The Underwater Technology Foundation (UTF) are delighted to announce that Tracerco are awarded the first UTF Subsea Project Award.
The UTF award program is available to both intra- and inter-company subsea projects that represent solutions to challenges where the project team has accomplished the task successfully with focus on project execution, innovation, increased efficiency, HSE and a global commercial potential. The project has to be recognized within the subsea industry and in operation with successful results. The award aims to recognize the individual(s) behind the project. We have received 13 highly qualified proposals, which have been evaluated by an UTF nominated jury: Bob Allwood (SUT), Helge Haldorsen (SPE International/Statoil), Elaine Maslin (OE), Bjørn Søgård (DNV GL) and Vidar Fondevik (UTF/Nui).
The jury recognized Discovery’s™ innovative technology, the large global potential, the fact the technology is field proven with excellent results and that it contributes to both operators, IMR companies and suppliers. Paul Featonby, Technology Manager and Tim Hough, Discovery Technology Lead, both at Tracerco, are recognized for the technology and project execution.
UTF will honor Tracerco and the recognized individuals at UTC 17 – 18 June. You can also visit Tracerco’s stand #18 at the UTC Exhibition to learn more.
Discovery™ is unique technology for subsea pipeline inspection. It allows non-intrusive inspection of complex subsea structures to measure contents and metal walls from the outside of a pipe without the need to stop production or remove protective coatings. Gamma ray tomography is used to create images. Radiation penetrates the object and is detected by an array of detectors, all of which rotates around the object under inspection. From the detected radiation, an image or tomography is generated using complex algorithms. While gamma ray tomography has been demonstrated in the laboratory and related technology is used in the medical industry, it had never previously been taken subsea. Discovery™ is a major breakthrough in subsea pipeline inspection. For the first time, oil companies can non-intrusively inspect complex subsea flowlines. Conventional techniques such as in-line inspection (ILI) or external ultrasonic inspection all have disadvantages and associated risks, such as the need to stop production or remove coatings and/or insulation. Additionally, Discovery™ provides information for both flow assurance issues, such as blockages or build-up, as well as integrity flaws such as corrosion or defects in pipe walls to an accuracy of close to a millimetre. Results are provided real time, allowing rapid and informed decision making.
We have been engaged in designing and developing Discovery™ for over 2 years, with a multidisciplinary team of physicists, engineers and mathematicians. Gamma radiation is highly penetrative and therefore extremely hard to collimate in a practical device to obtain accurate data. This is the first time gamma radiation has been used to produce a CT scan for inspection in this way and presented numerous complex challenges to bring the instrument into being. The first Discovery™ tool was developed with assistance from Statoil in Norway. Following detailed modelling Discovery began as a simple proof of principle experiment. This lead to the development of a small scale prototype which in turn generated a great deal of interest due to the extremely clear image quality and resolution produced. Detailed engineering followed. This included marinising the complex electronics and detector technology for use in harsh subsea environments. Major oil companies such as Shell and Statoil are amongst the early adopters – Discovery™ is providing a capability to inspect subsea flowlines that has not existed before. In response to customer demand, Tracerco accelerated the development of an ultra-deep-water instrument capable of being deployed to depths of 3000m and including crawler functionality allowing Discovery to index along a pipe giving more extensive inspection coverage. With this functionality, Discovery™ has been deployed on several campaigns now, including a highly successful six week project in the Gulf of Mexico.