DNV GL conducts first offshore drone survey in North Sea


DNV GL surveyors have conducted the classification society’s first offshore drone survey on the semi-submersible tender support vessel (TSV) ‘Safe Scandinavia’ located in the North Sea.

The 25,383 GT vessel is owned by Prosafe and currently supporting Statoil’s drilling operations off the coast of Norway.

Prosafe chief operating officer Ian Young said: “We are very pleased that we chose to try the drone survey, as it helped us optimise our survey requirements and allowed us to save significant amounts of time and money.

“Normally, this kind of operation would cause disruption to our client for several days.”

As part of the survey, the DNV GL pilots employed camera-equipped drones that assessed Safe Scandinavia’s fairleads and their connection with the vessel’s two columns.

DNV GL Poland classification project manager Cezary Galinski said: “The inspection only required the semi-submersible to de-ballast, then we flew the drone approximately 25m below the main deck to check the condition of the fairleads and their connections to the columns that hold up the TSV.

"With wind speeds of approximately 15kn, this went very well and the survey showed that the fairleads and their connections were in a good condition."

“With wind speeds of approximately 15kn, this went very well and the survey showed that the fairleads and their connections were in a good condition.”

The usage of drones is effective to assess the surveyor safety by visually assessing the condition of remote structural components in less time and operating cost.

DNV GL has trained drone pilots based in Gdynia, Piraeus, Singapore, Houston and Shanghai and provides survey inspections worldwide from these hubs.

The company is also developing guidelines to set out the usage of remote inspection techniques.


Image: DNV GL has carried out its first offshore drone survey on board the tender support vessel Safe Scandinavia. Photo: Copyright © DNV GL.