Saipem's Acoustic Subsea Pipeline Monitoring Tech Gets DNV Nod

Saipem's Castorone vessel - 
 Credit: Saipem
Saipem's Castorone vessel - Credit: Saipem

Italian offshore services firm Saipem said Tuesday that its Integrated Acoustic Unit (I.A.U.) technology for monitoring of subsea pipelines during laying operations had obtained the statement of qualified technology for medium and large pipelines by DNV.

Saipem describes its I.A.U. as an innovative digital instrument, developed by Saipem and based on acoustic technology, which enables non-intrusive, remote offshore pipeline integrity monitoring during laying activities.

According to Saipem, I.A.I can locate obstructions, pipe deformations and water ingress up to several kilometers away, all in real time. It can also classify and quantify detected anomalies and send the data to an operator.

The system will be used during the Scarborough project in Australia, where, subject to the receipt of relevant regulatory approvals, Saipem will complete, on behalf of Woodside Energy, the export trunkline installation of the pipeline that will connect the Scarborough gas field to the onshore plant.

Per Saipem, several I.A.U. prototypes have already been deployed on board the Castorone and Saipem 7000 vessels, and an extensive field test campaign has been conducted in recent years to validate their performance. 

"The tests have shown that I.A.U. is an effective alternative to the mechanical detector commonly used during pipelay activities. In fact, the new Saipem technology ensures greater accuracy and timeliness in detecting anomalies and eliminates the risks associated with the use of the mechanical detector, such as cable breakage, loss of the device in the pipeline and possible damage to the inner lining during pulling operations," Saipem said.

"The I.A.U. technology represents an important step forward in the digitalization of fleet activities and can now be permanently adopted on board Saipem's pipelaying vessels, which are best-in-class in the construction of large offshore gas pipelines worldwide," Saipem added.

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