Safeguarding Asset Integrity: The Importance of Inspection in the Oil and Gas Industry 17-11-2023
Maintaining asset integrity is crucial in the oil and gas industry to mitigate the risks of corrosion, erosion, and structural flaws. A comprehensive inspection department plays a vital role in ensuring safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. In this article, we will explore the significance of the inspection department and its various components in safeguarding company assets in the oil and gas industry.
SEPOC's Integrated Approach: Plant Inspectors and NDT Team Ensuring Safety and Reliability Standards
In SEPOC, the Internationally API Certified plant inspectors and the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) team work together as one cohesive unit. Responsible for upholding international oil and gas industry codes and standards, the plant inspectors receive test information from NDT Examiners and meticulously analyze it. Their invaluable expertise allows them to identify flaws, propose effective mitigation strategies, and recommend repair plans or replacements, ensuring the highest safety and reliability standards across company assets.
Collaborating closely with the plant inspectors, the NDT team plays a critical role in evaluating material and structural integrity without causing damage. Through a range of testing methods such as visual testing, penetrate testing, magnetic testing, ultrasound testing, and radiography testing, they expertly detect defects like corrosion, erosion, welds, and cracks. This non-destructive testing is vital for maintaining cost-effective operation, as well as the safety and reliability of the plants.
Within the SEPOC company, the NDT technicians are highly skilled and receive international training, enabling them to accurately assess and interpret test results. This proficiency ensures the timely detection of flaws and enables prompt implementation of corrective measures, further enhancing the overall integrity of the company's assets. Together, the plant inspectors and the NDT team form a unified force dedicated to maintaining the utmost safety and reliability standards in SEPOC's operations.
Cathodic Protection Team:
Corrosion poses a significant threat to the integrity of metal structures, both internally and externally. The cathodic protection (CP) team takes the lead in preventing corrosion-related damage. Their primary responsibilities include installing cathodic protection systems on vessels, manifolds, pipelines, and tanks. By applying electrical currents, they ensure that all metal surfaces become cathodic and protected against corrosion. The CP team also conducts per-commissioning testing, commissioning, and continuous monitoring of CP systems' effectiveness. Their expertise and certifications in NACE standards ensure proper design, installation, and maintenance of cathodic protection systems
Corrosion Control Team:
The corrosion control team focuses on preventing and mitigating corrosion-related issues through chemical treatments. They closely monitor the daily injection rates of chemicals into different manifolds, vessels, and main pipes. By adjusting injection rates as required, they ensure optimal protection against corrosion. The team also installs monitoring coupons in critical locations, periodically checking corrosion rates to assess the internal condition of pipes. Additionally, the corrosion control team conducts various tests in the SEPOC "Corrosion and Water" Laboratory, including dissolved oxygen and soluble iron content, water salinity tests, oil and water tests, and more. Their efforts contribute to effective corrosion management and the overall integrity of company assets.
The Crucial Role of Inspection Lab Devices in Ensuring Asset Integrity :
In addition to the field inspection department, the safeguarding of company assets' integrity also relies on the efficient utilization of various lab devices such as the centrifuge device for Basic Sediment and Water (BS&W) testing, the kinematic viscosity bath for viscosity measurements, the drying oven with temperature control for sample drying, and the incubator used for keeping sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) under optimal temperature and humidity for specific period to identify the existence of SRB, play a vital role in ensuring accurate and reliable testing processes. Furthermore, devices like the Hach HQ4200 portable instrument for dissolved oxygen and chloride analysis, the photometer for measuring iron, alkalinity, fluoride, hardness, magnesium, nitrate, and silica, and the temperature-controlled water bath contribute to the comprehensive analysis and assessment of samples. The inclusion of these lab devices in the inspection process enhances the overall effectiveness and reliability of asset integrity management.
QA/QC Section ( Quality assurance/Quality control):
The main role of this section is to ensure the compliance of materials specifications, fabrication, welding & welders’ qualifications, etc. as per the Company’s requirement or international codes and standards. Moreover, the QAQC responsibility includes the selection of materials, review of materials data sheets, conformity of materials to be used for repair, and also extended to preparation of welding procedure, preparation & review of all Quality inspection test plans, procedures, and method statements before commencement of any activity to ensure the achievement of the work has been completed in a high-quality aspect. Daily, he monitors construction activities, participates in day-to-day inspection/ testing activities, and performs independent surveillance inspections, to ensure compliance with the project quality requirements.
In the oil and gas industry, maintaining asset integrity is paramount. The inspection department, comprised of plant inspectors,
cathodic protection teams, non-destructive testing teams, and corrosion control teams, plays a vital role in achieving this goal. Through their expertise in data analysis, installation of protective systems, comprehensive testing, and implementation of corrosion control measures, these teams ensure the highest standards of safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. By actively monitoring and addressing potential flaws, they contribute to the overall integrity and longevity of company assets.