Woodside, Blue Ocean Monitoring form autonomous OBS venture

Sept. 13, 2019

Offshore staff

PERTH, Australia – Woodside Energy has entered an agreement with Perth-based Blue Ocean Monitoring (BOM) to invest in Blue Ocean Seismic Services (BOSS).

The latter is developing a solution that could lower the cost of ocean bottom seismic data acquisition.

Typically, ROVs are used to place the nodes on the ocean floor that capture and record sound waves. 

However, the concept developed jointly by Woodside and BOM employs autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) which are pre-programmed to self-deploy to the ocean floor and reposition multiple times.

This approach, Woodside claims, should lead to improved efficiency, lower costs, and reduced exposure for offshore personnel to health and safety risks.

The company will look to take a 35% shareholding in BOSS.

Shaun Gregory, executive vice president Sustainability at Woodside, said: “The use of AUVs is a priority in our technology strategy, and has global applications. We see ocean bottom monitoring playing an important role in helping us to understand more complex geological settings.”

Small scale sea trials are planned later this year, ahead of the first seismic test in early 2020.