What happens when low IR is detected?
The electrical cables in the umbilical that connect the platform with the subsea infrastructure can experience sudden drops in IR. There could be many reasons behind the IR fall, including physical damage from a storm or quality issues when the cables’ insulation was manufactured.
Whatever the cause, it is often the Viper Innovations Field Service Engineer that is sent offshore to fix it. And that trip could be to the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Mediterranean or South East Asia – anywhere in the world that a Viper Innovations solution is installed.
“When we’re called out,” says Eugene, “the operator is often highly concerned as the IR has dropped, impacting on the umbilical performance which is critical to production. They want to get it back up as quickly as possible.”
This is where the engineer’s professional skills, training, quick-thinking and calmness under pressure come into play. Callum remembers one occasion when he was out on a call and the electrical cabinets were of an unusual design and initially he couldn’t open them: “The first step was working out how to get the panel doors open safely, which I did. Then I had to dismantle the device and do fault finding. It was tense, but we got it done.”
On another occasion, the umbilical IR was so low, Callum didn’t think a recovery was possible. Like every solution, V-LIFE has operating parameters: “The chances of recovery weren’t great, and I managed the customer’s expectations accordingly. However, I went ahead, and it worked! That saved a major break in production, as the alternative was a shutdown and returning the kit to the beach for repair.”