ROVOP rolls out video link option for offshore inspection

UK-based ROVOP has delivered its first remote platform-based live video streaming option for offshore inspection and repair, reducing the number of people required on-board amidst Covid restrictions.

Onshore ROV control room (Courtesy of ROVOP)
Onshore ROV control room (Courtesy of ROVOP)

ROVOP 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 – a provider of subsea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) – worked together with Premier Oil to develop a 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 less people on board the vessel, where accommodation is limited due to the Covid-imposed restrictions, ROVOP informed.

The cloud-based viewing platform enabled those working from home to view the inspection work as it unfolded, and to see exactly what the ROV and inspection engineers were seeing in real-time.

Paul Hudson, ROVOP’s sales and marketing director, said: “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”.

Data, which 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 more efficient, according to ROVOP.

David Robertson, diving & ROV engineer with Premier Oil, added: “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”.

Subsea mooring inspection and integrity engineering specialists Welaptega, an Ashtead Technology company, was selected by ROVOP to support the project.

Welaptega’s 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, according to ROVOP.