Subsea Expo: New installation and integrity tool launch

February 2, 2016

Ashtead Technology is outlining a new approach to the installation and integrity management of subsea systems to reduce risk and cost in subsea operations at this week's Subsea Expo in Aberdeen.

The firm has developed a suite of integrated subsea monitoring and data systems to support critical aspects of construction and integrity management. 

Using a building-block philosophy, it's a flexible core system that provides multi-channel communications and data management. This common data systems application framework focuses on rapid application configuration techniques based on common standardized building blocks and integration techniques.

By creating effective and easily integrated building blocks, the system can be used from initial installation through life of field integrity support and eventual decommissioning. 

Their newly launched system covers suction piled structures, mono-piles, wind turbine and jacket installation and flowline spool orientation measurement as well as providing short and long-term fatigue monitoring capabilities on flowlines, risers, mooring systems and critical structures.  

Essentially, Ashtead’s building block based systems provide a versatile platform for improved cost and safety performance, integrating into field communications architectures such as long and ultra-short baseline acoustics, whilst reducing technological and operational risk and capturing key information that can extend the life of subsea assets.

The system is also capable of providing active control to support pipeline commission and subsea intervention operations, allowing fully integrated commissioning and monitoring solutions throughout construction and life of field stages.

Ross MacLeod, business development director of Ashtead, said: “Subsea production systems face growing difficulties in both their installation and their integrity over their life in the field, particularly in challenging geotechnical and environmental loading conditions which can be prevalent in both shallow and ultra-deep water.

“Traditional methods of installation, often delivered in isolation, pose considerable cost and safety risks as well as the need for bespoke solutions or custom-engineering on each project. A step change in monitoring and data integration solutions is required to drive efficiencies, improve both operational and safety performance, whilst reducing cost and associated technical risk that could cause downtime and further cost escalation.

“Ashtead is providing that step-change through fresh thinking and smarter solutions. We are proud to launch this new system at Subsea Expo. We are inviting the industry to come and talk to us and discuss how this type of smart thinking can be applied on other subsea challenges.”

Using its common core building blocks, Ashtead has successfully deployed a range of applications with varying degrees of complexity, providing vital data during subsea construction and life of asset operations.

These applications are the Attitude Monitoring System (AMS), the Deflection Monitoring System (DMS) and the Vibration Monitoring System (VMS). They use common hardware, software and systems integration methodologies to integrate gyro packages, depth gauges, inclinometers and other sensors to provide autonomous packages that can be deployed, used and retrieved by both divers and ROVs.

Macleod added: “The underpinning philosophy has been to standardise instrumentation integration methods and to develop common building blocks that are integrated using simple and robust physical interfaces and software tools that are re-used across diverse applications to reduce risk and the time taken to configure and test these. “

This philosophy takes into account how data is transformed into valuable information and how the information is likely to be used to inform decisions both in real time and in a historic context.

The new system will be explained in detail during a presentation at Subsea Expo on Thursday 3.30pm by Professor Alistair Birnie.

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