How Nondestructive Test Methods are Applied to Tubular Products for Today’s Exploration and Production of Oil and Gas

The drastic change from yesterday’s wells versus today’s wells has pushed the pipe inspection market to developing highly sophisticated equipment requiring greater accuracy with the discrimination of internal and external flaws along with determining their size, shape and orientation. American Petroleum Institute (API) and International Standards Organization (ISO) have joined forces to provide a worldwide consistency of written specifi cations and recommended practices used in manufacturing tubular products. Drilling environments and highly technical drilling practices are driving tubular products toward their limits and depend greatly on “Nondestructive Test Methods” to know true dimensions and to validate no defects exist which could cause failures. The industry has maintained its tradition requiring inspectors to be certifi ed to SNT-TC-1A. Several test methods are employed such as ultrasonic, electromagnetic, eddy current and magnetic particle as stand alone or in unison to complement each others’ strengths. NDT tools play an important part of documenting the actual wall thickness, true effective string design, the ability to reduce string’s diameter and weight, and on the economic front a standard API product when correctly inspected will eliminate the need for higher costing exotic products.

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