Friday, 23 March 2018

Oil & Gas News

Developing the Next Generation of Robotics for Oil and Gas

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre has invested in three robotics projects to transform pressure vessel inspection, which costs the industry hundreds of millions each year and poses significant safety challenges.


The projects were selected as part of our first Asset Integrity ‘Call for Ideas’, which launched in 2017. Pressure vessel inspection was identified by the industry as a crucial challenge to maximizing economic recovery from the UK Continental Shelf.

1robotics week 18New robotic technology could significantly enhance safety, reduce cost and improve efficiency. Image credit: the Oil & Gas Technology Centre

Non-intrusive inspection (NII) of pressure vessels can deliver significant cost and safety benefits. Sonomatic’s aim is to develop the next generation of robotic NII technology, with improved speed, agility and autonomy compared with existing systems. The robot, incorporating advanced inspection technologies, will help increase production uptime, reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Separately, we’re working with the University of Strathclyde to develop a new robot crawler equipped with 3D laser scanning and non-destructive testing technology. Existing crawlers are typically deployed only when there is clear line-of-sight for the operator. The University’s solution will construct a virtual, dynamic 3D representation of the inspection site meaning it can be operated safely from a remote location.

We’re also supporting the University of Strathclyde in the use of swarms of small unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, for visual inspection offshore. Drone swarms, which are being rapidly adopted by the military and for logistics activities, could deliver a safe, flexible and cost-effective alternative to human inspection.

In March 2018, we launch our second Asset Integrity Call for Ideas, focused on predicting, preventing, detecting and repairing corrosion under insulation. More information will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Rebecca Allison, Asset Integrity Solution Centre Manager, said: “From day one, developing and deploying new technology for pressure vessel inspection has been a key focus area for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre. We’re delighted to be investing in robotics projects with Sonomatic and the University of Strathclyde, which we believe can significantly reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance safety.

2Rebecca AllisonRebecca Allison, Asset Integrity Solution Centre Manager

“Process vessel inspection and corrosion under insulation cost the industry more than £300 million each year so it is important that our first two Calls for Ideas focus on these challenges. We’re always looking for innovative ideas and concepts from inside and outside the oil and gas industry and look forward to launching our next Call in March.”

Mark Stone, Integrity Services Manager, Sonomatic, said: “We’re excited to be working with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre to develop the next generation of robotic inspection tools for non-intrusive inspection. There have been significant advances in robotics technology, inspection solutions and data science over the past few years and the support from the Technology Centre will ensure these are soon available in a practical tool for field application.”

Willie Reid, Director of the Strathclyde Oil and Gas Institute, said: “The robotics team at Strathclyde, led by Dr Gordon Dobie and Dr Erfu Yang, are excited to be working with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre on these challenges for improving inspection for offshore asset integrity.

“In a multi-disciplinary approach, they will use the broad experience of both the Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering and also the Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management. We will also utilise our experience in transferring technology from other sectors into oil and gas.

Related News

BSEE and Coast Guard Sign Memorandum of Agreement for R

On Tuesday, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James Watson and U.S. Coa

New Rigs Extend Field Life of Oseberg and Gullfaks

The license partners of Gullfaks and Oseberg Area Unit have acquired two new category J jack-up rigs

BP Plans $1B in New Investment, Adding Two Drilling Rig

Recent state tax reform also spurs Prudhoe Bay working interest owners to evaluate additional $3 bil

Articulating Diamond Wire Saw Cuts Pipe and Cuts Costs

Mactech Offshore, a leading provider of subsea and offshore machining solutions, has recently receiv

GE Power Conversion to Power, Propel and Position Hornb

GE’s Power Conversion business (NYSE: GE) announces it has been awarded a contract by the Eastern Sh

Unique Hydrographic Systems Wins Oil Spill Recovery Co

Unique Hydrographic Systems has been contracted by Cairn India for an Oil Spill Recovery projec

Stay Up To Date

Enter your first name and email, subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed!
Invalid Input

Invalid email address.

We aim to keep you updated weekly with relevant information concerning the Offshore Energy Sector.

Corporate Offices

Technology Systems Corporation
7897 SW Jack James Dr. Suite A
Stuart, FL 34997

Phone: +1 772.221.7720