SURVEY company UTEC Survey Australia has wrapped up the inspection of 20 infield structures and about 550 kilometres of pipelines off the North West coast of Australia on behalf of Apache Energy.

UTEC used two of its Gavia autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to complete the work in less than four weeks from the vessel Yardie Creek.

The process, which started in mid-June, saw the AUVs operate on a ‘back-to-back’ basis – when one system returned from a mission, the next one was ready to go immediately.

In some cases the operational up-time in a given day was improved by as much as 40 per cent through the ‘back-to-back’ use of the AUVs, UTEC said in an announcement.

UTEC Asia Pacific regional sales manager Noel Cowley said the project was a key win for UTEC.

“Positioning Gavia AUVs in the region provides our clients with the confidence and operational flexibility to know the systems are available and ready to go when needed,” he said.

UTEC Australia general manager Simon Hird said the company had used some technologies developed at the company’s AUV Centre of Excellence in Houston.

UTEC is also currently involved in the Saipem Ichthys pipelay project, providing survey and positioning services on Woodside’s Nor Australis operations support vessel and has recently completed a major subsea inspection program in Bass Strait.