Our Asset Support Manager, Stefan Kent, took centre stage at Topsides UK 2022 at P&J Live in Aberdeen, 1-2 November, to give a technical presentation on non-intrusive inspection.
Held annually, Topsides UK brings together operators, industry bodies, supply chain and contractors, and this year’s agenda focused on maintaining security and affordability of supply whilst embracing accelerated energy transition.
Stefan shared insights into the support Kellas provided to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) for its Non-Intrusive Inspection Field Trial Accelerator (NIIFTA) program, an initiative devised to accelerate piloting and testing by working with onshore terminal operators to trial a larger number of prospective technologies, more quickly and at lower cost and risk than offshore.
Non-intrusive inspection of offshore and onshore oil and gas assets has seen significant growth in technology solutions over the last few years, with the majority coming from UK suppliers. While it’s clear that not all operating companies are at the same level of technology adoption, some are using NII solutions to carry out inspection tasks and these are delivering as good as, if not better results than traditional approaches, often at lower cost and risk and with lower carbon footprint.
One area of NII where it is still largely considered to have no comprehensive solutions available is the inspection for Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI). Potential solutions are being developed but industry lacks trust in their ability to effectively identify and monitor corrosion of insulated pipework. At the same time, innovative UK and international suppliers are finding it difficult and expensive to gain access to field trial and verification opportunities. The NSTA has also seen technologies already field-deployed internationally that are struggling to gain acceptance for use in the UK, and which would clearly benefit from better access to field demonstrations in the UK.
Targeting more than 10 field trials per year, the NIIFTA program aims to demonstrate multiple viable alternatives to existing inspection practice, securing industry confidence and regulator acceptance, and enabling the route to market for valuable products and services to the benefit of end users and developers.
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