December 2019

Maintenance and Reliability

HC condensate sphere inlet pipe failure investigation

During a normal turnaround and inspection (T&I) of a hydrocarbon sphere, a fatigue failure in the 24-in. inlet pipe riser was discovered. As per the original 2003 design, the sphere serves as a surge tank during pipeline scraping, as well as a backup for a stabilizer during T&I. Each stabilizer has a capacity of 78,000 bpd. However, due to asymmetry in the piping configuration, the sphere typically receives higher flow of 90,000 bpd, with rates sometimes reaching 110,000 bpd as a result of scraping or other activities happening concurrently. The sphere was upgraded to work continuously in 2012 to handle the anticipated additional condensate by adding an overhead gas compressor and a dedicated condensate shipper pump.

Rinawi, A., KELM Engineering LLC; Al Bukhari, A., Al Hajji, M., Al Boobaid, M., Saudi Aramco

During a normal turnaround and inspection (T&I) of a hydrocarbon sphere, a fatigue failure in the 24-in. inlet pipe riser was discovered. As per the original 2003 design, the sphere serves as a surge tank during pipeline scraping, as well as a backup for a stabilizer during T&I. Each stabilizer has a capacity of 78,000 bpd. However, due to asymmetry in the piping configuration, the sphere typically receives higher flow of 90,000 bpd, with rates sometimes reaching 110,000 bpd as a result of scraping or other activities happening concurrently. The sphere was upgraded to work continuously in 2012 to handle the anticipated additional condensate by adding an overhead gas compressor and a

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