Shell, Sonardyne, Senai Cimatec Partner on Autonomous Seismic Nodes

Shell Brasil has agreed a partnership with underwater sensor technology company Sonardyne and Brazilian research institute Senai Cimatec to develop autonomous technology to make the monitoring of Brazil’s challenging deepwater pre-salt oil fields more efficient.

The new 4D seismic monitoring system, based on so-called On Demand Ocean Bottom Nodes, is being developed under a National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) promoted programme.

The goal is to increase the autonomy of ocean bottom nodes and enable them to be deployed and remain on the seafloor for up to five years. During that period, no interventions, such as connections for data extraction or replacement of batteries, would be required.

The nodes would communicate wirelessly with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), such as the Shell-funded FlatFish AUV. These capabilities will help to generate operational efficiencies and eliminate the various existing difficulties in deploying current 4D seismic monitoring technology, which is vital to the development and production optimization of oil and gas fields.

Reportedly, the new technology should also allow the reduction of both costs and operational safety risks.

This is a very promising project, fully aligned with the new reality of the oil and gas industry, which seeks to use new technologies to ensure a safer, more efficient operation that has less impact on the environment. For Shell, Brazil is an important centre for attracting partners and technological development, and we are sure that the partnership with Sonardyne and Senai will be very successful,” said Jorge Lopez, Shell Research and Development Advisor in Brazil

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