CNOOC Oil and Gas Platform Material Transport and Security Patrol by OceanAlpha USV
Time: November 2019
Location: Weizhou oil and gas platform group in Beihai
CNOOC Security Technical Service Zhanjiang Branch uses two OceanAlpha M75 security patrol USVs to carry out small-scale material transportation between oil and gas platforms and oil pipeline , which greatly reduces the cost of material transportation between platforms and ensures the long-term safety of oil platform pipelines.
CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) is the largest offshore oil and gas developer in China. The Weizhou Oilfield Group is China’s largest oilfield group in the west of the South China Sea. 27 offshore production platforms are running and more than 160 kilometers of submarine cables connect the power network.
For a long time, the transportation of materials between various platforms has relied on tugboats or large oil and gas operation and maintenance ships for material transportation, resulting in high transportation costs and low efficiency. In addition, submarine oil and gas pipelines and submarine cables are staggered around oil and gas platforms. In the past, random anchoring of ships in the past can easily cause certain damage to underwater facilities, affecting the stable operation of oil and gas platforms. There is a lack of safety supervision of waters around oil and gas platforms.
Weizhou oil and gas platform
The USV applied in oil and gas platform have multiple advantages:
2.1 Material transportation
The USV is a new technology to solve the problem of platform material transportation, the USV is hoisted into the sea through the platform crane and automatic decoupling device, after arrive at the next platform, use the hanging net captures the ship’s hook and then hoist the USV to unload the materials on the platform.
2.2 Surface Patrol
For the surveillance and expelling of ships intruding into the work area, the USV is equipped with photoelectric pods and megaphones, which can perform intervention actions such as rapid approaching monitoring, video recording for evidence, and announcing to expel. Take photos and collect evidence of suspicious ships, etc., and the picture is stable and clear. Cooperating with the shore radar, it can realize the ship-shore joint patrol and improve the response speed.
2.3 Underwater survey
The USV can be equipped with underwater acoustic equipment, which can perform underwater surveys and pipeline detection. Meanwhile, it can also be equipped with USBL and acoustic communication equipment to provide secondary positioning for underwater vehicles or hydrophones. In 2019, Yunzhou began to provide pipeline survey services for the CNOOC Group with improved efficiency and accurate data. In 2022, OceanAlpha won the bid for the China National Petroleum Corporation BGP Middle East Offshore Oilfield Unmanned Vessel Project and will begin to serve oil and gas in geophysical surveys.
In November 2019, OceanAlpha provided CNOOC Group with comprehensive solutions of automatic deployment and recovery of USV on oil and gas platforms, USV patrols around oil and gas platforms, and material transportation between oil and gas platforms.
Since there is a height difference of tens of meters between the oil and gas platform and the sea surface, it is impossible to manually unmoor the USV. Therefore, it is necessary to realize the automatic deployment and recovery of USV on the oil and gas platform. Automatic decoupling during release and automatic capture during recovery is required.
USV deployment screen
USV recovery screen
Since there is a height difference of tens of meters between the oil and gas platform and the sea surface, it is impossible to manually unmoor the USV. Therefore, it is necessary to realize
the automatic deployment and recovery of USV on the oil and gas platform. Automatic decoupling during release and automatic capture during recovery is required.
System operation diagram
The transportation of small materials between the platforms is easy with USV by carrying the storage box, providing strong logistical support for the staff on the platform.
At present, 4 units of M75 security patrol USVs have realized normal business operations between the Weizhou oil and gas platform group, and those USVs help CNOOC saves more than one million US dollars in ship costs every year.
To summarize, USV serving the offshore oil and gas field can bring benefits below:
1. Reduce cost by less fuel and crew input, and improve efficiency.
2. USV can sail in bad weather and at night, which can broaden the scope and time of water operations;
3. The underwater survey operation has high tracking accuracy and high data accuracy
4. Reduce labor intensity and ensure personal safety.