ROVs enter the seismic market

Paul Boughton

ROVs come in many shapes and sizes. For the past two decades electric and hydraulic ROVs have complemented each other, with the bigger hydraulic systems finding its main use as work horses within the offshore oil and gas industry, and the electric ROVs as observation  platforms for the oil and gas industry, as well as many other commercial, scientific and military applications.

In recent years, electric ROVs have seen a major shift in both size and  work capability, and several companies now offer electric work class ROVs as well as deep diving electric ROV systems. Electric ROV systems are now being offered with up to 6000 metres as standard.

The seismic industry has not used ROVs for conventional seismic and it  therefore comes as no surprise that the seismic industry primarily have copied the oil and gas  industry by choosing hydraulic ROVs for its new seabed and EM seismic applications. 

However, it seems clear that these seismic applications do not involve heavy or complicated  work tasks, and with proper developed electric ROVs and tooling the seismic industry would  be able to achieve many benefits by choosing smaller, more reliable and more cost effective  electric ROV systems.

Cost benefits would be achieved both as a result of lower investment  cost, and from an operational perspective.

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Sperre AS is based Notodden, Norway.

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