Novel Non-Contact Drone-Based Tool for Pipeline Movement Assessment
Proceedings Publication Date
Mehdi M. Laichoubi
Hamza Kella Bennani, Miaohang Hu, Mehdi Laichoubi, Florian Stasse, Jim Hart, Ali Fathi
Part of the proceedings of

Buried pipelines are critical for infrastructure transporting large amounts of oil and gas products across long distance. Several integrity threats need to be monitored to avoid incidents amongst which geohazard events responsible for at least 16% of failures over the last 10 years*. Geohazards result in permanent ground displacements, which may cause axial and/or lateral deformations that induce bending strains in these structures, leading to catastrophic consequences. To address this issue, Skipper NDT has developed a proprietary embedded system mounted on a drone, with the aim of generating a high-precision digital twin of buried pipelines. This technology enables the acquisition of position data with high data density, which can be utilized to assess bending strain. To validate the effectiveness of the technology, a series of tests were conducted in coordination with a North American pipeline operator. The results of the drone-based technology runs were compared against those obtained with an Inline Inspection tool. The comparison showed good agreement in the trends detected in terms of bending strain profiles.

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