On Monday, 23 October, the much anticipated Rio Pipeline Conference week kicked off with a well-attended informative workshop on Stress Corrosion Cracking hosted by the Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute (IBP) at their offices in central Rio de Janeiro. The ROSEN Group is a key member of the pipeline industry in Brazil and were therefore very happy to support the workshops both with sponsorship and active participation.

The workshop started with Osorio Goncalves of Transpetro giving a comprehensive overview of the history of SCC in Brazil, which to date has been limited. He focused on a failure caused by Near Neutral SCC in 2015 of a gas pipeline with a factory-applied asphalt enamel coating. He described the comprehensive and structured way in which Transpetro, ably supported by CENPES, had responded to the failure to understand the cause, and then worked in collaboration with ROSEN to develop an effective management plan. The strategy included extensive data gathering, susceptibility analysis, multiple excavations, EMAT inspection for crack detection and coating condition assessment, and limited hydrotesting.
The 60 plus workshop attendees, who were mainly engineers from a range of pipeline operating companies, universities, and service providers, were then treated to a masterclass facilitated by ROSEN by Dr. Weixing Chen of the University of Calgary. Dr. Chen shared the benefits of more than 20 years of fundamental research into the mechanisms that cause SCC, presenting a very complex technical subject in a way that made it accessible to all.

After lunch, Thomas Beuker and Roland Palmer-Jones of ROSEN explained that failures due to cracking remain rare events, and that to prevent rare events requires a rigorous and structured approach where decisions are transparent, and can be justified with evidence to manage the uncertainties and potential conservatisms. ROSEN’s well-known crack management framework was presented as an example of how this can be achieved. In addition Thomas gave a detailed description of the technologies available for crack detection, and after explaining the fundamentals of MFL-C, UT-C and EMAT-C, described how combining inspection data with information from verification digs, susceptibility analyses, failure investigations, etc. can improve overall performance in terms of identifying critical features, minimizing unnecessary excavations, and understanding the extent of a cracking problem. Roland wrapped up by challenging the audience to participate in an entertaining interactive exercise that further developed the themes of collecting and combining data to improve understanding and support decision-making.
After a short coffee break, Dr. Tom Bubenik of DNV North America took the audience through a thorough, practical, and structured step-by-step guide for managing SCC, based on experiences and practices in North America. Starting with susceptibility analysis and working through severity levels to provide appropriate guidance on mitigation activities such as SCCDA, ILI and hydrotesting, he concluded on the importance of the final step in the process, which was documenting and learning for the future. It was the perfect way to conclude the highly informative knowledge-sharing event.
Marcelino Guido Gomes of Transpetro closed the workshop by thanking all the participants, the speakers, and ROSEN for their support, and encouraging everyone to participate fully in the 2017 Rio Pipeline Conference.

After the event, Roland Palmer-Jones, Head of Group Business Line Integrity Services at ROSEN, said “This excellent workshop shows how seriously the Brazilian pipeline community takes managing the integrity of their pipeline network as no effort has been spared to bring together world-renowned experts in SCC to share their experience. This is helping to develop the knowledge and competence of the Brazilian engineers, who have not had to face these problems in the past. In addition, in a spirit of open collaboration the Brazilians are actively sharing the knowledge they have gained with the wider community, contributing to worldwide knowledge of SCC and how best to manage it.”