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18 June 2012

AV Technology (AVT) today announced that BG Trinidad & Tobago Ltd is the latest offshore operator to have the proven ‘Earthquake Monitoring System’ (EMS) installed on its offshore production platforms.

AVT has successfully installed EMS onto both the Dolphin and Hibiscus platforms, enabling analysis and assessment of the structural integrity of the jacket structures.

AVT has installed sensitive seismic devices at either end of the platforms to monitor their responses during earthquakes to provide a better understanding of their impact on the structure. The EMS, which is easily installed topside, will store raw data whenever triggered by seismic acceleration levels.

The system will also routinely store data to enable accurate trending of the natural frequencies of the platforms. This will detect unexplained changes in the platform’s fundamental sway modes, which can provide an early sign of serious structural damage at subsea positions in the jacket structures or foundations.

A separate wave height sensor has also been installed by AVT to monitor the sea level, providing early detection in the unlikely event that the platform begins sinking into the sea bed.

All offshore structures need an air gap of 1.5 metres between the lowest deck of the platform and the water. By monitoring the mean sea level and accounting for storm waves and the 100 year wave, AVT can track the distance from the lower deck to the water, ensuring that there is always a minimum of 1.5 metres and providing an early warning if this changes.

Reports produced by AVT will be a key part of the data used by GL Noble Denton as part of its wider structural integrity monitoring system for the platform, which is owned by BG Group.

Previous systems installed by AVT in the North Sea and the Caspian Sea have been successfully operating for over 10 years.

Neil Parkinson, AVT’s technical director, said: “These early detection systems provide reassurance that problems such as structural faults and sinking will be picked up quickly. Also, by providing a means of quantifying platform responses during seismic events, it means that potential structural issues are flagged up very early so they can be promptly assessed and rectified.”

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