Abstract

Integrity Management of deepwater fields requires routine general visual inspections of critical infrastructure. To date the only means of conducting general visual inspection is through the use of ROVs. Deepwater ROV spreads are large and heavy requiring large support vessels with dynamic positioning capability and a significant number of personnel at sea.

The capabilities of unmanned underwater vehicles have been enhanced through developments in Autonomous technology progressing to the point that autonomous underwater vehicles can now routinely conduct general visual inspection of subsea facilities. Benefits of Autonomous inspection include:

  • Reduced cost of operations

  • Faster inspection

  • Automatic Change Detection

  • Georegistered inspection data

  • Simultaneous operations from a single support vessel

  • Large standoff distances from the facility being inspected

  • Increased safety of operations

  • Reduced environmental impact

  • Reduced specification requirements on support vessel

  • Smaller footprint

  • Dynamic Positioning not required

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