Originally developed as a low risk, cost effective, soft bodied tool for measuring pipeline geometry, internal pipe diameter, detecting and measuring dents, ovality, buckles and wrinkles etc. the Pathfinder has become established as a recognised technology for proving pipeline piggability in lines where there is little or no pigging history. Applications for its use also include pipeline debris mapping and assessment.
Increasingly used to establish the deposition profile and volume of wax, scale and or sand it has become a popular choice with operator and service providers to manage debris removal as part of a pipeline pre-inspection cleaning program.
The Pathfinder is now carving a path in operational pigging. Using a current UKNS project as a case study the paper will demonstrate how the Pathfinder was used to establish cleaning pig performance and monitor wax build up. It describes the methodology and the approach used to progressively improve cleaning pig design over a 12 month period to effectively remove wax as part of an operators production pigging strategy. The paper will discuss the technology employed, cleaning pig design changes, the results and how cleaning performance was measured and managed to mitigate wax build up as part of the normal platform operations.