Innovation will enable us to seize new opportunities and rely on partnerships to develop technologies that will improve project costs and times and to propose services with a lower environmental impact.

A new paradigm for subsea operations.

The functions and operations linked to subsea installations are increasingly numerous in increasingly complex subsea fields: this is why it is essential for us to be active along the entire value chain, proposing products, services and technologies that support the entire life cycle of our clients' fields ("Life of Field"), from the initial development to decommissioning.

The use of advanced underwater robotics solutions, capable of performing complex inspection tasks automatically and with no subsea human presence, represents a cutting-edge technology in the field of unmanned underwater interventions. We aim to be an active player in this transformation, using some of the more innovative and disruptive subsea robotics in the offshore energy market.

Such drones will be able to perform complex navigation tasks, automatically adapting to environmental conditions and newly acquired inspection data, all of which require advanced control and communications techniques informed by Artificial Intelligence.

Hydrone technology

Our new platform "Hydrone" is one example of an innovative project that has changed our business model and helped us take the leap from contractor to service provider and launched us into future, subsea, robotic operational assistance.

It consists of a hybrid vehicle (ROV/AUV) that remains on the sea-bed (Hydrone-R), Flatfish, an advanced AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle)and a permanent, moveable ROV system (Hydrone-W).

Hydrone-R vehicle was delivered to Equinor as part of the first ever “Life of Field” contract for an Underwater Intervention Drone, covering 10 years of service in the Equinor “Njord” field off the coast of Trondheim and is now in operations for continuous inspection and maintenance activities.

FlatFish is our underwater drone, conceived to perform complex, autonomous subsea asset inspections without vessel support. This robot can be launched from a topside facility or reside on the seabed inside a subsea ROV garage. FlatFish will reduce the CO2 footprint of this type of operation by more than 90% and decrease manning requirements by approximately 70%, offering clients a more cost-effective solution. The development of the "FlatFish", again winner of the Spotlight on New Technology award at the OTC in 2023 (as Hydrone in 2021); the solution is at an advanced stage of development, also through an extensive collaboration together with Petrobras and Shell.

Finally, the potential of these subsea technologies within the offshore domain is vast, both for Oil & Gas developments as well as for the renewables market segment and also in non-energy sectors such as defense where we are active in a series of programs with Marina Militare Italiana (the Italian Navy) also by developing an innovative subsea robotics system (Hydrone-D) for mine countermeasures and other defense activities.

Discover more

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An underwater hot balloon to defend the sea: Offset Installation Equipment (OIE) designed by Saipem

Offset Installation Equipment (OIE) is a unique system in the world. Constructed for one of our clients, it enables intervention during a subsea well spill when direct, vertical access is impossible.

The OIE enables the "capping stack" and other related equipment to be installed at a safe distance from the incident: it has a range of 500 metres, can be used in water 75 to 600 metres deep and is operated from the surface via remote controlled, subsea robots, the so-called Work Class ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicles).  

In 2019, the OIE was awarded the "Spotlight on New Technology” prize by OTC – Offshore Technology Conference, one of the most important international events in the Oil & Gas sector, held each year in Houston (Texas) in May. Saipem is the only Italian company to have won this prestigious award.

The Offset Installation System (OIE) designed by Saipem is also on Google Arts & Culture: explore the exhibition and discover how the OIE protects the sea from major environmental incidents. Or take a look at the following video: 

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