DNV GL and Aker BP Complete Pilot Project for Remote Inspections of Cranes

Akers BP said it will use lessons learned from the pilot and scale the remote-assist concept across its assets.

Workers inspecting a crane offshore

DNV GL and Aker BP performed remote safety inspections on three offshore cranes on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The pilot project inspections were part of Aker BP’s strategy to minimize its operational carbon footprint.

DNV GL performed the inspections of one box boom pedestal crane on the Valhall Flank West and two knuckle boom cranes on the Skarv field, both as part of annual surveys. Crane operators and specialized crane technicians on board the platforms used tablets to take closeup video and pictures, following a checklist of safety functions shared with DNV GL’s onshore inspectors.

Inspection on the Valhall Flank West platform, which is typically unmanned, included the first-time inspection of a 1-year-old crane: auto-testing of the automatic overload protection system, structural connections, critical hydraulic and electrical components, the manual overload protections system, and brakes.

A similar inspection program is being performed on two knuckle boom cranes on the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit located in the Skarv field.

The ongoing remote assistance pilot task anchored in 350–450 m water and 210 km off the coast of Sandnessjøen, Norway, will remotely assess how to perform key safety tasks without jeopardizing trust, personnel safety, and the asset in the process.

This approach also cuts costs by eliminating travel to Brønnøysund and Skarv and allows DNV GL experts to connect remotely as well.

“Using an automatic test system with a digital interface significantly reduces risk compared to manual inspections via procedures,” said Svein Harald Hetland, technical authority lifting, Aker BP. “The next generation of cranes will be set up with continuous monitoring systems which enable us to move into a predictive maintenance regime. The remote inspection programs will then focus on verification of the entire systems.”

Aker BP Senior VP of Operations and Asset Development Ine Dolve added his company’s operating model will use lessons learned from the pilot and scale the remote-assist concept across its assets.

DNV GL has done more than 4,000 remote inspections for the oil and gas industry in 2020 in response to strong demand for virtual verification and certification services for topside and subsea equipment, including a marine warranty survey of a barge and platform in Senegal and material certification of subsea equipment in China.