New sensor system tested by Petrobras

Published: 08/22/2023 Updated: 08/24/2023

Together with the crew of our agent Belga Marine we installed a SEA OWL™ sensor system for Petrobras aboard the Oil Spill Response Vessel (OSRV) "Marlin Stolmen".

Working closely with the Petrobras R&D Remote Sensing team since 2018, Ocean Visuals has designed a sensor system that incorporates Petrobras’ wanted position in detection, verification, and classification of oil in water, in real time.


The sensor was installed aboard "Marlin Stolmen", an Oil Spill Response Vessel (OSRV) operated by the Bravante Group in Brazil. The vessel typically operates in offshore fields on behalf of Petrobras.​  

The Petrobras R&D Center (CENPES) has a group that evaluates and build new technologies for safety and the environment, where Dr. Cristina Maria Bentz develops research in the field of remote sensing. One of the focuses is to evaluate and create new tools for the detection, verification, and classification of oil in water in real time, without having to manage water samples to be sent to a laboratory. To achieve this goal, in addition to field tests, a custom oil library is being built. The Ocean Visuals team works closely with the Petrobras Remote Sensing team and trained them in acquiring the spectral signatures of several known types of oil.

The spectral signatures will be stored in a database inside the SEA OWL™ lidar sensor aboard the vessel. Once the sensor detects a combination of hydrocarbon molecules in the water, that spectral signature is compared with the signatures residing in the database. This way, real time detection, verification, and classification of oil type will be performed, autonomously.

“We see a lot of potential benefits from using this technology”, says Dr. Cristina Maria Bentz of Petrobras R&D. First, the time and cost-saving to verify suspicious features in real time, without oil or water sampling, decreased false alarms. Second, the evaluation of oil type, concentration and/or thickness. And third, the promising detection of oil in the water column to the depth of laser penetration.


About Petrobras:
Petrobras is a public held corporation that operates in an integrated and specialized manner in the oil, natural gas, and energy industry.

Petrobras is recognized worldwide for their oil and natural gas exploration and production technology in ultra-deep waters. However, the business goes beyond the reach of the field and oil and gas extraction. This means a long process where they transport oil and gas to their refineries and natural gas treatment units, which is equipped and constantly evolving to supply the best products.

About Bravante Group:
Bravante Group is a 100% Brazilian company with over 50 years providing services for the oil and gas industry and operating in the areas of marine support, port support, shipbuilding, and ship repair; and environmental protection. Since December of 2020, the Bravante Group has been responsible for the Operational, Financial and Commercial management of Marlin Group.
Bravante Group owns and operates the Hidroclean company, with more than 20 years of experience. They are the work front responsible for act in the prevention and fight against environmental damage caused by hydrocarbon. Furthermore, they develop and implement contingency plans for the largest companies in the oil & gas industry, among others that operate in Brazil. They have over 40 bases in 18 Brazilian states. They represent The Response Group, TRG in Brazil, a world leader in the field of Crisis Management and Emergency Response, with in-depth, combined experience in the fields of Oil and Gas and Chemicals.


About Belga Marine:

Belga Marine is a Brazilian specialist in the maritime and offshore segments, offering solutions for innovative and safe offshore operations ensuring an optimal way to mitigate human risk and environmental impacts, as well as increasing the efficiency and profitability of offshore operations.

About Ocean Visuals:

Norwegian company Ocean Visuals provides real-time data aggregation of oil and organics levels at sea, also submerged, unlike radar and camera sensors. They provide a Cloud database system with real-time presentation of data in a map-layered easy-to-use web, pad, or mobile interface. Ocean Visuals OWL™ lidar sensors use lasers to induce fluorescence in the water column, revealing oil and organic matter in real-time on a molecular level (ppm). All data are presented online in a multi-sensor, multi-layer map, opening for data correlation and prediction modeling with other sensor systems.



Bravante Group:

Belga Marine:

Ocean Visuals: