Autonomous seismic survey subsea nodes set for commercial ops in 2024

Blue Ocean Seismic Services (BOSS) has completed a series of passive and active seismic trials for its Marine Swarm Robotics technology, putting it on track to commence pre-commercial trials in the second half of 2023.

Backed by bp Ventures, Woodside Energy and Blue Ocean Monitoring, BOSS is developing what is said to be the first-ever fleet of autonomous low-impact subsea nodes for capturing seismic data for multiple applications such as offshore wind, oil and gas, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Commencement of commercial operations is expected in 2024, starting with the assembly of up to 250 OBSrV version 1 nodes, based on the AP-OBSrV design, in batches, with pre-commercial trials in H2 2023.

The company has undertaken testing in Plymouth, the North Sea and Australia towards confirming the effectiveness of command and control systems, underwater flight performance, seismic coupling and active seismic data acquisition.

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In the recent North Sea active seismic trial, BOSS said it had achieved its technology and data collection objectives, including acquiring additional cycles of active seismic data with its alpha vehicles (AP-OBSrV) alongside conventional OBNs, testing engineering solutions for optimisations identified in the previous trials, as well as confirming the ability of the AP-OBSrV to maintain a close seismic coupling with the seabed, especially where cross currents exist.

“The successful results of the various pre-commercialisation trials over recent months are the culmination of a huge amount of work by the Blue Ocean Seismic Services team and represent a massive leap forward on our path to full commercialisation,” said Simon Illingworth, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Ocean Seismic Services.

“We are now in an excellent position to continue with the operational scale up of the business, engaging with government regulators in our key initial markets and begin commercial operations in 2024. Substantial investment is also being made in securing components for our initial inventory of pre-commercial vehicles.”

BOSS said it is progressing discussions with industry partners regarding their interest in the company’s services and pre-qualifying for future tender opportunities.

In addition, the company also plans to open a new office in Houston, Texas, in Q1 2023, in line with its strategy to establish a presence in key markets.