Swire Seabed completes first autonomous subsea pipeline inspection for Equinor

December 2018

Swire Seabed completes first autonomous subsea pipeline inspection for Equinor

Bergen, 4 December 2018 – Swire Seabed has successfully completed the first autonomous inspection of offshore pipeline systems in October 2018 utilising Kongsberg Maritime’s Hugin AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) for Equinor.

The recent inspections by Swire Seabed were undertaken with the subsea vehicle in “autonomous” mode. A small surface vessel accompanied the AUV, however, the vessel’s role was limited to providing positional updates to the vehicle and acting as a communications relay between the AUV and the Control Centre at Swire Seabed’s office in Bergen.

The inspections were performed on three pipelines between Kollsnes and Troll A. In total, 180 km of pipeline were inspected over two AUV dives. The AUV, operated by Kongsberg, acquired Bathymetrical, Synthetic Aperture Sonar and visual data as part of an operation to verify the continued integrity of the subsea pipelines. Acceptance criteria for data (quality, coverage, density etc.) were identical to the criteria used for non-autonomous inspection methods.

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Image of pipeline on seabed acquired by AUV multi beam echo sounder sensor


“We are excited about the successful completion of this project as it demonstrates the capability of Swire Seabed, together with our partners, to lead and develop technology that will fulfill and extend industry expectations and requirements for safer, more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient solutions while maintaining stringent safety and quality standards,” Swire Seabed’s CEO, Arvid Pettersen.

This inspection is part of Swire Seabed’s ongoing work to develop an automated subsea inspection system, covering landfall to landfall, and represents a technological breakthrough for clients.