Autumn 2016

Innovative inspection solutions for Shell UK

James Fisher Subsea has consolidated its long-term working relationship with oil-giant, Shell UK, with an innovative solution for offshore installation/platform inspections

Earlier this year the team at JF Subsea was asked to come up with alternative solutions to traditional vessel-based ROV operations used for annual platform inspections in the North Sea. 

Shell UK asked JF Subsea to supply a gravity-based ROV system for the inspection campaign on the North Sea platform, Brent Bravo. So JF Subsea duly modified a launch and recovery system (LARS), to comply with the size and weight restrictions on Brent Bravo. The team cleverly designed a gravity-based and self-supporting system to get around the fact that the hazardous gases prevalent in this potentially explosive atmosphere prohibit.

The engineering solution allows the platforms to use asset-based ROVs (ABROVs) for the duration of the inspection programme, thereby reducing risk,but also significantly doing away with the requirement of a ROV support vessel.

On Brent Bravo, the six-man JF Subsea team (four ROV personnel and two inspection engineers) was able to work in shifts over 24 hours for two weeks with the ROV in continual use. This enabled them to prove the complete success of this innovative turnkey solution, which extended from the pre-inspection report. 

Tim Welford, operations manager at JF Subsea says;

"While the use of ABROVs is not a new concept, the innovative way in which JF Subsea adapted them to Shell's needs, and the duration for which they were utilised, demonstrates the close working relationship we have with our customers and our ability to tailor services to specific requirements."

Thanks to this successful project, Shell UK has deployed the JF Subsea team to performs the same ABROV system process on a further five platforms. 

The ABROV system is now being marketed globally, says Tim, and further discussions are also underway with Shell UK to supply this inspection service for the next five years on various platforms in the North Sea.

 

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