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Equinor and Nordic Unmanned start the world’s first offshore logistics operations using drones.

Sandnes – Nordic Unmanned has received a call-off for the next phase of the Drone Offshore Logistics Contract with Equinor. The offshore operations will take place from the Gullfaks C offshore installation in the North Sea and will commence on 15. August. The operation marks a new milestone for the drone industry and for Equinor, as the first operator to utilise drones for its offshore logistics services.

The start of the offshore operations is a result of an intense three-week onshore test phase, where
the Nordic Unmanned team successfully verified the readiness for offshore logistics services. The team worked closely with Equinor in conducting multiple ground-breaking trials and demonstrations of drone logistics services.

“Through a step-by-step approach, where risk, maturity and complexity are mapped, we have gradually advanced our operations’ complexity. Together with Equinor, we are pushing the boundaries of what drones can do for offshore logistics, providing solutions that are more sustainable, scalable, and cost-efficient. Nordic Unmanned has proven its capabilities and is ready to provide offshore drone logistics as a standardised service,” says Knut Roar Wiig, CEO of Nordic Unmanned.

The onshore and offshore test phase is part of the offshore drone service contract between Equinor and Nordic Unmanned. The contract awarded in December 2021 is the largest and most ambitious drone logistics contract in Europe and the offshore energy industry. The scope involves multiple daily cargo flights between the installations at the Gullfaks field and multiple daily flights between offshore installations and vessels in the Tampen area.

During the first stage of the Offshore test at the Gullfaks field, Nordic Unmanned will conduct multiple daily flights between installations and from installation to vessels. The drones will fly goods between Gullfaks A, B and C, as well as to vessels within the area. This will significantly improve the efficiency of offshore logistics and will reduce emissions, leading the industry towards a more sustainable future.

“We are thrilled with our achievements during the onshore phase of the project and are now eager to start the offshore part of the project. The support from Equinor and willingness to push the industry forward is crucial for developing drone offshore logistics services. It is great to see how we can utilise technology to increase efficiency and get a higher level of autonomy, proving the scalability of offshore drone logistics as a service. One unique example is how we will utilise drones to efficiently transport dangerous goods between offshore installations and vessels. This is one of many examples of how we have matured our solutions to support the offshore industry,” says Pål Kristensen, VP of Logistics, Nordic Unmanned.

The operations are made possible by Nordic Unmanned leveraging its EASA LUC (Light UAS Operator Certificate) to self-approve operations and through close collaboration with its partners Airbus DeckFinder, Schiebel, Planck, TAU Autonomy Center, Stavanger Airport, Avinor, CAA Norway and Norwegian Communications Authority (NKOM).

About Nordic Unmanned

Nordic Unmanned is a global leader in high-end products and services related to drones and data capture. Through worldwide operational experience and industry-leading expertise, Nordic Unmanned supports large governmental and industrial clients in the adaption of unmanned systems and services.

Founded in 2014, the Group has offices in Sandnes, Oslo, Molde, Hasselt (BE), Odense (DK), Cranfield (UK) and Arnsberg (GER) and has quickly become one of Europe’s leading providers of unmanned systems and services, with operations across the continent. The Group is ISO 9001-2015 and certified for the operation, maintenance, sale, design, development, and production, of unmanned systems and sensor technology. and sensor technology. The production is also AS9100 certified.

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