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. 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. Thus, formal assessments are needed 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.
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
Life Extension Process:
The difficult key questions that an operator or owner of an asset may have on their plant life extension include:
1- Can I extend life of my asset beyond its original design life?
2- What would be the recommended Life Extension period?
3- What would be the recommended inspection and maintenance plan during the Life Extension period
Currently there is no detailed methodology on life extension to answer those questions; therefore, a comprehensive and normally expensive study must be done based on the operator’s experience to address the above queries.
Our Solution – FUSION Software
LifeTech Engineering has signed a contract with OGTC in the UK and Maersk Oil (TOTAL) in Denmark to develop a software package for “Management of Ageing and Life Extension of Pressure Systems”. This package is called FUSION!
This innovative approach integrates Risk Assessment and Fitness for Service assessment in a single package as follow:
⦁ Damage Mechanisms based on API 581 and API 571;
⦁ Risk Assessment based on API 581;
⦁ Remaining Life Assessment based on API 579;
⦁ Fitness for Service Assessment based on API 579;
⦁ Recommend Life Extension Period;
⦁ Recommend Inspection, Mitigation and Maintenance during Life Extension Period;
⦁ Increase Availability, Reliability, Efficiency and Safety.