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TWI Structural Integrity Expertise used for ASPIRE Project


TWI’s expertise was called upon as part of a consortium of partners working on the ASPIRE Project, co-funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, to ensure the structural integrity of critical components for upstream assets.

Due to life extension projects, many oil wells are being used beyond their original design life, which makes the structural integrity assessment of critical components more important than ever to prevent unexpected failures.

In order to aid with these assessments, the ASPIRE Project was set up to offer a software solution for inspection recommendations based on a variety of risk information. This information would then allow asset owners to determine whether repairs are needed or if an asset needs to be taken out of service. Not only will this ensure safety-critical checks are conducted in a timely manner, but should also help reduce the cost of inspection.


ASPIRE is a software product designed for use in conductor inspection for the oil industry. It is designed to speed up and semi-automate the upstream asset inspection and data interpretation in order to eliminate the need for risky and time consuming manual inspection, data analysis and maintenance recommendations.

The inspection software will also help operators avoid scheduled maintenance shutdowns and allow them to only focus on those assets that need attention.

TWI Involvement

TWI was a partner in the project alongside the Transport Systems Catapult, ASSIST Software, IT SME iknowhow, and electromagnetic inspection technologies specialists Innospection. The ASPIRE Project made use of TWI’s own integrity management software, which was integrated into Innospection’s MEC-200+ inspection robot. This allowed the ability to interpret inspection data to be successfully demonstrated.

The software combined risk-based inspection, total quality inspection, fitness-for-service, and optimum repair technologies data. TWI’s decades of NDT research experience and knowledge of inspection procedures was coupled with BS 7910 and API 579 assessment expertise to ensure the software was both adaptable and in line with current standards.

TWI also used expertise in weld repair, cladding, surfacing, and coatings to help advise on remediation techniques including replacement, modification or material upgrade.


The outcome of the Horizon 2020-funded project is a system that uses a conservative area calculation and corrosion rate estimate to produce a remaining life evaluation for each conductor. From here, a fitness-for-service approach can be selected for each conductor depending on global bending, compressive loading, or a combination of the two. This assessment is backed up by a stability check, which is in accordance with international standards.

Once the assessment is complete, the operator can use ASPIRE to determine risk targets based around the probability and consequence of failure and a recommended time until inspection is required.

You can find out more about the ASPIRE project on the dedicated website.

Avatar Payam Jamshidi Manager – Asset Integrity Management

Payam joined TWI in 2013 as a Chartered Engineer in the Asset Integrity Management section, and since then he has managed a range of projects related to asset integrity management. His main area of work is on Risk Based Inspection (RBI,) and reliability assessment of oil and gas assets operating in offshore or onshore environments. Payam is also product leader for TWI’s Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) software RiskWISE®.

Prior to working for TWI, Payam obtained undergraduate and master degrees, and a PhD at University of London, in Materials Science and Engineering. He also held the role of Chief Technical Officer for the National Composites Certification and Evaluation Facility (NCCEF), University of Manchester.