Floating platforms for plant, machinery and accommodation are being used increasingly in offshore oil and gas production. These permanent floating production platforms must be moored to the sea bed. The integrity of the mooring system consisting of chains is critical, because the consequences of failure could be oil pollution on a catastrophic scale. There is therefore an urgent need to improve the integrity management of mooring systems. One issue is the inspection of chain links. Regulatory visual inspection is currently done with the cable chain brought up on deck, or, for greater sensitivity to defects using non-destructive tests (NDT), with the cable chain taken on-shore.
Increasingly, interim swim-by inspections of the chain in-situ are being conducted from Remote Operated Vehicles. The inspection however is unreliable, susceptible to human error, because of the hundreds of metres of chain involved and the short times allowed for inspection. Industry recognises the need for more effective inspection. The inspection system proposed here will test the chains in situ, above and below water, will be automated and will be sensitive to fatigue cracks, corrosion, bent chains and where present, loose studs.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/natural gas
- /engineering and technology/mechanical engineering/vehicle engineering/automotive engineering/autonomous vehicle
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