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Class Societies encourage and approve new technologies

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Oilfield Technology,

The JIP (Joint Industry Project) for HITS (Hull Inspection Techniques & Strategy), led by the international asset integrity specialists EM&I, on behalf of the FPSO Research Forum, is a classic example of 'industry driven' innovations, which have been encouraged by the major Class Societies, and the other members of the JIP.

They have helped identify industry issues and set the performance parameters for new technologies, and monitored potential solutions over the last 6 years that the JIP has been meeting, to discuss, observe, and approve innovations.

The major Class Societies have already approved a number of new innovations, including the 'ODIN®' diverless UWILD (Under Water Inspection in Lieu of Drydocking), and the NoMan™ remote camera technologies for non-intrusive tank inspections.

Other classification society approvals include EM&I’s ROV operated mooring chain inspections and ODIN diverless Valve Replacement methods.

Demonstrations of these technologies were held at EM&I's Technology Centre in Cumbria, during the recent and first ever FPSO Research Forum meeting to be held in the UK, which was one of the best attended in its 20 year history, with EM&I as the hosts for over 140 senior executives from the oil majors, operators, class societies, service companies, academic & research establishments, and regulators.

Class Society approval is usually given through a 'Letter of No Objection' initially, which means that clients can use the new technologies on a 'case by case' basis, provided an engineering study is prepared and approved beforehand.

This helps to get new technologies accepted quickly, and become the preferred solutions, which improve safety and reduce the costs of conventional methods such as diver operations, and personnel working in hazardous areas, or at height, or in confined spaces.

vDanny Constantinis (Executive Chairman) of EM&I, who leads the JIP commented: "The new technologies are more effective, efficient, economic, and safer than traditional methods, so the Class Societies are to be congratulated on their leadership in this respect".


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