Wave energy device to power Eni’s oil & gas ops

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has signed an agreement with one of the world’s largest multinational oil and gas companies Eni to supply the PB3 PowerBuoy for a demonstration project in the Adriatic Sea.

The agreement provides for a minimum 24-month contract that includes an 18-month PB3 PowerBuoy lease and associated project management, the US-based wave energy developer OPT informed.

OPT will also provide deployment support, remote data collection and monitoring for the project that is expected to begin in March 2018.

The OPT PowerBuoy will be deployed in the Adriatic Sea to advance Eni’s Clean Sea technology for marine environmental monitoring and offshore asset inspection using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), according to OPT.

The PowerBuoy will be used to demonstrate subsea battery charging, and eventually may be used to provide a stand-alone charging station and communications platform that would enable the long-term remote operation of AUVs, OPT said.

Illustration/Concept of operation: PowerBuoy as a sustainable power source and communication platform for prepositioned Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) (Image: OPT)

George H. Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said: “We believe the Eni deployment could lead to other applications including the charging of underwater unmanned vehicles, well monitoring and decommissioning applications in the oil and gas industry, as well as metocean data collection.

“We hope to leverage this work to further expand the use of our PB3 PowerBuoy throughout our target markets including oil and gas, security, defense and telecommunications.”

Kirby added that upon the end of the initial 18-month lease and achieving pre-defined technical metrics, Eni will have the option to either extend the lease for an additional 18 months or purchase the PB3 PowerBuoy.