Above and Below: ILI-based Pipe Strain Assessment
Proceedings Publication Date
Dr. Dietbert Wortelen
Dietbert Wortelen, Joerg Grillenberger, Sebastian Huehn, Daniel Bahrenburg
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Geological processes and weather events continuously reshape the surface of our planet. Occurrence and extent of such events is not always predictable or easy determined. Over the last 2 decades, intensity of cataclysmic and routine weather events has been increasing. As most pipelines are buried, geological and sedimentary changes can impose additional strain on pipeline materials, ultimately resulting in pipeline geohazards. To guarantee safe pipeline operations, these hazards need to be considered during construction and ongoing integrity management of existing assets.

Accounting for the influence of onshore and subsea land movement on structures is the primary goal of any effective geohazard management program. Active monitoring of ground movement and pipeline stress states is typically performed with discrete monitoring equipment, such as slope inclinometers or strain gauges. This can provide sufficient information for the management of simple pipeline geometries located within basic geological environments and, most importantly, where hazards have already been identified. Frequently, hazards resulting in pipeline failures are unmonitored or in areas that don't appear to be problematic, particularly where the surface expression is subtle and not identified by traditional surveillance methods.

To meet demands placed on operators by advancing regulation and severe weather conditions, frequent and comprehensive appraisals of pipeline right-of-way corridors are required.

This paper will demonstrate an ILI-based pipe strain assessment method that utilizes in-line inertial mapping and electromagnetic axial stress measurement to assess the condition of a pipeline. Inertial mapping reveals the occurrence of discrete flexural loading and its proximity to performance limits. Additionally, this study will show the ability of this new ILI technology to accurately measure stress resulting from axial loading on pipelines. The integration of these 2 data collection techniques ultimately results in a high level of confidence when diagnosing and characterizing active geohazard threats, even before they are detected above ground.

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