The Oil & Gas Technology Centre prioritises next generation of robotics for oil and gas


The Oil & Gas Technology Centre has invested in three robotics projects to transform pressure vessel inspection, which costs the industry hundreds of millions each year and poses significant safety challenges.

The projects were selected as part of its first Asset Integrity ‘Call for Ideas’, which launched in 2017.

Pressure vessel inspection was identified by the industry as a crucial challenge to maximising economic recovery from the UK Continental Shelf.

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As part of the technology-based investment, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre is supporting the University of Strathclyde in the use of swarms of small unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, for visual inspection offshore.

Non-intrusive inspection (NII) of pressure vessels can deliver significant cost and safety benefits. Sonomatic’s aim is to develop the next generation of robotic NII technology, with improved speed, agility and autonomy compared with existing systems. The robot, incorporating advanced inspection technologies, will help increase production uptime, reduce costs and improve efficiency.

In March 2018, the company is launching its second Asset Integrity Call for Ideas, focused on predicting, preventing, detecting and repairing corrosion under insulation.

Rebecca Allison, Asset Integrity Solution Centre manager, said: “From day one, developing and deploying new technology for pressure vessel inspection has been a key focus area for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre. We’re delighted to be investing in robotics projects with Sonomatic and the University of Strathclyde, which we believe can significantly reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance safety.

“Process vessel inspection and corrosion under insulation cost the industry more than £300 million each year so it is important that our first two Calls for Ideas focus on these challenges. We’re always looking for innovative ideas and concepts from inside and outside the oil and gas industry and look forward to launching our next Call in March.”

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre was established in October 2016 with £180 million funding as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Tags : drone inspectionsdronesoil and gasThe Oil & Gas Technology CentreUniversity of Strathclyde
Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder

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