The Oil and Gas Technology Centre has helped launch three new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at reducing the costs of offshore inspection by up to 50%.
Inspection solutions firm Air Control Entech (Ace) has developed the project with the help of the OGTC, aimed at delivering more efficient and cost-effective inspection of oil and gas assets.
The UAVs provide live stream video to staff onshore, which can reduce the size requirements of offshore teams.
The machines can also carry out ultrasonic testing of structures, using electromagnets to lock onto it, reducing the power requirement and enabling longer flights.
They can also carry out laser scanning of inaccessible locations, with the next phase of the project focussing on use of the UAVs for confined spaces.
Rebecca Allison, manager of the OGTC’s Asset Integrity Solution Centre, said: “We’re pleased with the progress of our project with Air Control Entech and it’s great to see three new UAVs ready to be deployed. Our goal is to eliminate the impact of asset integrity on operational uptime by 2026 and developing advanced UAVs is vital.
“The feedback and support of our industry partners has been instrumental, so it’s no surprise that there is already wide-spread interest in trialling the technology.”
Kieran Hope, managing director for Ace, said: “We are delighted to have completed the initial milestones for our project with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre. We now have three cutting-edge UAVs which are ready to be deployed. The support from the Centre has been excellent and it’s helped us deliver technology that makes essential inspection work smarter, faster and safer.
“We look forward to continuing our UAV development with the Centre and delivering technology that adds value to the industry and reduces costs for operators.”