OTC 2014: SURF IM group to review subsea integrity issues

Representatives from 15 global oil companies will meet in Houston later this week to share experiences on integrity management of their subsea systems.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – Representatives from 15 global oil companies will meet in Houston later this week to share experiences on integrity management of their subsea systems.

Some of the 15, which include several of the world’s largest international operators, were part of the SURF IM (Subsea, Umbilical, Riser and Flowline Integrity Management) joint industry project (JIP) that Wood Group Kenny (WGK) established four years ago, with support from the Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF).

The JIP investigated current and planned inspection and monitoring techniques, and identified technology gaps and the causes of system failures.

According to ITF CEO Patrick O’Brien, “a lot of work had been done previously on subsea pipelines and risers. Both are an important part of SURF IM, but this initiative extends to manifolds, trees, pumps and control systems and also looks ahead to emerging technologies such as subsea processing.

“Under the JIP we put together guidelines for integrity management of subsea equipment, using a risk-based approach that linked failure modes to predictability.

“Our members are finding that they are still learning about the behavior of subsea systems as the industry goes into deeper water. But we also need to look at the issues facing future subsea projects of a much larger scale. We may see different technologies evolving, based on the findings of SURF IM and other JIPs.”

Wood Group Kenny is leading the SURF IM Network. At this week’s meeting at OTC, members will share experiences on the integrity performance of subsea equipment and the effectiveness of inspection monitoring activities deployed to maintain integrity.

They will also meet in Aberdeen later this year, where they will present case studies outlining their system integrity/reliability experiences, good and bad, how they are monitoring their equipment, and operational lessons learnt.

Kieran Kavanagh, Group Technology & Engineering Director at Wood Group Kenny added: “From the original joint industry project there was consensus among participants of the benefit of sharing integrity experience in a mutually beneficial environment. Safety and integrity are areas of collaboration among the participating companies. Everyone benefits from avoiding subsea failures and this model is a prime example for how to achieve collaboration to benefit the wider industry.”

ITF, which currently has 30 members, has organized around 200 JIPs to date, some of which have led to deployment of promising offshore technologies, O’Brien pointed out. Currently 30 JIPs are active, supported by $27 million of funding.

Wood Group Kenny claims to be the largest independent specialist subsea, pipeline and riser engineering and integrity management contractor employing more than 2,800 people worldwide.

05/05/2014

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