Equinor Launches New Ocean Space Surveillance System
The Norwegian oil and gas major and Vissim, a Norwegian tech firm, have completed a new space-based system for sea surveillance, marine and air logistics, and coordination of offshore activity and emergency response.
Equinor and Norwegian technology company Vissim have completed the development of a new ocean space surveillance system for energy operators on the Norwegian and UK continental shelves.
“The new system is one of the world’s most advanced ocean space surveillance and vessel traffic management systems. It has been designed to improve safety and cost efficiency of all marine operations,” said Håvard Odden, Vissim’s senior vice president for maritime awareness.
Historically, Equinor has used the Vissim system for sea surveillance, marine and air logistics, and coordination of offshore activity and emergency response. In 2018, Equinor awarded Vissim a NOK 100 million contract to deliver a surveillance and marine coordination system enabled for solving the operational needs and efficiency objectives within the broader domain of offshore energy.
The new ocean space surveillance system incorporates subsea infrastructure monitoring, marine planning through weather forecasts, and real-time monitoring and 3D situational awareness. Additionally, the optimization of sailing plans and prediction of vessel routes; efficient communication between offshore workers, vessels, and control rooms; a companywide asset and vessel database; and environmental surveillance also are key features of the new, advanced system. On the Norwegian continental shelf, the system continuously monitors more than 60 offshore installations and between 5,000 and 6,000 vessels on behalf of Equinor and other operators.
In addition to enhanced IT security and asset surveillance functions, the new system incorporates machine learning. As part of its software development, Vissim has also developed a new IT architecture that facilitates storage, management, and use of data for new purposes.
Vissim also has replaced the software on all offshore assets and control rooms on the Norwegian continental shelf.
“The new ocean space surveillance system will significantly enhance operational safety and efficiency for marine operations in the North Sea, both in the UK and Norway. We have also heightened the system’s IT security, which is vital in the digital age,” Odden said. “The software platform can be applied to any type of offshore basin or coastline where there is a desire to improve efficiency and safety of marine operations, with the associated cost and environmental benefits this brings.”