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Statoil invests in NTNU subsea technology company

Published by Steinar Kvam .

Statoil invests in NTNU subsea technology company
By: Steinar Kvam

Statoil Technology Invest (STI) has acquired a key shareholding in Ecotone AS, a technology company focused on subsea monitoring, mapping and inspection applying Underwater Hyperspectral Imaging technology developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Ecotone is a spin-off company from NTNU, owned by TTO (Technology Transfer Office) and founders, and is based on unique and patented imaging technology for seabed mapping and monitoring. Since start-up in 2010, the company has been focusing on development and demonstration of the technology. Innovation Norway and Statoil have supported this work financially and, due to this support, the company is now ready for a fast transition towards application development and commercialization.

Ivar Erdal, CEO of Ecotone, says; After working with Statoil on the LOOP contract, I believe that STI’s investment will boost the company both financially and strategically. We share a common goal of developing next generation mapping tools, which can greatly enhance efficiency and quality of future inspection and environmental surveys. Having Statoil as a significant shareholder brings in the perspective of an experienced customer of subsea imaging services. Statoil can provide valuable advice on both technology and service development, assisting us in transforming Ecotone into a company with fully commercial industrial applications.

Richard Erskine, Head of STI says; Statoil is interested in applying the best available technology for marine surveys and inspections, with the aim of minimizing our impact on the subsea environment and ensuring the integrity of our installations. The underwater imaging technology developed by Ecotone is promising because it could provide a large step forward for the understanding of marine biology, and become an effective tool for inspection of subsea oil and gas pipelines.

Statoil has, together with Innovation Norway, participated in developing Ecotone’s technology through an ongoing LOOP project, and assisted on several sea cruises. When the technology is ready for first use, several applications can be anticipated within Statoil’s operations.