Ecopetrol deploys subsea exploration drones off La Guajira peninsula

8/26/2019

BOGOTA - Ecopetrol will employ unmanned underwater gliders to navigate an extensive area of ​​the Colombian Caribbean to acquire information related to physical-chemical variables of the ocean.

These underwater drones will be responsible for oceanographic and geochemical exploration at sea to gather support information in the search for hydrocarbons and in the generation of knowledge of the marine environment. The drones will be put into operation between August and December, the most favorable weather conditions for sailing in the vicinity of the La Guajira peninsula.

Since their appearance in early 2000, these unmanned systems have opened up new possibilities for ocean observation and monitoring. They have allowed data to be collected for weeks or months, such as measurement of currents, temperature, salinity, pressure, concentrations of components such as dissolved oxygen, dissolved organic matter and chlorophyll, over large areas and at significant depths of the water column.

The variables analyzed are important when drilling at sea, as they contribute to identify and reduce risks in oil operations. They also allow the detection of natural oil leaks, which are indicators of areas with high potential, and perform acoustic monitoring during seismic operations.

Ecopetrol will utilize four drones, two in operation and two in relief, which will sail in an area of ​​10,000 km2 in a water column up to 1000 meters deep.

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