The increasing demand of fossil fuels brings with it a rising number of sub-sea pipelines for oil and gas. This paper will describe different applications using radioisotope technology to assist during a number of critical stages related to deepwater pipeline operations.
They support accurate assistance starting with monitoring the Pipeline during construction and the final Inspection after installation. The technology offers several types of inspection services for investigation of deposits in a pipeline while in operation. The collected data will determine whether local deposits in a pipeline, have caused blockages and if they are present in limited locations or if they are distributed evenly through the line. The total volume of deposits and percentage bore restriction within the pipeline can also be identified. Also measurements can be accomplished to determine whether the annulus of a Pipe-in-Pipe system is dry or flooded with seawater. In combination with Pig Tracking applications radioisotopes are indispensable for pipe cleaning or for detection of a leakage.
The employment of these applications will considerable increase the productivity, lower the operational costs and allows optimising downtimes. The paper will give a survey about the use of radioisotope technology in the field of Pipeline assurance, recent examples of all of the above, discuss the scope and limitations of the technology, and conclude with the benefits the technology brings to pipeline operators and cleaning contractors.