Internal Inspection of 14 Cargo Oil Tanks in USA

Case Study

Internal Inspection of 14 Cargo Oil Tanks in USA


Cyberhawk was tasked by an oil and gas supermajor to carry out full internal inspections of 12 cargo oil tanks (COT) and two slop tanks, situated on tankers travelling between Alaska and Los Angeles, using data collected with drones.

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.

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.

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