Australian oil and gas producer Woodside said it has signed a Shareholders Agreement with Perth-based Blue Ocean Monitoring (BOM) to invest in seismic data acquisition company Blue Ocean Seismic Services (BOSS).
BOSS is developing a solution that that aims to make ocean bottom seismic data acquisition cheaper and more accessible. The concept, jointly developed by Woodside and BOM, focuses on using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) in place of remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) to place nodes on the ocean floor that capture and record soundwaves. The BOSS-designed AUVs are small submarines that are pre-programmed to self-deploy to the ocean floor and reposition multiple times. This method will improve efficiencies, lower costs and reduce people’s exposure to health and safety risks, Woodside said.
The project participants are focusing on sea trials in 2019, ahead of the first seismic test in early 2020.
Subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent, Woodside will take a 35% shareholding in BOSS.
Woodside Executive Vice President Sustainability Shaun Gregory said, “The use of AUVs is a priority in our technology strategy, and has global applications. We see ocean bottom monitoring playing an important role in helping us to understand more complex geological settings.”
Simon Illingworth, BOM’s Group Managing Director, commented, “It has been a pleasure collaborating with Woodside over the last two years on this project. Woodside is committed to investing in innovative and disruptive technologies in the oil and gas industry, whilst striving to continuously improve safety. We look forward to continuing to develop this promising technology with Woodside’s support.”