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An operator noticed a leak on the piping spool inlet to the oil level gauge bridle of a Separator which resulted in 2 barrels of crude oil spillage. The leak was observed during shutdown of the unit. An 8mm diameter hole was observed at the 7 o’clock position. Figure 1 below shows the damage observed.
Fig 1: Damage observed at the piping spool inlet
What did inspection findings reveal?
To determine the root cause of the leak, external visual inspection, Ultrasonic Testing (UT) survey and microbial sampling was conducted. Subsequently, a Root Cause Analysis inspection was performed after cutting and opening the affected spool.
During intrusive inspection, deposits and areas with scale formation were noted. Severe internal corrosion was observed.
The root cause of the failure was narrowed down to Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC).
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