Effective integrity management is a key barrier to major accident prevention.

The energy industry has made significant progress in improving the effectiveness of inspection techniques and improved data management applications to assess and record inspection outcomes. Cutting edge technologies, such as physical asset digital twins and state of the art drones are being used very effectively to conduct remote inspections.

These approaches and technologies must work as a key component of an effective Integrity Management System to ensure the value from these advances is maximised and failures attributed to integrity are prevented.

Wigdan Hamour Integrity Management Expert

At Scapa Energy, led by Principal Consultant Wigdan Hamour, we adopt a holistic, data-led approach to assess overall integrity management effectiveness. This approach consistently shows that integrity management performance is significantly influenced by management system effectiveness rather than technology constraints.

Recent review of industry performance shows that there remains an unacceptable level of integrity risk and threats which have resulted in integrity related failures, unplanned releases of hydrocarbons and other fluids.

In 2024, initiated by current industry performance, the HSE will be looking more closely at asset integrity and its associated processes throughout the industry. At a time where a substantial volume of oil and gas assets are ageing, this focus will provide significant value in sharing and learning from one another’s experiences to help mitigate risk.

This blog provides some insight to how Scapa Energy approach our integrity management assessments and highlights some common gaps that have the potential to create increased integrity risk.

Our Integrity Management Model

We follow a holistic integrity management assessment framework which is illustrated in the graphic below. Our integrity management audits can encompass some or all of the elements in the Integrity Management Life Cycle, depending on clients’ requirements and specific challenges they face, such as ageing and the status or condition of the asset(s) being audited.


Integrity Management life cycle web

The depth of the any integrity review or audit is dependent on the degree of granularity and analysis required by the client. Deeper dive reviews can reveal less obvious issues, such as design of RBI corrosion circuits, effectiveness of threat assessments, or risk assessment and categorisation of anomalies. In turn this can create valuable insight to identify management system and execution weaknesses.

Our consistency of approach and expertise creates a key benchmarking capability, allowing anonymised comparisons to be made across operators. This in turn creates the ability to share good practices and common issues across the sector.

Our experience shows there is an emerging set of topics where we see common challenges and good practice approaches to address. Some of these topics are:

• Corrosion Under Insulation Management
• Pressure Systems Risk Based Inspection Frameworks
• Passive Fire Protection Integrity Management

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI)

It is widely accepted that CUI is one of the most challenging corrosion threats to address due to the extensive labour required for stripping the insulation, follow-on inspection and re-instating of the insulation, if deemed necessary. Local environment, insulation system design, temperature, coating system under the insulation and age of the insulation can all influence how CUI is formed and develops. The image below shows that CUI can lead to catastrophic failure, rather than just pinhole leaks.

corrosion under insulation

(source https://www.hsl.gov.uk/news_items/corrosion-under-insulation)

While many companies are aligned with Energy Institute guidance, we have seen that some operators do not have a dedicated CUI strategy in place. The Energy Institute (EI) Guidance for corrosion management in oil and gas production and processing, Second edition, issued March 2019 has details in Annex I.12 of how to assess CUI threat starting from challenging the need for insulation, corrosion probability assessment, consequences evaluation and risk based prioritization.

Risk Based Inspection (RBI)

Risk based inspection assessments are at the heart of the integrity management processes. These assessments are fundamental for optimising inspection efforts and ensuring that resources are focused on high-risk equipment.

Our insights have identified a wide variation in the robustness of RBI processes for pressure systems, with many gaps identified including failure to involve all of the required technical disciplines in the assessments and not feeding back the inspection outcomes for updating the RBIs.

DNV, Recommended Practice DNV-RP-G101, Risk Based Inspection of Offshore Topsides Static Mechanical Equipment, issued in October 2010 is regarded as one of the good practice references for establishing and maintaining a risk-based inspection (RBI) for offshore pressure systems.

Passive Fire Protection (PFP)

PFP coatings are applied to equipment and structures to achieve a predefined performance standard for the specific component being protected from fire or explosion scenarios. This makes the integrity and ongoing inspection of PFP crucial for the safety of personnel, to ensure that it performs when in demand.

There is work to be done to raise awareness of, and achieve an industry-wide compliance with Energy Institute PFP guidance, with effective PFP management strategies yet to be fully implemented across all components. Reference details are Guidelines for In-Service Management of Passive Fire Protection Coating Systems, First editions, February 2021. This is regarded as good practice for managing the integrity of PFP.

The pictures below show typical PFP defects.

Examples of PFP defects

Other common key topics that can create challenges for operators are:

• Vibration Threat Assessment and Mitigation
• Integrity Repair and Fabric Maintenance Backlog Management
• Management of Specific Integrity Threats such as Trunnions and Deck Penetrations
• Management of Asset Ageing and Life Extension (ALE) issues and risks

Breaking Down the Wheel

Each element of our integrity management model addresses core issues affecting integrity management at every level of organisations and for the different disciplines. In future blogs, we will share deeper insights to each of these critical integrity aspects, specific industry trends, gaps that are being observed from our independent assurance work and share some of our guidance to address these.

Scapa Energy has successfully applied this assessment framework for a number of our current clients.

‘We recently commissioned Scapa Energy to support us with an audit to assess effectiveness of Asset Integrity Management System (AIMS) system.

The Scope of Work for the audit was to provide recommendations to address any gaps identified in AIMS to ensure integrity risks are effectively managed. Assess the PX Asset Integrity Management System (AIMS) design, content, suitability, and effectiveness to meet industry leading practice.

The ability for Scapa to provide that total independence and to provide a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ proved invaluable, and the level of engagement provided by Scapa was of high value, both during the audit and after when the findings were presented clearly and precisely, again of a very high standard.

The knowledge and experience the team demonstrated during and after the audit process was extremely beneficial.’

Please get in touch if you would like to understand in more detail how Scapa Energy can help to assure your integrity management effectiveness.