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.
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.
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.
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.