In the recent years, the need for continuing operations with aging assets has increased highly. Operators are now looking for ways to use data effectively for optimizing pipeline operations to obtain more control over aging assets and support leaner operations in order to lower the operating costs.
Wintershall Noordzee and IRM Systems jointly developed a risk-based inspection (RBI) methodology for offshore pipelines which overruled the conventional time-based inspection methodology. The risk-based inspection strategy was implemented on a digital platform indigenously developed by IRM Systems called PIBOT (Pipeline Integrity and Budget Optimization Tool) to suit Wintershall Noordzee’s requirements. The capabilities of the digital platform were data analysis, degradation forecasting, integrity assessment, risk assessment, survey optimization and automated report generation.
The risks assessment was performed based on a quantitative approach in accordance with the internationally recognised standards. The probability of failure and consequence of failure determination was automated by the software using decision trees, and their values were re-calculated when new inspection results were uploaded into the digital platform along with the updated operational data. The PIBOT calculates the risk profiles along the pipeline based on the Structural and Third-Party Threats, the results of which are presented on GIS System and linked to the Wintershall Noordzee Risk Matrix. The outcome is used to select the inspection intervals.
The RBI implementation helps to increase the efficiency of data management/interpretation and provides the opportunity to focus on high-risk sections of the pipeline. Automating this process using PIBOT assures significant OPEX reduction for Wintershall Noordzee Asset Management.