WFS deploys new subsea wireless IP camera technology to enhance diver safety

ocean 1283641 640Scotland-based WFS Technologies has deployed a new generation of subsea technology in the North Sea that has helped improve safety and reduce costs for the offshore oil and gas industry

The company stated that the computing and subsea wireless IP camera technology deployed on a pipeline construction project enhanced diver safety and generated significant cost savings by avoiding the need for additional subsea vessels.

Brendan Hyland, WFS chairman and founder, said, “This is another example of how the Subsea Internet of Things (SIoT) can be used to change how our industry executes subsea projects for the better and much more effectively.”

“Enabling divers to be positioned out of harm’s way during this critical phase of the project, while also avoiding the charter of unnecessary additional vessels and ROVs, has a material positive impact on the safety and cost of subsea projects as well as bringing considerable environmental benefits,” he added.

The work was undertaken for a new subsea pipeline that was recently installed and needed to bypass a platform being decommissioned. Before the pipeline goes live, a gel cleaning device known as a pig is passed through the pipeline at high pressure as part of the final cleaning and dewatering process. Once it reaches the termination point, the pig is thrown into the sea where it fragments.

One of the vital challenges facing the industry, however, is how to monitor the pig passing through the pipeline and fragmentation in open water to verify the cleanliness of the pipeline without the need for a diver or remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the immediate vicinity.

The solution, designed by wireless subsea device specialists WFS, came in the form of subsea HD cameras mounted on a standard subsea basket, wirelessly controlled and capturing the entire operation in high definition.

Building on technology first developed in 2014 and using the Australian oil company Woodside for subsea IMR, WFS Technologies developed the Seatooth Video Mark II.

Although the technology was also designed to be deployed by an ROV, a diver-operated tablet computer was instead used on the North Sea project to set up and control the video cameras with the WFS system wirelessly live-streaming images of the operation to the diver through seawater, while locally storing the raw footage for recovery to the surface.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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