Terra Drone completes first FPSO Tank Inspection in Brazil using Drones

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Using drones for FPSO tanks inspections is much more safe, quick, and precise than the conventional rope access method

Terra Drone Brazil, a group company of Japan-based Terra Drone Corporation has announced the successful completion of Brazil’s first-ever drone inspection of an offshore FPSO tank.

The ballast tank inspection using drones was conducted aboard P-66, a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit from Petrobras, that is operating in the Pre Salt Area at Santos Basin.

Petrobras needs its cargo and ballast tanks to be inspected regularly to keep on top of maintenance needs. Any kind of corrosion, cracks, fractures, or welding anomalies must be identified quickly before they can damage the structural integrity of the ship.

Traditionally, this inspection is done by sending a team of up to four men inside the confined tank space using scaffolds or rope access. This kind of close-up visual inspection of one tank alone can take anywhere from half a day to a full day – all this while posing a safety threat to the workers inside the tank.

Using drones, however, reduce the need of human worker to enter the tank. Marcelo Belleti, Executive Director at Terra Drone Brazil, said, “Not only is drone inspection safer, but it is also much quicker and more precise than manual inspection. Further, drone inspections for cargo tanks can lead to potential cost-savings as well.”

Terra Drone Brazil completed the inspection of a ballast tanks for Petrobras in little over an hour with a team of only two men. The high-definition pictures and videos captured by the drone ensured a quality deliverable report for all 40 points pre-defined for the close-up inspection.

Sea News, July 23