Case study

Fugro completes first remote USV inspection for Woodside

Offshore North West Shelf, Western Australia

Blue Essence 12m USV (Fugro Maali) , in port after performing a nearshore Inspection of Woodside�s three gas trunklines on the North West Shelf of Australia


Woodside Energy Limited

Project duration

April 2021 - May 2021

Fugro has used their first operational Blue Essence® uncrewed surface vehicle (USV), the 12 m Fugro Maali, to complete an entirely remote nearshore inspection of three gas trunklines in the North West of Australia for Woodside’s North West Shelf Project.

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Fugro Orca / Blue Essence / Taqa project / North Sea / 3 March 2022
Fugro Blue Essence USV and Blue Volta eROV in the North Sea

Blue Essence®

Blue Essence®

The Blue Essence® 12 metre uncrewed surface vessel supports inspections of your assets in a safe, sustainable and efficient manner. 

Covered by USV

nautical miles


To complete an inspection project entirely remotely, without the use of traditional large inspection vessel. To reduce personnel HSE risk and reduce carbon emissions.


The USV remote inspection, the first to be completed by the new USV, comprised a multibeam survey, visual inspection and cathodic protection assessment of the gas trucklines to comply with Woodside and regulatory requirements. Fitted with an electric remotely operated vehicle (eROV), the USV mobilised at the end of April and was controlled from the Woodside-operated King Bay Supply Facility and Fugro's Remote Operations Centre in Perth, approximately 1500 km south of the Woodside trunklines. During the one-month project, Fugro’s remote operations team navigated approximately 1300 nautical miles in the surrounds of Dampier Port, one of the busiest resource ports in Australia, without incident and consuming a total of only 3300 litres of diesel, reducing CO2 emissions by 97% compared to a traditional vessel. Fugro's bespoke remote operations and robotic control architecture allowed the USV and eROV to be operated over large distances with minimal latency and high reliability, ensuring the USV operators maintained control of the vehicles in real time, just as if they were controlling them from a conventional vessel bridge

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Top view of USV

Innovative highlight

Blue Essence® USV and eROV was used to carry out the inspection work in place of a traditional larger inspection vessel. Reduction of 97% in CO2 emissions due to reduced fuel usage and removal of up to 30 personnel from offshore roles – reduced HSE risk.


  • Improved safety (reduced offshore staff hours)

  • Reduced CO2 emissions

  • Long term cost reductions

  • Improved opportunities for more diverse workforce

Case study images for

Fugro and Woodside USV Inspection Project Team.

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