Wellube Leading the Way in Asset Integrity Management
In a recent feature published in April 2023 in the World Pipelines Magazine, Garry Kidd, Managing Director, Wellube, shares an insight into a few of the company’s recent pipeline and wellhead asset integrity management projects in the Middle East.
Despite the immense progress in transitioning to explore green energy alternatives, the increasing demand for change in the global energy industry faces new obstacles associated with asset construction, maintenance, regulation, and integrity. Safety, reliability, and efficiency are essential to meeting the demands of the industry and must be at the forefront of operational decisions when faced with these challenges.
Maintaining asset integrity without the risk of disruption to operation or safety and environmental incidents directly impacts these decisions and is vital to ensure the appropriate solution is selected so that assets can perform efficiently and sustainably.
With over 20 years of experience, Wellube is leading the way for reliable, efficient, and safe engineering asset integrity management solutions to manage asset integrity. As a global engineering specialist and pipeline maintenance expert, Wellube works with the top oil and gas industry players and has supported all leading national oil companies across the UAE, Qatar, and India.
Part of global innovators in subsea technologies and engineering, Unique Group, Wellube offers specialist engineering products and asset integrity management services for flow management intervention and integrity, turnkey valve reliability management, and onsite precision machining to the global oil and gas, renewables, power, petrochemical and infrastructure industries. Its portfolio of services includes hot tapping, line stopping, online leak sealing, online safety relief valve testing, online valve flushing, lubrication and sealing and onsite precision machining services. Having over 20 years of industry experience, the team’s technical expertise and engineering capability allow them to support complex projects and solve critical problems in minimal lead time.
Running heavily on pipelines, both onshore and offshore, operators in the oil and gas industry have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of their assets to avoid any loss of containment due to aging or corrosion that could have lasting impacts on the operation, more importantly, the environment. As the industry transitions to incorporate sustainable operations, the demand for innovative solutions has highlighted that safety and efficiency are more vital than ever before.
Assess, Seal, Deliver
Wellube’s online leak-sealing process can be applied to various pipelines, valves, and pressure vessels across the petrochemical, oil and gas, power generation, gas distribution, and nuclear industries.
Featuring a custom-designed leak clamp, its leak-sealing services are underpinned by stringent compliance of various procedures and practices to ensure safe and efficient asset integrity management solutions.
On-line leak sealing has a proven track record on steam, water, hydrocarbons, and a variety of other chemical systems and can withstand pressures from vacuum to 8500 psi and temperatures from – 320°F to 1800°F.
A recent project for a leading national oil company in Qatar required the repair of a flare line with multiple sections indicating corrosion, utilizing a 2.9m 24” enclosure. After performing an inspection of their pipelines, the client found large, corroded sections of the flare line. During operation, the leak from the piping system could have led to the escape of the line medium into the atmosphere, potentially leading to an unplanned and costly shutdown of operation. Criticality of this level could have catastrophic repercussions for the operation and the environment if it had gone undetected.
The client then approached the team at Wellube to provide online leak sealing to repair the corroded area without interruption to operation. After a thorough assessment and discussions with the client, it was agreed that installing an enclosure was the preferred solution to repair the damage.
From the beginning of production to repair the pipeline, there were a series of challenges faced, one of which being multiple changes in the geometry of the pipe which needed to be encapsulated to contain the leak within the enclosure.
Due to its size, fabrication of a clamp of this scale proved challenging and being installed at a high elevation meant there was risk of damaging pipelines below and surrounding the damaged section during installation over a live plant.
Based on the specifications of the site requirements, Wellube’s team of experts engineered a large 2.9m sectional 24” enclosure, weighing around two tons, to be installed onto the flare line. Manufactured in line with ASME standards, the clamp was designed to withstand temperatures of 200°C and pressure of 0.7MPA.
With the requirement for a quick turnaround due to the risk of causing any delays to operation, the clamp was fabricated in a short priority lead time and successfully installed within schedule. Sealed in place with 100% seal on the enclosure, the client was able to continue operation of the line without a costly shutdown.
Mitigation of risk, improving safety, and reducing the potential cost of production delays is Wellube’s priority and as a result of its compliance to HSEQ and stringent adherence to international design codes and standards (such as ASME, API, and ASTM) throughout the manufacturing and installation process. This was able to be achieved to the highest of standards.
The 2.9m long 24″ enclosure which was designed, manufactured and installed in Qatar by Wellube.
In the industries ranging from oil and gas to infrastructure, the safety, productivity and cost of operation is directly proportional to asset integrity and continued operational performance. Wellube continues to be at the forefront of executing hot tap and line stop, under pressure leak sealing and pipe freezing across industries globally. We provide an integrated solution for flow management which includes scope and specification development through client interaction, engineering evaluation, design & manufacture, quality and safety testing and project execution.
A Turnkey Solution to Valve Reliability
Valve reliability is critical in maintaining production. Having a strong reputation in supporting complex valve maintenance challenges for over two decades, Wellube’s full turnkey solutions can be performed both remotely and on-site, creating full flexibility for the operator and minimising downtime by avoiding operational delays. The result of stuck gates can leave a well completely inoperable which can create substantial costs to the operator for the loss of production.
In a unique test of full turnkey gate valve milling capabilities, a recent project for a leading asset owner in the UAE saw Wellube perform high-pressure gate valve milling services to support the client regain full bore access to the wellheads and restore operations with minimal downtime.
With multiple stuck gates of X-mas trees on its onshore wellheads, the client was faced with loss of production due to its inaccessible assets and approached Wellube for support with the issue. After in-depth analysis of the challenges at bay, Wellube decided to perform milling on the stuck gate valves of the assets to support the client in restoring operations and oil production.
Wellube’s Gate Milling Equipment
Throughout the project, there were several challenges associated with the timeline and operational accessibility of the project. Having gone untouched for a long period of time, most of the wellheads were spread across rough and sandy terrain in a remote location with limited access to support facilities. Due to the nature of the project being turnkey, Wellube’s engineers were contracted to cover all aspects of site requirements, including design, development, and supply of the correct equipment and facilities. In order to avoid delays, Wellube containerized an office and workshop and completed multiple milling jobs in a single mobilization, allowing the work to be completed on time and without delays.
Wellube’s containerized office and workshop
High-pressure gate milling was the best solution for the client based on its ability to drill through the toughest and thickest gates available in the wellhead market. This allowed the client to regain access to the good annulus for stuck gates providing full-bore access.
A total of thirty-two valves for twenty-three X-mas trees were milled, including the Upper Master and Lower Master valves, along with the delivery of a turnkey project management solution. The experienced technical team covered several wellheads with 2” – 4” gates with pressures up to 5,000 psi.
With a quick turnaround, the client could resume production in minimal lead time, and the project was successfully completed with zero incidents due to the project being fully HSE compliant.
In conclusion, the technical expertise and stringent adherence to compliance and industry standards allow for fast action to be made to maintain asset integrity without the loss of production and operational time. With safety and efficiency at the forefront of the industry’s agenda, Wellube is leading the way in providing expert solutions that can reduce downtime, prevent harm to the environment, mitigate the risk of safety hazards, extend asset life, and maintain the integrity and sustainability of assets across the industry.
Wellube’s success in its reliable, safe, and efficient engineered asset integrity management solutions is a testament to its ongoing commitment to managing and ensuring asset integrity across the global oil and gas, renewables, power, petrochemical, and infrastructure industries. Following the pandemic, the company has emerged strong with a commendable order backlog and revenue growth. With its focus set on geographical expansion and technological innovation, Wellube’s strategy for 2023 includes launching new integrated asset management solutions and venturing into new countries while also strengthening its presence in UAE, Qatar, and India.