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无人机在海洋油气领域大展拳脚(3)

来源:世爵娱乐-世爵娱乐平台-世爵平台

2017-10-08 17:02

The crawler will be guided along the vertical walls of the tank, taking measurements of the steel plates and stiffeners with an ultrasonic probe. Inspectors will use the information to check for corrosion and, if found, to plan remediation efforts.

“We will use the crawler to look at anomalous indications and make a close visual inspection,” Fotheringham says.

Crawlers and drones each have advantages. Flight gives the latter more freedom of movement. But crawlers get power from electrical leads, not batteries, which means they can be equipped with powerful lights and deployed for longer stretches.

“With drones, you’re running on batteries,” he says. “So to support that many lights you’d be flying back pretty often.”

Maersk Oil has used a drone to inspect a flare tip at the Tyra East gas field in the Danish sector of the North Sea, an operation that previously required a helicopter with a photographer on board.

The drone was able to get much closer to the flare tip and was able to gather more detailed visual information, Fotheringham says.

The company has worked with DNV GL for verification of its drone inspections. DNV GL and other classification societies are “very much on board with the technology”, he says. “They see the benefits, and have been very supportive.”

Wider use

Maersk Oil has launched a new project involving drone technology that will create detailed 3D maps of its offshore assets, similar to the satellite images used by online map services such as Google.

The maps will be used for a number of tasks — when engineers are devising lifting plans, for example — but will be especially handy for “dropped objects” inspections after an installation is hit by one of the North Sea’s punishing storms, Fotheringham says.

“Before, we would send a crew out to do a survey after adverse weather,” he says. Soon, a drone will be deployed after a storm to conduct a survey.

The data will be compared with the 3D maps to spot any anomalies that could indicate damage and warrant closer inspection. As technology uptake increases, the offshore industry will find new ways to put drones to work in the service of efficiency and safety.

“The more you use a technology, the more uses you find for it,” Fotheringham says. A drone could be useful during offloading operations, he notes, ferrying documentation between the FPSO and the cargo vessel, for example, or it could take the messenger line over from the FPSO to start offloading operations.

As drones become more integral to daily operations, he says, it is possible that offshore crews will soon include a drone pilot. “Right now we use specialist crews. But I could see one day having a trained, dedicated drone pilot on board the offshore installation.”

A drone could also be useful as a first responder in an accident or a key element of search-andrescue operations, he adds.

Demand will drive UAV manufacturers to address the technology’s current limitations, boosting battery and payload capacity.

And as offshore operators seek ways to automate tasks, reduce on site personnel and reduce safety risks, rising demand for drones looks like a safe bet.

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无人机在海洋油气领域大展拳脚

  二丫  

石油圈认证作者

  毕业于中国石油大学(北京),油气井工程硕士,长期聚焦国内外石油行业前沿技术装备信息,具有数十万字技术文献翻译经验。如需获取更多技术资料,请联系二丫(QQ295900524;微信13132550596)  

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