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Game Day: February 27th – March 2nd
Stadium: George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston & Marriott Marquis Hotel, Texas, USA
Home base: #707
Presenting: 8 ROSEN Papers
Platinum Elite Sponsor: The ROSEN Group
Tryouts: Test your knowledge with an interactive quiz, and see where you are in the ranks.
We strive to make every run a success, and to ‘hit it out of the park’ every time! This year we will be showcasing the latest developments, solutions, and services in asset care. All of these players brought together, as your asset integrity team, can make every run a home run.
Some highlights to look forward to include the introduction of our Cleaning EcoSpeed and Cleaning Analytic Services. These services provide optimal cleaning for high velocity gas pipelines and facilitate the collection of cleaning data for more confident cleaning programs.
In addition, a highlight will be Engineering Assessment Services with special focus on Crack Assessment, Corrosion Growth Assessment and Material Property Identification. By combining these services and many other solutions we make sure every run is a home run.
Pipeline standards and regulations require pipeline engineers to be both competent and qualified, but these requirements are neither defined nor explained. This paper starts by defining and explaining both competency and qualifications, and how to demonstrate and attain both. It also emphasises the importance of ‘job qualifications’ compared to ‘academic qualifications’ and ‘professional qualifications’.
This main part of the paper presents a qualification ‘route map’ for the use in the pipeline industry. It is a process involving competency-based learning programmes, leading to certified qualifications in various pipeline engineering disciplines. The main features of the process are:
The paper presents examples of both the qualifications and standards, and explains a certification procedure for the qualification. The process can be used by both individuals seeking to confirm their competency, or by companies seeking to implement a competency management system.Close
The oil and gas pipeline industry is at a tipping point with regard to transferring the duty of care from its current leaders to the next generation. If we do nothing, we risk the loss of the knowledge and experienced gained within the pipeline industry over the last 20 years. However, if the industry aggressively and collectively works toward the retention and development of the next generation as well as toward the transfer of knowledge from its subject matter experts to those prepared to accept it, instead of a potential loss it could be a step-change opportunity for the industry.
The retention of the next generation will likely require some adaptation of more traditional management approaches and methodologies often in use within the oil and gas pipeline industry. For example, where previous generations might have had ambitious goals, the next generation will inform you of them almost immediately and without apology. It is very important not to discount their ambition but rather to help them understand the role they are reaching for, what it will take to get there, and most importantly, hold them accountable for behavior not aligned with their ambition.
The transfer of knowledge, specifically at the rate required, will involve much more effort than management modifications and is likely more critical. The next generation must prepare themselves to accept the duty of care through high performance at their position to absorb as much knowledge as possible as well as efforts to gain knowledge and experience outside of their day to day efforts through industry opportunities and committees. The transfer of knowledge will also require a significant effort from the industry’s leaders. It will require them to seek out opportunities to mentor and coach, to participate and encourage those and offer assistance and support to those preparing themselves to accept the duty of care, and to encourage their peers to do the same. It will also require leaders to appreciate the next generation for its strengths such as being technically very competent, having the ability to find more efficient and effective ways to problem identification and solving, and being fearless when it comes to taking on technical challenges.
If the industry collectively gets behind its leaders and its emerging leaders and the different generations leverage one another’s strengths to address the knowledge gap in the near term, the industry’s goal of ‘zero spills’ would be that much more attainable in the future and we would achieve this in a shorter time frame.
Operators are relying heavily on in-line inspection to gather the relevant information in order to effectively manage the integrity of their pipeline systems. While large portions of today’s pipeline networks can be inspected with existing technology, there are still so-called “unpiggable” pipelines that require additional effort to gather the data required to allow for subsequent integrity assessment and ensure safe operation.
A wide variety of information needs to be taken into consideration for a comprehensive assessment on the piggability of a pipeline, beginning with the mechanical configuration of the pipeline (e.g. outside diameters, wall thicknesses, bend radii, etc.) and the operating conditions (pressure, flow, etc.). From this data, an initial assessment can be created to support a determination as to whether the pipeline is piggable.
Should the initial assessment conclude that the pipeline is not piggable in its current state, further options must be explored. The following options are usually considered next:
While the first option (modification of the pipeline) might be the easiest approach in some cases, it can also be very costly. New tool developments present the opposite scenario. While there is no cost related to pipeline modifications, more projects need to be available in order to justify the development of a new ILI tool. As a last alternative, modifications can be made to the pipeline and to existing ILI tools in order to accomplish the goal of obtaining the necessary data.
These assessments are typically carried out by the integrity departments of the pipeline operator or engineering and consultancy companies. This paper will describe the advantages of involving an ILI vendor in the process of assessing the piggability of certain pipelines. Concrete examples for the effectiveness of a close cooperation between pipeline operator and ILI vendor will be discussed.
For a comprehensive assessment on the piggability of a pipeline various different information need to be taken into consideration. Starting with the mechanical configuration of the pipeline (e.g. outside diameters, wall thicknesses, bend radii, etc.) and the operating conditions (pressure, flow, etc.) an initial assessment can be created. This initial assessment allows to determine whether the pipeline is piggable in its current mechanical configuration and the corresponding operating conditions.
In case the initial assessment concludes that the pipeline is not piggable in its current state further options are required to be explored. The following options are usually considered next:
The first option (modification of the pipeline) might be the easiest approach in some cases however it can be very costly on the other hand. New tool developments present the opposite scenario. While there is no cost with regards to pipeline modifications more projects need to be available in order to justify the development of a new ILI tool. As a last alternative it is possible to have modifications to the pipeline and modifications to the existing ILI tools in order to accomplish the goal of obtaining the relevant data.
Typically these assessments are carried out by the integrity departments of the pipeline operator or engineering and consultancy companies. This paper will describe the advantages of involving an ILI vendor in the process of assessing the piggability of certain pipelines. Concrete examples for the effectiveness of the close cooperation between pipeline operator and ILI vendor will be given.
It is now widely accepted that operational pigging is a key operational and maintenance activity for maintaining production efficiency in pipelines. Although the removal of unwanted liquids from a pipeline is necessary, this in turn creates its own operational problems. The management of this unwanted liquid is a critical stalling point at many receiving and processing facilities, and understanding the chain of events leading up to the receipt of the cleaning tool is crucial.
It was expected that during cleaning of a 36” trunk line, large liquid volumes would be generated. If this liquid was allowed to flow without restriction, it would arrive onshore at a rate that would overload the slug catcher. A flow assurance study was required to estimate the amount of liquid expected at the slug catcher in order to ensure a continuous gas supply to downstream users. The analysis was carried out on selected sensitivity studies based on flowrate, venting control at tool receiver, tool properties e.g. bypass, etc. to recommend the desired procedure and ensure a successful cleaning run.
In the current work, a comparison between the modelled behavior and predictions generated by the OLGA® multiphase flow model was compared against actual field data upon receipt of the cleaning tool.
Some comments on the methods suggested in the Notification of Proposed Rule Making for Determining Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure by ECA.
Engineering Critical Assessment (ECA) is a process used in many industries to apply the science of fracture mechanics to the evaluation of damaged or defective structures. Fracture mechanics and the ECA process have been applied in the pipeline industry for many years in a variety of ways. When installing offshore pipelines in deep water, for example, it is common to complete an ECA to set limits for girth weld flaws. This generally involves extensive testing of the parent pipe material and sample welds to accurately characterize their strength, ductility and toughness, allowing detailed fracture mechanics calculations to be completed with some confidence.
For onshore pipelines, simplified assessment methods have been developed with less stringent material data requirements. These are applicable to normal line pipe materials, to allow the rapid and safe assessment of multiple corrosion anomalies; however, some operators have employed detailed fracture mechanics methods for onshore pipelines. This has led to recently published proposed changes in the minimum federal safety standards for the Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline (CFR 192). These changes include, in section 192.624 (c) (3), a requirement that any cracks or crack-like features are analyzed using the methods given in three specified Battelle reports, or other proven methods including API 579, CorLAS or PAFFC. Further references are made to the Paris Law for fatigue crack growth prediction and the Raju/Newman model for brittle failure stress calculation.
This paper provides an overview of these methods based on years of experience in applying them to pipelines around the world, as well as a discussion of the practical issues that can be encountered when applying them to flaws in ageing pipelines (such as limited weld property data), and a commentary on the implications for integrity management. The issues are illustrated with a number of case studies.
The future corrosion growth rate is a vital input to pipeline integrity management planning. A common approach is to evaluate the depth difference of features reported by two consecutive ILI runs. However, the normal tolerances of MFL have the same order of magnitude as depth changes that may be caused by active corrosion, meaning an individual growth rate derived from comparing two independent ILI sizing tables typically has limited significance. Although the numerical analysis of such generalized ILI metal loss populations is highly developed, the identification of critical locations, like active corrosion spots, remains difficult. Also the simplification introduces additional conservatism to control methodological risks.
The benefits of directly comparing MFL signals, have been known for many years. It can eliminate interpretational imprecision and offers the option of further fine-tuning calibration bias by analyzing static features. Nevertheless, the signal-based approach is more labor intensive than simple feature (box) matching. By nature, box matching allows for multiple and weakly defined links, whilst signal comparison requires unique un-ambiguous correlation.
Corrosion activity is not limited to the deepest features. Shallow features may have the higher corrosion rates, i.e. the smaller signals with minor differences can be the most interesting. Therefore, it is desirable not to limit the number of correlations, and specifically not to exclude smaller signals from the assessment, i.e. instead of investing in an anomaly selection a thorough investigation of all anomalies is an alternative.
This paper describes the technical solution of an “Automated Signal Comparison”, which allows coverage of the complete ILI data sets with signal-to-signal correlation, with the benefits of confirming areas with no changes and deriving depth differences at much higher accuracy than is possible with feature matching. The methodology used will be summarized, with discussion of normalized cross correlation, template matching, nearest neighbor approaches, and weld fit compensation.
The principle benefits and accuracy that can be expected for the individual depth differences will be outlined covering the established calibration fine tuning technique. Also pitfalls and difficulties will be shown. This method allows improved integrity management based on better corrosion growth, corrosion diagnosis and fitness-for-purpose assessments.
It is widely acknowledged that in-line inspection (ILI) provides the best indication of the existent condition of corroded pipelines and that repeat inspections provide an effective means of monitoring pipeline integrity. A wide range of techniques has been applied to compare repeat ILI data, with the primary objective focusing on the identification and quantification of corrosion activity throughout the pipeline. This paper outlines a new approach to comparing repeat magnetic flux leakage (MFL) data and discusses how this idea can be used to improve pipeline integrity management.
Advances in signal processing have enabled complete sets of MFL signal data from repeat inspections to be accurately aligned and compared without relying on initial feature or ‘box’ matching techniques. This approach ensures a full evaluation, minimizes the impact of tool sizing tolerances on the accuracy of estimated corrosion rates, and makes full use of the extensive data that modern MFL tools are now able to gather.
In order for such advancements to lead to improvements in pipeline integrity, reduce the number of pipeline failures that continue to occur as a result of corrosion, and optimize repair and re-inspection costs, it is necessary to combine accurate measurements of past changes with other data (for example, coating condition or product composition), using expert knowledge of corrosion management techniques to select the best future corrosion rates for integrity management planning.
This paper outlines alternative methods for modelling future corrosion activity by utilizing the results from a new signal-comparison process, demonstrates how to select the best method for any given pipeline, and quantifies the benefits that such an approach can provide to pipeline operators.Close
Pipeline Integrity Management Systems (PIMS) are designed to ensure the safe operation of pipeline systems. PIMS include facilities for data management, tools to perform calculations and assessments, repositories for documentation of integrity assessments, and more.
ISO 55000 defines the key requirements for organizations relating to quality in asset management, of which data management is a key component. Compliance with this standard may therefore require changes to the way data is managed and its storage location. This in turn will impact existing workflows and data flows -- possibly affecting system interoperability. A critical part of this step is to ensure optimal storage and manage pipeline and related data, as well as the transition to create asset management excellence.
There are several questions to consider in this endeavor. Namely, is it beneficial to choose a custom data model that best fits the organization? Does an open standard, such as the PODS model, provide the required functionality? Or is it more advantageous to implement vendor-driven data models which best support querying? Finally, does the final choice fit within the existing infrastructure?
In order to adequately manage the implementation process, an analysis of the client’s enterprise-environment architecture should be performed. This ensures alignment between business rules, technology drivers, applications, and data layers. Using a case study approach, this paper reports on the installation and migration of integrity tasks to an AIMS System for a major South American gas operator. Data collection to support the implementation phase was based on a modified TOGAF framework, and performed by means of a questionnaire and supplementary interviews conducted on-site with client experts. The client’s geodatabase was migrated to a PODS Spatial 6.0 database designed to store pipeline-related integrity information. The data that was migrated included ILI final reports, satellite imagery, and other documents and document links.