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Enhancing Inspection, Fighting Corrosion With Education

Saudi Aramco trains its staff on site inspections

Inspection tools and techniques form the backbone to ensure reliable and safe operations across our facilities, as they provide the basis for effective corrosion and asset integrity management. Combatting chronic corrosion and integrity issues involves using innovative inspection techniques and equipment along with traditional methods.

Sharing knowledge and experience becomes an important part of this innovation process. In line with this, our Jiddah Refinery Department (JRD) recently conducted a two-day forum under the theme “Managing Corrosion and Enhancing Inspection.”

The main goals were:

  • Gaining knowledge and access to specialized applications to enhance inspection quality, simplify processes, expedite inspection setup, and realize easier interpretation of the inspection test results
  • Adopting state-of-the-art inspection technologies that will result in reducing maintenance costs, improving production quality, and ensuring reliable operating processes
  • Getting a better understanding of wide and advanced nondestructive testing (NDT) from our service providers and global network
  • Facilitating and sharing knowledge, skills, and competencies of qualified and certified inspectors to perform inspection to international codes, as well as Saudi Aramco standards and specifications.

The forum was attended by more than 90 representatives from various Saudi Aramco. On show were advanced testing techniques and tools such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Saudi Aramco Inspection Robot (SAIR), and ultrasonic techniques.

New techniques and technologies

As the industry competition increases globally, customers are demanding more economical and efficient operating plants. The long view requires a mode of operation adaptable to the systemic maintenance and inspection concept. It also requires Saudi Aramco to emerge as a technology leader and continue seeking out more effective processes to better serve our needs through in-house research, as well as partnership with vendors.

Presentations included an overview of UAV inspection at Saudi Aramco, which was followed by a demonstration of the technology that showed the field view of the UAV. In addition, advanced NDT technologies such as Eddyfi’s PEC (Pulse Eddy Current-Eddyfi Lyft Version 1.2) and Multi Skip Ultrasonic Testing (UT), along with the Saudi Aramco Shallow Water Inspection Monitoring Robot (SWIM-R), were demonstrated during the exhibition.

Innovation

Saudi Aramco inspection robots

We continue to enhance our maintenance capabilities with innovative technology, such as our robotic crawlers for visual and ultrasonic infrastructure inspection.

Read more

Sharing innovation

Forum facilitator Mabber Jaafari spoke about JRD’s continuous efforts to utilize the vast opportunities at the Jiddah Refinery to test and pilot various advanced NDT technologies and innovative methodologies to share within Saudi Aramco departments.

The forum provided participants an opportunity to enhance inspection skills and advanced NDT knowledge and solution methodologies, as well as to see all the latest advanced NDT and emerging technologies all under one roof.

In his concluding remarks, Hussain Al Umari, acting superintendent of the Jiddah Refinery Engineering Division, emphasized the importance of inspection toward Saudi Aramco’s continuous success.

“As we all know, inspection efficiency is a key driver to our business success,” he said, adding that the forum’s technical papers revealed the breadth of experience and knowledge in the inspection field by Aramcons.

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Saudi Aramco is the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a fully integrated, global petroleum and chemicals enterprise. Over the past 80 years we have become a world leader in hydrocarbons exploration, production, refining, distribution and marketing. Saudi Aramco’s oil and gas production infrastructure leads the industry in scale of production, operational reliability, and technical advances. Our plants and the people who run them make us the world’s largest crude oil exporter, producing roughly one in every eight barrels of the world’s oil supply.