Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, a North American pipeline operator, has successfully used a robotic crawler to complete an inspection of an underground facility pipeline that was previously considered inaccessible. The inspection area was part of the Pump Station 03 (PS03) facility on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). In addition to being underground, the inspection area was encased in a sand-cement slurry and had difficult geometry for traditional in-line inspection (ILI) tools to navigate, including vertical sections, a horizontal tee, and multiple back-to-back bends with elevation changes. These geometries were easily navigated by Diakont’s robotic inspection crawler, made possible by the tank tread design which expands firmly into the ID of the pipe for traction.
The inspection of PS03 was performed in the aftermath of a crude oil leak to containment that occurred from a section of underground line at Pump Station 01 (PS01) in 2011.
After 2011, significant industry developments made remotely-operated ILI tools available that could inspect unpiggable facility piping. Alyeska reviewed these modern ILI technologies and selected Diakont to inspect the pipeline at PS03 using their robotic ILI crawler.