The Cybernetix group announces the signing, with the two oil & gas operators Total and Statoil, of an important contract of industrial collaboration, for the development of its SWIMMER concept, a new hybrid robotic system for subsea intervention.
The three companies have decided to jointly invest in an ambitious research and development program. The aim is to perform, by 2010, the full scale deployment of this new intervention concept that will provide daily IMR (Inspection Maintenance & Repair) activities, as required, on the subsea production infrastructures of offshore oil fields. The availability of SWIMMER should allow optimisation of several production parameters, and will also reduce the exploitation costs of these fields.
By 2015 it is estimated that several thousand subsea well-heads will be in production. At the same time, subsea production equipments become more and more complex, with, for example, the introduction of subsea separation units capable of performing the dissociation of liquid and gas phases. The requirements in terms of maintenance will therefore increase significantly during the next few years, and will lead to many opportunities to deploy the SWIMMER system. Total and Statoil therefore share the objective to transform as quickly as possible the SWIMMER development program into a commercial reality: a deployment of the system on a pilot oil field by 2011 is already considered.
For Cybernetix, this new contract reinforces its development strategy in the domain of oil and gas services for deep offshore subsea techniques. "We intend to become a recognised actor in the field of IMR of hydrocarbon subsea production infrastructures. In this niche market, we wish to demark ourselves by providing our customers with services of high added value, by using the highest technology, both in terms of intervention tools (AUV) and methods to control the integrity of the installations (RBI method: Risk-Based Inspection)", explains Gilles MICHEL, CEO of Cybernetix.