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Disrupting and transforming the inspection and integrity industry – the journey of tech developer… and it’s just the beginning

14 May 2020
Written by Garreth McIntyre

GDi, along with our clients and industry partners across the oil and gas industry, is facing extraordinary pressures and challenges. Following one of the worst downturns in our history, the need for innovative and efficient approaches is more pressing than ever. GDi have first-hand experience in working with the OGTC to develop new and innovative technologies from concept through to deployment in the field.

We took our ideas to the Asset Integrity Solution Centre in 2018 with a fundamental proposition to disrupt and transform the inspection and integrity industry. The process was challenging at first as we struggled to articulate the value add without ploughing into technical detail… typical engineers! The team helped us shape our ideas into concise and focused value adds.

As a result of our development work with the OGTC and industry partners, we successfully delivered a world’s first remote inspection scope of an entire pressure system on an offshore facility. This inspection leveraged the data gathered via laser scanning to meet the ultimate objectives of risk-based visual inspection. Data collected via laser scanning is vital for engineering purposes whether it is small repairs or large projects and modifications. Now, utilising our technology, this data can be used to ascertain equipment condition offering a game changing approach to asset management. The technology was deployed through our unique and innovative solution called GDi Vision.

By implementing this novel approach we can reduce overall inspection costs by up to 25% whilst increasing quality and assisting asset owners manage risk. Our solution can be deployed without the need of mobilising inspectors to site – which, with the current global situation this approach is resonating with our clients even more. When combined with GDi’s unique engineering capability for repairs and modifications the value proposition is significant.

It’s been a challenging and ultimately rewarding journey for us, with R&D comes obstacles which you wouldn’t normally encounter within an operational capacity. The level of engagement from our industry partners and the OGTC in shaping our development path to maximise value has been really useful. Prior to project initiation we didn’t expect to be disrupting the inspection to the extent we already have. Our confidence in the approach and development plan has been buoyed by the feedback and engagement from the industry.

With volatile oil prices and rising costs for maintaining assets in the North Sea and around the globe, this technology provides a step change in how asset owners ascertain and visualise the condition of their assets. The ultimate ability to rapidly ascertain the condition of the asset without spending huge amounts of money, resources and time is providing operators the ability to efficiently manage their assets, focus onsite resources, identify risk, accurately plan remedials and cessation of production dates.

This is just the first step on our development journey, and we are extremely enthusiastic to see where else this technology can go. Ultimately this step-change would not have been possible due to the extensive risks involved in developing ambitious and highly technical world’s first technologies. The OGTC’s access to multiple avenues of technology development along with close co-operation with our industry partners mitigated these risks and have helped ensure success.

Overall, it has been a fascinating journey for GDi over the past number of years. Our core engineering business has gone from strength to strength. With the addition of the OGTC projects we have seen a sharp increase in growth and client base, including our team doubling in size over two years.

With contract awards in the pipeline we will continue to solidify our value proposition in the North Sea whilst expanding into other territories and sectors. Our next steps will be to continue to invest in our technology and deliver value cross industries and sectors.

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