Failure investigation

Helping you understand risk and prevent future incidents

Ihr Kontakt:

David Norfleet Dr. David Norfleet, P.E.
Head of Section - Incident investigation
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Woman explaining investigation findings shown on a PC

Independent failure investigation helps the industry understand future risks, assess mitigating actions, and provide unbiased information to stakeholders. 

By determining the root cause of failures, investigations can help define corrective action, prevent reoccurrences and save costs in the future. 

DNV GL experts have investigated several thousand failures in the oil and gas industry, including a large number of offshore and onshore pipeline failures. The services offered ranges from failure investigations of small individual objects to large high profile investigations like the Deepwater Horizon BOP after the Macondo blow-out. 

With specialised laboratories located in Norway (Oslo and Bergen), UK (Loughborough), Germany (Hamburg, Mulheim, Stuttgart and Herne), Singapore and the US (Columbus, OH), we use our expertise and resources to identify root causes and propose solutions to reduce the risk of future incidents and improve customer products or work processes.  Our investigations can involve:

  • Offshore pipelines
  • Onshore pipelines and distribution systems
  • Offshore structures
  • Subsea equipment
  • Ships
  • Process plants (pressure vessels, equipment, pipework)
  • Machinery
  • Wind turbines.

DNV GL specialists are often deployed to failure sites for initial investigations and information gathering: critical parts are examined in our laboratories. An investigation can also be initiated when a customer sends a failed part to one of our teams. 

The tools we use:

  • Metallography
  • Fractography - optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy
  • Non-destructive testing
  • Mechanical testing
  • Chemical analysis - alloy composition and material/contaminant identification
  • Finite element analysis modelling and analysis
  • Advanced fracture mechanics
  • Corrosion protection evaluation
  • Fitness-for-purpose assessments.