A new consortium has been formed to tackle one of the most enduring challenges in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
The group, which includes Aberdeen-based Trac Oil and Gas, Strathclyde University and the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems, is focused on the non-destructive testing (NDT) of corroded pipes under insulation or temporary wrapping.
Many existing NDT technologies are ineffective when used on pipes which are protected. They tend to average out wall thickness, failing to pinpoint specific areas of vulnerability.
Taking and interpreting readings is further complicated by the varying dimensions, materials, locations, and accessibility of different oil and gas assets.
Trac technical manager Bill Brown said: “Inspection is becoming more important as the UKCS (UK continental shelf) continues to mature.
“We’re at the point where, against the backdrop of a sustained low oil price, if a platform has to shut down for maintenance, it may never start producing again.
“We need as much accurate data as possible to make informed decisions.”