North Sea operator, Apache, is leading the way in deploying innovative digital inspection technology developed by engineering consultancy firm, Arup, and EnerMech subsidiary, MInteg, to improve safety and reduce asset inspection costs on offshore platforms.
Apache’s adoption of the Arup Inspect MInteg (AIM™) inspection service on the Beryl Alpha platform has significantly reduced offshore inspection hours of the topside structure whilst enhancing the quality and availability of inspection data.
The innovative digital service replaces high risk offshore working at height inspection methods with the application of remote visual inspection tools. It also enables operators and asset owners to access their interactive inspection data 24/7 and make informed decisions about asset repair, replacements or improvements.
Gaming technology was used to create a baseline geometric digital twin of the Beryl Alpha platform to sufficiently capture inspection data, without the need for rope access work.
More than 60,000 images, including 360° panoramic views, captured ultra-high-resolution inspection data. These enhanced records have contributed to improved reporting reliability and the 3D model-based tablet application, which in the future, will help Apache on its journey to adopting a digital approach for the platform.
Jim Saunderson, Integrity Manager for Apache’s North Sea operations, said: “Deploying the Arup and MInteg inspection solution achieved the requirements of our inspection plans while significantly reducing the risk profile of the activity. The enhanced data capture and storage within the 3D model has aided our post-inspection review by removing any ambiguity and enabling users to challenge information beyond what is captured in reports. We can see opportunities of this data enhancing the quality and efficiency of our inspection plan going forward and is already aiding day to day communications.”
Simon Evans, Digital Energy Leader at Arup, said: “This successful use of the AIM tool to inspect the Beryl Alpha, which is one of the largest functioning offshore platforms in the United Kingdom and one of the oldest concrete gravity base structures, marks a significant turning point for the oil and gas industry. It’s a best in class example of how digitalisation and automation techniques can deliver revolutionary benefits, including valuable reductions in costs, time, resource and risk.”
Patrick Gallagher, Head of Integrity at MInteg, added: “Apache’s adoption of digital inspection on the Beryl Alpha platform has resulted in a significant risk reduction to personnel by minimising or completely negating the reliance on rope-access. They are also benefitting from a marked increase in the asset condition knowledge, leading to a far greater understanding of potential future risks.”
Arup and MInteg will continue to work with Apache on digitalising and streamlining future asset inspections.