Ocean Power Technologies has signed an agreement with Eni to supply a PB3 PowerBuoy for a demonstration of one of Eni’s subsea oil and gas operations.
The agreement provides for a minimum 24-month contract that includes an 18-month PB3 PowerBuoy lease and associated project management.
OPT will also provide deployment support, remote data collection and monitoring. The project is expected to start in March 2018, OPT informed.
The OPT PowerBuoy will be deployed in the Adriatic Sea to advance Eni’s Clean Sea technology for marine environmental monitoring and offshore asset inspection using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).
The PowerBuoy will be used to demonstrate subsea battery charging, and eventually may be used to provide a stand-alone charging station and communications platform that would enable the long-term remote operation of AUVs, OPT explained.
George H. Kirby, president and chief executive officer of OPT, said, “This commercial agreement with Eni is our first in the oil and gas market and is a significant milestone for our company. The technology being developed could allow Eni to use clean energy to demonstrate the power and communications capabilities of a combined PB3-subsea battery charging system in a harsh offshore environment, for AUV and other applications. We are excited about this new relationship and look forward to helping Eni further advance its operations.”
“We believe the Eni deployment could lead to other applications including the charging of underwater unmanned vehicles, well monitoring and decommissioning applications in the oil and gas industry, as well as metocean data collection,” Kirby added.
At the end of the initial 18-month lease and upon achieving pre-defined technical metrics, Eni will have the option to either extend the lease for an additional 18 months or purchase the PB3 PowerBuoy.