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Robotics Deployed for Subsea Inspections

Perth-based technology specialist, Nexxis has successfully designed and deployed a customised pre-pigging pipe inspection Robotic crawler solution, significantly reducing risk and increasing the accuracy of subsea pipeline inspections.

Nexxis founding director Jason De Silveira noted that oil and gas operators often faced numerous challenges when it came to subsea pipeline inspection and maintenance procedures.

“Obviously asset integrity is paramount when it comes to subsea infrastructure, particularly given the depth, size and sometimes hostile environments in which they operate. It was a fantastic opportunity for Nexxis to test the technology, prove it and now be able to pass it on to the service providers with confidence in the technology, process and most importantly the outcome,” Mr De Silveira said.

The National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) and Subsea Innovation Cluster Australia (SICA), recommended Nexxis to assist in the development of the customised pre-pigging pipe inspection robotic crawler solution.

“Due to accessibility and size issues, that’s historically involved a degree of uncertainty.  Operators are always looking for ways to ensure more accurate, efficient and inherently safe options in order to reduce overall risk,” Mr De Silveira said. “This is now another tool in the tool belt for operators.”

In one example, an oil and gas operator in WA was looking for ways to conduct pre-pigging inspections to validate valve positioning prior to carrying out pigging activities.

Nexxis provided a customised crawler solution, using high-definition visual inspection and positioning technology, that gave the operator the diagnostic validation required to perform regulatory inspections with greater precision.

The crawler is remotely operated and delivers real-time information from depths up to 300m to inspection specialists onboard a work vessel.

Nexxis has provided specialised robotic solutions to oil and gas operators and service providers as well as other industry sectors since 2014.

With the recent acquisition and relaunch of specialist engineering and fabrication business SixDe, Mr De Silveira said industry now had access to world-class, customised robotic solutions in WA.

“There’s so much scope for the industry to overcome current challenges with robotic technology and it is great to see forward-thinking companies starting to explore the options,” he said.

“The combination of Nexxis’ expertise, SixDe’s precision engineering capabilities and growing industry input mean WA is in a prime position to become a world leader in custom robotics solutions.”

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