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Targeted inspection for unpiggable pipelines

The use of in-line intelligent pigs is usually the preferred method of inspection to determine the condition of subsea pipelines. A large proportion of installed pipelines are, however, such that pigging is not possible. Alternative means of inspection, based on externally applied tools, are therefore necessary for these lines.

The most appropriate inspection strategy for pipelines depends very much on the nature of the degradation as that will dictate the inspection objectives. Targeted inspection is applicable for two main scenarios.

  • Dry gas lines where corrosion is not expected in normal operation and the purpose of the inspection will typically be to validate the absence of degradation, i.e. operation as per design intent.
  • Lines for which some degradation is expected but corrosion conditions are reasonably homogeneous, i.e. consistency of product chemistry and distribution, pressure, temperature and flow rate.

Sonomatic assists clients with planning and evaluation of targeted inspections based on statistical simulation and analysis methods.

The approach to the inspection is key to success of limited coverage inspections as it determines whether or not the data is a sufficient basis for conclusions on the overall condition of a pipeline. Sonomatic provides a range of inspection services suitable for targeted inspection of pipelines.

Sonomatic has worked with many of the world’s leading oil industry clients in developing and providing practical solutions for unpiggable pipelines inspection. Some examples are covered in the case studies below.

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