Over the past five years, Oceaneering has changed the way it offers Underwater Inspections In Lieu of Dry Docking (UWILDs).
We have completed several remote UWILDs for multiple operators on different vessels positioned around the globe, including in Guyana, Brazil and US Gulf of Mexico. The work scope included various maintenance activities required by standard inspection and classification bodies.
With a remote approach that leverages our experience and expertise with high definition (HD) inspection streaming, we enable operators to successfully reduce personnel on board (POB) by up to three persons.
We increased schedule flexibility, reduced personnel mobilization risk, lowered associated costs, and successfully navigated the current COVID-19 quarantine limitations by providing HD quality inspection streaming from a home- or office-based office set-up. Subject matter experts for the UWILD program are centrally located in Houston, which enables the execution of high quality inspection without the exposure risk from traveling offshore.
The operators were motivated to reduce risk and costs associated with inspection and cleaning activities for their respective projects.
The customers needed to evaluate the cost associated with the offshore UWILD operations, including mobilization, quarantine, and personnel accommodations. Even more pressing, in this particular work scope, was adherence to strict COVID-19 operating protocols once onboard. The operators wanted to use the most cost-efficient, effective, and risk-reducing approach to complete the required operations.
Oceaneering proposed a remote UWILD solution that relied on our ability to provide high uptime and streaming capability to ensure the inspection activities could be monitored by the onshore class surveyor.
To achieve this, we leveraged our existing streaming infrastructure on our ROV system to provide a constant live stream of the work. No additional bandwidth was required. The additional offshore personnel typically required to execute this work scope was reduced from four to one. There were additional cost savings generated because there was no need to place those additional team members in quarantine for up to seven days, or incur any travel expenses. This was a successful outcome because there was limited bedspace for the team.
The Oceaneering Remote UWILD team mobilized the necessary suite of equipment from our Houston facility. The equipment needed is minimal and can be hand carried, if required.
Technicians from our ROV and Remote Operations Groups will conduct preliminary tests to configure the live stream. Days prior to the UWILD operation, the team performs additional tests with shoreside personnel to assure connectivity. The video stream is tested in the presence of the attending class surveyor.
At the designated time of the inspection, critical personnel login to the viewing portal with a secure account. A satellite conference call is then initiated. The Millennium® work class ROV begins operations by cleaning the sea chests on the vessels. During this time, the customer and class surveyor view the live stream of all ROV activities.
The ROV carries out inspection of the ship’s sea chests gratings, bilge keels, moonpool, and overboard discharge valves. During this process, the viewing portal is used to collaborate with the customer and class surveyor. The highly trained and experienced Oceaneering project superintendents guide the viewers and direct the ROV supervisors to a satisfactory inspection.
Oceaneering has completed nearly a dozen remote UWILDs operations in multiple countries.
By using remote operations, our customers are able to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols thereby reducing both exposure risk to personnel and reducing POB. Another added benefit of this remote approach is our ability to compress the reporting time by half.
The customers’ vessels are now certified for another 2.5 years for safe commercial operation. The success of these operations will set a new industry standard. Remote UWILDs increase safety and enable cost reduction. Most importantly, remote UWILDs offer customers scheduling flexibility. With no need to mobilize personnel and equipment to go offshore, Oceaneering can conduct these UWILDs quickly and effectively, as soon as customers need them.
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