Pressure vessel life extension and risk based inspection scheme

Application: Process equipment.
Project scope: Risk-based integrity of pressure vessels.
Client: Operator, North America.

The client contracted us to see if the planned turn-around of its pressure vessels could be safely delayed by one to two years and, preferably, if the inspection time could be extended beyond 10 years.

We collected data on the pressure vessels and carried out additional, unintrusive inspections on the high-risk components to keep the risk at acceptable levels. Our investigative work included a comprehensive, risk-based process and corrosion study of the current operation.

We used the risk profile created as a baseline for comparison with alternative inspection schemes. Various turn-around dates and inspection intervals were discussed and analysed in terms of risk and cost savings. Based on our work, the client was able to delay the turn-around by two years, extend the pressure vessel internal inspections beyond 10 years and still meet the API-510 inspection code.

The estimated cost saving for the client was greater than $2 million; more than 25 times the cost of the project, which was completed in under three months.