IBP1184_12 NO DRYDOCK…..

SAFELY STRATEGY FOR AVOIDING UNPLANNED DRYDOCK AND REDUCING SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS Danny A. Constantinis1, David E. Brett.2
Copyright 2012, Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute - IBP This Technical Paper was prepared for presentation at the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012, held between September, 1720, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. This Technical Paper was selected for presentation by the Technical Committee of the event according to the information contained in the final paper submitted by the author(s). The organizers are not supposed to translate or correct the submitted papers. The material as it is presented, does not necessarily represent Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute’ opinion, or that of its Members or Representatives. Authors consent to the publication of this Technical Paper in the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Proceedings.

Abstract
There are currently over 150 operational FPUs with an expected increase of a further 100 units in the next 5 years. This results from several factors: increasing demand for hydrocarbons; new reserves in deep water; pipeline infrastructure is not required and FPU design fits many field requirements. FPUs are increasingly chosen for large, deep water, longer life developments. Units are bigger and more complex. Regulators and oil majors are imposing more stringent integrity requirements to protect against safety, environmental and operational risks related to loss of containment and loss of hull structure integrity which could lead to HSE risks, increased costs and production losses which would become particularly onerous should the unit have to drydock. There are a number of other important components the context of asset integrity, e.g. mooring and subsea systems, but these are outside the scope of this paper. The ‘No Drydock….Safely’ approach is based on the principle of Criticality Based Integrity which identifies components whose integrity is critical to avoiding incidents and the risk of drydocking. Once critical components are identified the challenge is to establish integrity status and maintain fitness-for-service. Various JIPs e.g. the Hull Inspection Techniques and Strategies are looking at best practice inspection methodologies. The industry is progressing ways of maintaining and repairing critical items without going to drydock. The challenges include coating maintenance, structural and pressure system repairs. Advances in cathodic protection and coating maintenance strategies are proving successful as are techniques for carrying out major structural repairs. The ‘No Drydock…Safely’ methodology is a proven solution and case histories have been included. Technological advances will further improve integrity in the industry. There is no reason why FPUs cannot be kept on station and in production for 25 years or more whilst ensuring the highest standards of safety, environmental protection, productivity and compliance.

1. Introduction
There are currently more than 150 operational Floating Production Units (FPUs) in existence and this number is set to grow by approximately 70% worldwide over the next 5 years with concentrations of growth in Brazil, Angola and SE Asia with more than 300 units expected to be in operation by 2020. Figure 1 indicates CAPEX 2010-2014.

Figure 1. Deepwater CAPEX 2010 - 2014
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1. Daniel Constantinis BSc T. Eng F. Inst NDTS A.I.M - EM&I Alliance 2. David Brett DBA., DIC., C.Eng., MIStructE - EM&I Alliance

FPU complexity is increasing sharply with many assets having a design life on station of 25 years or more. Recent catastrophic events in the Oil/Gas industry have brought the severe consequences of integrity failure to the fore. Other events such as unplanned drydocking also have severe consequences, albeit of a financial nature. These facts have a profound effect on the strategy for managing the integrity of offshore assets. The integrity philosophy studied in this paper is based around the Safety Case regime which has been adopted by a number of regulators and is proving to be effective in reducing the number and severity of safety related incidents. The Safety Case philosophy, in summary, requires operators to identify and rank threats to safety and the environment and demonstrate how they will manage these threats throughout the life cycle of the asset. Threats are often characterized as Safety, Environmental and/or Business Critical and the Performance Standards that critical items of equipment or systems must meet to fulfill the requirements of the Safety Case are described in terms of Functionality, Availability, Reliability, Survivability and Interdependence (FARSI). Figure 2 indicates an extract from a typical Performance Standard.

Figure 2. Extract from a typical Performance Standard The Operator must describe to the satisfaction of the regulators how they will ensure that the Safety and Environmentally critical elements meet the required Performance Standards throughout their life cycle. The Operator must also ensure that corporate expectations are met in terms of complying with Regulatory requirements as well as managing Safety, Environmentally and Business Critical elements. These Asset Integrity challenges are achieved at the project stage by means of good design and construction whilst operational Asset Integrity is assured by best practice operational processes coupled with risk based Maintenance, Inspection, Monitoring and Testing. Most Operators have a number of elements of an Integrated Asset Integrity Management system but are not sure how to tie these together. This issue can be resolved by means of a structured ‘ Self-Assessment’ process which identifies the status of each element of the required asset integrity system and grades them from 0 (building awareness) to 4 (optimizing/continuous improvement). Figure 3 indicates an Asset Integrity Management Self Assessment Graph recording improvement over several years.

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Figure 3. Asset Integrity Management Self Assessment Graph Most Safety Case regimes also require an independent body to verify that the Safety Case is being observed and regularly reviewed and updated so that changes to the asset and the way it is operated are considered throughout the asset life cycle. The ‘No Drydock…Safely’ strategy is aligned with both Safety Case and prescriptive regulatory regimes and meets the corporate requirements of many Operators. This paper describes how the No Drydock…Safely’ strategy is implemented with respect to pressure systems and primary and secondary structures and suggests how the asset integrity requirements can be effectively met particularly with respect to the more complex and long-life FPUs that are now featuring in the industry. The paper also looks at emerging technology and various JIPs such as HITS that could help the FPU industry operate with less risk and improved profitability in the future.

2. Managing Pressure System Integrity
Pressure systems can be categorised as Process, Marine and Utility, the latter sometimes being overlooked as being neither process nor structural. However, many of these Marine and Utility systems are safety critical, for example ballast systems, whilst others such as steam systems are both safety and production critical. Therefore, the threats to Marine and Utility systems should be managed in the same way as for process systems. The main threat is loss of containment leading to various consequences depending on the criticality of the line or pressure vessel. For example, loss of containment may lead to fire, explosion, pollution, loss of production, loss of reputation and in extreme cases multiple loss of life or even the asset itself. Less serious but more frequent loss of containment incidents, especially where hydrocarbons are involved, is the subject of regulatory concern. These incidents are avoidable with a well-structured asset integrity management system. The solution adopted by more and more Operators is to use a Criticality Based Integrity (CBI) approach, which should not be confused with Risk Based Inspection (RBI). The reason for this is that RBI, whilst a very important and effective tool, basically provides an effective inspection strategy. Criticality Based Integrity (CBI) systems however, consider the causes and remedial action options associated with each system’s risk and thus provides an effective integrity strategy rather than an effective inspection strategy. CBI systems provide reliable and relevant data that can be presented in a manner that clearly and simply provides managers with information on the level of risk they are carrying, maintenance priorities, recommended actions to improve shutdown planning and compliance. Figure 4 indicates a Risk Evaluation Matrix.

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Figure 4. Risk Evaluation Matrix This difference can be illustrated by means of a recent case history: Case History A - The Sand Erosion threat Operators of an FPSO in SE Asia noted a number of unexpected failures on certain pressure system components (valves and piping) and came to the conclusion that the failure mode was related to a notable increase in sand production. The question they needed to answer was....’What do we need to do to maintain integrity and avoid lost production?’ The solution proposed was: a) b) c) Carry out an RBI based inspection programme focused the sand erosion threat to the critical lines. Use the inspection data to determine the condition of the pressure systems and use this information to develop a remedial plan. Study and understand the root cause of the threat so that a permanent solution could be implemented.

A focussed RBI assessment identified the lines and vessels at risk and ranked them in terms of high, medium high, medium and low risk of integrity loss. Next, inspection procedures were developed to inspect the valves, lines and pressure vessels; the lines and vessels being easier to inspect because of their regular internal geometry and relatively thin walls. A combination of conventional ultrasonics and digital radiography was used to establish current condition and this information was used to identify components that needed urgent remedial action and to create a baseline so that rates of erosion and thus estimates of remaining life could be determined. Had there been an earlier baseline, say before production had started, it would have been faster and less costly to establish the trend data. Inspecting the valves was more difficult than the lines because of the internal geometry and fittings, external obstructions and thick walls. Furthermore, the valves were of numerous types and, as they were in operation, were often filled with liquids that made radiographic inspection more difficult. The techniques adopted were digital radiography and ultrasonic inspection, both targeted at looking for wall thinning in areas where experience and engineering analysis suggested likely erosion. Figure 5 indicates an in-service digital radiography image of valve erosion.

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Figure 5. Digital Radiography Image of Valve Erosion Measured minimum thickness was compared to the Minimum Allowable Wall Thickness (MAWT) calculated using design criteria and manufacturing tolerances. Components that were either at or below MAWT were considered high risk and mitigating actions were proposed. Components that would reach MAWT before the next planned shutdown were scheduled to be monitored at a frequency that would give time for the Operator to plan replacement or repair. Other components that did not show significant evidence of erosion were also monitored but on a less frequent basis. In all cases the analysis and ongoing integrity management was assisted by using a corrosion management database so that both the causes and effects of the degradation mechanism were taken into consideration. This Criticality Based Integrity programme enabled the Operator to plan effective remedial action and mitigate the risk of loss of containment. However, whilst this approach was successful it did not address what was the root cause of the ongoing threat given that sand production was forecast to increase. This important aspect of CBI is still ongoing and includes an understanding of the likely future levels and velocities of sand production. The study is currently reviewing the types of valves and piping configurations that are experiencing the highest rate of degradation. Early indications suggest that the level control valves appear to suffer higher rates of erosion possibly because the valves are larger than needed and may therefore open and close more often leading to 'bursts' of high velocity erosive fluid entering the valve body and piping downstream. If this is indeed the case, the problem may be mitigated by changing the size/type of valve used and eventually monitoring less frequently as confidence in the solution grows. In summary, the application of a CBI approach, which combined RBI, specialised NDT methods, experienced engineering assessment of the data and a root cause analysis, provided a cost effective and safe solution to the problem.

3.

Managing Structural Integrity

As the Floating Production Unit (FPU) industry has matured, so too has an appreciation of the importance of managing the integrity of hull structures. Previously the hull was seen by many Operators as merely the platform upon which the production and/or process equipment was located. Hull structural integrity was considered as a low risk area by many, the product of a probability of failure that was thought to be low and a consequence that was not generally well understood, but considered not particularly significant. The hull had, after all, been designed and constructed to Classification Society Rules which stemmed from over 200 years of experience with ocean going vessels. However, the philosophy in Classification Society Rules is that the hull undergoes a robust five yearly cycle of surveys to confirm and assure its continued integrity. Part of that cycle includes drydocking the vessel. This has traditionally allowed the asset owner to inspect, clean and repaint the hull, renew sacrificial anodes for cathodic protection, clean sea chests and overhaul shipside valves and penetrations. It has also afforded the owner the
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ability to carry out bottom plating, coating and other such repairs and renewals where coating deterioration, corrosion and mechanical damage has reduced hull structural integrity. Unfortunately, as the industry is well aware, an FPU is not as easy to drydock as a trading ship and indeed when drydocking has proved necessary, the costs and production deferment penalties have been significant. Furthermore, as oil prices increase and FPUs grow larger and more complex, the desire to stay on station and in production for extended periods becomes more important. This has resulted in significant challenges to operators in managing the hull integrity of their floating installations whether ship-shaped or otherwise. Many Operators desire to Class their FPUs but find the prescriptive nature and survey requirements of Class increasingly challenging. Consequently some Operators have chosen not to Class their assets. Instead they extend the concepts used for managing the structural integrity of their fixed assets and apply them to their floating assets. However, the safety and financial implications of inspecting floating assets pose a number of technical challenges that differ from the fixed installation experience. • • • • • • • • Use of divers versus ROVs Confined space entry concerns with regard to tank inspections Tank cleanliness for inspections Production impact Dealing with marine growth Subsea hull coating condition Sea chests and shipside valves Rudders and propellers

These inspection issues are being addressed by the HITS (Hull Inspection Techniques and Strategies) joint industry project (JIP) which includes representation from Classification Societies, regulators, Operators, both oil majors and lease companies, engineering and service providers, coating manufacturers and corrosion protection specialists. The output of these studies will be industry guidance on recommended best practice for inspecting FPUs. This guidance, when applied, will provide accurate and timely information on hull structural condition without having to go to drydock. However, this information may well require a maintenance and/or repair action to maintain hull integrity. Looking at hull structural maintenance strategies for trading ships it is clear that this is based on a 5 yearly drydocking cycle. This strategy is not appropriate to many FPUs for reasons already discussed and therefore a new approach must be developed. One strategy is to apply a continuous maintenance strategy to manage the primary causes of hull structural failure, namely corrosion, cracking and impact damage. A programme of ongoing coating maintenance for the externally accessible hull areas focused on areas of localized coating breakdown such as welds and will avoid major coating campaigns and steel renewals. This approach has been demonstrated on a number of FPUs where rapidly mobile but stable composite work platforms are used by multiskilled rope access painter/blaster technicians to UHP fresh-water blast damaged coatings and apply moisture tolerant coatings. Figure 6 indicates a rope access team utilizing this technique.

Figure 6. UHP Blasting of Hull Plating

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This continuous coating maintenance strategy avoids metal loss and the need for major coating campaigns with the associated cost and disruption of large numbers of additional personnel. The ability of the platforms to be moved rapidly enables the work to be coordinated with the changing draft caused by loading and offloading cycles. This leaves the challenge of how best to protect the constantly immersed areas of the hull and here a different approach is proposed based on impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP). Conventional ICCP systems are often based on ship specifications and experience and again these are designed for structures that are constantly mobile, do not have uncoated and extensive fixed mooring or riser systems and where maintenance of the ICCP can be carried out at regular drydockings. Systems are becoming available and have been designed specifically for FPU use with features such as the ability to maintain anodes and expand the capacity of the system without drydocking or diver/ROV intervention. These systems can be fitted as original equipment or retrofitted to existing assets without going to drydock. Internal structures and topside structures may also need repair, maintenance or even replacement and the case history described below shows that with the correct approach this work can be carried out safely, without loss of production. Case History – Repairs to Hull Structures on Station An FPSO operating in SE Asia was due to come off-station at the end of a lease contract and the Operator rightly planned to carry out a number of repairs in the upcoming drydock. However, the field owners decided, shortly before the end of the lease contract that they wanted to extend the life of the asset on station for a further period. The challenge was…’How to carry out the required repairs without coming off station, safely and without production loss?’ The proposed solution involved the following steps: a) b) c) d) Carry out a detailed survey to establish an accurate repair scope Develop an ‘Engineering Repair Plan’ for submission to the Operator, field owner, class and regulator Apply innovative techniques for maintaining structural integrity during the repairs, material handling, hot-work, access Implement the Plan using experienced managers and supervisors.

The survey established the required steel renewal scope and the optimum size and shape of the sections to be renewed bearing in mind the limited access caused by the process plant and other topside obstructions. The Engineering Repair Plan comprised a detailed study of the work including, HSE Plan, Quality Plan, Project Plan, Communications Plan, Roles and Responsibilities, Access Plan and reference to the numerous standard operating procedures. The Engineering Repair Plan was submitted to the relevant stakeholders for review and, once any comments had been considered, the plan was submitted to the Operator, field owner, and Class for approval. It is important to note that the plan included a detailed study of the weather and operating envelopes during which the repairs could take place. This was because the FPSO was fully operational and the changing structural loads caused by the normal offloading cycles coupled with flexing of the hull due to weather conditions had to be taken into account when determining how much structure could be removed at any one time. Implementation of the plan involved using a number of subcontractors noting that the competence and capacity of these organizations, their procedures and their personnel had to be carefully managed. Similar issues were overcome with respect to materials procurement, management and prefabrication of steel components. Normal tank cleaning procedures were used but the extent of general tank cleaning was safely reduced (still in accordance with ISGOTT guidance) by the use of automatically controlled hot-work habitats which reduced the number of POB needed to manage the habitats and improved safety due to reducing the risk of human error. Similar habitats were used to control entry and exit from the tanks. Rope access methods were used to reduce the amount of scaffolding required where appropriate. The result of this level of careful planning, innovative methods, experienced supervision and project management resulted in a project completed early and below budget with very significant savings over the alternative options of drydocking. Figure 7 indicates major hull steel renewals in progress.

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Figure 7. Major Hull Steel Renewals in Progress Other case histories show that repairs can be carried out both above and below the water line where needed thus demonstrating that major structural repairs can be carried out on station and pointing the way to enabling FOIs to remain on station for extended periods. Figures 8 and 9 indicate the use of cofferdams for bottom plate steel replacement whilst on station.

Figure 8. Installation of Repair Cofferdam

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Figure 9. Bottom Plate Steel Replacement On Station

4. Emerging Technology
The HITS JIP has been set up to study existing and emerging technology for improving hull inspection techniques and strategies. These technologies include remote inspection methods for both within and outside of hull structures, coating systems that visually indicate their remaining thickness, improved design features that allow visual inspection of normally inaccessible areas and so forth. Improvements in hull protection and repair technology will also be studied in future phases of HITS and will include novel ICCP methods, advanced coating systems and composite repair technology. Figures 10, 11 and 12 indicate some of these methods.

Figure 10. Backscatter Computed Tomography (BCT) Image

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Figure 11. Remote Visual & NDT Crawler

Figure 12. Saturated Low Frequency Eddy Current (SLOFEC) Image

5. Conclusions
There is a requirement for floating production installations to remain on station for extended periods. This requirement can be achieved safely and in compliance with corporate, Class and regulatory requirements using a ‘No Drydock…Safely’ strategy. Innovative methods and emerging technology for inspection, coating and corrosion protection, structural repairs and so forth will improve this capability in the coming years. Numerous studies on the integrity of other critical systems including moorings, hazardous area equipment etc will further strengthen our industry’s capability to keep floating offshore installations on station for 25 years or more.

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