Dispute Resolution

Key details

  • Independent and specialist technology

  • Measurements traceable to National Standards

  • Industry experts in metrology with a proven track record

  • Clear, concise and informative reports

  • Experience in providing expert testimony and preparing supporting documentation for contractual negotiations or legal court cases and disputes

Why?

Most pipeline projects are highly expensive. With so much at stake there can be occasions when things do not go as smoothly as desired. Under these circumstances there can be a contractual dispute with multiple $M hanging on the result.

An example would be when pipes have been supplied to a contractor “free issue” and when the pipes are being laid offshore it is discovered that production is down from the promised and expected rate by 50 - 75% due to problems with the pipe shape. At this point both sides will wish to scrutinise why the pipes are not what they expected. Of course one side will wish to minimise any additional costs and the other will wish to recoup the additional costs to the project which may very well delay another project and have penalties for the pipelay contractor.

Solution

Very often this type of dispute will be reduced to legalities based, to some extent, upon verifiable information from an independent third party company. This is where OMS often comes in. The ultimate in information comes when measurements are traceable back to National Standards and when any defects are properly logged and documented.

How?

  • A wide set of calibrated specialist tools to carry-out survey work to exacting standards.

  • Full traceability of all measurements back to National Standards.

  • Experience from working on some of the most demanding pipeline projects worldwide as well as in the writing of specification for pipeline metrology and the development from first principles of measuring equipment as well as verification and calibration methods not to mention the development of rigorous procedures for operators in the field.

  • Experience in providing expert testimony and preparing supporting documentation for contractual negotiations or legal court cases and disputes.

Examples:

Case 1. Offshore pipe ovality issues

In this case the pipe were found to have been measured using a scheme that underestimated the extent of the ovality of the pipe. OMS measured the pipe and provided for the pipelay company a scheme which improved productivity aboard the vessel by more than 100% as well as reports on the pipe and an explanation for the difference between the true shape of the pipe and the sample dimensions supplied by a pipe mill.

Case 2. Onshore pipe quality issues

In this case the pipes in question were in a dispute between the pipeline owners and the company contracted to weld the pipe. It was found that many of the pipes were damaged in a variety of ways. In spite of initial expert opinion being used the pipeline owners appeared to be unwilling to contractually acknowledge the problem due to the lack of serious evidence. OMS sent a team out the sites where the pipes were being stored and carried out a fully traceable survey of what was found. This included coating, pitting, overspray, gouges, ovality, bevel geometry and miscellaneous damage. The report paperwork was around 100 mm thick not including all of the digital information. In the end the contract was resolved to both parties satisfaction.

Case 3. Pipemill production issues

A pipemill had manufactured pipe for a substantial project along with another pipemill in a different country. It was found that when the first pipe mill’s pipe was used there were problems in welding the pipe due to the shape of the pipe. OMS were brought in to provide evidence to all the parties as the extent of the problem with the pipe. Of course, when substantial reputational issues and financial costs are involved parties tend to wish to stick to a particular line. When OMS are able to measure the pipe and provide traceable measurements with full documentation and are able to go through rigorous verification of their methodologies the dispute can move onto resolving the issues caused by the pipe rather than opinions about the quality of the pipe.

Case 4. Corrosion failure of welds

A project pipeline was found to be failing do to issues in the region of the welds. OMS were able to measure the welds of pipe in-situ in a riser as well as on shore when the pipe brought ashore for inspection. The information provided to the client gave definitive information about the welds that had been completed some years before including the HiLo mismatch between the pipes.