The world’s first logistics operation with a drone to an offshore installation was completed by Equinor on Thursday, 27th August 2020. The drone is a Camcopter s-100 model. The drone is more than four meters long, with a speed of more than 150 km/h and it can carry cargo weighing up to 50 kg.
The flight covered around 80 kilometres for about one hour at an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet, to the Troll field. It was the world’s first test where an actual freight operation was conducted over a long distance to an operation offshore installation.
In addition to carrying out logistics operation, airborne drones can also be used for inspections and observations of the technical condition of offshore and onshore facilities. They have advanced camera equipment and can be used to locate people who have fallen into the sea, used for early detection of water pollution and a lot more. All of these were tested during the test by Equinor.
The operator of the drone is Sandnes-based company, Nordic Unmanned. Drones are expected to play a major role in new energy solutions. They can inspect wind turbines, deploy maintenance and repairs equipment to authorised personnel, swiftly deliver critical parts, help to avoid costly vessel lifts and leave a greater environmental footprint, and a lot more.
The Executive Vice President for Development and Production for Equinor Norway, Arne Sigve Nylund said, “Development is rapid, and we see a huge potential within drone technology that could transform the way we operate, both under and above the sea surface. Equinor aims to lead the way in utilising new technology on the Norwegian continental shelf.”
“Drones could reinforce safety, boost production efficiency and contribute to lower CO2 emissions from Norwegian oil and gas. Drones will also play a role as we shape new energy solutions on the Norwegian shelf.”
Also commenting on the feat, the Head of developing logistics solutions in Equinor, Alena Korbovà Pedersen said, “Over the longer term, we expect to see new infrastructure for logistics and support operations, which can reinforce what we already have within vessels and helicopters.”
“If we are to develop the logistics solutions of the future on the Norwegian shelf, where drones could play an important role, we must cooperate across all of the industry’s players; operating companies, suppliers, the authorities and the trade union and safety interests,” Pedersen added.
To read more on the logistics operation and watch a video of the testing, click here