ARV together with Kongsberg Ferrotech, a subsea robotics company based in Norway, has officially released ‘Nautilus’, the world’s first subsea pipeline inspection and repair robotic technology, after its successful pilot trial in subsea IRM services for offshore operations under PTTEP group.
Nautilus is now ready to serve customers and partners in both the public and private sectors of the oil and gas exploration and production industry. “Recognized by two world-renowned innovation awards, Nautilus is slated to take the oil and gas exploration and production industry to the next level by increasing IRM operational efficiency while significantly reducing the time and cost of subsea pipeline maintenance,” the company said in a statement.
Dr Thana Slanvetpan, general manager of AI & Robotics Ventures Co., Ltd. said, “Nautilus is our pride. For over 4 years, ROVULA, ARV, and our partner Kongsberg Ferrotech, a leading IRM subsea robotic innovation from Norway, have developed this technology together, intending to increase operational efficiency, reducing time and costs of subsea IRM operation in the oil and gas industry, which traditionally requires specialized skilled divers to board a pressurized submarine diving deep under the sea to perform the tasks which have limited expertise in this field.
“With the current subsea IRM operation, there are possibilities for mistakes that can cause accidents or cracks and damages to the pipeline leading to chemical leaks that pollute marine ecosystems and nearby communities, which could become an environmental issue of national level.”
Christopher Carlsen, general manager of Kongsberg Ferrotech, said that “The Nautilus is designed and developed with performance and portability in mind; Nautilus can confirm the spot of abnormalities by performing Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) scan and can also repair the damaged spot immediately.
“A major achievement of the development is that we have achieved DNV qualification for a non-metallic repair subsea – even for leaking pipelines. In essence, we are offering state-of-the-art, topside repair technologies – delivered directly on the defect, on the seabed – with minimum lead-time”.
The Nautilus IMR robot performs the complete process in a single dive – from removing the existing corrosion coating (e.g., 3LPP), defect sizing, surface preparation, coating, leak sealing, and finally – structural strengthening using carbon fibre – all by robotic means, digitally controlled and fully documented.
The environment in the repair habitat is fully controlled throughout the repair process, and all contaminants are collected and brought back to the surface for safe disposal. Nautilus can optimize accuracy, and safety, and remove the need for humans to perform underwater where there are risks of both weather conditions and dangers under the sea.
The operation time will reduce from 7-14 days to less than 48 hours and save more than 50% on the preparation cost for subsea pipeline maintenance. Throughout four years of development, Nautilus has undergone software and hardware component testing for more than 1,000 hours to ensure the system integrity and quality of the product.
Nautilus also gained international recognition by winning the Awards for Breakthrough Technological Project of the Year at the ADIPEC Awards in 2020 and the Spotlight on New Technology Awards at the Offshore Technology Conference Asia (OTC Asia) in April 2022.