DNV GL reveals the patterns behind incidents and failures


Learning from failures and incidents is essential in a lean and cost-effective organisation and is often a fundamental requirement in regulations. However, incidents should not be seen in isolation, as the broader view and key lessons for industry may be lost. DNV GL has investigated over 2000 incidents and failures globally, identifying trends among the data, and invites the oil & gas industry to join and share experiences. To further strengthen DNV GL’s global lab capabilities for failure investigation, a new lab is opening in Bergen, Norway, which will include one of the world’s largest tensile testing machines.

As the oil & gas industry strives for cost-effective execution in projects and operations, while still maintaining a high focus on safety and its environmental footprint, innovative and smart solutions are needed more than ever. By extracting data and knowledge from all of the detailed incident investigations performed over the years, solutions might be just around the corner.

DNV GL now invites industry partners to join an industry project (JIP) to identify and have access to updated trends based on a broad range of data, including failure mechanisms, root causes, materials and equipment. The benefit for the industry will be a systematic approach to capturing and sharing lessons from past failures and for the JIP partners to exchange experiences. JIP participants can also use the knowledge as decision support in early-phase developments and risk-based inspection.

Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO, DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said: “DNV GL has conducted many of the major failure and root cause analyses both on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) and globally, including the forensic examination of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer in 2011. Our laboratories are key assets for DNV GL, together with acknowledged experts within key disciplines for the oil & gas industry.

“Supporting our global laboratory network, the DNV GL technology centre for materials, corrosion, coatings, offshore mooring and lifting in Bergen has new laboratory premises with superior infrastructure, so our customers can have standard or tailored tests to suit their needs and receive test results faster. This will further strengthen our position within offshore mooring and lifting and materials and corrosion technology. The most powerful test-rig will have a capacity of 2900 tons, which places DNV GL’s Bergen lab among the top test sites in the world,” added Tørstad.

DNV GL has a long and proven track record of demonstrating how incident investigation knowledge can be turned into industry guidance and benefits. An example of this is when DNV GL conducted a number of failure analyses where the cause of failure was hydrogen-induced stress cracking (HISC) in duplex materials installed sub-sea. After in-depth materials investigations and root cause analysis of these failures, DNV GL gathered the industry in a joint effort to solve the problem. DNV GL quickly established a guideline for the safe use of duplex materials, which re-established confidence in using duplex materials for subsea equipment. Recommended practice DNV-RP-F112 ‘Design of duplex stainless steel subsea equipment exposed to cathodic protection’ has become the global industry standard to avoid HISC. Similar outcomes have been achieved through failure analysis on fasteners, thruster gears, hydraulic piston rods and anchor damage of pipelines.

Geir Egil Eie, Technology Leader, Materials Technology, DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said: “Learning from previous failures and incidents, instead of repeating them, is almost like having a free lunch. The story of HISC and duplex materials clearly shows how the industry can benefit from a systematic learning approach.”