US wave developer Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) is to supply Eni to with a PB3 PowerBuoy for a demonstration at one of the Italian energy company’s subsea oil and gas operations.

The device will be deployed in the Adriatic Sea to advance Eni's Clean Sea technology for marine environmental monitoring and offshore asset inspection using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).

The PowerBuoy will be used to demonstrate subsea battery charging and could eventually provide a stand-alone charging station and communications platform to enable the long-term remote operation of AUVs.

The project is expected to kick off by the end of the month.

The agreement provides for a minimum 24-month contract that includes an 18-month PB3 PowerBuoy lease and associated project management.

OPT will also provide deployment support, remote data collection and monitoring.

At the end of the initial 18-month lease, Eni will have the option to either extend the lease for an additional 18 months or purchase the PB3 PowerBuoy.

OPT chief executive George Kirby said: “We believe the Eni deployment could lead to other applications including the charging of underwater unmanned vehicles, well monitoring and decommissioning applications in the oil and gas industry, as well as metocean data collection.”

Image: PB3 PowerBuoy (OPT)