Shell Conducts First Pipeline Survey in Nigeria Using Unmanned Vessel

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Shell Conducts First Pipeline Survey in Nigeria Using Unmanned Vessel

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Illuminated logo of Shell (© Shutterstock/Dom J)
Illuminated logo of Shell (© Shutterstock/Dom J)

Shell PLC announced on Wednesday that its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd. (SPDC), has successfully completed the first pipeline route survey in the country using an unmanned surface vessel (USV).

As reported by Rigzone news, the USV, deployed in February along the Bonny oil pipeline network in the Niger Delta, operated for 166 hours, marking the longest such single mission within the Shell Group, according to a company press release.

"This is the new face of survey in Nigeria," said Steve Keedwell, SPDC's head of offshore survey operations. "The USV improves efficiency and data quality while eliminating personnel exposure to safety risks."

The company highlighted several benefits of using the USV, including a 97% reduction in CO2 emissions due to its diesel-electric design. 

Additionally, SPDC is collaborating with local company Compass Survey Ltd. and their UK partner, Unmanned Survey Solutions Ltd., to train on-site remote operators for the USV.

"The innovation is already attracting interest from the oil and gas industry and beyond, suggesting its potential for wider use in Nigeria," said Lanre Olawuyi, SPDC's general manager for Nigerian content development. 

"We remain committed to supporting Nigerian companies in adopting new technologies and innovations."

The development comes after SPDC recently used the Bonny pipeline system to resume crude oil supply to the Port Harcourt refinery following a five-year shutdown for rehabilitation.

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