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.
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.
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.