ROV completes offshore Middle East pipeline inspection

Offshore staff

FAREHAM, UKSaab Seaeye’s new Leopard electric work ROV has completed two months of round-the-clock offshore operations in the Middle East for Abu Dhabi-based CCC Underwater Engineering.

The vehicle undertook a 570-km (354-mi) pipeline inspection, withstanding temperatures up to 40°C (104°F).

Saab Seaeye claims that the Leopard’s 11 thrusters and iCON control architecture make it the most powerful ROV of its size available, and the thruster array helps to keep the vehicle on station in strong currents.

CCC’s ROV manager Tavis Letherby said: “The Leopard can take larger tools than is usual for an electric ROV - and its third vertical thruster gives it an advantage over other ROVs…

“An important benefit of iCON is the added functionality of station keeping, allowing the operators to concentrate on the task at hand - thereby reducing the workload on the operator and ensuring the task is performed in an efficient manner.”

With iCON, the main electronics pod has been integrated into an intelligent power distribution and data hub that, according to Letherby, “will isolate a problem in the water and find ways around the issue to keep the vehicle working.”

The footprint is also advantageous for offshore operations in the Middle East, he added. The Leopard has a 25-ton package and small footprint, compared with 66 tons for a comparable hydraulic system occupying a much larger footprint, taking longer to mobilize “when there aren’t many large service vessels currently operating in the Middle East.” 


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