Modus Subsea Services awarded the world’s first resident subsea drone contract by Equinor Energy

September 22, 2022 | Oil & Gas | Energy Facts Staff Writer | 2min

Modus, a world leader in the application of Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs / subsea drones), has achieved a world-first contract with Equinor for the provision of underwater intervention drone missions at their Johan Sverdrup field.
Modus has been awarded the ground-breaking contract after a comprehensive and competitive tendering process wherein the business highlighted its technological and operational capability.

The contract, which will run from 2023 to mid-2024, is for underwater intervention drone operations for the Johan Sverdrup field, a pioneer in the use of new technologies, and will see one of Modus’ Saab Sabertooth HAUVs resident in field for a significant period. The offshore operations will involve in-field autonomous surveys and light interventions with over the horizon control from Modus’ Command and Control Centre at its head office in Darlington, UK.

Modus has been working on subsea residency with its fleet of HAUVs for some time and has accelerated its development in this area following a successful trial scope with Equinor in November 2021.

Residency, where the vehicle remains docked with a subsea docking station for charging and data transfer, will provide carbon-zero survey and IMR solutions that will improve sustainability, efficiency, safety and decision-making in the sector.

Ash Sheppard, Modus’ Chief Strategy Officer said: “This is a significant and exciting contract award for Modus and I am proud of what was a real team-effort throughout this process. In recent months we have been transforming our business to focus exclusively on the next generation of subsea survey and IMR solutions and this project has been a key strategic target for us. Equinor is leading the way on tech solutions as part of its commitment to a low-carbon future and this contract has the potential to drive a paradigm shift in the industry.”

Nick Tompkins, Modus CEO said: “This project will further demonstrate the major benefits of resident UIDs and we are excited to work with Equinor to provide a sustainable route to vastly improved operational regularity, consistent ultra-high quality data, significantly reduced OPEX spend and increased safety.”