It is widely accepted in the industry that corrosion plays a dominant role in reducing both reliability and service life of onshore and offshore assets, especially for aging assets. In many cases staff shortages and budget constraints result in a reactive 'fire-fighting' approach rather than on long-term strategic planning. A North Sea operator requested the implementation of an effective corrosion control and management program for their aging assets (e.g. flow-lines, topside process plants, associated subsea/onshore pipelines, and terminals). The main objectives of this assignment were to ensure integrity, minimize cost, and satisfy relevant legislative requirements for continued safe operation.
Scope of Work
With a project team of established and accomplished corrosion experts, we completed the following steps:
1. Data gap analysis:
- design, operational, fluid sampling, corrosion monitoring, and inspection data, etc.
2. Integrity review process for all facilities:
- identification of credible internal/external corrosion threats and assessment of associated risks, e.g.:
- corrosion risk assessment for pipelines
- risk-based inspection for topsides/terminals process plants
Within the exercise, recommendations were given in terms of mitigation strategy/intervention and inspection plan.
3. Development of corrosion control strategies (CCS) for each topside/pipeline system, including:
- list of control activities, responsibilities, frequency, targets, remedial actions, etc.
- key performance indicators (KPIs)
Short-, medium- and long-term recommendations in terms of mitigation strategy, intervention and inspection plans, as well as inspection prioritization, allowing on-going compliance with regulations and legislation, e.g. HSE requirements. The assignment resulted in a considerable increase in production effectiveness and created cost savings by creating a better balance between capital and operational expediture.
Furthermore, within the project, an identification of external/internal corrosion risks for all production/utility topsides process systems, and subsea pipelines was highlighted – a NACE paper (2012) was written based on this experience.