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The Positive Impact of Digital Technology on Efficient Execution of Pipeline Integrity Assessments

Digital technology presents many opportunities to improve efficiency and maximise value in many aspects of our daily business activities. Many energy operators are facing the challenge of managing risks associated with ageing assets and pipeline infrastructure. If these risks are not managed adequately, they could result in significant consequences, including production loss, process safety incidents, and business reputation.

Recently, Penspen was approached by a major energy operator in the UAE to conduct Fitness For Service (FFS) for one of their critical crude oil pipelines. The Inline Inspection (ILI) reports revealed thousands of anomalies that were mostly related to internal corrosion.

Study Objectives:

  • Assess the current integrity of the pipeline
  • Conduct Corrosion Review for the pipeline
  • Assess the future integrity of the pipeline
  • Develop the repair and replacement plan
  • Achieve improved integrity, safety, and reliable operations

Client Priorities:

  • Technical expertise to deliver the work
  • Schedule – quick turnaround time to complete the study

Leveraging Digital Technology with THEIA – Our Pipeline Software Solution

Conducting an integrity assessment on a pipeline with several thousands of anomalies can be challenging, especially when the delivery timelines are very tight. Penspen engineers were able to leverage their technical expertise and their in-house developed THEIA software to deliver the work and meet the client’s requirements.

The integrity engineers were able to complete the following activities, which require significant effort and considerable time when performed manually and using conventional tools:

  • Complete feature and anomalies matching of multiple pairs of ILI results
  • Calculate Corrosion Rates for all matched ILI results
  • The client mentioned that they normally would spend up to one month to do feature matching and corrosion rate calculations for only one pair of ILI runs. However, it took our Penspen team one day for 3 pairs of ILI runs by utilising THEIA.
  • Conduct Deterministic Future Integrity Calculations based on ASME B31G/DNV-F101 and Kastner method

Key Takeaways

Penspen operationalised the THEIA software to reduce the time it takes to perform key integrity assessment activities to meet the client priorities and project objectives. The deployment of digital technology capabilities is set to become one of the major disruptors with tangible benefits for stakeholders across industries.

Commenting on benefits of using THEIA, Ahmed Hamdy, Senior Materials & Corrosion Engineer for Penspen said:

“From the perspective of a new THEIA user, I find the solution very efficient and effective in conducting integrity assessments of pipelines, especially for feature matching and corrosion growth rate calculations. It is an interesting fact that the higher the number of features to be matched, the higher the efficiency. For matching thousands of features, which is not uncommon when assessing ILI results, the time taken can be reduced from weeks to a few hours.”

Gabriel Dube, Head of Asset Integrity for Middle East and Africa for Penspen added:

“THEIA was successfully deployed to increase productivity and meet the project objectives by automating activities that were conventionally performed manually by Engineers. This is a real case example that demonstrates the value that can be derived from digitalisation.”

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