Aquabotix sends underwater robots to help hurricane-hit US States
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ASX-listed Aquabotix has rushed to the aid of oil rigs and ports in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean in the wake of twin hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Aquabotix’s (ASX:UUV) underwater robotics are used by the US Coast Guard and oil and gas companies to assess and maintain underwater infrastructure.
Aquabotix’s share price is surging in the face of the US’s and Mexico’s ever-rising recovery bills. The stock was up 4 per cent in Thursday lunch-time trade to 10c.
“Reconstruction effort will involve a substantial amount of underwater work, and the company expects that it will substantially increase the need for its vehicles,” Aquabotix said in a statement.
“The company is undertaking a series of initiatives with the view to equipping existing and new clients with specialist commercial-grade remotely operated vehicles that will be required to meet the increased demand for inspection, assessment and recovery activities.”
Energy production off the Gulf coast, which is the hub for almost a third of US oil refining and a substantial amount of offshore energy production, has been hit particularly hard.
In the wake of Harvey, energy production in the Gulf of Mexico declined by 21 per cent, or the equivalent of 378,633 barrels, and natural gas by roughly 25 per cent.
Experts estimate the economic losses from both to exceed $US500 billion ($624 billion). The latest reports indicate at least 71 have been confirmed dead from hurricane Harvey and at least 21 from Irma.
Aquabotix was listed in April in an oversubscribed IPO and has a market cap of $16 million.
It is one of the few companies worldwide offering commercially-available hybrid underwater drones, which are capable of both autonomous and remote operation.
At the end of June they had $5.7 million in the bank, and banked $274,000 in sales during the first six months of 2017.