IIT Madras Develops Indigenous Management System for ONGC to extend life of Offshore Oil Platforms

CHENNAI : Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has developed an indigenous lifecycle management system for Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to reduce the cost of maintenance and rehabilitation of offshore oil platforms.

Called the ‘Structural Integrity Management System’ (SIMS), it was developed by Offshore Structures Group from Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras. It has a large database management system, housing crucial information about structural and other design related data, which can be extracted by a click of a button, saving considerable time and effort for ONGC.

Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, handed over the SIMS system to Shri Pankaj Kumar, Director (Offshore), ONGC, during an event on IIT Madras campus on 14th July 2022 in the presence of Prof. S. Nallayarasu, Head, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras, who headed the Research Team that developed SIMS, ONGC Officials and other IIT Madras Researchers and faculty.

Shri. Pankaj Kumar launched the SIMS System, which will be implemented in ONGC with access to various stakeholders like Institute of Engineering and Ocean Technology (IEOT), offshore Assets, Offshore Engineering Services and Inspection and maintenance and repair teams of ONGC.

Addressing the event, Shri Pankaj Kumar, Director (Offshore) ONGC, said, “Today is the right platform to applaud the efforts of IITs, which are premier technical institutes in the country that nurture top talent. IIT Madras has been at the forefront of developing indigenous technologies and delivering solutions requested by the Industry.”

Further, Shri Pankaj Kumar said, “We are collaborating with IIT Madras Ocean Engineering Department, which has been providing invaluable contributions in developing high-end technical solutions in the domain of offshore areas. This particular software – SIMS – is an example of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Digital India’ outcome, in keeping with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and is an excellent effort of Industry-academia collaboration to realize his vision”

Shri Pankaj Kumar added, “The ONGC has always been a leader in adopting innovative technologies to increase efficiency and for increased safety of people and property. The role of R&D becomes vital in this direction as the world is changing fast with destructive changes in many fields. The continued production of Oil and Gas from mature fields of ONGC will require our assets to last long, beyond their desired lives through technologies.”

The ‘Structural Integrity Management’ is the implementation of engineering, inspection, maintenance, monitoring and remediation activities required to demonstrate the fitness-for-service of a structure for its intended application throughout its total service life and prevent/mitigate severe or catastrophic health, safety, environmental, or structural events.

The SIM process provides a proactive approach to monitor, evaluate and assess structural condition and establish a procedure to validate the fitness-for- service of an offshore structure.

Congratulating the Ocean Engineering Department Researchers and ONGC on development of this system, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “We are not just an academic institution as our researchers have developed a product that is in the market. I am sure this software will contribute towards ‘Atmanirbharta,’ which is very important. Today, tons and tons of your personal data is going (abroad). This IIT Madras contribution is extremely important in keeping ONGC data from going out. This data, if collected in a streamlined manner for some years, can help in the development of indigenous start-ups that can develop Aatma Nirbhar technologies.”

Prof. V. Kamakoti added, “The Structural Integrity Management System is a very important system. Along with the oil that ONGC is drilling, it is also drilling data, which is extremely important. Real-time sensors can enable inspection every second, instead of periodical frequencies. We can also develop AI and ML Tools to predict when inspections would be required.”

The SIMS is a multi-parameter optimization and decision making system for reducing life cycle costs of inspection and maintenance. ONGC spends a lot of effort and time in underwater inspection and repair and rehabilitation of these aged assets as these were constructed in 1980s and 1990s. A systematic approach is required to decide the timelines based on risk associated with the system.

The major risk associated with offshore platforms is joint crack due to fatigue and corrosion. This system gives solution to the determining the frequency of health checks and related risks using inspection data, structure characteristics, information obtained from survey, among others, and decision is made and recommended.

Speaking about this system, Prof. S. Nallayarasu, Head, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras, who headed the Research Team that developed SIMS, said, “SIMS process provides a proactive approach to monitor, evaluate and assess structural condition and establish a procedure to validate the fitness-for- service of an offshore structure. it includes development of database management system for more than 330 platforms, development of Reliability Analysis Scheme for fatigue life of tubular joints and development of a Risk-Based Underwater Inspection Methodology (RBUI).”

Further, Prof. S. Nallayarasu added, “More than 330 offshore platforms operated by ONGC are responsible for contributing around 70 per cent of crude oil and 78 per cent of Natural Gas production of ONGC’s domestic hydrocarbon supply. The platforms operated have been installed with design life of 25 years. More than 50 percent of these structures have outlived their design life. These platforms are required to be in operation for extended period of production of hydrocarbon. Life extension of these platforms is cost effective solution Instead of decommissioning these aged assets.”

Shri S. Karunanithi, GM Head Structures, IEOT, ONGC, spoke on the occasion.

It is of paramount importance to ascertain the structural adequacy of offshore platforms to ensure their extended usage. During their life span, these platforms have undergone many structural modifications like addition of clamp-on conductors, additional flow lines/risers, and deck extensions, among others, along with more stringent codal revisions resulting in upward change in hydrodynamic loading on them. As per recent revision in API code, Structural Integrity Management System is mandatory for managing existing offshore structures.

The Exploration and Production (E&P) industry is a technology intensive sector and ONGC has always been eager for development and adoption of IIT Madras has been a front runner in the domain of indigenous technology development and has been providing various high tech. solutions as per the requirement of the industrial set up.