Application of robotics in offshore oil and gas industry-A review Part II

Amit Shukla, Hamad Karki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Demands for oil and gas are increasing with urbanization and industrialization of the world's increasing population. Giant oil fields are declining in their production worldwide and this situation is creating need for search of new conventional and non-conventional fossil reserves. With steep depletion of major onshore and shallow-water-offshore oil fields new search of fossil fuel is moving towards deep-water and ultra-deep water offshore fields. Obviously new reserves are located in extreme, hostile and hard-to-reach environmental conditions. Exploration, development and production of oil from such difficult offshore fields have many serious challenges to health, safety and environment (HSE) therefore, require sophisticated technological innovations to support increasing energy demand. Biggest oil spill accidents in explosion of Deepwater Horizon offshore oil platform are burning example of such challenges which human society cannot risk to repeat. Therefore, development of advance drilling system, more accurate and intelligent inspection mechanism, faster responsive system in cases of unfortunate incidence and efficient damage control system is need of the safer future. Successful implementation of robotics, in space and manufacturing industry, is an critical example of how robotic assistance and automation is the only option for safe and cost-effective production of oil in foreseeable future. Teleoperation of unmanned drilling and production platforms, remote operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), under-water welding, welding robots for double hulled ships and under-water manipulator are such key robotic technologies which have facilitated smooth transition of offshore rigs from shallow waters to ultra-deep waters in modern time. Considering the sensitivity of product and difficulty of environment, most of these technologies fall under semi-autonomous category, where human operator is in loop for providing cognitive assistance to the overall operation for safe execution. This paper summarizes the key robotic technologies currently used in offshore oil and gas facilities.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)508-524
Number of pages17
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Automation
  • AUV
  • NDT
  • Oil spill
  • Production structure
  • Robotics
  • ROV
  • Underwater manipulator
  • Underwater welding
  • WSN


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