SPE 147205 - Materials Selection: A Systems Engineering Approach

2011 Abstract, Eric Caldwell, Karthik Annadorai, Grant Gibson, Lee Jordan

Subsea and topsides materials selection is becoming a vital part in the development and long term sustainability of deepwater oil and gas production facilities. Increasing challenges associated with capital and operating cost constraints, schedule compression, remote locations, and the need to deploy materials ever closer to their known limits makes fit for purpose materials selection a complex and difficult issue that crosses many different discipline boundaries. Materials selection is primarily governed by corrosion engineering principles and applied chemical inhibition practices, and then by project specifics. However, there are two different practices that are generally followed that dictate how materials are ultimately selected. The first is by a standard materials selection process using guidance such as that provided in NORSOK M-001, and the second is by using a more informal system with limited guidance that involves individually selecting materials for a specific project.

 In actuality, the materials selection process is a combination of both. The selection process to identify which materials are considered appropriate is routine and straightforward and is dictated by various corrosion parameters and associated risks. Often this high-level assessment does not appropriately address project specifics, so causing the final material selections to be substantially different from those initially proposed.

One of the specific items that often drives this change in materials selection philosophy is the use of chemical inhibitors for corrosion inhibition and the perceived feasibility and level of risk associated with this. Use of a systems engineering approach to material selection can be used beneficially as a process that accelerates the determination and initial optimization of the materials, and the selection of chemicals and their injection locations, and associated monitoring methods and locations in a given topsides, subsea or water injection system design.

Source: SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 30 October-2 November 2011, Denver, Colorado, USA

Copyright 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers

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