Minimise Downtime during Oil and Gas Operations with Non-Destructive Testing

Oil and gas sector facilities are notoriously large, complex and technically sophisticated, and are typically in operation around-the-clock.

It’s an environment where safety, environmental sustainability and regulatory compliance are prioritised along with profitability, security and operating efficiencies.

Keeping equipment and system downtime to a minimum is also a priority and the oil and gas industry relies heavily on non-destructive testing (NDT) technologies and equipment to ensure optimum asset health and functionality.

“NDT techniques are vital across all sectors of the energy market.”

Asset owners and operators across all sectors of the energy industry including exploration companies, fabricators, contractors, manufacturers of oil and gas drilling and production equipment, refineries and petrochemical plants make use of a variety of NDT technologies to ensure that downtime is minimised, that the highest levels of safety and quality are achieved and that the desired profitability and productivity levels are attained.

Whilst there are various codes and regulatory standards that determine the scale and scope of equipment and material testing, it is crucial that plant owners and operators have a comprehensive understanding of NDT and the advantages and drawbacks of the various technologies.

Partnering with an experienced technical equipment supplier or service provider will not only ensure that your testing needs are met, it will also ensure you keep abreast of any technological developments and that you get the best advice and equipment tailored to meet your specific needs.

“Every minute counts in the oil and gas industry.”

Breakdowns can be expensive and they can be dangerous. Regular testing of components and systems and routine mechanical integrity programmes provide continual evaluation and enable preventative maintenance, which help prevent unscheduled downtime and improve the profitability of oil and gas operators.

These are some of the most widely used NDT techniques in the oil and gas industry:

  • Magnetic particle inspection. This method detects cracks or defects by establishing a magnetic field in the object and using iron filings to establish if the field lines are constant.
  • Ultrasonic testing. This method uses the transmission of high-frequency sound waves into a material to detect imperfections or locate changes in material properties.
  • Liquid penetrant inspection. This technique reveals surface breaking flaws by bleed out of a coloured or fluorescent dye from the flaw.
  • Electromagnetic (eddy current) testing. This is an electromagnetic technique used on conductive materials for detecting cracks or for the rapid screening of small components for flaws, size variations and material variation.
  • Radiography. This method enables a photographic recording produced by the passage of radiation through the area under test onto a film.
  • Remote visual inspection. RVI uses a variety of optical instruments such as video probes and remote inspection cameras to allow operators to examine objects and materials which are in inaccessible or dangerous environments.
  • Magnetic flux leakage. This method uses electromagnetism to detect flaws or material degradation in steel structures such as pipelines and storage tanks.
  • Acoustic emissions testing. This method ‘listens’ for transient elastic waves generated as a result of a rapid release of strain energy caused by a structural alteration in a solid material.
  • Long-range ultrasonic testing. This is a very quick way of screening for corrosion and other abnormalities in pipelines, and is especially useful in inspecting buried pipelines, underwater ones and those that are heavily insulated.  A wave maker device directs low-frequency (20kHz-100kHz) ultrasonic waves via transducers fitted around the pipeline, longitudinally into the pipeline wall to detect changes in the pipeline’s cross-section, enabling it to identify defects.

NDT technologies are absolutely crucial throughout the value chain in the oil and gas industry, and play a significant role in improving and ensuring the efficient, safe, reliable and profitable operation of all equipment and facilities.

Notably, NDT is crucial for minimising equipment downtime and keeping production up and to find out how you can benefit from the knowledge, experience and flexibility of one of Australia’s leading suppliers of technical equipment, you should call Nexxis.

They have a proven track record in developing project-specific equipment solutions for their clients, which not only exceed expectations and requirements in terms of quality and performance, but also boost their client’s bottom-line too.

For flexible, tailored NDT equipment hire solutions, please contact Nexxis via the enquiries form.

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