U.S. Exploration Company in Talks to Resume Search for MH370

Houston-based Ocean Infinity wants to solve one of aviation’s all-time greatest mysteries.

Ocean Infinity MH370
Ocean Infinity is in negotiations to resume the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 using its HUGIN autonomous underwater vehicles.Ocean Infinity

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was called off in January this year, after the governments of China, Australia and Malaysia had spent as much as $200 million on efforts to solve the incredible mystery, coming up with very few answers as to what happened to the Boeing 777-200ER that vanished on March 8, 2014. Since then, some new evidence has been identified through satellite imagery analysis, but the families of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members are still left with questions.

Now, Houston-based Ocean Infinity hopes to answer them once and for all.

Last week, Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation announced that it has received and considered proposals from "interested parties" that would like to continue the search for MH370, and Ocean Infinity's "No Cure No Fee" offer — meaning the company will only collect payment upon discovery of the missing aircraft — has been approved by officials for negotiation. That does not mean, as media outlets previously reported, that the deal is done, which officials were quick to point out.

“The Malaysian Government has yet to ink an agreement with Ocean Infinity for the search of MH370 as widely reported in the media recently,” the DCA clarified in a statement. “Once the negotiation is completed and the terms and conditions have been agreed on with Ocean Infinity, the Malaysian Government will seek agreement from the Governments of Australia and China to proceed with the search of MH370 in the spirit of tripartite cooperation.”

According to a report, Aziz Kaprawi, Malaysia's deputy transport minister, said Australia already "informally agreed" to the selection of Ocean Infinity's deal, while "It is still under discussion with China."

In August, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization provided optimism for resolution with satellite imagery revealing "at least 70 identifiable objects," 12 of which are "probably man made," in an area reportedly defined as having a "high probability" as being the location of MH370. That area (as large as 25,000 sq. km) is presumably where Ocean Infinity will pick up.

The company boasts “The world’s most advanced fleet of autonomous vehicles,” or specifically six HUGIN autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) that “are capable of operating in 6,000 m water depth collecting high resolution data at record breaking speeds.” The AUV have the capability to explore deeper areas of the ocean, which could provide a long-awaited breakthrough.