Tracerco secures subsea inspection for life extension project of over 18 risers in the Gulf of Mexico


Tracerco, part of Johnson Matthey Plc, has been commissioned to provide asset integrity data for an operator in the Gulf of Mexico seeking to extend the lifespan of over 18 risers. Under the contract, Tracerco will deploy DiscoveryTM, a subsea computed tomography (CT) scanner designed for external scanning of pipelines, and which operates along the same general principles as CT scanners used in hospitals.

As methods of oil and gas extraction have improved, many fields are still producing substantial quantities of oil and gas, and as such, operators are seeking methods to monitor and verify riser conditions for sustained integrity and prolonged operational life. For life extension, regulators typically require a physical inspection to ensure the condition of the riser and CT, a technique which has an unparalleled ability to accurately and non-intrusively see through an item, can provide this information.

Technologies using CT such as DiscoveryTM provide operators with valuable inspection data on the entire pipeline, spanning the range from product to coating and all areas in between. It is a non-intrusive external scanning technique and is easily capable of scanning through several inches of pipeline steel with no requirement to remove any protective coating, regardless of thickness and material.

“Tracerco was the first company to develop a subsea CT system and still holds the fundamental patent for the concept of subsea CT scanning dating back to 2011,” says Jim Bramlett, Commercial Manager North America for Tracerco, “Over the years since, DiscoveryTM has incorporated numerous additional patented innovations for optimizing the system.”

DiscoveryTM application in riser inspection goes beyond routine checks. By gathering real time data while risers are in full operation on a variety of integrity issues including pipeline corrosion, pitting and wall thinning, operators will be able to work with the local authorities to get their permit extended and potentially realise billions in continued revenues from the asset.

“DiscoveryTM provides the integrity insights to know the unknown enabling critical decisions regarding life extension to be made,” continues Jim, “and it does this while the risers are still in full operation.  No need to interfere with production.”

Learn more about how you can eliminate costly downtime and keep production targets on track during a subsea pipeline inspection campaign and for updates sign up to the Tracerco blog.

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