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Remote Offshore Inspections Take Honor

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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Developers of an award-winning offshore inspection technology that uses Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicles say the system saved hundreds of man hours and millions of dollars in its recent trial in the North Sea.

Remote aerial inspection company Cyberhawk Innovations Ltd. and asset integrity specialist Stork Technical Services have won the Business Efficiency category in the Oil and Gas UK Awards 2012 for the system.

The UK-based firms partnered on the offshore inspection, the first in the North Sea to have been carried out using a Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicle (ROAV).

Inspection during Drilling

The team used the technology to carry out a structural and coating inspection of an offshore drilling derrick for a leading oil company on one of its North Sea platforms. The inspection did not disrupt live drilling operations. 

Cyberhawk ROAV coating inspection Cyberhawk/Stork ROAV coating inspection
Photos: Cyberhawk Innovations

The team captured and relayed HD images from a Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicle to assess the structure and coating condition of an operational drilling derrick. The planned scope of work was reduced, and live operations were not disrupted.

The team said Cyberhawk’s ROAV captured HD images and relayed them live, “allowing for a full assessment of the structure and coating condition of the operational drilling derrick.”

The inspection included areas “that would have been particularly challenging and time-consuming for traditional rope or scaffold inspections,” the team said.

Scheduling and Work Scope

The results from the visual inspection allowed Stork to challenge an initial scope of work and reduce the quantity of the surface area to be treated by 42% or 1,812m2 (more than 19,500 square feet).

In addition, the data gathered “provided the certainty needed to impose a deferral” in the coating plan, allowing the rig to continue producing until a planned pause in drilling.

Cyberhawk notes that its inspection team is comprised entirely of professional engineers, qualified in non-destructive testing (NDT) inspection and CSWIP certified. CSWIP is the Certification Scheme for Welding and Inspection Personnel (UK, non-destructive testing personnel).  All ROAV operators are Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certified, the company said. 

The results also enabled Stork to decide to use a wax oil preservative coating, instead of conventional paint treatments, to treat the drill derrick.

Cyberhawk offshore flare inspection Cyberhawk offshore flare inspection

The companies also conducted what they said was the world’s first live offshore flare inspection using a ROAV in the North Sea.

The wax oil coating could be installed in 14 days, compared with six weeks for conventional paint treatments, saving 1,725 man-hours.

In all, the shorter project, smaller scope and ability to work during a planned pause, avoiding a production shutdown, saved more than £5 million ($7.9 million US), the team said.

Gas & Oil ‘Oscars’

Oil & Gas UK is a trade association of the UK Offshore oil and gas industry. The 2012 Oil & Gas UK Awards, presented Nov. 8, is the annual showcase event for the industry.

Stork Technical Services
Stork Technical Services

Stork Technical Services is an asset integrity management company that serves the oil & gas, power, chemical and other major industries.

“The Oil & Gas UK Awards – the industry’s ‘Oscars’ – have again shone the spotlight on the very best people and companies connected to the oil and gas industry,” said chief executive Malcolm Webb.

“I congratulate Cyberhawk Innovations and Stork Technical Services for winning the Oil & Gas UK Award for Business Efficiency. They thoroughly deserve this accolade in what was a fiercely competitive category.”

Malcolm Connolly, managing director of Cyberhawk, foresaw broadening “the scope of applications offshore, such as live flare tip, flare boom, underdeck and other structural inspections.”

 

   

Tagged categories: Awards and honors; Coating inspection; Oil and Gas; Performance testing; Site/field testing

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