ROV Innovation Saves Millions for Woodside

(Photo: Fugro)
(Photo: Fugro)

An innovative use of remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) technology for subsea jacket inspections at Australia’s largest oil and gas development has demonstrated substantial cost reductions and operational improvements.

In March this year Fugro began a nine-month inspection campaign of Woodside’s offshore facilities on the Australian North West Shelf. Fugro said its novel platform deployed ROV (PDROV) for subsea jacket inspections was able to help Woodside reduce costs by around AUD 10 million per inspection cycle.

“Very early in the project we identified an alternative to traditional vessel-launched ROV operations which would deliver cost-saving benefits for our client as well as operational improvements,” said Paul Mullins, IRM/Remote Operations Manager. “For a more effective approach to inspection and cleaning tasks we engineered a solution which involved a modified ROV and the design of an innovative launch and recovery system (LARS) enabling the PDROV to be deployed from individual platforms.”

During the development of the new system the project team overcame a number of challenges including limited space and structural capacity on the platforms, platform crane weight and reach limitations, electrical supply and restrictions on welding and drilling.

In addition to the achieved cost savings, Fugro said its innovative technique resulted in significant risk reduction, achieved through reduced requirements for vessels, personnel and equipment. The new system delivers additional benefits including access to previously inaccessible areas of oil platform jackets and an improved operating window due to the absence of heave and drift-on restrictions associated with vessel-based ROVs.

Work on the Woodside IRM project is planned to continue until December 2018.

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