This is bad: They are now going to turn the control of the world’s petroleum supplies over to robots.

In the future, offshore platforms could be run by robots alone, with human beings staying on land.

Well, now you have seen the individual sensors and special tools. Shall I put the robots into action?”

SINTEF scientist Pål Liljebäck is standing in the new NOK 80 million laboratory financed by Norsk Hydro. The lab covers only 30 square metres and lies deep in the basement of one of the Electro buildings on the SINTEF/NTNU campus on Gløshaugen in Trondheim. An orange robot arm hangs from a steel beam that spans the room at ceiling height, framed by large, sky-blue support beams….


  1. #1 Sigmund
    December 26, 2007

    Oil, Robot?

  2. #2 Virgil Samms
    December 26, 2007
  3. #3 Lyle
    June 25, 2016

    Actually only a slight extension of what is already done. Before the Chevron Merger, Texaco had the capability of running offshore platforms after the personnel had been evacuated for a day or 2 remotely. (In 2001). Drilling is now run by a joystick with the operator sitting in a chair, so it can also be done remotely. (See automated pipe handling systems). Given the high cost of maintaining folks on offshore platforms it makes sense to remote the control lines to shore. (A lot of the info goes to shore already, the BP disaster had the info sent to shore in real time so the engineers could check, although it did not do much good in that case). Just like I believe that the capability exists to do underground mining remotely for coal keeping the miners in safe rooms or even above grounds with fiber cables providing connectivity.