DECOMMISSIONING ASSET INSPECTION FOR KINSALE ENERGY IN IRELAND

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Kinsale Energy, previously Marathon Oil Ireland (MOIL), has been operating gas fields off the County Cork coast since 1978. The gas wells in the Kinsale Area have been producing for 40 years and it is anticipated they will reach the end of their productive life by 2020/21, when the gas reserves will have been depleted. At this point, decommissioning activity is expected to begin, which will see the wells permanently plugged and associated facilities, including two offshore platforms and the onshore Inch Terminal, decommissioned.

Multiple difficult to access inspection work scopes were completed on the platforms, such as the underdeck, risers and conductors and splash zone. Platform underdecks are traditionally a difficult area to inspect; access by rope access or scaffolding can be challenging and it can take several weeks to conduct the inspections, incurring high costs and requiring technicians to work at height for extended periods of time.

Ahead of the decommissioning campaign, Kinsale Energy selected Cyberhawk to conduct condition assessments of two platforms, plus an onshore communications tower, using drones.

15

Drone technology has presented a viable solution to these challenges. A highly skilled pilot can overcome the lack of GPS underneath the platform and fly fully manually to complete inspections which are quicker, safer and cost-effective.

The Cyberhawk team of two, an experienced offshore pilot and an industry trained inspection engineer, were flown to the first platform then transferred to the standby vessel to conduct a full underdeck inspection of the second (unmanned) platform. Following this, the Cyberhawk team then returned to shore to inspect a communication tower at the Inch Gas Terminal.

As well as the integrity assessments, our team also captured data which allowed a 3D point cloud model of the platform to be generated. This provided Kinsale Energy with a detailed, dimensionally accurate 360 degree view of the asset which meant the operator could plan decommissioning activity using contextualised, up-to-date visual information.

Chris Fleming, CEO at Cyberhawk said: “The benefits of drone technology for decommissioning are becoming widely recognised and we’re pleased to have completed this project, a first for offshore oil and gas in Ireland, for Kinsale Energy.

“As well as conducting integrity assessments ahead of decommissioning, it’s been hugely encouraging to see clients maximise our time on their platforms to capture data which gives them a previously unseen view of their asset. This information is being used in various ways, to support contract tendering , planning and scheduling, and also provides onshore staff with an understanding of the asset that they may not previously have benefitted from.

“We continue to invest in the development of our digital and asset visualisation solutions, which have become a major part of our drone inspection and survey business, allowing clients to use the data collected in various work streams.”

CYBERHAWK COMPLETES DRONE UNDERDECK INSPECTION IN NORWEGIAN NORTH SEA

A Cyberhawk team recently completed a challenging ‘multiscope’ drone inspection at a platform belonging to a supermajor in the Norwegian North Sea.


CYBERHAWK COMPLETES DRONE UNDERDECK INSPECTION IN NORWEGIAN NORTH SEA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Our experienced offshore drone pilot and industry qualified oil and gas inspection engineer were deployed to inspect the platform’s flare tip, flare deck, flare tower, underdeck and produced water caisson.

Inspection of underdecks is often a complex job. The traditional methods of access would be to use scaffolding or rope access technicians. Erecting and dismantling scaffolding of an underdeck area of this size would be extremely costly, potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds, making this technique unjustifiably expensive when other solutions exist. It would take many weeks to complete the full inspection scope.

15

The more likely alternative inspection technique would be to use rope access. This method presents a lower-cost solution and would take around two weeks to complete a scope of this scale.

Using a drone, however, brings even more efficiency to the inspection process. This underdeck inspection was completed within just one day, representing a dramatic time and cost-saving. The drone pilot is also able to obtain standoff shots of the underdeck, an angle that would not be obtainable from these alternative inspection techniques.

Rope access also presents an increased risk to safety, involving hanging from the platform attached by ropes, and extended periods of working at height.

The client opted to use drones to conduct this inspection to gain safe, efficient access to this complex area and ascertain a complete view from standoff shots to the imagery of focal areas.

Whilst the application of drone inspection is becoming more widely understood and embraced, a platform underdeck is one area that many believe is inaccessible by a drone. This is undoubtedly a challenging area to inspect, where pilots are met with no GPS, potential magnetic interference and complex structures to navigate around. In many cases, this results in the pilot hovering the drone at the edge of the platform and pointing the camera upwards. The implication of this is low-quality data, which does not give a close enough view of any potential defects and therefore cannot support decision-making.

A full underdeck inspection can, however, be undertaken by an experienced pilot who has the ability to fly completely manually, which Cyberhawk has once again proven in this case. Check out our video to see our team in action on this underdeck inspection.

The client was pleased with the results and continues to work with Cyberhawk to explore new applications for drone inspection on its assets.


DRONE SURVEY AND INSPECTION POST-EARTHQUAKE IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
South America

A violent earthquake in the Southern Hemisphere resulted in considerable damage occurring in the area. An oilfield operator in the region was concerned not only with the welfare of its people, but also the impact of the earthquake on its assets, as well as the effect of subsequent aftershocks which lasted up to a month after the initial tremors.

The operator contacted Cyberhawk and requested we mobilize a team to this remote area as a matter of urgency, to inspect and survey the processing equipment and infrastructure. Tanks, bridges, flares, columns, accommodation blocks and roads were inspected. Deliverables including accurate orthophotos, 3D models and virtual tours, as well as detailed inspection reports to highlight the severity of any damage.

15

The operator chose drones as the preferred method of inspection due to:

Speed – production had ceased until the extent of damage had been confirmed and it was deemed safe to bring the field back online, therefore it was important the inspection was conducted as quickly as possible.
Access to difficult areas – many parts of the field had become extremely difficult for personnel to access and with potential aftershocks still occurring, the use of drones was much quicker and safer, and offered the ability to capture a highly detailed visual record of every asset.

We sent in a highly experienced team – a drone pilot and an inspection engineer – who spent two weeks on-site, inspecting assets for up to 12 hours per day. Hundreds of gigabytes of data were captured during this time and due to the speed in which reports were required, our team processed the data remotely, conducting engineering analysis at our inspection centre in the UK. This meant comprehensive reports could be sent to the client on a daily basis via iHawk, our cloud-based reporting system.

More than 50 deliverables were provided to the client, who was pleased with the data and impressed with the accuracy of results. Production at the field commenced soon after our team completed the project.

TRANSMISSION AND SUBSTATION DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT SOLUTION FOR SSEN

As part of our framework with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), Cyberhawk provides inspection and digital asset management solutions for the SSEN transmission overhead line and substation network in Scotland.  


ELEVATED FLARE STACK INSPECTION AT A SOUTH AMERICAN ONSHORE REFINERY

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
South America

Our team was approached to conduct a close visual inspection (CVI) of an elevated flare stack at an onshore refinery in South America. 

Prior to our UAV inspection (which was required because the flare was not burning correctly) an initial inspection of the flare stack had taken place with a ground camera and it was deemed that the entire flare tip should be replaced. Because the level of detail and the views available from the ground camera were limited, the refinery operator sought a second, more detailed inspection and thus opted for a CVI using drones. Our team mobilised to South America and completed the full inspection within one day, with over 600 images, including thermal imagery, captured.

 

15

After generating a detailed inspection report, it was deemed that a flare tip replacement was not required at this stage and all that was needed was to renew the pilot burners. This intervention has allowed the client to postpone a shutdown by several months, and means that a longer shutdown can be undertaken, where deeper maintenance can be carried out. UAVs can be used to monitor the flare system until that time.

The client was extremely impressed with the results from the inspection and is looking to utilise our UAV inspection services ahead of future planned shutdowns.

INSPECTION OF ELEVATED VENT SILENCERS FOR MAJOR GAS MANUFACTURER

Cyberhawk was appointed by major specialty gas manufacturer to inspect a number of elevated vent silencers and their support structures at its manufacturing facility in East England using UAVs. 


INSPECTION OF ELEVATED VENT SILENCERS FOR MAJOR GAS MANUFACTURER

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The main focus of the inspection was to identify possible defects and/or debris through the vents and any damage or obstructions to the support structures.

A two-man team from Cyberhawk (a highly trained UAV Pilot and an experienced Inspection Engineer) visited the site to undertake the inspection of the elevated steel vent silencers in areas such as warehouses.

The full inspection was successfully completed in just one day, with detailed engineering inspection reports following shortly afterwards.

15

The usual means of access for this type of inspection would be to use a cherry picker. An inspection using this method, however, could take two weeks to complete and involves extended periods of working at height, which is a contributor to one of the biggest causes of injuries and fatalities at work – falls from height.

DETAILED EXAMINATION OF ROYAL BORDER BRIDGE

As a Network Rail framework holder, Cyberhawk recently completed a detailed examination viaduct inspection campaign which included an inspection of the iconic Royal Border Bridge.


CYBERHAWK CONDUCTS FIRST INSPECTION IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
North America

Cyberhawk was selected based on our previous track record working with this client around the globe, including the UK, Norway and the USA. The client recognised the safety benefits of using UAVs, which remove the need to erect scaffolding and work at height, and are up to four times faster than traditional visual inspection methods, negating the need to shut down production.

This project marked Cyberhawk’s first UAV inspection in the Caribbean energy sector and several further mobilisations are planned for 2018.

The client was extremely impressed not only with the UAV inspection itself, but also with the high level of quality and detail of Cyberhawk’s engineering reports. They were also impressed with Cyberhawk’s cloud based asset management software, iHawk, which provides digitisation of inspection findings. This allows effective management of large volumes of data, better planning of maintenance and a collaborative platform for multiple stakeholders.

15

CYBERHAWK CONDUCTS GENSIP COMPLIANT INSPECTION OF THERMAL POWER STATION

Cyberhawk was approached by a major thermal power generation company in the UK to conduct a non-intrusive, close visual inspection of one of its thermal power stations, including all elevations and roofs.


OVER 350 RISERS ON 63 OFFSHORE PLATFORMS INSPECTED IN A MONTH FOR DUBAI PETROLEUM USING UAVS

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Middle East

The rationale behind Dubai Petroleum’s use of UAVs was to quickly complete detailed inspections of all their risers. Risers are traditionally a difficult area of an offshore platform to inspect; under deck and in the splash zone options for access, such as abseiling or scaffolding, are limited, extremely time consuming and very expensive. Used as a scanning tool, the high-quality reports produced by the Cyberhawk UAV team allowed the client to then plan tactile inspection or repair. Additionally, now that a full inspection has been completed on all riser’s defects can be tracked over time to understand their longer term degradation.

A two-man team was mobilised to the platforms, consisting of an experienced UAV pilot and an oil and gas inspection engineer. Cyberhawk’s significant aviation experience of operating in more than 25 countries globally meant that we knew how to secure the necessary flight permissions from the Dubai CAA. Daily reports were produced to notify the client of potentially serious defects, with detailed inspection reports produced thereafter by Cyberhawk’s experienced oil and gas inspection team.

15

On the same project, an additional three elevated flare stacks and 24 bridges were inspected, maximising the mobilisation. Dubai Petroleum’s Asset Integrity Manager reported: “Having worked with Cyberhawk in the past, we understand the potential on offer from UAV inspection. This confidence led us to use UAVs in a new area within our business, this riser survey project. The campaign was a great success and we are pleased with the outcome.

“The speed and efficiency with which this project was completed has proven that the scope and application of UAV inspection can be expanded for our requirements, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Cyberhawk in the future.”

REGULAR INSPECTION OF A STEAM LEAK ON ELEVATED FLARE STACK

Cyberhawk was tasked by a major petrochemical operator to complete regular close visual inspections of a damaged elevated flare stack at its site in the UK. The main task was to regularly inspect a critical perforation of a steam riser on the flare and to monitor the potential dropped object risk.


REGULAR INSPECTION OF A STEAM LEAK ON ELEVATED FLARE STACK

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The perforation’s size had increased over the first few inspections with a riser split causing the steel pipe to hang from the side of the flare. Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any further degradation of the brackets that hold the steam riser in place, with the intent to defer costly maintenance until a planned shutdown.

The area around the flare is a no go area, so use of scaffolding or rope access is not possible and would require shutdown. Thanks to a CVI (Close Visual Inspection) with a drone, Cyberhawk can provide a full inspection report to advise on the condition of the structure and assist in predicting the damage development.

An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and qualified inspection pilot, is mobilised each month to undertake the work.

15

By providing quicker inspection times, reduced cost of inspection and avoidance of unplanned shutdowns, Cyberhawk’s UAV solution has once again proven its worth in the petrochemical sector.

VIADUCT INSPECTION FOR NETWORK RAIL USING DRONES

Cyberhawk was approached by Network Rail to conduct an “inspection for assessment” on a number of brick viaducts in the UK.


INTERNAL INSPECTION OF 14 CARGO OIL TANKS IN USA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
North America

The project, carried out by a two-man team, saw Cyberhawk examine the quality of the entire internal surface of all 14 tanks in only seven days. Typically, this type of inspection is conducted using a technique called rafting. Rafting involves filling the tank being inspected with water, allowing the ship surveyor to use a raft or dinghy to view critical inspection areas of the tank, inaccessible from the tank floor. Rafting creates a large volume of oil-contaminated water which has to be decanted from the vessel at a port that can handle such waste. Using a UAV eliminated the generation of oil-contaminated water and the safety risks associated with rafting. UAVs were chosen as the preferred method of inspection primarily to reduce the safety risk posed to personnel working at height, as well as to save time. Cyberhawk was the first company ever to complete an internal inspection using UAVs and has worked in multiple environments and projects since the launch of this service.

15

This technique allowed Cyberhawk to quickly and efficiently undertake a safe audit of the structure, which in turn meant the client could prioritise further contact inspection or maintenance work. The US coastguard (USCG) and a class certification body was there to witness the inspection as Cyberhawk was the only UAV inspection company that met the standards they set.

Utilising an internal UAV, Cyberhawk successfully completed the workscope delivering high quality inspection reports which enabled the client to understand the tank’s condition. The client reported the project was carried out efficiently, saving them standby time at the port, with over a million pounds in cost savings.

CLYDE WINDFARM INSPECTION FOR SIEMENS GAMESA

Cyberhawk was tasked by Siemens Gamesa to carry out close visual inspections of wind turbine blades located at the Clyde Windfarm in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. Cyberhawk was selected to conduct the inspections thanks to our well-established track record, high quality results and framework agreement with Siemens Gamesa.


OFFSHORE DRONE INSPECTION IN ITALY

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Service
Drone Data Collection
Region
Europe

As a first step, Cyberhawk also had to obtain a permit for aerial work from the Italian Aviation Authority (ENAC) and attend a two-day course in Italy prior to mobilising offshore. Our pilots were the first to complete a conversion course to work in Italy after already holding a valid permit for aerial work in another country.

In order to fully maximise the mobilisation, this work scope saw Cyberhawk inspect multiple elements including the flare, flare boom, support structure, splash zone and mooring dolphins. Using UAVs for the inspection was deemed the safest and most efficient method and Cyberhawk was recommended due to its previous inspection record for all the major the oil and gas operators.

15

Traditionally, rope access or scaffolding would be used to inspect the structure however due to the size of the strucutre this would have been a very time-consuming process using traditional access techniques.

Cyberhawk successfully completed all the inspection work scopes over the course of six days, proving the speed and efficiency of UAV inspections and reinforcing that the technology can produce exceptional results in the harshest of offshore environments.

OIL AND GAS UAV INSPECTION IN IRELAND

An oil and gas supermajor called upon Cyberhawk to conduct a detailed inspection of an elevated, guy-wire supported, flare stack and over 60m of elevated pipe work in Ireland.


OIL AND GAS UAV INSPECTION IN IRELAND

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Traditionally, the inspection of elevated flare stacks would require a plant shutdown and technicians climbing the stack ; however Cyberhawk were able to complete the inspection while the stack was live, allowing the operator to significantly reduce costs by maximising uptime of the process equipment. The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs on the elevated pipe rack was to reduce human exposure to potential hazards, such as working at height. The drone, operated by highly trained O&G pilot and ASME plant inspector, was able to complete the structural inspection and potential dropped object sweep, quickly and in high detail while the team were on the ground.

The project, carried out by a two-man team, saw Cyberhawk examine the condition of the assets in a few days. Relatively strong winds proved a challenge during the inspection, however this was easily tackled by our robust UAV, which can fly in up to 25 knots of wind, as well as the experienced pilots who operate the equipment full manually.

Thanks to our track record and extensive experience in the oil and gas sector, Cyberhawk was chosen as the preferred UAV inspection company to provide accurate data on the condition of the assets.

15

Cyberhawk successfully completed the work scopes, delivering high quality inspection reports with high resolution imagery which enabled the client to understand both the asset’s condition and a previous repair made to the flare tips. The client reported the project was carried out within budget and reported significant time savings.

TANK ROOF PONTOON INTERNAL INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Cyberhawk was asked by one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies to inspect the internal roof pontoons and steel shell of a floating roof tank dedicated to the production of unrefined diesel at a refinery in the UK.


TANK ROOF PONTOON INTERNAL INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Cyberhawk was chosen to undertake this complex workscope as a result of its successful track record of internal UAV inspection within confined spaces and its teams of highly skilled pilots and inspectors who were be mobilised for the inspection. UAVs were chosen as the preferred method of inspection primarily to reduce the safety risks associated with working in confined spaces.

Usually this type of inspection is conducted by personnel entering inside the tight roof pontoons of the tank and would require weeks to complete the work scope. Cyberhawk has proven that UAVs not only reduce the requirement for working in confined spaces, but was able to complete the full scope in just five days. Cyberhawk’s two-man team examined the condition of the 25 pontoons and the entire internal surface of the tank, meaning the inside of the asset was fully inspected whilst the team remained in a safe position on the outside to fly the UAV.

With the challenges of no GPS signal and different entry points for each pontoon, Cyberhawk’s pilot had to apply all of their training and experience and work with an extremely high level of precision. The ability to fly fully manually while travelling through the tank’s compartments was essential to ensure a successful end result.

15

Cyberhawk successfully completed the work scope delivering a high-quality inspection report with high-resolution images which enabled the client to understand the tank’s condition. The pontoons were found to be in generally good condition throughout with no significant damage or defects. The client reported the project was carried out within budget and reported significant time savings.

NORTHERN SCOTLAND WIND FARM SURVEY

Cyberhawk recently conducted a complete aerial survey of a wind farm in northern Scotland for a large civil engineering consultant.


SAUDI ARABIA – LIVE FLARE INSPECTION

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Middle East

The inspection quickly identified critical damage on the flare tip. Two cracks were found on two different nozzles that could cause a potential dropped object risk. Each of these nozzles weighs over 40kg so they could prove extremely dangerous for staff and other assets in the refinery.

The inspection took five days; on the first day, the team, of an experienced pilot and oil and gas inspection engineer, discussed the safety requirements and reviewed flying methods with the client. The following two days involved the actual UAV inspection which identified the cracks, and the final two days saw the development of an inspection report which addressed the critical damage.

This first inspection is part of a monthly inspection regime that aims to identify the rate of damage propagation and ultimately defer a costly unplanned shutdown.

15

Cyberhawk was chosen due to its strong global track record, working with oil and gas supermajors and national oil companies in the middle east for over eight years. Alternative inspection methods, such as rope access or scaffolding, would have taken weeks to complete, required a shutdown of the facility and would have presented significant risks to personnel, such as working at height. In this case, it would also have been difficult to spot the damage due to the design of the flare, which only allowed a clear view from above. Whilst a helicopter would have addressed this issue, it would have resulted in costs three to four times higher.

Thanks to the skill and ability of Cyberhawk’s pilots, the inspection of the critical flare tip was successfully completed, allowing the client to defer a costly shutdown and reduce potential risk to personnel.

BRUNEI – INSPECTING 20 NUIS OFFSHORE AND 3 FLARES ONSHORE

Cyberhawk completed two inspection projects in Brunei for an oil and gas supermajor; one project offshore and one project onshore. The first project included the detailed inspection of 20 normally-unmanned-installations (NUIs) offshore which were due for decommissioning. The second inspection involved three flare towers at an onshore facility. The inspection time for both projects was under two weeks.


BRUNEI – INSPECTING 20 NUIS OFFSHORE AND 3 FLARES ONSHORE

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Asia

Cyberhawk’s repeat work for the client, and reputation for the successful UAV inspections of offshore oil and gas assets, saw the team selected as the preferred provider for this challenging multiple work scope project. The use of drones for the data collection was favoured thanks to the ability to provide highly accurate data, and minimised risk to personnel versus the working at height issues associated with conventional inspection and access techniques, such as rope access, scaffolding or manned helicopter.

For the flare tip and structural inspections, production shutdown is commonly required, which can be extremely costly for the client. The use of UAVs avoids such costly shutdowns. Furthermore, one of the flare towers was 4km away from the coast and accessible only by jetty.

Safe access to the NUIs was set to be challenging, as the boat landing platforms of some of the assets were not fit for purpose. We carried out full NUI close visual inspections, capturing high resolution data for each jacket.

15

Traditionally, this inspection would be completed with the use of a helicopter, however, the level of detail obtainable is nowhere near what is achieved with UAV operated by experienced personnel. The Cyberhawk team worked quickly and efficiently, with the successful inspection taking just a few days instead of weeks. Furthermore, the detailed visual data captured by our UAVs and analysed by our engineering teams assisted in focusing maintenance only in areas that required it.

The project reinforced Cyberhawk’s leading position in the industry and region to date.

OFFSHORE FLARE INSPECTION ON AN FPSO IN WEST AFRICA

Cyberhawk was called upon to inspect a flare on an FPSO off the coast of West Africa in April 2017. Critical damage was detected on the flare tip and since then, Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any potential further degradation. The intent was to defer a costly unplanned shutdown until the flare could be safely replaced three months later.


OFFSHORE FLARE INSPECTION ON AN FPSO IN WEST AFRICA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Africa

Cyberhawk was called upon to inspect a flare on an FPSO off the coast of West Africa in April 2017. Critical damage was detected on the flare tip and since then, Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any potential further degradation. The intent was to defer a costly unplanned shutdown until the flare could be safely replaced three months later.

Due to our international track record, Cyberhawk was chosen as the preferred UAV inspection company to provide accurate data on the condition of the flare on a daily basis, for over three months. An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and offshore qualified inspection pilot, was mobilised to undertake the work. Thanks to our CVI (Close Visual Inspection) techniques, Cyberhawk could advise on the level of the critical condition and assist in predicting the damage development, by sizing the cracks on the flare bolts and predicting any potential dropped object risk.

15

Traditionally, this inspection would be completed with the use of a helicopter, however, the level of detail obtainable is nowhere near what is achieved with UAV technology. Furthermore, the need for daily monitoring in critical condition scenarios requires fast mobilisation, and maintaining a safe distance from the asset.

Together with the quicker inspection times, reduced cost of inspection and avoidance of unplanned shutdowns, Cyberhawk’s UAV solution has once again demonstrated what a UAV inspection and engineering company can bring to the offshore oil and gas sector.

SHELL BRENT DELTA DECOMMISSIONING

In 2012, Cyberhawk was selected by oil and gas supermajor, Shell, to carry out a condition based inspection at the Brent Delta platform in the North Sea. This was an ongoing project as part of the decommissioning of the platform that took place in late April 2017. The workscope involved the inspection of the jack up legs and underdeck.


SHELL BRENT DELTA DECOMMISSIONING

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Due to our extensive track record and ability to fly underneath platforms (a GPS denied environment), the client deemed Cyberhawk the best fit for the project. Previous efforts using scaffolding and rope access were unsuccessful due to the inaccessibility and the wild sea state which often washed the scaffold away. With the use of drones, the client was able to reach an informed decision as to whether a single lift of the platform was even possible based upon a condition assessment of the underdeck.

This inspection, which took place in 2012, was the world’s first underdeck inspection using drones. Cyberhawk faced a number of challenges throughout the inspection. With no GPS signal while flying the UAV underdeck, the team relied heavily on their piloting skills as no automated functions could be used. Since then, numerous inspections of the underdeck have been completed, offering accurate data on the condition of the platform over time. Recently, our technology also allowed the client’s engineers to make a final thorough assessment prior to decommissioning, by using a 3d model created by Cyberhawk by means of photogrammetry. This model was compared against the design model for discrepancies, as often modifications are made which aren’t fed back to the design team.

15

All the information used for planning successfully assisted a smooth and risk free run of the project,. Furthermore, by using the decommissioning vessel on standby for less time, costs were reduced dramatically.

The Brent Delta platform decommissioning also has a more personal twist for Cyberhawk. Back in the early 80s, our CEO’s father Jesz Fleming worked for Shell as the client representative on the saturation diving vessel, Arctic Seal. Chris remembers hearing the stories about the brave men who spent their working days in the deep dark water of the North Sea. As many tasks once carried out by divers are now completed by ROVs, in the aim to reduce risk for personnel, the drone is also now replacing humans and, where possible, removing exposure to potential risk.

FLARE INSPECTION IN SAUDI ARABIA

Cyberhawk completed the inspection of a live flare stack at a major onshore refinery in Saudi Arabia, without the need to shut down operations.


FLARE INSPECTION IN SAUDI ARABIA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Middle East

The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs was to reduce human exposure to potential hazards, including working at height and in gas-rich environments, as well as remaining a safe distance from the operational assets. Traditionally, this inspection would require a shutdown, however the operator wanted to significantly reduce costs by maximising uptime of the processing equipment.

The inspection team, including a flare inspection engineer and a CAA qualified pilot, completed the project in just two days. On day one, the team familiarised itself with the asset and the health and safety procedures of the refinery, completing the inspection in only four hours on the second day.

Thanks to our international track record and extensive experience in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, Cyberhawk was chosen as the preferred UAV inspection company to provide accurate data on the condition of the assets.

15

Regional operational challenges in Middle East include heat, which affects the battery life of the drones, as well as sandstorms that cause low visibility. This meant that our experienced team had to work very quickly, efficiently and with a high level of skill.

Furthermore, due to challenging customs restrictions in Saudi Arabia, Cyberhawk had to demonstrate a strong track record and high level of knowledge of UAV regulations in order to secure the necessary flight permissions from the aviation authority, as well as additional approvals from the local airforce.

Together with quicker inspection times, reduced cost of inspection and avoidance of unplanned shutdowns, Cyberhawk’s UAV solution once again proved its worth in the oil and gas sector.


GROUND FLARE INSPECTION FOR OIL & GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Cyberhawk was tasked by an oil and gas supermajor to conduct an internal and external ground flare inspection – one of many repeat projects on the client’s site. An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and an oil and gas qualified inspection pilot, was mobilised to inspect a 20-metre-high, ground flare.

The inside of the flare is made of refractory tiles that had become detached over time, whilst wind breakers on the top of the flare, used to improve combustion, were damaged. An inspection of this type would normally be completed using a MEWP (Mobile Elevated Working Platform), however due to an increased risk of dropped objects that could cause damage to other assets or personnel, UAVs were deemed the best way to inspect the asset. Furthermore, a UAV would be able to obtain a far more detailed level of information in comparison with traditional inspection methods.

Thanks to our international track record with the oil and gas supermajor, Cyberhawk was chosen to provide accurate data on the condition of the 30-year-old flare. Thanks to a CVI (Close Visual Inspection), Cyberhawk could advise on the critical condition level and assist in predicting the damage development.

15

While this flare was shutdown, one particularly challenge was another nearby flare, which was live. This meant our pilot had to keep the drone away from the second flare, so the inspection quality or the safety of the asset would not be compromised. Our team had the challenging task of creating a flight plan that would help them gather as much information as possible, whilst avoiding the proximity of the live flare.

Sending teams to the inside of the flare would expose humans to potential gas leaks as well as the risk of dropped objects. With Cyberhawk’s UAV inspection, any gas leak can be detected through specific monitors on the drone, with findings used to notify site management of any potentially dangerous defects to be addressed.

Cyberhawk has once again demonstrated how complex inspection projects can be completed using UAV technology, in a faster time and at a lower cost than traditional methods.

CYBERHAWK INSPECTS UK’S LARGEST CHIMNEY STACK

Cyberhawk was called upon to inspect two chimneys at Drax Power Station, which generates 16% of Great Britain’s Renewable electricity. The requirement was to provide a detailed external inspection of both chimney stacks, which included one of the largest in western Europe.


FPSO INSPECTION IN THE NORTH SEA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The client had initially planned to use a relatively inexperienced drone operator. However, while developing the risk assessment with said operator, it became clear that the work scope was complex. This meant a more experienced UAV operator was required, with a proven track record and multiple similar projects under its belt. The operator also needed to have the inspection engineering expertise to ensure detailed reports would be produced, which would allow the client to make maintenance decisions. For Cyberhawk, this was a routine inspection that was completed in five days.

Alternative methods for carrying out this scope of work, such as rope access, elevated cradles or scaffolding, would have taken weeks to complete the inspections. The hull of the boat would have been especially tricky, since there was a water outlet with built up growth that was hard to access, and high risk of LSA exposure (Low Specific Activity) which is naturally occurring radioactivity.

Cyberhawk recently completed a multi-scope inspection of an FPSO in the North Sea. The requirement was to provide a detailed inspection of the flare tip and supporting structure, inert gas vent, internal tank and a survey of the hull of the vessel.

15

Cyberhawk’s solution mitigated the risks associated with other methods, such as working at height or near contaminated areas. It also provided detailed data on the condition of the asset which allowed the client to take maintenance measures wherever needed, thus prioritising actions and significantly minimising costs.


MONTHLY FLARE INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

As part of a detailed multi scope inspection in 2016, Cyberhawk detected critical damage on the flare tip of a fixed platform in the North Sea. Since then, Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any potential further degradation, with the intent to defer a costly unplanned shutdown until the planned TAR.

Thanks to its international track record with the oil and gas supermajor, Cyberhawk was chosen as the preferred UAV inspection company to provide accurate data on the condition of the flare. An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and offshore qualified inspection pilot, is mobilised each month to undertake the work.

Thanks to a CVI (Close Visual Inspection), Cyberhawk can advise on the level of the critical condition and assist in predicting the damage development.

15

As part of a detailed multi scope inspection in 2016, Cyberhawk detected critical damage on the flare tip of a fixed platform in the North Sea. Since then, Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any potential further degradation, with the intent to defer a costly unplanned shutdown until the planned TAR.

Traditionally this inspection would be completed with the use of a helicopter, however, the level of detail obtainable is nowhere near what is achieved with UAV technology. Together with the quicker inspection times, reduced cost of inspection and avoidance of unplanned shutdowns, Cyberhawk’s UAV solution has once again proven its worth in the offshore oil and gas sector.


MORECAMBE BAY UNDERDECK INSPECTION FOR CENTRICA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Due to our extensive track record and ability to successfully fly underneath an offshore platform (a GPS denied environment), the client deemed Cyberhawk the best fit for the project. Our inspection methods very effectively acquire high quality images, which are used to accurately determine the asset condition required for the further planning of remedial work.

In April 2017, Cyberhawk was selected by Centrica to carry out an underdeck inspection of the satellite platforms DP6 and DP8 at the gas fields in Morecambe Bay, UK. Cyberhawk faced a number of challenges throughout this inspection. With no GPS signal while flying the UAV underdeck, the team relied heavily on their piloting skills. Operating from a stand-by vessel also provided additional challenges due to the movement of the vessel in relation to the platform. The team had to work with the low tide to be able to cover the underdeck of the platform, timing the flights and liaising with the rest of the platform crew.

The alternative method considered for this nature of inspection would have been to use a rope access technician team (RAT). This technique increases man hours and would have seen the RAT team suspended from the flat-bottom platform for several weeks, which would have been hard to manage due to the short low tide windows.

15

Steve Bowskill, Senior Integrity Engineer at Centrica said: “This is the second survey we have had Cyberhawk do for us in the last few months. They have been doing underdeck inspections on some of our remote platforms from a FRC boat, saving us time, money and ensuring inspections are being completed safely.

“Their inspection methods enabled the core helicopter intervention crew on the topsides of the remote platform to remain the same. Cyberhawk team did not take up POB on the platform, ensuring other maintenance tasks could continue unhindered, thus meeting the scheduled plan. We have also used them on our terminals at Barrow in Furness.

“They are an excellent company to work with and their engineers are very professional with great reports to allow informed engineering decisions to be made.”

Cyberhawk completed the visual inspection of the underdeck in just two days, compared with rope access which would have required over five weeks to complete. The client was then able to make an informed decision on whether further manned inspections were required, only sending in the RAT team to specific selected locations if needed.

In projects of this nature savings are in the range of £1,000,000+, and most operators are now regularly using this technique for underdeck inspections.


AKZONOBEL CHEMICALS DRONE INSPECTION

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

In April 2016, Cyberhawk was tasked by Akzo Noble, a major producer of speciality chemicals in the Netherlands, to complete multiple challenging work scopes including a moored ship’s cargo holds, inside a double skin roof, under a loading jetty, inside silos and concrete slab roofs.

The project posed several challenges for the Cyberhawk team. Cyberhawk have developed a UAV and operational procedures for flying in internal and confined spaces in a safe a repeatable manner, which was required for these challenging work scopes. Despite the potential difficulties, Cyberhawk completed the project successfully, returning the UAV safely at the end of the inspection and capturing data to write detailed engineering inspection reports.

Cyberhawk was appointed by the client as it introduced new inspection technology to its global operations.

15

The traditional inspection method for this project would have been rope access, resulting in personnel working at height and three times longer to complete and even longer if scaffolding was required. Utilising Cyberhawk’s UAVs allowed the inspection to be completed in just three days and secured significant time and cost savings for the client.


GULF OF MEXICO FLARE INSPECTION

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
North America

Cyberhawk was chosen due to its international track record, working with oil and gas supermajors for over eight years. An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and oil and gas qualified inspection pilot, was mobilised to undertake the work and spent two days offshore. However, the actual inspection took only four hours proving, once more, how fast and effective UAV inspections can be. The team managed to complete the project under extreme wind conditions, flying in 25 knot winds.

Alternative methods such as rope access or scaffolding would have taken weeks to complete, required a shutdown of the facility and would have presented significant dangers to personnel, such as working at height. In this case, it would also have been extremely dangerous to inspect this asset using rope access as the UAV captured data showed that the platform around the flare and the handrails were in very poor condition. Alternatively, a helicopter inspection would have been three to four times more expensive.

Cyberhawk recently completed an offshore project for assets previously owned by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. The workscope involved the close visual inspection of a 10-year-old flare stack while live and operational, on one of the largest spar platforms in the world.

15

The detailed inspection report showed that the flare was in good condition, despite being in use for over 10 years. This helped the client to understand the status of deterioration, and avoid unnecessary maintenance costs.

SHELL MOERDIJK FLARE INSPECTION, NETHERLANDS

Oil and gas supermajor, Shell, called upon Cyberhawk to conduct a live flare inspection at Moerdijk, one of the Netherland’s largest chemical plants. The site extends over 250 Ha and produces 4.5 million tonnes of product per year.  The work scope involved the close visual inspection of an 80m high flare stack, while live and operational.


SHELL MOERDIJK FLARE INSPECTION, NETHERLANDS

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The site extends over 250 Ha and produces 4.5 million tonnes of product per year. The work scope involved the close visual inspection of an 80m high flare stack, while live and operational.

Shell Moerdijk required a rapid deployment to its facility to aid troubleshooting and defect analysis of the flare. The purpose of this inspection was to provide detailed information to the on-site technical team regarding the operation of the pilot burners and the flame front generator. The detailed inspection report compared the current condition to past inspections, to understand if there had been any deterioration and to assist with effective maintenance.

Oil and gas supermajor, Shell, called upon Cyberhawk to conduct a live flare inspection at Moerdijk, one of the Netherland’s largest chemical plants.

15

An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and oil and gas qualified inspection pilot, was mobilised to undertake the work and took just two days to conduct the full inspection of the flare tip and supporting derrick structure. Alternative methods such as rope access or scaffolding would have taken weeks to complete, required a shutdown of the facility and would have presented significant dangers to personnel, such as working at height. Multiple inspections were completed to provide further information on changes due to gas composition.

The project reinforced Cyberhawk’s leading position within the industry and in Europe.


INTERNAL TANK INSPECTION AT UK GAS TERMINAL

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The project, carried out by a two-man team, saw Cyberhawk examine the quality of several pipe support fittings and the entire internal surface of the storage tank. The inside of the asset was fully inspected whilst the team remained on the outside to fly the UAV.

Usually this type of inspection is conducted by rope access technicians, who are suspended on ropes to inspect the internal structure and would need at least a week to complete the work. UASs reduce the requirement for working at height and in confined spaces, which meant Cyberhawk was able to undertake a safe first audit of the structure so that further inspection and maintenance could be prioritised. The project was completed in just one day.

Following the high profile launch of our leading confined space inspection service, Cyberhawk was tasked with a large water storage tank internal inspection by a major oil and gas company in the east of England.

15

With the challenges of no GPS signal and little light inside the tank, as well as bad weather outside the tank, Cyberhawk’s pilots had to use all their training and work with an extremely high level of precision to ensure a successful end result.

Utilising an internal UAV, Cyberhawk successfully completed the work scope delivering high quality inspection report which enabled the client to understand the tank’s defects. The client reported the project was carried out within budget and reported significant time and cost savings.

INTERNAL & EXTERNAL CHIMNEY INSPECTION IN AUSTRALIA

Cyberhawk was asked by a major operator in Australia to conduct an internal and external visual and thermal inspection of a chimney stack at its nickel production plant. This project was the world’s first combined internal and external inspection of a stack using UAVs and the highest stack that has ever been inspected internally using a drone at approximately 426ft (130m), with the previous record being 400ft (100m) in Europe.


NORTH AMERICA OFFSHORE INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
North America

The multiple workscope saw Cyberhawk inspect the live flare, the platform underdeck and the roof of the giant concrete gravity base, and conduct numerous thermal surveys in order to maximise the mobilisation.

Using UAVs for the inspection was deemed the safest and most efficient method. Due to the short weather windows available, the speed of UAV inspection and the ability to capture large amounts of data in a short time presented a significant advantage, while reducing safety risks posed to personnel in the notoriously hazardous, foggy conditions present offshore.

Cyberhawk was approached by one of the world’s largest oil and gas supermajors to complete an offshore UAV inspection in North America.

15

Traditionally inspections of this nature would be complete by rope access, or if using scaffolding take months when considering set up and dismantling.

Cyberhawk successfully completed inspections over the course of two weeks, proving the speed and efficiency of UAV inspections and reinforcing that the technology can produce exceptional results in the harshest of offshore environments.


CYBERHAWK COMPLETES FIRST UAV INSPECTION OFFSHORE NIGERIA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Africa

In 2016, our team successfully conducted the very first UAV inspection offshore Nigeria, tasked by an oil and gas supermajor to inspect live flares, gas exhausts and structures on one of its platforms.

The alternative inspection method would be to use a rope access team and scaffolding, which takes 2-3 weeks to complete, presents high risks to personnel and can incur huge costs. For flare inspections, this would also require the flare to be shut down, meaning a loss of production time, and thereafter personnel climbing the asset to inspect.

We were appointed due to our extensive track record and impressive results shown in previous projects completed for the operator.

15

To undertake our first piece of offshore work in Nigeria, it was essential to secure the necessary flight permissions from the aviation authority.

Our two-man team was mobilised to the platform, consisting of a UAV pilot and an inspection engineer, with each project successfully completed in two days.


INTERNAL REFINERY INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
North America

The purpose of the inspection was to understand how the coke had deposited in the reactor before cleaning so that process models could be verified or otherwise.

The nature of this project meant it was too dangerous to send in personnel to carry out the inspection, therefore Cyberhawk’s confined space inspection drones were deemed the safest option, as they mitigate the requirement for personnel to physically enter the coker.

Cyberhawk was asked by one of the world’s largest oil and gas supermajors to carry out an internal inspection of a coker unit at one of its refineries in the United States.

15

The coker’s environment presented a whole host of operational challenges to the Cyberhawk team. A built up coker absorbs light which affects the pilot’s line of sight – not only is it extremely dusty but there is also a high risk that the UAV could become trapped.

Cyberhawk’s previous success of working within confined spaces, along with the highly skilled pilots employed, saw the team emerge as the preferred provider for this difficult workscope.

Utilising Cyberhawk’s UAVs meant engineers were able assess the condition of the asset prior to de-coking which had not been previously possible by human entry due to the potential hazard of falling slabs of coke and resulted in the project being successfully completed in just one day.


AFRICAN SUCCESS CONTINUES FOR CYBERHAWK IN IVORY COAST

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Africa

In November 2016, we were tasked with carrying out riser, mooring chains and flare inspections for two clients, one being the world’s largest independent crude oil and natural gas producer, the second a global supplier and operator of FPSOs.

Alternatively, this type of inspection would be carried out by a rope access team, however, this method can often create a significant drain on cost and time resources. Our team has successfully completed its first project in the Ivory Coast, which has strengthened our credentials in Africa after previous work in Nigeria and Ghana.

Our previous track-record with these clients saw Cyberhawk emerge as the preferred supplier for this project.

15

The skills our pilots and engineers possess allowed the team to successfully complete the inspection in two days. We discovered a multitude of cracks in the tip of the flare, providing data which allowed engineers to assess the condition of the asset and make repair or replacement decisions.


INTERNAL CHIMNEY INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

In early 2016, Cyberhawk completed the first-ever UAV internal industrial chimney inspection for one of the world’s largest oil and gas supermajors. Carried out at one of Europe’s largest and most complex refineries, the project saw Cyberhawk utilize a drone to capture high definition images of the stack’s full external surface at a height of 100m, before creating a three dimensional model of the chimney.

Traditionally, internal chimney inspections require personnel to climb inside dangerous and potential chemically hazardous areas. Inspecting the chimney stack with Cyberhawk’s UAVs allowed for a quick and safe audit of the chimney, and meant that personnel were not required to physically enter the chimney to complete the inspection.

The team’s experience of working within confined spaces saw Cyberhawk emerge as the preferred provider for this complex workscope.

15

The project was carried out over the course of two days with results delivered through Cyberhawk’s asset management software, iHawk. This provided the client with accurate sizing and positioning of defects along with the provision of high definition orthophotos of each elevation of the chimney.

The successfully completion of this project represented a major leap forward for drone technology and the huge safety benefits it has to offer.


FIRST LIVE FLARE STACK INSPECTION IN QATAR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Middle East

The work scope, carried out in March 2016, involved the inspection of 136m high flares at an onshore oil and gas refinery. A natural gas producing company based in Qatar called upon Cyberhawk to conduct the first-ever commercial flare inspection in the country.

The commercial use of UAVs in Qatar had previously been heavily regulated by the Qatari government due to concerns over security of airspace and privacy of citizens. However, Cyberhawk undertook an extensive campaign lobbying the government to explain the vast benefits on offer through the use of UAVs. After a thorough assessment of the company’s previous Middle East projects, a panel of authorities granted an exclusive permit for Cyberhawk to conduct the work scope.

The project reinforced Cyberhawk’s leading position in the industry and region to date.

15

An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including an industry qualified inspection engineer and oil and gas qualified inspection pilot, was mobilised to undertake the work and took just two days to conduct the full inspection. Alternative methods such as rope access or scaffolding would have taken months to complete, required shutdown of the facility and would have increased dangers to personnel, such as working at height.


INTERNAL TANK INSPECTION FOR LEADING CHEMICAL MANUFACTURER

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The project, carried out in North Teesside, saw Cyberhawk examine the quality of welds for the entire internal surface of the oil storage tank.

Usually this type of inspection is conducted by rope access technicians who are suspended on ropes to inspect the internal structure. UAVs were selected as the preferred method of inspection, primarily to reduce safety risks posed to personnel working at height as well as the restrictions associated with working in confined spaces.

Having completed the world’s first internal tank inspection late 2015, Cyberhawk was tasked with a further internal tank inspection by a leading chemical manufacturing company.

15

With the added challenges of limited GPS signal inside the tank and dark conditions, Cyberhawk’s pilots had to work with an extremely high level of precision during the inspection to ensure a successful end result.

Utilising a multi-rotor UAV, Cyberhawk successfully completed the workscope delivering high resolution images which enabled the client to understand the tank’s defects. The client reported the project was carried out within budget and reported significant time savings, along with other positive feedback.


NORTH SEA UNDERDECK INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS MAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

In April 2014, Cyberhawk was selected by oil and gas major to carry out a condition-based inspection at the PUQ jack-up platform in the North Sea. The work scope involved the inspection of the jack-up legs and underdeck.

Cyberhawk faced a number of challenges throughout this inspection. With no GPS signal while flying the UAV underdeck, the team relied heavily on their piloting skills. Operating from a stand-by vessel also provided additional challenges due to the movement of the vessel in relation to the platform.

Due to our extensive track record and ability to fly underneath the jack up platform (a GPS denied environment), the client deemed Cyberhawk the best fit for the project.

15

The alternative method considered for this nature of inspection would have been to use a six man rope access technician team (RAT). This technique increases man hours and would have seen the RAT team hang off the flat-bottom platform for several weeks.

Cyberhawk managed to complete the visual inspection of the underdeck in just three days whereas the six man RAT required almost 100 days (14 weeks). The client was then able to make an informed decision on whether further manned inspections were required, only sending in the RAT team to specific selected locations if needed.

In projects of this nature savings are in the range of £1,000,000+, and most operators are now using this technique for underdeck and splash zone inspections.


ONSHORE REFINERY INSPECTION IN SINGAPORE

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Asia

The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs was to reduce human exposure to hazardous environments, including working at height and in gas-rich environments, as well as remaining a safe distance from the operational assets. The operator also wanted to achieve cost reductions, through removing the high cost of scaffolding, maximising uptime and periodic condition monitoring to keep declining assets running. Further to this, high quality data was sought to improve maintenance and turnaround planning, in turn supporting management decisions.

Inspection of stacks and flares is known to be challenging for a number of reasons: Exposure to high temperatures Exposure to SOx/ H2S Difficulty in inspecting the top section of a chimney stack given the height Using UAVs for inspection was investigated and deemed to be by far the preferred method for addressing these issues. To undertake its first piece of work in Singapore, Cyberhawk secured the necessary flight permissions from the aviation authority as well as additional approvals from the local airforce.

In September 2014, Cyberhawk was tasked by the operator of a major onshore refinery in Singapore with the safe inspection of multiple chimney stacks and flares, without the need to shut down operations.

15

Given the complications of working in Singapore airspace, Cyberhawk mobilised two teams of ROAV pilots and inspection engineers on-site, so that work could be completed even more quickly. The entire project took only three weeks to complete.

The alternative inspection methods would usually be using scaffolding for chimney stack inspection, which takes significantly longer, presents high risks to personnel and can incur huge costs. For flares, this would usually involve the flare being shut down, meaning a loss of production time, and thereafter personnel climbing to inspect.

The operator reported that the all of the work was completed safely and successfully, and resulted in a 14x OPEX reduction and savings of $3.5m by avoiding the requirement for scaffolding to inspect the chimney stacks.


LIVE VENT STACK INSPECTIONS OFFSHORE MALAYSIA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Asia

The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs was to avoid the requirement to shut down platform operations whilst inspection activity took place, and reduce the working at height dangers presented to personnel.

Traditionally, the inspection and maintenance activity would be carried out by a workbarge and abseiling team, however this method can incur significant costs and time. Cyberhawk was appointed by the operator to conduct the vent inspections using UAVs , and our first port of call was to secure the necessary flight permissions required to undertake our first piece of work in Malaysia.

In 2013, Cyberhawk was tasked by an oil and gas supermajor with the inspection of live vents offshore Malaysia.

15

A two man team was mobilised to the platform, consisting of a UAV pilot and an inspection engineer. Work was completed quickly and efficiently, with the inspection taking just one afternoon in comparison with the usual seven days.

Furthermore, in many cases the operator would have the vent tip replaced during inspections ‘as standard’, rather than inspecting and then only going on to replace if required. Cyberhawk was able to inspect the vent tip and collect data which showed that a replacement was not required, and therefore costs were minimised.

An inspection execution engineer from the operator not only stated that the use of UAV technology “eliminated the need to work at height, hence reducing HSSE exposure to personnel” but also that the work “saved the company from any production deferment, which totalled up to $2.27million in savings”.


WORLD FIRST INTERNAL INSPECTION FOR MAERSK OIL

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

In 2015, Cyberhawk completed its first-ever internal UAV inspection of a cargo oil tank on an operational Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.

The world-first took place on board the Gryphon FPSO, owned and operated by Maersk Oil in the UK North Sea. Maersk Oil has requirements to visually inspect cargo tanks for integrity, damage assessment and class certification. This type of inspection is usually conducted by rope access technicians who are suspended on ropes to inspect the tank structure, focusing on areas of high stress such as stiffeners, brackets, bracing, webs and stringers.

In 2016, this work was recognised by Oil & Gas UK and was presented the Business Innovation and Efficiency SME accolade at the industry bodies 10th annual awards ceremony.

15

One of Maersk Oil’s main priorities was to reduce the human risk factors which are presented by rope access, which includes working at height for sustained periods of time as well as working in confined spaces.

Cyberhawk mobilized an experienced two-man UAV team, consisting of a drone pilot and inspection engineer. The inspection of the critical components of the tank was completed within a day, in comparison with rope access which would usually take between three to four days for the same work scope.

Inspecting the tank with Cyberhawk’s UAV allowed Maersk Oil to undertake a quick and safe audit of the tank, in turn allowing the company to identify and more efficiently plan for any possible contact based inspections in both this and other tanks.


WEST AFRICA’S FIRST UAV INSPECTION

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Africa

In 2015, Cyberhawk was tasked by an oil and gas supermajor to conduct the world’s first UAV inspection in West Africa, completing a number of live flare inspections. The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs was to avoid the requirement to shut down platform operations whilst inspection activity took place, and reduce the working at height dangers presented to personnel.

Cyberhawk’s two-man field team inspected five live assets for the client in less than a week. Alternative methods of inspection such as rope access or scaffolding would have taken months to complete and would have required a complete shutdown of the facility.

Using UAV technology, which allows for the inspection of flare stacks and tips while they are live, avoided the need for a plant shutdown and saved the client more than $US11 million.

15

The detailed inspection reports completed by Cyberhawk’s plant inspector and flare experts provided the facility with the information they required to fully plan and prepare flare tip replacement and repair work during the next planned turnaround.

This project reinforced Cyberhawk’s position as world leader in the field of UAV inspections, adding to its track record of world firsts in industrial oil and gas inspections around the world.

PERSIAN GULF OFFSHORE MULTIPLE WORKSCOPE INSPECTION

In September 2015, Cyberhawk was appointed by a major oil and gas operator in the UAE with the safe inspection of six flares, 12 vent stacks, multiple bridges, tripods and telecom towers, offshore in the Persian Gulf.


PERSIAN GULF OFFSHORE MULTIPLE WORKSCOPE INSPECTION

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Middle East

In September 2015, Cyberhawk was appointed by a major oil and gas operator in the UAE with the safe inspection of six flares, 12 vent stacks, multiple bridges, tripods and telecom towers, offshore in the Persian Gulf.

The operator also wanted to reduce human exposure to hazardous environments, including working at height, as well as remaining a safe distance from the operational assets. Further to this, high-quality data was sought to improve maintenance and turnaround planning, in turn supporting management decisions.

The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs was to avoid the requirement to shut down platform operations whilst inspections took place.

15

The alternative technique considered for the flare tip inspections was using a full-size helicopter, however, this method would not have given a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the whole flare such as under the flare deck and supporting structure. The UAV also meant other difficult inspection work scopes such as bridges, tripods, and telecom towers could be inspected on the same mobilization. Therefore, the use of UAVs was investigated and deemed to be the preferred method for addressing these issues.

Cyberhawk’s significant aviation experience of operating in more than 20 countries globally meant that we knew how to secure the necessary flight permissions from the UAE aviation authority, as well as additional approvals from the local airforce.

A two-man team was mobilized to the platform, consisting of an experienced UAV pilot and an oil and gas inspection engineer. Detailed inspection reports were then produced by Cyberhawk’s experienced oil and gas inspection team with additional analysis from Cyberhawk’s flare expert on the condition of the flare tips. The operator reported that the work was completed safely and efficiently with high quality reports provided in a timely manner.