Subsea 7’s Autonomous Inspection Vehicle (AIV) has successfully completed its first test mission in the UK North Sea for Shell, the firm announced today (13 August).
A series of field trials were undertaken from Subsea 7 vessel the Normand Subsea for the company’s proprietary AIV technology in July.
Subsea 7 has been developing the AIV in collaboration with Edinburgh's SeeByte, which provides smart software solutions for unmanned underwater vehicles. Subsea 7 says the AIV has the potential to revolutionize life-of-field projects by providing operators with a cost-effective, low-risk, inspection system to aid field survey, integrity management and intevention activities.
The AIV could operate from a host facility, such as an FPSO or platform, as well as from infield suppoer vessels or mobile rigs. Crucially, it has no tether, which means its manoeuvrability is not restricted and it can access confined spaces. It comes with an array of navigation tools and sensors, powered from its onboard battery, which enables up to 24 hours autonomous inspection, Subsea 7 says.
Graham Sharland, Subsea 7 Vice President of Life of Field, said: “Maintaining subsea asset integrity is of prime importance to our clients and the AIV is one example of where Subsea 7 can bring new technology to meet this objective.”
Peter Griffiths, Subsea Engineering Team Lead at Shell, said: “The AIV is an exciting new technology. We look forward to the completion of the Shell new technology integration process and anticipate further collaboration to aim for eventual AIV deployment to enhance Shell’s UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) asset integrity surveillance."
Subsea 7 produced a video last year about the AIV:
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