Light Oil Piping Inspection

Robert SherbyProject DescriptionsLeave a Comment

Piping inspection technician looking at a valve.

Project Background

TSP recently completed an API-570 piping inspection at a light oil recovery plant. The plant operates two 150-foot tall process vessels which receive manufacturing byproducts and mix them with light wash oil. The resulting oil is captured and diverted away from the environment to reduce contamination from the manufacturing process. The vessels are connected to approximately 5,000 lineal feet of piping, ranging in size from 2 ½ inches to 12 inches.  All of the piping required inspection to ensure the integrity of the system.

Piping Inspection Details

TSP’s certified API-570 Inspector developed the work plan and led the site work. The inspection team used a boom lift, crane with man-basket, and scaffolding to reach piping which was far from the ground and difficult to access.

The API-570 Inspector performed the visual inspection. Based on the age and condition of the piping, visual inspection focused on identifying historic corrosion under insulation on formerly insulated pipe segments, weld flaws at joints, coating failures, and active corrosion on pipe surfaces.

A team of three technicians performed ultrasonic thickness testing (UT testing) of the pipe runs, elbows, and tees. First, the cleaning technician used non-sparking wire brushes and environmentally safe cleaning solvent to clean the pipe surface at each testing location. Then, the UT technician then took four readings, spaced equally around the pipe. Finally, the project engineer recorded the location and orientation of each reading in field notes and marked each location on the pipe with NDT stickers.

TSP also replaced old and difficult to read pipe labels with new labels. TSP staff removed the old pipe labels, careful to not damage the coating underneath. A local printer provided new vinyl labels based on the Owner’s requirements.  Project staff applied to the pipe at strategic locations to provide maximum visibility.

Special Considerations

Throughout the project, TSP complied with the stringent health and safety requirements in force at the plant. Personnel received Benzene hazard awareness training prior to starting the project. TSP staff wore fire-retardant coveralls and personal air monitors in addition to standard Level D PPE.  Technicians wore respirators in areas with atmospheric hazards.

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