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Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels

API 510 : Pressure Vessel Inspection Code Section - 8

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

Typical exploration and production (E&P) services vessels are those as associated in drilling, production, gathering, transportation and treatment of liquid petroleum, natural gas, NG Liquids and associated salt water (brine) Pressure vessel shall be inspected at frequencies as defined under this code, to ensure integrity in service Techniques used for inspection is decided considering the vessel service and environmental condition. Visual and Nondestructive techniques may be used. Either on-stream inspection or internal inspection may be used interchangeably to satisfy inspection requirements. Internal inspection is preferred to inspect for process side degradations like corrosion, erosion, cracking etc as they may be non-uniform and sometime difficult to locate from external inspections or on-stream inspections. Inspection technique used shall be as specified and used for design and fabrication. Special additional testing techniques shall only be used if environmental degradation and cracking is suspected.

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

Vessel Classification The risk class shall be decided based on potential of vessel failure, cracking, corrosion damages expected in the service environment The history of operation and maintenance, repairs, age Location of the vessels relative to personnel, public Two Main Classes:

Lower Risk Class Higher Risk Class

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

External Inspection

Each vessel aboveground shall be visually examined for external inspection, while in operation Scope of inspection shall cover: Exterior insulation Condition of supports General alignment of the vessel on its supports Any sign of leakage, to establish source Conditions of Shell, nozzles, heads, pressure relieving device

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

External Inspection (Contd.)

Buried Vessel Inspection:

Inspection intervals shall be based on the corrosion rates determined on following guidelines;

Adjacent connected pipeline of similar material Interval examination of Buried coupons for corrosion test of similar materials Representative portions of actual vessel Vessels in similar circumstances

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

External Inspection (Contd.)

Following Vessels are presumed to be protected for external corrosion and remaining life of more than 10 years and do not need insulation to be removed for external inspections:

Vessels insulated effectively to avoid ingress of moisture Jacketed cryogenic vessel Vessels installed in cold box or in atmosphere purged with inert gas Vessels with very low or very high temperatures

However all of them need their insulation system, jacketing system or cold boxes to be inspected every 5 years.

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

Inspection Intervals

Lower Risk Vessels:

The period between internal or On-stream inspection shall not exceed three fourth (0.75) of the estimated remaining life of the vessel based on corrosion rate or 15 years, whichever is less. In case where the remaining safe operating life is estimated to be less than 4 years, the inspection interval may be the full remaining safe life up to a maximum of 2 years.

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

Inspection Intervals

Higher Risk Vessels:

The period between internal or On-stream inspection shall not exceed half (0.50) of the estimated remaining life of the vessel based on corrosion rate or 10 years, whichever is less. In case where the remaining safe operating life is estimated to be less than 4 years, the inspection interval may be the full remaining safe life up to a maximum of 2 years.

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

Thickness Measurements & Remaining Life Calculations

Remaining Life (years)=( t actual- t required)/ Corrosion Rate Where t actual is in mm at the time of inspection for a given location or component t required is in mm at the same location or component, computed by the design formula before corrosion allowances and manufacturer tolerance are added. Corrosion rate is in mm per year

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

Determination of Corrosion Rate

Short Term Corrosion Rate = (t previous t actual) / Time Where t previous is thickness in mm at the same location or component measured during previous inspection Time is in years between t previous and t actual
Long Term Corrosion Rate = (t initial t actual) / Time Where t initial is thickness in mm at the same location or component at initial installation or commencement of new corrosion rate environment Time is in years between t initial and t actual

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

Additional Inspection Requirements:

If a vessel is transferred to a new location, and last inspection on it was done more than 5 years ago, it has to be subjected to on-stream or internal inspection. Air receivers shall be inspected every 5 years. Portable and temporary pressure vessels which are used for testing oil and gas wells during completion or re-completion shall be inspected at every 3 year period of use.

Inspection & Testing of Exploration and Production Pressure Vessels, Sec 8

Records

Permanent and progressive records shall be maintained throughout the service life of each of the vessels, updated with operation, maintenance and inspection history Four types of records are contained in the records:

Construction and design information Operating and inspection history Repair, alteration and re-rating information Fitness for service assessment documentation