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Optical Metrology Services (OMS) has completed a six-week pipe inspection study for BP Exploration (Angola) on the Block 31 PSVM deepwater development in Angola.

The contract, worth more than GBP650,000 to OMS, required the UK-based specialist measurement technology company to carry out an initial sample survey of pipe ends, followed by the detailed laser-dimensional inspection and the sorting and marking of more than 12,000 pipe ends, including critical, fatigue-sensitive, flow-line sections.

As well as helping the customer to better implement the pipe-end fit-up process and fatigue HiLo strengths, the study also ensured that the customer’s pipe welding time and counter-bore crew costs were minimised.

The OMS customer is French company Technip, main contractor for the design, procurement, fabrication and installation of the water and gas injection flow lines for the Block 31 URF 2 Programme workscope.

OMS worked closely with Technip’s local subsidiary in Angola, Angoflex a.

The Block 31 deepwater oilfield covers an area of 5,300km2 and lies in water depths of between 1,500m and 2,500m.

Richard Gooch, director of technology at OMS, said: ‘OMS engineers measured every pipe end and then marked these with a calibration block group code, according to calibration blocks to be used for the AUT inspection.

‘This sorting process enabled the most round pipes to be allocated to the more critical sections of the pipeline.

‘Identifying and marking pipe ends in this way ensured the least possible disruption to Technip’s fit-up process.

‘The customer now has the basis for the fit-up of pipes to BP’s specification and HiLo fatigue strengths.

‘The accurate fit-up of fatigue-sensitive pipes is a highly critical factor when it comes to welding the pipe ends together.

‘Not managing these issues can lead to delays in production and to weld problems, which, in turn, can lead to stress concentrations in that region or expensive cut-outs and rework,’ he added.

Managing pipe fit-up requires the extreme accuracy of the dimensional measurements of the pipe ends.

OMS used dimensional data from the measurement of the pipes to match pipe ends that had the same size and shape characteristics.

Using the OMS Pipechecker Laser technology, more than 2,000 measurements of the inside and outside diameter of the pipe ends in less than 20 seconds were taken, providing the exact shape of the pipes.

Optical Metrology Services

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