Kongsberg’s AUV ‘Hugin’ helped stop oil leak

Published: March 19, 2020

Photo: Statnett

Strong winds led to damage on three power cables in the Oslofjord inlet when an anchored ship started drifting. Kongsberg Maritime, who were testing their Hugin UAV in the area, immediately scrabled to assist.

The damage caused and oil leak from one of Statnett’s cables.

– It was easy for us to change our area of operations to help stop the oil leak as soon as possible, says Thomas Nygaard, Vice President at Kongsberg Marine Robotics, in a press release.  

A PRSI ship (Pipeline Repair and Subsea Indervention Pool) was requisitioned to seal the damaged cables, arriving less than four days after the incident. In the meantime, Hugin collected images of the seabed and the damaged cables, giving Statnett a detailed picture of the situation only one day after the incident.

One of the damaged PEX cables. Photo: Statnett

6000 liters of oil were leaked before the cables were fixed, according to Statnett’s estimates. A lot more oil would have leaked, had it not been for Kongsberg’s contribution.

– The data collected by Hugin contributed to giving Statnett a detailed image of the damages and the total impact on the seabed the day after the incident. With this database we were able to implement a detailed plan for securing the damaged cables before the PRSI ship arrived. With this help we were able to stop the oil leak sooner than we first expected, said Ole Petter Hobberstad of Statnett to TU.no.

Kongsberg Maritime, as well as Kongsberg Seatex, is a member of the Ocean Autonomy Cluster. The Hugin AUV is used for autonomous underwater missions, both in civil and military contexts, e.g. seabed mapping, inspection of subsea installations (oil pipelines, pipes, etc.) and sea mine searches.

Hugin can be equipped with a range of sensors for different operations, and is widely used in the oil and gas sector and in seabed mapping. Read more about Hugin AUV here, and learn more about the Hugin AUV concept in the video below:

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