AIV – Paving the way for an Autonomous Light Intervention Vehicle
When Subsea 7 and SeeByte collaborated in engineering the AIV, the world’s first purpose built Autonomous Inspection Vehicle, they were looking for a new cost-effective asset for inspecting LoF (Life of Field) projects. The AIVs software was designed to dynamically control this unique hover-capable vehicle, which is already being used in Subsea 7 LoF projects for general visual inspection. It can also be used as an aid to field survey, integrity management and developments continue, looking at expanding its use to light intervention activities. One of the advantages of the AIV over other AUV’s is its capability to hover, maintaining station when necessary. It also has the ability to operate directly from a host facility such as an FPSO or rig as well as from infield support vessels.
Compact Subsea Survey Tools - Meridian Ocean Services
As government agencies, research institutions, academia, and a range of industries look for new light-weight and low-cost solutions for subsea survey and inspection tasks, it becomes clear that new companies are entering the market with the goal of providing these specific services. At the same time the industry that manufactures the tools for these tasks, such as ROV’s, AUV’s and sensors and visualization software are also bringing in compact and affordable, yet powerful, products. Using the latest technology applied to inshore and offshore areas, these companies may soon be competing with established brands and in some case they offer services that few companies in the world can offer, creating their own niche.
More Investments Needed Form Offshore Inspections in Brazil
With the recent Chevron/Frade spill, which has been ongoing for over 25 days, new light was shed on the shortcomings of ANP (The national O&G regulator). To begin with the regulator has only spent around $2.5 million of its allotted $8 million budget for inspection of oil and gas E&P in Brazil. As stated by O Globo, Brazil’s leading newspaper, that amount is about what Petrobras spends yearly in coffee for its employees. Only 3% of the agencies total budged is destined for O&G inspections. All that will most likely change in the near future, hopefully. For this to change there needs to be a change of policy in the Brazilian government regarding the importance of O&G activities inspections.
OTC Brasil 2013 – Tech Highlights: Marlin AUV
The Technical Program at the OTC Brasil 2013 was definitely one of the event’s major attractions. There we’re dozens of presentations and panels during each of the 3 days, and it was definitely hard to pick which to attend. I personally went to about 12 of these and not one disappointed me. I have to start somewhere, so I actually chose a presentation from the last day to begin this series. At this point I believe that just about everyone knows what an AUV is, but in case you don’t, it is the acronym for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. These come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, having various capabilities and possible uses. I must admit that I was impressed with the Lockheed Martin Marlin® AUV. At first glance it resembles what you’d expect from any top of the line AUV.
PipeWay Tools –Pigging Equipment Made in Brazil
PipeWay is also a spinoff from the Genesis Institute run by PUC University in Rio de Janeiro. PipeWay Engeneering is the only company in the Southern Hemisphere with fully national production, which manufactures and operates tools for O&G pipeline inspection, which check anomalies such as oval pipes, crushing and corrosions, contributing to avoid leakages that may cause environmental accidents and safety hazards. PipeWay entered the O&G market in 1998, when the group of researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), by using the technology of Petrobras' Research and Development Center (CENPES), launched a tool for pipe integrity management.
Brazilian Pigging Technology
PipeWay is a Brazilian company specializing in pipeline inspection technology and pigging unit manufacture. Starting from a small back room in a Brazilian university, the company has grown to be the leading national pipe inspection company and is also gaining international reputation to boot.PipeWay Internatinal was formed by an alliance between a Brazilian company called PipeWay Engenharia and an American company, to work together in North America. PipeWay Engenharia is the sole company in the Southern Hemisphere with fully national production, which manufactures and operates tools for O&G pipeline inspection-pigs, which check anomalies such as ovalnesses, crushing and corrosions, contributing to avoid leakages that may cause ecological accidents.
Flexible Risers in Deepwater Production – Reliability Concerns
Flexible risers are being extensively used worldwide for deepwater O&G extraction, offering many advantages over rigid risers. However concerns still exist about the overall safety of the system, especially concerning failures leading to hydrocarbon leaks in the ocean environment.The flexible risers being used in deepwater are designed to work for a period of around 20 to 30 years, which is the expected lifetime of an O&G field. A flexible riser failure could happen due to a number of reasons, such as hostile environmental hazards and material fatigue and if the failure is catastrophic, it could lead to high economic and environmental consequences. Flexible risers comprise multiple layers, and the main layers of concerns are the tensile armor layers which exist to withstand tension loads.