In-Line inspection has increasingly been used across the oil and gas industry over the past 30 years as a key part of pipeline integrity programmes. Whilst the industry has started to develop standards through the ILI Association and the Pipeline Operators Forum the way in which the industry selects tools and contractors has not developed to the same extent. A significant amount of time is spent managing the procurement process rather than focusing on the selection of the right tools and ensuring they perform to expectations. The challenge is further exacerbated when operations are dispersed globally and involve many different operating relationships. BP has been a user of ILI technology since its introduction in the late 1970s and it has consistently grown in importance to BP in managing the integrity of an aging pipeline asset base. In 2006/2007 BP’s Exploration and Production Technology Group (EPTG) in conjunction with the Procurement and Supply Chain Management group (PSCM) carried out a review of its procurement arrangements across the globe for pipeline ILI to ascertain best practice and capture key lessons. It also gathered experience from other strategic long term supply chain initiatives around the BP Group to help inform and develop the ILI strategy. Early discussions held with ILI Suppliers confirmed that, whilst regional frameworks have been in place in some countries, extending this to a global operation would be breaking new ground in engaging ILI services and would be of benefit to both ends of the supply chain. The process not only needed to follow rigorous supply chain procedures that would meet EU Procurement Directives and BP Group requirements, it also had to meet the specific requirements of many Countries around the world. It was recognised that flexibility would be required to accommodate the introduction of new tools, developing technology and accommodate new areas of operation. BP also wanted to stimulate continuous improvement in ILI tool performance and application of innovative improved technology. More significantly a key objective of the Global Contract was to drive inspection quality and consistency, whilst maintaining a competitive but equitable pricing strategy. Successful implementation was not just about delivering a contract scope of work; it required the development of relationships and a common understanding so that when problems arise they can be resolved quickly and efficiently. This required a significant amount of work engaging both the ILI Contractors and Operating Units across the world in the process. Work on developing the Global ILI Contract was successfully concluded with contract awards in late 2007. The paper explores some of the challenges, lessons learnt and benefits of developing a Global Contract for ILI.

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