Pressure testing between 0 to 20,000 psi is carried out regularly around the world in the Oil & Gas industry. However, as the industry moves to more extreme environments we are seeing projects that require pressure testing of equipment at even higher pressures – RED recently completed the hydro pressure testing of a subsea component at 30,000 psi with temperature extremes of -18°C to + 177°C and gas testing at 25,000 psi over the same temperature range. This test was carried out in accordance with API 6A/ISO 10423 section F.1.10.

Our first obligation as a business is to make sure that everyone goes home safely as an explosive release of air at 65 psi is enough to kill and 20psi in the right circumstances can severely damage buildings.
To ensure the safety of our personnel and clients when completing these extreme tests, a rigorous approach to safety is required – to minimise risk we take the following steps:

1. Pre-test kick off meetings with all relevant parties involved at the start of the project to ensure we:

  • Are familiar with the design of the equipment being tested
  • Have conducted a thorough pre-test risk assessment to evaluate and mitigate test risks
  • Are familiar with the test sequence
  • Ask for confirmed calculation of the parts being tested (if provided by client rather than designed in house)

2. Build redundancy into the design of the test set up design ensuring that:

  • There is more than one way to assess test if there is pressure in any of the components of the rig
  • We are aware of blockages in the pressure lines especially with gas testing as a rapid gas discharge can lead to bores freezing and trapped pressure

3. Check all equipment before testing begins

  • Check damage on sealing faces, even if equipment has time before the next maintenance inspection
  • All equipment is calibrated to the correct ratings of the test

4. Make sure personnel operating the test are comfortable with the test and competent to complete it

  • Conduct a pre-test toolbox talk with all personnel involved in the test (including test witness) on the shop floor to ensure that all potential risks are identified and assessed and that everyone is aware of them
  • Clarify that all personnel have had the right training for the role undertaken
  • Ensure that personnel are not complacent about the risks involved with the tests

5. Increase and decrease the pressure of the test equipment in stages with stabilisation periods to:

  • Allow the material within the structure to stabilise. With pressure containing part high stresses are induced within the material which may cause the material to yield in areas if not controlled.
  • Allows leaks to be identified and corrected at lower pressures (once the system has been vented back to atmospheric pressure)

6. Minimise the number people within the facility

  • Carryout the testing in isolation
  • Close off areas of the facility

If you have a requirement for high pressure testing or other challenging qualification requirements, then please do not hesitate to contact Brian Valentine to put us to the test. (

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