In a bid to improve the safety and efficiency of offshore operations, Scotland’s oil and gas sector is investigating robotics as DIGIT has reported. While these endeavours usually involve drones and similar unmanned craft, many other projects are focussing on the fundamentals, such as training personnel in realistic environments.
To improve day-to-day operations and the safety of offshore staff, Pisys, an Aberdeen-based firm specialising in control rooms, has unveiled a new Operations Training Simulator at the ASET International Oil & Gas Training Academy. The new simulator sports a fully immersive environment for more realistic training exercises.
Water-filled ballast compartments are built in to offshore installations to help with stability in the ocean. The new sim will help to teach ballast control stability for offshore personnel, with the first course successfully debuting last week. The simulator can also be used to train for other emergencies, such as severe instability or after a vehicle or helicopter crash.
Pysis claims that the new simulator is a highly accurate representation of offshore control rooms. The sim room is fitted with communications equipment and control panels, warning lights and alarms, and simulates rig movements.
The simulator is built on a foundation of software, which is capable of measuring the weights and levels of ballast tanks, and the different types of liquid in its compartments. The software can also control the rate of flooding and alarm levels, and can monitor the impact of students’ actions on the stability of the rig in the water.
Peter Henderson, Director of Pisys said: “A lot is at stake for people, plant and environment where stability/ballast control issues on rigs are concerned. No chances can be taken, students need to know exactly what to do in each situation.
“Students get many opportunities to practice many different scenarios in a short time, and if necessary repeat them, which would not be possible on board a working rig. This approach helps companies maximise return on their training investment. Training schools who buy our simulators can provide world-class Jack up and Semi-submersible training and ensure that their trainees leave the course competent to handle routine operations and emergency situations offshore.”
Last month, DIGIT also reported on a university-led consortium to develop robots which could perform assistive actions while at sea.