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Proceedings of the 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference IPC2012 September 24-28, 2012, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

IPC2012-90529
OVERCOMING TECHNICAL LIMITATIONS IN IDENTIFYING AND CHARACTERIZING CRITICAL COMPLEX CORROSION
Shahani Kariyawasam and Patrick Yeung TransCanada Pipelines Calgary, Alberta, Canada Stuart Clouston and Geoffrey Hurd Baker Hughes Calgary, Alberta, Canada

ABSTRACT In 2009 a pipeline within the TransCanada pipeline system experienced a rupture. As this pipeline was already under a rigorous In Line Inspection (ILI) based corrosion management program this failure led to an extensive root cause analysis. Even though the hazard causing the failure was microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC) under tape coating, the more troubling question was Why had the severity of this anomaly not been determined by the ILI based corrosion management program? This led to an investigation of what key characteristics of the ILI signals resulting from areas of complex corrosion are more difficult to correctly interpret and size and furthermore where the line condition is such that manual verification is needed. By better understanding the limitations of the technology, processes used, and the critical defect signal characteristics, criteria were developed to ensure that areas of concern are consistently identified, manually verified and therefore the sizing is validated at these potentially higher risk locations. These new criteria were applied on ILI data and then validated against in-the-ditch measurements and a hydrotest. This process in conjunction with optimization of ILI sizing algorithms enabled the operator to overcome some of the known challenges in sizing areas of complex corrosion and update its corrosion management process to improve the detection and remediation of critical defects. This paper describes this investigation of the failure location, development of the complex corrosion criteria, and the validation of effectiveness of the criteria. The criteria are focused on external corrosion and have been currently validated on pipelines of concern. Application to other lines should be similarly validated.

INTRODUCTION Historically the oil and gas pipeline industry has experienced failures due to corrosion. Axial magnetic flux leakage (MFL) in-line inspection (ILI) tools were developed within the last 40 years to inspect pipelines that experienced the threat of corrosion. ILI has enabled the timely detection, sizing, assessment, and consequent mitigation of corrosion anomalies before they lead to pipeline failures. Consequently, failures due to corrosion have reduced significantly within the last few decades (EGIG 2011).

Figure 1 Primary failure frequencies per cause (EGIG 2011) ILI tools are able to detect most types of corrosion anomalies to an adequate accuracy so that maintenance programs can be effective. Therefore the majority of the corrosion pits and clusters that are commonly found in pipelines are managed effectively as evidenced by the timely discovery of near critical defects in corrosion programs ( Kariyawasam and Peterson 2008 and 2010) and reduced failure rates. Certain aspect ratios of features such as in axial grooving or slotting, general wall thinning, or complex corrosion can be challenging due to the limitations of technology. In the

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traditional axial MFL tools the anomaly is detected by the flux leakage due to the volumetric wall loss. Due to its orientation an axial slot will not lead to significant flux leakage and is therefore challenging to detect and reliably size. In complex corrosion where pits within other shallower corrosion pits exist the difference in flux leakage may not be significant enough to detect the change in depth reliably. The use of tri-axial sensors has demonstrated advantage to better defining multiple pits within clusters, but superposition of the MFL signals due to closely spaced metal loss provides additional difficulties to an analyst looking to correctly characterize these areas. However, this level of complex corrosion with complex geometry is rare and consequently very little was known about the detection of this type of anomaly. Due to the failure experienced in 2009 the operator investigated the characteristics of these complex corrosion anomalies and examined the limitations of the technology that could lead to misrepresenting them within the corrosion program. This enabled the identification of extra measures and a process to identify and remediate complex corrosion before it becomes near critical. By applying this process on a subsequent ILI run, then hydro-testing and also analyzing the dig results, the effectiveness of the process was validated. This work is done with respect to external corrosion. Effective collaboration between operator and vendor was key to the success of this work. THE FAILURE INVESTIGATION The 2009 failure was caused by external corrosion as a result of failure of the polyvinyl chloride tape coating system. Microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) was also a major factor that contributed to the growth of the corrosion. No other processes were involved in the failure, whether pre-existing mechanical damage, stress corrosion cracking, or material imperfections. The tape coating in the vicinity of the rupture was found to be in poor condition. Failure analysis identified that the fracture was ductile. All other pieces retrieved and inspected revealed no other damage contributing to the failure. The pipe met the code specific requirements and no substandard material was found to be a contributing factor to this failure.

Figure 1 - Area of complex corrosion that initiated the failure IDENTIFYING LIMITATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY At the time of the failure this section of pipeline already had nine ILIs performed since 1975. Many excavations were also carried out on this section. Since 2001, 70 prioritized locations had been excavated on this launcher to receiver section. The last ILI performed in 2007 identified the multiple pits within this cluster. As is common in tape coated lines, this pipeline experiences bands of corrosion at around the 4 oclock and 8 oclock positions due to disbondment in these locations. The deepest pit reported at the failure location was 71% wall thickness (wt). However after the failure the deepest pit at this location was found to be 90% wt. The length of the cluster was reported within the 80% bounds of the tool specification. Upon investigation a couple of factors were found to contribute to the under sizing. This location had pits within larger pits and many deeper pits, that is >60% wall thickness (See Figure 3). The gradual wall thinning due to many larger shallower anomalies (more generalized) can affect the depth sizing accuracy. The signal interference due to the close proximity of many deeper features also compromises the sizing accuracy (See Figure 4). While not a contributing factor to the failure, it was also observed that these large clusters can be extended by low-level, bridging corrosion that may not have been reported or met rejection criteria in the automatic feature identification and sizing processes. When these factors occur together or in isolation, even with well-established and rigorous analysis processes, further specific analysis steps may be advantageous to ensure a higher confidence of detecting and sizing such conditions so that more conservative analysis can be implemented.

Figure 3 Many higher depth pits in close proximity

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Figure 4 Axially aligned corrosion

4.

IDENTIFYING CRITERIA AND PROCESS TO OVERCOME LIMITATIONS These technology limitations in a near critical location could lead to failures. Therefore it is important to define criteria that will flag where possible technical limitations could lead to under sizing a near critical anomaly. Consequently TransCanada in conjunction with Baker Hughes identified the following criteria as complex corrosion criteria where potential technology limitations together with near critical characteristics coincide: 1. Deeper corrosion The purpose of this criterion is to identify deeper features which if undersized could be near critical. The vendor will apply extra quality assurance procedures to all deeper features where ILI depth > 65%. These features will be scrutinized for possible under-sizing and undergo manual resizing. All features identified with this criterion (after additional QA and manual analysis review) are reported as meeting Complex Corrosion Assessment (CCA) Criterion 1. The operator will review this list in conjunction with other review criteria and consider criticality accounting for relevant tool error. 2. Axially aligned corrosion When the corrosion area has multiple features in close proximity smaller features are more likely to bridge larger clusters of corrosion. It is also important to ensure that extensive corrosion typically associated with significantly deteriorated coating is identified. The vendor will group all features within a 2hr clock position in width and equivalent in length). They will report lengths of groups and short list groups with relatively deep corrosion (>50% wall thickness) and longer than 6 m as meeting CCA criterion 2. The operator will review the information in conjunction with other review criteria and consider criticality. 3. Corrosion within corrosion Many anomalies in close proximity or within eachother can cause the MFL signal superposition and make sizing less definitive. The objective is to identify where

sizing may have been compromised due to the interacting signals. Consequently the vendor will identify clusters with multiple deeper features to see if there is overlapping signal or underlying metal loss signal response. This criterion will identify clusters with three or more anomalies with depth 50%, within 3t x 3t of each other. (3t x 3t is where the features are within the distance of six times the wall thickness in both the axial and circumferential directions). If interacting signals are found, the features are subject to additional scrutiny. Consequently the sizing is revised as necessary. These features will be reported as meeting the CCA criterion 3 if after re-sizing they still meet this criteria. Bridging corrosion MFL auto-sizing may miss or purposely reject interspersed smaller anomalies that could result in joining of features into clusters. This is known as Bridging Corrosion, and will be identified by the vendor as a quality control check. It identifies locations where the omission of a metal loss feature would extend (or bridge) existing clusters with significant impact on rupture pressure ratio (RPR = burst pressure/MOP where MOP = Maximum Operating Pressure). The vendor will review extended areas of 6t x 6t grouping. If any features were missed that may join two existing clusters into a single cluster these features will be added to the reported list of features and relevant clusters will be joined. This is an extra quality control check for clusters reported to the operator in pipeline tally. Consequently this needs no further consideration in conjunction with the other criteria.

Once the criteria were established a process for implementation and validation was also developed. The interaction of the criteria was considered as shown in the figure below.
CCA 1Deeper corrosion (criticality) B CCA 3 Corrosion within corrosion (uncertainty & criticality) Excavation priority: A. B. C. Joints meeting all three review criteria Joints meeting any two of three review criteria Joints meeting Review 1 or Review 3 criteria A C B

C B CCA 2 Axially aligned corrosion (uncertainty)

Figure 5 Interaction of CCA criteria 1, 2, and 3 As explained in Figure 5 the excavation priority is based on the characteristics and overlap of the CCA criteria. Locations where criteria that identify criticality and uncertainty

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coincide are considered to be higher priority. If all three CCA criteria coincide that has the highest priority and is prioritized as an immediate excavation. The CCA 4 criterion has a different purpose as it identifies clusters or extensions of clusters that might be missed by the regular process. Therefore it contributes to identifying critical clusters and the excavation process for this criterion is explained in Figure 6 below.

CCA 4 - Bridging corrosion


(QA process that identifies potential missed critical defects)

required conservatism used in the process. The results from one section are shown in Figure 8 and 9. These show the dig results for the many types of excavation criteria used by TransCanada. In Figure 8 more correlation points lie on conservative side and within the +/-10 %wt bounds. The CCA features have greater depth and are on the conservative side. Points outside 10% wt bound on un-conservative side were caught by probabilistic assessment which is the purpose of the probabilistic approach. The shallow point with the joint probability of failure dig driver is also caught by probabilistic model and it was not the driver for the sleeve.

Re-cluster, re-size, recalculate RPR if needed

if RPR<1.25 then excavate


Figure 6 - Process for CCA 4 VALIDATION OF PROCESS In the post failure process the vendor first performed the complex corrosion assessment on the post failure ILI results by following the criteria and steps explained above. A list of features (and joints) that met each criterion was reported to the operator. The interaction of the criteria was considered as shown in Figure 5. All joints that were identified under the excavation priority A, B, and C were excavated. This was in addition to the regular excavation criteria and process (explained in Kariyawasam and Peterson 2008 and 2010). Subsequently a hydrotest was performed to verify that all critical defects are captured by the many excavation criteria including the complex corrosion criteria. As the hydrotest was successfully completed without any failures, this was verified. TransCanada utilizes laser corrosion mapping to measure corrosion features in field during an excavation. TransCanada also performs correlations between MFL and laser data to verify if the ILI tool is performing within specification. To perform correlations axial and circumferential positions for ILI and Laser indications are overlaid as shown in Figure 7. As complex corrosion locations are normally hard to size, the objective is to ensure that by using the complex corrosion process the ILI results will be either within specification or more conservative. This is due to the extra scrutiny and

Figure 7 Matching ILI and laser signals In Figure 9 the rupture pressure (Pburst) as calculated from ILI and the laser assessment in the ditch is compared. There are no points in the upper-left corner where ILI tool calls RPR > 1.25, and laser calls RPR < 1.25 which shows that no false negatives were present from a rupture pressure perspective. Most critical (low Pburst) features are caught by the Post ILI and Growth digs which shows the regular process for corrosion management identifies most critical features. Higher Pburst features identified by CCA (shows conservatism with CCA criteria). Figure 10 and 11 show only the complex corrosion excavations. Figure 10 shows good depth correlation on CCA features with most points within the +/- 10%wt or on the conservative side. This verifies that the extra scrutiny applied on the CCA locations have added conservatism such that they will not be missed. Figure 11 shows that at the rupture location had MFL reported RPR > 1.25 and actual RPR < 1.25 < MAOP. However that was before the CCA criteria was developed. With the new CCA criteria as shown in Figure 10 the defect would not have been undersized. It also shows that there is good correlation between ILI reported and laser reported Pburst for CCA. There are no points in the upper-left corner where ILI tool reports RPR > 1.25, and laser reports RPR < 1.25, which shows there are no false negatives from a perspective of identifying critical Pburst. Figures 10 and 11 also show that the coincidence of CCA 1, 2, and 3 (as happened in the failure location) is very rare. In the two ILI runs represented here (where aggressive corrosion is prevalent) there were no other locations that satisfied all 3

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criteria. It should be noted that the criteria in the same joint was considered as satisfying coincidence where as for a critical condition to occur the criteria would have to be present at the same cluster or group of clusters.

Criteria, Proceedings of IPC 2008, International Pipeline Conference, Paper No. 2008-64536, Calgary, September 2008 Kariyawasam, S. N. and Peterson, W. B., Effective Improvements to Reliability Based Corrosion Management, Proceedings of IPC 2010, International Pipeline Conference, Paper No. 2010-31425, Calgary, September 2010

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ILI can underestimate size in complex corrosion due to the inherent uncertainty of the indirect measurement technique. Failures are likely if theses limitations lead to under sizing of a near critical feature. In TransCanadas experience all corrosion related ruptures have been where max depth is greater than 70% or in large corrosion areas. When many anomalies are close to each other or within other corrosion the signals interact and sizing is challenging. In these areas more detailed interpretation may be needed to prevent undersizing. The challenge in the past has been to ensure the anomalies which can be misinterpreted are manually verified by more experienced analysts. Axially aligned corrosion can occur due to coating degradation where corrosion is prevalent. In this kind of location interspersed smaller anomalies may join clusters. Complex corrosion criteria were developed to address all of these challenges so that no near critical feature is missed due to any of these challenges. Three criteria namely deeper corrosion, axially aligned corrosion, and corrosion within corrosion were defined and implemented to identify possible critical locations which may be missed. An extra quality control criterion was also defined and implemented. The objective of the process is to identify near critical locations that may be undersized due to technical limitations and apply extra conservatism to ensure these are not grossly undersized. The process was implemented and verified by applying process and then hydrotesting the locations as well as examining the excavated locations. The successful hydrotest without failures verified that the corrosion management process including CCA process did not miss a near critical defect. The correlation of ILI reported (and CCA analyzed) data with in the ditch laser data verified that the CCA locations are sized conservatively. It also verified that severe complex corrosion (meeting all three CCA criteria) are very rare even on aggressively corroding pipeline sections. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The in-field non destructive examination and subsequent ILI to in-the-ditch measurement comparisons performed by Applus RTD is gratefully acknowledged. REFERENCES EGIG 2011, Gas Pipeline Incidents, The 8th Report of the European Gas Pipeline Incident Data Group, Doc. Number EGIG 11.R.0402 (version 2), December 2011 Kariyawasam, S. N. and Peterson, W. B., Revised Corrosion Management with Reliability based Excavation

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PRML170135('09ILI) LeakandRuptureDriver Depth


80

Conservative Side
70

ConfInterval: 95% Confcannot Reject+/11%wtatp=0.8 withLPITerrorof+/2%wt

60 CCA3recoat 50 CCAGRW(2)(3)Recoat GRWRecoat GRWSLV(SF) 40 POFRecoat POFSLV(SF) GRWCCA(3)Recoat 30 PostILI(D)Recoat PostILI(D)SLV PostILI(RPR)Recoat 20 PILI(RPR)SLV(SF) Linear(unity) 10

ILIDepth,%wt

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0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 LaserValidation Depth,%wt

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Dig Drivers: Post ILI / PILI = Post ILI GRW = Probabilistic assessment including growth CCA = Complex Corrosion Analysis POF = Joint Probability of Failure Repair Types: Recoat = Recoat SLV = Sleeve Cut-out = Cut-out Repair Drivers: D = Depth SF = Safety Factor

Figure 8 ILI versus laser depth sizing comparison

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PRML170135('09ILI) LeakandRuptureDriver BurstPressure


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Un-conservative Side
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1.25*MAOP

CCA3recoat 8000
ILIEAAPburst,kPa

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LaserValidation RSTRENG, Pburst,kPa

Figure 9 ILI versus laser Rupture Pressure (Pburst) comparison


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170135CCA 3 Recoat 170135CCA 3 Sleeve(SF) 170135CCA 3 Sleeve(Depth) 135110CCA 3 Recoat 135110CCA 3 Sleeve(SF) 135110CCA 3 Sleeve(Depth) 170135CCA 1+2 Recoat 170135CCA 1+2 Sleeve(SF) 170135CCA 1+2 Sleeve(Depth) 135110CCA 1+2 Recoat 135110CCA 1+2 Sleeve(SF) 135110CCA 1+2 Sleeve(Depth) GWD69050 Failure 110135CCA(3)Cut Out Linear(unity)

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0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 LaserValidation PitDepth,%wt

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Figure 10 ILI versus laser depth comparison for only CCA excavations

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PRML170135('09ILI)/135110('07ILI)CCABurstPressure
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170135CCA(3) Recoat 170135CCA(3) Sleeve(SF) 170135CCA(3) Sleeve(Depth) 135110CCA(3) Recoat 135110CCA (3) Sleeve(SF) 135110CCA(3) Sleeve(Depth) 170135CCA (1+2) Recoat 170135CCA (1+2) Sleeve(SF) 170135CCA (1+2) Sleeve(Depth) 135110CCA(1+2) Recoat 135110CCA (1+2) Sleeve(SF) 135110CCA (1+2) Sleeve(Depth) GWD69050(Failure) 135110CCA(3) CutOut Linear(unity)

0 0 2000 4000 6000 LaserValidation RSTRENG Pburst,kPa 8000 10000 12000

Figure 11 ILI versus laser rupture pressure (Pburst) comparison for only CCA excavations

MAOP

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