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