Abstract

The oil and gas industry has a need for reliable monitoring of changes in wall thickness both topside and subsea. It is important to detect and monitor the effect of corrosion and erosion as this may reduce the life-cycle cost and increase the lifetime of industrial infrastructure, ships, aircrafts, ground vehicles, pipelines, oil installations, etc. Even topside the conditions of operation can be extremely hostile, facing problems like surface roughness, fluid loading issues, temperature variations, and a host of other factors that make development of a robust wall thickness assessment tool a challenging task. Deploying a monitoring system subsea makes the application even more demanding when you have to take into account factors like high pressure and limited access. Over the last years ClampOn have offered a topside corrosion-erosion monitor (CEM) for monitoring changes in the wall thickness of such infrastructure. Major advantages of this technology have been its non-invasiveness, high repeatability, high coverage and the lack of any transducer movement, also making it an excellent candidate for subsea use. The measurement principle is based on dispersion of ultrasonic guided wave modes, and by using electromagnetism these waves can be transmitted through the pipe wall without the sensor being in direct contact with the metallic surface. It is installed on the outer pipe wall to produce real-time wall thickness information – not as a spot measurement, but as a unique average path-wall thickness. With several successful installations topside, the technology has now also been made available for subsea installation.

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