ARV, Mermaid form subsea tech venture

ARV, Mermaid form subsea tech venture

Target market is E&P inspection services

The underwater vehicle Xplorer can help oil operators save 40-50% on expenses in less time compared with traditional inspection methods, says ARV.
The underwater vehicle Xplorer can help oil operators save 40-50% on expenses in less time compared with traditional inspection methods, says ARV.

AI and Robotics Ventures Co (ARV), a wholly owned company of PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP), plans to make its innovations more internationally recognised to provide underwater inspection services for energy-related businesses in the global market.

The company recently formed a joint venture with Mermaid Subsea Services (Thailand) Co, a subsidiary of Singapore Stock Exchange-listed Mermaid Maritime Plc (Mermaid), to establish Zea Quest Co for the job. Mermaid is a Thai company.

"Zea Quest will add value to both ARV and Mermaid, the E&P industry as well as the Thai economy," said ARV general manager Thana Slanvetpan.

The new company, with registered capital of US$5 million (155 million baht), is 50% owned by ARV.

Zea Quest is positioned as a tech firm developing artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic technologies for a range of services from inspection to maintenance and repair in oil, gas and renewable energy businesses globally.

ARV specialises in R&D of AI and robotic technologies for both petroleum E&P and non-E&P industries, while Mermaid has a strong customer base for its offshore services, which include subsea vessels, subsea engineering, remotely operated vehicles and offshore drilling.

Mermaid developed a footprint in Asia, the Middle East and Britain for over 30 years.

"The partnership between Mermaid and ARV represents an effort to use more robotics and AI technologies," said Mermaid chief executive Chalermchai Mahagitsiri.

ARV is developing cutting edge technologies including an inspection-class autonomous underwater vehicle named Xplorer, and a subsea flow-line control and repair robot called Nautilus.

Zea Quest plans to use these technologies to first serve oil and gas companies in Southeast Asia for inspection, repair and maintenance, for infrastructure installation support for subsea engineering services.

The company wants to expand services to the Middle East after this stage.

The joint venture came after PTTEP signed an agreement with a Thaicom subsidiary, Thai Advance Innovation Co, to co-develop cost effective and easy-to-use drone technology for the agricultural sector.

The goal of the project is to promote smart farming by using drones to help reduce the negative impact of chemicals on the environment, cut production costs and improve the quality of life of farmers.

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