UTC, Bergen: The welding of subsea pressure retaining equipment is key in ensuring safe and high-quality performance. However, different end user requirements are added to regulatory requirements for subsea welding, without a clear guidance on best practice. A DNV GL led joint industry project (JIP) now addresses this by harmonizing the end user requirements into one industry standard. The project still welcomes new participants.
Several specifications and standards for welding of subsea pressure containing equipment exist today, ranging from the major oil and gas operator’s company specific requirements to regulatory requirements and standards issued by API, ASME and ISO. This is causing a range of challenges such as varying welding qualities, repeated qualification processes, difficulties in planning procurement and unclear requirements for inspection and testing.
The new DNV GL JIP, kicked off in February 2017, aims to tackle the lack of standardization by developing a guideline that harmonizes requirements for welding of subsea pressure retaining equipment. The objective is to reduce cost and time while improving quality through reduced project uncertainty and non-value added work. So far, 11 participants have signed up for the JIP, including 5 operators, 4 contractors and 2 fabricators.
Tone Hasle, Principal Engineer, DNV GL - Oil & Gas, says: “Evaluation of end-user specifications and requirements for subsea welding showed that there were more similarities than differences. It was a pleasure to see the JIP participants had much the same understanding of important restrictions to subsea welding. This forms a sound foundation for the work ahead and will help us achieve effective results quickly.”
During spring 2017, the first of three scheduled workshops were conducted to discuss and agree on technical topics and lay the groundwork for the new guideline. The next workshop will take place in September 2017.
Dr. Andrew Leonard, Chairman of the JIP steering committee, BP, says: “The development of this JIP is an integral part of BP and the wider industry’s aim of greater standardization of subsea equipment. We look forward to continued progress in this area of standardization.”
Kjell Eriksson, Regional Manager Norway, DNV GL – Oil & Gas, says: “Subsea solutions are currently moving up the investment agenda as they fit nicely into unmanned, automated and digitized oil and gas fields. However, to stay competitive compared to conventional solutions, the subsea industry needs to keep focused on standardization and innovation.”
DNV GL’s efforts in this space are targeting areas where the greatest efficiencies and achievements can be gained. Our new JIP on subsea welding can deliver significant cost reductions while also increasing quality, putting the subsea industry on a competitive footing,” Eriksson adds.
The JIP is scheduled for completion in Q2 2018 and then the guideline will be issued as a new DNV GL recommended practice.
1. Calculated from reuse of 30 welding procedure specification (WPS) and 3 months earlier start-up for a subsea producing 6 mill. barrels over 7 years. Lead time reduction up to 6 months. Achievable with standardized welding requirements and reuse of welding procedures.