The oil and gas industry has always relied on the use of cutting edge technology right from its inception however, as years have progressed, oil and gas reserves around the world have become harder than ever to extract. The problem lies where unlike conventional drilling, the industry is beginning to explore extreme environments, where oil and gas reserves are plentiful, but in regions so inhospitable that humans cannot conduct and operate the drilling process on-site. A solution to this is to make use of autonomous robotic drilling systems.

The use of robotics in any industry presents a way of completing tasks that could be deemed too challenging or risky for humans to attempt in an accurate, safe and economically-sound manner. With these clear advantages of robotics in mind, it makes sense that oil operators and service companies around the world should choose to research more into how robotics can be utilised in advancing the industry and making the extraction of oil and gas in extreme environments safe and efficient in order to prevent any major incidents from occurring.

Robotic drilling systems have been identified as the key in ensuring drilling operations can be conducted in extreme environments in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Robotic drilling systems have several key benefits compared to conventional drilling methods such as allowing for greater efficiency, improved HSE statistics, cheaper to operate and are capable of operating autonomously in inhospitable conditions.

It is paramount that if drilling is to commence in extreme environments, that it is done with caution and care with regards to the environment and safety of personnel. This paper found that robotic drilling systems, if researched and developed further, could hold the key to being able to explore extreme frontiers in a safe and efficient manner, which will allow for preservation of delicate environments whilst ensuring the worldwide energy demand can be met for years to come.

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