May 13, 2020

Demand for remote offshore rigsinspections skyrockets due to COVID-19

Natural gas

Offshore gas facility

Offshore gas facility

Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV), a provider of testing, inspection, and certification services, has noted a 900 per cent rise in demand for the remote inspection of offshore assets and equipment since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BV said on Monday that requests for its remote inspection, certification, examination, and verification services escalated from a ‘want’ to a ‘need’ this year as businesses seek to keep employees safe from the coronavirus.

Several remote inspection solutions are already in progress for operators and oilfield service companies and there have been over 20 additional requests since the start of this year.

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According to BV, inspections and verification are vital for offshore companies to comply with legislation and ensure the efficiency and performance of their assets and equipment.

Through the use of mobile cameras and the existing personnel, BV employees can carry out these essential services remotely onshore, limiting close contact and reducing the need for travel.

The Bureau risk profiled activities and identified which inspections can be performed remotely and which cannot to help operators and oilfield service companies plan for the year ahead.

Where physical inspection is unavoidable, an up-front technical and safety assessment underpins the reduction and/or elimination of risk at the site.
Paul Shrieve, VP of offshore and services, said: “Previously, the remote inspection of assets and equipment received a limited reception and was thought of as a good idea, something that the industry should get around to. However, since the start of this year demand has greatly increased”.

Benefits of remote inspections

An immediate health and safety benefit of remote inspection is the reduced potential for exposure to the coronavirus for clients and Bureau Veritas staff.

Other advantages include reductions in personnel risk, time and cost by eliminating travel to client premises and helicopter travel to offshore installations, fewer on-site inspections, accommodation requirements, improved green credential, and instant accessibility to a broad spectrum of subject matter experts qualified to perform the task.

Furthermore, Bureau Veritas’s remote services have specifically been designed to meet the HSE’s requirements and future intervention initiatives with the industry during the pandemic. “COVID-19 is demonstrating that working practices cannot only be conducted in a more environmentally friendly manner but also, through technology, businesses can deliver in a much more effective and efficient way to achieve a quick turnaround.

Shrieve added:  “The world will never be the same again, nor should it be. At Bureau Veritas we have been very quick to take the learnings from COVID-19 and implement long-term changes that are both responsible and sustainable as everyone looks to adapt to the new normal”.