Drone inspection saves client £4.6 million


In conjunction with Cyberhawk, Stork was contracted to deliver a structural and coating inspection of an offshore drilling derrick for Shell on the Brent Delta platform. Such inspections can prove expensive, time consuming and potentially dangerous.


This was the world’s first inspection of an oil platform by Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicles (ROAV’s) removing the need for costly shutdowns and safety risks associated with traditional access methods.

Stork assessed the remaining fabric maintenance scope on the asset and commissioned Cyberhawk to get an accurate record of its condition. HD images were captured and relayed live from the ROAV to allow for a full assessment of the structure and coating condition of the operational drilling derrick. The inspection involved accessing areas that would have been particularly challenging and time consuming for traditional rope or scaffold inspections.

Images and expert engineering analysis from Cyberhawk gave a clear picture of the asset to support the maintenance programme. Using the ROAV allowed equipment to remain fully operational during the inspection with no disruption to operations.

Client benefits

By using innovative technology coupled with expert interpretation, Stork and Cyberhawk delivered a quality service with improvements in time, costs and safety:

  • No lost production which would have cost an estimated £80,000 - £100,000 per day
  • Significantly reduced scope of work by 42%
  • Wax oil preservative coating delivered a saving of 1,725 man hours
  • The wax oil coating was completed in 14 days compared with six weeks for conventional paint treatments
  • Overall project saving of £4.6 million

Project fast-facts

Project ROAV structural and coatings inspection
Client Shell
Location North Sea
Services ROAV inspection, surface coatings
Date 2012


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