An operator reported oil seepage at the multiphase sour well fluid inlet to the processing train downstream, near the 8×10 inch eccentric reducer to flange weld joint area in the carbon steel piping system. The failed piping spool was installed as part of a recent water separation project and had been in service for approximately 2 years.
Fig 1: Damage observed at the reducer weld joint area
WHAT DID INSPECTION FINDINGS REVEAL?
To determine the root cause of the leak, an external visual inspection, an Ultrasonic Testing (UT) survey, Magnetic Particle Testing (MPT), and a Design Review were conducted.
The company’s visual inspection team had found the failed pipe spool support to be satisfactory, however, AIE identified that the flanged SDV (Shutdown Valve) near the failure point was unsupported. This lack of support could lead to increased stress on the reducer during normal operations. As a result, the probable cause of failure is attributed to the mechanical overload of the reducer due to a poorly designed piping system with an unsupported heavy valve, along with the possibility of incorrect torquing/tensioning procedures.
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