The maritime classification and service company DNV GL led a pilot project for the remote inspection of three offshore cranes on the Norwegian continental shelf with the Norwegian oil company Aker BP.

As part of annual investigations, DNV GL carried out remote safety inspections on a pedestal crane with a box jib on the Valhall Flank West and two kingpin cranes on the Skarv field.

According to DNV GL, crane operators and specialized crane technicians on board the platforms used tablets to capture close-up videos and images based on an agreed checklist of selected safety features made available to DNV GL’s onshore inspectors.

On the normally unmanned Valhall Flank West platform, NOV’s annual crane was automatically tested for the AOPS (Automatic Overload Protection System). It was the first time this was inspected along with the structural connections, critical hydraulic and electrical components, the MOPS (manual overload protection system) and the brakes, DNV GL said.

Cormorant FPSO

Skarv FPSO – Photo Credit: Aker BP

A similar inspection program is being carried out on two kingpin cranes on the FPSO in the Skarv field, Aker BP’s northernmost production field, DNV GL said.

Anchored in 350-450m of water and 210km off the coast of Sandnessjøen, Norway, the ongoing remote assistance pilot will fully assess how important safety-critical tasks can be performed remotely without the trust and safety of staff and assets at risk in this process.

Avoiding return flights to Brønnøysund and helicopter flights to Skarv are just a few examples of the cost-saving contributions of this approach. In addition to the online flexibility that this approach gave Aker BP, it also offered the ability to connect multiple DNV GL experts who otherwise would have had to travel, explains DNV GL.

“As with physical inspections, communication and knowledge of the devices or systems involved is critical throughout the process between the various parties. The use of readily available live feed technologies such as smartphones, tablets and digital cameras makes inspections faster and faster. more accessible, cheaper and have a positive effect on minimizing CO2 emissions, ”he said Robert Anfinn Oftedal, Head of Department, Cranes & Lifting Operations, DNV GL – Oil & Gas.,

Pandemic drives demand for remote inspections

“The global pandemic has accelerated the onset of remote surveys in the industry, and we are really beginning to see the long-term impact this technology can have. The ability for knowledgeable inspectors and surveyors around the world to safely “visit” assets to verify quality and integrity in full compliance with company specifications or industry standards is very attractive to the oil and gas industry, “he added Arve Johan Kalleklev, Regional Manager, Norway and Eurasia, DNV GL – Oil & Gas.

According to DNV GL, due to the increased demand for “virtual” verification and certification services for topside and underwater equipment, the company has carried out more than 4,000 remote inspections for the oil and gas industry so far this year.

“This included investigations such as a ship warranty investigation of a barge and platform in Senegal and the material certification of underwater equipment in China,” said DNV GL.

“The use of an automatic test system with a digital interface significantly reduces the risk compared to manual inspections via procedures. The next generation of cranes will be equipped with continuous monitoring systems that will enable us to enter into a predictive maintenance regime. The remote inspection programs then focus on checking the entire system, ”he says Svein Harald Hetland, Technical Authority for Lifting, Aker BP ASA.

“Our operating model will use the lessons learned from the pilot project and scale the remote assist concept for our assets as we adapt to a new normal,” concludes Ine Dolve, SVP Operations & Asset Development at Aker BP ASA.