Utilising Wireless Technologies for Big Data in Offshore Asset Integrity Management
Crude oil and gas remain an essential part of our global economy, providing a lot of the energy needs that powers and sustains nations around the world.
However, with the current state of the global economy, many companies now realise the need to focus on optimizing technical and business processes to remain competitive and a key part of this involves increasing efficiency and reducing cost to increase value and returns on investment.
A key way they achieve this is by adopting robust asset integrity and monitoring practices for their assets without which the risk to life, health, safety and environment as well as the loss of production and value become possible. This is even more the case in the Offshore subsea industry which utilizes highly complex structures – Production platforms, FPSOs, MODUs etc. that are prone to wear and tear of the many thousand structural, electrical, mechanical and hydraulic systems which make them up; and thus, require adequate integrity monitoring to ensure optimum efficiency and safety.
The question then is, is it possible to improve on current ways of maintaining the integrity and longevity of our offshore assets?
Can we for example, cost effectively monitor more parameters subsea and then leverage on big data to reduce subsea inspection costs as we get access to the much-needed corrosion, fatigue, crack and leaks, temperature etc. data that underpins a robust asset integrity monitoring strategy?
Challenges to Big Data in Offshore Subsea environments
It is no news that big data is championing the growth of companies as they employ the power of advanced analytics in driving decisions; however, the offshore industry has lagged a little behind in big data roll out in the past.
This mainly stemmed from limits to the technology available and limitations of infrastructure in latching on to big data e.g. high cost of subsea cabling and availability of asset integrity sensors; high costs, safety and complexity for divers and ROV to extract data/information; limited battery life for conventional subsea wireless technologies; and also cost of change compared to the risk etc.
A good example of these challenges is in fatigue monitoring which is largely carried out ‘manually’ by divers or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) completing visual inspections. Not only are these hazardous and expensive, but also information on the integrity of the structure is also not available in real time. Furthermore, the quantity and quality of this data is insufficient to drive performance enhancing big data analytic techniques which can impact on production levels, or even lead to failure as a result of sub-optimal predicative model correction and latency.
However, recent advances in digitisation, wireless technology, battery technologies and data analytics have enabled a seamless extension of IoT (Internet of Things) networks to the underwater environment providing access to real-time data and subsequently predictive analysis at low cost.
The technology now exists to build on a smart subsea wireless platform, which can be integrated with a variety of sensors, has extended battery life capability and can be cost effectively retro-fitted to structures to facilitate actionable operational intelligence such as performance, condition and diagnostic information and hence access to streams of data for analysis.
Subsea Wireless Solutions for Remote Integrity Monitoring Offshore
AeonX through our partners CSignum is providing the Nigerian offshore energy industry access to world class wireless monitoring solutions which facilitate operational intelligence. CSignum, a technology company, are experts in providing real time monitoring information through the use of smart wireless subsea solutions for asset integrity and load monitoring in the most extreme of offshore environments.
By combining the power of radio and acoustic telemetry, the proprietary subsea wireless communications become the only ones in the world that can transfer data across the air-water boundary and travel through seawater, turbidity and bio-fouling, seabed, splash zones and solid matter sch as steel and concrete. With advanced sensor-level edge computing and ultra-low power management systems, the platforms support long-life battery powered deployments for up to 10 years.
CSignum have developed technology which utilizes radio-frequency based transmission to enable reliable medium bandwidth data transfer in a range of environmental conditions. A completely new and customisable Common Platform is also in development which will combine multi-frequency radio with acoustic modems for a broad range of applications; thereby allowing project teams to either develop their own asset monitoring solutions, or to work with the our engineering teams to integrate specific sensors, develop, test and deploy them within the platform. Previous projects successfully delivered by CSignum have included pipeline temperature monitoring, structural fatigue monitoring, corrosion monitoring, acceleration and vibration monitoring to mention a few. Data can be wirelessly communicated back to the operator in real-time depending on the depth and range to the surface or it can be stored on-board the system for periodic retrieval.
Main benefits of these wirelss solutions include: Real time/On-line monitoring with advanced analytics, Reduction in Inspection costs, Reduction in installed integrity sensor costs, Improved reliability, accuracy and resolution over wired systems, with increased data density; Reduction in Production costs, Reduction in Maintenance and repair costs and Reduced Risk and improved safety of personnel and equipment.
It suffices to say again that maintaining the integrity and longevity of offshore subsea assets remains key at keeping operating costs low and maximizing efficiency in the “new normal” of the global economy. Wireless solutions that help leverage big data to facilitate this no doubt have a big role to play in the future of offshore asset integrity monitoring for which CSignum is at the very fore. For more information please see www.csignum.com