Contact Page Banner

The Standard Supplier - 'A Game of Drones'

By Kirsty Fletcher-Reid on 26 Feb 2018

The Standard Supplier was recently contracted to take part in an unusual assignment for oil and gas operator Spirit Energy. Our Chief Officer and 2nd Officer were able to take an account of the day and provide some photos of the assignment.


‘A Game of Drones’

By Senan Blunnie & Photography by Mateusz Wilinski


The Standard Supplier successfully completed an unusual assignment at Spirit Energy’s unmanned platform ST-1, located in block 49/5a approximately 260 miles South East of Aberdeen.


The assignment involved visual and thermographic surveys of the ST-1 platform, to be carried out using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).


The ST-1 platform is due to be decommissioned and have its associated wells plugged. Before this work can commence, our client Spirit Energy needed to confirm that there were no gas leaks, and that it would be safe to plug the associated wells. It was decided that a visual inspection was the best method to confirm this, therefore the inspection needed be carried out by either UAV drone and camera, or by hand-held camera.


The Standard Supplier was engaged to transport the UAV along with two Inspect Hire Technicians and a Spirit Energy engineer, to the ST-1 location and to provide a stable platform from which the work would be carried out.


During the operation the Skyeye UAV would be operating under the following limits:


Max range: 500m

Max wind speed: 24 Knots.


The Standard Suppliers’ DP-2 capabilities and proven ability to work safely within the 500m zone made her a perfect fit for this job. However, if the UAV was unable to operate due to either technical issues or weather conditions, then a survey by hand held camera would have been conducted.


Thankfully, the North Sea weather was accommodating, and it was confirmed that the UAV was able to be flown. The success of the UAV operation hinged on the camera operation to be conducted from a vantage point of maximum possible height. Again,  the Standard Supplier did not disappoint, with her Monkey Island approx. 27m above the keel, she was able to provide the perfect elevated work platform for the technicians.


The Standard Supplier’s capabilities, along with the professionalism of her crew, allowed for this unique and imperative assignment to be completed successfully. Thank you to Spirit Energy for enabling Fletcher to be involved in such an unusual assignment.

Oil & Gas,