Following the failure of a super-duplex stainless steel (SDSS) production tubular in an HT-HP well in the Shearwater field, Shell Exploration & Production in Europe have developed a new method of categorizing SDSS material using an eddy current inspection technique. The technique is designed to identify areas of hardened material with modified microstructure on the external surface of the tube, which are believed to have contributed to the Shearwater failure. This paper describes work carried out over the last 18 months into the development of the inspection technology and appropriate assessment criteria. The assessment criteria are based on a combination of numerical cut-off's and eddy current trace signature identification, newly developed as a result of this work. The technique successfully identified all tubes of concern with a rejection rate of 0.5%.

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