Equipment inspection and monitoring for any signs of internal corrosion are vital activities for safe operation in the Oil and Gas industry. The aim is to determine rate, location and likely corrosion causes to ensure Fit for Service (FFS) or early intervention is needed. A well-managed plan is set to avoid an uncontrollable release of flammable products with the potential to cause a fire, explosion, environmental disaster, loss of personnel, that can have a huge effect on company reputation, budget and its ability to stay in business.
Since beginning a need for procedures / devices able to reassure internal corrosion was not an issue was recognized. At the time, procedures to create a “mechanical fuse” were developed. Tell tales, piping gauging, were common aiming to fail before a major release.
Later, new intrusive devices were invented: Corrosion Coupons, Corrosion Probes. Main objective was measuring a corrosion rate from inside the equipment and to some extent (by coupons) types of corrosion (i.e. pitting or uniform). These were combined with non-intrusive apparatus like Ultrasonic Thickness (UT) Meters able to measure equipment’s remaining thickness. Therefore, FFS calculation could have been performed.
New Deployment of Smart Ultrasonic Sensors are now available taking advantages of what is called Internet of Things (IoT). This basically, improves a proven method (UT), by removing the operator (major source of data errors) and adding data logging, allowing analysis and trending of data, on line on a cloud environment from anywhere in the world using a Laptop, tablet or smartphone. Reports can be customise including flagging alarms of integrity status without dispatching technicians to dangerous, remote or inaccessible sites improving asset integrity and productivity while increasing safety.