Case Study

Failure Analysis of a Gas Cooler System


Confidential (An Offshore Service Provider)


South East Asia


The offshore service provider was faced with the critical challenge of premature failure of several gas compressor coolers, leading to a significant production loss. With the urgent need to minimise disruption and recover the losses, the client sought expert support to resolve the issue. Specifically, they required specialised knowledge and skills in seawater systems to restart production and get back on track.

The Challenge

"An offshore service provider operating an FPSO experienced a critical production setback due to the premature failure of several gas compressor coolers. The coolers, which were tube and shell heat exchangers utilising seawater as a cooling medium, demanded immediate attention. To resolve the issue, the provider needed:
• An efficient solution to replace the failed coolers
• A comprehensive analysis of the damage mechanisms to determine the most suitable materials of construction
• A thorough failure analysis to understand the root cause of the issue
• A strategic plan to recover losses and alleviate the financial impact of the failures.
This was a complex challenge requiring specialised knowledge and expertise in seawater systems.".

How OGC Energy Helped The Client

OGC Energy is your solution for reliable and robust topside seawater systems. When an offshore service provider experienced production disruptions due to premature failure of gas compressor coolers, they called upon OGC Energy's expertise to minimise the impact on their operations. Our team, led by Ivan Gutierrez, conducted a thorough analysis of the issue and came up with a solution that not only resolved the immediate problem of replacement, but also ensured that the same issue wouldn't happen again in the future.
The OGC Energy team conducted an in-depth review of operation data and fabrication records to confirm that the materials selection for the heat exchanger was adequate. We carried out a failure analysis, using third-party offshore inspectors to retrieve failed material and managed a Singapore-based laboratory for the metallographic analysis. Our findings showed that the original heat exchangers had a higher risk of pitting and crevice corrosion due to fabrication practices, which we addressed by updating the specification for welding and fabrication for the replacement heat exchangers.
The result? Zero reported failures in the replacement gas compressor coolers and a satisfied client with minimised production disruption and a strategy for loss recovery.

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