CYBERHAWK PROVIDES LONG TERM SUPPORT TO MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN CENTRAL ASIA
The project includes surveying the construction of overhead lines, oil and gas pipelines, refineries, storage tanks, roads and fibreoptics. This type of data would traditionally be captured using cameras from a manned aircraft, however this method is not only high cost, but can also be restrictive in the level of detail that can be obtained.
Impressed with Cyberhawk’s track record and global experience, demonstrable safe working practices and mature data capture solutions, the contractor selected our team to fulfil this detailed workscope.
Aware of the benefits of using UAV technology for this type of work scope, the construction contractor approached local UAV service providers, however was unable to find a supplier with the experience and safety record necessary to work on a complex industrial site.
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Working on a rotational basis, Cyberhawk has had a pilot in-country since September 2018, monitoring construction progress across multiple sites. Our team delivers a range of outputs for the client, including orthophotos, panoramas, video and spherical shots.
The use of drone captured data is allowing the client to visualise work-in-progress through an aerial view, allowing efficient tracking of project milestones and the planning of future worksite activities.
Cyberhawk was recently selected to complete two railway surveys in the north of Scotland, near Inverness, using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). With the two routes stretching across 15km, the survey was required to gain an initial understanding and gather an up-to-date record of the various trackside habitats such as salt marsh, coastal areas, forests, farmlands and open water in order to identify potential ecological constraints.
BRUNEI – INSPECTING 20 NUIS OFFSHORE AND 3 FLARES ONSHORE
SectorOil Gas & Petrochemical
Cyberhawk’s repeat work for the client, and reputation for the successful UAV inspections of offshore oil and gas assets, saw the team selected as the preferred provider for this challenging multiple work scope project. The use of drones for the data collection was favoured thanks to the ability to provide highly accurate data, and minimised risk to personnel versus the working at height issues associated with conventional inspection and access techniques, such as rope access, scaffolding or manned helicopter.
For the flare tip and structural inspections, production shutdown is commonly required, which can be extremely costly for the client. The use of UAVs avoids such costly shutdowns. Furthermore, one of the flare towers was 4km away from the coast and accessible only by jetty.
Safe access to the NUIs was set to be challenging, as the boat landing platforms of some of the assets were not fit for purpose. We carried out full NUI close visual inspections, capturing high resolution data for each jacket.
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Traditionally, this inspection would be completed with the use of a helicopter, however, the level of detail obtainable is nowhere near what is achieved with UAV operated by experienced personnel. The Cyberhawk team worked quickly and efficiently, with the successful inspection taking just a few days instead of weeks. Furthermore, the detailed visual data captured by our UAVs and analysed by our engineering teams assisted in focusing maintenance only in areas that required it.
The project reinforced Cyberhawk’s leading position in the industry and region to date.
Cyberhawk was called upon to inspect a flare on an FPSO off the coast of West Africa in April 2017. Critical damage was detected on the flare tip and since then, Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any potential further degradation. The intent was to defer a costly unplanned shutdown until the flare could be safely replaced three months later.
ONSHORE REFINERY INSPECTION IN SINGAPORE
SectorOil Gas & Petrochemical
The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs was to reduce human exposure to hazardous environments, including working at height and in gas-rich environments, as well as remaining a safe distance from the operational assets. The operator also wanted to achieve cost reductions, through removing the high cost of scaffolding, maximising uptime and periodic condition monitoring to keep declining assets running. Further to this, high quality data was sought to improve maintenance and turnaround planning, in turn supporting management decisions.
Inspection of stacks and flares is known to be challenging for a number of reasons: Exposure to high temperatures Exposure to SOx/ H2S Difficulty in inspecting the top section of a chimney stack given the height Using UAVs for inspection was investigated and deemed to be by far the preferred method for addressing these issues. To undertake its first piece of work in Singapore, Cyberhawk secured the necessary flight permissions from the aviation authority as well as additional approvals from the local airforce.
In September 2014, Cyberhawk was tasked by the operator of a major onshore refinery in Singapore with the safe inspection of multiple chimney stacks and flares, without the need to shut down operations.
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Given the complications of working in Singapore airspace, Cyberhawk mobilised two teams of ROAV pilots and inspection engineers on-site, so that work could be completed even more quickly. The entire project took only three weeks to complete.
The alternative inspection methods would usually be using scaffolding for chimney stack inspection, which takes significantly longer, presents high risks to personnel and can incur huge costs. For flares, this would usually involve the flare being shut down, meaning a loss of production time, and thereafter personnel climbing to inspect.
The operator reported that the all of the work was completed safely and successfully, and resulted in a 14x OPEX reduction and savings of $3.5m by avoiding the requirement for scaffolding to inspect the chimney stacks.
LIVE VENT STACK INSPECTIONS OFFSHORE MALAYSIA
SectorOil Gas & Petrochemical
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.
In 2013, Cyberhawk was tasked by an oil and gas supermajor with the inspection of live vents offshore Malaysia.
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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”.