Live video streaming of inspection and repair offshore reduces personnel numbers on-board amidst Covid-19 restrictions
Robotics expert ROVOP has delivered its first remote platform-based inspection, repair and maintenance workscope, effectively reducing the number of personnel required offshore.
The independent provider of subsea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) successfully carried out remote visual and NDT inspections of hull sections, flowlines, umbilicals and risers, along with chain inspection, measurement and cleaning, on the Balmoral floating production vessel for Premier Oil.
Using the latest communications and modelling technology, ROVOP worked closely with Premier Oil to develop a robust live video streaming service back to shore. Two-way open communications allowed the inspection and data recording engineers to run the workscope remotely from onshore, resulting in three fewer people on board the vessel, where accommodation is limited due to the Covid-imposed restrictions.
Seeing the work in real-time thanks to remotely operated vehicles
The cloud-based viewing platform allowed those working from home to view the inspection work as it unfolded. They were able to see exactly what the ROV and inspection engineers were seeing in real-time. Data that would once have taken weeks to return from offshore to be analysed was captured as those watching onshore were able to influence the operation live, making the campaign much more efficient.
Subsea mooring inspection and integrity engineering specialists Welaptega, an Ashtead Technology company, was selected by ROVOP to support the project. Its mooring inspection and 3D modelling photogrammetry equipment was integrated into the ROV to enable accurate and repeatable chain measurement and 3D modelling of the subsea template. The point cloud data produced will be used to assist planning of the template removal.
Paul Hudson from ROVOP comments, “We are always looking to push the operational envelope by deploying the latest technology and the best people to solve problems and deliver results. Reducing numbers of people offshore has clear benefits in terms of risk, cost and overall efficiency and, of course, it is particularly relevant when dealing with the challenges presented to the offshore industry by the coronavirus pandemic. This project underlines how digitalisation and collaboration can address some of our most pressing industry challenges.”
Collaboration paves the way for future efforts despite Covid-19
David Robertson, diving & ROV engineer with Premier Oil, adds: “This is a fantastic achievement for both ROVOP and Premier Oil. Through a lot of hard work and collaboration with respective network technology companies, we managed to de-risk personnel travelling to an offshore installation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Executing work of this nature from an installation is always challenging due to bed space requirements. We have proven that inspection activities can be done with a significant reduction in manpower offshore, which potentially paves the way for cost and greenhouse gas reductions across our other assets in the future.”