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How COVID-19 and the Decline in Oil Prices have Affected Mechanical Integrity Programs

A Recap of the Spring 2020 “Meeting of the Minds” Roundtable Discussion

By Jeremiah Wooten, Vice President and General Counsel at Inspectioneering, LLC. This article appears in the July/August 2020 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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In May, Inspectioneering and Pinnacle once again hosted our bi-annual “Meeting of the Minds” (MOTM) roundtable discussion with a select group of mechanical integrity (MI) experts from across industry. This was our 6th MOTM, and much like many of you, we were forced to adapt to the current Covid-19 environment and conduct our meeting virtually. Nonetheless, our panel of SMEs were able to carve out time to sit down and discuss numerous issues currently affecting the industry. As with previous meetings, participants come from various sectors of the industry, including refining/petrochemicals, offshore production, and chemical processing.

Meeting of the Minds

Previous MOTM Recaps have provided a brief summary of some of the key takeaways from our discussions over topics like corrosion under insulation (CUI) programs, integrity operating windows (IOWs), corrosion control documents (CCDs), internal site assessments, risk-based inspection (RBI), addressing the “Great Crew Change,” and most recently, emerging technologies and their impact on mechanical integrity. This meeting was focused on how the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and dramatic slide in oil prices have affected mechanical integrity programs. Below is a quick recap of the discussion.

Workforce Reductions and their Effects on MI Programs

The Spring 2020 discussion kicked off with the recognition that every participant had seen staff reductions due to Covid social distancing restrictions. As a result, many of their facilities have been forced to postpone or cancel proactive, continuous improvement programs and shift focus to more essential maintenance activities. The manner and degree to which they had done this varied.

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