DRONE SURVEY AND INSPECTION POST-EARTHQUAKE IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
SectorOil Gas & Petrochemical
A violent earthquake in the Southern Hemisphere resulted in considerable damage occurring in the area. An oilfield operator in the region was concerned not only with the welfare of its people, but also the impact of the earthquake on its assets, as well as the effect of subsequent aftershocks which lasted up to a month after the initial tremors.
The operator contacted Cyberhawk and requested we mobilize a team to this remote area as a matter of urgency, to inspect and survey the processing equipment and infrastructure. Tanks, bridges, flares, columns, accommodation blocks and roads were inspected. Deliverables including accurate orthophotos, 3D models and virtual tours, as well as detailed inspection reports to highlight the severity of any damage.
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The operator chose drones as the preferred method of inspection due to:
Speed – production had ceased until the extent of damage had been confirmed and it was deemed safe to bring the field back online, therefore it was important the inspection was conducted as quickly as possible.
Access to difficult areas – many parts of the field had become extremely difficult for personnel to access and with potential aftershocks still occurring, the use of drones was much quicker and safer, and offered the ability to capture a highly detailed visual record of every asset.
We sent in a highly experienced team – a drone pilot and an inspection engineer – who spent two weeks on-site, inspecting assets for up to 12 hours per day. Hundreds of gigabytes of data were captured during this time and due to the speed in which reports were required, our team processed the data remotely, conducting engineering analysis at our inspection centre in the UK. This meant comprehensive reports could be sent to the client on a daily basis via iHawk, our cloud-based reporting system.
More than 50 deliverables were provided to the client, who was pleased with the data and impressed with the accuracy of results. Production at the field commenced soon after our team completed the project.
As part of our framework with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), Cyberhawk provides inspection and digital asset management solutions for the SSEN transmission overhead line and substation network in Scotland.
ELEVATED FLARE STACK INSPECTION AT A SOUTH AMERICAN ONSHORE REFINERY
SectorOil Gas & Petrochemical
Our team was approached to conduct a close visual inspection (CVI) of an elevated flare stack at an onshore refinery in South America.
Prior to our UAV inspection (which was required because the flare was not burning correctly) an initial inspection of the flare stack had taken place with a ground camera and it was deemed that the entire flare tip should be replaced. Because the level of detail and the views available from the ground camera were limited, the refinery operator sought a second, more detailed inspection and thus opted for a CVI using drones. Our team mobilised to South America and completed the full inspection within one day, with over 600 images, including thermal imagery, captured.
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After generating a detailed inspection report, it was deemed that a flare tip replacement was not required at this stage and all that was needed was to renew the pilot burners. This intervention has allowed the client to postpone a shutdown by several months, and means that a longer shutdown can be undertaken, where deeper maintenance can be carried out. UAVs can be used to monitor the flare system until that time.
The client was extremely impressed with the results from the inspection and is looking to utilise our UAV inspection services ahead of future planned shutdowns.
Cyberhawk was appointed by major specialty gas manufacturer to inspect a number of elevated vent silencers and their support structures at its manufacturing facility in East England using UAVs.