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Project Title:

Connector Reliability for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations
PIN: DEPS-NMMB-16-01        

Major Unit:

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
National Academy of Engineering

Sub Unit: Payroll Dept. ID for all of NAE
National Materials and Manufacturing Board DEPS

RSO: Svedberg, Erik

Subject/Focus Area: Engineering and Technology

Project Scope
An ad hoc committee will conduct a public workshop and follow-on consensus study to address reliability issues associated with the connectors and other fastener systems used in critical safety components and equipment for offshore oil and natural gas operations (“Connectors”). 

The topics to be addressed by the workshop will be -

1 Connectors currently in use, and the systems in place for selecting the design, manufacture, materials requirements:  mechanical properties (yield strength, tensile strength, hardness), coatings, loading, corrosion performance, and cathodic protection of those Connectors;

2 Connector performance and failures in an undersea  environment, including factors that contribute to their successful performance and failure, and procedures for identifying failure mechanisms and root cause analyses;

3 Manufacturing processes in place for Connectors, such as heat treatment, coating, and machining, safety management, and the use of industry quality standards in developing those processes;

4 Quality assurance and quality control procedures in place for the manufacturing of Connectors, including industry quality management system oversight of subcontractors (second tier & third tier) where appropriate;

5 Standards and regulations in use today globally in a variety of industries such as refineries, aerospace, nuclear, military, naval (submarine and ship) and automotive and jurisdictions, as applied to similar types of fasteners.  A summary of the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.

Upon completion of the workshop a follow-up consensus study will build upon the workshop’s presentations and discussions, and after additional information gathering and evaluation, produce a report to improve the current reliability for connectors in the offshore oil and natural gas operations by identifying and assessing options and alternatives, but not issue recommendations, regarding the following topics:

The performance of Connectors currently in use, including the impact of cathodic protection systems on their performance;
Systems in place for designing, manufacturing, installing, maintaining, and inspecting Connectors;
Factors impacting the performance of Connectors, including the subsea environment and its effects on Connectors’ mechanical properties and resistance to corrosion;
Industry standards for designing, manufacturing, installing, maintaining, and inspecting fasteners, and alternative fastener designs, that have been adopted outside of the United States for subsea environments and how they differ from domestic industry standards;
Industry standards for designing, manufacturing, installing, maintaining, and inspecting fasteners, and alternative fastener designs, adopted in industries operating in non-subsea environments, where environment considerations significantly impact the effectiveness of fasteners; and
Potential new developments that could improve Connector effectiveness and reliability.

Drawing from those assessments, the committee shall provide options with steps to be taken, at all stages of Connectors’ life cycles, to ensure that Connectors perform satisfactorily in subsea environments. Where appropriate, the Committee shall suggest multiple options in their assessments and give the benefits and drawbacks for each possible alternative solution.  If appropriate, the committee shall also suggest alternative fastener designs that will substantially reduce the risk of nonperformance of fasteners in undersea environments.

Project Duration: 18 months    

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Contact the Public Access Records Office to make an inquiry, request a list of the public access file materials, or obtain a copy of the materials found in the file.

Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 02/15/2017
 Meeting 2 - 03/22/2017
 Meeting 3 - 04/10/2017
 Meeting 4 - 06/07/2017
 Meeting 5 - 08/28/2017
 Meeting 6 - 09/27/2017


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Bolting Reliability for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations: Proceedings of a Workshop
High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations