Offshore/subsea systems

Seismic Company Advances Robotics Technology

A successful round of sea trials moved the seismic technology company Blue Ocean Seismic Services closer to operational scaleup and commercial operations of its data-collection network.

Blue Ocean Seismic Services used a multirole vessel to conduct series of passive and active sea trials in the North Sea.
Source: Blue Ocean Seismic Services

Marine seismic survey company Blue Ocean Seismic Services has completed a series of passive and active seismic trials that it says proves the quality of its seismic data collection and puts it on track to begin precommercial trials during the second half of 2023.

Backed by BP Ventures, Woodside Energy, and Blue Ocean Monitoring, the UK/Australian tech company is developing a fleet of autonomous low-impact subsea nodes for capturing high-quality seismic data from the ocean floor for multiple applications such as offshore wind, oil and gas, and carbon storage.

Since a successful testing round in 2021, Blue Ocean has conducted further testing in Plymouth, the North Sea, and Australia to confirm the effectiveness of command and control systems, underwater flight performance, seismic coupling, and active seismic data acquisition.

“The successful results of the various precommercialization 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 commercialization,” said Simon Illingworth, Blue Ocean’s managing director and CEO. “We are now in an excellent position to continue with the operational scaleup of the business, engaging with government regulators in our key initial markets, and begin commercial operations in 2024.”

The company said the recent tests achieved its objective of acquiring additional cycles of active seismic data with its AP-OBSrV alpha vehicles alongside conventional ocean-bottom nodes. It also confirmed the ability of the AP-OBSrV to maintain a close seismic coupling with the seabed, especially where cross currents exist.

The objectives were achieved in the active seismic survey, confirming that the geophysical performance is on track. With this confirmation, Blue Ocean said it will continue its progression toward commercial operations in 2024, starting with the assembly of up to 250 OBSrV Version 1 nodes, based on the AP-OBSrV design, in batches. Precommercial trials are expected in the second half of 2023.