Equinor launches ‘world’s first resident subsea drone program’

Nov. 4, 2022
The underwater robot is to remain at a subsea docking station at the Johan Sverdrup Field.

Offshore staff

FAREHAM, UK – Saab Seaeye reports that Modus has received “the world’s first resident subsea contract” from Equinor for the autonomous deployment of a Saab Sabertooth underwater robot, which will remain docked on the seabed between tasks. 

The Saab Sabertooth will remain at a subsea docking station for charging and data transfer between missions at the Johan Sverdrup oil field, Norway. Over-the-horizon mission management will come from Modus’ Command and Control Centre at their UK head office.

Saab Seaeye says that Modus chose Sabertooth for its roaming and hovering capabilities, which include a multi-role, 360° maneuverable system that enables flexible dual autonomous and intervention operations from a single platform, fitted with cameras, sonars and tooling.

The company says that going forward, residency of robotic systems will reduce operational expenditure, remove humans from offshore work, and reduce environmental impact.