Projects

Sonomatic study - alternative non-intrusive inspection method could save up to £242 million per year

Process vessel inspection is a major cause of production downtime and incurs significant cost to industry. The OGTC collaborated with Total to support the field trial of three non-intrusive inspection (NII) technologies as an alternative inspection method.

Total identified two process pressure vessels on its Elgin Franklin platform that were scheduled for traditional intrusive inspection. However in advance of this, they agreed to a NII field trial being carried out while the vessels were online and operational, allowing the results of both approaches to be compared and verified.

Three technology providers - Sonomatic, Eddyfi and MISTRAS - were selected to conduct the field trials, and deployed a range of ultrasonic corrosion mapping and time of flight diffraction solutions.

Each company was given the brief to develop a Non-Intrusive Inspection plan using industry standard DNV Recommended Practice G103. The aim of this was to meet the requirements of a full intrusive inspection w

Industry Value

Overall, the value of non-intrusive inspections (NII) to the industry has been calculated to be in the region of £242 million per annum. This project helps leverage this cost saving by providing an attractive technology which further enables the adoption of NII.

Technology Organisation

Sonomatic Ltd

Sonomatic is a worldwide organisation whose expertise in ultrasonic inspection design, development and application, dates back more than 30 years to our roots in the nuclear sector. Today the company has widened its focus and provides proven yet pioneering services to customers in defence and power generation, but our largest client base is in the challenging oil and gas industry, both upstream and downstream.

http://www.sonomatic.com

ProjectSonomatic - Non-Intrusive Vessel Inspection

Challenge

Asset Integrity

Vision

Maximise Recovery

Entry TRL

9

Field Trial

Completed

Technology

Non-Intrusive Vessel Inspection

Type

Adopt

Achieved TRL

9

Technology Organisation

Sonomatic Ltd

Sonomatic is a worldwide organisation whose expertise in ultrasonic inspection design, development and application, dates back more than 30 years to our roots in the nuclear sector. Today the company has widened its focus and provides proven yet pioneering services to customers in defence and power generation, but our largest client base is in the challenging oil and gas industry, both upstream and downstream.

http://www.sonomatic.com

Key Results

Sonomatic used a combination of their:
- TOFD (time-of-flight diffraction) screening and corrosion mapping of shell
- Newly developed End Dome Robotic Inspection System (EDRIS): a robotic technology used to ultrasonically inspect pressure vessel bottom dome ends, and does not require man entry to the confined space at the vessels support skirt
- TOFD weld scanning
- Nozzle corrosion mapping

Their assessment concluded both vessels were fit for continued service and NII was deemed a suitable replacement for intrusive inspection. Time constraints limited inspection of some nozzles which prevented overall frequency assessment.

This alternative inspection technique was proven to reduce risk associated with confined entry, while optimising production efficiency - reducing the need for shut downs.

Lessons Learned

The OGTC and Total were commended by industry for their collaboration and won the Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) UK 2017 Award for their work on the trials.

Next steps: in line with the UKCS MER strategy, The OGTC and ABB then carried out a landscaping study to establish the use of NII technology across the UKCS and the potential wider application.

Next Steps

The EDRIS is fully ready for normal field deployment and can be used on any NII where man entry is either impossible or to be avoided for entry to the skirt of a vessel.