Photo: Illustration; Source: DNV GL

DNV GL conducts remote crane inspections for Aker BP

Classification society DNV GL led a pilot project with Aker BP to remotely inspect three offshore cranes on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

DNV GL said on Tuesday that it performed remote safety inspections of one box boom pedestal crane on Aker BP’s Valhall Flank West and two knuckle boom cranes on the Skarv field, both as part of annual surveys.

On the Valhall Flank West platform, which is normally unmanned, the one-year-old crane, manufactured by NOV, featured auto-testing of the automatic overload protection system. It was the first time this was inspected along with the structural connections, critical hydraulic and electrical components, the manual overload protections system, and brakes.

A similar inspection programme is being performed on two knuckle boom cranes on the FPSO located in the Skarv field.

Skarv FPSO; Source: Aker BP DNV GL
Skarv FPSO; Source: Aker BP

According to DNV GL, the ongoing remote assistance pilot task will fully assess how to perform key safety-critical tasks remotely without jeopardizing trust and safety for personnel and the asset in the process.

Avoiding return travel to Brønnøysund and helicopter travel to Skarv are a few examples of cost-saving contributions of this approach.

Robert Anfinn Oftedal, head of section, cranes, and lifting operations from DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said: “As with physical inspections, communication and knowledge of the equipment or system in question is vital throughout the process between each party.

With the use of readily available, live-feed technology such as smartphones, tablet computers and digital cameras, inspections are becoming quicker, more accessible, more cost-effective and have a positive impact on minimizing carbon emissions”.

Arve Johan Kalleklev
Arve Johan Kalleklev

Arve Johan Kalleklev, DNV GL – Oil & Gas’ regional manager for Norway and Eurasia, added: “The global pandemic has accelerated the onset of remote surveys in the industry and we are beginning to realize the impact this technology can have in the long term.

The ability for expert inspectors and surveyors located anywhere in the world to confidently ‘visit’ assets to verify quality and integrity in full compliance with company specifications or industry standards is very appealing to the oil and gas industry”.

Responding to intensified demand for ‘virtual’ verification and certification services for topside and subsea equipment, DNV GL has undertaken more than 4,000 remote inspections for the oil and gas industry so far this year. This includes surveys such as a marine warranty survey of a barge and platform in Senegal and material certification of subsea equipment in China.

Svein Harald Hetland, technical authority for lifting at Aker BP, stated: “Using an automatic test system with a digital interface significantly reduces risk compared to manual inspections via procedures. The next generation of cranes will be set up with continuous monitoring systems which enables us to move into a predictive maintenance regime”.

Ine Dolve, SVP at Aker BP, said: “Our operating model will use lessons learned from the pilot and scale the remote assist concept across our assets as we adapt to a new normal”.