Aging is a process of degradation related to the progression of time and/or the use of the facility. “Ageing is not about how old your equipment is; it’s about its condition and how that’s changing over time”
Life Extension is the period beyond the design life for which a facility is to operate while still maintaining acceptable standards of operational and technical integrity.
A large number of assets in the oil and gas industry are approaching or have exceeded their original design life.
In the UK sector of the North Sea, with decades of oil and gas production, over 50% of the total population of fixed platforms has exceeded the original design life, and this proportion is steadily increasing with time.
Many fields still have recoverable oil and gas that can be extracted using the existing facilities or enhanced methods, and in some areas, new fields are tied into the existing platforms.
Many offshore operators are requiring their installations to operate for several years beyond their original design life while continuing to meet business and regulatory requirements for reliability and safety.
From a safety point of view, keeping the integrity of equipment during the life extension period is vital.
Key ageing/life extension issues:
– External/internal corrosion
– Structural degradation/failure (e.g. fatigue)
– Backlogs of maintenance
• Changes in process conditions over time
• Cumulative effect of modifications
• Information capture/retention (IT + human!)
• Advances in knowledge/technology
• Improvement in good practise
• Anticipation of changes
LifeTech Engineering can perform a formal assessment to demonstrate that there is sufficient technical, operational, and organizational integrity to continue safe operation throughout a life extension, something that requires detailed information on history, the current state, and prediction on the future state of the facility.
LifeTech Engineering has an agreement with OGTC in the UK and TOTAL in Denmark to develop a software package for “Management of Ageing and Life Extension of Pressure Systems”. This package is called FUSION and will be ready by end of 2018