Equinor, the energy giant, has partnered with Skyports Drone Services for a two-month trial of electric drone deliveries to oil installations in the North Sea. The project aims to demonstrate the potential of on-demand cargo drone services in addressing logistical challenges, improving safety, and enhancing sustainability in offshore operations.
Launched in September, this initiative represents the first time that daily on-demand drone services have been conducted offshore, operated remotely from the shore. The cargo drones, provided by Swoop Aero, are highly automated and capable of covering distances of up to 114 kilometers.
During the trial, these drones will transport cargo between Equinor's processing center in Mongstad, Norway, and three installations in the Gullfaks oil field in the North Sea. The transported cargo includes spare parts, equipment, and care packages.
Alex Brown, Director of Skyports Drone Services, expressed the company's interest in expanding this work into adjacent sectors such as offshore wind and ship resupply. This trial represents a significant step in exploring the use of drones for efficient cargo transportation in challenging offshore environments, potentially improving the overall safety and sustainability of such operations.