Oceaneering Completes Non-Intrusive Inspection of Pressure Vessels for North Sea Operator

NII approach reduces costs while increasing safety and maintaining uptime.

1 Project Overview

In mid 2021, Oceaneering started an 18-month project to complete non-intrusive inspection (NII) services as part of an ongoing contract with a North Sea operator.

The project scope covers a package of 50 pressure vessels across several sites. The vessel characteristics were diverse and included varied materials, services, operating temperatures, and service histories.

Case Study Non Intrusive Inspection Of Pressure Vessels 1

2 Challenge

The client required a solution that confirmed the condition of their pressure vessels and enabled them to reduce costs while increasing safety and uptime.

NII is often considered an attractive option by many operators as the process used to plan and evaluate an online vessel inspection often allows replacement or deferment of internal visual inspection (IVI).

3 Our Solution

Oceaneering offers a full suite of NII techniques and used several approaches, including ultrasonic testing, corrosion mapping, and time of flight diffraction (TOFD), to complete the work scope.

Using NII reduced risk-laden confined space entries and had a direct budgetary benefit for the operator. Because the pressure vessels were able to be inspected while online, operations could continue with no impact on production. NII has the additional benefit of providing the necessary auditable data to either defer or reduce any additional internal visual inspection.

4 Execution Plan

Using the recommended practice developed by the HOIS Joint Industry Project – HOIS-RP-103, an Oceaneering team competently assessed against the HOIS framework to complete the steps necessary to ensure a successful program.

Starting in early 2021, a small team of Oceaneering engineers completed suitability assessments to evaluate NII coverage and locations across the 50 pressure vessels. This information fed into work scopes with detailed inspection instructions. In September 2022, Oceaneering technicians completed the inspections which were conducted over a course of year. Oceaneering engineers then evaluated the data to ensure conformance to the outlined work scopes.

The detailed data enabled our team to either confirm satisfactory inspection of the area and completion of the work scope or recommend additional inspection activities be completed to ensure coverage had been fully achieved.


5 Results

The assessment and evaluation reports generated by Oceaneering provided the operator with fully transparent and auditable data.

The NII approach enabled them to maximize uptime by avoiding costly inspection-related shutdown. They were able to derive a clear picture of the condition of their pressure vessels while reducing their overall inspection costs by an estimated 80%. This approach will be adopted wherever practicable across future pressure vessel inspections.

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Company page Since our founding in the early 1960s, Oceaneering has expanded and grown globally to service several industries such as the offshore energy industry, defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. In 1964, Mike Hughes and Johnny Johnson formed a Gulf of Mexico diving company called World Wide Divers. The company grew in response to increasing demand for their services and in 1969 merged with two other diving companies to form Oceaneering International, Inc. To solve the toughest challenges, we do things differently, creatively, and smarter. As your trusted partner, our unmatched experience and truly innovative portfolio of technologies and solutions give us the flexibility to adapt and evolve, regardless of market conditions. Our mission is to solve the unsolvable. We thrive by creating industry-changing technically creative solutions for the most complex operational challenges under water, on land, and in space. Our five core values establish a common culture and demonstrate what is most important for us as a company. Since the beginning, the company has transformed from a small regional diving company into a global provider of engineered products and services. Today, we develop products and services for use throughout the lifecycle of an offshore oilfield, from drilling to decommissioning. We operate the world's premier fleet of work class ROVs. Additionally, we are a leader in offshore oilfield maintenance services, umbilicals, subsea hardware, and tooling. We also serve the aerospace, defense, and theme park industries. Underpinning everything we do, safety is not only the foundation of our core values, but it is vital to our unmatched performance record and company culture. The industries we serve are as diverse as they are complex. Whether we are engineering deepwater umbilicals or developing robotics for aerospace applications, the safety and health of our employees, vendors, and customers is an integral part of our day-to-day business. If we are working, then our responsibility is to be working safely. Since our inception in 1964, we have placed a high value on employee safety—from diving services and subsea inspection to vessel-based installation operations. We have and will continue to evolve not only our health, safety, and environmental (HSE) processes, but those of the industries in which we work. Although we have been fatality-free since 1999, our HSE journey goes beyond statistics. As our portfolio of services has grown, we have continued to prioritize and advance our approach to HSE.