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Operations Optimization Studies

Asset Integrity Management

The overall goal of asset integrity management is to manage infrastructure and equipment so as to obtain maximum return on investment, while safeguarding workers, the community and the environment. To achieve the overall goal, subsidiary objectives typically include:

  • Selecting the best concept
  • Optimizing the asset configuration
  • Improving operational performance to maximize profits
  • Managing mechanical integrity to minimize human injury and property losses
  • Minimizing downtime
  • Complying with regulations
  • Reducing inspection, maintenance and repair costs while maintaining or improving safety
  • Extending facility life
  • Reusing existing infrastructure for new developments
Operations Optimization Studies

EPCONSULT can supply asset integrity management services for floating and fixed offshore platforms, pipelines, ships, terminals and docks, storage facilities and process plants. The scope of services is different for every client. The scope is customized for each, based on discussion, audit or preliminary studies to ensure accurate problem identification and selection of the best problem solving techniques.

Scoping studies can include benchmarking of a facility against industry best standards ("gap analysis") to determine opportunities for improvement.

When appropriate, EPCONSULT skills can be combined with client's in-house expertise to form joint project teams.

Safety Management Systems

Many major failures are caused by human errors and these can often be traced to deficiencies in Safety Management Systems.

EPCONSULT can assist with many activities related to successful safety management including:

  • Reviewing effectiveness of existing systems
  • Planning and developing new systems
  • Auditing of systems
  • Leading team-based hazards analysis
  • Writing procedures
  • Developing management of change systems

Inspection and Maintenance Planning

EPCONSULT can assist with the development of proactive inspection and maintenance programs using approaches such as:

  • Reliability centered maintenance (RCM) using SAE JA1011 compliant methodologies
  • Risk-based inspection to API RP 580 and API Publication 581
  • For degradation processes not covered by API Publication 581, or where a more accurate solution is required, we can apply Monte Carlo simulation techniques to develop risk-based inspection schemes from first principles

Fitness-For-Service Assessment

Fitness-for-service assessment is needed when inspection reveals a defect in a unit of equipment or when there is concern about the condition of the unit. We can assess a wide range of defect types, including corrosion/erosion, crack-like flaws, fire damage, mechanical damage etc., typically using the methodologies of API RP 579.

For defects outside the scope of API RP 579, defect and damage assessment can be based on advanced numerical analysis and customized probabilistic simulations.

We can also assist with the design of repair or remedial measures when needed.

Analysis of Intelligent Pig Data and Pipeline Corrosion Assessment

Inline inspection tools (intelligent pigs) are becoming increasingly accurate and it is now possible to use results of consecutive surveys to estimate pipeline corrosion rate, current fitness for service, remaining life and the required interval to next survey.

The first step in the analysis of intelligent pig data is the matching of defects from consecutive surveys. Due to errors in measuring axial and circumferential distances to defects, and errors in measuring defect depth, length and width, etc, the matching is not trivial.

EPCONSULT has developed sophisticated software that can automatically match hundreds of thousands of defects. Manual checks ensure accuracy.

The next step is to apply a probabilistic model to predict the corrosion rate and future defect severity, with confidence intervals, for each and every defect.

Coupling the corrosion growth model with a pipeline defect tolerance model, the probability of loss of containment is calculated as a function of time. This can be used to schedule the next required inline inspection according to the level of risk that is considered tolerable.

Delivery of Training Courses

Risk Based Inspection (RBI) of Pressure-Containing Equipment. The course is based on API RP 580 "Risk-based inspection" and API Publication 581 "Risk-based inspection base resource document". Topics include the identification of deterioration mechanisms in pressure-containing equipment and piping in refineries, gas, oil and petrochemical facilities and the application of the three different levels of RBI assessment described in API 581.

Please contact us for a discussion of how we may be able to help you with any aspect of optimizing your operations.

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