Zamil Mermaid Offshore Services has chosen three Saab Seaeye Panther XT Plus ROVs for a seven-year inspection and repair contract for Saudi Aramco.
The Panther XT is well known for its reputation as a small but high powered, light work ROV. Zamil Mermaid's operations manager, Neil Howie, says the Panther XT Plus is a versatile vehicle for all types of jobs. He adds that it has the advantage of a small footprint and an ability to work easily in two-knot shallow water currents, ideal for the Gulf.
And he says, "It is a high-end modern vehicle that is easy to maintain and well suited for the scope of work undertaken for Saudi Aramco."
Neil Howie explains that all three vehicles will need to carry out multiple work tasks including light construction, inspection and surveying.
Each of the three 1000 metre rated Panthers come with their own launch and recovery and tether management systems, along with a split control cabin and workshop - one of which is supplied by Zamil Mermaid.
The Panther XT Plus is a popular vehicle in the Gulf for a number of reasons:
- It can handle 90% of the tasks normally undertaken by an hydraulic work-class ROV bringing major savings to operations in the Gulf.
- Being a smaller system operators can use a smaller ship, if necessary – an advantage in the shallow waters of the region.
- An electric vehicle is better suited for the warm waters in the Gulf where hydraulic ROVs have a problem keeping oil cool.
Faced with strong currents, the Panther XT Plus' unique combination of 10 powerful thrusters and twin Schilling manipulators means it can hold station in strong currents of up to four knots whilst working at complex or robust tasks.
In fact the Panther XT Plus has 50 per cent more power than any other ROV of its type and can swim 30% faster.
Whatever tasks Zamil Mermaid have planned for the Panther XT Plus, it has the power and design architecture to accommodate a wide range of tooling, whilst remaining stable and manoeuvrable. It is also small and agile enough to work inside rig and platform jackets, yet powerful enough to open and close pipeline valves and operate in strong currents.
And for an operator, its exceptional number of thrusters offers a reassuringly high level of redundancy to keep the vehicle working before bringing it home.
Saab Seaeye is the world's largest manufacturer of electric ROVs, and now includes Saab's underwater vehicle range of tethered, autonomous and hybrid underwater vehicle systems for the defence industry.