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.
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.