UTEC Completes Challenging Project in Cook Inlet

November 2015, Vol. 242, No. 11

UTEC Survey was recently hired to provide a positioning solution for the installation of a monopod liquid natural gas platform and 30-km, 10-inch LNG pipeline for a major operation located in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. Twenty-four field personnel were mobilized and engaged with Coda Octopus Products for use of their Echoscope technology to provide positioning and survey services for five vessels.

The cutting-edge project was the first monopod installation in the Cook Inlet in 25 years and marked the first time that four Echoscope systems operated simultaneously. The intended use of the Echoscope sonars was a final verification of the deployment position, but due to poor visibility caused by tidal changes, 6-7 knot currents and heavy silt, UTEC chose to use multiple Echoscopes in combination with measurements for completion of the installation.

The Echoscope provides a real-time 3D-detailed, geo-referenced image of moving and static subsea hardware and features – even in low-to-zero visibility conditions. Three Echoscopes were installed on the pipelay barge (one on the bow, one on the aft and one on the end of the stinger). This combination allowed monitoring of touchdown and pipe position in the stinger as well as identification of potential hazards on the route.

Using four Echoscopes simultaneously allowed the monopod to be seen as it was lowered to accurately position it onto a kingpile. The innovative approach enabled UTEC and its client to view operations in real time, rotate the viewing perspective and make measurements. Combining the measurements and on-screen images resulted in increased efficiency and accurate positioning of pipelines, mattresses and the monopod.

Commenting on the completion of the project, UTEC Vice President of Sales and Commercial Doug Catenaci said, “Given the environmental challenges of this project, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”

Blair Cunningham, Coda Octopus president of Technology, said, “This was an exciting project. Working with UTEC to deploy four Echoscopes for concurrent operations in this harsh and complex environment not only allowed real-time visualization and measurement in low-visibility conditions, but also enabled the task to be done safely and within record time.”

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