The Monitor

Production Process Insights

Offshore Platform Implements Faster, Safer Corrosion Monitoring Alternative

Posted by John Powalisz on 2/23/16 3:34 PM
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Offshore oil rig

Oil and gas producers worldwide – such as in Trinidad – with both onshore and offshore facilities are challenged with the high cost and safety issues associated with retrieving corrosion monitoring and chemical injection equipment from pipelines.

Pipeline corrosion can trigger catastrophic pipeline and assets failure – damaging the environment, injuring field operators, and causing costly downtime and waste in productivity – so it is important to measure continuously using corrosion monitoring coupons.

Challenge

Offshore production platforms are located many miles offshore, so all equipment and operators must be shipped or flown out to them. Containing all equipment, as well as living quarters for crew, space on these platforms is limited.

Traditional corrosion monitoring equipment installations require a three-person service team using a specialized tool to retrieve and install corrosion coupons, electrical resistance probes and chemical injection atomizers or sample quills. This tool weighs more than 150 lbs. including the service valve. Handling of the heavy extraction tool often requires a jib-crane for safety.

With the heavy, awkward tool, retrieving these corrosion monitoring and control devices in line pressures of up to 10,000 psig can be dangerous, with the crew exposed to flammable and dangerous fluids. They can be injured if the tool is not properly operated, and using the tool at each point takes a significant amount of time. The process is laborious and expensive given the crew size, time and liability.

The process is particularly difficult aboard offshore oil and gas drilling platforms, as crews must maintain special certifications and be flown out to the rigs. Companies that provide this corrosion monitoring installation and retrieval service charge appropriately for this dangerous and labor-intensive operation.

Solution

An alternative to using a heavy tool that requires a three-person team and a crane to operate are Sentry® Saf-T-Vise™ insertion tools, which insert and retract tool holders for corrosion monitoring and chemical injection. The insertion tools are rugged and durable but lightweight. Several high-profile oil and gas operators in Trinidad chose to use these products on their facilities. The Saf-T-Vise insertion tools insert the tool holders for pipeline corrosion coupons and chemical injection atomizers and sample quills within their pipelines, and then can be removed safely without venting or draining product, so there is no system downtime.

The installations include a single- or double-block valve to enable a single operator to retrieve and install a new corrosion coupon or service a chemical injection atomizer or sample quill in less than five minutes. Since the insertion tools are much more compact, insertion and retrieval of the tool can easily be handled by one operator. Another benefit of the tool holders is that once they are placed in the system, they do not require service and maintenance.

The insertion tools are designed to make insertion and retraction under pressure safe, easy, quick and cost effective, with only one tool needed to insert and retract corrosion monitoring and chemical injection tool holders into multiple nearby pressurized systems. The tool is used only during the insertion or retraction operation and then is removed. Because the insertion tool can be operated easily by only one person, our customers can reduce costs and save on manpower with better quality and safety.

Sentry corrosion monitoring and chemical injection products help oil and gas producers determine whether equipment needs maintenance or replacement, prevent catastrophic leaks and system failures, extend equipment and asset life, and reduce costs. These oil and gas customers have found the Sentry Saf-T-Vise tools are much faster and safer to use, which provides a much lower cost of ownership with increased safety. With these tools, customers have been able to bring the corrosion coupon collection process back in-house to better control the process and reduce service costs.

Application information courtesy of Daren Balkaran, VIMSL, Trinidad & Tobago.

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Topics: Upstream & Midstream

Written by John Powalisz

John Powalisz, Industry Manager, is dedicated to sharing his technical expertise and knowledge of sampling equipment and systems in power plants, refineries, chemical and food processing facilities garnered from more than 19 years with the company. John has worked with clients worldwide to help them to comply with regulations and optimize processes by applying proper sampling hardware and techniques. While he is well-versed in all Sentry products and applications, he is particularly focused on the food and beverage and power generation markets as well as emerging market development.

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