Photo: Apache-operated Beryl Alpha platform; Source: EnerMech

Apache cuts down on offshore inspection hours through digitalisation

Oil and gas company Apache has implemented digital inspection technology to reduce offshore inspection hours on its Beryl Alpha Platform.

Apache adopted the Arup Inspect MInteg (AIM) inspection service on the Beryl Alpha platform. The solution was developed by engineering consultancy firm Arup and EnerMech’s subsidiary MInteg.

EnerMech said that the digital service would replace high-risk offshore working-at-height inspection methods with the application of remote visual inspection tools.

It also enables operators and asset owners like Apache to access their interactive inspection data 24/7 and make informed decisions about asset repair, replacements, or improvements.

EnerMech added that gaming technology was used to create a baseline geometric digital twin of Apache’s Beryl Alpha platform to sufficiently capture inspection data, without the need for rope access work.

Jim Saunderson, integrity manager for Apache’s North Sea operations, said: “Deploying the Arup and MInteg inspection solution achieved the requirements of our inspection plans while significantly reducing the risk profile of the activity.

The enhanced data capture and storage within the 3D model has aided our post-inspection review by removing any ambiguity and enabling users to challenge information beyond what is captured in reports. We can see opportunities of this data enhancing the quality and efficiency of our inspection plan going forward and is already aiding day to day communications”.

It is worth noting that more than 60,000 images, including 360° panoramic views, were used during the capturing of ultra-high-resolution inspection data.

These enhanced records, EnerMech stated, contributed to improved reporting reliability and the 3D model-based tablet application will help Apache to adopt a digital approach for the platform. 

Simon Evans, digital energy leader at Arup, added: “This successful use of the AIM tool to inspect the Beryl Alpha, which is one of the largest functioning offshore platforms in the United Kingdom and one of the oldest concrete gravity base structures, marks a significant turning point for the oil and gas industry.

It’s an […] example of how digitalisation and automation techniques can deliver revolutionary benefits, including valuable reductions in costs, time, resource and risk”.

EnerMech did add that the Arup-MInteg tandem would continue to work with Apache on digitalising and streamlining future asset inspections.