Shell International Exploration & Production and Subsea 7’s Life of Field unit i-Tech 7 have formed a strategic collaboration to accelerate subsea digitalisation.

The two parties have signed a technology agreement for an initial period of five years. This began in the fourth quarter of last year.

Shell Wells, Deep Water and Surface Engineering Technology vice-President Christian George said: “Digitalisation will support Shell to become a world-class investment case by improving our productivity, reliability and performance, as well as reducing the costs of our assets.

“Their mix of technology development and operational expertise across the lifecycle of deepwater assets will help us accelerate the deployment of these transformational technologies.”

The two firms aim to hasten innovation. They also look to streamline the adoption of applied technologies in various areas, such as marine robotics and advanced sensing.

They will enhance innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems. This will address the industry’s challenges in executing safer and efficient operations.

i-Tech 7 senior vice-president said Steve Wisely said: “Digitalisation is core to our strategy and we are continuing to expand our digital capability and offering, to strengthen our market position and deliver enhanced value to our customers.

“Both companies share a common vision for safe, efficient and optimised offshore operations and this partnership will help accelerate the development and deployment of digital asset integrity management services to support Shell’s offshore assets in the region.”

In November, i-Tech 7 announced the completion of an underwater inspection in lieu of dry-docking (UWILD) project.