources

Autonomous Oil Platform Deployed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf

09 August 2018
The Askepott Cat J rig at Oseberg H | Source: Skandi Vega

Not all oil producers have embraced developing technologies, but one supplier is going all in and looks to prove what is possible. A fully autonomous oil platform deployed in the Norwegian Continental Shelf is made possible by integrating a fleet of robotic technologies backed by a cloud computing service provider.

Equinor deployed the world’s first fully autonomous platform, Oseberg H, which is controlled remotely from a hub five miles away. The unmanned platform is designed for smaller fields and controls fewer wells. It is seen as an attractive alternative to subsea developments when drilling a half dozen to a dozen wells in ocean depths of up to 150 meters, which is a limitation of jack-up rigs.

Part of what makes Equinor’s automated solutions feasible is a fleet of robotic technologies backed by a strategic partnership with a cloud computing service provider, Microsoft.

Equinor and Microsoft entered a strategic partnership where Equinor provides knowledge, data and a working platform while Microsoft becomes engaged in developing new solutions for the industry. The development of robust IT services will allow Equinor to further streamline business activities and develop artificial intelligence that will help drive operational efficiency.

Equinor deploys a host of robotic technologies including iron roughnecks and catwalks. They are also developing next-generation robotic solutions to support subsea operations. With an autonomous floating platform, advanced robotic technologies and a secure cloud computing service provider, Equinor is set to showcase the capabilities of a digital oilfield.

To contact the author of this article, email shawn.martin@ieeeglobalspec.com


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