Viper Subsea system to save time and money on repairing faults begins trial

Dr Patrick O'Brien
Dr Patrick O’Brien

A new technology system designed to address a common problem in the subsea industry is undergoing a shallow water trial at Portishead Quays marina.

The system will help to identify the location of electrical faults on subsea installations and will enable field operators to better plan for repair or replacement of failed components which could save the industry millions of pounds in halted production.

The system, known as V-IR, has been developed by Viper Subsea with the support of Total, BP, Shell, and Chevron.

The shallow water trial will run in phases and could last up to 12 months. The initial trial will take three months, during which time the V-IR technology suite will undergo communications and performance testing in a sea water environment that includes the use of 2km of subsea cable which has been deployed onto the bed of the marina.

Although a shallow water trial, the main components are already designed for 3000m water depth. Following the shallow water trial there will be a period of further equipment qualification before the system is fully commercialised later in the year.

Dr Patrick O’Brien, Chief Executive of the Industry Technology Facilitator, said: “It is encouraging to see that one of our joint industry projects is nearing the latter stages of deployment with this trial.

“Identifying the exact location and why the failure occurred is time consuming and difficult with existing technology, meaning that the recovery and repairs of cables is risky and very expensive. Viper’s V-IR system has the potential to provide substantial savings in time and costs to the industry.”

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