Managing Joint Integrity in the Oil and Gas Industry

Joint Integrity in the Oil and Gas Industry

In the current business environment, organizations are vying to remain competitive and embrace technology to manage business risks and ensure long term sustainability. Plant floor and onsite/offshore equipment comprise the largest chunk of organizational assets in heavy industries such as oil and gas – making it vital for businesses to have control and visibility into asset health and performance.

One of the critical asset health components is bolted and compression joints, which are seen as having a high-risk potential for the release of hydrocarbons and production loss.

 

So why is Joint Integrity so important?

One indicator of major hazard risk in the petroleum industry is the number of unintended hydrocarbon releases. Such releases are a precursor to a major accident, and hence, reducing their rate reduces the risk of a major accident.

From a business perspective, leaks also delay production start-up, cause unplanned shutdowns, and impact budgets. Consider this figure: Multi-asset operator evaluated the average cost of all their leaks at $100k per leak. Previous studies into joint integrity have revealed that 17% of all releases occurred from bolted joints.

These are avoidable risks that can be mitigated as the high level of data and control associated with the design assembly, and ongoing maintenance of joints can be addressed by technology-driven systems that are efficient and accountable. Asset integrity needs to be assured throughout every critical joint's operational life – from design to construction, commissioning, and operations.

An end-to-end integrated and interactive system for all types of bolted and compression connections will ensure valuable interactions between 3D model graphics, design information, and intelligent reference drawings to reduce costly errors, in addition to delivering accountability and traceability.

An important element in risk management strategies and systems is establishing several layers of safety systems and safety measures to reduce both the probability of incidents and limit their consequences.

Successful Joint integrity comprises of two key elements – the task and the management control process where the task element relies on trained, competent personnel assembling and tightening joints as per correct procedures, while The management control process hinges on the collection and storage of vital information identified before each work stage.

 

The importance of being process-oriented

When it comes to managing Joint Integrity, best practices and digital technology go hand in hand and are automated through tried and tested processes to eliminate risks and bottlenecks.

A case in point is MODS’ methodology that integrates the key Joint Integrity components to ensure leak-free start-up:

  • Full visibility of the work scope in 2D or 3D
  • Materials quality and availability control
  • Work completed by verified trained technicians
  • Real-time progress tracking for leak test preparation

The entire process from planning to conclusion pivots around digitalization, leading to paperless and near error-free dossiers for leak-free test results.

 

 

Joint-integrity-process

 

 

About MODS Joint Integrity solutions

MODS Joint Integrity and Testing is a web-based joint integrity software that uses bar codes and intrinsically safe hand-held devices to control the processes associated with joint management and pipe systems testing. It has been designed to enable users to interact directly with the database to track each joint online.

 

Salient features of our solution include:

  • A 3D option that interacts directly with the 3D model
  • Joint integrity standard interacts with key documents such as P&IDs
  • Bar code technology controls materials, assembly completion records, and the reporting of leaks
  • Intrinsically safe hand-held bar code devices that can be used on a live plant
  • Unique bar code solution for instrument tubing and small-bore pipework
  • Interactive processes that reduce error by populating records with technical data
  • Internet-based system that delivers a global solution
  • Integrated job card generation and work front schedules
  • Integrated authorization matrix that controls data input and access to the system
  • Seamless interface with 3rd party systems
  • Customized real-time reporting through the internet
  • Real-time status integrity monitoring during operations

 

Conclusion

Not only are Hydrocarbon emissions detrimental to the environment, on a granular business level, the risks incurred in terms of lost revenue make it imperative for asset health to be monitored through standardized practices, compliance to mandates, and the inclusion of digitalization and software adoption. This ensures a hazard-free and sustainable business model for the Oil & Gas sector.

To know more about how MODS Joint Integrity software delivers accountable joint integrity, flange management-critical for a leak-free start-up, efficient production, process safety, and major hazard avoidance, visit our Joint Integrity page.

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