A consortium of organisations is to tackle the non-destructive testing (NDT) of corroded pipes under insulation and temporary engineered pipe wraps.
It is said to be one of the major challenges in the North Sea.
The group, which includes the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems, TRAC Oil & Gas and the University of Strathclyde, will audit the tools, capabilities and approaches currently used by industry to look at the steel surfaces of assets, often obstructed by layers of materials.
They will explore how improvements can be made, including the development of new techniques for accurately identifying and measuring areas of corrosion.
The firms claim while there are a number of NDT technologies on the market, many are ineffective when used on pipes protected by insulation.
Bill Brown, Technical Manager at TRAC Oil & Gas said: “Inspection is becoming more important as the UKCS continues to mature – estimates suggest that a high proportion of assets are approaching or, indeed, have exceeded their original design life.
“We’re at the point now where, against the backdrop of a sustained low oil price, if a platform has to shut down for maintenance, it may never start producing again. We, therefore, need as much accurate data as possible to make informed decisions.”