Optimizing Pipeline Integrity: Pig and Dig Lessons Learned
Proceedings Publication Date
Matina Papadopoulou
Matina Papadopoulou, Paraskevas Frantzeskakis
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Advancements in in-line inspection technology (ILI) are providing pipeline operators with ever more accurate inspection results, with tools for metal loss detection, deformation, ovality and mapping data offering extraordinary accuracies. However, the reported features need to be verified in the field for both the operator to know about the actions that may be taken and the confirmation of tool performance. Even though API 1163 does not require mandatory field verification digs of smart pig runs, there are enough process checks in the standard to provide adequate guidance on the importance of verifying the pig vendor’s tolerance standards for different anomalies. Pipeline Operators Forum provides specific guidance on in-field verification even though the inspection techniques and technologies recommended are set at a high level and an expert interpretation to size features in-field is required. The case study presented here is based on data collected on the condition of a high pressure natural gas pipeline which has undergone several in-line inspections, corrosion investigations and integrity assessments. The aim of the project was to optimize the selection process of the features for verification dig as well as the introduction of new methods for recording, planning and evaluation of the findings.

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