Oceaneering conducts Freedom AUV pipeline inspection pilot for TotalEnergies

Oceaneering conducts Freedom AUV pipeline inspection pilot for TotalEnergies

TotalEnergies and Oceaneering International have revealed that the Freedom autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has successfully concluded a pipeline inspection industrial pilot, showcasing its capabilities for sustainable commercial pipeline inspection missions.

The capabilities observed during the pilot delivered on the ambition of TotalEnergies to reduce the environmental impact while assuring the integrity of submarine pipelines, contributing to TotalEnergies’ ambition to be net zero by 2050, together with society. The application of the technology represents a reduction in time (and emissions) of an estimated 50% compared to existing methods, with equivalent quality of the inspection and the opportunity to exceed data quality provision through continuous improvement.

Single pass data gathering

The North Sea pilot for TotalEnergies resulted in an inspection of over 120km of submarine pipelines, to add to 60km of nearshore pipelines inspected during an earlier demonstration for TotalEnergies. Freedom demonstrated its ability to detect and track the pipeline while maintaining a defined flight envelope above the pipe. Utilizing the onboard adaptive behaviours, developed to provide additional insights into subsea features, Freedom showed that it is capable of performing high-quality operations, with the required data gathered in a single pass of the pipelines.

The onboard autonomous capabilities, together with high-specification instruments – including a laser scanning system and multibeam sonar technology – result in a detailed external inspection of subsea pipeline features. Autonomous pipeline tracking capability ensures that Freedom remains directly above the pipeline at low altitudes, providing a detailed external view of the pipelines and the surrounding seafloor.

On completion of the pipeline inspection missions, onboard automated data processing allowed the assessment of the mission effectiveness and the confirmation of pipeline condition in collaboration with TotalEnergies. Freedom provides high-quality datasets at a significantly increased speed compared with legacy ROV pipeline inspection methods.

Oceaneering International's advanced underwater robotic solution, Freedom, in action. (Image courtesy: Oceaneering International)
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