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Brazil – Saipem-Petrobas Contract to inspect ultra-deepwater oilfields with subsea drone

Saipem won a Petrobas and Shell contract to use its “FlatFish” underwater drone to carry out inspections of two ultra-deepwater oilfields off the coast of Brazil. Developed by Saipem under a Shell licence, “FlatFish” is an autonomous remotely controlled subsea vehicle that can carry out complex inspections of a vast array of underwater energy infrastructures. According to reports by the company, the projects with Petrobras and Shell fall under the research and development programme of the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), and was designed to support the ordinary monitoring and maintenance activities of the subsea infrastructures of the two oil companies. After an initial testing phase which will take place in shallow waters near Saipem’s base in Trieste, starting from the third quarter of 2022 the drone will operate off the coast of Brazil in more than 2000 metres of water depth, will be unmanned and use artificial intelligence programmes.