A 16 km. long, 18” Gas pipeline (HP055) was in service to transport High Pressure Gas from an oil gathering center in West Kuwait (WK) area since 2001. The Pipeline carried wet sour gas. It was inspected in 2008 using high resolution MFL-ILI tool. No significant corrosion was found. In late 2012, a leak developed in the pipeline. The leak was due to a crack along a spiral weld on the bottom. Inspection during repairs revealed severe internal pitting on the bottom. The pipeline continued to leak several times in the next year, eventually resulting in decommissioning of the pipeline. Another ILI could not be carried out due to operational constraints and frequent leaks. The Pipeline was critical in the operation of the oil gathering center, and the loss of it severally affected the gas/oil export target and the flaring reduction commitment. An internal failure investigation was inconclusive, though indicating possibility of sulfide stress cracking. The failure investigation work was then entrusted to TWI, UK. A failed section of the pipeline was sent to their facilities and various tests including Chemical analysis, tensile test, residual stress measurement, SSC/HIC test, microstructure analysis, and analysis of corrosion products were carried out. The outcome of the tests and conclusion was very surprising. This paper describes in detail the leaks, inspection of leak locations, and the failure investigation findings and conclusions.

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