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Inspectioneering Journal

Case Study: Enhanced Asset Integrity Performance Through Improved Data Management

By Efrain Rios at Fortress Oil & Gas, LLC. This article appears in the November/December 2018 issue of Inspectioneering Journal

Introduction

The global asset integrity management market was valued at $17.86 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow to nearly $35 billion by 2023, largely due to aging infrastructure.  As a result of this trend, operators continually explore new ways to better manage their fixed equipment and extend its useful life. This often leads to utilization of new technology that provides new or more accurate data.  Unfortunately, many of these same operators will capture and store information without a well-defined process for managing the repository system and the data within it. This makes it difficult to locate, access, and analyze that data later, which ultimately limits a company’s ability to improve its integrity-related decisions.  This inefficiency not only adds unnecessary cost to the integrity program, but it can eventually lead to loss of primary containment (LOPC). As the Inspectioneering blog series “Understanding Inspection Data Management Systems” highlighted, poor record-keeping and data analysis are among the top 10 reasons for fixed equipment failure.  Missing or inaccurate data can directly lead to serious mechanical integrity issues.

Therefore, capturing more data without an effective program to manage it may only marginally improve integrity management.  Many operators would gain more value from creating a robust data management program and using high-quality data to make critical decisions with greater confidence.  By focusing on the data management processes and building a well-defined program around their software, companies can ensure high-quality data is captured, entered, analyzed, and reported.

Context

This article describes how an international oil and gas company built an inspection data management program for its U.S. operations yielding improved confidence in decision-making information, cost savings through increased efficiency, and an overall improvement in the asset integrity program’s performance.  In the U.S., the company operated over 14,000 gas wells and 10 gas processing plants spread over 9 states. In total, this included 107,223 fixed equipment items containing over 1,260,000 condition monitoring locations (CMLs).

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