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Experts suggest robotic solutions for subsea pipeline leaks

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Worried by incidents of subsea pipeline leaks, experts have reiterated the need to deploy autonomous subsea robotic technologies to mitigate the challenge.

Robotic solutions are designed to perform inspection, repair and maintenance tasks on subsea pipelines, with the distinct advantage of being able to assess and repair subsea pipes in a single operation without divers and other conventional vessels supported equipment.

The General Manager, Kongsberg Ferrotech, Christopher Carlsen, stressed this during the introduction of a range of autonomous subsea robotic technologies to Nigeria, in Lagos.

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The initiative is a partnership between Nigerian integrated oilfield services provider, RusselSmith, and Kongsberg Ferrotech, a Norwegian subsea robotics company.

The partnership will ensure that RusselSmith further improves its subsea monitoring, repair and lifetime extension service offerings for rigid and flexible pipes, umbilical and ancillaries.

Carlsen noted that such technologies would have positive impact on asset integrity management operations in Nigeria.

On his part, the Divisional Chief Executive for RusselSmith, Effiong Okwong, said the development was a game changer operation.

“We have a growing number of ageing assets in the country that require focused maintenance and life extension efforts. Such maintenance efforts can now be further optimised for efficiency and made more cost-effective by adopting robotic solutions,” he said.

On the environmental front, he said there would be reduction in pollution due to pipeline leaks, as operators will be better equipped to maintain pipelines, and respond quickly to such incidents.

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