Offshore structures are an integral part of the oil and gas industry. Although their construction styles vary greatly; these structures are protected with the utmost level of maintenance to guarantee the livelihood of the employees, the structure, and the environment they are placed within. Some of these platforms are held up by well-engineered jackets constructed of concrete and steel. Due to the hazardous environment these structures can be found in; regular inspections are carried out by the offshore industry to guarantee a high standard of safety to protect against disaster of any kind, minor or major.
Subsea Jacket Certification
Underwater inspection of these jackets includes the thorough examination of all areas where small or large flaws could occur. Subsea jacket inspection is an ongoing concern for the industry and regular recertification is required for their continued use. High detail visuals are required on key areas such as weld areas and other joint areas found all over the structures. These inspections are often carried out over longer periods during the recertification process. While the importance of such inspections is widely accepted, it is sometimes difficult to discern what the best methods for inspection are, but high detail and reliable information is a must.
The high demand for accuracy has led to technological breakthroughs in underwater imagery and measurement. Underwater laser scanning technology has stepped to the forefront with unrivaled accuracy. Able to capture data 100 times more detailed than sonar, units such as the ULS-100 and the new ULS-500 have created an opportunity for inspection companies to report measurements with confidence. In subsea jacket inspection these sensors can collect up to 250000 points per second with the data streaming real time to the standby vessel above. Laser scanning devices and sonar systems can all be easily deployed by a wide variety of ROV systems or a team of divers.
Subsea Jacket Defects
Possible applications for the 2G Robotics ULS Underwater Laser Scanners during subsea jacket inspection include:
– High detail weld inspection
– Diametrical readings of members
– Visuals in dark and hazardous areas
– Measuring any imperfections in the structure
– Ability to retrieve accurate data through moderate visibility
The data collecting by the ULS systems can be displayed and manipulated in many different software applications as well as being viewed in the scan viewer software supplied with the rental or purchase of the unit. Isolating higher priority areas within scans is easily done to further investigate specific areas of interest.
Finding, analyzing and maintaining problem areas will greatly extend the lives of these structures therefore increasing their value. Jacket structures are strong, reliable, and resilient; designed for purpose and are highly tolerant to many deformities and damage but none the less inspection and maintenance will continue to play a vital role in their future. Hopefully all inspection will be performed by high detail measurement systems in the future, ensuring a high level of quality when it comes to the safety of these important structures.