Field verifications have become the preferred choice to prove the stated performance of In-Line Inspection (ILI) services, and the industry today is committed to improve ILI technologies. Cooperating with the ILI vendor from an early stage can possibly yield lower remediation costs and a more accurate estimation of the inspection's accuracy. It also allows including Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) aspects and details which might not be of primary concern for the operator, but which are valuable feedback for the ILI vendor.
The ILI vendor can help ensuring efficient and successful ILI verifications, e.g. by proposing suitable NDE techniques for the expected anomalies or by highlighting nearby secondary features of interest. NDT Global goes beyond this by accompanying selected verification campaigns to ensure trouble-free execution and optimum feedback on actual anomaly characteristics.
This paper highlights examples where close cooperation became key to inspection efficiency. It also discusses typical pitfalls for in-the-ditch NDE. The worst-case scenario to avoid would be underestimating the severity of pipeline defects with the potential for pipeline failure or collateral damage. Other expensive pitfalls include excavating the wrong location or refilling a site before all anomalies have been addressed. A number of other everyday problems can lead to delays, unreliable results or unnecessarily high remediation costs.
Reliable NDE results are used to verify ILI performance specifications. As outlined in API standard 1163, they also give an opportunity to highlight potential issues or improvement opportunities. Using high-end ILI technologies, most deviations can be traced back to the NDE procedures and their execution. The careful selection of suitable procedures and thorough documentation of setup parameters and results significantly reduces the number of unexplained deviations.