The concept of operating offshore navigation systems remotely, controlled by people on land, is not new. But it has taken around 15 years of technological development - and changing mindsets - to turn it into reality. Today remote solutions are delivering safe, continuous operations, increasing efficiency and enabling faster and better-informed decision making in offshore projects. At the same time CO2 emissions are drastically reduced and HSSE risk exposure minimised.
The offshore industry is undergoing a remote and autonomous revolution. Building on its past successes in the development of remote technology such as aerial drones and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), Fugro has built a global network of remote operations centres (ROCs) to deliver a range of remote solutions.
A global network of ROCs provides a centralised hub for onshore experts to manage offshore operations, equipment and vessels
As vital as a focus on continuous development, having the right personnel determines the ability to deliver remote solutions. Having a diverse talent pool where cognitive skills, mental resilience and an openness to new ways of working are blended with traditional competences such as electronics, mechanics and hydraulics are fundamental. For example, Fugro has invested in a dynamic people plan to match the speed of technological evolution to ensure that our ROCs always function as ‘mission critical’ facilities.
The significant role of ROCs, and the breadth of remote solutions they offer, is validated by successfully completed projects, some recent examples:
Fugro experts managing offshore operations from our Aberdeen ROC
In an industry where the daily cost of a drillship can exceed $200,000 per day, operational downtime must clearly be avoided. Equipment failure, logistical problems, safety incidents and hazardous weather conditions have the potential to interrupt offshore projects; but in 2020 the industry had to manage new and unexpected challenges.
As the coronavirus pandemic brought about measures that included travel restrictions and heightened risk mitigation processes, one result was a drastic increase in remote working. Not only did office staff adapt to working from their homes but for offshore projects the adaptation was to remote operations. The pandemic served as a catalyst for advancing remote operations and in its wake technologies and behaviours continue to evolve.
Business continuity has never been so crucial and remote services that are both flexible and scalable are an attractive proposition. When it’s possible to deliver enhanced Geo-data insights via ROCs that provide fast, safe and efficient services around-the-clock, offshore operations can continue.
A remarkable milestone is on the horizon for remote operations. For Fugro, clocking up over 350,000 remote project hours in 2021 has been possible thanks to a unique combination of talented personnel and a pioneering culture; increased utilisation of ROCs, more USVs and a changing client mindset indicates that the 500,000-hour milestone is easily attainable.
Fugro sets out to achieve 500,000 remote operations project hours by mid-year 2022
The autonomous process and position integrity will be threatened when systems are under a spoofing attack
We design, manufacture and supply remotely operated systems for underwater environments including subsea vehicles, specialist tooling and launch and recovery systems.