NSRI outlines expansion plans, research targets

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – The UK National Subsea Research Institute (NSRI) is planning a “center of excellence” for research into subsea technologies directed at oil and gas operations. The organization also indicated the direction it expects the research to take.

Based in the University of Aberdeen, NSRI aims to establish four university research chairs in inspection, underwater robotics and autonomous learning, underwater communications, and intelligent monitoring systems.

“There is no room for error subsea. Integrity and performance of systems and equipment are paramount,” said David Pridden, NSRI chief executive. “We have to push the boundaries in terms of the science to create the next generation of subsea technology for mature provinces. NSRI will undertake world-class research to introduce more intelligence, more communication and smart systems on the seabed.”

“Our aim is to achieve one or two significant break-throughs in these areas of research which will lead to improved system integrity and enhanced production,” said John Mair, chairman of the Subsea Technology Advisory Group and global technology manager at Subsea 7.

For example, quantum based sensors for inspection promise the potential for resolutions several orders of magnitude better than existing ones. The introduction of self-learning, self-supporting autonomous underwater vehicles could reduce and eventually eliminate surface vessel support and the application of chaos theory could dramatically improve underwater communications.”

Aberdeen, Dundee, Newcastle and Robert Gordon universities have partnered with 20 companies to fund the institute and conduct the research, but now NSRI is on a drive to extend its academic reach and to fund more research.


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