The recent premature failure of TMCP steel pipes handling sour gas was attributed to the presence of local hard spots. This raised concern regarding the suitability of the Thermo-Mechanically Controlled Process (TMCP) steel for sour service. The paper discusses the impact of hard spots on pipeline fracture resistance in sour service, proposes a basis for steel specification to avoid the formation of hard spots and presents a recommended qualification program to ensure the integrity of the steel pipelines despite the presence of hard spots.

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