Swire Seabed has recently completed the first autonomous inspection of an offshore pipeline systems for Equinor, utilizing Kongsberg Maritime’s Hugin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV).
The inspections were undertaken with the subsea vehicle in “autonomous” mode. A small surface vessel accompanied the AUV, however, the vessel’s role was limited to providing positional updates to the vehicle and acting as a communications relay between the AUV and the Control Centre at Swire Seabed’s office in Bergen, the company explained.
The inspections were performed on three pipelines between Kollsnes and Troll A. In total, 180 km of pipeline were inspected over two AUV dives.
The AUV, operated by Kongsberg, acquired bathymetrical, synthetic aperture sonar and visual data as part of an operation to verify the continued integrity of the subsea pipelines. Acceptance criteria for data (quality, coverage, density etc.) were identical to the criteria used for non-autonomous inspection methods.
“We are excited about the successful completion of this project as it demonstrates the capability of Swire Seabed, together with our partners, to lead and develop technology that will fulfill and extend industry expectations and requirements for safer, more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient solutions while maintaining stringent safety and quality standards,” Swire Seabed’s CEO, Arvid Pettersen.