Innovative Pipeline Inspection Technique: Tackling Complex Manifold Challenges with a Dual-Tool Assembly
Proceedings Publication Date
Manuel Alonso
Manuel Alonso, Hans Overdijkink
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A prominent energy company faced a unique obstacle in inspecting a 36” pipeline due to a manifold featuring six large-diameter take-offs. This configuration would render conventional bidi pigs and inspection tools ineffective due to bypassing. Modifying the length of the tools was not a viable option due to existing 1.5D bends and varying distances between take-offs.

To address this, a specialized service provider proposed a pioneering solution: an assembly that connects a bidi and an inspection tool via a cable. The design ensures that if one tool loses traction, the other can maintain it, enabling continuous push or pull action for the entire assembly. The concept was first virtually tested using a 3D model of the manifold and take-offs to eliminate the likelihood of simultaneous bypass of both tools.

Following successful simulation, comprehensive engineering plans, including 3D and 2D designs, were developed. These plans prioritized durability against push-pull forces and protection for the interconnecting cable.

Prior to field implementation, a proof-of-concept test was conducted at the service provider’s facility. This test involved simulating the pipeline conditions using a unique 36” spool with 10” take-offs and modifying existing pig traps to accommodate the dual-tool assembly.

The test results were positive, requiring only minor on-site adjustments. Furthermore, a specialized "rescue pig" was procured as a contingency measure for cable breakage scenarios.

In summary, the service provider's ground-breaking solution successfully met the energy company's pipeline inspection challenge, highlighting a blend of inventive engineering and proactive risk management.

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