Blog Case Studies

Transforming from Circular Chart Recorders (CCRs) to Digital Pressure Tests 

June 29, 2022

Transitioning from pen and paper to digital data  

For over a century, the oil and gas industry has relied on outdated technology and individual experience to interpret pressure tests that are critical to verifying well integrity for the protection of personnel, the environment and equipment. 

Digital pressure testing provides an objective interpretation using accurate and high-resolution data that is tamper-proof and auditable. Additionally digital data allows for cloud-based archival of the well history and KPI tracking to make performance visible to identify learning opportunities, and close process safety gaps while reducing opportunities for human error.  

An important and visible change associated with digital data was the move 10+ years ago away from circular chart recorders (CCR). In 2020, IPT worked with a major oil and gas operator to run a direct comparison between CCRs and the IPT approach of digital pressure tests provided through SureTec.

Striving to increase efficiency

A major client with active, global operations offshore and onshore sought to address: “how to standardize assurance and efficiency across all business units and projects?”  

This was the perfect time for IPT to work with the client to improve integrity validation workflows, from planning and execution to after-action reviews and data archival.  

Analyzing performance 

IPT ran a comprehensive comparison trial of CCRs vs. digital pressure tests provided by IPT’s software SureTec across four of the operator’s rigs. Our well integrity advisor led after-action reviews with rig and office teams.  

With the goal of standardizing the validation workflow, we highlighted operational changes during the test, deviations outside of API standards and specific KPIs on time breakdown for online and offline testing. The cloud-based data storage enabled rapid performance analysis. 

IPT’s SureTec assurance benefits 

IPT and our client agreed on several KPIs and objectives for the trial. SureTec provided integrity, assurance, performance and compliance not possible using an analogue approach and CCR. The trial highlighted the opportunities and influenced new standards and process improvements.  

Benefits to the level of assurance provided by SureTec included: 

  • Change Management: Ability to quickly adapt and document changes to test plans and operational sequence. All changes were tracked and documented in the test report and stored on the cloud.
  • Compliance: Providing assurance that regulations and internal standards were in compliance is integral to IPT’s SureTec tool. Well barrier integrity verification with objective result, and automated alerts provided immediate notification of failed objectives / components. 
  • Assurance and Efficiency: The ability to remotely monitor active tests from anywhere in the world with our cloud-based tool and work collaboratively across teams for problem solving and rapid uptake of best practices  
  • Safety and Efficiency: Generate test schematics providing simple visualization of BOP and manifold alignment to reduce communication errors, raise crew awareness and improve safety 
  • Performance and Efficiency: Understanding operational time breakdown to identify opportunity and drive performance and efficiency.  
  • Archive and Reporting: Cloud based data archives to efficiently generate performance analysis and post job reports.  

API Std 53 requires that a low-pressure test shall pass between 250-350 psi. The images in figure 1 demonstrates the CCR test passed at 409 psi. The lack of detail from the CCR does not clearly demonstrate small discrepancies with the regulations and leaves the results open to interpretation.  

Figure 1 – SureTec pressure plot verses CCR 

Illustrated in the Figure 2, the test passed the approved criteria at minute 10 (SureTec). The test was then held out for an additional 21 minutes on the CCR. This additional time was caused by the subjective review by the tester.  

Figure 2 – Test acceptance criteria 

The below table (Figure 3) provides details on gap time analysis. Understanding and tracking these gap times helps drive efficiency and lessons learned. 

key performance indicators(KPIs) digital pressure testing
Figure 3 – KPI example from trial  

Shift to digital well integrity 

IPT partnered with a global operator to drive integrity and assurance standardization across its business units by introducing digital pressure tests utilizing the industry-leading technology software, SureTec. 

IPT’s solutions provided objective, tamper-proof and auditable results for well barrier integrity validation. Process and performance opportunities were easily identified that were used to make sustainable changes to programs and standards.  

During the implementation of SureTec, our client said, “I’m so happy we are making the switch. Using this digital tool and being involved in the digital transformation is critical for assurance and driving efficiency.”  

Let IPT be a part of your digital transformation and benefit from the application of digital data to drive efficiency and improve assurance. 



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