ENERGY

The importance of in-line inspection & inspection of challenging pipelines

Published 21 January 2020

Our society depends on high-pressure pipelines to transport the oil and gas required by industry and consumers. They form the essential “life-lines” ensuring secure transportation, supplies, and reliable availability in the up, mid and downstream sector. Pipelines must be operated safely, efficiently and in compliance with all relevant regulations and codes.

Contributors

Michael Beller

Dr. Michael Beller
Manager Corporate Strategy
Rosen, Germany, Germany

Konrad-Reber

Dr. Konrad Reber
Head of research and development
Innospection Germany GmbH, Germany

An important element of an optimized maintenance process is to have a complete understanding of the mechanical integrity of a given pipeline or pipeline network. Any threats, such as dents, metal loss, cracks or the effects of geo-hazards, that may impact the safe operating pressure of the pipeline must be identified and assessed.

Modern in-line inspection (ILI) tools provide the means to inspect pipelines for those threats. Today there is a vast range of highly specialized ILI tools for very specific tasks. They use a variety of non-destructive testing technologies based on different physical principles. Different types of propulsion methodologies are applied to move them through the pipeline to be inspected.

It is important to understand how they work, assess their specific strength and weaknesses in order to choose the most suitable tool for a given inspection task. It is, therefore, necessary to know and understand which non-destructive testing technologies are applied. In order to be able to make the best use of the collected data for integrity assessment purposes, it is necessary to understand measurement thresholds, accuracies and confidence levels.

In order to prepare an inspection campaign, it is important to understand the process of in-line inspection and the operational conditions in which these tools can be applied.

The course provides an in-depth introduction to the use of in-line inspection tools. It covers the assets in the up, mid and downstream sectors which can be inspected by these tools. Delegates will also be introduced to the typical defects that can appear in a pipeline. After covering the most important non-destructive testing technologies, including magnetic flux leakage, ultrasound, and eddy current, the course includes a comprehensive overview of the tools and services commercially available in the industry today.

After completing the course delegates will have a good understanding of the different inspection requirements regarding traditional and challenging pipelines, onshore and offshore.

All aspects of accessibility, negotiability, and propulsion in relation to pipeline inspection will be covered. Free-swimming, tethered and robotic tools will be introduced. Their respective strength and weaknesses will be discussed.

The course will help delegates to develop a good understanding on how to choose the most appropriate tool for a geometry, mapping, metal loss or crack inspection. The issue of combined inspections will also be covered.

The course will also put emphasis on pipelines for which the well-established inspection methods are difficult to apply. This is an area of active research and development. Delegates will be introduced to the latest developments that solution providers have to offer today ranging from cable-operated tools to external solutions.

In order to enhance the learning experience and deepen the understanding, the course also includes exercises allowing delegates to apply what they have learned.

The quality of the course has been approved by the Qualification Panel for the Pipeline Industry and constitutes an approved training course for a number of pipeline-related professional competency levels.