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Small bore tubing training can mitigate against hydrocarbon releases

22 / 11 / 2021

According to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, it is estimated that somewhere between 50% and 70% of hydrocarbon releases (HCRs) in the North Sea energy sector are caused, in part or in whole, to shortcomings in the design, maintenance and operation of equipment.

That statistic dispels the notion that HCRs – in simple terms oil and gas leaks which can have potentially serious safety consequences – are caused by the very sudden or unexpected failure of equipment where there is no time to take preventative action.

Although operators in the UKCS have robust measures in place to prevent and detect HCRs, they are still an all too common occurrence. HSE statistics for 2019 indicate that there were 128 HCRs on offshore installations that year – three of which were categorised as major and 46 as significant.

One of the areas of plant that are most commonly associated with leaks are small bore tubing assemblies. They are thought to be the second-largest source of HCRs in the offshore industry, and therefore it is essential those working with small bore tubing are trained, competent and able to understand the stresses that can be caused by incorrect fitting.

When incorrectly designed, selected, modified, installed or maintained, small bore tubing systems will inevitably degrade and can rupture catastrophically, potentially leading to the types of HCRs which the HSE categorises as major and significant.

Mintra’s Small Bore Tubing Training Course aims to give learners an understanding of how twin ferrule mechanical grips fittings are correctly assembled, disassembled and reassembled in order to prevent leaks. The course has been designed to help offshore workers play their role in minimising HCRs, not only ensuring their own safety and that of colleagues, but the impact on the asset and the environment.

The knowledge in the course helps learners to understand how to work with small bore tubing assemblies in their entirety, enabling those who complete it to identify problems with the plant and mitigate dangers by following correct procedures.

The course, which is available to buy directly on with immediate certification on successful completion, is 100 minutes long and is accredited by the ECITB (Engineering Construction Industry Training Board).

ECITB works with employers and training providers across a range of technical engineering disciplines to ensure that workers have access to the skills necessary for their roles now and in the future.