Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor has completed the world’s first drone operation to Troll A offshore platform in the North Sea.

The drone flew a “3D-printed part” for the lifeboat system from the Mongstad base to the offshore installation.

Equinor noted that the drone was a Camcopter S-100 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), manufactured by Austrian company Schiebel.

Schiebel along with Nordic Unmanned demonstrated the full-scale offshore UAV delivery.

Equinor logistics solutions head Alena Korbovà Pedersen said: “Over the longer term, we expect to see new infrastructure for logistics and support operations, which can reinforce what we already have within vessels and helicopters.

“If we are to develop the logistics solutions of the future on the Norwegian shelf, where drones could play an important role, we must cooperate across all of the industry’s players; operating companies, suppliers, the authorities and the trade union and safety interests.”

Besides conducting logistics operations, airborne drones can also be used for technical inspections and observations of offshore installations.

They are also used for inspections and observations of onshore facilities.

Drones play a major role in new energy solutions on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), said Equinor.

Schiebel Group chairman Hans Georg Schiebel said: “This was the perfect trial to show off the exceptional maritime capabilities of the S-100 for the oil and gas industry.

“We have extensive experience in long-range unmanned flights, especially in the maritime domain and under adverse weather conditions. The S-100 was able to show off its outstanding capabilities and we have proven once again that the S-100 UAV is the superior choice.”

Recently, Equinor reportedly planned to trim its workforce in the US, Canada and the UK due to oil price crash following the Covid-19 crisis.

Two weeks ago, the company received safety consent from Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to use the Deepsea Atlantic rig on the Gullfaks field located offshore Norway.