Cleaning heat exchangers on the world’s largest FPSO floating platform in Nigeria to IRIS standard first time every time

First time Internal Rotary Inspection System (IRIS) inspection cleaning for gas coolers at a new offshore platform in Nigeria

This was the first time the gas coolers had been cleaned for a detailed integrity inspection since the unit was built three years ago. Tube Tech won the contract because of their ability to clean specialist small bore tubes (including twisted tube) and inspect coolers. Tube Tech cleaned and inspected a number of gas coolers, including Koch / brown Fintube units, on one of the largest FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) units in the world off the coast of Nigeria.

The Challenge

  • Very tight timeline to transport both equipment and crew out to site.
  • Planned set-up with 120-m between diesel driven equipment and workface, hose routes travelling round other working plant trains to minimise any risks.
  • Micro-bore tube internal diameters.
  • Gas cooler cleaning and inspection took place directly beneath FPSO flare so high temperatures were a challenge.
  • Limited working area due to a host of other operations taking place during the TAR (turnaround) so constant liaison with scaffold crew, fitters, riggers etc. was essential.


  • Tube Tech’s unique SafeFlex system with bespoke unblocking technique and polishing heads were used for gas cooler cleaning.
  • Tube Tech’s techniques and technologies were able to remove coke formations from the gas coolers inner tubes and achieved IRIS inspection standards.
  • Did not use excessive pressure or rigid semi-automated equipment.
  • After cleaning, Tube Tech conducted an IRIS inspection showing that the gas cooler tubes were in good condition, proving Tube Tech’s reliable standards of their IRIS inspection cleaning.

Tube Tech Comment

Scott Donson, Technical Sales Manager: “With so many different disciplines in one very tight area the client was amazed at how well the TAR personnel were able to integrate thereby allowing each discipline to conduct its work in an efficient safe manner. This was an extremely challenging contract that evolved day by day, but was executed within the tight timeframe and to the specifications given by the client.”

Client Comment

Tube tech did a very professional job and it was a privilege to work with such team players. They were very professional and took safety as their prime driver. All members of their team participated fully in all safety programs. Their equipment was all fit for purpose and was well maintained with all relevant paperwork and certs. These were available on request. They completed all their tasks on schedule and with zero incident and accident

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