Challenges in Procurement of HIC Resistant Steel Pipes
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Welded pipes ordered for wet sour service are required to be manufactured from hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC) resistant steel plates. Pipe manufacturers procure steel plates with HIC testing, and other additional requirements with respect to chemistry, mechanical testing, and non-destructive testing (NDT) to meet client requirements. There have been several worldwide instances when the pipes ordered for wet sour service have failed HIC test at the pipe mill resulting in significant project delays. The causes of HIC test failures range from deliberate mistakes to improper testing practices. Also, subtle changes in steel making and rolling practices contributed to the HIC test failure following the pipe fabrication. Saudi Aramco has established several lines of defense to prevent recurrence of similar failures. Saudi Aramco reservation on mandatory HIC test requirement on seamless pipes as per the latest API 5L 44th edition, is discussed.
KeywordsHIC Sour service H2S Pipe procurement Seamless pipes HIC testing Kipps apparatus Control sample Iodometric titration pH
The authors would like to express gratitude to Inspection Department, Saudi Aramco. The authors also acknowledge extensive involvement of Shuler Cox (retired), Consulting Services Department, Saudi Aramco. The efforts of entire CSD lab staff involved in this work are highly appreciated. The cooperation from the steel and pipe mills during the investigation of this work is also acknowledged.
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