Real-time offshore verification needs driving expansion for Bureau Veritas
Bureau Veritas is leading a drive towards real time verification for offshore assets with the global expansion of its remote service centres and pilot projects with leading energy companies.
The first step in the journey - remote inspection and verification - has led to the opening of seven remote service centres in key locations around the world. Bureau Veritas aims to convert 50 percent of physical surveys offshore to remote surveys by the end of 2021.
The latest centre opened in Singapore recently, joining others in Shanghai, Miami, Rotterdam, Piraeus, Istanbul and Dubai. A centre is proposed for Aberdeen in autumn 2020 with others planned to enhance the global network. By increasing connectivity in this way, Bureau Veritas is able to maximize cost efficiency for operators while maintaining service quality and firmly reducing carbon footprint.
Earlier this year, the company reported a 900% increase in demand for remote inspections following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and they have conducted over 400 remote surveys since March for Class.
Bureau Veritas will be the first independent verification body to have its UK-based remote inspection services accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). This provides duty holders with the assurance that regulatory compliance is being maintained for the asset, all components and mobile equipment that can impact safety performance.
At the beginning of 2020, Bureau Veritas introduced a number of pilot projects with leading energy companies and industry bodies to define good practice in verification services. The pilots are expected to support the introduction of new regulatory guidance towards the end of this year.
Bureau Veritas is focused on providing assurance against the main influencing contributors for the management of major accident hazards - namely people, process and plant - by providing baseline metrics for energy companies to measure themselves against, to promote prioritized risk awareness and provide a confident means for continuous improvement. This approach provides a solid grounding for industry standards, guidance and best practice.
Real time verification is a key component in the company's vision of a Smart Offshore. The building blocks for real time verification have been clearly defined through consultation with operators and regulators to ensure they meet the industry's needs while maintaining regulatory compliance.
Paul Shrieve, Vice President Offshore & Services, said: "Bureau Veritas is committed to continually pushing the possibilities in testing, inspection and verification to make a competitive difference for our clients. We see the journey towards real time verification as a four-stage process; from traditional to remote, process safety and, ultimately, real time. We have provided all of our duty holder clients with a clear line of sight towards remote inspection and verification, and we are witnessing increased demand from supply chain companies who are being asked to provide remote services while meeting regulatory compliance.
"Data implementation is a critical component in this process. However, we believe it is also important to focus on people and processes to ensure inputted data can be trusted, is of a quality to be meaningful and adheres to the core intent of the Offshore Safety Directive.
"Real time verification will require enhanced digitalization, remote control, greater use of virtual and augmented reality and real time digital twin barrier models. However it can play a significant part in reducing unit operating costs and enhancing safety - two of the most important considerations in today's oil and gas industry."