Offshore oil and gas production platforms are complex and hazardous process facilities which are usually attended by a permanent human crew to run the daily operations. In recent years, the oil and gas industry has demonstrated strong commitment to change this traditional operations approach and move towards inherently safer philosophy in offshore facilities design and operations, i.e. removing human crew from the facility and operating it remotely from a safe location over extended periods.
This paper aims to demonstrate the readiness of robotics technologies coupled with digitalization technologies in process control and facility automation in transforming offshore oil and gas production platforms into smart unmanned installations. This paper is focused on the application of smart robotics, with highly dexterous capabilities and equipped with multiple sensing instruments, in maintaining an offshore oil and gas production facility in full operation without a permanent human crew, and with planned visits to the platform at 12-week intervals, in a case study. The robots are developed to be remotely operated from an onshore control center and/or may be programmed to function autonomously for routine missions on the offshore facility.