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Asset Life Extension – An Industry Expert’s Perspective

The industry publication Marine and Offshore, released an article named ‘Life Extension: Making The Most Of Offshore Assets’ detailing a few of the key reasons for selecting Life Extension as an integrity management process. Our Penspen expert weighed in on the discussion, outlining the key factors of life extension and its relevant drivers.

Reasons for Life Extension

One of the main reasons for undergoing the process of Life Extension for an asset would be to assess the potential risk posed, the required actions, and the cost associated with the continued operation beyond the original design life.

Corrosion Growth Rate (CGR) calculations are a predictive tool that can give a clearer image of the current and future pipeline health, and identify actions required to minimise the risks.

As for costs, pigging assessments can be both costly and resources draining, so careful consideration is required when looking at current and future operational asset capability. How long will the pipeline be functional for? Is the asset multi-purpose? The answer to these type of questions will determine a cost-effective strategy in the long term.

Main Drivers for Life Extension

Continued economic recovery for operation and maintenance costs serves as a main driver for the life extension process. Most operators would see it as best practice to undertake one at an appropriate time, after considering the operational and maintenance costs, as well as any legislation requirements & documentation updates.

Considering the risk to the people and the environment is also an important driver – integrity engineers need to assess the results of the risks on the community the asset serves, and if the venture is worth completing.

The management of the physical asset is certainly another important factor, but life extension also requires the appropriate skills and competency to avoid such risks. The predictive studies and sets of data recorded supplement this, so that the asset doesn’t become a hazard during or in its future operation.

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