As the oil and gas industry has
changed over the years, the quality standards for tube and pipe have gained in
importance. Drilling is taking place in
more remote locations, often many miles
offshore; horizontal drilling capability
allows drilling at ever-greater distances;
and to find new sources, drilling is going
deeper than ever before. For tube and
pipe producers involved in this worldwide market, accurate and reliable nondestructive testing (NDT) is a requirement.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest
link, and using this adage in the energy
industry means that an oil extraction operation is only as productive as its weakest component. A burst pipe equates to a
productivity loss and a revenue loss, and
repair costs can be extraordinary.
Working offshore entails working in
water up to 10,000 feet deep. At this
depth, the seawater temperature typical-
ly is 35 degrees F and the water pressure
is 4,400 pounds per square inch. A fail-
ure at this depth can be severely costly,
entailing a $20 million repair, and the
production loss can tally $500,000 per
day. The liability for a failure at this depth
can put the production company’s future
at risk. For products used in such con-
ditions, it’s imperative that production,
testing, and placement go smoothly.
Testing, Testing, 1- 2-3!
While many NDT processes are available for the variety of tube fabrication
methods used in industry, the three most
common methods for tube and pipe
are eddy current (EC), ultrasonic testing
(UT), and magnetic flux leakage (MFL).
As their names imply, they rely on electrical currents, ultrasonic waves, or mag-
for energy-related tube,
Understanding oil and gas product testing
and inspection requirements
By Joe Baldauff