Certification is a standard practice in the international oil & gas business. It serves to assure an owner and other relevant parties that the plant intended to be put into operation meets a set of technical requirements and can be operated during all phases of the life cycle in a manner which is safe for the personnel on site and the public in the closer vicinity of the installation.
Typical plants to be considered are all types of fixed offshore installations, industrial installations onshore and pipelines offshore and onshore.
Certification services in general cover safety critical elements and systems during all project phases from initial basic design throughout the detailed engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and operations phases, and may also include decommissioning and abandonment.
During the design stage all characteristic design documentation will be subjected to review for all relevant disciplines, including
- Structure and Foundation
- Mechanical (Static and Rotating Equipment)
- Materials and Welding
A design documentation register will be generally available at an early stage and be regularly reviewed.
These documents will be regularly reviewed and will include
- Data sheets
Steel structures as e.g. fixed offshore installations, pipelines etc. will usually be checked by independent analyses and compared with the designer’s calculations. These results will be the basis for the structural drawing approval.
During the procurement stage, GL Noble Denton inspectors and surveyors will undertake material and equipment inspections for safety critical items.
All required steel for the main structural components of an installation e.g. the steel jacket of an offshore platform, have to be delivered with GL Noble Denton certificates. This requires the fabrication of the corresponding steel plates in the steel mill have to be witnessed and stamped by a surveyor after the material tests have shown sufficient results.
Further examples of equipment subject to vendor inspections would include safety critical items:
- Pressure containments (piping and vessels)
- Fire and Gas detection and fire fighting systems
- Emergency support systems (generators, UPS, batteries)
- Emergency shutdown systems and communication systems
- Cranes and lifting appliances
Inspection reports and Equipment Certificates, together with Release Notes for shipment will be issued by the respective inspector in charge, once all the tests and inspections have been successfully completed.
Inspections during fabrication are carried out by GL Noble Denton inspectors at the fabrication yards. These inspections include the following:
- Quality System of the fabricator, material traceability
- Material certificates
- Welder qualification
- Inspection of incoming items from vendors with tracking of open punch list items carried over from procurement inspections
- Assembly and outfitting with the safety related facilities
- Surveillance of fabrication according to approved design documents
- Witnessing of mechanical completion tests and pre-commissioning
Changes in detailed design caused by yards fabrication methods have to be approved by the GL Noble Denton inspector or by the GL Noble Denton senior engineers in the head office.
HOOK-UP AND COMMISSIONING
During the HUC phase it is the responsibility of the GL Noble Denton inspector at site to verify that all safety critical elements of the installation have been mechanically completed and commissioned.
Typical HUC activities include
- Pressure testing
- Loop testing
- Function testing
- Filling with medium or catalyst
- Adjusting and preserving, as required.
The typical inspection deliverables during this phase are regular inspection reports and endorsement of test records at site.
With issuing a Certificate of Fitness or a Certificate of Safe Operation at the end of the commissioning stage, the certification activities during the new-building stage of a plant are completed.
These Certificates typically are valid for a five-year period.