A Pipeline Inspection Case Study: Design improvements on a New Generation UT In-line Inspection Crack Tool
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For over 20 years, ultrasonic in-line inspection (ILI) tools have played a crucial role in helping operators manage pipeline integrity threats. The predominant ILI applications utilizing ultrasonic technology have been for wall loss and crack inspection. Despite the high success rate experienced with ultrasonic ILI tools, there are still technological improvements needed to help operators manage the integrity of the aging pipeline infrastructure. Among the improvements needed are a higher confidence level in the Probability of Detection (POD), improving detection reliability under different pipeline conditions, increased ranges for pipeline operating parameters and utilizing combo WM-CD mode in one run. In 2010, Weatherford Pipeline and Specialty Services (P&SS) commissioned its new generation fleet of ultrasonic wall measurement and crack detection tools. One of the design objectives was to address some of the ILI tool limitations identified above. This paper focuses on reviewing the latest design improvements for the new generation tools and presenting a case study on a recent survey conducted on the Adria-Wien Pipeline (AWP). The pipeline sections inspected were the 30” x 4 kilometer and 18” by 420 kilometer pipeline. This paper is a joint collaboration between AWP (represented by Michael Huss) and Weatherford Pipeline & Specialty Services.
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