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© 2019 Houston Integrity Consultants LLC

Case Studies

Case Study 1 - Middle Eastern Chemicals Plant

Description

The client wanted a software tool to manage the integrity of all process static equipment, pipework and safety valves at their methanol plant. 

 

An easy to manage, update and maintain model was essential to ensure that local operation could be undertaken safely and correctly with minimal need for external consultants. T-OCA was identified as the most appropriate tool.

 

The work plan included:

  • Technology transfer by Houston Integrity to the local consultants and refinery staff.

  • Total implementation by local consultants and staff.

 

Results

Working from 2003 to 2009, the team carried out RBI assessments on 4 identical production trains including:

  • 1812 Static Equipment Tags

  • 6088 Piping Tags

  • 272 Pressure Safety Valves

 

The main objectives of the RBI project included:       

  1. To provide basic training to familiarize personnel with RBI methodologies and terminology

  2. To provide a consistent and repeatable approach to integrity management for all production units.

 

The RBI team, through using T-OCA, met the project objectives. The RBI assessments were used to develop initial inspection plans. As inspections were completed, T-OCA was used to update the RBI assessments with the inspection results, and then long term integrity management plans were developed for the facility.

 

Case Study 2 - Eastern European Refinery & Chemicals Plant

Description

The client wanted a software tool to manage the integrity of all process static equipment, pipework, rotating equipment, safety valves and control valves at its refinery and chemicals complex in Bulgaria. 

 

An easy to manage, update and maintain model was essential to ensure that local operation could be undertaken safely and correctly with minimal need for external consultants. The tool was required to operate in Bulgarian because the plant personnel did not have sufficient English language skills to operate a program in English.

 

T-OCA model was identified as the most appropriate tool and Houston Integrity prepared a version that operated in Bulgarian and included support for Cyrillic characters.

 

The work plan included:

  • Technology transfer by Houston Integrity to the local consultants and refinery staff.

  • Total implementation by local consultants and refinery staff. 

 

Results

Working from 2004 to 2011, the team carried out RBI assessments on 37 Production Units including:

  • 4004 Static Equipment Tags

  • 9237 Piping Tags

  • 113 Rotating Equipment Items

  • 1119 Pressure Safety Valves

  • 1645 Control Valves

 

The RBI project included the following main objectives:       

  1. To provide basic training to familiarize personnel with RBI methodologies and terminology

  2. To provide a consistent and repeatable approach to integrity management for all production units.

  3. To review inspection history and ensure that all equipment and piping were compliant with Bulgarian legal inspection requirements.

 

The RBI team, using T-OCA met all of the project objectives. The RBI assessments were then updated with inspection results and long term integrity management plans were developed for the facility.

 

Case Study 3 - North Sea Gas Terminal Non-intrusive Inspection Plan

Description

A new North Sea gas terminal was constructed in three phases beginning in 1992. The plant included 4880 lines and 540 pressure vessels and heat exchangers and 186 relief valves.

 

RBI programs were developed during the design and construction of the plant with an objective of achieving a completely non-intrusive inspection program.  The facility design included use of corrosion resistant materials. 

 

RBI using T-OCA was implemented by an alliance team including Company, Houston Integrity, and Design Contractor.

 

Results

A 30 year plan was developed based on detailed process monitoring and non-intrusive inspection techniques.

The local regulator required shutdown for internal inspection after 3 years to confirm non-intrusive inspection results.

The results of internal inspection proved the effectiveness of the non-intrusive inspections and process monitoring and the local regulator approved the remaining 27 years of non-intrusive inspection.   

 

Case Study 4 - Gas Field Life Extension

Description

A gas production complex in Southeast Asia including six offshore platforms was built in 1981 with a 20 year design life. In 2004 the operator commenced a life extension project to provide for an additional 20 year service life from the facilities. The RBI study applied to piping, pressure vessels and heat exchangers on the platform complex. There were 145 Pressure Vessels and Heat Exchangers and 599 Piping Line Tags in 248 Circuits.

 

An RBI study using the T-OCA software was determined to be the most cost effective method to provide the necessary data for the project because the built in corrosion models in the T-OCA software would provide quick estimates of remaining life.

 

The work plan included:

  • Initial assessment

  • Decision to inspect, replace or upgrade

  • Inspection

  • Reassessment

  • Decision on any additional replacements

Results

The design of the T-OCA tool and the RBI process was particularly well suited to this situation with limited availability of data.

 

The RBI team worked efficiently with the life extension project. The T-OCA software allowed the assessments to be developed quickly and the required information was provided to the project teams within the project schedule.

 

The final life extension plan for included the following:

  • Flowlines, manifolds, piping to separators, export gas piping replaced in carbon steel

  • Piping from separators to compression replaced in duplex stainless steel

  • Glycol regeneration skids replaced in carbon steel

  • Production coolers and condensate coolers replaced in carbon steel

  • Numerous local repairs made to high and low pressure piping

 

Case Study 5 - Oil and Gas Field End of Life

Description

An offshore oil and gas field in Southeast Asia, operated by an international oil company was originally developed in the 1970s and early 1980s. It included 156 wellhead platforms, 11 gathering and process platforms and 5 onshore terminals.  The facilities included 13000 lines, 1500 static equipment items and 370 pipelines from 4 to 36 inch diameter.    

 

The facility had been in production for 24 years when T-OCA was used to conduct an end of life RBI study in 2002. The main objective of the study was to develop the most cost effective inspection strategy that would achieve the greatest risk reduction for a six year end of life production scenario. At the end of the six year period, the field operation was to be returned to the national oil company.

Results

The RBI study was conducted in 2002 and the subsequent inspection program ran from 2003 to 2008 when the field was handed over to the national oil company. During that period, there were no failures of static equipment or pipelines.  There were a small number of minor leaks from process and utility piping that did not lead to major shutdowns. 

 

The national oil company is still operating the field in an end of life mode.

 

Case Study 6 - US Refinery

Description

RBI programs were developed for piping and fixed equipment in seven process units at an oil refinery in California. 

 

The units reviewed included:

  • Atmospheric Crude Distillation

  • Vacuum Crude Distillation

  • Fluid Catalytic Cracker

  • Thermal Coker

  • Hydrodesulfurization

  • Catalytic Reformer

  • Hydrogen Plant

 

T-OCA was implemented by a team including the client company and Houston Integrity members. The RBI project covered:

  • 1264 vessels

  • 4920 process piping lines

Results

Approximately 1500 man-hours effort required, 65% of the time was spent organizing piping data.

  • There was no significant impact on turnaround planning because most vessels were on maximum interval allowed by California regulations.

  • Approximate 40% reduction in online inspection costs.

  • NDT methods were altered to detect relevant failure modes.