The exploration and production of oil and gas is shifting toward the subsea regions. The subsea environment remains mostly unexplored on earth, which adds to the difficulty experienced when it comes to monitoring and conducting intervention in these regions. It also raises some unique challenges as well as environmental issues. These tough environmental conditions has led to the rapid development of the remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) technology. AUVs and ROVs are used for the maintenance, repair, and inspection of offshore equipment.
ROVs are an established technology used extensively in the oil & gas industry (up to 3000 m depth) as well as by the scientific and military communities. The ROV technology improves work efficiency and reliability and creates smaller umbilicals and advancements in the launch and recovery systems. AUVs, on the other hand, are speedy and accurate.
AUV is an emerging technology for small production runs. They are unmanned submersible vehicles, independent of outside facilities or operators, and free-swimming. They have various applications in pipeline inspection, sub-sea inspection, sub-sea survey, cable inspection, sampling, oceanographic, environmental monitoring, iceberg profiling, under-ice surveys, countermeasures, underwater photography, and mine detection. For the oil & gas industry, AUVs are an effective tool for deep water mapping and survey as they exhibit better data quality and cost-effective operations.
The offshore AUV & ROV markets have been segmented by application, payload, propulsion system, product type, and region. Based on application, the market is divided into the oil and gas industry, commercial, defense, scientific research, and others sectors. ROVs are mainly used for various commercial applications, such as offshore drilling, survey and sea bed mapping, pipelining, inspection several, and cabling. The payload-based categories include sensors, synthetic aperture sonar, camera, video screen, lighting system, and others.
In terms of propulsion system, the market has been grouped into mechanical system, electric system, hybrid system, and others. Based on ROV product type, the divisions include high capacity electric vehicle, small vehicle, heavy work-class, and work-class vehicle. Based on AUV product type, they are man portable, lightweight vehicle (LWV), heavyweight vehicle (HWV), and large vehicle. Finally, in terms of region, the market is distributed over North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East and Africa.
The market for offshore AUV and ROV is majorly driven by factors such as the growing necessity for mapping and ocean data, threats, and maritime security. The increasing global requirement for deep water production is another important aspect, with offshore explorations in Brazil, Nigeria, Indonesia, and the Gulf of Mexico expected to rise during the forecast period. There’s also an escalating number of offshore wells in harsh environments and rising demand for energy and petro chemicals. However, an unstable oil & gas market, price constraints, and technological limitations might hampering this growth.
North America is one of the leaders of the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) & remotely operated vehicle (ROV) market, and is anticipated to witness further growth during the forecast period. The U.S. is a major operator, developer, and exporter of ROV & AUV across the globe. The markets in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa are anticipated to expand during the forecast period. With the increasing exploration and production of deep water activities in the subsea region of South Africa, the demand of AUV and ROV for operating at such depths is bound to rise.
Key players in the global offshore AUV & ROV market include Saab AB, Fugro N.V., Ocean Engineering Ltd, Kongsberg Maritime, Bluefin Robotics, Atlas Elektronik GmbH, BIRNS. INC., International Submarine Engineering, Ltd, Schilling Robotics LLC, Teledyne Technologies, Inc., and Subsea 7 S.A.
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