Annulus Testing - FAQ

Annulus Test Kit - The Impulse Group

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about annulus testing. Everything from how often you should conduct annulus testing, to how long testing takes to complete.

What is annulus testing?

Annulus testing is when you use testing equipment to verify the integrity of flexible risers. It is a cost effective, fast, and efficient way to test the space between the outer sheath and internal pressure sheath (known as the annulus) of a flexible pipe.

Why do you need annulus testing?

Over time, the annulus condition can deteriorate and corrode. As a result, this can make operations unreliable, decrease the service life of your riser, and increase operational costs. It can also lead to the catastrophic failure of a flexible pipe. However, by checking the integrity of the flexible risers through annulus testing, you can;

  • Detect outer sheath breaches
  •  Identify if the annulus has become flooded
  • Detect blocked vent ports
  • Determine riser integrity
  • Carry out any necessary repairs in a timely and cost effective manner

Do The Impulse Group offer annulus testing?

Yes. As specialists in flexible pipe riser and flowline integrity management, we offer both positive and vacuum/negative pressure annulus testing with our in-house state of the art annulus testing kits.

The Impulse Group carrying out annulus testing on a flexible riser in the Bien Dong Field
The Impulse Group carrying out annulus testing on a flexible riser in the Bien Dong Field

The Impulse Group’s annulus testing delivers incredibly accurate results. Giving an in-depth understanding of the prevention measures and intervention steps required to extend the service life of your flexible risers.

Complementing the annulus testing, we also offer gas sampling and vent port flow testing and unblocking services. Our global technicians and engineers can provide offshore support for platform inspections and assessments to ensure the safety of your
team and the reliability of your operations.

Does The Impulse Group’s annulus test meet the requirements of API?

Yes, our tests conform with Annex E and Annex F of API 17B. 

Our testing philosophy also aligns with industry standards from alternative providers. We can incorporate previous annulus testing results into our integrity management plans. Which means, when it comes to volume measurements, we can repeat testing and make comparisons. Allowing us to provide our clients with ongoing comparable data for integrity decisions. 

How often should annulus testing take place?

Most of our clients complete testing on an annual basis. But, our approach to integrity is realistic and agreed pragmatically with our clients.

When recommending testing frequency we take into account many different factors. These factors include operating conditions, pipe age, service life, pipe condition, and volumetric results, to name a few. For instance, depending on these factors, we have given recommendations for annulus testing every 3 months for high-risk pipes, and up to 3 years for lower risk assets. The key is to maintain a balance between cost, integrity, and safe operation of flexible assets.

In the event of a severe storm, dropped object, or a significant third-party impact, we recommend carrying out extra visual inspections and annulus testing. This is to check that there is no immediate loss of integrity or significant damage to the structural capacity of the riser which could shorten its service life or create a safety concern.

How long does an annulus test take to complete?

Annulus testing takes approximately 6 hours to complete per riser. Our kit features quick-connect fittings for quick and efficient testing.

How long does it take for the results?

The Impulse Group can provide a full results report and analysis within 1 week of testing. We also report daily whilst offshore to keep clients up to date with the latest progress and intervention.

Can we buy the kit?

Yes. In addition to providing in-situ annulus testing, we also give you the option to buy our market leading annulus test kits for your own use. This is ideal if you want to utilise existing offshore employees and avoid mobilising third-party personnel.

We can provide full training and support for your engineers, showing them how to operate the kit safely and correctly. Accompanying this service, we provide an annual maintenance and support contract. Our maintenance and support contract covers calibration, kit servicing, and engineering support hours. This ensures the reliability and accuracy of your test kit and reporting strategies.

Do you have more questions about annulus testing?  Contact us using the form below or email

Or if you want to read more about how we can help you with your asset integrity management and annulus testing CLICK HERE.