Norwegian drone company Nordic Unmanned has received a call-off for the next phase of the drone offshore logistics contract with the Norwegian oil firm Equinor.
The offshore operations will take place from the Gullfaks C offshore platform in the North Sea and will start on August 15.
"The operation marks a new milestone for the drone industry and for Equinor, as the first operator to utilise drones for its offshore logistics services," Nordic Unmanned said.
The two companies last year signed a contract to conduct a study on how Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) could be used in offshore airspace between installations and vessels, in search and rescue (SAR) operations, to and from shore travel, and more.
Nordic Unmanned said Wednesday that the start of the offshore operations was a result of an intense three-week onshore test phase, where the Nordic Unmanned team successfully verified the readiness for offshore logistics services.
According to the company, the onshore and offshore test phase is part of the offshore drone service contract between Equinor and Nordic Unmanned. The contract awarded in December 2021 is the largest and most ambitious drone logistics contract in Europe and the offshore energy industry, Nordic Unmanned said.
Multiple daily offshore flights
The scope involves multiple daily cargo flights between the installations at the Gullfaks field and multiple daily flights between offshore installations and vessels in the Tampen area.
During the first stage of the offshore test at the Gullfaks field, Nordic Unmanned will conduct multiple daily flights between installations and from installation to vessels. The drones will fly goods between Gullfaks A, B, and C, as well as to vessels within the area. This will significantly improve the efficiency of offshore logistics and will reduce emissions, leading the industry towards a more sustainable future.